William Carey and William Ward, and being indebted to the Moravians

At time it appears that the debate about whether or not William Carey is rightly called the Father of the modern missionary movement is a seemingly endless palaver: of course, anybody who has read anything about the eighteenth-century awakening knows the Moravians were there first. But it was Carey’s name that was remembered through the long century that followed. Yet, it should never be forgot—though one fears many of the Victorian admirers of the English Baptist did forget—that Carey and his colleagues knew the extent of their debt to the Moravians. As William Ward exclaimed in 1801, after reading some Moravian missionary journals: “Thank you, Moravians! Ye have done me good. If I am ever a missionary worth a straw, I shall owe it to you, under our Saviour.” (Periodical Accounts, 2 [Clipstone, 1801], no.VII, 5).