Book Review: An Enquiry…by William Carey

While is Moulton, England, two weeks ago, we went to Carey Baptist Church where William Carey, the father of modern missions, first pastored.  Here in the cottage near the church, must of Carey’s vision for the world began.  We saw the actual cottage and a reconstruction of the original map he made of the world, as well as a first edition copy of a book he wrote expressing his burden for the world and desire that the Christian church take the gospel to the heathen.

I was able to purchase a reprint of this book, which has a the modest title of An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens.”  Though a short book, it is packed with the heart and passion of a man who love the Lord, cared for souls, and was willing to pay any price to reach them.  In the book Carey covers the theological basis for world evangelism, a review of previous missionary undertakings, a survey of the world state, a look at the practicalities of doing more for the lost, and ideas about how missionary work should be done.

The book really inspired me because here was a man, in a small town in England, associating with many hyper-Calvinists who did not believe they needed to use means for the conversion of the lost, that looked beyond his own four walls and not only got a burden for the lost but was willing to do something about it.  On his charts the largest area at the time was India and Indostan with 150,000,000 people, and that is exactly where Carey ended up going, right into the heart of the need.

We need more men like Carey.  We need to get a vision for the world.  And more importantly, we need to do something to get the gospel to them.  If he could endure months at sea, never returning home, the death of loved ones, and great hardships, then surely we can surrender our all to the Lord and use every available means to preach the gospel.

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