May 26th, 1905—May 26th, 1906
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.”—Isaiah 26:3
Like a river, glorious,
Is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest;
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.
Frances Ridley Havergal
A Year Of Continuous Trial Of Faith
We began this period with an available balance in hand of £33 18s. 10d. Put yourself, if you can, dear reader, in any measure in our position—over 1,900 Orphan children to feed, clothe, and educate, with all the attendant expenses, and see how truly we had to look to, yea, cling to, our God, as the ivy clings to the oak tree, and is by it supported in the storm.
There came to us on May 29th, from Newington Green, £20 towards the support of two Orphans.
We received on June 1st, from one engaged in the work £1. He writes: “It is only one of the £1,000 the Lord is going to give us. I am asking Him for other £999; so easy for Him.” This refers to a petition we had presented to the Lord for £1,000.—2nd. From Glasgow, from a donor who for years has helped this work month by month, £12, and £3 for myself.—5th. From Bradford, anonymously in a registered letter, £17. In a time of great need this donor, who would not allow us to send thanks, is led to send this gift. From Natal, £20. Again our God remembers us, this time from a distant land.—7th. From Christchurch, £2, from a donor who writes: “ Mrs. N— last week took the journey to see her little grand-daughter. She cried with gratitude at seeing the child look so well and so happy, and in such a lovely home.”
There came to us on the 9th, the balance of the legacy of the late T. M. J., Esq., £149 19s. 8d.—13th. From Edinburgh, £100 for the Orphans, and £30 for Bibles, Tracts, etc., with £10 for a colleague when given to me, and £10 for myself. This donor writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“I had not left school when I first heard of Mr. Müller’s work, and then began to give a few shillings yearly, all I could then give, increasing from time to time.”
Will the reader take particular note of this donor’s words. When a girl at school she began to give shillings to the Lord out of that with which He was then pleased to entrust her. She did not say, “I have so little, it is not worth giving.” No: she was faithful to the Lord according to what He then gave her, and with what result? Firstly, He saw that He could entrust His child with more, and He has given her much, yea, thousands of pounds. Secondly, the heavenly principle, begun when she was a girl, has guarded her from being injured by the acquisition of wealth; she still delights to give according to what the Lord gives to her, fulfilling our Lord’s words, “He that is faithful in a very little, is faithful also in much.”—Luke 16:10, R.V.
The mail brought us from Dilley, Texas, $100. From Drouin, Australia, £100.—15th. From Brixton Hill, 5s. The donor writes:—
“I should have communicated long ago, as I was a resident Orphan at Ashley Down from the age of five to twelve.” We did not stir this donor’s conscience in this matter, but the living God, our almighty helper, did it for us.
Today I have said good-bye to an Orphan girl, who was saved on January 29th, the day on which beloved Mr. Wright died, through words spoken that evening by a servant of Christ.
On the 16th we received from Leicester, £1, with 2s. 6d. The donor wrote:
“We send this instead of insuring our furniture. We are in God’s hands; He can keep us ever looking to Him.”
These words are of deep importance, and I beg the reader to ponder them. If our eye be kept “looking to Him,” we shall not be dismayed even if such furniture should be consumed by fire. Please turn to page 189 and see what is said there on this subject.—17th. For these four days past the income has been as follows: 14th. £18 2s. 7d.; 15th. £18 8s. 6d.; 16th. £7 8s. 1d.; 17th. £11 18s. 11d.; altogether £55 18s. 1d. When the reader remembers that the expenses average about £90 day by day, he will see plainly how, without the accident of a fire, we who are carrying on this work need to be kept “looking to Him.” “God is our refuge and strength”— 19th. From “A Steward,” Clifton, £5. How blessed to recognize that we are not owners but stewards of all that the Lord entrusts us with. Were this more fully recognized, how much greater would be the blessing of many of God’s children.
The total income for the week ending today, the 21st, has been £87 5s. 3d., not quite sufficient for one day’s outgoings!—22nd. Legacy of the late G. I. H., Esq., £90. 26th. From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself; this gift was very welcome, coming, as it did, at a time of great need.—27th. From H. S., £6 5s. The donor writes:—
“Eight years ago I entered the employ of a gentleman, and having some livery by me he offered me £5 instead of new. I left hastily in two months. I feel now I did wrong, and being anxious not to benefit by wrong-doing, I am sending you the money and 2| percent, the said gentleman being now dead.”
From Torquay there came to us on the 30th, £25. On July 7th, I received from a gentleman who visited No. 3 N. O. H. the day before, £50. Note, dear reader, how the Lord works for us.—8th. From Dalston, £50, “as a thank-offering to the dear Lord for answering my prayers.” From Hereford, from a donor who has repeatedly helped us, £10 for Missions, £10 for the Orphans, 10s. for Mr. Arnot, and 10s. for myself.—nth. From an Orphan once with us, now a Nursing Sister, £1 for Missions. This donor writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“Thank you for so kindly sending me the account of the last days of our revered friend Mr. Wright. I consider it one of the privileges of my life to have been brought into contact with both him and our precious Mr. Müller, whose memory to me, and hundreds of others, is so sacred. I can realize a little of what your loss is. I think of you and pray for you very often, that God will comfort and guide you …”
We received on the 13th, from “Anonymous,” £221. This gift, coming to us in a time of great need, was a real cheer to us.—14th. From Chippenham, £50.—15th. From Kent, £100.—17th. On account of the legacy of the late J. L., Esq., £750. From “E. L.,” £100.—19th. From Sydney, £40, with £10 for myself, through the Editors of Echoes of Service. The income for the Orphans for the past week has been £1,388 14s. 10d. Thus the Lord shows forth His power to help in His own time, and so cheers our hearts by its manifestation.
There came to us on the 20th, from Clifton, £150, a real help in our present need. The donor of this has for many years given a like sum on his birthday. Not long after this he departed “to be with Christ.” Thus, one by one, kind helpers die, or go away, or cease from one cause or another to help us, but our God, the living God, remains. 22nd. From Clifton, £50, a most seasonable help.—24th. From Liverpool, £50 for Missions. This came as an answer to many prayers that we might have the joy of helping the Lord’s servants, and was at once distributed.—25th. On account of the legacy of the late C. W., Esq., £125.—31st. From Clifton, £45, with £5 for my own use. Legacy of the late Mr. J. McD., £193 10s. From R. F., £100.
There was sent to us on August 4th, from readers of The Christian, £31 14s. 6d.—8th. From Gildersome, £5. “A loan,” Prov. 19:17, £1. Dear reader, pause and turn to this verse in Proverbs, and ask yourself, “Am I satisfied with this security, and am I investing accordingly?” From Hanley Castle, 10s. for the Bible Fund, with 10s. for the Orphans, and 10s. for myself. This donor writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“Thank you much for the Report. I am deeply interested in it, and can only praise and bless God for all His lovingkindness so manifested throughout. Usually I send my donation later in the year, but now I feel impelled to forward it at once. You are daily remembered before God for a bountiful supply of heavenly wisdom, faith, and grace, which must be greatly needed in your responsible position.
Why was this donor impelled to send at once? He, into whose ear we poured our tale of need, impelled His servant.
I received on the 10th, from Bristol, 7s., with 5s. for myself, from a donor who writes:—
“I found the Report very helpful to read: I followed the example of one and another I read of therein, and sold my chain, and with joy send you 12s. When I told my husband, he gave me his watch-chain to sell.” This is an example that many others might well imitate to their own blessing, and to the joy of the heart of our God.
On the 11th, the legacy of the late Miss C. M. P., £225, reached us.—12th. Legacy of the late Mrs. J. P., £270. 14th. From Plymouth, £2 10s. for Missions, etc., with £2 10s. for the Orphans. This donor writes as follows:—
“I forgot to send my little donation in July. Usually I send 40s. and sometimes only 20s., but this year I think my Lord would have me forward the enclosed £5. You will please appropriate it to whatever department of your important and Christ-like work most needs help. Praying that God’s richest blessing may rest on you and your helpers, as it has so manifestly on your two predecessors.”
How graciously our God works on our behalf.
From Dundee I received today £20 for the Centenary Fund, to aid in the free distribution of the Autobiography of beloved Mr. Müller.—15th. From Bristol, £25 for Missions, etc., with £50 for the Orphans and £25 for myself.—16th. From Sheffield, is. The donor writes:—
“The new Report is full of deep interest. I reached my eightieth birthday the last day of May. In 1847 I labored in Orphan House No. 6 Wilson Street, and removed to Ashley Down; I remained about six years, until health gave way.”
The income for the week ending today is £833 5s. 10d., so we do not wait on God in vain.
On the 19th I received from Kendal, £60, from a donor who was prevented sending year by year, but now most kindly sends the amount for three years. From Kilmington, £1, with 4d. for Report. This donor writes:—
“It was through reading Mr. Müller’s Reports that, by God’s grace, I was led to give proportionately; since then my Lord has enabled me to give more.”
From Watford, £50, was received on the 22nd.—24th. From Taunton, £24, with £1 for myself. From Fairfield, £20. This donor writes:—
“I received the most interesting Report, and am constrained to write at once and send £20. I rejoice greatly in the honor. The Lord’s dealings with Mr. Müller have been an unspeakable blessing to me in my Christian life and service. The Lord has wonderfully dealt with me since I realized my position as a steward.”
From Hollinwood, £100 was sent us. This is from a gentleman who had not previously given to this work. Thus the Lord hears our prayers that He would raise up new donors. From Bedminster, £2 2s. This donor writes:—
“The work associated with Ashley Down Orphanage for so many years is truly wonderful, only explained by the unmistakable fact that God is in it. It has been to me (as to others of God’s children) often an inspiration and a stimulus to faith. We change, men and things about us change, but God never. Your Report has been a great cheer to me.”
There was sent on the 26th, from Bristol, £4, with £110s. for Mr. Arnot and £1 10s. for myself. The donor writes:—
“We have been privileged to send a thank-offering on my birthday, Oct. 12th, but instead of waiting for that date I am constrained to forward it at once.” Who constrained him? The living God, to whom alone we told our pressing need.
From Chelmsford, £1 10s. The donor writes:—
“This is part of a standing debt. I had thought of taking legal proceedings to enforce payment. But I said if Mr.—— would pay, I would send part to you, and in a very short time it came.”
On the 29th there came in from Taunton, £2 for Testaments to be sent abroad, with £3 for the Orphans. By the same post came an application from France for “Marked New Testaments,” which were sent out of this gift.—30th. From Dartford, £7 10s. for Missions, etc., with £7 10s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“Thank you for the Report. I trust that I have received much help in the perusal of it. I shall never forget what joy it gave me when I first commenced to set aside a portion of my wages for the Lord’s work.”
From a town missionary in the North of England I received 5s. He writes:—
“I have been deeply interested in reading your Report. Please accept the enclosed towards your work. I would like to testify to the great blessing received in giving systematically. I am a town missionary, with a salary of
27s. 6d. per week to support my wife and two children, but we feel it a great privilege to be able to put the first 3s. every week into the ‘Lord’s Box.’”
On the 31st I received from Bury St. Edmunds, £30 is. 6d., with 6d. for Report. The donor writes:—
“I enclose a small cheque for the Orphans. I wish I could do more. I have sent my mites from year to year to Bristol, and now I enclose a little more, as my life cannot be much longer. I am in my ninety-sixth year.” “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age.”—Ps. 92:14. How blessedly is this fulfilled! This donor has since then gone to be with her Lord.
There came to us on September 1st, from Shepton Mallet, from “a contented farmer,” £5. The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, tells us that “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” How happy is this farmer! Legacy of the late Mr. J. D., £450.—2nd. Legacy of the late Miss M. L. B., £252 18s. 8d.—5th. From Swindon, 5s. for Missions, with 5s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“Please accept thanks for the Report. Over and over have I told others, that next to my precious Bible nothing has ever helped me so much spiritually, or so helped to strengthen my faith in God.”
I received on the 6th, from Redland, 5s. The donor writes:—
“I am so thankful that God has raised you up to carry on His work at the dear old Orphan Home, for I am one of the ‘ old girls,’ and I have never forgotten what I was taught there, nor Mr. Wright’s last words to me, when I was leaving. I learned to love the Lord when I was twelve years old, at the Orphan Homes, and I have now been away from them thirty years.”
From Balsall Heath, 10s. The donor writes:—
“I trust that you will prove ‘our God’ sufficient for your own anxieties. In the days of Numbers 11 it mattered little whether it was Moses alone, or the seventy in addition; the power of the Spirit was only divided, not increased (see verse 17). So long as God was the sole resource of His servant, all was well.”
The income for the week ending today has been £943 18s. 6d.—7th. From Dundee, £100. The donor writes:—
“I am sorry I overlooked sending you cheque last year.” This friend will not let himself benefit by having forgotten to send £50 last year, but sends me two fifties. Thus our God “careth for “ us.
By this mail there came in from Bewdley, Canada, £8 4s. 9d. for Missions, £8 4s. 10d. for the Orphans, £2 1s. 2d. for Mr. Arnot, and £2 1s. 2d. for myself. This friend writes:—
“It is now more than forty years since I first became acquainted with Mr. Müller’s work of faith and love, and many a time have I been helped by his example.”
On the 8th, the legacy of the late W. H. F., Esq., £500, reached us.—9th. From Worcestershire, £50, with £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself. The donor writes:—
“t is a small thank-offering, on the part of my dear wife and myself, to our gracious God and Father for His goodness, mercy and longsuffering towards us during the fifty years of our married life, which were completed today. Truly we would take the language of Psalm 103 as our experience.”
We received from Redland, £100. “A grateful thank-offering for untold mercies from our dear Heavenly Father.” From Flax Bourton, £20.
Legacy of the late Miss J. C, £180 for Missions, etc., with £90 for the Orphans, came today. For the week ending the 13th, the income for the Orphans has been £994 17s. 5d.; for Bibles, etc., £206 5s. 9d.; for the Centenary Fund, £3; in all £1,204 3s. 2d. So we do not wait on the Lord in vain.—19th. From Drouin, Australia, £100 for Missions, £100 for the Orphans, £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself. This was a cheer and a help to us, coming as it did in a season of great straitness. The donor writes:—
“I am looking for the coming of our blessed Saviour to gather me up, with all believers, to meet Him in the air, and so for ever be with Him in glory.”
Is this your hope, dear reader?
On the 20th there came to us from Weston-super-Mare, £20.—22nd. From Kenton, £44 6s. 3d.
Gift Of Bananas For Centenary Day
For some days the question was before me of giving an extra treat to our children on Mr. Müller’s Centenary day, the 27th, in addition to the cake they always have on his birthday. My difficulty was the cost, our means were so reduced. I wished to give them a banana each, but 2,000 bananas would cost not a little. This morning I decided, before leaving my home, to send to town and enquire the cost of 2,000 bananas, and see if our funds would permit of that form of treat. Picture my joy, dear reader, if you can, when I tell you, that on reaching Ashley Down I found that a firm of importers of bananas had sent us a large quantity, which when reckoned were found to be over 4,000. So, through God’s bounty, our children had two bananas each on the 27th, whereas I had only thought of one for each; “exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.”
I received on the 23rd, from Leyton, £1 10s. The donor writes:—
“Thank you very much for Report, which I have found most interesting and helpful. A few friends, with myself, have agreed to put aside one penny a week for the Orphans. I started this last February, and now have the privilege and pleasure of sending enclosed 30s. for that work, which is a living witness to God’s faithfulness and power.”
The legacy of the late Mrs. J. C, £100, reached us. We received from an Orphan, who was many years ago in this Institution, £9 for Missions, etc., with £9 for the Orphans. 25th. From Wellington, N.Z., “An old boy of No. 4,” sends £3. He writes:—
“It grieved me much some months ago to come across an item in a magazine announcing the death of Mr. Wright. I thank the Lord for having given him a partner after his own heart, and pray that He may be very near you at all times, ‘a very present help in trouble.’”
This Orphan was admitted to No. 4 in March, 1878, and left it in October, 1885.
On the 26th, there came from Redland, 5s. The donor writes:—
“How often I have thanked my Heavenly Father for providing such a happy home for my two sisters, a brother, and myself, when we were left without both our dear parents in three months. I can truly say I spent five of the happiest years of my life there. We have all left now, and I am pleased to be able to say, are all doing well. You will be pleased to know I am in the same situation that I came to from the Home; it will be six years in December.”
The memorable day, the 27th, the Centenary of the birth of beloved Mr. Müller, has come and gone, and our hearts are full of praise and gratitude to God for all His tender mercy and lovingkindness.
Our meetings began at seven in the morning, in the Visitors’ room at No. 3, when the room was comfortably filled, and the presence of the Lord was consciously realized. We opened with the hymn—
“O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come.”
After singing, we read the first three verses of Psalm 65, and poured out our souls in praise to God. Then Mr. Arnot followed with helpful words from Psalm 103, after which praise and prayer flowed forth.
We met again at ten in the same room. At this meeting Mr. Stanley gave us cheering words from Isaiah 63:7 and Acts 27:25. Again there followed a stream of praise and prayer, continuing till a quarter to twelve.
Before two o’clock, the time for the afternoon meeting, the Visitors’ room was so filled with loving, sympathizing friends, who had come from various parts, that we had to adjourn to the large dining-room downstairs. At this meeting Mr. Bennet, of Yeovil, gave a helpful address on the words from Genesis 17, “I am the Almighty God, walk before Me and be thou perfect,” and 2 Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” After this, again the Lord gave us a stream of praise and prayer, which continued to a quarter to four.
At the evening meeting, at 6 o’clock, the presence of the Lord was again manifest, and the meeting took a somewhat different form. Mr. Snelling, of Swansea, after reading Psalm 71, said that instead of expounding it, he would give us some of his experiences of blessing received through Mr. Müller. He told us of blessing he had been to him forty years ago; when as a young man he learned the joy of trusting in God alone for directions and for supplies. This led me to think that the Lord had a purpose with regard to this meeting in letting it take the character, rather of a testimony meeting, and the testimonies that followed proved that this was evidently His provision for those who gathered for the evening meeting.
So truly did the Lord sustain us, that I am sure no one of those present had the slightest conception of the sore financial trial we were passing through that day: I had not been able to pay the teachers’ salaries due over a month. His promise given in Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee” was blessedly fulfilled, and at three of the meetings our hearts found utterance in the words of Miss Havergal:—
“Like a river, glorious, is God’s perfect peace.”
It seems to me a greater manifestation of His power to maintain His servants in peace while trials last, than to give them deliverance out of them. We closed our day’s meetings with:—
“Glory, honor, praise and power, be unto the Lamb for ever;
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. Hallelujah! praise the Lord.”
The Centenary Memorial volume, the “Autobiography of George Müller,” was published that day.
We received from Exeter, three gold brooches. The donor writes:—
“I have been greatly exercised for months about wearing these brooches; in fact I never put one on without feeling it is contrary to the mind of the Lord, according to 1 Pet. 3. ‘Whose adorning let it not be the wearing of gold’; and 1 Tim. 2. ‘That women adorn themselves not with gold or pearls.’ So after long and careful consideration, I have decided to forward them to you.” How good is an obedient ear and an exercised conscience!
From St. Leonards-on-Sea there came to us 10s., “as an act of praise for God’s gracious gift of dear Mr. Müller, to be the teacher, witness, and worker he was in our time.” Today I received the following letter from a maker of class-room desks:—
“Such a time as this is an opportunity for us to render unto God according to benefits received. Who of us can tell how much we owe to the godly life and example of our dear friend Mr. G. Müller? Under God’s guidance, at the beginning of my Christian life, at the end of 1872, I was brought under his ministry; since then we have had his life and example before us so closely it could be seen and felt. He lived amongst us in our day; let us thank God for this incandescent burner that He gave His Church in this dark age. Now to the point, some time ago I learned that there are class rooms at the Orphan Houses that need desks, therefore I purpose to give 100 if required, so if you will kindly send order to me for what is wanted to that number, they shall be supplied in due course. This will be my little Centenary gift to the work established on Ashley Down, and carried on in the fear of God by Mr. Müller, and also Mr. Wright. Now dear Mr. Bergin, our prayer and hope is that their mantles may come to you, and be well worn all your remaining days.
“I remain, with Christian love,
How this friend learned of our need I know not; I did not tell him, but we did sorely need such desks. Not many days before, Mr. Heys, our School Inspector, brought the need before me; I had replied, “We must wait on God.”
On the 28th, I received the following letter from Bristol:
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“With feelings of joy and thankfulness to the Giver of every good thing, my dear husband and I send
on the enclosed mite, £14 10s., towards the work of faith and love, which has been so abundantly blessed and honored by our Heavenly Father, and He alone knows the thousands of hearts that are this Centenary week going up in praise and thanksgiving to His most holy name, for having given us such a friend to care for the fatherless, as our beloved and revered Mr. Müller; also dear Mr. Wright.”
I received from “Ebenezer,” 10s., “In grateful memory of dear Mr. Müller, from two who will have cause to bless his memory to all eternity.”—30th. From Sussex, £60 for Missions, with £60 for the Orphans. This came as an answer to many prayers for our brethren laboring in the gospel, and for the Orphan Fund.
We received on October 2nd, from Scotland, £50 for Missions, etc., with £50 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. From Singapore, 10s., “a Singapore mite.” The donor writes:—
“The Report makes exciting reading, but it is the healthy excitement of faith. There is food and encouragement for the soul in it.”
We received on the 5th, from The Mumbles, £15, with £5 for myself.
News of the following striking incident reached me on the 6th. Mr. Müller’s Narrative in German had been read by a Stundist, who was sent into exile; on parting with his wife, he said, if he were only in Bristol he would pray to God for money to pay his railway fare to the place of exile, otherwise he would have to travel on foot with the prison gang, and probably die of the hardships, but there was no use praying in Russia; where would the money come from? But he had hardly spoken, when a man called with a gift of money, saying he had sold his watch, and so he was able to pay this man’s railway fare.
There arrived by the mail of the 9th, from New York, $100 towards the circulation of Mr. Müller’s Autobiography. From Failsworth, £1, the donor writes:—
“It is part of God’s tenth. I am only a poor hawker, sixty-four years old, but happy in the Lord. Since I have given God His tenth, our income keeps growing, glory be to God!”
We received on the 10th, from Dorset, £4. The donor writes:—
“I am one of your old scholars. I was the first baby in arms with the first lot in No. 4 House. I have enjoyed a long period of good health, and have never been in want, thank God. I am now a carrier, and having sold a horse at a better price than I expected, I have sent you the surplus, which is £4. I always feel deeply grateful for the kindness and attention shown me while in the Home.”
A Remarkable Occurrence
From Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5s., was received, with the following deeply interesting letter:—
“My dear Brother in Christ,
“It is four months today since my business premises were burnt to the ground at midnight, and my entire capital of £1,000, gathered during forty-five years of business life, swept away. No insurance in any earthly society, no cash investments, and less than £20 available of cash. The books in two safes were saved, and the book debts were in excess of the trade liabilities.
“The night before I looked round, and said to myself, ‘That is all safe.’ Then I left for home. At 2 next morning not a vestige of workshop, warehouses, showroom, or offices remained. The Lord, who has so many times preserved these and other premises I have rented, during the past forty-five years, has now permitted a fire of the uttermost destructive character to swallow all up. I could not understand it, yet there was no excitement. He keepeth, and He kept me in perfect peace. The heart said, ‘Father, glorify Thy name.’ I stayed only a few minutes, then returned home, went again to bed, and read Psalm 46.
“Being in my seventy-first year, with no capital or stock, and no insurance, I considered if this fire was intended to end my business career, or was it God’s will that I should just go on as if nothing unusual had happened? After a calm, prayerful survey of the situation, I saw it was God’s will that I should take at once a vacant premise close adjoining the ruins. At this time a whisper came into my soul, ‘Why think, or say you are not insured? Have you not for over forty years sent the money, instead of insurance, to God’s treasury at the Orphan and Missionary Institute at Bristol?’ This question was pondered, and I wrote in my pocket diary under date of June 8th, ‘Works and warehouse burnt up—”Thou art my portion, 0 Lord.”— Heaven my insurance society—Jesus Christ its capital—The Holy Ghost, manager—and all premiums paid.’
“On the fifth day after the fire a letter containing a £5 note was delivered to me by post, with only these brief words in, ‘For Keswick or otherwise, from an old friend.’ Where is the insurance society that would do this? A few weeks later from another source came another £5 for my wife to go to Keswick with me. Other four five pounds (not any begged or borrowed) were quickly given to me. Then a fortnight after the fire, came £50 from a lady in London, who I have not to my knowledge ever seen, to pay for a new modern gas engine. Then, in addition to all this, there has been what it is impossible for any insurance company to give, and that is four months of unbroken health and strength, enabling me to be at work daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and this has not been possible for many years past.
“It is with much pleasure 5s. 1s herewith sent you for the Orphans, instead of insuring any of the new stock I am obliged to obtain. Having read your very interesting Report, in it, on page 54, I notice with deep interest the matter of insurance gone into, and dear Mr. Müller’s attitude and action. [See page 189.] Many of my well-meaning friends think I have made a great mistake in not being insured; I tell them I do not object at all to the principle of insurance, but that from the first of the fire till now, I have no regret or sense of mistake at the step I took over forty years ago in sending the money to Bristol instead of insuring.
“Then, I tell my friends, I don’t ask any one to follow me along this path unless they are fully prepared to trust the Lord. I freely admit that I had come to believe that God would never let the frail premises that I had rented be burnt; in this I have been wrong as to God’s way. I have not sent you money as insurance, but instead of it, and as a thank-offering. I prayed for protection from fire, and thanked Him often for His protecting mercy, and now that it has pleased Him to permit the devouring fire to take all away, I am often saying, ‘They shall perish, but Thou remainest:’ and ‘In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you!’”
It is indeed a grave mistake for any one to suppose that the Lord will always protect from fire the stock or premises of those who give their money to Him instead of insuring; but it is no mistake to count on Him to give His richest blessing to all who really trust Him to do as He, in His infinite wisdom, sees to be the best for them. Both these facts are well illustrated in the experience of the writer of above letter, and in my own experience since I issued the Report for 1905, for on November 4th the premises of the printers of this Report were consumed by fire, and a large quantity of sheets of the Autobiography of George Müller were destroyed, which were not insured. The words of the Psalmist, “He shall choose our inheritance for us,” are blessedly true, and
“He sees, He knows, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
Let none, who are not desirous of heavenly blessing rather than earthly, attempt to walk this path, but let all who do so desire, rejoice in the truth of the Psalmist’s words, “O Jehovah of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.”
On the 13th there came to us from Leamington, £20. From Clifton, a gold watch.—16th. From Moline, U.S.A., £20 10s. 8d.—18th. The income for the week ending today was £189 6s. 7d. Think of this, dear reader, with over 2,000 persons to feed day by day.
The income up to 12:30 on the 19th was £7 13s. We then met at our mid-day prayer meeting, and sang—
“Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest.”
The second letter I opened after dinner contained £20, from High Wycombe.
On the 21st, the legacy of the late Miss M. G., £100, was received. Legacy of the late Mrs. S. W., £500.—23rd. From Bristol, £4 2s. 6d., for the support of an Orphan for three months. Regularly, quarter by quarter, this gift has come for many years, and these donors, themselves once Orphans in this Home, are already reaping fruit from this godly sowing, in that all their own children have been brought to Christ. From Clydach, £50. The donor writes:—
“I pray the Lord’s blessing may be with you, as it was with Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright, in carrying on the same good work. I consider it is a present-day miracle, the way that money is sent for the work, and proves clearly that God watches and directs what goes on in this world.”
There was sent to us on the 24th, from the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £150, to be spent on the outfits of Orphans. From Bournemouth, a gold chain. The sender writes:—
“I am sending a gold watch-chain (18 carat), which I feel it is not becoming for me to wear as a follower of Christ.” An example is this, dear reader, in these days, when consciences are so little exercised, and obedience to the Scriptures, revealing the Lord’s will on this matter, so little heeded.
The mail of the 25th brought us from Centreville, U.S.A., £5 for Missions, and £15 for the Orphans. The income for the week ending today is £996 7s. 11d. We do not wait on God to no purpose.
We received on the 27th, from Newcastle-on-Tyne, £5 for Orphans, with £5 for Missions. The donor of this, whose letter appears under the date of October 10th, now writes:—
“With deep joy I find myself able to ask you to receive the enclosed £10. During these past three weeks of quiet, and meditation on the Lord’s goodness to me, the following definite conclusions have been come to. First, that I committed no violation of divine law in ceasing my life insurance, and in never beginning stock insurance. Then I have no regrets at this course I adopted over forty years ago. Next, I can find no authority in Scripture to alter my manner of life. Another is, to devote one-tenth of net profits to the Lord’s service. Now beginning business again at a little over the age of three score years and ten, the Lord has graciously given me for business purposes alone, without begging, borrowing, or soliciting financial aid, £105. In addition to this is £10 for the Keswick Convention. Hence the £10 I am now having the pleasure to send is not the tenth of all cash received. Thus this singular experience wells up in one’s soul of real abounding wealth, right in the face of a loss of over £1,000. ‘Having nothing, yet possessing all things.’”
How truly has the Lord in this instance fulfilled His word of promise, “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
The legacy of the late J. T., Esq., £100, reached us on the 28th.
Noteworthy And Seasonable Help
On November 1st there was paid to us the legacy of the late H. N., Esq., £835 16s. No notice of this legacy had been received until within a few days of its payment, when the following information was conveyed to me by the solicitors:—
“At the Testator’s death his estate was insolvent, and the whole of his real estate was sold by order of the Mortgagees. The Testator’s personal estate consisted principally of shares, which at the date of his death had only a nominal market value, no dividends having ever been paid thereon. At the request of the Executors the principal creditors did not press for immediate settlement, and consented to the realization of the shares being deferred, as in the opinion of the Executors these shares were likely in a few years to considerably increase in value. By the adoption of this course there is now a very large residuary estate divisible amongst the beneficiaries, the creditors having been paid.”
How real and true are the words:—
“Say not, my soul, from whence can God relieve thy care?
Remember! Omnipotence hath servants everywhere.”
How manifestly the Lord wrought for us in this matter: Executors were moved to take a wise view of the estate, and creditors yielded to their advice, with this happy result.
There came to us anonymously from London, £8. The sender writes:—
“The £8 is the result of praying to God, after reading in G. Müller’s Narratives, ‘An artist’s first return’; I asked God to give me an order, as I should like to do what the artist did, and He gave me an order for a £20 portrait in less than twenty-four hours; it staggered me. I hope the Lord will give me the privilege to send you many sums.”
The income for the week ending today is £1,130 15s. 10d. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
We received on the 2nd, from Bideford, £30, for the support of two Orphan boys for one year.—7th. From E. McN., £50.—10th. From Bude, £4 for Bibles and Tracts, £4 for the Orphans, 1s. for Report, and £2 for myself. This donor writes:—
“Many thanks for sending me the Report. I always look forward to it each year; it is so full of spiritual help, that I look upon it as a rich luxury from the great Giver of all good.”
On the 11th there came to us from Hungerford, £10, for Missions, with £10 for the Orphans. From Hereford, £5. The donor writes:—
“We are seeking daily to bear you and all your dear helpers up before the Lord; and though our voice is human, and faith feeble, His ear is divine, and His word almighty. One always feels, as the train runs through Ashley Down Station, ‘A city set on a hill cannot he hid.’”
A widow, a former Orphan, called on me on the 17th, and gave me £10. She said:—
“I got this from a party to whom I had lent it, and was about to put it into the Bank, but I felt led of God to put it into His work, by giving it to you for the Orphans.”
I did not tell this widow how needy we were—how small our income was the previous week; but our God told her to give it. This gift was a great cheer to me.
There came in on the 18th, from Curry Rivel, £5. From “one of the Lord’s purse-bearers,” £1. This donor recognizes that what she holds is not her own but the Lord’s. How great would be the blessing if all God’s children knew this in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anonymously, per Midland Railway, 5 boxes of cheese, a valuable gift.—21st. From Purley, £5. This donor writes:—
“I am enclosing £5 for the Orphans. I had decided to send this elsewhere, but seemed hindered and impressed to send it for your Orphans instead. Several times when trying to decide, the text has come before me, ‘Have faith in God.’ I pass it on to you.”
From Upper Tooting we received £3. The donor writes:—
“It is a thank-offering for the birth of a little son. I have just returned from service of the King in Nigeria. The Homes are an object-lesson to the world, and have served to strengthen the faith of many of the Lord’s servants whose faith has been sorely tried.”
The legacy of the late Miss H. B., £270, was paid to us. From Liverpool, £1 4s., with 6d. for Report. The donor writes:—
“I send you this under the following circumstances: a great many years ago, while I was unconverted, I went to New Orleans, as a steward on board of a steamer. Some person dropped their gold spectacles; I picked them up, but did not make any enquiry. Now, as a believer on the Lord Jesus, I have decided to hand the sum of £1 as value, and 4s. as per Lev. 6:5, ‘He shall add the fifth part more thereto,’ to the Lord’s Treasury.”
We received on the 24th, from Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., and £20 for the Orphans, with £2 10s. for Mr. Arnot, and £2 10s. for myself. This donation arrived at a time of great need, and caused much thanksgiving to God.
There came on the 25th, from Dunedin, £40 for Missions, with £50 for the Orphans, and £10 for my own use. This gift arrived as an answer to much prayer for the Lord’s servants. The donors write:—
“Your Reports duly came to hand, and as usual have proved very helpful in our Christian experience. We took advantage of the 100th anniversary of the founder’s birthday to have a number of cards printed, and circulated amongst those we knew, with a desire that our Heavenly Father would use the mementos for the extension of His kingdom, and cause the faith of those who profess to serve Him to be strengthened by the brief extracts from the sayings of our departed friend Geo. Müller.”
This morning the letter bag contained a large number of letters, and after a season of prayer I opened them. Amongst them all there were only three letters containing money, 1s. 2d., 10s., and £1. Again we got on our knees and commended ourselves to God. As the trial of our faith is very keen at this present time, we asked Him to send in, if it pleased Him before the day is over, yet more. Shortly after this a bill was brought to me for goods just received, amounting to £101. Consider, dear reader, how needful to have the eye fixed only on God in such circumstances. He kept us calmly looking to Him for deliverance. When the mid-day mail was brought to me, the first letter I opened contained 1s. from New Zealand, the next letter, from Dunedin, contained a cheque for £100. Thus the Lord answered our cries to Him.
On the 28th we received from Edinburgh, £10 16s. 10d. for Missions to Spain and Persia, with £14 3s. 2d. for the support of one Orphan for one year.—29th. Legacy of the late T. E., Esq., £120.
A Bereaved Parent’s Touching Gift
The mail of the 30th brought us from New York City, £59 5s. 6d. for Missions, £100 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. This was a great cheer to us, coming at this time when our funds for both departments were exhausted. The donor writes:—
“I feel led by God to send you a sum of money in memory of my little daughter, Sarah, who passed over last April, to be with Him who called little children to Him. When my dear babe was lying grievously ill, I vowed a certain sum to God’s work as a special thank-offering in case of her recovery, but almost immediately felt there might be something of a disposition in my heart to drive a bargain with the Heavenly Father, all unconsciously to myself; so was led to promise the money as a thank-offering whether she recovered or went, knowing that God understands what is best for us. Herein you will find a bill of exchange for £164 5s. 6d., of which I shall ask you to keep £5 for your personal use, and to apply the rest as your knowledge of the needs of the work may suggest. I should like, however, to think that some portion be used to supply the needs of those who, relying on the Lord to provide, are laboring as Missionaries.”
How the Lord—who “taketh pleasure in them that fear Him”—must have rejoiced in this beautiful example of true parental love, combined with a tender conscience and submission to His holy will!
We received on December 1st, from “H. S. H.,” £100, with £1 for myself.—2nd. From Glasgow, £8 for Missions, etc., with £4 for the Orphans, and £3 for myself; the donor of this writes:—
“I always look upon your dear children not so much as Orphans to be brought up and then started in life, which of course is a blessed work itself, but I look upon them as children whom God has chosen out of the world to be converted, trained, and educated, to go forth as lights in the world. This I consider God’s great purpose, and He will not fail in it.”
There came on the 4th, from Torquay, £100. The sender writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“You will, I know, be thankful to hear that prayer has been answered on my dear husband’s behalf, and he is now restored to his usual health. We now ask you to join us in thanks for this great mercy, and ask your acceptance of«enclosed cheque for £100, as a thank-offering to be used where most needed. That our Father’s blessing may rest abundantly on you, and your dear fellow-laborers, and on all your work for the Master, is the earnest prayer of,
“Yours in Him,——.”
We received from Southport, £25. Legacy of the late Miss J. I., £100.—7th. From Bath, £20.—9th. From Bristol, £20 for Missions, with £30 for the Orphans. From Fort William, Scotland, £60. From Treforest, £62 10s.— nth. From Rugeley, £100. The donor writes:—
“When I retired from active life in 1893, I called at the Orphanage, and left Mr. Wright £50. I have had many calls upon me nearer home since then. I am now far advanced in years. I beg of you to accept of the enclosed, on behalf of your noble work, that has been carried on by your two predecessors; may you be spared to carry it on for many years to come.”
This mail brought us from Drouin, Australia, £30 for Missions, etc., with £70 for the Orphans, £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself.—14th. From Redland, £20 0s. 6d. From London, £20. The donor writes:—
“It is £10 for last year, and £10 for this year’s insurance of my premises, to be spent on the King’s ‘little ones.’”
From Cotham, £10, from a widow, who writes:—
“When I saw how ill my husband looked, I knew only God could save him. I went to my room and cried to God if it was His holy will to save him, and promised that I would send the Orphans £10. I didn’t like myself afterwards for saying such a thing. Is not all that I have got the Lord’s? and how easily He could take it all away from me. However, I pray He will accept it, because I send it with all my heart.”
There came on the 15th, from Brussels, £1. The donor writes:—
“By some particular circumstances I was led to take my meals at another restaurant, and there I found a book about ‘George Müller.’ I cannot say how this narrative has touched me; it was as if I still came into contact with the power and love and trust of his wonderful life of faith.”
There was sent in from Bristol, 475 lbs. of cake—1 lb. each for 1,900 children, and from the maids of this donor, some flowers for the Orphans in the Infirmaries. The donor writes:—
“Please give my love to the children, and tell them this gift is in memory of my husband (his birthday will be tomorrow), a good man, a lowly follower of the Lord Jesus.”
By the mail of the 18th, we received from Cronenberg, Germany, 10s. 3d. The donor writes:—
“It is a little thank-offering for the blessing which I have had in reading the memoir of George Müller.”
There came in on the 20th, from Taunton, £50. From Hastings, £20. The donor writes:—
“The enclosed I send as a trifle for the Orphans towards the plum-pudding dinner on Christmas day. I well remember how we used to look forward to all the little extras at that time of year. I wish them all a very merry Xmas.”
From Messrs. W. P. & Sons, £30 was sent us.—22nd. From Aberdare, 130 lbs. of meat. From Bristol, 20 cases of oranges, 5 cases of dates, and 40 ½ -boxes Valencia raisins.
Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way
From Guildford, I received the following interesting letter, with £2 8s. 6d. enclosed:—
“I think it is about thirty-five years ago I first read Mr. Müller’s Report. I began by giving up smoking, and giving part of the money to the Orphans, and I thank God today for that Report. I can say to encourage you with others, not a morning passes from five to six but you are remembered in prayer, and the dear children. I have many times thought how I should like to see them, but we farm men don’t get very high wages to have much to run about with, about 15s. or 16s. per week. I was thinking of the goodness of God to me, and the thought struck me,
send those two brethren 5s, each, with £1 10s. for the Orphans; also 8s., grandchildren and their mother’s pence, and 6d. for Report.”
Note, dear reader, a man earning 15s. or 16s. a week sending such an amount, and praying for us every morning between five and six o’clock. How can we estimate the value of such helpers!
We received on the 23rd, from Burnhope, £5 for Missions, etc., with £5 for the Orphans. The donor of this writes:—
“As a working man I am truly thankful to our Heavenly Father to be able again to send a small donation to the great work at Ashley Down.”
Does not He who sat over the treasury of old, now take full note of this gift of “a working man”?
There came on the 26th, from Camberwell, £1. The donor writes: “The eyes of the Lord are beholding you.” Yes, indeed, this is so, and it is a source of deep joy and constant support to know that such is the fact.
On the 27th, we received from Kendal, £25. From Bristol, “from Mother,” £25 4s. The income for the past week has been only £286 8s. 11d.—28th. From the late Miss L. S. A. H., £20.—29th. From London, £100. From Wolverhampton, 10s. The donor writes:—
“I send a thank-offering for God’s exceeding goodness. I can never forget, or cease to be thankful for, the care bestowed upon me in the days of my childhood.”
Thus the Lord has brought us to the close of the year—a year of bereavement and sore trial of faith, yet a year in which His hand has been outstretched on our behalf in upholding us, and providing for His own work. To Him be all the glory, and to Him alone.
There was sent us on January 1st, from Needy, £20 for Missions, etc., with £10 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself; also from Needy, Junr., £5 for the Orphans. From Bristol, £17 10s. for Missions, etc., with £17 10s. for the Orphans.
On the 2nd, we received from Westbourne Park, £25 for Missions, £10 for the School Fund, £30 for the Orphans, with £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself. From Kendal, £20. From “an elderly Orphan,” £50. From Melksham, £35. This day twelve months was beloved Mr. Wright’s last day up here.
Through Bethesda Box, £30 came to us anonymously on the 3rd. The income for the past week was £813 us. 5d. 4th. From “345,” £2. The donor writes:—
“This is a privilege given to me as year by year the Lord supplements my wages, by giving to me Christmas boxes in my calling as a postman.”
On the 5th, we received from “Anonymous,” £221. This donation came at a time of sore need, and was the cause of much thanksgiving to God.—6th. From Melksham, £32.
It is written in Psalm 148:8, “Stormy wind fulfilling His word.” Last night our roofs were seriously injured by a severe storm. Some tons of slate will be needed for repairs. The same “word” that sent the storm, will send the means to defray the cost.—8th. From Putney Park, £20, from a donor who never gave to this work before. From Bristol, £2 2s. The donor writes:—
“I enclose a little thank-offering to the Lord for graciously preserving my house and our factory from harm during the gale of Friday last. Please put the 2 guineas towards repairs rendered necessary by the gale.”
The mail brought us on the 9th, from Auckland, N.Z., £20. From West Dulwich, £25, with £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself. From Merton, N.Z., £10 10s. for Missions, £5 10s. for the Orphans, 2s. for Reports, £1 for Mr. Arnot, and £1 for myself. The donor says: “Of this, 5s. is three months’ interest, added, because I was unable to send the money in August, as I hoped to be able to do.”—10th. Today I received the following letter:—
“Kindly send me one of the new books published on Mr. Müller’s Centenary, price 5s., but worth a good deal more, I reckon. I always remember the happy days I spent in No. 2; I was there about fifteen years. I left it thirty-two years ago. ‘Tis a great work you are carrying on by faith in Him, the great Provider, without asking any human aid.”
Received the legacy of the late Miss S., £217 11s. 8d. 13th. From Bury St. Edmunds, £2 2s. The donor herself writes:—
“Once more I am permitted to send my small subscription to your Orphanage. I am thankful to be able to do so at my great age of ninety-six this month.” How truly is the word of God fulfilled in this case, “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age”!
On the 15th, the legacy of the late Mr. C. C. B., of U.S.A., $1,000=£205 15s., was paid. This was a great encouragement to us in a time of keen trial of faith. From Weymouth, 10s. The donor writes:—
“Though only poor in this world’s goods, I have found that giving to God does not impoverish me, neither does withholding enrich me, and as we make channels for giving, so we make channels for receiving; this is God’s plan.”
How true and how wise these words!
We received on the 16th, from Eastbourne, £25. From Litchfield I received the following letter:—
“Herewith I send you a guinea piece, which I have carried on my watch chain for about twenty-four years, but since reading your Report I cannot carry it any longer.”
There came to us on the 17th, “In Memoriam,” £180. The senders of this gift write that this is sent “In accordance with the spoken wish of a relation now dead.” From Newtownards, £1 5s. The donor writes:—
“Dear brethren in Christ,
“Never having a heart to push debtors for outstanding debts, and oftentimes wondering whether after years they ever intended to pay, your Report opened up a debt recovery agency (telling the Lord about it), so please accept this, the first one I have taken to Him. The customer came in this morning, and said he wanted to pay his account, so I enclose you full amount.”
There was sent us on the 18th, from Christian friends at Kendal, £34 5s. 1d. These friends have contributed regularly and liberally for more than a quarter of a century. 19th. From Moline, U.S.A., £20 7s. From Bournemouth, £20, with £5 for myself.
A Donor For Fifty-One Years
From Lozells, 7s. 6d. The donor writes:—
“I think it’s fifty-one years since I first sent to the Orphans; am now seventy-six. I have felt help and inspiration from the Reports year by year, and trust you may find the same divine support as dear Mr. Müller did in all the past, and you will, because God has promised.”
The mail of the 22nd brought us from London, Ontario, £30.—23rd. From Liverpool, £50 for Missions. This gift, from one who has long delighted in helping this part of the work, was a great refreshment to us; we had cried often to the Lord to grant us the joy of helping His beloved servants laboring in the gospel, and now we got this answer. From Corstorphine, 5s. The donor writes:—
“I trust the Homes are continuing to prosper. What a blessed and God-inspired venture of good Mr. Müller.”
The income for the week ending on the 24th was only £239 16s. 9d. “God is our refuge.”—25th. From Southport, £50.—27th. The legacy of the late Mr. G. M. £83 9s. 2d.
Mr. Wright’s First Year In Heaven
As I write this date (29th) thoughts of the loss this Institution sustained this day twelvemonth, in the departing to “be with Christ” of beloved Mr. Wright, will rush into my mind. To him it has been twelve months of unutterable joy and peace and blessing in the presence of his beloved Lord and of loved ones with Him. “They rest from their labors” (Rev. 14:13). I once heard him remark on the word they, “It implies fellowship in rest,” he said. To me it has been a twelvemonth of unnumbered mercies and lovingkindnesses, mingled with deep trials, and an increasing sense of my loss.
“With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustred with His love:
I’ll bless the hand that guided,
I’ll bless the heart that plann’d,
When throned where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.”
Yes, and by faith we do now “bless the hand that guided,” and “the heart that planned.”
By this mail we received from Salem, U.S.A., $250. The donor writes:—
“I knew dear Mr. Müller; he was in our place, and preached three times. My only living son, C——, was a wild young man, had horses in the races, etc. Mr. Müller promised to pray for his conversion, which he did. His prayers were gloriously answered, and my son went at once (in 1894) into Evangelistic work. The last time we were in Bristol was in 1895, and, in looking at the photo of C——, Mr. Müller said, ‘The dear boy, I have prayed for him many hundreds of times.’”
On the 31st there came from Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., and £20 for Orphans, with £2 10s. for Mr. Arnot, and £2 10s. for myself.
We received on February 6th, from C.-on-M., £100. This was from a new donor, who gave £5 on January 17th, and is now constrained to send this considerable amount, which came as a direct answer to prayer that the Lord would raise up new donors to this work; and He has raised up many. From Cheltenham, 10s. The donor writes:—
“It gives me great pleasure to send the enclosed, as a small token of gratitude for all the kind care that was taken of me during the fourteen and a half years I was at the dear old Home. I am still in my first situation; am now keeping house for my dear master. It is just seven years since I came here; I can truly say, ‘The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places.’ I am very happy, realizing day by day the wonderful love of God.”
Our need today (the 13th) is great. At our mid-day prayer meeting I mentioned that thus far the income was £49 14s. 6d. We cried very earnestly that the Lord would be pleased, ere the day was over, to send us help. At 4:20 I received a note from the Matron of No. 2, enclosing a cheque for £20 given by a gentleman and lady then staying in Clifton, who had gone over that House as visitors. Little did these friends think then how truly they were God’s servants, sent in answer to our prayers, nor did I tell them when sending them a receipt.—14th. The income for the week ending today was only £213 0s. 11d.
I received on the 17th, from India, from H. C. B., £50. 19th. From “E. L.,” £250. I do not even know the name of this kind donor: the Lord does, and He will not fail to reward her.—20th. Through the Editors of Echoes of Service, from New South Wales, £26 10s., “from sale of jewellery.” From Edinburgh, 10s. The donor writes:—
“I enclose 10s. for the benefit of the dear Orphan Houses, under whose sheltering roof I spent many years at No. 1. I used to delight in hearing you preach, and the memories of all the happy times I will ever cherish in my heart. I left in 1892.
“I am, dear Sir,
“One of your old Orphans of No. 1.”
There came to us on the 21st, on account of the legacy of the late C. W., Esq., £125. By sale of dental gold and jewellery, £20.—22nd. Legacy of the late Mrs. M. H. T., £100. Legacy of the late Mrs. E. O., £187 13s. 9d.—26th. From Watford, £25.—28th. From E. McN., £50.
We received on March 1st, from near Bingley, £40. The donor writes:—
“I enclose you cheque for £40, which, with £60 previously sent, makes a £100 in payment of an amount left in my Will in favor of Müller’s Orphanage.”
Thus this donor is led to help us now in our time of need, instead of leaving it to us in his Will. On the 3rd there came to us from Aldershot, £40, with £10 for myself.—5th. From Woodside, a gold ring set with a stone. The donor writes:—
“Please accept this ring. I have no money to send. I have been so blessed by God in reading Dr. Pierson’s Life of Mr. G. Müller; it has strengthened my faith, and filled me with a desire to glorify God, that I feel,
‘Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.’”
Donation From A Former Atheist Lecturer
We received on the 7th, from Staffordshire, £3. The donor writes:—
“It is £3 laid down at the feet of the living God on the anniversary of the day when a wicked atheist and lecturer on atheism versus Christianity, was in 1849 turned upside down into a Christian, on a small common where he sat down with the intention of committing suicide, when God in His wondrous love revealed Himself as an undeniable reality, without any human instrumentality, illuminating the utter folly of all atheism, so as to enable him to grasp salvation full and free, to believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Covenant from back to back, and afterwards to proclaim the gospel of a crucified, risen, and ascended Christ—Oh! the bliss of true, undefiled Christianity, its joys are more than tongue can utter.”
On the 8th, the legacy of the late A. C. P., Esq., £500, came to hand.—9th. By sale of dental gold and jewellery, £57 10s. 8d. The reader will observe what substantial help we get from gifts of this nature.—10th. From Rotherham, £5, from “one time a No. 4 boy.” Today we received the last lot of school desks promised on September 27th as a Centenary gift. This kind donor was not satisfied with sending 100, according to his promise, but sent in all 105; a real help to us are these in our class work. We praise our God, and thank our friend His servant.—12th. A lady who has had several of our girls, writes thus:—
“I must say that the training they receive from you makes them modest, industrious, and really anxious to do their best; and I thank you for the comfort you have thus given us.”
By this mail arrived from Drouin, Australia, £50 for Missions, £50 for the Orphans, £5 for Mr. Arnot, and £5 for myself. This gift from the Antipodes came at a time of great need for both objects, and cheered us not a little. 13th. From Dunedin, £50 for Missions with £100 for the Orphans. The donors write:—
“We have reached another milestone in our business transactions, and although the past year has not been without much to test our faith, yet we are assured that the resolve to apportion 25 percent of our income to His work, has met with the approval of our Father in Heaven, and we never regret it, though Satan sometimes tries to make us believe that it is not necessary. Changes may come, you have experienced them and so have we, but our God is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. To Him be all the glory.”
This gift also greatly refreshed our hearts.
We received on the 14th, on account of the legacy of the late Mrs. M. L. M. F., £500. The income for the week ending today was £1,397 16s. 8d. Oh, the blessedness of truly waiting upon God!—16th. From Bristol, £1, “In memory of the two beloved Directors.” This is the anniversary of the birth of beloved Mr. Wright, who, had he been spared to us here, would have been eighty years old today. From Bradninch, £2 2s., from an Orphan formerly here, “In memory of our beloved Mr. Wright’s birthday.” From a helper in the work, 10s., “In memory of dear Mr. Wright.” “In memoriam,” £2, “a thank-offering for the babe born this day eighty years.”
There came in on the 17th, from Bristol, 13s., with 6d. for Reports. This donor, a godly domestic servant, puts aside for the Orphans gifts she receives from friends of her master who stay at his house.—19th. Anonymously, from Richmond, Virginia, £5, “from the sister of a boy cared for, and who died in your school in the year 1878.”
The income, when we met at 2:00 for prayer today, was £16 13s. 10d. While we were at prayer a letter arrived from Australia, bringing £93 3s. 11d., being a legacy of £100 less expenses. Of this legacy we had no previous tidings whatever. How unlimited are the resources of our God! How little reason is there for unbelief to work!—20th. From West Croydon, £20.—21st. Our income for this week ending today has been £243 12s. 4d. Thus our God tests our faith that He may strengthen it.—23rd. From Market Drayton, £100. This proved an exceeding cheer to us—it was an answer to prayer in a special way. From Kidderminster, £20.
On the 27th, we received from London an Orphan bereft of both parents. Her mother dying in a hospital heard from a patient in the same ward what she, as a former Orphan of this Institution, owed to Mr. Müller, and asked that her little girl might be sent to the same Home, and the mother took part with the other relatives in signing documents the day before she died.—30th. From Sussex, £20. The donor writes:—
“I wish that some of the large sums given by some of the millionaires would enable you to swim softly the remainder of your earthly pilgrimage, but I can hear you saying, that we have a safer Bank whereon to rest, and the Head knows well when and how to test the faith of His servants.”
A Remarkable Deliverance
For many months past we have been passing through severe trials in consequence of the low state of the funds for the Orphans. Today, March 31st, the Lord gives us to see how abundant, and how varied are His resources, and that He has His servants ready to carry out His will at His own time. This morning the total income received was very small, but I received a letter from a solicitor in Bristol, saying that if I would call at his office, he would hand me a cheque for a considerable amount. I called, and he gave me a cheque for £1,600, the gift of a lady in London. Can the reader at all picture my feelings when I was handed this cheque? This is the largest donation sent to this Institution for several years, and afresh proves the power of our God to move on our behalf the hearts of the stewards of His wealth, without our writing to them or in any way making known to human ears our needs. Of our sore and pressing need the kind donor knew nothing. What a proof of the truth of words quoted from a donor in Sussex yesterday! Well may we sing:—
“How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
Whose love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end.”
We received on April 4th, from Lewisham, £50. From Ton Pentre, 10s. The donor writes:—
“Please accept this small sum from once an inmate of No. 1 Boys’ School. I hope you will forgive me for not sending before. I had begun to think of the lepers who returned not to give thanks to our Saviour after being healed.
Seventy Years—Over Twelve Thousand Orphans
There was sent us on the 6th, from readers of The Life of Faith, £27 5s. 11th. This day seventy years, Mr. Müller received the first Orphans into No. 6, Wilson Street. For thirteen years and two months the work was carried on in that street, until the New Orphan House No. 1, Ashley Down, was opened in June, 1849, when 118 Orphans were transferred to it. The number received up to May 26th of this year, was 12,206. What hath God wrought!
We received on the 17th, from the North of England, £6 for Missions, from a donor who writes:—
“I am a poor laborer. This last number of months I have been working overtime; I have been leaving my own house at 5:30 a.m., and home at 10 p.m., about four or five nights in the week, so I have saved £6. I have been praying to the Lord to guide me where to give this money. Yesterday morning Müller’s Homes was coming up before me in a way that I thought I should send this money to you, so my stewardship ends, except prayer, and yours begins.”
There was sent on the 19th, from the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter’s Equipment Fund,” £150. A gift to aid in the outfit of boys and girls when we send them out as apprentices, servants, or otherwise. From Redland, a donor writes:—
“I am sending you the enclosed cheque, value £8. It gives me great pleasure to know that the eternal God continues to bless and prosper the work. I know of nothing which gives me greater joy than to see the dear Orphans when taken out for their walk. Praying that every blessing may rest on you and your work.
“With kind regards,
On the 24th we received from Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., and £20 for the Orphans, with £2 10s. for Mr. Arnot, and £2 10s. for myself. I could not describe the joy that the reception of this gift gave us.
There came on May 8th, from Leominster, £25 10s. 11d. 9th. From Dunedin, £50, through the Editors of Echoes of Service. From Edgbaston, £250. This gift gave us much joy, as it came at a time of very great need, and in answer to many prayers.
We received on the 12th, from Kingstown, 15s. for Missions, and 15s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“Is the work difficult? Jesus directs thee. Is the path dangerous? Jesus protects thee; Fear not, and falter not; let the word cheer thee; All through the coming days, He will be near thee.”
These words did cheer me, and so I insert them in the hope that some reader may likewise be cheered.
There was sent on the 14th, from a helper in the work, £3. This is a day of exceedingly great trial of faith. On last Wednesday evening at our weekly prayer meeting of helpers, we asked the Lord for £1,500, and He has been pleased to send us £72 15s. 6d. Today the income is only £12 1s., yet He keeps us in perfect peace.
We received on the 15th, on account of the legacy of the late Miss H. M. H., £100.
On the 16th, we received through the Orphan Box at N.O. House No. 2, £2 10s., with Luke 12:24, “Consider the ravens, that they sow not, neither reap; which have no store-chamber, nor barn; and God feedeth them; of how much more value are ye than the birds!” Today a girl came to me to say farewell. She entered this Institution on August 26th, 1897, at eight years of age. The Spirit of God used the news of beloved Mr. Wright’s death to her conversion—she had been under conviction of sin before that. Now she leaves us as an accredited believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, to take a situation in Bristol.—17th. From readers of The Christian, £49 7s. 10d.—19th. From Kilcullen, Ireland, £10 for Missions, with £8 for the Orphans, and £1 for myself. From Kent, £500. The donor writes:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“Enclosed I am glad to be able to send you a gift toward the Orphan work, in which I hope you are having much cause for encouragement.
We had “much cause for encouragement” in the receipt of this gift; we had been crying to our faithful Friend to move His stewards to send us goodly sums—we had definitely named £500 in our petitions, for we were in great need of such help—see, dear reader, how good it is to “wait only upon God.” I did not write to this gentleman and tell him we were in great and pressing need— we told God only—and He bade His servant send this. The cheer such deliverances give can only be known by experience.
There was sent from Skipton, £29 9s. 9d., “the lion’s share of the proceeds of the sale of a diamond.”—21st. From Apiti, N.Z., a gold medal, and a gold ring set with a stone. The donor writes:—
“I am posting a gold medal and a ring to you. The Christian who desires to have treasure in heaven must let go all the useless baggage of the world. The less we store up here, the more will our heart yearn for the treasure laid up in the life beyond.”
We received on the 24th, from Landkey, £1. The donor writes:—
“May you ever realize that ‘the government shall be on His shoulder, who is called Wonderful!’ I sometimes think of the overwhelming weight of responsibility connected with the Orphanage, looking at it manward, and the need of prayer in these material days to believe that God is able.”
There was sent us on the 25th, from Ryde, £20.—26th. By sale of silver articles, £9 12s. 6d.
Review Of The Year’s Mercies
“Oh how great is Thy goodness which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!” Such was the outburst of praise and worship to which the Psalmist gave utterance, when he surveyed some proofs he had of the Lord’s goodness to him; and such language expresses the thoughts of my heart as I review Jehovah’s lovingkindness to us during the past year. At its beginning I said that the abundant way in which the Lord had shown forth His power to beloved Mr. Wright since Mr. Müller’s death, had strengthened our faith to take up the burden He had seen fit to lay upon us; and now it is my joy to tell out concerning His faithfulness ever since. The confidence reposed in Him has been verified to the full, and I can say to His praise with Joshua, that “not one thing hath failed of all the good things which Jehovah spake.”
When beloved Mr. Wright was called home, there were not a few who questioned whether the Orphan work could still be continued on the same lines. Looked at in the light of natural reason, at the beginning of this financial year, it seemed as if their doubts were well founded. The great men of God who had conducted the work for nearly seventy years were gone, and in their place was a man who is comparatively unknown, with no money, or property of any kind, with no rich patrons, and no influential committee behind him. Could the work then still be carried out on the same lines?
These are the not unreasonable questions of the natural mind, but faith looks at “the things that are not seen” viz., the resources of the almighty, eternal God, who has infinite power, and who condescends to listen to believing prayers put up in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Mr. Müller wrote in 1882 (see “Autobiography,” page 516):
“We grant that according to appearances all was dark, and that there was no natural prospect of help; but we knew God. We did not merely say we knew Him, but verily we did know Him. We did not merely say that we trusted in Him, but we did so in reality; and thus it has come that we have been helped, as it is written: ‘They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee’ (Psalm 9:10).”
The preceding pages, showing what God has done in this past year, give a conclusive answer to all unbelief’s questions.
It has been indeed a time of deep and prolonged exercise of faith, but all through it we have been proving His power to sustain us in continued trial, which has lasted until the close of the year.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when in Nebuchadnezzar’s fire, had as their companion the Son of God; and that fire took no effect on them save to burn their bands, and set them free to walk with their Lord—see Daniel iii. 24, 25; and when He caused us to walk through the fire, He walked with us. Again and again, when dark clouds hung over us, we strengthened our hearts in God by singing Cowper’s beautiful lines:—
“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace:
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.”
The total income for this year was £28,256 4s. 8d., leaving an adverse balance on the Orphans’ account of £251 19s. 3d. in consequence of the wording of a Will compelling us to invest the sum of £500 left us.
I praise Thy name, O Jesus, Lord,
Almighty Son of God;
The world’s Creator, by Thy word;
My Saviour, by Thy blood.
Thy wonders in the floods I see,
Thy throne is on the deep;
And I may sit and reign with Thee,
Let storms awake or sleep.
R. C. Chapman