Part 7: English Missionary Awakening
This is a reprint of The Haystack Prayer Meeting. It was written by Edward Warren Capen, PH.D. president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now Global Ministries, and published as one of the 1906 Envelope Series. Subscribers paid 10 cents per year for the series.
PLEASE NOTE: This piece was written in 1906 and therefore reflects the language of that time.
In England the missionary enterprise had had a new birth. Under the lead of William Carey, “the consecrated cobbler” and linguist, the Baptists had been aroused, had organized the Baptist Missionary Society in 1792, and had sent Carey and his companion, Dr. Thomas, to India the following year. Under his guidance the Serampore Mission was established, and the remarkable work of evangelism, education, and the translation and publication of the Bible were well under way. The non-Baptists of England had also organized in 1795. The Missionary Society, later known as the London Missionary Society, had sent a large force to the South Seas and had begun work in South Africa. The stricter Anglican, who did not care to cooperate with the Nonconformists, had established, in 1799, the Church Missionary Society. Melville Horne, formerly chaplain in Sierra Leone, had published in 1794 his searching “Letters on Missions,” in which he pleaded with the clergy of England to take up the work abroad. This book and other missionary literature, such as the sermons preached at the organization of the London Missionary Society, had reached America, been reprinted here, and were arousing the people. Accounts of missionary work abroad were printed in nearly every number of such publications as the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine, the Massachusetts Missionary Magazine, and the Panoplist. American Christians were contributing to the work of Carey, six thousand dollars being remitted in the years 1806 and 1807. Morrison, the pioneer to China, went to that nation by the way of New York, so that many Americans had actually seen a missionary.