The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Carey’s commandments

with 5 comments

Ray Ortlund passes along William Carey’s directives for missionary labour. You may be interested to read the longer version, which casts more light on the men who wrote it.

1. Set an infinite value on immortal souls.

2. Gain all the information you can about “the snares and delusions in which these heathens are held.”

3. Abstain from all English manners which might increase prejudice against the gospel.

4. Watch for all opportunities for doing good, even when you are tired and hot.

5. Make Christ crucified the great subject of your preaching.

6. Earn the people’s confidence by your friendship.

7. Build up the souls that are gathered.

8. Turn the work over to “the native brethren” as soon as possible.

9. Work with all your might to translate the Bible into their languages. Build schools to this end.

10. Stay alert in prayer, wrestling with God until he “famish these idols and cause the heathen to experience the blessedness that is in Christ.”

11. Give yourself totally to this glorious cause. Surrender your time, gifts, strength, families, the very clothes you wear.

Listed in Christian History, Issue 36, page 34.

It does not take much to translate these as principles into any time and place. It takes a vast amount of love and humility to translate them as our practice into every time and place.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 12 February 2011 at 21:54

5 Responses

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  1. Does this make Carey a proto-contextualizer? Maybe better, the father of contextualization. I guess this means that someone thought about these kinds of things before we were born. Hummm. What a novel thought – others before us have thought about the same things we struggle with. Me thinks I should read old, dead guys more to sit at their feet and learn.

    Rich Barcellos

    Saturday 12 February 2011 at 22:05

    • When will you realise that no one thought of these things before us? I would have thought that you might by now have begun to understand that the time has come to throw away that dusty, musty nonsense you read and to begin afresh.

      Now, I am off to do a little inventing. I have an idea for a circle of some sort of robust material, which I intend to attach another by means of some kind of stick, allowing both these disc-like devices to rotate, with the possibility that in this way I shall be able to somehow transport myself and other things from one place to another with less effort than I currently use. My only question: what shall I call the thing?

      Jeremy Walker

      Saturday 12 February 2011 at 23:02

  2. ask Augustine

    Rich Barcellos

    Saturday 12 February 2011 at 23:37

  3. […] day or so ago I posted Carey’s commandments in a form supplied by Ray Ortlund. I subsequently discovered that he has condensed a digest of a […]


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