Binney, Joseph Getchell Dd
Binney, Joseph Getchell D.D.
a distinguished Baptist missionary, was born in Boston, Dec. 1, 1807. At an early age he became a Christian, and united with a Congregational Church. He pursued his preparatory studies in his native, city, and entered Yale College, where he remained but a short time, on account of ill health. Soon after he became a Baptist, and was received into the Baptist Church in East Cambridge, Mass., which gave him a license to preach, Oct. 15, 1830. His ordination to the work of the ministry and the pastorate of the Church in West Boylston took place May 16, 1832, in which place, and for a brief period in Southbridge, Mass., he was pastor for several years, and then removed to Savannah, Ga., to assume the pastorate of the Baptist Church in that city. Here his ministry was a happy and successful one. He was called in 1843 to lay the foundations of a theological school for the Karens in Maulmain, Burmah. He reached Burmah in the month of April, 1844, and, after a year devoted to the study of the Karen language, he opened the theological school at a place near Maulmain. Here, for five years, he labored with great zeal and success in training a native ministry for the Karen churches, when the ill-health of Mrs. Binney compelled him to return to the United States, where he remained not far from eight years, acting during most of this period as pastor of two churches, one in Elmira, N. Y., and the other at Augusta, Ga., and, for a time, as president of Columbian College at Washington, D. C. He was reappointed as a missionary in the summer of 1858, and resumed his labors as the president of the Karen Theological Seminary, which soon afterwards was removed to Rangoon. Here Dr. Binney performed the duties of his office from May, 1859, till November, 1875. with rare fidelity, and left the impress of a character of great energy and devotion to the cause of his Master upon the young men who came under his charge. He. established a college for the Karens on the 28th of May, 1872, with three native teachers and seventeen students. An attack of paralysis in 1864, and another in the fall of 1875 compelled him to pass the winter of 1875-76 in Italy, and the following summer he returned to his native land. He sailed from New York, Oct. 6, 1877, by the overland route to the East, but died on board the steamship "Amarapoora," Nov. 26, 1877, and his remains were committed to the deep.
Among American missionaries of all denominations, Dr. Binney took a high rank. His personal appearance was such as to arrest attention at once. Seriousness, earnestness, thorough consecration to his work were written in every line of a face which, once seen, would not soon be forgotten. He published, in the Karen language, a work on Systematic Theology, and another on Preaching. He left also several works in manuscript, which were nearly or quite ready to be placed in the printer's hands. He was a hard, diligent worker, and doubtless shortened his life by his severe application to the tasks he had undertaken to accomplish. He guarded well his lips, and was sober and dignified in his demeanor, and his presence commanded respect. See Baptist Missionary Mag., 58, 65-69. (J. C. S.)