Monday, December 20, 2010

Sins That Have Always Attended Me

A portion of a letter from William Carey, missionary to India, to one of his dear friends and chief supporters in England, John Ryland. Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, England, posted this excerpt on his excellent blog, The Wanderer ( In the letter Carey laments his weaknesses and sins. We would do well to examine our own lives for surely the same sins that plagued him are true of us.

I am convinced that some sins have always attended me, as if they made a part of my constitution; among these I reckon pride, or rather vanity,—an evil which I have detected frequently, but have never been free from to this day. Indolence in divine things is constitutional: few people can think what necessity I am constantly under of summoning all my resolution to engage in any thing which God has commanded. This makes me peculiarly unfit for the ministry, and much more so for the office of a missionary. I now doubt seriously, whether persons of such a constitution should be engaged in the Christian ministry. This, and what I am going to mention, fill me with continued guilt. A want of character and firmness has always predominated in me. I have not resolution enough to reprove sin, to introduce serious and evangelical conversation in carnal company, especially among the great, to whom I have sometimes access. I sometimes labor with myself long, and at last cannot prevail sufficiently to break silence; or, if I introduce a subject, want resolution to keep it up, if the company do not show a readiness thereto.

Memoir of William Carey D.D., by Eustace Carey, first published in 1836, pp. 37-38.

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