May 2,6th, 1904—May 26th, 1905
“Thy way, O God, is in the Sanctuary… . Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known.”—Ps. 77:13, 19.
And if in lonely places, a fearful child I shrink,
He prays the prayer within me, I cannot ask or think,
The deep, unspoken language, known only to that love,
Who fathoms the heart’s mystery, from the throne of light above.
Trans. Paul Gerhardt
In the centre of the circle
Of the will of God I stand.
There can come no second causes,
All must come from His dear hand.
Further Decrease Of Income. Home Call Of Mr. Wright
Up to this point my work has been that of a compiler of the words of beloved Mr. Wright; henceforth the work is that of selecting portions from the Narratives compiled by myself.
The balance in hand on May 26th for the Orphans was £6,643 0s. 7d. It may occur to the mind of one or another of my readers, that with such a balance in hand there can be but very few trials of faith, but such is far from being the case. This balance, though considerable, did not last long, and trials of faith came in many other ways. But whether it be for means to carry on this work, or for the supply of all other wants, the living God has been, and is, our unfailing source.
We received on June 6th, from Clifton, £50. From Victoria, Australia, £50 for Missions.—14th. From Brisbane, £25.—21st. Legacy of the late Mrs. J. P., £584 3s. 10d.—23rd. Received today a letter from a former Orphan, now in service near London:—
“Much beloved and respected Sir,
“Permit me to return many thanks for the numerous blessings and privileges attendant on an inhabitant of one of the Orphan Houses; the first and most important being Christ and Him crucified, so clearly set forth. How many of us can look back with great joy to that beloved Home as our spiritual birth-place.
“Believe me, beloved Sir,
“Your truly grateful Orphan,——.”
There came from Scotland, £8o for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for Mr. Wright.—27th. From Bray, £10 for Missions to Jews, with £20 for the Orphans. Second instalment of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £2,000.
Today I said good-bye to a girl who was received into this Institution 28th September, 1888, as an infant not quite sixteen months old. She leaves us as a Christian girl of just seventeen years, to go to a situation in a Christian family.
We received on July 4th, from Chingford, from “Anonymous,” £180. From J. A., Liverpool, 4s. This anonymous donor varies his weekly donation; seemingly as the Lord prospers him. From Burnham-on-Crouch, £1. The donor writes:—
“For many years I got no rent for a piece of land, but since sending to you it has always been paid, so I now enclose it for the Lord’s work.”
For the week ending on the 13th our income for the Orphans amounted to £85 14s. 2d., while the expenses were £577 6s. 3d. We hope in God concerning this.—14th. From Mundesley, £25. The donor writes:—
“It is laid on my heart to send you the enclosed cheque for the dear Orphans under your care, and may His richest blessing be upon you and them, is the prayer of
“Yours in Him,——.”
Why is it laid on the heart of this lady to send us this? Simply that just now much prayer is being made by us to the Lord, that He would constrain His stewards to send us help. We did not write and tell this donor that such was the case; we waited “only upon God” and He answered our cry.
There came to us on the 16th, from Liverpool, £50 for Missions, from a donor who has long been a helper of this work.—19th. On account of the legacy of the late Mrs. H. S., £86 2s. 3d. Anonymously from Midsomer Norton, £5, “As a thank-offering to God for His mercy, and for help obtained from reading the book, George Müller of Bristol.”—21st. From a donor residing in Clifton, who has long helped this work, and whose donations have often come in a time of need, £150.—23rd. From a daughter, at the request of her late father, £100,—26th. From Victoria, Australia, £50 for Missions, £5 for Mr. Wright, and £5 for myself. From Bristol, £20 with the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright and Mr. Bergin,
“My beloved wife and self have very much pleasure in enclosing you herewith £20 to be used as needed for Foreign Missions, or Orphans. We send this our first united offering to our Heavenly Father for His loving-kindness in bringing my beloved wife to know Christ as her Saviour; thus uniting our hearts closer together and to Himself.”
From Bristol, 2 Cor. 9:15, £5 for Missions. By the mail of August 2nd, we received from “J. A. S.,” South Australia, £1. This anonymous donor writes:—
“I was left without father at an early age; my poor mother being left without any means of support, with a large family. She, being a Christian, solely depended on God to help, which He has promised. We are all reared to men and women, and can really say we have never found Him to fail. You solely depend on God; I would like to send a little; I give it with a free will.”
On the 3rd, the legacy of the late Miss E. A. T. J., £1,954 15s. 11d. was paid. From Manchester, £20.—5th. Legacy of the late Mrs. J. J., £282 8s. 2d.—9th. On account of the legacy of the late C. H., Esq., £166 13s. 4d.—11th. From Southport, £25. From Brecon, Wales, a gold ring set with a cameo. The donor writes:—
“The Report is so helpful and strengthening to faith. I believe the work the Lord has given to you, and your helpers, is a blessed testimony to saint and sinner, unto our Lord, as the faithful, covenant-keeping, prayer-answering God. I am glad I am privileged, morning by morning, to remember you at the throne of grace.”
Expressions Of Gratitude
A widow, whose two boys we have in N. O. House No. 4, writes on the 12th:—
“I cannot express to you, Sir, what I feel when I am not well, and not earning, that my boys have got a good home. Please accept the enclosed trifle, 5s.”
From Scarborough, 10s. The donor writes:—
“It is now thirty years since I left the Home of my childhood. I can never forget the good received there, nor cease to thank God for His great love in placing me under the care of Mr. Müller in infancy, the influence of which has followed me through life.”
There came on the 17th a letter from an Orphan, who writes:—
“I received the Report, and enjoyed reading it. It is now seven years since I left Orphan House No. 2; I shall never forget the happy days or the good training of which I was the recipient. I have been nearly seven years in my present situation with good Christian people. I am sure you will be pleased, dear Sir, to know I found the Saviour just before leaving the Orphan House No. 2.”
From Bally waiter, £30 was sent by the donor “at the wish of her late mother.” The income for the week ending today was £209 8s. 9d., while the expenditure was £1,272 19s. 7d. Thus the balance in hand at the commencement of this period decreases, but the living God is our stay.
We received on the 18th, from Bristol, £25, with the following letter:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“Last night, when I was praying for you, and Mr. Bergin, and the work committed to you by God, I was deeply impressed with the desire to send you the enclosed cheque. I know that often in August less money comes in, as many Christians are away from home, and sometimes overlook the needs of Orphans and others. Praying that God will continue to bless and sustain you.
“Yours very truly,——.”
On the 24th, from 2 Cor. 9:15, £10 was received. From two helpers in this work, who received a small legacy, £14.—27th. From R. F., £50.
There came to us on September 5th, from Loch Shell, N.B., 10s. I give the following extract from this donor’s letter:—
“When reading the Report, I wished to send you 10s., but I could not; but I remembered that all things we ask for in the name of Jesus shall be given unto us, and therefore I knelt down and prayed to God for Jesus’ sake to give me 10s. to send to Müller’s Home. Not many days after one of the sailors called me down into the forecastle, and to my great joy handed me 10s., saying, ‘This is for your kindness towards us in washing up our crockery, etc.’ I am cook on board this yacht, and thought I would do that for them, but did not expect to be rewarded.”
We received on the 6th, from Los Angeles, £40, with £5 for Mr. Wright and £5 for myself.—7th. From Tunbridge Wells, £100, with £1 for Mr. Wright. From Stoke Gifford Church, a long loaf of bread, 12 marrows, a cauliflower, a pumpkin, and some flowers, apples, grapes, beetroots, cabbages, beans, potatoes, leeks, onions, parsnips, carrots, and turnips. About this time of year we receive many such gifts; they are Harvest Thanksgiving offerings. This will give the reader a sample of many such received this year: some larger, some smaller. The first was received on September 1st, and the last on November 7th. 9th. Legacy of the late Miss S. E. H., £50. This legacy was not left duty free, but the solicitor kindly sent it free of duty.—13th. From Ealing the following letter:—
“I enclose £50 for the Orphans, or any of the other objects under your care. It is, I fancy, five years ago last month that I had the privilege of sending £100, and since then I have enjoyed reading year by year the Brief Narrative of Facts, containing such signal answers to prayer, proving how God honors faith. Oh, that I possessed such faith!”
On the 14th, the legacy of the late Mr. H. J., for £183 19s. 8d., was received. From “a brother in the Lord,” Streatham Common, 5s. The donor writes:—
“Enclosed is a P.O. for 5s., a thank-offering to the Lord for answering prayer in sending me this part of an old debt. I asked the Lord to incline this man’s heart to pay, promising half the debt to the Orphans, and thus the man made the first payment.”
There was received on the 21st, the legacy of the late Mr. O. R., £100.—23rd. From Bradninch, £5, from an Orphan formerly under our care.—24th. From Bristol, the following letter from a former Orphan:—
“It gives us great joy to be enabled, through the loving-kindness of our Heavenly Father, to forward the enclosed. Please receive £1 for your own personal use, £1 for Mr. Bergin, and £14 10s. for the support of one dear child.”
Received on the 27th, from Salcombe, £6, with letter as follows:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“‘Honor the Lord with thy substance,’ for it all is from Him. We are sending cheque value £6. Of this £1 is a thank-offering for finding a purse that was let drop.”
There came to us on the 29th, from Plumstead, 10s., from an Orphan at one time under our care, with the following letter:—
“Dear and honored Sir,
“Will you please accept my little gift. I am deeply grateful for all that you, and your helpers have done for my three sisters and myself, both spiritually and physically. God has indeed more than fulfilled His promise, ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.’ I cannot help praising God for taking us up and placing us in No. 2. May God’s choicest and richest blessing rest on you, is the earnest prayer of
Received on the 30th, from readers of The Christian, £34. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, £20 for the Orphans, with £5 for Mr. Wright.
The mail of October 1st brought us from Wellington, N.Z., £3 from an Orphan formerly under our care, who writes:—
“Enclosed please find Money Order for £3. I am glad to know the noble work still continues a living testimony of the truth of God, that He still answers prayer, and that as He was in the beginning, so He is now, and ever will be, faithful to the end.”
From Sussex, £120 for Missions to South America, was received.—3rd. From Leeds, 6 pieces of crochet work, with the following:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“I have been in a hospital for a month with pleurisy and rheumatism. While there I made this crochet work. I hope you will kindly accept it, as a small acknowledgment of my gratitude for all you are doing for my daughter.
“With dutiful respects,
“Your most obliged servant in Christ,——.”
On the 8th I said good-bye to a girl who was admitted into No. 5, on 27th February, 1889. She goes tomorrow to a situation, after having been with us fifteen years and seven months. I rejoice to say that she leaves us as a professed disciple of our Lord Jesus.—11th. From Bristol, £3 7s., with £1 10s. for Mr. Wright, and £1 10s. for myself. The kind donor writes:—
“Tomorrow will be my 69th birthday; and my dear wife’s (recently passed) 58th, making together 127 years, thus reckoning shillings instead of years. Please accept this thank-offering from the Lord through His humble servants, with our warmest Christian love and esteem.”
The income for the Orphans for the week ending on the 12th was £133 1s. 10d., during the same period we paid out £544 8s. 9d. Thus the balance with which we began this year is decreasing. How blessed to have the eye fixed, not on a balance, however large it may be, but on the living God. From Montrose, N.B., £40. This is a new donor, who writes:—
“God has blessed my soul, and stirred me up through reading Mr. Müller’s writings.”
We received on the 15th, from Victoria, Canada, £1 from an Orphan once under our care, and her husband; she writes:—
“We thank you very much for the Report, it seems so wonderful the different ways the Lord has of providing; He is indeed the hearer and answerer of prayer. I can never thank you enough for all I was taught of Him while I was under your care.”
There came from Bristol, £20, with £5 for Mr. Wright, and £5 for myself. From Bristol, £1. The donor, a very aged lady of very limited means, writes:—
“Dear Messrs. Wright and Bergin,
“Having unexpectedly received a small present today, which I can do without,8 will you kindly do me the favor to accept it; with true respect and Christian love.”
Will the reader kindly observe two points in this donor’s letter. First, because she can do without it, she gives it to the Lord. Is that the rule that guides you in giving? Is it not such as will get warm commendation from our Lord Jesus Christ, when He sits on His judgment seat? Second, she asks us to kindly do her the favor of accepting it. How this differs from the thought in the mind of many who consider themselves patrons of God’s work!
From Dublin a donor writes on the 18th:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“It is again my privilege to send you my small gift of £1 for the Orphan fund with much pleasure, rejoicing and praising God that the work of faith in which you are engaged is still so manifestly owned and blessed of Him. I feel I ought to acknowledge the help and blessing I have many times received through the perusal of your Reports, and those of your venerated predecessor, Mr. George Müller, particularly in the matter of proportionate and systematic giving to the Lord’s work. The adoption now for many years of the principle of setting aside for this purpose a definite proportion of one’s income, I have proved to be attended with the happiest results. Not only does the matter of distributing become a positive
pleasure, but the aggregate amount thus devoted is considerably larger than would ordinarily be given. Need I say that any little the Lord, in His grace, has enabled me to use for Him, He has returned multiplied many times, not only in spiritual benefits, but also in temporal mercies innumerable.”
This happy testimony, with the blessing of God upon it, may be of value to the reader.
We received on the 20th, from Worcester, £1. The donor writes:—
“I feel it an especial privilege to send this cheque for £1, as your work is carried on in simple faith, apart from all worldly means, which is honoring to the Lord.”
There came on the 22nd, from Edinburgh, £5, with the request, “Pray for the sender to be filled with the Spirit.” Our Lord said, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”—24th. From Cape Colony, £2. The donor wrote:—
“This has been given me in answer to prayer. I seemed unable to get some money that was owing to me, so did, as I read in the Report a child of God did—put it in the Lord’s hands, and I promised Him if He would let me have it, I would send it to the Orphans. Today it was brought to me, and I have much pleasure in sending it on.”
On the afternoon of the 25th I saw and said farewell to a boy, who was admitted on 19th July, 1893, and who now, after being with us eleven years and three months, leaves us tomorrow to be apprenticed to a grocer and chemist.
This lad, I regret to say, has not yielded himself to the claims of our Lord Jesus Christ.—26th. From Manchester, £150, from the Board of Governors of “The Thomas Porter’s Equipment Fund” for outfits of Orphans leaving the Institution. From Brandis Corner, £30. From Wandsworth Common, £5. The donor writes:—
“Please find enclosed £5. It is restitution money, having been first sent to the heir of the person from whom it was taken, but restored to sender.”
Three important matters are found in this brief letter: first the conscience is exercised about making restitution; second, though the person wronged was dead, an heir is sought for and found, and restitution made; third, when this restitution is returned to the sender, she does not keep it, but gives it to the Lord.
Words of Mr. Wright
Amongst materials for the Narrative, I found under date of 27th the following note, in beloved Mr. Wright’s handwriting: “The first day of another financial month. The total income up to 10:45 a.m. is £8 17s. 6d. This is among the ‘things present,’ and God tells us, in His faithful Word, that they are ‘ours,’ They are ‘ours’ in that they are designed for our profit and blessing.”
We received on November 1st, from Taunton, £50.—2nd. From Bray, £20, with £10 for Mr. Wright.—3rd. From London, from a physician visiting England, £5, with £10 for Mr. Wright, and £10 for myself. From Bristol, 2 Cor. 9:15, £10 for Missions.—7th. From Sherborne, £1 10s., “from an old friend, who always remembers the kindness shown to him at the Home of his childhood’s early days.” 9th. I found among Mr. Wright’s notes the following, written in the forenoon of this day:—
“Had a good time of prayer at home asking for supplies. When I got to the Orphan House only £6 5s. 6d. had come in; I thanked the Lord for this sum, but told my Heavenly Father that I am looking for £600 and £6,000, which is as easy for Him to send as £6, and that the latter sum will be needed ere long if this work is to be carried on. And I am sure it is His intention to carry it on.”
The income for the week ending this evening was £133 11s. 2d., the amount paid out, £705 9s. 3d.—10th. Legacy of the late Mrs. S. W., £100.—12th. From Luton, 5s., and 3d. for Report. The donor writes:—
“Having received great blessing in my soul, through reading George Müller’s ‘Life’ and ‘Narrative,’ I am very pleased to be able to send you a small thank-offering. Like many others, I praise God for the inspiration and help such a life has been and still is, and can thankfully testify to a quickening of spiritual life.”
Received on the 15th, the legacy of the late C. C, Esq., £45.—16th. The income for the week ending today was £278 14s. 4d., the amount paid out during the same period £1,272 6s. 1d. Thus our balance decreases; but the exhortation, “Hope thou in God,” still encourages our hearts.—21st. From Staines £2 2s., with the following profitable letter:—
“My dear Sir,
“It gives me great joy to send you herewith £2 2s. The Lord has dealt wonderfully with me in breaking down barriers, and bringing about my conversion. In particular the love of money, desire for wealth, and envy of the well-to-do, which were great snares to me, were broken down by God in a remarkable way, and used as a means of spiritual blessing. I made a speculation, buying a considerable amount of railway stocks, which I could not pay for, in the hope of making a quick profit by an expected rise in their value. That very night I received a warning in reading those striking verses in 1 Tim. 6:9-11. I felt at once I had done wrong, and ought to sell, but I disregarded the warning. Almost immediately afterwards there was a panic in that particular stock, and then, too late, I sold at what was to me a very serious loss indeed. Now, as a child of God, I can see His hand in this, and other losses, and can praise Him for afflictions, which at the time seemed very grievous. Now my one desire is to lay up treasure in Heaven, and to set my affections on things above.” A blessed lesson this.
There came to us on the 24th from Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for Mr. Wright.—Legacy of the late Mrs. E. A., £449 8s. 9d. 25th. From Edinburgh, £10 1s. 6d. for Missions in Spain and Persia, with £14 18s. 6d. for the support of one Orphan for one year.
This further entry is from the pen of beloved Mr. Wright, written on the 28th, and found amongst materials he had prepared for the Narrative:—
“Ps. 59. The night of distress is followed by the morning of joy. The Psalmist waits through the night upon the God of His strength and mercy, and he sings in the morning of the power and mercy of his God. The present is a night of distress on various accounts: (a) Influenza is in the five Houses; (b) Helpers as well as children are laid down in it; (c) Our sore need of helpers, three servants; (d) The decreasing balance; (e) The inadequate income, especially for Missions. O Lord! help us to hope in Thy mercy in regard to all these distresses, and to count upon the morning of joy.”
On December 9th we received from Redland, £20 2s. Legacy of the late Miss C. C, £192 2s. 9d. Legacy of the late Mrs. K. C, £100.—16th. From Redland, 7s. 6d. The donor of this is a former Orphan, who was in Wilson Street, and was moved up to N. O. H. No. 1 in 1849. From one of the boys in No. 4, 7s. with the following letter:—
“Dear and honored Sir,
“I am trusting in the Lord, I am glad to say, and would like to give a little toward Mission work. Would you please accept the enclosed 7s. for that purpose.
“Your ever grateful Orphan,——.”
These last two donations are worthy of note; the former is from one who was in the Orphan House fifty-six years ago, the latter from an Orphan now with us.
On the 19th, we received from “an elderly Orphan,” £50.—20th. From Messrs. W. P. & Sons, £30. The balance of the legacy of the late S. B., Esq., £454 8s. 9d. for Schools, Bibles, Tracts, and Missionaries, with a like amount for the Orphans. Mr. Wright’s cry on Nov. 28th for help for Missions had several responses in November and December that gladdened our hearts, and now comes this goodly amount, out of which we were able to send help to several laborers abroad, to his great joy.—21st. From Burnhope, £10. The donor writes:—
“As a working man, I thank the Lord for my health, and the joy I have in again sending you a little donation. I leave it to yourself to use any way you think best. May the Lord continue to bless you and your great work.”
We received on the 23rd, the legacy of the late Miss M. A. K., £500. This was left to come to us on the death of her sister. This sister has, however, most kindly paid it now, without deduction. How good the Lord is to us thus!—26th. From Dublin, £50. From Newport, Fife, £25.—27th. From Bristol, £28 7s., from “Mother.”—30th. From Greenwich, £2 13s.—31st. From Bristol, £30. From Westbourne Park, £65, with £5 for Mr. Wright, and £5 for myself.
There came on January 2nd, from Middleport, £40 19s. 8d., “for Missionaries who have no stated salary.” From “Needy,” £20, with £10 for Orphans and £5 for Mr. Wright; also £4 from “Needy, junr.” From Melksham, £35. Thus the Lord greeted Mr. Wright on the opening of the New Year—his last day at Ashley Down. Eighty offerings besides this were received.
On November 3rd a gentleman called and gave £5 for this work: his first donation towards its funds. He made himself known to Mr. Wright as having been formerly an inmate of this Home. Today notice was received, through the Probate Court, of a bequest under his Will, dated Nov. 4th, the day following that of his visit here.
On the 3rd we received from Ashley Hill, £25.—4th. From Canton, £10. The donor writes:—
“Please accept enclosed cheque for the Orphans, from one who was once one of them. The Spirit has prompted me to testify in this way of His goodness.”
There came to us on the 5th, from “Anonymous,” £233. 11th. From Somercotes, £21 18s. 6d.—13th. From Christian friends at Kendal, £42 os. 2d.—14th. From West Dulwich, £25, with £5 for Mr. Wright, and £5 for myself. 16th. By sale of jewellery, etc., £21 11s. 9d.—17th. From Bournemouth, £20, with £5 for Mr. Wright. From Liverpool, £5. The donor writes:—
“It gives me very much pleasure to send you the enclosed £5 note, as a thank-offering to my gracious Heavenly Father, for His goodness to me in my business during the past year. I have truly experienced, in a practical way, that God answers prayer, even in regard to business; and that He can and does give wisdom for the way and good success. I desire to thank Him for this, in sending this gift for the furtherance of His work.” This testimony has a real value of its own. There are not a few people who are so foolish as to say, “Yes, faith is all right for carrying on Orphan Work, but it won’t do for business in these days of competition.” I commend this donor’s testimony—a Liverpool business man—to the careful thought of any who may read this.
We received on the 18th, from Luton, £1. The donor writes:—
“Enclosed is £1. I wish it were many more, but I am one of the Lord’s ‘shut in’ children, a widow. My income is very limited, and only by strict economy and self-denial can I manage to help such institutions, but I would not miss the joy of giving for any consideration whatever.”
Dear reader, let me ask you, what do you know of such self-denial or of this joy of giving?
There came to us on the 21st, from “E. McN.,” £20. 23rd. From Liverpool, £50 for Missions, from a donor who has long helped us for this branch of the work, and this donation came as an answer to many prayers, that we may be allowed the joy of further helping beloved brethren and sisters, who are toiling in the heat of the battle with sin and Satan.—25th. From Trealaw, £2 10s., with £2 10s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“I am very thankful that the work is still going on at Ashley Down; may it always do so is my heart’s sincere desire. Reading Mr. Müller’s life has helped me many times on my journey, and I prize it next to the Bible.”
On the 26th we received as further installment of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £250.
Death Of Mr. Wright
The statement recorded in Dan. 4:35: “The Most High doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” was solemnly fulfilled yesterday (January 29th), when, after a brief illness of less than four weeks, the Lord took home to Himself the beloved Director of this work, Mr. James Wright. Job spoke truly when he said (chap. 33:13), “He giveth not account of any of His matters:” and neither the few who watched him calmly breathing during his last moments, nor the larger number on Ashley Down, who awaited with deep concern for news, and heard it by telephone from the writer a few minutes after, can give any account of this matter; why one so fitted of God—so beloved and valued by all who knew him, both in his work on Ashley Down, and as a teacher of the Oracles of God, should have been removed from the midst of active service in which he was so much needed. We, however, know that “the only wise god” has done it, and by faith we bow and worship Him in our grief. Cowper well said:—
“God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform,”
and equally well he adds:—
“God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”
Never in the history of this work, now over seventy years, has so severe a blow fallen upon it. When the founder of it, beloved Mr. Müller, fell asleep, he left behind him one who had been intimately associated with him in the work for over thirty-eight years; and for not a few of these Mr. Wright had virtually acted as Director while Mr. Müller was travelling to distant parts of the world on his preaching tours: whereas now, when beloved Mr. Wright fell asleep, he has left behind him one who has been his associate in the Directorate for a period of rather less than seven years. The Psalmist saith truly: “Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known” (Ps. 77:19).
Some Details Of Mr. Wright’s Illness
My readers will, I think, be glad to have some particulars of the illness and death of this servant of Christ, so I here insert, with a few alterations, some notes which I then issued in circular form.
On Sunday Evening, Jan. 1st, he preached with power what proved to be his last discourse, at Stokes Croft Chapel. That day he felt a little pain in the part affected.
Monday, 2nd. He was all day at the Orphan House—his last day there. No one observed anything the matter with him. He stayed there till late, arriving at Bethesda for the prayer meeting when it was well on, sitting at the back of the chapel instead of in his usual seat, and taking no part in the meeting. The pain had considerably increased, and the journey to Bethesda by tram had been with discomfort. At the close of the service he had a conversation with a Christian lady, who had recently lost her husband, and greatly comforted her in her sorrow by saying it was not sin to feel the stroke; if it were, the sinless One could not be touched with the feelings of which we are the subjects. This was his last work as a shepherd.
Tuesday, 3rd. The boil, as it then appeared to be, had so increased that he was unable to fulfil his engagement to give an address at the Blind Asylum, at the United Prayer Meeting, convened by the Evangelical Alliance during the first week of the New Year. This was the first service to his Lord that he was compelled to relinquish. He had the letters sent from Ashley Down that day, and with the help of his niece, Miss A. M. Withy, who had been assisting him daily for many years at the Orphan Houses, he attended to them that day, and the next day Wednesday.
On Thursday morning I begged him to let me relieve him of the letters the next day; he assented, but before he had gone through half of that day’s letters, he consented to Miss Withy’s taking them back to Ashley Down for me to attend to. For three days after that he signed one or two personal letters, but even that he was compelled soon to relinquish. About that time he said to one of his nieces, “I have no anxiety about the work.”
On Friday, 6th, when I saw him, he said, with a heavenly smile: “My doctor has christened my ailment with a new name—a carbuncle. The Lord is dealing well with me; I would not alter what He has ordered.” I said that day: “You are engaged to preach at Stokes Croft next Lord’s-day; you will not be able.” He replied: “No, indeed; who can we get?” “I am free,” I said. “Oh, thank you; I am so glad,” was his reply. That same day he signed two cheques on his own private account, the last he ever signed.
During the second week of his illness a second doctor was called in, and by Friday 13th his weakness was so great that late in the evening the doctor advised a second nurse being engaged for night duty, and as it was so late he telephoned to the Orphan House for my daughter to take on the nursing for that night, which she did, with a feeling of sad pleasure, to the relief of the dear patient.
Throughout that week his conversation with his nieces was of a most heavenly character; the nature of it was no matter of surprise when we remember how, Enoch-like, “he walked with God”; but the measure of his communicativeness was a surprise, and led to the thought that he was about to go to his eternal home.
On Sunday, 15th, one of his nieces, having been absent from his room for an hour or so, expressed regret, when he answered very brightly: “Oh, I am not unhappy; God has brought me into a sweet resting-place, and He is talking to me.” On Tuesday, the 17th, he said: “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” If I could have my choice I would not dare to choose other than He has appointed for me. I do not want to talk much, but it is my joy to testify. Many words are not needed. I have left myself entirely in His hands, and I have been walking with Him in this illness. I know He is doing the very best for me.”
Wednesday Evening, 18th. He said: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and after a few seconds: “Of the increase of His government there shall be no end.” After another pause, he added: “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this.” Then he said: “Everything in the world will have to arrange itself in accordance with this.” After an hour he said softly and slowly: “The stillness of His presence.” With twain they covered their faces, with twain they covered their feet.’”
Thursday, 19th. Speaking of his illness, he said it had been a sweet rest; he could not explain it to any one. He remarked that Mr. Craik (Mr. Müller’s companion in the service of Christ from the beginning of the work in Bristol until his death in 1865) used to quote in his strong Scotch accent the following verse: “The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy.” The same evening he suddenly uttered the words: “And there was a great calm.”
Saturday Evening, 21st. One of his nieces said to him: “Jesus walks upon the waters, and I suppose so far as our faith lays hold on Him, we too walk upon the waters?” He answered, “Yes, He does not let me sink even ankle deep.” Later in the evening he was told of the special prayer meetings being held that evening for him. He was much touched, and said: “Who am I, Lord?—but Thou art very great.”
On Sunday, 22nd, a physician, who had come down from London to Bristol to see another patient, was brought in to see him. This doctor gave some hope that he might recover.
His Last Message
On Monday, 23rd, he dictated to his niece, as best he was able, a message to those who would be assembled at the prayer meeting that evening at Bethesda, a meeting he had regularly attended for over fifty years. It is given verbatim as follows:—
“As it would be impossible for me to acknowledge individually the tenth part of the loving words, prayers, and acts of which I have been the recipient, I desire to take this opportunity of expressing my heart’s thanks in this public way. At the same time the Lord has ministered to my soul, and now when I find it difficult to exercise continuous thought, such indescribable joy in the three aspects of our adorable Saviour’s work: in appearing at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, thus triumphantly meeting every personal need of my conscience as a guilty sinner; then His present appearing before the face of our God for us, thus bringing heaven’s peace into the soul in regard to all present things, cares, and needs; and then the Certainty of His appearing ‘the second time without sin unto salvation’—the living person—God’s Christ—, is enough. Would the dear brethren read the three passages in Hebrews 9 to which I have referred, and receive them as a loving message from myself.”
On Tuesday, the 24th, when I called, he wished to see me. He instructed me to do a certain matter for him, which gave me the impression that he was thinking of at least the possibility that he might be called to higher service; yet he added some words, showing he still thought he might further be allowed to continue his work on Ashley Down. When leaving him I kissed his hand, and he drew mine to his lips and kissed it, saying: “Oh, my brother, how I love you.” To one of his nieces he said: “Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not accept (i.e., receive joyfully) the evil?”
On Wednesday and Thursday he passed restless nights, weakness was increasing, also his mind began to wander.
On Friday morning, the 27th, he spoke to me of God’s grace to us in the conduct of the work at Ashley Down, and how deeply we were debtors to Him for that grace.
His Home Going
On Saturday, 28th, a third doctor was called in for consultation; they agreed that there was no hope of recovery. In the morning he clearly replied to questions I put to him about the work. That night at 11:45 he had a bad attack, so that three of his nieces were called; he soon rallied, but both nurses stayed with him the night.
Early Sunday morning, 29th, he asked the nurse to read Psalm xxiii. to him, thereby giving evidence of his confidence in, and love to, his Shepherd. Then he asked her also to read a favorite hymn of his; the first verse runs thus:
“‘Abba, Father,’ Lord, we call Thee,
(Hallowed name!) from day to day:
‘Tis Thy children’s right to own Thee—
None but children ‘Abba’ say.
This high blessing we inherit,
Thy free gift, through Jesus’ blood;
God the Spirit, with our spirit,
Witnesseth we’re sons of God.”
thus expressing his habitual delight in his Heavenly Father.
At 10 a.m. I saw him, and in reply to my question, he said: “Well, I thought I had a good night, but they tell me I had a bad one.” During the morning one of his nieces repeated to him: “Fear thou not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine.” He repeated: “I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine”
At 12:30 my daughter called and saw him; he recognized her, and spoke to her.
At 1:30 there was a further change for the worse. At 3:00 I went again and stayed there until the end. He recognized me and grasped my hand, but could not articulate. I said to him: “Nearing Home, beloved brother,” to which he assented by a grip of his hand. His four nieces, the nurse, and I sat watching the loved one. He several times opened his eyes, and looked round on all present as if to say “Good-bye.” At 4:00 p.m. he just ceased to breathe; and thus ended a long and useful life of service down here to the Master he loved so well, who took him home into His own immediate presence. “Absent from the body, at home with the Lord.”
Beginning Work Without Mr. Wright
To the praise of our gracious God and Father, and that He may be glorified thereby, I narrate what follows. When I awoke the next morning, a solemn sense of my new position came over me with almost overwhelming force; I knew the Houses were nearly full, that the balance with which we began the financial year had been steadily decreasing, with no human prospect but that it would continue to do so. Alone with God, between six and seven that morning, I faced the matter. Our “Adversary the Devil,” who “walketh about seeking whom he may devour,” was not idle then: but our Heavenly Melchizedek, the Lord Jesus Christ, “brought forth bread and wine.” The 62nd Psalm was to me that morning far more than my pen could possibly describe, or my lips utter:
“My soul waiteth only upon God;
From Him cometh my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my high tower; I shall not be greatly moved.
My soul, wait thou only upon God;
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my high tower; I shall not be moved.
Trust in Him at all times, ye people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
Surely men of low degree are vanity,
And men of high degree are a lie;
In the balances they will go up;
They are together lighter than vanity.
God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this:
That power belongeth unto God.”
Strengthened with this heavenly food, I went up to Ashley Down in the name of Jehovah the God of Hosts. At 2 o’clock, our usual hour for prayer, a large number of my fellow-laborers and I met—we had verily a Bochim. I read this Psalm, told them of my morning’s blessed experience—we poured out our hearts before Him—we found Him “a refuge.” We believed “that power belongeth unto God,” and in the assurance that He is with us, we, without harbouring any doubt of His sufficiency, refused to let the deep sense of our own insufficiency hinder us from taking up the work unto which He had called us.
The words of Solomon, uttered shortly after the death of David, “Now, O Jehovah my God … I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in, and Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people … give Thy servant therefore an understanding heart … that I may discern between good and evil,” found a true and deep utterance before God that day. A gracious response was given to this petition by the Holy Spirit reminding me of the words of the Apostle Paul, “Our sufficiency is of God.”
The memory of the Lord’s great goodness to this work, during the time since beloved Mr. Müller’s departure to be with Christ, tended greatly to strengthen our hearts in Him. During that period of six years, ten months and nineteen days, there was received, without one single appeal by us, spoken or written, public or private, in the form of donations, and legacies, the sum of two hundred and two thousand, five hundred and sixty pounds, sixteen shillings and five pence, halfpenny. With this abundant proof that the living God hears and answers the prayers of His people who look to Him only, we are not moved by the skepticism of this age, which found an utterance, after the death of Mr. Müller, to the effect that the days of fanatical giving had now passed, and that consequently this work could not be carried on in the way it had been by Mr. Müller: but, delighting in our God for this His abundant mercy, we say with the Psalmist, “The Lord hath been mindful of us”—and are encouraged as we look on to the future to complete the words: “He will bless us.”
We received from Clifton, £50. This donation was no small cheer to me on this my first day after beloved Mr. Wright’s departure to be with Christ. I received precious letters of sympathy from some of my fellow-laborers, and from some Orphans, on behalf of those in the departments where they reside.—31st. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for estate of Mr. Wright. From Clifton, £50.
On February 1st, we received 5s. The donor writes:—
“These dear Homes were a real home to me for fourteen years. What hundreds of Orphan boys and girls were the other side of the gates of pearl to welcome dear Mr. Wright.”
Left at No. 5 Lodge in farthings, 3s. 11d. A little girl writes: “I hope you will like the 4s. I have kept a money box, and friends have helped. I am sorry that Mr. Wright is dead, and hope you won’t be very lonely. He is happy with Jesus.”—3rd. From Blackheath, £4, “Instead of a wreath for dear departed Mr. Wright.” From G. P. I., Clifton, £1 “for the dear Orphans, now re-orphaned.”
Memorial Service For Boys And Girls
Today we had a memorial service, when over a thousand of the elder Orphan boys and girls assembled in the large dining-room of No. 3. With tearful eyes we worshipped our God, who had bereaved us so sorely, and I gave an address to a weeping congregation.
Thursday, February 4th, the interment took place. A service was held at Bethesda Chapel, where the beloved departed one had, with such spiritual power, ministered the Word of God for many years. Another service was held at Arno’s Vale Cemetery, by the graveside, where the burial took place.
Particulars of these services are given in Dr. Pierson’s Memoir of Mr. Wright.
Mr. Wright’s Will, And The Lessons It Teaches
As executor under his Will, certain facts have come to my knowledge, that tend to enforce lessons he loved to teach while he was here with us; lessons of such importance that I think it well to set aside the veil of privacy, and let the reader have the benefit to be derived therefrom. In common with many others who knew him well, I was under the impression that he had some private source of income. This impression was quite incorrect; he was solely dependent upon the Lord God for his personal expenses, as well as for the needs of the work. He never made any allusion to this matter in the seven Reports he wrote—a proof of his self-effacement and retiring disposition.
Those who were privileged to enjoy his ministry of the Word will remember that, when speaking on Matt. 6:3, “Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” he often reminded us that it is not as it is frequently quoted, “Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth,” adding, “our giving should ever be right-hand giving, the right hand being the hand of power.” Those who knew him intimately, knew how truly he carried this into practice, ever giving liberally, cheerfully, often leaving the impression on the mind that he considered he was the favored one in being allowed to give, rather than the one who was the recipient of his bounty. On examining his cash book, I discovered it was his regular habit to lay aside, of every gift he received, whether one shilling, or twenty pounds, or more, not a tenth, not a fifth, not a quarter, but the half. This large proportion, however, did not satisfy him, for I found that out of what I may call his own half, he gave liberally, in addition to giving all the Lord’s portion. Words on systematic giving may well come with force to our hearts from one who acted so nobly.
Another Scripture, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven” (Matt. 6:19), was literally carried out by our beloved friend. Shortly after his wife died, on Jan. 10th, 1890, he gave up housekeeping, and went to live with his nieces, disposing of his furniture. He continued to reside there till his death. The total value of his estate on earth was: personal effects, £21 8s. 6d.; cash, £25 4s. 8d.; together £46 13s. 2d.
Yet another scripture found beautiful fulfillment in his case: “Owe no man anything.” The only debts left for me, as his executor, to discharge, were his doctor’s bill, the undertaker’s bill, and the lawyer’s fee for proving his Will.
We may well hearken, with much profit to our own souls, to the exhortation given to us in Heb. 13:7: “Remember them that had the rule over you; men that spake unto you the Word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith”
I have known our departed brother personally and intimately for the last thirty-two years. They were thirty-two years of unbroken and increasing friendship. During the last seven years it had been closer than ever. I esteem that friendship as one of God’s choicest gifts to me during my whole life.
On the 6th we received from Bristol, 2s. The donor writes:—
“The sad procession of little people, coming from Mr. Wright’s funeral, appealed to me very much, as I am sure it must have to all Bristol. Heaven bless and support you, Sir, in your noble work, is the wish of
“An Irish Girl.”
From Reading, £25 for Missions, etc., with £25 for the Orphans, was received. This was from an Orphan, formerly in these Houses, who, having received a legacy, gladly sends this portion of it.—7th. Legacy of the late J. B., Esq., £180.—9th. On account of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £750.—10th. From New Zealand, £7 10s. for Missions, with £15 for the Orphans. From New Zealand, £10, with £13 for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“I did not send you any last year: I was not in good health, and got somewhat short of cash, hence the delay, but I hope it will not occur again. The amount is made up thus: £10 for last year’s donation, £10 for this year, 9s. 7d. for not sending last year when I should. £1 10s. 4d. is from the children of our Sunday-school, and £1 from my wife; £23 amount of draft enclosed.”
This donor’s way of dealing with his stewardship is worthy of imitation, (a) He does not seek to escape from giving what in his judgment he ought to have given last year, but sends it now. (b) He sends 9s. 7d.. as interest, or as a fine for not sending.
There came to us on the 18th, from the executors of the late Miss C. L., from money left at their disposal for Orphanages, £180.—23rd. From Streatham, £1. The donor says:
“I was taken to No. 5 in the year 1881; was saved in 1887, and left in 1891. God bless and help you in your time of sorrow.”
On the 24th, from Miss E. McN., £50.—28th. From Bristol, 10s. The donor writes:—
“When very young I was placed under Mr. Müller’s and Mr. Wright’s fatherly care, where I spent my young and happy days. Will you please accept this small sum in loving memory of them both.”
From Stoke, 10s. from a donor who writes:—
“Many years ago, my mother was taken care of at the Orphan Houses, and I have never forgotten the stories she used to tell, when I was a boy at home, of the Lord’s wonderful, watchful care, and His answers to prayer.”
We received on March 2nd, from Norwich, £42 10s. A widowed mother writes, in a letter received today about her daughter, who was with us from January 27th, 1903, to February 27th, 1905:—
“I am grateful for the kindness shown to E——. I am deeply touched by the knowledge that she is a decided young Christian. I took her to my Bible-class and prayer-meeting tonight, and before those strangers she prayed so simply and earnestly. I was so very thankful.”
There was sent in on the 7th, from Bournemouth, 10s., with 10s. for Orphans. The donor writes:—
“It has been impressed upon me that it is the will of the Lord that I should send a donation for the work now entrusted to you: and at the same time to let you know that I have daily much liberty in prayer for you, that you may be supplied with all the help you need in this, great work. The Lord can as easily carry on His purposes through you, as even through dear Mr. Müller, the founder.”
The total income for this week, ending the 8th inst., has been £163 14s. 7d., whereas the outgoings were £736 5s. 5d., thus our balance in hand continues to diminish. Nothing but simple childlike trust in God can avail for times like these; faith in the promises of God—yea, faith in the Blessed One who gave the promises. “Trust in Jehovah—feed on His faithfulness. Delight thyself also in Jehovah” (Ps. 37:3, 4) are commands to be obeyed. Compare Isaiah 26:3.—9th. From Rutherford, £20 for Missions, with £20 for the Orphans.—10th. From St. Leonards-on-Sea, 15s. for Missions, from an Orphan once under our care, who writes:—
“I was indeed sorry to hear of your great loss and that of the Orphans, in the death of dear Mr. Wright: but I rejoice for his gain, and that God is enabling you to take up the noble work. God buries His workmen, but carries on His work, raising up other workers. Some one said to me, ‘Will it be carried on?’ I said, ‘Oh, yes; for God still lives, and that means everything; El Shaddai.’ I do not know you, but for the last seven years I have mingled your name with dear Mr. Wright’s in my prayers. It seemed quite an effort to me to drop dear Mr. Müller’s name, and now Mr. Wright’s. It is nearly thirty-seven years since I left No. 2, but I can never forget the dear Home.”
On the 11th we received from Bedford, £25 for Missions, etc., with £25 for the Orphans. “In memory of my late father,” writes this donor.—14th. From Farnham, £50. News has reached me, while writing this Report, that this donor has died. Thus one after another of those who helped this work depart, but the living God remains. From High Wycombe, £25.—16th. From Kidderminster, £20. From Orphans in several departments of the Houses, in memory of Mr. Wright’s birthday, £4 15s., taken for Missions. Letters were written from several departments, the following will serve as a sample:
“Boys’ Dept. No. 1, March 16th, 1905.
“Dear and honored Sir,
“On this the anniversary of Mr. Wright’s birthday, we thought we should like to send you a letter expressing our love and sympathy for you in the loss of dear Mr. Wright, whom we all miss so much. We little thought at Christmas that it was the last time he would come into our schoolroom to hear us sing. We were so pleased to see him, with you, and dear Miss Withy, and we shall never forget him. We pray that God will give you strength and wisdom now that you are Director, and that God will spare your valuable life to us for many years, and that He will comfort the Misses Withy in their sorrow. Will you please accept the sum of 7s. 6d. in remembrance of dear Mr. Wright’s birthday.
“With our united love, We remain, dear Sir,
“Your grateful Orphans,
“The Boys of No. 1.”
The income on the 17th amounted to £6 17s. 5d., and the outgoings were £414 17s. 10d.—20th. From Glamorgan, £200, with £20 for myself. The donor writes:—
“The name of Müller’s Orphanage has been an object-lesson to the world of what faith and prayer can accomplish; and a living, powerful testimony that the great God, who made us and saves us, does hear the believing prayers of His children, and enables them to achieve that which without prayer would never be brought about. I pray the Lord to bless you with equal blessing with which He blessed both Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright, in hearing and answering your prayers for the important work entrusted to you.”
The mail today brought us from London, Canada, £15 for Missions, with £15 for the Orphans.—23rd. From Dunedin, N.Z., £100 for Missions, with £100 for the Orphans. The donors write:—
“Dear Mr. Wright,
“In sending this, the largest amount we have been privileged to forward you on the Master’s account, we cannot but look over the past twelve years of our business career, and, in doing so, are amazed at the privileges we have enjoyed compared with others in the same line of business. We are no better qualified by nature than others to escape the numerous pitfalls that often beset the path of business men. Surely the Lord has led us in a way we know not, and we have certainly been often tried, dispirited, and cast down. Yet the Lord has ever been faithful, and has carried the burdens, which have been our own making, through lack of faith, and has loaded us with benefits, which have inspired us with a deep sense of His forgiving love to poor erring mortals. Two years ago we were led to give 20 percent of the profits out of the business to the Lord’s work, and the poorest year followed that we have had since we have been setting aside the Lord’s tenth. Satan often puts the question, ‘Does it pay?’ and, while we wondered, yet we felt that it was only a trial of our faith, and, after waiting our Father’s time, we now give the answer back—It does pay—God’s investments always do. And in thankfulness to our Heavenly Father for the wonderful way He has blessed us in all our ways, we have decided to return to Him, from now, 25 percent of the profits He allows us to make in our business. We may say that ever since we decided to set aside the Lord’s tenth, we have never had a year’s transactions without a profit, and as we look over the past, and remember how our God has helped us on many occasions in times of grave financial difficulty, it is marvellous in our eyes. The increased amount the Lord has given us to dispose of for Him requires much and careful thought and prayer that we may be led to administer our stewardship faithfully and wisely, lay up treasure in heaven, and walk humbly before men. We cannot close without again saying that your Annual Reports of the faith work in the Homes are a great inspiration to us. If the Lord wills we are ever hoping that one day we may be privileged to meet you in the flesh, and hold sweet communion with you among surroundings that have, even at this distance, lent an influence to our lives that only eternity can reveal.”
This letter is calculated, with the blessing of God, to be very profitable to the reader. These servants of God recognize the need of His guidance as to the way He would have them disburse His bounty entrusted to them as stewards. This is a deeply important matter.
Further, here in Bristol we were daily telling the Lord of our great need, and in particular of our need for His missionary servants; and these friends, who knew nothing of this, were led to send the largest amount they ever sent to this work. This donation was an exceeding joy and cheer to us, coming as it did seven weeks and four days after beloved Mr. Wright’s departure to be with Christ, and during a period when our balance in hand was fast decreasing.
There came on the 27th, from Limerick, £1. The donor writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“I am anxious to express my deep sympathy with you and so many in Bristol, who are mourning the loss of our beloved friend Mr. Wright. I can understand what a blank it must be, for I had known Mr. Wright since Dec, 1840, when he was a dear child of God, not quite fifteen years of age, and the remembrance of him is always a cause of praise. There must be but one heart in those who mourn his departure in praying earnestly for you, dear Mr. Bergin, that you may be sustained and helped. The burden looks heavy, but it is not too heavy to be cast upon Him who cares for the dear Orphans, and for those who are engaged in His work for them.”
We received on the 24th, from Berkeley, £32.—27th. From Leicester, £4. The donor writes:—
“I feel constrained to send you the enclosed cheque; put it down as the Lord’s tithe.”
We know who made him “feel constrained,” even the living God, who, in this way, heard and answered our prayers.
Fire Insurance, A Strange Letter
On the 30th there came to us, from Southport, £50. Yesterday I received the following communication:—
“Do you issue Fire Insurance Policies, making the Heavenly Father responsible, as it were, for the safety of the things insured? If so, will you let me have particulars, and oblige,
To this remarkable letter I sent a reply as follows:—
“In reply to your postcard of the 28th ult., I write to say that no such Insurance Policies have ever been issued by Mr. George Müller, or Mr. James Wright, nor are such ever likely to be. We have no warrant from Holy Scripture to attempt to make our Heavenly Father responsible for the safety of our things, or the things of others, but we have therein abundant warrant for our encouragement, to trust in God whatever circumstances He may be pleased to lead us into. It is written in Psalm 9:10, ‘They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee.” It was this knowledge of God that led Mr. George Müller, when he built these five Orphan Houses, to prefer trusting in Him, concerning them, to do that which He saw would be most for His own glory, and for the good of the Orphans, and for the blessing of Mr. Müller himself. Whether the good pleasure of the blessed God would reveal itself in preserving the buildings, or in allowing them to be burned, Mr. Müller was prepared to obey the command given in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.’’ Having realized the blessedness which resulted to himself from thus wholly trusting in the living God, he encouraged others to tread in the same path, and not a few have followed, and manifold has been their testimony of the blessing such a path has led them into.” I did not receive any reply to this.
There came on the 31st, from Barrow-in-Furness, £4 5s. 4d. Anonymously from Weston-super-Mare, from “A child of God,” a new gold ring to be disposed of. Dear reader, think you that this child of God will have any cause to regret giving away, rather than wearing, this gold ring, when he, or she, appears before the judgment seat of Christ? Also from Swindon, a silk blouse, with the following words:
“I am sending a silk blouse, to be sold for the benefit of the Orphans. I am persuaded, through reading the life of dear Mr. Müller, that the Lord desires more consecration to Him in my life, and this blouse, I feel, will hinder instead of helping me, so I give it to my Lord, and seek His help and guidance to keep me near Him.”
In view of these two donations I commend to my reader, 1 Tim. 2:9, 10, and 1 Pet. 3:3, 4. Contrast these with Rev. 17:4. The Psalmist says: “Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.”
On April 1st I received from readers of The Christian, £30 1s. 8d. From D. G., £5 5s. The donor writes:—
“I hope the Lord’s work there will never want through the slackness of those who call themselves His children. May the testimony to the value of faith and prayer, supplied by the work on Ashley Down, live and grow, and become increasingly evident.”
From London, £25.
There was received on the 4th, from two parents, “A thank-offering to God for His abundant mercy in giving them nothing but joy in their sons and daughters,” £8 2s. 5th. From Bradninch, £2. The donor writes:—
“It was usually sent by me on 16th March (for Mr. Wright’s birthday, 17th), but the thought was so distressing to my mind of the sudden departure of beloved Mr. Wright from our midst—that only is the reason of the delay. May the Lord bless you and prosper the good work, shall be my constant prayer.
“One of the Orphans formerly under your care,——.”
There was paid to us on the 6th, the legacy of the late C. B., Esq., £100. From Sunderland, 9s. The writer says:—
“Our prayers ascend to God on your behalf, that you may be sustained by His grace, guided by His counsel, strengthened by His might, and cheered by His love in the work you have undertaken.”
We received on the 7th, from Clifton, £20.—11th. From Didsbury, £2, with the following:—
“I was sorry to see that Mr. Wright had fallen asleep. Truly, known unto God are all His works. His employees then need have no care other than to please Him.”
The income for the past three days, ending the 15th, has been £34 2s. 4d., the expenditure £609 10s. 7d.—18th.
From Miss E. McN., £100.—19th. From Kentish Town, £1. The donor writes:—
“Please accept enclosed as a small thank-offering. I was at No. 2, and always think with gratitude and pleasure of the happy time I spent there, and the care I received.”
She was here from December, 1884, to December, 1898, and left us as a believer. From Burton-on-Trent, £5, from a donor who was formerly an inmate of No. 1 N. O. House, and left it thirty years ago. She brought three children of a family of which we already have received two. This dear friend’s delight at bringing these needy children to the happy home of her own childhood was great, and the expression of it, and her gift, were no little cheer to me.
The income for the week ending today amounted to £163 16s. 5d., whereas the outgoings amounted to £644 4s. 6d. Only the living God could keep our hearts at rest in such circumstances. Blessed be His name, He does keep our “hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Anonymously, left at No. 3 House, 109 lbs. of tea, “From one who has suffered much from fits, and has recently been converted in the Revival, and has not had any fits since then.”
I received a letter on the 20th, of which I give the following:—
“Will you please use the enclosed £4 2s. 6d., for the support of one Orphan for three months. I often think of your great loss in the home-going of dear Mr. Wright, but feel so glad there is no cause for anxiety, seeing the Source of supply changes not. I found that out soon after my conversion, forty-eight years ago, in one of the Class Rooms of No. 1, while reading the 40th Isaiah. I wept for joy, and I don’t think the sense of satisfaction I had at that time has ever left me. My wife joins me in grateful love.”
There came to us from Scotland, £80 for Missions, with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself.—22nd. On account of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £500. From Tunbridge Wells, £10. The donor writes:—
“This morning I felt impelled to write.” We know why. The same God who commanded the ravens to feed Elijah, “impelled” His servant to replenish our “ barrel of meal,” though she knew nothing of our circumstances.
We received from Horfield, 2,395 eggs. From Horfield, 2,372 buns. From Downend, 750 buns.—25th. From Bristol, 323 buns, and 67 rock-cakes. From Bristol, 1,900 eggs, and some flowers.
From Perry Bar, £26, with £1 for myself. From Brooklyn, U.S.A., £20 8s. The donor writes:—
“Please find enclosed for the Orphans, of whom I was one at No. 3, Wilson Street. I am now an old man, but I am very thankful I was brought under the influence of that home and of dear Mr. Müller.”
The legacy of the late Mrs. H. E., £50, was paid to us. From Eastbourne, 5s., from a donor, who writes:—
“This is a thank-offering to my dear Lord. Since I made up my mind to give the Orphans one penny out of every shilling, He has helped me by sending me more work to do than I had before.
“I remain, respected Sir,
“One of the Orphans, now nearly fifty years of age.”
We received on the 27th, from The Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter’s Equipment Fund,” £150. From Bristol, £15, with £5 for a helper, and £5 for myself.
We received on May 4th, from Devonport, N.Z., £1 for Missions, with £1 for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“When a girl in my teens the reading of Mr. Müller’s Reports was blessed much to me, in a way for which I ever give God thanks; may His seal be granted similarly and manifold to the Reports of God’s work now issued from year to year.”
During the last four days ending on the 8th, the income was £106 5s. 4d., while the expenditure reached £507 3s. 1d. Thus the trial of our faith lasts, and we are more and more cast upon our only Patron—the living God.—9th. From Ipswich, £2 5s. 7d. The donor writes:—
“This is the amount of insurance against accident and sickness, from which I have withdrawn some years, looking to the Lord to be preserved from, or seek His grace and help should He permit one or both.” This illustrates the truth of what is written under date of March 30th.
Received on the 11th, on account of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £500.—13th. The income for yesterday and today amounted to £17 10s. 7d., whereas the expenditure amounted to £390 6s. 11d. How good it was of the Lord to send the £500 the day before. Oh! the blessedness of being kept in perfect peace in such circumstances.—16th. Anonymous, with “Matt. 6:34,” £14. With this gift I received a deeply interesting letter, from which I give the following extracts:—
“Our Lord’s words, ‘Take no thought for the morrow! … your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things’ searched me; then the account of the rich man, whom I had always thought so foolish and weak, not willing to give up his riches for Jesus, while I found I was clinging to a paltry £20 in the Post Office; not willing to give it up lest I might want in the future. At last I can see that I am distinctly disobeying a command of our Lord, by seeking to make provision for the future when He has told me not to. Another thing, when I was praying specially for God’s own work on Ashley Down, and for you, I found I wanted God to influence other hearts to send, not mine! How dreadful self is, and it seems to appear in all quarters! I am sending you £14. I owe £3, and must send it at once. God had shown me that I ought not to have borrowed it.”
Fearing that this donor might have been unduly influenced by a passing feeling, and afterwards regret her action, I wrote to that effect, and said I would not take the money for the work until I heard again. I received her reply today in which she says: “I did not decide hastily; it took me about three weeks before every doubt was removed. Now that you know I have calmly con- sidered, prayed, and read about it, and am perfectly happy, will you take it at once.” I could not refuse to accept such an offering. Today I received a letter from the wife of a Vicar in Devonshire; she writes:—
“I have now in my kitchen a girl who was brought up in your Orphanage, and whose standard of life is such as to make me wish to have another girl from the same Home.”
This testimony causes us to praise God for His goodness. From Brixton there was sent us 5s. 6d. for Bibles, and 5s. for Missions. The donor writes:—
“The love of Christ has made me free to obey His will, and to delight in that which will extend His kingdom.”
What a blessed freedom is this. Are you enjoying it, dear reader? Free from the dominion of self, of Satan, and owning Christ Jesus as your Lord.
On the 18th, we received from Stroud, £100. This donor called, and gave me her cheque, saying that she was impressed with the thought that she must bring this £100 down this week. I did not ask her to do this. I gave her no hint of our need; but I well knew why she was so “impressed.” Our God, the same God who supplied the Israelites with manna day by day, used her as His servant to supply our pressing need, of which He was aware.
There came on the 22nd, from Opunake, N.Z., £10. From Bishopsteignton, £1 15s., “the price of my best lamb.” This donor gives his best lamb to the Lord. Does not the blessed Lord deserve our best in every matter?
From London, £45 for Missions, with £45 for Orphans, and £10 for myself. The donor writes:—
“Herewith I am sending you a thank-offering to our Heavenly Father for His timely deliverance from what, in my bad state of health, was a great burden to me (Ps. 121).”
This donor had not the least knowledge of our circumstances, and little can have thought how great a deliverance the living God was working for us, when He moved him to send this, by far the largest amount he had ever before sent to this work.
From Drouin, Australia, £50 for Missions, with £55 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. From New Zealand, £5 for Missions. Thus the Lord greatly refreshed our hearts by sending in this supply from widely separated places, and we were able to send help to some Laborers for the Lord, which we had longed to do.
We received on the 23rd, the legacy of the late J. H., Esq., £90. From Hinton St. George, £3 is. The sender writes:—
“At our prayer meeting we were led to make special prayer for you and the Orphan Houses. The Lord reminded us of the privilege of helping in a practical way, as well as by prayer.”
On the 24th there came to us from Weston-super-Mare, £10 for the Orphans’ Treat. From London, S.E., £3, with the following:—
“This is interest on some money that was left to me by an aunt. I am one of the old girls, so I feel it is my duty to send a little, because of all that was done for me while I was in No. 2.”
On the 26th we obtained by sale of dental gold, jewellery, etc., £32 is. 4d. From Clapham, a gold chain and fob, and a pair of gold links. The donor writes that he sends it “As a thank-offering for blessing received at the Torrey-Alexander Mission.” He got such a blessing that he will no longer wear such ornaments, but delights in giving them to the Lord. Dear reader, has this godly example a voice for you?
The Trials Of The Year And The Lessons They Teach
The abundant supplies that came in between the years 1900 to 1903 have not continued during the past two years. I was unable in the month of May to pay the salaries to our resident helpers. Under similar circumstances in 1898 Mr. Wright wrote as follows:—
“Another very noticeable feature in the history of the Institution, during the past twelve months, has been the continuance of the trial of our faith and patience in regard to pecuniary supplies. He who is pleased, sometimes, to teach His servants ‘how to abound,’ sees it best for them, at other times to be instructed ‘how to suffer need.’ For many of the sixty-four years during which this work has been carried on, the former was our experience; we abounded, and richly abounded. Latterly, and especially during the last two or three years, it has been the very reverse. Pressing need has been the rule; a balance in hand, over and above our need, the rare exception. Yet we have never been forsaken. Our faithful resident helpers, loyal to the great principle of the Institution, dependence upon God alone for everything, have been cheer- fully content to wait, once and again, for their salaries, rather than encumber the finances of the work.”
In similar circumstances now, a like mercy is granted to us, and the loyalty to the great principle of this Institution—dependence upon God—above referred to by Mr. Wright, has once again been put to the test, and was, thank God, not found wanting. The joyful manner in which they, one and all, shared with me this trial of faith was a very great cheer to my heart, and not a little helped me to “cast my burden upon the Lord.” The deep spirit of prayerfulness manifested; the increased attendance at our daily prayer meetings; the numerous testimonies that have reached me from not a few, show very clearly how the Lord is blessing us through this trial. The elder ones, who passed through like experiences when Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright were with them, tell of the blessing then received; while younger ones, to whom it has been a new experience, tell of the blessing it brings to them now.
The total income for the year was £25,980 1s. 1d. The balance in hand for the Orphans at the end of the year was £33 18s. 10d.
8 The italics are mine.