To My Wife
For twenty years my fellow-worker in
Calcutta and Serampore
in the scenes consecrated by the memory of
On the death of William Carey In 1834 Dr. Joshua Marshman promised to write the Life of his great colleague, with whom he had held almost daily converse since the beginning of the century, but he survived too short a time to begin the work. In 1836 the Rev. Eustace Carey anticipated him by issuing what is little better than a selection of mutilated letters and journals made at the request of the Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society. It contains one passage of value, however. Dr. Carey once said to his nephew, whose design he seems to have suspected, "Eustace, if after my removal any one should think it worth his while to write my Life, I will give you a criterion by which you may judge of its correctness. If he give me credit for being a plodder he will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything."
In 1859 Mr. John Marshman, after his final return to England, published The Life and Times of Carey, Marshman, and Ward, a valuable history and defence of the Serampore Mission, but rather a biography of his father than of Carey.
When I first went to Serampore the great missionary had not been twenty years dead. During my long residence there as Editor of the Friend of India, I came to know, in most of its details, the nature of the work done by Carey for India and for Christendom in the first third of the century. I began to collect such materials for his Biography as were to be found in the office, the press, and the college, and among the Native Christians and Brahman pundits whom he had influenced. In addition to such materials and experience I have been favoured with the use of many unpublished letters written by Carey or referring to him; for which courtesy I here desire to thank Mrs. S. Carey, South Bank, Red Hill; Frederick George Carey, Esq., LL.B., of Lincoln's Inn; and the Rev. Jonathan P. Carey of Tiverton.
My Biographies of Carey of Serampore,
Henry Martyn, Duff of Calcutta, and Wilson of Bombay, cover a period of
nearly a century and a quarter, from 1761 to 1878. They have been written
as contributions to that history of the Christian Church of India which
one of its native sons must some day attempt; and to the history of English-speaking
peoples, whom the Foreign Missions begun by Carey have made the rulers
and civilisers of the non-Christian world.
24th August 1885.
I THANK several critics of the First Edition for suggestions which have led to the omission of a few passages; and Mrs. S. Carey, South Bank, Red Hill, for enriching this Edition by several letters from Dr. Carey to his sons, and by the letter of King Frederic VI. of Denmark to Carey himself. I have added, also, a valuable letter from Judson to Carey.
9th August 1887.
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