He led Carey to India
1793 – It was on this date that William Carey and Dr. John Thomas boarded the Earl of Oxford for India. Funds had been raised and they had been commissioned on March 20, therefore they were determined that this was God’s will. However, when the ship’s captain found out that if he took the missionaries he would lose his commission, he put them ashore. Through Dr. Thomas a Danish ship agreed to take them and defeat was turned to victory when they also found out that Mrs. Carey and the children would be able to sail with them who were not going to be able to go before and they sailed on June 13. Dr. Thomas was reared in the home of a Baptist deacon in England where he was early acquainted with the gospel. He was not saved however, until after medical school and marriage. Dr. Thomas then was assigned as the assistant surgeon on one of His Majesty’s ships and sailed several times to India. The British East India, Co. that had begun as a commercial enterprise later had become an arm of the British government. They were interested only in financial gain which meant that they actually worked against the advancement of the missionary cause. A few of the employees who were Christians built a chapel for worship in 1715 and invited Dr. Thomas to minister and then invited him to remain on a permanent basis. But he found out that his Baptist doctrines such as baptism by immersion became a detriment and he found himself at a great loss of financial support. It was these turn of events that brought the shoemaker-preacher Carey and the doctor together and God opening India as the first mission field for the Baptists of England. Dr. Thomas suffered many tragedies and died on Oct. 13, 1801, but few know that it was him that led Carey to India.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 137.
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