CHAPTER VIII.
FORMATION OF "THE BAPTIST SOCIETY FOR PROPAGATING THE
GOSPEL AMONG THE HEATHEN."

AS an immediate result of this sermon a meeting was appointed at Kettering for forming a "Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen." In October, 1792, in the back parlor of Mrs. Beebe Wallis' house, this meeting was held. Mr. Fuller, when writing of the death of Mrs. Wallis twenty years after, says: "The mention of the Society being formed in the little parlor of her house, always made her eyes glisten with delight." How delightful for us at this time to find a woman's name thus associated!

We can have little idea of the fear and trembling with which this society was formed. They were utterly inexperienced, they knew of no opening for foreign mission work in one part of the world more than in another, they had no funds, they lived at long distances from each other and communication was rare and difficult. "Truly," said an old deacon at Kettering, sixty years ago, "it was a wonderful thing, but they did not know it and they were wonderful men. I shall never forget them, boy as I was. They are all gone!" Let us look in upon one of the early meetings of this society through the eyes of one of Carey's early biographers. "There is Ryland! often the chairman; he is of middle age, nearsighted, and has a singu-

-18-

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