On this day in 1792, William Carey preached a revolutionary message from Isaiah 54:2-3.  This message would have a profound affect on several of the pastors at the meeting and would give birth to the Baptist Missionary Society.

It was during a Pastors Fellowship at Nottingham that Carey grabbed his opportunity to preach to the assembled group of Pastors.  Below is a written account of his sermon and the effect it produced:

The following association was held at Nottingham, May 30, 1792, and Mr. Carey was appointed to preach. His sermon was founded on Isaiah 54:2, 3, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;  For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”

Having observed that the church of God is there addressed as a desolate widow, dwelling alone in a little cottage; that the command to enlarge her tent contained an intimation that there should be an increase in her family; and that to account for so unexpected a change, she was told, that her “Maker was her husband,” who should be called ” the God of the whole earth,” he took up what he considered to be the spirit of the passage in two exhortations; First, Expect Great Things From God—Second, Attempt Great Things Eor God.

“The effect of this discourse,” says Mr. Morris, ” was considerable.” Dr. Ryland speaks in very much stronger terms:— ” If all the people had lifted up their voice and wept as the children of Israel did at Bochim, I should not have wondered at the effect; it would have only seemed proportionate to the cause; so clearly did he prove the criminality of our supineness in the cause of God.” 1


William Carey: a Biography 1

Wholesome Words

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