"William Carey was a pioneer missionary to India. 1761-1834.
This book is outstanding mainly because the life of William Carey was outstanding. He was a lowly cobbler, but God called him to reach the lost of India. He always said he may not be able to do much, but he could plod. He is known as the Father of Modern Missions.
His life's motto was a famous quote of his, "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." Many people misquote his saying, but as a Calvinist, he knew it all began with God. He believed in the sovereignty of God and this sustained him through many difficult years before he had his first convert to Christianity.
He also had family difficulties, opposition, illness, and 'technical difficulties'. Once, after nearly completing a Bible translation and dictionary into one of the eleven different languages he translated the Bible into, they had a horrible fire and years of work was destroyed. How do you spell despair? Oh, for a computer with a save button!
He had three wives over the course of his life (consequtively, of course), and he told his third wife he wanted to be buried next to his second wife. Obviously his favourite, but I wonder what she thought of that?
He also pioneered the idea of a missionary society and home support, since back then, missionaries did not usually come home on furlough. He compared his life's work to going down into a mine, and said to the men who would remain in England, "I will go down into the mine, but you must hold the ropes."
One unfortunate slant of the author is that he would spend paragraph after paragraph describing Carey's gardens, but only a sentence or so on the death of his child. While Carey was an eminent botanist as well, I'm sure that doesn't reflect on the importance of that event on Carey himself.
Overall, he is still highly respected in India today for his translation work, and for establishing a Christian witness there. He fought for thirty years to abolish the horrible practice of widows who threw themselves on their husband's funeral pyres.
His humility is seen as he lay dying, when a friend praised his life's work. He said,
"Mr. Duff, you have been speaking of Dr. Carey, Dr. Carey. When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey---speak about Dr. Carey's Saviour.""