The Life of William Carey
by George Smith
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2. It being fixed in the Charter that the Council must consist of the Master or President and at least two, but no more than four Members, and that on the demise of the Master no act shall be done until another be elected, the Master and Council for the time being shall appoint the next Master under their separate hand and seal. If on the demise of a Master no one be found thus appointed under the hand and seal of a majority of the Council, the Senior Member of the Council shall succeed as Master.

3. The Charter having given the casting vote to the Master, in all cases when the votes are equal the casting vote shall lie with the Master, and if there be no Master, it shall lie with the Senior Member of the Council.

4. Learning and piety being peculiar to no denomination of Christians, one member of the Council may at all times be of any other denomination besides the Baptist, to preserve the original design of the Institution; however, if on the election of a Master a number of the Council be equally divided, that part which is entirely of the Baptist denomination shall have the casting vote, whether it includes the Master or not.

5. The management of the College, including its revenues and property, the choice of Professor and Tutors, the admission of Students, the appointment of all functionaries and servants, and the general order and government of the College, shall ever be vested in the Master and the Council. The Master shall see that the Statutes and Regulations of the Council be duly carried into effect, and take order for the good government of the College in all things. His signature is necessary to the validity of all deeds, instruments, documents and proceedings.

6. "The first Council and their successor for ever" being authorised by the Charter "to confer such degrees of rank and honour as shall encourage learning" in the same manner as other Colleges and Universities, they shall from time to time confer degrees in such branches of Knowledge and Science as may be studied there, in the same manner as the Universities in Denmark, Germany and Great Britain. In doing this the Master and Council shall ad libitum call in the aid of any or all the Professors of Serampore College. All such degrees shall be perfectly free of expense to the person on whom they may be conferred, whether he be in India, Europe or America.

7. No oaths shall be administered in Serampore College, either to the Members of Council, the Professors and Tutors, or the Students. In all cases a solemn promise, duly recorded and signed by the party, shall be accepted instead of an oath.

8. Marriage shall be no bar to any office or situation in Serampore College, from that of the Master to that of the lowest student.

9. The salaries of the Professors and Tutors in Serampore College shall be appointed, and the means of support for all functionaries, students and servants be regulated by the Council in such manner as shall best promote the objects of the Institution.

10. It is intended that neither the Master nor any Member of the Council in general shall receive any salary. But any Master who may not previously reside in the College shall have a residence there free of rent for himself and his family. And if the Council shall elect any one in Europe or in America, whom they deem eminent for learning and piety, a Member of the Council, with a view to choosing him Master, should they on trial deem him worthy, the Council shall be competent to appoint him such salary as they may deem necessary, not exceeding, however, the highest given to a Professor.

11. As the founders of the College deem the belief of Christ's Divinity and Atonement essential to vital Christianity, the promotion of which is the grand object of this Institution, no one shall be eligible to the College Council or to any Professorship who is known to oppose these doctrines, and should any one of the Professors or any member of the Council unhappily so change his views after his election as to oppose these fundamental doctrines of Christianity, on this being clearly and decidedly proved from his teaching or his writings, he shall vacate the office he previously held. But every proceeding of this nature on the part of the College Council shall be published to the Christian world, with the proofs on which it may rest, as an Appendix to the succeeding Report.

12. Members of the Council are eligible from among the Professors of the College, or from among any in India, Europe, or America whom the College Council may deem suitable in point of learning, piety, and talent.

13. Students are admissible at the discretion of the Council from any body of Christians, whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, the Greek, or the Armenian Church; and for the purpose of study, from the Mussulman and Hindu youth, whose habits forbid their living in the College. No caste, colour, or country shall bar any man from admission into Serampore College.

14. Expulsion shall be awarded in cases of open immorality, incorrigible idleness, neglect of the College Statutes and regulations, or repeated disobedience to the officers of the College.

15. Any person in India, Europe, or America shall be at liberty to found any Professorship, or to attach to Serampore College any annual exhibition or prize for the encouragement of learning in the same manner as in the Universities of Great Britain, regulating such endowment according to their own will; and it shall be duty of the College Council to carry such benefactions into effect in strict consonance with the will of the donors as far as shall be consistent with the Statutes of the College.

16. It shall be lawful for the first Council of the College or their successors to make and rescind any bye-laws whatever, provided they be not contrary to these Statutes.

17. The Charter having declared that the number of the Professors and students in Serampore College remains unlimited, they shall be left thus unlimited, the number to be regulated only by the gracious providence of God and the generosity of the public in India, Europe and America.


"The rights and immunities granted to the Serampore College by Royal Charter of date, 23rd February, 1827, shall not be interfered with, but continue in force in the same manner as if they had been obtained by a Charter from the British Government, subject to the general law of British India."


[1] Iphicrates, great Athenian general, who was the son of a shoemaker, used this saying, fit motto for Carey, ex oion eis oia.

[2] The shopmate, William Manning, preserved this signboard. In 1881 we found a Baptist shoemaker, a descendant of Carey's wife, with four assistants, at work in the shed. Then an old man, who had occasionally worked under Carey, had just died, and he used to tell how Carey had once flipped him with his apron when he had allowed the wax to boil over.

[3] In the library of the late Rev. T. Toller of Kettering was a manuscript (now in the library of Bristol Baptist College) of nine small octavo pages, evidently in the exquisitely small and legible handwriting of Carey, on the Psalter. The short treatise discusses the literary character and authorship of the Psalms in the style of Michaelis and Bishop Lowth, whose writings are referred to. The Hebrew words used are written even more beautifully than the English. If this little work was written before Carey went to India—and the caligraphy seems to point to that—the author shows a very early familiarity with the writings of one who was his predecessor as a Christian Orientalist, Sir William Jones. The closing paragraph has this sentence:—"A frequent perusal of the book of Psalms is recommended to all. We should permit few days to pass without reading in Hebrew one of those sacred poems; the more they are read and studied, the more will they delight, edify, and instruct."

[4] Twice reprinted, in Leicester, and in London (1892) in facsimile.

[5] Wealth of Nations, Book IV., Chap. VII.

[6] Mr. Thomas Haddon of Clipstone writes: "I recollect when I was about ten years old, at my father's house; it was on a Saturday, Carey was on his way to Arnsby (which is twenty miles from Moulton) to supply there the following Sabbath; he had then walked from Moulton to Clipstone, a distance of ten miles, and had ten miles further to walk to Arnsby. My honoured father had been intimately acquainted with him for some years before, and he pressed him to stay and take an early cup of tea before he went further. I well recollect my father saying to him, 'I suppose you still work at your trade?' (which was that of an army and navy shoemaker). Mr. Carey replied: 'No, indeed, I do not; for yesterday week I took in my work to Kettering, and Mr. Gotch came into the warehouse just as I had emptied my bag. He took up one of the shoes and said, "Let me see, Carey, how much do you earn a week?" I said, "About 9s., sir." Mr. Gotch then said: "I have a secret to tell you, which is this: I do not intend you should spoil any more of my leather, but you may proceed as fast as you can with your Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and I will allow you from my own private purse 10s. a week!" With that sum and about 5s. a week which I get from my people at Moulton, I can make a comfortable living' (although at that time he had a wife and three children to provide for)."

[7] Farewell Letters on Returning to Bengal in 1821.

[8] Rev. A. T. Clarke succeeded Kiernander in 1789 in the Old or Mission Church, according to Miss Blechynden's Calcutta Past and Present (1905), p. 84.

[9] At this time, and up to 1801, the last survivor of the Black Hole tragedy was living in Calcutta and bore his own name, though the missionary knew it not. Mrs. Carey was a country-born woman, who, when a girl, had married an officer of one of the East Indiamen, and with him, her mother, and sister, had been shut up in the Black Hole, where, while they perished, she is said to have retained life by swallowing her tears. Dr. Bishop, of Merchant Taylors' School—Clive's School—wrote Latin verses on the story, which thus conclude—

"...Nescit sitiendo perire Cui sic dat lacrymas quas bibat ipsa fides." —See Echoes from Old Calcutta, by Dr. Busteed, C.I.E.

[10] But not its Church. In October 1796 Mr. A. Johnstone, thirty years elder in Lady Yester's congregation, beside the University of Edinburgh, began a prayer meeting for Carey's work and for foreign missions. He was summoned to the Presbytery, and there questioned as if he had been a "Black-neb" or revolutionary. This meeting led to the foundation of the Sabbath School and Destitute Sick Societies in Edinburgh. See Lives of the Haldanes.

[11] Dr. Marshman's English translation is still used, beginning—

"Oh! thou my soul forget no more The Friend who all thy misery bore."

[12] The chatookee is a bird which, they say, drinks not at the streams below: but when it rains, opening its bill, it catches the drops as they fall from the clouds.

[13] The sight of the red coat of the military surgeon who attended him gave this form to his delirious talk: "I treated him very roughly and refused to touch his medicine. In vain did he retire and put on a black coat. I knew him and was resolved."

[14] In a criticism of the three Sanskrit grammars of Carey, Wilkins, and Colebrooke, the first number of the Quarterly Review in 1809 pronounces the first "everywhere useful, laborious, and practical. Mr. Wilkins has also discussed these subjects, though not always so amply as the worthy and unwearied missionary. We have been much pleased with Dr. Carey's very sensible preface."

[15] It was reserved for a young Orientalist, whom the career of Carey and Wilson of Bombay attracted to the life of a Christian missionary, to do full justice to this book and its literature. In 1885 the Hon. Ion Keith-Falconer, M.A., published, at the Cambridge University Press, his Kalilah and Dimnah, or The Fables of Bidpai: Being an Account of their Literary History, with an English Translation of the later Syriac Version of the Same, and Notes. The heroic scholar and humble follower of Christ, having given himself and his all to found a Mission to the Mohammedans of South Arabia, at Sheikh Othman, near Aden, died there, on 11th May 1887, a death which will bring life to Yemen, through his memory, and the Mission which he founded, his family support, and the United Free Church of Scotland carry on in his name.



First Published in 1801. BENGALI—New Testament; Old Testament in 1802-9. 1811. Ooriya " " in 1819. 1824. Maghadi " only. 1815-19. Assamese " " in 1832. 1824. Khasi. 1814-24. Manipoori. 1808. SANSKRIT " " in 1811-18. 1809-11. HINDI " " in 1813-18. 1822-32. Bruj-bhasa " only. 1815-22. Kanouji " " 1820. Khosali—Gospel of Matthew only. 1822. Oodeypoori—New Testament only. 1815. Jeypoori " 1821. Bhugeli " 1821. Marwari " 1822. Haraoti " 1823. Bikaneri " 1823. Oojeini " 1824. Bhatti " 1832. Palpa " 1826. Kumaoni " 1832. Gurhwali " 1821. Nepalese " 1811. MARATHI— " Old Testament in 1820. 1820. Goojarati " only. 1819. Konkan " Pentateuch in 1821. 1815. PANJABI " " and Historical Books in 1822. 1819. Mooltani—New Testament. 1825. Sindhi—Gospel of Matthew only. 1820. Kashmeeri—New Testament; and Old Testament to 2nd Book of Kings. 1820-26. Dogri—New Testament only. 1819. PUSHTOO—New Test. and Old Test. Historical Books. 1815. BALOOCHI " Three Gospels. 1818. TELUGOO " and Pentateuch in 1820. 1822. KANARESE " only. MALDIVIAN—Four Gospels.


Persian. Singhalese. Hindostani. Chinese (Dr. Marshman's). Malayalam. Javanese. Burmese—Matthew's Gospel. Malay.

[17] Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-77. London, 1884.

[18] Mr. John Marshman, in his Life and Times of the three, states that Fry and Figgins, the London typefounders, would not produce under L700 half the Nagari fount which the Serampore native turned out at about L100. In 1813 Dr. Marshman's Chinese Gospels were printed on movable metallic types, instead of the immemorial wooden blocks, for the first time in the twenty centuries of the history of Chinese printing. This forms an era in the history of Chinese literature, he justly remarks.

[19] The fervent printer thus wrote to his Hull friends:—"To give to a man a New Testament who never saw it, who has been reading lies as the Word of God; to give him these everlasting lines which angels would be glad to read—this, this is my blessed work."

[20] In 1795 Captain Dodds, a Madras officer front Scotland, translated part of the Bible into Telugoo, and, lingering on in the country to complete the work, died seven days after the date of his letter on the subject in the Missionary Magazines of 1796.

[21] Then Editor of the Friend of India.

[22] The Chaitanya Charita Amrita, by Krishna Dass in 1557, was the first of importance.

[23] Nor was his influence confined to the Protestant division of Christendom. When, on the Restoration of 1815, France became once more aggressively Romanist for a time, the Association for the Propagation of the Faith was founded at Lyons and Paris, avowedly on the model of the Baptist Missionary Society, and it now raises a quarter of a million sterling a year for its missions. The expression in an early number of its Annales is:—"C'est l'Angleterre qui a fourni l'idee modele," etc. "La Societe des Anabaptistes a forme pour ses Missions des Societes," etc.

[24] Life of Alexander Duff, D.D., LL.D., chapter I.

[25] Fuller more than once referred to the dying words of Sutcliff—"I wish I had prayed more." "I do not suppose he wished he had prayed more frequently, but more spiritually. I wish I had prayed more for the influences of the Holy Spirit; I might have enjoyed more of the power of vital godliness. I wish I had prayed more for the assistance of the Holy Spirit in studying and preaching my sermons; I might have seen more of the blessing of God attending my ministry. I wish I had prayed more for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to attend the labours of our friends in India; I might have witnessed more of the effects of their efforts in the conversion of the heathen."

[26] The Baptist missionary, who became an Arian, and was afterwards employed by Lord William Bentinck to report on the actual state of primary education in Bengal.

[27] The first India chaplain of the Church of Scotland, superintendent of stationery and editor of the John Bull.—See Life of Alexander Duff, D.D.

[28] His Majesty's Lord Chamberlain formally expressed to the British Minister at Copenhagen, H.E. the Hon. Edmund Monson, C.B., the King's high pleasure at "the author's noble expressions of the good his pre-possessors of the throne and the government of Denmark tried to do for their Indian subjects," when the first edition of this Life of William Carey, D.D., was presented to His Majesty.—See Taylor and Son's Biographical and Literary Notices of William Carey, D.D., Northampton, 1886.

[29] In 1834, the year Carey died, there were in the college ten European and Eurasian students learning Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Bengali, mathematics, chemistry, mental philosophy, and history (ancient and ecclesiastical). There were forty-eight resident native Christians and thirty-four Hindoos, sons of Brahmans chiefly, learning Sanskrit, Bengali, and English. "The Bengal language is sedulously cultivated...The Christian natives of India will most effectually combat error and diffuse sounder information with a knowledge of Sanskrit. The communication, therefore, of a thoroughly classic Indian education to Christian youth is deemed an important but not always an indispensable object."

[30] Serampore—Srirampur or place of the worshipful Ram.

[31] Aitchison's Collection, vol. i., edition 1892, pp. 81-86

[32] Life of Alexander Duff, D.D., LL.D., 1879.

[33] William Carey, by James Culross, D.D., 1881.

[34] For years, and till the land was sold to the India Jute Company in 1875, the Garden was kept up at the expense of John Marshman, Esq., C.S.I.

[35] Sa. Rs. "From May 1801 to June 1807, inclusive, as Teacher of Bengali and Sanskrit, 74 months at 500 rupees monthly 37,000

From 1st July 1807 to 31st May 1830, as Professor of ditto, at 1000 rupees monthly 2,75,000

From 23rd Oct. to July 1830, inclusive, 300 rupees monthly, as Translator of Government Regulations 24,600

From 1st July 1830 to 31st May 1834, a pension of 500 rupees monthly 23,500

"Sicca Rupees 3,60,100"

[36] The Evangelical Succession. Third Series. Edinburgh, Macniven and Wallace, 1884.


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