May 26th, 1901—May 26th, 1902
“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Thine: … both riches and honor come of Thee, … and in Thy hand it is to give strength unto all.”—1 Chron. 29:11, 12.
To talk with God—no breath is lost;
Talk on, talk on!
To walk with God—no strength is lost;
Walk on, walk on!
To wait on God—no time is lost;
Wait on, wait on!
A. A. R.
A Time Of Abounding Supplies—Admission Of Children Bereft Of Only One Parent
We received on May 28th, from Clifton, £50.—30th. Anonymously, from S. M., £30.
June 8th. The income for the Orphans during the past seven days has amounted to only £99 19s. 7d., very little more than a fifth part of the amount of our average weekly expenditure on account of the Orphans. We had been especially bringing this disparity between income and expenditure before the Lord, and now He refreshed us today with the following larger gifts. From R. E., £100.— 11th. Anonymously, postmark “Home Bush, N.S.W.,” £25.
There arrived by the mail of the 21st, from Drouin, Australia, £60 for Missions, with £2 10s. for Mr. Bergin and £2 10s. for myself.—22nd. From Scotland, £100, with £5 for myself. It has pleased the Lord to supply us this year abundantly for the Orphans; but in His infinite wisdom He has suffered us to hunger again and again for supplies for the School, Bible, Missionary and Tract work; we had often during the year to mourn our inability to send the amount of pecuniary aid which we would gladly have sent to the beloved Missionary Laborers. Not only had every shilling, which donors sent expressly for Missionary Laborers, been so expended, but considerable sums, which were left by the donors at our disposal, were appropriated to the Missionary branch of this fund, and so expended. The fund for these objects was at this time nearly, if not quite, exhausted; and we could do nothing but call upon our infinite helper, the living God, and await His gracious response. How refreshing to our hearts, under such circumstances, was the arrival of this £100, which, according to the terms of the donor’s letter, I was at liberty to appropriate to any part of the work of God in our hands. It enabled us to send off remittances to several of the Lord’s servants; and thus, besides meeting their temporal needs, caused, doubtless, “many thanksgivings unto God.”
On the 25th, from Rugby, the legacy of the late Mrs. H. R., £100. By far the larger proportion of the legacies bequeathed to this Institution are for the benefit of the Orphan branch of the work; but, in this instance, the Lord, who foresaw what our need would be at this time, influenced this testatrix to leave this portion of her estate for the four other objects of the work.—26th. From Southport, £50, with the following letter:—
“In May 1900 I sent you a gift on behalf of your great and good work. Since then, my wife, myself, my daughters and niece have had the pleasure of looking through one of your Homes. Words fail to express my feelings, and I am convinced that the best-way to show them is by sending you the enclosed. I need not tell you that you are seldom forgotten at the throne of grace.”
On July 8th there came to us from Barrhead, N.B., £3, with the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“Having been greatly blessed through reading the life of the late Mr. Müller, and being constrained to ‘lay up’ no more ‘treasure upon earth,’ but to look to God, as do the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field, I herewith send you part of the ‘treasure’ I had ‘laid up,’ for the benefit of the Orphans.”
The legacy of the late Mrs. E. T., for £2,700, reached us on the 20th. From readers of “The Christian,” £29 3s. 2d.—22nd. From Clifton Down, £150.
Opening Wider Our Doors
The decision arrived at on March 14th, to open the doors of these Orphan Houses to children bereft of only one parent, took effect on August 1st; and we had the deep joy of receiving during the week eight such children and up to the end of the time this book deals with we have received 1,702 of such Orphans.
There came on the 4th, from Fulham, £500, with the following letter:—
“Miss sends you a donation of £500 for the Orphan Homes, which the late Mr. Müller carried on for so many years for our blessed Master. May you, dear Sir, be spared to follow in his steps for the sake of the dear children.”
The mail of the 9th brought us from Wellington, N.Z., £50. The donor says in his letter:—
“The last year was the best I have had in business, and this is the balance of ten percent I set aside for the Lord’s work, which I was led to do through reading Mr. Müller’s remarks on Christian Stewardship. When I sent you the five pounds, I hardly dared to hope that I should have this privilege, but I most gladly give as the Lord has given me.”
A Legacy From A Grateful Orphan
We received on the 13th the legacy of the late Mr. O. H., £100. The testator was, from Aug. 1st, 1850, to March 26th, 1857, an inmate of the Orphan House No. 1, Ashley Down; and was apprenticed to a baker in the city of Wells. God prospered him; in his Will, dated 17th May, 1901, he bequeathed the above legacy, duty free, in the following words:—
“I give and bequeath to James Wright, Director of Mr. Müller’s Orphan Homes, Ashley Down, Bristol, the sum of One hundred pounds, to be paid as soon as may be after my death, the said sum to be used for the benefit of the Orphans in the above Home, and I wish here to record my deep gratitude for the benefits I received in the said Institution, when I was totally destitute and homeless, and may God prosper the good work for all time. I also direct the above legacy to be paid free of duty.”
The testator died on the 7th of June last, and the executors kindly fulfilled the desire, expressed by himself, by paying the legacy in a little over two months.
On the 16th we received from Cheltenham the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“I was reading on Lord’s Day evening the Report you sent, when I came to the pages of help to the Lord’s Laborers. I did indeed thank Him for entrusting to you so much. I felt He was pleased, else it could not be. I had this £30 given to me for the Lord’s cause, and I meant to divide it among so many; but this evening, alone with God, I decided to send all to you, and I feel sure it will please Him, for I doubt not it is direct giving to God.”
Greatly had we been longing and praying that our ability to send help to Laborers in the gospel might be largely increased, and we had often reminded the Lord, that we made no appeals to His stewards, either privately or publicly, but that we relied entirely on His gracious disposing of His servants’ hearts. What a striking illustration this letter affords that He is pleased to recognize and respond to the trust that reposes in Himself alone.
There came in on the 22nd from South Wales, £225, and £25 for myself. This donation was another most cheering answer to our prayer for increased supplies.—24th. From Bristol, 1 ton of coals. The donor said: “God told him, at 4 a.m. this morning, to bring it; so he obeyed.” How much happier, dear reader, it is to receive this gift, which our Heavenly Father thus inclined His child to send us, than to have obtained it by our own pressing appeal. If we speak to God our Father, trusting in the merits of His beloved Son for the acceptance of our petition, He speaks to His stewards for us; and, as in this instance, they obey.
We received on the 27th, from Riddings, £16 8s. 5d. for the support of one Orphan for one year. The donor, twenty-six years ago, was one of our boys in the Orphan House No. 4. He sent a kind note expressing his “wishes for every success in the good work.”—28th. On account of the legacy of the late Mr. C. H., £700. From Bristol, £75, and £25 for myself. From Wellington, N.Z., £40.—30th. From Bristol, with 2 Cor. 9:15, £12 10s.
On September 2nd the legacy of the late Miss E. W. G., for £204 10s., reached us.—4th. From Chippenham, £50, From Orpington, £5, with the following letter:—
“Please accept the enclosed from two of your old scholars, in memory of our youngest sister, L. G., also one of your scholars, who passed peacefully away on the 17th of July. She was ready for the Master’s call, and never forgot the dear old Home.
“Yours ever gratefully, and praying God always to continue to bless you all,
“(Signed) M. B. and F. H., sisters to L. G., the first baby in the New Orphan House, No. 2.”
This House was opened in the year 1857.
The legacy of the late Mrs. C. K., £329, came to us on the 6th.
I received on the 12th a brief letter, which may be taken as illustrative of the feelings of many widows, whose hearts have been caused to “sing for joy,” by the reception of their fatherless offspring into this Institution. The writer dated her letter from “The Brompton Hospital,” London, where she was being treated for Consumption, and it ran as follows:—
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your exceeding kindness in receiving my fatherless darling daughter, Hilda Alice, and my two boys, Joseph and John, into your Orphanage.
“I am, dear Sir,
“Yours most gratefully,——.”
There reached us on the 18th the legacy of the late Mr. S. P., £447 18s. 9d.—19th. From Streatham, £1 0s. 6d. The donor wrote:—
“I shall never be able to thank you enough for the kindness I received whilst in the Orphanage; but the principal thing is that there I found my Saviour in the year 1887. I love to know more and more of Him ‘who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ Wonderful love!”
On the 21st, the legacy of the late Mrs. M. J., £134 17s., came to us.—27th. From Bristol, £2, with the following letter:—
“Tomorrow being the anniversary of dear Mr. Müller’s birthday, I think I cannot do better than send you a small cheque to use as you think best. I was one of the 120 boys that walked from Wilson Street to dear No. 1 Orphan House, on Ashley Down, in 1849, where I received so much good, temporal and spiritual, which was the foundation of all the good I have received in this world, and where I learned to put my trust in Jesus as my Saviour. “With fondest love, dear Sir, believe me to remain,
I received from the Orphans in the sixteen departments of the New Orphan Houses on Ashley Down, in memory of beloved Mr. Müller’s birthday, £12 3s. for Foreign Missions. 28th. From Scotland, £100 for Schools, Bibles and Missions, with £5 for myself, after continuance for weeks in prayer.
On October 2nd there came from Sussex, £120 for Missions in South America, another precious answer to prayer.—3rd. From Taunton, £50. From Clydach, £25.
The British Government’s Action—An Answer To Prayer
We received on the 7th the legacy of the late Mrs. E. D., £6,168 5s. 9d. The testatrix, in her desire to avoid the payment of legacy duty, abstained from making a Will, but dictated her wishes to a friend who took them down in writing. As several Charities were interested in this intended distribution of her property, the case was, by common consent of the beneficiaries, submitted for decision to a Judge in Chancery. His decision, on strictly legal grounds, was that the document was informal, and that the whole of the estate reverted to the Crown. The facts of the case were then brought before the Treasury authorities. The matter was for some months in abeyance. Meanwhile we gave ourselves to prayer, that the Lord would influence the authorities to decide rather upon principles of equity than upon those of legal technicalities, as we well knew that the testatrix really desired her estate to be divided according to the written memorandum, though she had erred in attempting to evade the Government duty. The Lord most graciously answered our prayers, for the Treasury authorities were led to forego the larger portion of their strictly legal rights, and to apportion to each of the Charities, about three-fifths of their respective claims under the informal memorandum. The deceased lady intended to benefit this Institution to the extent of £10,000, and, instead of losing the whole, we were awarded a sum of £6,300, which, reduced by the costs of the legal enquiry, brought £6,168 5s. 0d. to our funds. The action of the Government was generous, and we feel deeply grateful to them, but we see behind them the hand of our loving God and Father, the “Father of the fatherless,” who delights to answer the supplications of His waiting children and servants.
There came on the 8th, from Leamington, £20.—10th. From Weston-super-Mare, £30.—14th. Anonymously, a B. E. Note for £10, with the words, “He careth for us.” It is meet that we should praise our God, every day, for verifications of this truth in His dealings with this Institution, and it is just in proportion as believers really lay hold of the Word, “He careth for you,” and, by faith, personally appropriate it, that they will be careful for nothing.—16th. From Hampstead, £44 for Missions, with £5 for Mr. Bergin, and £5 for myself.
The legacy of the late W. B., Esq., of £1,000, reached us on the 21st. In our daily meetings of the helpers, for prayer, it is our frequent petition that the Lord would be pleased to influence executors and lawyers having to do with Wills under which bequests have been left for the Institution, to wind them up and pay the legacies without needless delay. In respect of the above legacy of one thousand pounds we recognized a distinct answer to these petitions, as it was paid within six months after the proving of the Will; and several other legacies have been paid, during the past year, with equal promptness.—22nd. From the Board of Governors of “The Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £100.—25th. On account of the legacy of the late Mrs. M. E. C, £100.—29th. From Kendal, £20.
The total income of the Institution on this day, November 4th, has been only £10 7s. 9d., while we have had to pay out £236 8s. 4d. Under such experiences we first give thanks, that, through His bountiful supplies in the past, we have more than enough to meet all demands; and, secondly, we cast ourselves afresh on our Heavenly Father’s infinite resources, of whom we are taught in His Word thus to reckon: “The Lord hath been mindful of us, He will bless us.” And how soon He gives us a fresh proof of His purpose thus to do, the next entry shows, viz.—6th. From Bideford, £30.—9th. From Leeds, £100.—12th. From Scotland, £100 for Missions, etc., with £5 for myself. From Starbeck, 3s., with the following words:—”I am only a poor old woman, but I put a copper or two away, or a sixpence when I can spare it.” Received “From one of the No. 4 Orphans, now a sailor well saved,” £2 12s.; and, from his intended wife, 8s.—15th. From Somercotes, £35.—25th. Balance of the legacy of the late Mr. D. M., £175 11s. 5d.—29th. From South Hackney, £50.
On December 5th I received on account of the legacy of the late Mr. J. R., £80. From Monmouthshire, £500.—11th. From Redland, £20 3s.
On the 13th there came in from Redland, a tortoiseshell comb, a mantle, a fur skin, a jacket, a skirt, 2 bonnets, 6 hats, and a few other things. All articles kindly sent to us, that we can make use of in clothing the Orphans, or in meeting any need of the Institution, we retain for such purposes; the remainder are sent to the Sale Room, at 78, Park Street, where articles are offered for sale to the public. But I take this opportunity to state that we never hold any “Bazaar,” or resort to any expedient of a sensational character to attract purchasers; believing that all such methods of obtaining money for the work of God are contrary to the teaching of the Word of God.
There came to us on the 16th, from Chatham, £20.—17th. From Walsall, “from an Anonymous Friend,” £30. 21st. From Kendal, £20. From “an Elderly Orphan,” £50. From “W. P. & Sons,” £30.—26th. Legacy of the late M. H. S., Esq., £450.—27th. From near Spean Bridge, £60. From Glasgow, £50. The donor wrote:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“Accept this donation—’the results of a deceased wife’s industry’—I have sent to honor her memory, and the great life work of the honored founder of the Orphan Houses on Ashley Down.”
On the 30th I received from G. B., Chester, £25. From “Mother,” £25 4s.—31st. From Westbourne Park, London, £65, with £5 for Mr. Bergin, and £5 for myself. From Sussex, £20 for Missions in South America.
On January 1st, I received from “Needy,” the following letter:—
“My dear Mr. Wright,
“It now devolves upon me, the youngest member of our firm, to write you the annual letter we generally send with our remittance. During the past year we have been called upon to bear a very heavy loss in the death of our father, who, you well know, has been a subscriber to your Homes between thirty and forty years, under the pseudonym of ‘Needy.’ You can imagine what this loss is to us, but our memory of him is of the happiest nature, and we recall with gratitude the noble example he always was to us. Of his interest in your Homes I need not speak; but we shall be for ever thankful that he created in us the same interest, and that we now have the best of all pleasures, viz. that of being able to help the little ones who are left without parents, and of whom we dread to think what their lives might be if it were not for such Homes as yours. May God bless you and the work you are engaged in is the earnest prayer of,
“P.S.—Please find cheque enclosed for £37; this is £35 from my two brothers and myself, with £2 added by a younger brother who wishes to help, as far as he is able, your good work. Kindly take £5 for your own requirements, and divide the balance, as in former years, as you think best.”
From Melksham, £35 came to us.—3rd. From “Readers of ‘The Christian,’” £44 17s. Left, anonymously, at New Orphan House, No. 3, in two B. E. notes, £20, “from two brothers in the Lord.”—7th. Legacy of the late Miss M. W. D., £500. From Geneva, anonymously, in two Post Office Orders, £15 16s. 2d.—11th. From Selkirk, £15, from a “Cheerful Giver,” the tenth of a small legacy.— 15th. From Christian friends at Kendal, £38 10s. 2d.—23rd. From Staffordshire, £4 15s. 0d. for Missions, from a converted atheist.—24th. From Scotland, £100, with £5 for myself.—28th. On account of the legacy of the late Mrs. K. C, £324.—30th. From St. Colomb, £100.
On February 5th from Mansfield, £12 10s. was received. The donor wrote as follows:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“I promised, if I sold a certain property, £25 should come to you out of £100 set aside for distribution. This was about twenty days ago. Yesterday I sold the property, and the deposit was paid. On the 17th the purchasers should pay the total. Enclosed is £12 10s. on account: balance to follow.
Received on the 18th, from Hitchin, a gold Albert chain and seal, with the following letter:—
“After reading the life of Mr. Müller, I wish to take a lesson from his life, and am enclosing my gold chain, and
seal, for which I wish to substitute a simple one, for I think it becomes one professing the name of Christ to forego all such ornaments.”
Have we not in this incident, very artlessly told, by one who is, personally, entirely unknown to me, something worthy of attention, whether we regard the action itself or the way in which it is done? It is just an act of obedience to God’s clearly revealed will, that His children should not adorn themselves with gold (1 Pet. 3:3): and then it is done without ostentation. This donor knows that his name will not be made public. It is a transaction between himself and his Lord. Only that! Now what does his Lord think of it? We are not left in any uncertainty about this. He says, 1 Sam. 15:22: “To obey is better than sacrifice.” This child of God might have tried to do some great thing—something that would have bulked largely in the eyes of his fellow-men, and won their admiration—but instead of this he is only intent upon pleasing God by doing what He tells him to do, i.e., to lay aside his gold ornaments; and plainly he was wise in his choice, for God’s Word says, as above, that this is the “better” of the two; to wit—the simple obedience, rather than the great sacrifice.
We received on the 22nd from Westbury Park, £20. On account of the legacy of the late C. H., Esq., £250.— 25th. From Porthcawl, £52 10s. On the 26th, the legacy of the late Mrs. M. A. H., of £500, was paid. Observe, dear reader, how mindful our heavenly Father is that, on account of the altered conditions of reception, in that we now receive Orphans bereaved of one parent, the number under our care is, week by week, increasing, and consequently our expenses are becoming larger and larger; He, therefore, sends us these large sums, that there may be no lack.—28th. From near Havant, £30, for the support of two Orphans for one year.
A Former Orphan’s Gift
There came in on March 7th, from Melksham, £25. From Bargoed, £14, for Missions. This donation came from an Orphan formerly under our care. As I considered this a large sum for one in his circumstances, I begged him, when he sent me the gift in February, to fully count the cost. I said I would not grieve him by returning the money, but would hold it for a month, during which time I wished him to reconsider the matter, and then to write me again, and if he found that he had acted upon a sudden impulse, and at all regretted the step he had taken, I would gladly return the money. He thanked me, and said he would do as I wished, but he did not think he should change his mind. Now, after waiting a month, he remained entirely satisfied that he was doing the will of the Lord in offering this gift for His work, and felt very happy and grateful for the opportunity granted him of thus showing his love to Christ. As such grace was given my dear young friend, I now gladly accepted his help.
We received on the 12th, from South Africa, through the Editors of Echoes of Service, £100. The donor sent this gift “With deep thankfulness for the teaching contained in some of the earlier Reports “which he had lately been reading.—13th. From London, Ontario, £30. 18th. From Edgbaston, £150.—19th. From Weston-super-Mare, £40.—24th. Legacy of the late Mrs. E. B., £100. 27th. From Hertfordshire, £100.
God Blesses Obedient Business Men
On the 29th, we received from Taranaki, £10, with the following letter:—
“I herewith enclose Money Order for £10, which please use for the Orphans, or take a part for any other object of the Institution, if more in need. Last year, about the same time, I sent you the same amount, being an increase on what I had previously sent to you, and now again I send you the same, and wish to testify, for the benefit of others, that I have in no way missed the money I sent you, though it is more than I had previously sent; but, on the contrary, I have had greater prosperity in my business, and also in my family have enjoyed God’s blessing, and, above all, have enjoyed constant peace of mind, and so I am proving that God is an ever-present help to those who trust in Him, and that He is an overflowing fountain of felicity, and the only stable centre on which the soul may repose itself for ever.”
The following letter arrived by this mail from Dunedin:
“Dear Brother in the Lord,
“Please find enclosed draft for £50. As you are aware, for many years we have set aside ten percent of our income for the Lord’s work. As our capital is steadily increasing, more quickly than our necessities, we have decided in future to set aside fifteen percent of our income for this purpose, and feel convinced that this will prove to be the best investment we have ever made; the results we may not see here, but we know it is better than laying up treasure in earthen vessels; we have proved God’s power to supply all our needs, for when we have at times been in sore need, the help has ever been sent, though at times only after a real trial of faith; but, praise His holy name, when we were prepared to ‘be still,’ then did we know of a verity that our God was ever the same. We cannot close without again thanking Him for using the Institutions managed by you as an object lesson to lead us to ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’ We conclude with the prayer that our God may still supply all you need. “
“Yours in the Coming One,——.”
There came to us on April 3rd, from “Readers of ‘The Christian,’” £21 18s. 6d.—4th. From near Berkeley, £30. 14th. On account of the legacy of the late Mrs. E. M., £599 18s. 11d.—15th. From Bristol, £25. From Chicago, a ten-dollar note, from an Orphan formerly under our care, who left us a professing believer, but (as he now confesses) departed afterwards very far from the Lord, giving way to drinking, betting, gambling, and other sins. God, however, in the riches of His grace, restored his soul, and he is now seeking to live as becomes a child of God. This is one of many instances which have come before us, encouraging us to go on patiently sowing the good seed of the Word of God in the hearts of the Orphans, and not to despair when we see the fair hopes of a spiritual harvest apparently blasted by the enemy; for often the grace of God triumphs in reviving the spiritual life which appeared to have been destroyed.—17th. By sale of watches, jewellery, plate, and gold coins, £70 2s. 6d. From Bath, £20.—19th. From the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £125. Legacy of the late Mr. G. S., £66 9s. 9d. From Scotland, £100, with £5 for myself. After days and weeks of prayer for help, the Lord gladdened our hearts by sending us this sum.
The mail of the 24th brought us from Chester, U.S.A., £1, with 10s. for Mr. Bergin, and 10s. for myself, from an Orphan who was under Mr. Müller’s care in the early period of the work. He wrote as follows:—
“I often think about you, and your dear friend and companion in the great work you are carrying forward under the guidance of the blessed Master, and my dear wife and myself often think of our departed fatherly friend, Mr. George Müller, with great affection and love; and I think of the many happy years I spent in the Orphan School at No. 3, Wilson Street. That is a great many years ago, I am now just 70 years of age, but the Lord has watched over me and my family all the time, and I can say in the words of the Psalmist, ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth those that fear Him.’”
On the 28th I received from Norwich, £25, “In memory of a wife.”
On May 2nd, the legacy of the late G. S. S. Esq., £100, was received.—3rd. Legacy of the late J. O., Esq., £100. 13th. From Reading, £69. From Perry Bar, £25, with £1 for Mr. Bergin, and £1 for myself.—17th. From “Joyfulness,” £50.—24th. From R. H. T., £1 10s. The donor says:—
“Of this sum, £1 9s. 3d. was the amount of a bill, begun in 1895 and ended in 1897; and, although I had repeatedly sent the bill, it remained unpaid. I lately felt I would use it for the Lord, if paid: and today I called on the debtors, and it was immediately paid. It is sweet thus to see the Lord’s hand in the matter.”
A Review Of The Year’s Mercies
The state of our finances during the past year furnishes another ground for devout praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. He has sent us 224 more Orphans to care for, and He has, in effect, been saying to us: “I well know that your expenses are all the greater, and, therefore, I will provide accordingly.”
The balance in hand for the Orphans on the 26th May, 1901, was £8,491 4s. 5d.; the expenditure from May 27th, 1901, to May 26th, 1902, was £24,462 17s. 9d., but not only had this large amount been met, but so widely has our faithful God and Father opened His liberal bountiful hand, that we closed the account on May 26th, 1902, with a balance in hand of £12,424 11s. 2fd. How willingly does He “who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” give to His children “freely, with Him, all things.”
The total income for this year was £33,013 8s. 1d.