By William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward
I am going to give several days of information and ideas based on this document that these men wrote and signed publicly. I believe that they speak volumes to us today.
The Redeemer, in planting us in this heathen nation, rather than in any other, has imposed upon us the cultivation of peculiar qualifications. We are firmly persuaded that Paul might plant and Apollos water, in vain, in any part of the world, did not God give the increase. We are sure that only those who are ordained to eternal life will believe, and that God alone can add to the church such as shall be saved. Nevertheless we cannot but observe with admiration that Paul, the great champion for the glorious doctrines of free and sovereign grace, was the most conspicuous for his personal zeal in the work of persuading men to be reconciled to God. In this respect he is a noble example for our imitation. Our Lord intimated to those of His Apostles who were fishermen, that He would make them fishers of men, intimating that in all weathers, and amidst every disappointment, they were to aim at drawing men to the shores of eternal life. Solomon says, “He that winneth souls is wise,” implying, no doubt, that the work of gaining over men to the side of God, was to be done by winning methods, and that it required the greatest wisdom to do it with success. Upon these points, we think it right to fix our serious and abiding attention.
As they began their work they made deliberate efforts to cultivate the qualities that they would need to win men and women to Jesus Christ. They knew that to work cross culturally that they would have to learn many things.
I am afraid that many times our missionaries desire to take not only the Bible to their new place of work but also their culture. I would challenge you to lend your ear over the next few days and really think about what you are doing to reach souls for the cause and the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Notice also that they felt that winning souls should be done with winning methods. They were Calvinists. They believed that God was going to save who He was going to save period yet they worked at learning and cultivating winning ways to reach people.
How does this apply to you and the place you live and work? How could you better prepare yourself to reach souls? Do you think that maybe you should sit down and write out or at least think through what you can do to be more effective where you are? Write your comments!