May 26th, 1903—May 26th, 1904
“He led them forth by the right way.”—Ps. 107:7
Press forward and fear not! though trial be near,
The Lord is our refuge,—whom then shall we fear?
His staff is our comfort, our safeguard His rod;
Then let us be steadfast, and trust in our God.
Balance In Hand Steadily Decreases
It is with a deep sense of responsibility, as well as of rare privilege, that I proceed, for the seventh time since the decease of my beloved father-in-law, to record some of the dealings of God with the “Scriptural Knowledge Institution” through another year.5 In Acts 14:26 and 27, we have an inspired reference to a twelve months’ work, for which two servants of Christ “ had been recommended to the grace of God” and which, through that grace, they had fulfilled; and we are significantly told, that after such completion of their work, “ they rehearsed” not what they had done, but “ all that God had done with them “; and, further, “ how He,” not they, “ had opened the door.” I pray that, in the like spirit, every line may be written:—
“All boasting be excluded here,
And God alone be great.”
We received on June 2nd, from R. F., £100—11th. From New Zealand, £1. The donor wrote:—
“My dear Fellow Believers,
“You are engaged in a mighty work, and it needs little ones to deal in big things.” We felt thankful to our correspondent for this hint. The true object of all Christian work is “that God in all things may be glorified,” I Pet. 4:11. The less man is visible or prominent in any work for God, the more room is left for God to display Himself. Gideon’s army became “effective” on the exactly reverse principle to that which obtains in this world’s warfare. Thirty-two thousand men were “too many” for God, because victorious Israel would have eclipsed God! But reduced to three hundred they became “effective” for God, because His power could not but be fully manifested. Judges 7:2 and 7.
There came to us on the 13th, from Bath, £20.—18th. Received on account of the legacy of the late C. H., Esq., £100.—20th. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. For this donation much thanksgiving ascended to our faithful God and Father, the hearer of prayer. We had been especially desiring to send aid to Missionaries: this help was therefore very timely.
June 26th. One month has elapsed since the commencement of our financial year; and only £602 5s. 6d. has been received for the support of the Orphans. During the same month we have paid out on account of the Orphans £2,231 19s. 6d. The thoughtful reader will, therefore, see how necessary it is that we should be kept, by grace, looking “not at the things which are seen,” viz., the balance in hand, “hit at the things which are not seen,” viz., the living God, and the promises of His Word, which are yea and amen in Christ.
There came by the mail of the 29th, from Wellington, N.Z., the following letter:—
“Accept my thanks for Report. Please accept the enclosed bank draft £25. I still find it a real privilege to give according to the scriptural plan as explained so clearly by the late George Müller.”
We received on July 3rd, from Sussex, £20.—7th. From a Professor in Dublin, £25.—13th. From Chingford, £155. 21st. From Clifton, £150.—27th. From Cardiff, £20 for Foreign Missions.
There came on the 28th, from Clerkenwell, £5. The donors wrote as follows:—
“We are always greatly delighted to know all that is possible about your work; and, whenever our faith is weak, we just remember that it is God who cares for the children, and feeds and clothes them. Your work is a grand testimony to the efficacy of prayer.”
From R. F., £50, was received. From Stroud, 20 boxes of soap. From Bristol, 60 panes of glass. The firm that sends this gift have most kindly, entirely of their own accord, without solicitation, supplied us for years with all the window-glass required for repairs in our Orphan Houses. The reader will observe, in the last two recorded donations, specimens of the variety of ways in which our gracious God and Father supplies our needs.—30th. From Liverpool, £50 for Missions. This donation came as a very distinct answer to prayer, and an encouragement to further supplication for funds to enable us to aid servants of Christ. I received on August 4th, from Bembridge, £5, with the following letter:—
“Please accept this enclosed note for £5, as a thank-offering. I was once one of your Orphans, and have been able to save this, for which I am very thankful; and although I am at a distance, I often talk of my childhood’s days to my husband and children. My husband is a fisherman, and very steady.”
There came to us from Croxley Green, £14 15s. 4d. for the support of one Orphan for a year. The reader will have observed that donations expressly designated by the kind donors “for the support of one Orphan for a year” vary in amount. This arises from the fact that the average annual cost of an Orphan varies: the outlay during one year differs from that of another.
Delays Not Refusals
On the 5th was received the legacy of J. A. H., Esq., £1,908 is. Legacy of the late T. W., Esq., £300. This week’s income for the Orphans exceeds the total income of the previous nine weeks, i.e., the whole period from May 26th to July 29th. But, during those nine weeks we were kept from anxiety because we knew that the work was the Lord’s, not ours, and that He could easily, and very quickly, make up for all deficiencies during one period by opening more widely His loving, liberal, bountiful hand at another period. So we simply continued to ask Him, in the name of His beloved Son, to do so; and now in one short week He has practically done it! Beloved fellow trusters in God, let us learn to trust our Heavenly Father wholly; and let us remember that His delays are not refusals, but opportunities for the exercise, and by this the growth, of faith.
From Dundee arrived £50—11th. From readers of The Christian £22 15s.—14th. From F., Honiton, £5 for Home Missions, with £20 for the Orphans, £2 10s. for Mr. Bergin, and £2 10s. for myself.—19th. From Bristol, 2 Cor. 9:15, £10 for Missions.—22nd. From Shaldon, 13 gold scarf pins, and 1 set with small diamonds, 3 gold shirt studs in case, 1 massive gold ring and seal set with carbuncle, 3 safety pins, 3 pairs of sleeve links, 2 silver matchboxes, a silver pencil case, 7 trinkets, 2 memorandum books and 4 cigar cases. From Market Drayton, £50. The kind donor attributes his sending this donation to “the Lord’s promptings.” This coincides exactly with the fact that the same Lord is continually prompting His servants engaged in this work to seek the needed pecuniary supplies from Himself alone.—24th. From Ladysmith, £12, with the following letter:—
“Mr.——, who sends you £12, desired me to write to ask you not to publish his name. He has served in the 14th Hussars, and is now engaged by the A.S.C. as a shoeing-smith. The money is a thank-offering to the Lord for all His care over him through the war, and for three definite answers to prayer. First, in giving him a Christian girl for his future wife, and for twice giving him employment, when humanly speaking there seemed no probability of his getting any. He did not on either of these occasions look for work, holding the view that it is more honoring to God to leave out the human instrumentality. What drew him to sympathize with you, and to show his sympathy in a practical way, was this particular and distinctive feature of your work; and together we rejoice that God put it into the late Mr. Müller’s heart to start on these lines,
“Yours, with much Christian love,——,
“Soldiers’ Home, Ladysmith.”
Not The Money Anyhow
I received on the 27th, from Bristol, £75, with £25 for myself. From Edinburgh, £10, with the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“I received your letter and the books you so kindly sent me. In accordance with your request, I have waited for more than a month, in order to consider the matter of sending you the money, and I am glad to say my mind is still the same as when I wrote you first, and herewith I have pleasure in enclosing the sum of £10, which I hope you will receive all right. As I do not wish my name to be known in the matter of giving, please accept this small donation as from ‘Eliezer.’”
The pseudonym chosen by our kind friend is the name which Moses gave to his second son, as a memorial that God had been his help. It no doubt furnished a suitable word to our kind donor for expressing his experience of God’s faithfulness. I delight in now alluding to it, as expressing the true ground of our confidence in carrying on this work. Truly our God is our help!—At the time when our friend tendered this donation we were in great need of help, yet we could not hastily take the proffered gift, as we had some doubt as to whether the friend who offered it had fully counted the cost; and it is not the money anyhow, but the money in God’s way on which we can expect a blessing; so we waited. Now, after fully weighing the matter, the donor continuing unchanged in his godly purpose, we felt no hesitation in accepting it, as God’s own way of partly supplying our need.—29th. From Cow-bridge, £47 0s. 6d.
The mail of September 1st brought us, from Cedar Mill, U.S.A., £4, The remitter of this kind donation has often sent us help. Soon after sending this gift he “fell asleep” in Jesus. Thus, one after another, the brooks dry up, but the living God, our never-failing friend and helper, remains the inexhaustible fountain.—5th. From Redditch, 13,000 needles and 288 knitting pins. Yearly a similar donation has been received.—11th. From Southport, £30, with £20 for myself, and the following letter:—
“My dear Brother,
“Once again, through the great mercy of an ever-faithful God, I am spared to live, after passing through a fire at sea, and a railway accident, in which some seven lives were lost, and a very great number injured. Words fail to express my feelings of gratitude, for I am sure I am the worst and most undeserving of all His children, and I
hope it will redound to His own glory. I do pray our God will bless you, and your fellow-workers in the great cause among the little ones. Will you take £20 for yourself, and the other for the work.
“Yours, in gospel bonds,——.”
I received on the 23rd, from Whitby, £2. The following is an extract from the donor’s letter:—
“It is thirty-three years since I sent my first mite to Mr. Müller’s Home. I am a widow, and sixty-eight years of age. I began with 10s., and I believe I have sent something every year since. It gives me joy now, that the Lord, in whom I have trusted all my life, inclined me when young to help such a good work. His promise never fails. People tell me I am wonderful for my years, and I say, It is wonderful how the Lord has helped; and I do rejoice in Him as the God of my salvation.”
There was paid on the 26th, the legacy of the late Mr. E. H., New Zealand, £1,044 19s.
On the 27th a valued and loved helper, Mr. James Wilmot, fell asleep. He was an esteemed and trusted fellow-worker with Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright, for very many years.
We received on the 28th, from Tranmere, 5s., with the following letter:—
“Dear and respected Sir,
“Kindly accept the enclosed for the benefit of the Orphans. I do often think of my very happy childhood’s days spent in the Homes. They grow dearer to me each year of my life. I do praise God for the spiritual instruc- tion which we received under your care. I love my Bible, and believe it to be God’s own Word. It does so encourage one in the Christian life to read how God answers prayer. I often remember you all before the Throne of Grace.
“Ever your grateful Orphan,——.”
On October 1st there came to us from Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. From Hungerford, £20. After much prayer for further supplies, and after long waiting, the Lord has again cheered us with these larger sums. An oft-repeated saying of the late George Müller, the beloved founder of this Institution, was, “A little more faith, a little more prayer, and a little more patient waiting, and the blessing will surely come,” and the truth of this is still abundantly illustrated in the Lord’s dealings with us.
Asking Help From God Only
We received on the 2nd, from Watford, £50. From Sussex, £100 for Missions, with £20 for the Orphans. Notice, beloved reader, how richly our faithful God and Father helped us in these last two days with supplies for Missions, etc.; and remember that no appeal had been made, during the preceding days and weeks of scarcity, to a single human being for pecuniary aid. In commencing “The Scriptural Knowledge Institution” more than seventy years ago, Mr. Müller resolved, in dependence upon God, never to deviate from this principle, viz., to speak to the living God, his Heavenly Father, alone, about its pecuniary needs. From this principle he was never permitted, during the sixty-four years of his afterlife, to swerve.
Not, as he often pointed out, that there is anything wrong, in itself, in asking believers for money to carry on the work of God with, but he desired to abstain from what it was lawful to do, in order that he might present to the Church of Christ and to the world a more clear and unmistakable proof that God is still, in these latter days, the living God, who hears and answers the prayers that His children present in the name of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is because Mr. Bergin and I believe that we have been called of God to help in continuing to bear this testimony, that we have, by His grace, been enabled to adhere unswervingly to this principle for six years and three months, and do purpose, in reliance upon the same grace, to continue to do so in the future.6
Debt Recovery Office
On the 5th I received from Bath, 10s. The donor wrote as follows:—
“Having read G. Müller’s book, I was much struck by instances mentioned of the recovery of money by the exercise of faith and prayer, when all earthly means had failed. I enclose Postal Order for 10s. as a gift for the Orphans, which I promised the Lord I would send if I received a certain account in seven days. I had made six monthly applications to my client, and he sent no answer, so I placed my case in the Lord’s hands. I sent to my client on Sept. 30th, and, to my agreeable surprise, received his cheque on Oct. 2nd.
There came on the 8th, from Fulham, £2. The donor, a widow, whose two boys had been received into these Orphan Houses, wrote to Mr. Bergin as follows:—
“I am writing to thank you for your very kind words to me on June 18th last year, when I was so brokenhearted at parting with my two dear little boys. Now, Sir, I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you, and Mr. Wright, for the beautiful home you have given them. I am so thankful to be able to send you a small gift…
“I am, Sir,
On the 17th, was received from Bristol, with 2 Cor. 9:15, £15.—19th. From one engaged in the work, £50. Legacy of the late Miss M. S., £900.—20th. From the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £125 towards the cost of outfits of Orphans leaving the Institution.—21st. From readers of The Christian, £30. 22nd. From near Cardiff, £175 for Missions, etc., with £50 for the Orphans, and £25 for myself.—24th. From Taunton, £50.
The mail of the 26th brought us, from Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, £3 from a Christian man, who left the Orphan House as a boy, sixteen years ago. He received, as usual on leaving, together with a Bible, a copy of Mr. Müller’s Narrative, but only recently had he looked into the latter. He has now been reading the three volumes with deep interest, and finds them “helpful.” If this should meet the eyes of any of our young friends who received these valuable books in the same way, when leaving the Orphan Houses, but may still be allowing them to remain in their box or on their shelves unread, I would affectionately advise them to lay aside the novel, or sensational “story” in the periodical, or so-called “religious” magazine, that may be engrossing their precious time, and thoughtfully and with prayer read the Narrative of the Lord’s Dealings with George Müller,7 which they can scarcely fail to find deeply interesting, and which may be used of God, as it has in thousands of instances, to the great blessing of their souls. From Clydach, £37 10s.
On November 6th I received from South Ashford, £6, with the following letter:—
“I am only a poor woman, with 12s. per week, but have had fifty pounds left me, and I have enclosed £6 for the Orphans, and should I ever be in a position to help them again I shall not forget them. Please don’t put my name in the Report.”
On the 10th there was received, from Reading, £1 7s. 4d. The donor wrote:—
“When I first left the Orphan House, I resolved to send you at least a tenth of all I could earn. I always put the portion aside for the Orphan House work, and it has given me more pleasure than I have had in any I have spent on myself. I have never missed it.”
There came on the 17th, from Edinburgh, £5 4s. 8d. for Missions in Spain, and £14 15s. 4d. for the support of an Orphan for one year.—19th. Legacy of the late J. R. M., Esq., £179 16s. 7d.—20th. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself.—21st. By sale of dentist gold and jewellery, £30.—23rd. Legacy (moiety of the residue) of the late Mrs. M. S., £819 10s. 5d. 28th. From Chippenham, £50. From Bristol, £20, and £5 for myself.
We received on December 2nd, in memory of E. F. R., £500. See how the Lord can move whom He will.—7th. From Drouin, Victoria, £50 for Missions, with £5 for Mr. Bergin, and £5 for myself. From near Pembroke, 10s., with 10s. for the Orphans. The donor has one of our Orphan boys as an apprentice, and, through reading the boy’s copy of Mr. Müller’s “Narrative,” was led to send this gift. He says, in his letter: “Glad to say the boy gives your Home great credit, and I believe he will make a good man.”—8th. From Bristol, £50. From Redland, £20 is.—14th. By sale of watches and jewellery, £60 10s. 18th. From Spean Bridge, £60.—21st. From the late J. P., Esq., £200, and from his surviving brother, £5. From Messrs. W. P. and Sons, £30.—24th. From Sheerness, 5s. The donor wrote:—
“Please accept 5s. for the Orphans, as a small thank-offering from one of the old girls, who was in the Home from 1862 to 1868.”
From “An elderly Orphan,” £50, was received.—28th. From “Mother,” £25 4s.
The Wealth Of A Poor Woman.
From Yoker, £10, with the following letter:—
“The enclosed sum was left by my dear Mother for the Orphans. She passed to be with her Lord and Saviour after nine months of sore suffering from cancer. She was the wife of only a poor laborer, but she counted herself one of the Lord’s stewards. Wishing you every success in your noble labor of love for the Master,
“I remain, your well-wisher,——.”
May you be enabled, dear reader, to admire, with us, this lovely example of the “fruit of the Spirit”! Here is one who, as to earthly position was “only the wife of a poor laborer,” yet she rises, in the power of a simple, childlike faith, to the recognition of her stewardship under the Lord of all worlds. Her poor body writhed for nine months in the agonies of cancer, yet, triumphing in Christ, she was “at leisure from herself to soothe and sympathize” with the Orphans! Happy woman! Think you she regrets now, as she looks into the face of the Lord who died for her, that she denied herself and gave that £10, out of her poverty, to Him?
We received by this mail from Middleport, U.S.A., £150 for Bibles, Missions, etc., with £14 13s. 10d. for the Orphans. This considerable sum came to us from one personally unknown to us, and shows that our Heavenly Father has His servants everywhere, and confers on whom He wills the privilege of helping on His work. It is unspeakably sweet to receive them so directly from His own hand; while at the same time we feel none the less truly grateful to the human instrument He employs thus to aid us in our work for Him.
There came in on the 29th, from Sussex, £20. From Bexhill, £10, anonymously, in gold, in a registered letter, signed “Restitution.” From Blackheath, £3, from the widow of a Missionary, her son and daughter. The daughter wrote as follows:—
“Please accept the enclosed £3 from the trio, for the Orphans. We feel that, like the Orphan Houses on Ashley Down, we are proofs of the loving Father’s watchful care over those committed to His charge. Often as I look at my brave little mother, and think of the path she has trodden, I thank God for the practical demonstration of an implicit trust, and its reward which have been my portion from my earliest years.”
On the 31st we received from Bristol, £35. From London, £90 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans. From Westbourne Park, £10 for Schools, £25 for Missions, £30 for the Orphans, with £5 for Mr. Bergin, and £5 for myself.
There came to us on January 1st, from Dublin, £50. From Melksham, £35. From readers of The Christian, £35 1s. 6d. From “Needy,” £24 for Missions, etc., with £6 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself: also, from “Needy, Junr.,” £4 for Missions.—2nd. From Chelten- ham, £10. This kind donor has continued to help us for many years; and, not only with money, but by persevering prayer, as the following words testify:—
“Dear Mr. Wright and Mr. Bergin,
“I again have the pleasure to remit £10, which it has been my privilege to forward in January and July for many years. I continue to hold you both in mind, together with certain others, in prayer thrice daily…
“Very truly yours,——.”
Restitution After Many Years
From Kendal, £20 was received. From Hackney, 6s., “Restitution Money,” with the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“This is restitution money. I remember, when in the Orphan House No. 3, seeing some stamps in one of the teacher’s bedrooms, and I was tempted to take them. As far as I remember it was 2s. 6d. or 3s. worth. I remember buying a work-box with it, which amounted to 2s. 11d. It is over thirty years ago, but I have never liked to think of it. I feel that God would have me return it doubly. I am very sorry I ever did such a mean thing. God never forgets. I am happy to say that both myself and family are on the Lord’s side, striving, day by day, to live up to our calling.”
We received on the 4th, from Hale End, £176.—6th. From Melksham, £25.—7th. From Clifton, £20. From Buckland, £26, “sent in accordance with the wish of a deceased friend.”—8th. From sixty boys in the Orphan House No. 4, £1 for Missions. One of the masters wrote as follows:—
“The enclosed sovereign is a contribution from sixty boys, most of whom are Christians, and they desire to give it of their own free will as a New Year’s gift for Missionaries. I have much pleasure in forwarding it to you with their love and best wishes.”
A Large Legacy
Received on account of the legacy of J. L., Esq., £4,000. Thus the Lord reminds us that He knows that we have now several hundred more Orphans under our care than we had two-and-a-half years ago, through our receiving many children bereft of one parent.—12th. From Kendal, £37 17s. 3d. a collective gift.—14th. From Bournemouth, £20, with £5 for myself.—16th. From Bristol, 10s., from an Orphan youth, who left the Orphan House six years ago, and who has now a strong desire to become a Missionary, and to serve the Lord in South America.—18th. From Kendal, £35.
There came in on the 23rd, from Liverpool, £50 for Missions. This kind donor sent us a similar amount about six months ago. In his letter he quotes from Eph. 3:20: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory.” And, surely, this passage of Scripture reveals the true source of all real, practical interest in Missionary work. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in the believer that prompts the true Missionary to surrender himself for the blessed service of carrying the glad tidings to the regions beyond: and it is the working of the same Holy Spirit that prompts others of His servants to devote their money to the same holy service. How surpassingly high the honor of becoming an Anointed Ambassador for Christ! and how infinitely remunerative are anointed investments of earthly substance!
On the 26th, from Market Drayton, we received £100. 29th. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself.
By the mail of February 1st, we received from Little Britain, Ont., Canada, £51 17s. 0d. for Missions, etc., with £50 for the Orphans.—2nd. From W., Hampstead, 5s. The donor wrote:—
“This is a small thank-offering to the Lord for answered prayer in the recovery of three sovereigns, that, by an accident, were thrown into the fire, being wrapped in a piece of paper to meet a bill due. I was afraid the money had been stolen; still, I went to God in prayer; and, after waiting in faith four days, a voice seemed to say to me, ‘Go down stairs, and rake over the dustbin before you have your dinner.’ I did so, and, in a moment, I found the gold that I had lost, burnt and stuck together. I was advised to send it to the Mint, and they sent me back the full amount without any deduction. To God, our loving Father, be all the praise. I am only a working man, and the loss would have been serious.”
Time For Closet Prayer
On the 4th there came to us from Bristol, £25.—15th. From Southport, £12 10s., with £12 10s. for myself.—18th. From Loughborough, £1. The donor wrote:—
“I have made George Müller’s life the subject of several addresses. I believe the facts only want clearly stating to lead many of the Lord’s people to see how Satan is beguiling many just here, viz. failure to set apart ample time for closet-prayer.” I have italicised the last sentence because it contains a most timely truth. Happy are those who “are not ignorant of Satan’s devices” in this matter, and are watchful to resist him.—20th. A boy leaving us to be apprenticed wrote to me as follows:—
“I hope to look back on the years I have been in these Homes as some of the best days in my life, especially as it was here that I was brought to acknowledge Jesus as my Saviour.” We continue in prayer that these Houses may become the spiritual birthplace of the Orphans that come under their roofs; and in instances like this, and they are many, we gratefully recognize our Heavenly Father’s answer.—27th. From High Wycombe, £5 for Missions, with £40 for the Orphans.—29th. From London, Ontario, £30.
On March 10th the legacy of the late Mrs. E. L., £98 19s., reached us. From Aberdeen £5, with the following letter:
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“I have pleasure in sending the enclosed, as an offering unto the Lord. I have from time to time been stimulated in faith by reading accounts of the late Mr. Müller’s work among the Orphans, which must be very far-reaching in its results, seeing so many young lives are not only rescued from poverty, but brought under the power of the gospel. May the Lord stir His people up not only to see their privilege but their responsibility, to be laborers together with Him in this great work. I am convinced that the enclosed donation is the outcome of the Spirit’s work, or, in other words, the Refiner’s fire in my own soul.
“With much Christian love, from——.”
The italics in the last sentence are those of the donor, and illustrate the fact that, while we refrain from making any appeal to any human being for funds, our gracious God and Father listens to the appeals which we make to Him, and influences the hearts of His stewards on our behalf, causing them to see—reversing, with the permission of our kind friend, the order of the words—not only their responsibility but their privilege to become fellow-laborers in upholding this testimony to His name as the living God, who still hears and answers the prayers of His people.
By the mail of the 11th, we received from Papanui, N.Z., 5s. The donor wrote:—
“I have had doubts about prayer for some time, but reading an old Report all doubt has gone, thank God; and, by God’s grace, I ask for increase of faith, with love.”
There was sent on the 16th, from the Orphans in the five Orphan Houses, a birthday present to myself, £13 5s. 9d., taken for Foreign Missions. Legacy of the late Miss H. B., £645 18s. 10d. From Tunbridge Wells, £20.—17th. From Bootle, £25.—18th. From Kidderminster, £20. 26th. From Brixton, £1 from an Orphan who left us four years ago. She wrote as follows:—
“Will you please accept enclosed P.O. for £1 for the benefit of the Orphans. I have lately come of age, and have received a little money. For some time I have regularly set aside a tenth for God’s work; and, as I spent so many happy years in No. 3, I knew I could not do better than send a part to you. I am still trying to follow the teaching I received whilst with you, and I can indeed say God has been very good to me.”
Freeness With God
The mail of the 29th, brought us from Dunedin, N.Z., £25 for Missions, and £25 for the Orphans. The kind donors say:—
“Had the Master willed it so, we would like to have gone on increasing the amount sent you year by year, instead of a decrease as the above amount shows. He however has willed it otherwise, and He knows what is best for us. It has pleased our Heavenly Father to send a year of trial in our business, and, although the test has been a severe strain mentally, physically, and financially, yet, amid it all, He has kept our faith in His omnipotence unshaken. He doeth all things well, and we trust that our trial will prove to be for His glory. The way still seems dark before us, but it is our earnest endeavour by His strength to live above the mists of earth, and to abide in the light of His presence…In humility, we bow to His will, and accept the position as from Him, and, in thankfulness, praise His holy Name…We can now appreciate more than ever the trials of faith which were so often the lot of our dear departed brother George Müller; and, as we read how much the Lord honored him in his life, and how he being dead yet speaketh, we take up our cross daily, and know that, when our Father wills, the clouds will part, if He deems us worthy to continue as stewards in His service.”
I have quoted these sentences from our correspondents’ letter because the testimony to God’s truth which they bear may be more fruitful in blessing to souls, and thus to God’s glory, than if ten times the amount of money had been sent to us.—The greatest joy that a child of God can bring to his Heavenly Father consists in an entirely surrendered will. To be able, from the heart, to say “Even so, Father,” when all our natural desires are crossed, is better than much labor. “To obey is better than sacrifice”—and what glorifies God most is that which ensures the most perfect inward peace of the servant of God. It has been well said, “The inward peace of God’s believing children is not in freedom from trouble, but in freeness with God in the midst of trouble”; and this “freeness with God” results from delighting ourselves in Him as revealed to us in His written Word, and in all His ways.
From Mangere, N.Z., we received £5 for Missions, etc., with £5 for the Orphans. The donor wrote:—
“As the knowledge of your Institution, and the way that God has kept His promises, and sent such great blessing in answer to faith and prayer, have been a great blessing to my whole life, I earnestly endeavour to bring it to the knowledge of others, that they may all receive a blessing. I always feel a pleasure in sending you my donations, and have never once had a feeling of regret for having sent you what I have, but am quite sure that I have been many times more than repaid even in a money point of view, besides the still greater blessing of being kept in continual peace of mind, and experiencing God’s continual guiding and teaching through all the difficulties and perplexities of daily life and business.
“Yours most sincerely,——.”
There came to us from Rochford, Illinois, £20.—31st. From Leamington, 2s. from a poor widow, as an expression of gratitude for our having her two little children in the Orphanage.
On April 2nd we received from readers of The Christian, £25 13s. 2d.—6th. From Hereford, £30.—8th. From Sussex, £20. From Kent, £100.—13th. From Bristol, £20. Legacy of the late Miss E. C, £82 12s. 1d. From Hong-Kong, £5, “A thank-offering to God for ten years of happy service in China, and for much blessing in reading the Memoir of Mr. George Müller.”—19th. From the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £150. From Dorking, £20.—21st. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself.—27th. From Perry Bar, £25, with £1 for Mr. Bergin, and £1 for myself.
On May 3rd, the legacy of the late Miss M. L., for £100, reached us.—4th. From Edinburgh, £130, with £10 for Mr. Bergin, and £10 for myself. The donations received during the last four days have much refreshed our hearts, as a proof that we do not wait upon our Heavenly Father in vain; and as an encouragement to pray, to wait, and hope for further supplies from Himself.
There was sent to us on the 5th, from N. H. B., £100. 6th. From St. Martin’s, 16s., “Proceeds of Sunday eggs; an acknowledgment of the Lord’s claim on all we have and are.”—7th. From D. G., £4 8s. 0d. The donor wrote:—
“Some years since, through pressure of circumstances, I had to borrow from savings I had allotted to the Orphanage, the sum of £2 10s. Interest on it to this date, at 5 percent, is £1 18s. 9d., so I am sending you £4 8s. 9d.”
There was received on the 10th, on account of the legacy of the late T. M. J., Esq., £500. From Auckland, £10. The donor wrote:—
“This is the first installment of an amount promised to the Lord some months ago. I had been reading George Müller of Bristol, and my trust in God had been strengthened thereby. After much prayer, I had decided to make considerable changes in my business, by purchasing a site close to our present premises, and erecting larger and more suitable premises for our increasing trade. I had cabled home, and secured the freehold of this site, but there was a thirteen years’ lease of the land, and the three shops that were on it. I offered the holder, for this lease, £550, which was its full value, but he would not take less than £1,000. On reading page 332 of George Müller of Bristol, I was encouraged to lay the matter more earnestly before God, and promised Him to give a certain sum to the Orphans if my offer was accepted. Humanly speaking, there was not the slightest hope; but with God nothing is impossible. The promise was made on 29th November, 1903, and, on the 16th of December, our offer was accepted. I thought it was only my duty to write you these facts; and, although there is a very large sum involved in my new venture, yet I go forward without a single fear, trusting in the living God. Four more donations will follow as God enables me.
“I am, dear Sir,
“Yours very sincerely,——.”
On the 12th I received an anonymous legacy from “Thirlestane,” of £202 2s. 6d. From Taunton, £20.—16th. From Newport, £1 10s. The sender wrote:—
“This money came into my hands in a remarkable way. A man, recently converted to God, called to tell me that, some years ago, he broke into our warehouse and robbed us. He came to confess his sin and pay the penalty. He voluntarily left this money, which I have much pleasure in sending to you.” It was taken for the Orphans.
We received on the 24th, from Stapenhill, £1, “A widow’s thank-offering for blessing on her three children now in this Orphanage.”
The total income for all the objects, for the past year, has been £27,301 12s. 4d.
In connection with the care of the sick, a new departure has been made. On February 15th, Miss A. Adele Bergin, the youngest daughter of my beloved Associate Director, who had spent over ten years nursing at the Bristol General Hospital, entered on her duties as Superintendent of the Infirmaries in the five Orphan Houses. In addition
to rendering most important aid in the care and oversight of the sick, her attainments and experience qualify her to train for the nursing profession such of our Orphan girls as manifest a particular aptitude for that occupation.
The balance in hand for the Orphans at the end of the year was £6,643 0s. 7d.
Thus ends beloved Mr. Wright’s written testimony to the faithfulness of the living God. He was permitted to labor on for God, and with us, for seven months after this date, and then spend one month on his sick—yea, what proved to be his dying—bed.
Not what I am, O Lord, but what Thou art!
That, that alone can be my soul’s true rest;
Thy love, not mine, bids fear and doubt depart,
And stills the tempest of my tossing breast.
‘Tis what I know of Thee, my Lord and God,
That fills my soul with peace, my lips with song;
Thou art my health, my joy, my staff, my rod;
Leaning on Thee, in weakness I am strong.
More of Thyself, oh! show me, hour by hour,
More of Thy glory, O my God and Lord:
More of Thyself, in all Thy grace and power;
More of Thy love and truth, Incarnate Word!
Dr. H. Bonar
5 This proved to be the last time Mr. Wright was-privileged to compile a Narrative of Facts concerning this work.
6 When it is borne in mind that this was the last Report Mr. Wright wrote, it will be seen how to the end of his course he was upheld in this heavenly way.
7 These three volumes are now published in one, under the title of The Autobiography of George Müller.