“God make me faithful unto death.”
October 20, 1769 – William Ward was born. Just before sailing for India, the Lord caused William Carey’s path to cross that of young William Ward. It was the spring of 1793, and Ward was just 23 years old and was a printer of Derby, who was visiting city friends.
Carey unfolded to him the desire and purpose of his heart respecting Biblical translations. Laying his hand on Ward’s shoulder as they parted, he said, ‘I hope, by God’s blessing to have the Bible translated and ready for the press in four or five years…You must come and print it for us.’ Neither ever forgot this.
It was not until August of 1796 that William Ward was converted and, upon his baptism, united with the Baptist church in Hull. However, soon after that, a Christian friend, recognizing his gifts, offered to pay his expenses to study for the ministry. Thus Ward left the field of journalism and studied under Dr. John Fawcett at Ewood Hall,Yorkshire. Hearing again of the need of the Missionary Society for a printer to publish the Bengalee translation, he offered himself and was accepted.
On May 29, 1799, at the age of 29 Ward sailed with Dr. Marshman, Mr. Brunsdom, and Mr. Grant, with their families, for Bengal. He wrote as follows to Wm. Carey “…I know not whether you will remember a young man, a printer, walking with you from Rippon’s Chapel one Sunday, etc…It is in my heart to live and die with you. May…God make me faithful unto death.” The three have been designated the “Serampore triumvirate.” Carey, Ward, and Joshua Marshman. Ward died in 1823 at 54, Carey in 1834 at 73, and Marshman at 69 in 1837. The cord is joined now once again.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 435-36.