May 26th, 1906—May 26th, 1907
“I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him.”—Psalm 41:15.
The path is rough, My child! but at thy side
Thy Father walks! then be not terrified,
For I am with thee; will thy foes command
To let thee freely pass; will take thy hand,
And through the throng, Lead safe along My child.
More Trials, With Some Remarkable Deliverances.
We began this year with nothing in hand for all our great needs for the Orphans; yea, with an adverse balance, and £30 3s. 11d. in hand for the other four objects. Mark now, dear reader, how the Lord dealt with us in His loving-kindness.
On May 28th we received from Clifton, £50. This was a great refreshment to our hearts, coming as it did in our deep need on this our first day.
The reader will see that for carrying on this work we had need to count on our Friend and Patron—our only Patron, the living God, from the first day: and how did He meet us? By fresh trials of faith. The 27th was Sunday, therefore there was no income—the 28th passed by, but not one penny was received for the first four objects; still our eye was towards Him, and on the 30th He sent us from Edinburgh, £40, with £110 for the Orphans. The donor of this £150 can have had little thought how her gift gladdened our hearts, coming as it did at a time of sorest need—of which we did not apprise her when acknowledging the gift, as that might have appeared as an appeal for further help.
There reached us on June 2nd, the legacy of the late Miss A. C, £770 12s. 11d. Thus within six days the Lord in His great goodness sent us this seasonable help. How blessed it is to trust in the living God! The income, for the week ending today, is £1,054 11s. 3fd. The reader will thus see that we do not wait on God in vain. He is the living God, and is worthy to be trusted.—7th. The legacy of the late Mrs. M. A. M. £112 7s. 4d. Anonymously, in a small box, £20 in gold.—14th. From Bristol, £25.—16th. The total income for all the objects of this work for the week ending today, is £155 2s. 4d.—Thus our God in His wisdom tests us as to whether or not we will trust Him.—19th. From Aberdeen, from a widow and her late husband, £35 for Missions, with £15 for Missions to Jews, and £150 for Orphans. Oh! how glad our hearts were made by this proof of our Lord’s care for this His work, and of His ability to help when and how He pleases.—22nd. Legacy of the late Mrs. S. A. B., £100.—27th. From Clayton Bridge, £25.
On July 2nd we received the legacy of the late Miss M. C, £100 for Missions, etc., with £100 for the Orphans. 3rd. Legacy of the late Mrs. E. McK., £100. From Northiam, Sussex, £10. The donor, who has sent twice annually for years, writes:—
“It is a small contribution to our Lord’s work in your hands, which work I daily have in mind morning and evening during prayer.”
From Trowbridge, a widow, whose children are with us, writes:—
“I enclose 10s. in grateful acknowledgment of your kindness to my dear children, and I am very thankful they are both keeping in good health and are quite happy.”
On the 5th we received from readers of the Christian Herald, £11 9s. 0d.—6th. From Treforest, £45 17s. 8d. 7th. From Torquay, £20, with £5 for Dr. Bergin and £5 for my own use.
We received on the 9th, from Wales, from an Orphan formerly, as a boy, under our care, £15. This young man, out of gratitude to God, and to Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright, who cared for him, when he could not care for himself, sends this gift. From Bulls, N.Z., £5, from a donor who writes:—
“I herewith enclose £5. A period of nearly eighteen years has elapsed since I left your care, and I am thankful that grace has been given me to remember the Lord’s kindness in my childhood’s years. Today, in this far-off land, He still is my Helper, and I have long since learned to know Jesus as my personal Saviour. The remembrance of my experience as a boy, under the care of the Lord, is a splendid antidote against doubts as to the truth of Scripture. When I consider that so much has been done in answer to prayer, it is an indisputable proof that there is reality in the things of God. I left your Homes about the end of October, 1888, after having been about eleven years under your care.
“Your brother in Christ,——.’
On the 11th, we received from Scotland, £100, with £5 for myself. This gift greatly cheered our hearts. It came from one who has for many years been a helper of this work; its timely arrival is worthy of note.—12th. From the late Miss E. E., £30.—16th. From Perry Barr, £25, with £1 for Dr. Bergin, and £1 for my own use. 17th. Today I bade good-bye to a lad of 14, who has been with us seven years and a half, and now goes forth a bright Christian lad. He was brought to Christ two years ago, through words spoken by one of the schoolmasters, and has given great joy since.—19th. From Perth, £40, from “Anonymous.”—24th. Legacy of the late Mr. J. H., £541 3s. 11d. From Liverpool, £50 for Missionaries.—25th. From Australia, £75.—28th. From “Anonymous,” £215. From Wiltshire, £1. The donor writes:—
“It is a thank-offering to Him, who is teaching me more and more that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Does the reader really believe this, that it is more blessed to be giver than receiver? The income for the week ending today is £1,092 7s. 8d. Again our gracious God has heard and answered our cries—praised be His holy name. 30th. From Brixton, £1 10s. The donor writes:—
“The lines on which the Orphanage is run are a great testimony that there is a God, and a God who hears and answers prayer.”
We received on August 1st, from Exmouth, £4, with 4d. for Report. This donor writes similarly:—
“I feel constrained to send you this. The Orphanage at Ashley Down is a unique thing, a monument of the fact that our God hears and answers prayer, a proof to the world and to God’s people that ‘God is.’ We intensely long and desire that for His sake the whole thing may continue its witness-bearing.”
We received on the 3rd, from Dundee, £50.—9th. From Bath, £25.—10th. Legacy of the late Miss McE., £1,004 10s. 11th. Once more our God gives us cause to praise Him—this week’s income is £1,345.
There came to us on the 14th, from Bedminster, £10. The donor says:—
“I have sold a small property lately, and feel I would like to send £10. I knelt and asked our Father if I should send it to Mr. Bergin for his work amongst the Orphans. Immediately the thought was given, ‘The Lord’s work.’ What a lift! Do we hinder the work sometimes by not sending when it is laid upon our hearts to do so, thinking our littles will not be missed, another time will do? It may be others like me did the same, so the deficiency arose, our gift lying idle.”
From Oldham we received 6s., with 3d. for Report. The writer says:—
“Some time ago I set aside 5 percent of my income for the Lord’s work, but in a time of embarrassment I paid my bills with it, and have set nothing aside since. But I have not gained by it, for a dishonest servant has robbed me of pounds. I take it as a warning from my heavenly Father, and this day restart the 5 percent which I enclose.”
We received on the 15th, from Bristol, £25 for Missions, etc., with £50 for Orphans, and £25 for myself. Thus the Lord supplied pressing need for the work and for my own use. Let me here say that, whether for carrying on God’s work, or for the supply of the needs of myself and family, I have found, since the year 1874, that there is no such blessed way as trusting the Lord alone.
There was sent us on the 16th, from Bristol, a ribbon for typewriter. I had spoken to our typist about getting one. The Lord knew even this small need, and thus sent it. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” From Worcester, £5. The donor writes:—
“I have been putting 1s. out of every £1 for the Lord, but have kept it by me, for when my apartments get empty I have borrowed from this purse. Now, having realized that I ought not to keep it for my own use, I send you a part, viz., £5. May the Lord keep you all in perfect peace as ‘men wondered at.’—Zech. 3:8.”
On the 18th, our balance in hand for the four objects—Schools, Bibles, Tracts, and Missionaries—is £4 4s. 11d. Think of our position, beloved reader, and see how only as we are upheld by the almighty power of God, can we go on without being overwhelmed.
We received on the 20th, from Kilcullen, £20 for Missions to China and India. Note, dear reader—On Saturday we looked at our small balance, and so did the Lord, and He moved His servant on that day to write a cheque for £20 for the many needs we were bringing before Him. We did not tell this kind friend that we had nothing in hand for China and India. “Oh, magnify Jehovah with me, and let us exalt His name together.”—22nd. From Portishead, £5 for Missions, etc., with £5 for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“I have been reading the Report with much interest. It has humbled me and lifted me up with praise. It is just a record of deliverances, according to Psalm 68:20, ‘God is unto us a God of deliverances’ (r.v.). What an education is the life of faith! Surely a man is great as he is brought into touch with the great God.”
There reached us on the 22nd, the legacy of the late F. C. B., Esq., £900. Today I had the great joy of a visit from a gentleman, now in the Civil Service in India, who thirty-six years ago was a schoolboy in No. 1 New Orphan House. He was sent out as an apprentice to a printer; he is now a Christian man, filling a responsible position as Superintendent of a printing press for the Government. He happened to meet here a boy who was saying farewell to me, and gave him words of counsel, telling him that thirty-six years ago he said good-bye to Mr. Müller.
The income for the week ending on the 24th was £1,127 16s. 9d. Praise the Lord with us, dear reader.—27th. From Clifton, £25. From Kensington, £20. The donor writes:—
“The usual annual donation of £10 does not seem to have been sent last year, and is now included.”
On the 28th, there came from Dublin, £171 3s., of which £10 was taken for free distribution of the Autobiography of Mr. Müller. This was the balance of the legacy of the late Mrs. E. C. S., concerning which beloved Mr. Müller, nine days before his death, made some remarks, which will be found on page 8. Now at length, after much prayer, during eight years and four months, we receive the remainder in a time of similar “trial of our faith and patience.”
On this day we received from Switzerland a gift of 150,000 picture postcards and 1400 pictures of Swiss scenery.
At the time of our mid-day prayer meeting on the 30th, the income for the day was £28 17s. 3d. Just before going into the meeting I received a bill for £93, needing immediate payment. After the prayer meeting the first letter I opened was as follows:—
“My dear Mr. Bergin,
“I am quite sure you need no words of mine to encourage you in the great work in which you and your helpers are engaged, for you know you have the Master’s blessing in your work. I often think what an answer to the skeptic is the manner in which your work is conducted; it so appeals to the living family of God. What a proof of His interest in the wants of His own. May He grant you and your helpers very much of His presence. I enclose £100 for the work, and £25 for yourself.
“Yours in hope.”
Note, dear reader, how the Lord made these two to meet together on my table within the same hour. We had on the previous day specially named to the Lord donors who could send us sums such as £100. Verily we do not wait on God in vain.
We received on September 1st, from Manchester, £20, with the following letter:—
“I have again the great pleasure of sending £20, as I was privileged to do last August. God used Mr. Müller to open my eyes about the scriptural use of money. I at once responded to my new-found position of a steward, and God has continued to enlarge my resources, as He says: ‘Honor the Lord with thy substance, so shall thy barns be filled with plenty.’ I could never have expected to be able to send £20 at one gift, but this is the second time, besides the joy of giving in many other directions. May God sustain and enrich you, dear brother. You are not only feeding Orphans, etc., you are greatly delivering the saints from the bondage of the ways of the world. I am a schoolmaster in a Church of England school.
“Yours very joyfully in fellowship.”
This interesting letter shows how good it is to promptly carry out any truth which the Lord teaches us; and reveals the blessing that comes from recognizing our stewardship, not ownership, of that with which the Lord entrusts us.
In connection with this donor’s remarks, I here give some deeply important words of Mr. Müller.
Mr. Müller’s Advice On Systematic Giving
“Do all the Christian readers systematically put aside for the poor, or for the Lord’s work, as He is pleased to prosper them? If not, they rob themselves of great temporal blessings, of great spiritual enjoyment, and, above all, of the great privilege of aiding the poor, and contributing to the work of the Lord in a degree in which, without it, they cannot do. Oh, that all children of God would give heed to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 16:2: ‘Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him’!
“The result of this would be, that, if done, as constrained by the love of Christ, the Lord would not only repay what they have given, but, generally speaking, would give them far more than they have given, making them stewards over more, and peace and joy in God would increase more and more. I have acted according to these principles now sixty-eight years, and I cannot describe the most abundant blessing I have received, both temporally and spiritually.
“One or other of the readers may ask, And how much shall I lay in store? No rule can be laid down. It is left to us to act according to the measure of knowledge and grace we have. It may be the tenth part, the eighth part, the fifth part, the third part, one half, or even more. But if even Jacob, with the first dawning of spiritual light (Genesis 27:22), promised to God the tenth of all He should give to him, how much ought we believers in the Lord Jesus to do for Him? We, whose calling is a heavenly one, and who know distinctly that we are children of God and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus! Yet do all the children of God give even the tenth part of what the Lord gives them? That would be two shillings per week for the brother who earns £1, and 4s. to him who earns £2, and £2 per week to him whose income is £20 per week. But whatever proportion of our property we give, though it were only the twentieth, we should faithfully attend to it, under all circumstances; for only thus are we warranted to expect blessing. Many begin to act in this way; but when trying weeks come they cease to act thus, and therefore lose the blessing which they would have received had they persevered.”
We received on the 3rd, from Glasgow, £6 for Missions, etc., with £6 for Orphans, and £3 for myself. The donor writes:—
“Thank you for sending me the twelve Reports; as far as I have gone, I am delighted. Many things in it interest me—the supply of school desks—the bananas on beloved Mr. Müller’s birthday—these are specimens. I don’t read it all at once, and throw it aside, as with most Reports. I like to read a few pages now and then. I find it has such a power through the Holy Spirit to quicken spiritual life, and strengthen faith.”
From New Brighton, £1 for Missions, from a donor who writes:—
“I found your Report very interesting, and after personally enjoying its contents, I posted it with a letter to a Christian friend. It is about sixty-two years since I picked up a pamphlet. ‘The Lord’s Dealings with George Müller,’ at a secondhand bookstall in Liverpool. I then sent my first subscription, 1s., the result of three days’ self-denial! I am now seventy-three, and during all those years ‘God’s providence has been mine inheritance.’”
This mail brought us from Heidelberg, Transvaal, £7. The donor writes:—
“I meant to have sent this money to the Mission Field, but I now feel convinced that our Lord wants me to send it to you.” We know why he was so convinced, for
“Prayer moves the hand that moves the world,
To bring deliverance down.”
We received on the 4th, from Clifton, 8s. 1d., from a widow, who writes:—
“I am sending you a small sum from myself and friends, in grateful thanks for all the care and love that my dear children have had shown toward them since they have been in your Home, four years now.”
There came in on the 7th, by sale of Swiss postcards, £15 19s. 1d.—8th. From Mundesley, £2 10s., with the following words:—
“I am reading with real delight the Autobiography of dear Mr. Müller, and find it most encouraging to faith and prayer; how blessed the life of dependence upon God!”
From Knightsbridge, 12s., and 3d. for Report, “with heartfelt thanks for training my dear little men. I was so delighted to see them last Bank Holiday.”
By the mail of the 10th there arrived, from Germiston, Transvaal, £25.
A Strange Answer To Prayer
There came from St. Leonards, on the 13th, £1, with the following interesting letter:—
“In August I posted a Postal Order for £1. The addressee, however, affirmed that he never received it. Last Thursday I was reading some jottings in The Witness, re the Homes, and was very much impressed with the ‘Debt Recovery’ notes. I told the Lord about my Postal Order, that if He recovered it, I would send it to Mr. Müller’s Homes. On Monday afternoon the man to whom I had sent the Postal Order came into the office to see me privately. He slipped a sovereign into my hands, and, with trembhng knees, and flushed face, implored me not to utter a word until after a certain date, when he would be clear of the town. Apart from an answer to prayer, I am still puzzled to know why the man brought me the sovereign. Surely this is the Lord’s doing.”
On the 17th we received from Uxbridge, 10s. for Missions, etc., with £1 10s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“I have for the first time seen your annual Report. Such a work is, I am sure, an unmistakable proof that God is willing in this twentieth century to honor the faith of those who honor Him.”
There came to us on the 18th from Upton Park, £1, from a former Orphan, who writes:—
“Since writing you last year I have been permitted to take up the work of a Deaconess. It has been the desire of my life ever since my conversion many years ago at Bristol. The influence of No. 5 Orphan House, Ashley Down, Bristol, has, I believe, by God’s grace, coloured my life, and will always remain.”
We received on the 21st, from Aldershot, £25, with £5 for myself.—25th. From Sussex, £60 for Missionaries, with £60 for the Orphans. This answer to many prayers came at a time of sore need, and was a great cheer to us. From a former Orphan and her husband, £14 10s., with £2 for myself.
On the 27th there came from Dulwich, 5s., with the following:—
“I shall never forget all the goodness and great kindness which was done for me in the dear old Home. It is so pleasant to look back and dwell upon the thoughts of my happy childhood’s days, not only to me but to hundreds of others. It is now thirteen years since I left, but the memory of those happy times is still with me.”
Thanksgiving Meetings On Mr. Müller’s Birthday
On September 27th we had meetings for thanksgiving and prayer, it being beloved Mr. Müller’s birthday one hundred and one years ago. A large number of former residents in these Homes, “old Orphans,” as they love to call themselves, met in the afternoon and evening; to these were added many loving sympathizers with this work of God, from Bristol and the neighborhood, and some from a distance. It was a delightful sight to see old friends, who had not met for years, greeting one another. We enjoyed blessed seasons of praising our God for His mercies in the past, and crying to Him for His blessing on all the future of the work.
It greatly moved my heart to see our brother Senington, grown grey in Mission work in Spain—our brother Arnot, after all his experience, then returning to Central Africa, and our young brother, Alfred Jenkins—a former boy of N.O. House No. 1—about to set out for South America, to labor as a Missionary in that “neglected continent.”
Also on that day the Memoir of Mr. Wright was published. Dr. Pierson, the author, says it was a fragrant life—yes, indeed it was. While many have written to me of the blessing the perusal of this Memoir has been to them, it necessarily comes far short of giving the reader an adequate idea of what the subject of it was. His was not a life that lent itself to a biographer. He loved to keep in the background. But the full record of his holy, useful life is written in heaven.
We received on October 4th, from Leamington, £20. The trial of faith continues to be very great. The income for the week ending yesterday was £231 9s. 3d. When we met at our prayer meeting we afresh proved the peace of God as “guarding our hearts and our thoughts.” We thanked the Lord for £29 0s. 1d.; we also thanked Him for help which was on the way to us, so assured were we that He was hearing our cry. Within an hour £20 came from Bath, which proved a great refreshment to our hearts, and it was a matter of no little cheer that we were helped to thank Him for that which we were assured was coming.—10th. From Dundonald, 5s., with 1s. for Reports. The donor writes:—
“I wish it were £5; the 1s. is for Report, one could not read it without being moved to tears. I have only one child. This tiny gift is a yearly thank-offering to the Lord for preserving her year by year, and for sparing us to her, so that she is not an Orphan. Others might do this, and no doubt many do. Small gifts seem hardly worth sending, and one may be tempted not to send it, but many smalls make a great.”
The income for the week ending this evening is £183 4s. 11d., which is only a little more than enough for two days’ expenses. Yet, blessed be His name! He garrisons our hearts with His peace. I would here mention, to His praise, that on this day week He permitted me to give an address on this very subject at the Clifton Conference. I spoke out of a full heart, when passing through very deep and prolonged trials, and He has graciously deigned to bless the words when spoken, and subsequently published in booklet form. To Him be all the praise!—15th. From Clydach, £40, with £10 for myself. The donor little knew what a cheer this gift was to us, and how it supplied a pressing need.
On the 16th, I received from Drouin, Australia, a letter from a Christian gentleman, who has long been a helper of this work, in which he says:—
“I have instructed the Colonial Bank, Melbourne, to forward to you by the outgoing mail the sum of £110, which you will please appropriate £100 at your discretion to Orphan and Mission work, £5 for yourself, and £5 to your son. I was much pleased with the extract of dear Mr. Müller’s address which you enclosed in your last. I felt it was just adapted to my condition.”
There came from Scotland £100, with £5 for myself. These large gifts, from various parts of the world, coming in answer to many prayers, greatly refreshed our hearts, and caused much praise to flow forth. From Sheffield, £1 10s., with 1s. for Reports. This donor writes:—
“Some years ago I began to send 13s. a year, but in 1902 my husband had to go in hospital with diseased hip, and it is only a few months since he got in regular work again, so I could not keep up my subscription. But I said if ever I was able I would make it up, so this, and the 30s. I sent in September last, will make £3; the amount for the four years would be £2 12s., and 8s. I thought would do for interest. I have earned it myself by washing and ironing.”
What an object lesson on giving!
We received on the 17th, from readers of The Christian, £24 8s. 3d.—24th. On account of the legacy of the late Miss H. M. H., £300.—25th. From the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £150. From Bideford, £30, for the support of two Orphan boys in whom the donor takes a prayerful interest.
On the 26th there came to us from H. S. H., £100, with £1 for myself. From a gentleman who is treasurer of another Orphanage, £20. When this gentleman handed me that gift, as he was leaving, after an interested and interesting conversation about the work, he had no idea of the deep need at that moment pressing on me, and of the joy his gift gave to me, or the praise to God that it called forth. Seeing this gentleman’s interests are naturally mostly in the Orphanage with which he is connected, one could not but see the hand of God in moving him to give £20 for this Orphanage.
There came in on the 27th, from Norwich, a gold watch-chain and bracelet. The donor writes:—
“I am sending a gold watch-chain and bracelet. For some time past I have not worn them, as a Christian I knew I could not wear them without bringing dishonor to my Lord, and I have been much exercised of late as to what I should do with them. I am a nurse, and poor in this world’s things, and although I have for long wished to devote these things to the work of the Lord, I had a fear that a time might come when I should be glad to sell them for my own needs. I have prayed to be guided as to what I should do with them, and I have been most unmistakably led to send them to you for the benefit of the dear Orphans.
‘Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small,
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all.’”
The income for the week ending today, for all the objects, is £749 2s. 5d., so we do not wait on God without result.
On November 1st we received from Bristol, £50. From Bruckless, £1. The donor writes:—
“I have received much blessing in reading the ‘Autobiography of Mr. Müller.’ From the time I first commenced reading it my life is indeed changed.”
The mail of the 3rd brought us from Onehunga, N.Z., £4 10s., with £1, 10s., and 5s., from members of the family. The sender writes:—
“You will never know how much your trials, and triumphs of faith are used of God for strengthening His weaker ones, until Jesus comes.”
On the 8th, the legacy of the late Mr. T. R. J., £1,312 3s. 5d., was paid. After our long time of waiting, this deliverance caused many thanksgivings to God.—9th. From Port Talbot, £4 10s. for Missions, etc., with £4 10s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“The Lord has deeply interested me by reading your Report, and has opened my eyes to the privilege which is mine in having fellowship with you in the work. ‘Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver’ (2 Cor. 9:7).” Note, dear reader, four directions regarding giving, contained in this inspired word, thus quoted by this friend: (1) There is the purpose of heart; this surely implies calm thought in the presence of Him to whom the gift is made. (2) Not grudgingly; wishing it might have been less. (3) Not of necessity; that is, not constrained either by an appeal that you cannot refuse, or by wanting to appear to do as well as your neighbor. (4) With cheerfulness; that is, given with such a joyful countenance or word that the recipient is also made glad.
We received on the 10th, from near Pembroke, £1. The donor writes:—
“I wish I had ten thousand pounds to give. You have trusted us with three of your boys, and they are sent out with good outfits, and well trained and taught to serve the Lord. They do you all great credit. The Reports of Mr.
Müller’s you gave the first boy we had, strengthened my faith, that I could not rest till I had seen your Homes; the sight I shall never forget—to see the dear children from babies upwards, and everything in order. I fail to find words to express myself.”
The income for the week ending today is £1,509 3s. 10d. Join with us, dear reader, in praise to our faithful covenant-keeping God.
There came on the 12th, from Norfolk, £25 for Schools in Italy. The donor writes:—
“We send you the enclosed cheque, the result of the sale of an old stamp book, with the request you would devote it to Italy. We see in the Report you have it on your heart to open more Schools; while wishing it, if possible, to go to Spinetta, we do not wish to tie your hands, as you may know other places more needy.”
This gift was to me an indication from the Lord that I should at once do what was on my heart to do, viz., employ as teacher, in the Spinetta Asilo (Infant School), one of our former Pupil Teachers, now a qualified Mistress, who was herself asking the Lord for employment.
On the 13th there called upon me a widow, living in a cottage not far from this, and gave me £30, which she said she wished to give to Jesus Christ on her seventy-second birthday. The present income of this dear child of God is derived from occasional letting of lodgings in her cottage, and selling ginger beer and lemonade to passers-by. Her joy in giving this was great, as was mine in receiving from such a source, verifying the truth of the words that “Omni- potence hath His servants everywhere.” From Kilmarnock, £1 1s. 6d. The donors write:—
“The Lord has laid you and your large family very much upon our hearts during the past few months. God answers prayer.
‘Oh to trust Him then more fully.
Just to simply move In the conscious,
calm enjoyment of the Father’s love.’”
The first post today (the 14th) brings me eight donations, amounting in all to £11 7s. Think of this, dear reader, with over 1,900 children to feed! The same mail brings me four applications for the admission of Orphans, two applications for the supply of Bibles, and one for the supply of tracts. Our unfailing resource is the living God, and we are kept in peace by His power.—19th. From Wallingford, 512 shares in South African securities.—22nd. From Patutahi, N.Z., £6. The donor writes:—
“I have of late been reading through Mr. Müller’s book. I have been encouraged to go to God in prayer, and rely more upon Him for guidance and help. Your work has been such a noble testimony to the Church, and also to an unbelieving world, that God is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.”
We received on the 26th, from Norwich, £25.—27th. From Taunton, £50.—29th. From Edinburgh, £6 2s. 3d. for Missions in Spain, £5 for Missions in Persia, and £13 17s. 9d. for the support of an Orphan for one year.
On December 3rd, the legacy of the late Miss M. A. D., £90, reached us. From Hampshire, a gilt cup. The donor wrote: “This ought to realize a good sum of money.” (See remarks under Dec. 10th.)—6th. Last evening at our prayer meeting, in telling the Lord of our great and pressing need just now, we asked Him to send us large sums speedily. The income today, up to 12:30, when we met for prayer, was £7 17s. 9d. We told Him we believed that this was His ordering for us, and asked Him to help us, that faith should not fail. On returning to my room the first letter I opened contained a cheque for £20 from Scotland. The kind donor of this little knew the cheer she was preparing for me, when she wrote that cheque the day before. Thus in one moment the income up to that time was nearly trebled.
We received on the 7th, from Redland, £20 7s. From Aldershot, £50, with £5 for myself.—8th. From Harrogate, £50.
There came to us on the 10th, by sale of the gilt cup received on the 3rd, £130. On the 6th I offered this cup for sale to a firm of jewellers, who paid me on the 7th this price for it. Thinking possibly that had the donor known its full value she would not have wished all to come to this work, and desiring that her gift should be according to God’s fourfold rule, “Let each one give according as he purposeth in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7), I wrote her as follows:—
“Referring again to my acknowledgment of the 3rd inst., of your kind gift of a gilt cup, and telling you, in reply to a remark in your letter, that I would seek to get the best price for it; I am happy to tell you that I have today sold it for £130. Remembering that beloved Mr. Müller, in beginning the Orphan work had ever the glory of God in view, and sought that every detail of it should be carried out in such wise that God should be glorified, and feeling that you may not have known its full value, and may not have intended to benefit this Institution to such an amount, I therefore, prior to placing the money to its funds, write to inform you of the above fact, and shall wait to hear from you as to what your wish is. I enclose stamped envelope for reply.”
Today I received the following reply:—
“Dear Mr. Bergin,
“I am so glad you have got such a good sum for the gilt cup. It is more than I expected, but I feel sure the Lord has ordered it so for the benefit of the Institution, which has been so signally owned and blessed of God. With sincere thanks,
“Yours in His service,——.”
This was most cheering help to us in a time of need, as were also the next gifts. From Torquay, £20, with £2 10s. for Dr. Bergin and £2 10s. for myself.—11th. From Burnham, £40.—12th. From Bristol, £25 for Missions, etc., with £25 for the Orphans. Thus again, in a time of great need for both objects, the living God sends to our help in answer to believing prayer.
On the 14th, the legacy of the late Rev. J. M., £100, was paid.—15th. The legacy of the late Mrs. A. M., £100. 17th. Legacy of the late Mrs. S. C. H., £100. From Mafeking, £1. The donor writes:—
“Please accept this £1 for the children. I got it given to me as a birthday gift. After reading the account about the dear children in The Witness, I could not spend it upon myself. The Lord has left my father and mother with me. I have always had enough to eat and wear, and more than that, He has saved my soul from hell.”
There came to us on the 19th, by sale of South African Mining Shares, £66 5s. From Sussex, £20.—20th. From Newport, Fife, £25.—21st. From Belfast, £2 10s for “a laborer in the gospel in heathen lands,” and £2 10s. for the “Orphan Fund.” The sender writes:—
“Since I wrote in September, I received and read Mr. Müller’s life; my soul has been enriched by its perusal. Up till then the principles under which he lived, and upon which the Homes were founded and sustained, were altogether unknown to me. I have been greatly helped in seeing how, in Mr. Müller’s long life, God always honored His servant. Before I was married, and for a short time afterwards, I gave a tenth of all I received, but as my household expenses grew larger with an increasing family, I found that while my income was getting somewhat larger each year, my contributions were not; I believe this was not to God’s glory. I intend that in future, by His grace, circumstances shall not be allowed to crush out first things. The 5s. I sent last year was the first money I sent your way. I now enclose £5.”
Many thousands have been led by Mr. Müller’s example and writings to see the privilege, as well as the duty, of systematically and regularly giving to the Lord’s work in proportion to the amount of their income. Not a few of these are now “ with Christ” Is it likely that now they regret that, when on earth, they obeyed the Lord’s command, and laid up for themselves “treasures in heaven”? Many, on the other hand, in the day of the Lord will mourn over their failure to obey that command. We need to remember that while salvation is all of grace, rewards will be according to our works. (See 1 Cor. 3:8; Rev. 22:12.)
On the 22nd we received from a Bristol firm, 80 quarter boxes of valencias, 20 cases of oranges, and 10 boxes of figs.—24th. From Cilcennin, Glam., 5s. The donor of this writes:—
“I feel I ought to acknowledge the help and blessing I have many times received through the perusal of your Reports, particularly in the matter of proportionate and systematic giving to the Lord’s work. 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.”
Increase Versus Poverty
There reached us on the 26th, on account of the legacy of the late W. K., Esq., £250.—27th. From Newcastle-on-Tyne, £2 2s., with Prov. 11:24, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” Who can possibly estimate the far-reaching results the Spirit of God foretells here of “increase” on the one hand, and of “poverty” on the other? If we limit these terms to earthly riches or poverty, we shall surely miss the blessed lesson; rather let us look at increase of heavenly blessing, and poverty of soul as the far more important results. From “Mother,” £31 10s.
On the 29th, I received from Nottingham a letter, from a lad who is apprenticed to a chemist; he says:—
“Many thanks for the ‘Daily Light Almanack’ you so very kindly sent me. I will try to learn the texts in the morning when I get up. I often think of the splendid time I had in the Home. As I look back on my schooldays, just left behind me, I think they were the jolliest days of my life. I have joined a Sunday-School class, and go every Sunday.”
There came to us from Guernsey, 10s. for Missions, with 10s. for the Orphans. The donor writes:—
“When I meet some one talking about new doctrines of Christian Science, and others, I like to think upon the great work of the Lord at Ashley Down, and I feel sure that any one who has been, with the Lord’s help, interested in your work, will not be easily shaken by these modern doctrines.”
We received from “an elderly Orphan,” £50. From Australia, £300 for the Orphans, with £140 for Schools, Bibles, Tracts, and Missions. These gifts, £50 and £440, came to us as very special answers to many prayers; we had been entreating the Lord to send us help ere the close of this year. Our needs were great. The donor of the £440 wrote as follows:—
“I get weaker and weaker as the days roll on, suffering also from various maladies, but still linger on in a very happy state of mind spiritually. It is now a great pleasure to me that our Heavenly Father has unexpectedly allowed me satisfactorily to dispose of the property on which I have been residing for about nine years past, for £450, which it is my privilege to herewith forward to you. Please apportion it at your discretion, but take, as on previous occasions, £5 therefrom for yourself, and £5 for Dr. Bergin.”
Mark, dear reader, firstly, this donor, a frequent helper, by considerable sums of £100, is now made to desire to help this work to a larger extent by the sale of his property. Secondly, at this time of our extreme need, a suitable purchaser is found, better than our friend expected. Thirdly, the payment is promptly made to him. Fourthly, our friend does not delay in sending, and so we are helped in our time of sore need. “O magnify the Lord with me, and let its exalt His name together.” On January 12th I received a letter from this servant of Christ, in which he wrote:—
“I am in very feeble condition: it is difficult to write.”
Eighteen days after writing that letter to me he departed to be with Christ.
The total income for the past week was £1,076 0s. 4d. Truly we do not wait only on God to no purpose.
On the 31st, we received from Ross, a gold chain. The donor writes:—
“For some time past I have thought it unbecoming of Christians to wear gold, so I send my gold chain, that it may be disposed of, and the money used for the benefit of the Orphans. I think that 1 Tim. 2:9 may apply to men as well as to women, and our deportment should be as becometh those professing godliness.”
Review Of Mercies And Trials
This year, 1906, has closed full of mercies and trials of faith. During it the donations for all the work have been £27,566 8s. 1d. Think of this, dear reader—I, a poor man, without wealthy friends, without influence, without human patrons, and my fellow-workers, prayed to God only, and God, the living God, has, for the sake of His beloved Son, heard our feeble, unworthy cries, and sent us this large amount. Yet such is the demand in this great work that we begin the year with nothing in hand. However, in view of the past, we say with the Psalmist, “The Lord hath been mindful of us,” and, with calm confidence in His faithfulness, add with regard to the future, “He will bless us.”
January 1st. We began this year with nothing in hand for our many needs, and on this day the Lord showed forth His power on our behalf, and His love towards us, by sending us from Westbourne Park, £25 for Missions, £10 for Schools, £30 for the Orphans, £5 for Dr. Bergin, and £5 for myself. From “Needy,” £15 for Missions, etc., with £15 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself, with £5 from “Needy, Junr.”
How clearly these gifts exhibit the power of the Lord to help those who trust in Him. Our souls exclaim with the Psalmist, “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!”
The total income for today is £473 18s. 0d. Has not the Lord given us good proof that He means, through this year also, to be our Helper?
We received on the 2nd, from Werneth, £100. From Kendal, £20. From readers of The Christian Herald, £9 8s. 3rd. From further sale of South African Mine Shares, £16 17s.—4th. From a former Orphan, £10. He writes:—
“I left the dear Homes twenty-one years ago. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us abundantly. I cannot refrain from sending you my usual cheque for such goodness bestowed upon us; words cannot express our thankfulness. He alone knows the joy we have in the privilege of showing it in a practical way.”
We received from Norwood, £10 for Missions, Bibles and Tracts, £15 for the Orphans, £5 for Dr. Bergin, and £5 for myself. This is from a donor who has helped this work for many years.—5th. Legacy of the late Mr. E. P., £200. This legacy was not left duty free, but the Executors very kindly paid it to us in full, of their own free will—thus saving £20 for this Institution.—7th. From Brondesbury, £25. From Bristol, £1. The donor writes:—
“I feel constrained to send 20s. as a little thank-offering while I think of the following group of mercies in my history last month and this. The 5th December last, forty-seven years ago, I left the Orphan House a Christian. On the 22nd December last, forty years ago, I was married, and have had all that time a happy married life. Today is the sixty-first anniversary of my birth, and I have excellent health, and have had nearly all that time.”
The income for the week ending on the 9th has been £972 10s. 0d.
A Remarkable Fortnight
During the past fortnight, when riding in the tram car to Ashley Down daily, my attention was attracted by an appeal placed in the cars, on behalf of a local medical charity, for £2,500. I pointed it out to my son, remarking that this was about what we needed, and that the Lord could give us that sum without any public appeal, and we besought Him to do so both in private and in our prayer meetings, and it is worthy of mention here that during the fortnight ending yesterday (9th), while these appeals were facing us, He gave us £2,570 7s. 5d. It is needless to say that at our prayer meeting last evening praise ascended to our faithful God and Father. Skepticism may sneer, and unbelief may refuse credence, but we joyfully continue our happy testimony, so long borne by those beloved men of God, Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright, that the living God still hears and answers the prayers of His people, just as much as He did in the days of Abraham and Daniel, or of the Syrophenician woman, and Peter and John.
We received on the 11th, from Bristol, £25, with £5 for Miss Withy, and £5 for myself.—12th. From Stromness, 10s. The donor writes:—
“I send this small offering with heartfelt gratitude, through reading the life of George Müller, and your last Report, and seeing by it that the same God hears and answers prayer at this present day just as truly as in the days of Israel.”
There came on the 15th, from Chester, £5. The donor writes:—
“Please accept £5 for the kindness I received under your fatherly care. May God bless you in your great undertaking.
“Your affectionate Orphan,——.”
On the 16th, we received from Chippenham, £1 5s. The writer says:—
“Your Orphan Homes have helped me much. I was hauling furniture up Ashley Down, and everything seemed to be going wrong that day, my mind very skeptical. But I came near your Orphan Homes, and I asked a lad what those buildings were, and upon receiving his reply that they were Müller’s Orphanage, my skepticism vanished.”
There reached us on the 17th, the legacy of the late Mrs. M. L. M. F., £649 3s. 6d. The receipt of this amount greatly cheered us, and supplied pressing needs.
On the 22nd, we received from Christian friends at Kendal, £28 1s. 3d. For very many years a like gift has come from these kind friends. From Shanghai, 10 taels=£1 10s. 10d. The donor writes:—
“It is always a source of blessing to our Chinese Christian brethren and sisters to tell them incidents of the Lord’s workings in connection with the Orphanages.”
There came from Oldham, 2s. for Reports. The writer says:—
“Kindly send Reports for my Sunday-school class. The life of Mr. Müller has proved a greater blessing to me than anything, excepting the Bible itself, and I want others to know how God is fulfilling His promises to them that trust in Him.”
On the 23rd we received from Limehouse, 5s. The sender writes:—
“My mother sent you a day or so after Christmas 5s. She is an old Orphan, left about 1847, and was soundly converted to God whilst in the Homes. She is now a widow, and in very poor health, and the more her infirmities increase, the more drawn she is to the old associations. She asked me this morning to send you another 5s.”
From Bournemouth, £20, with £5 for my own use. There came to us on the 25th, from Liverpool, £50 for Missions. This gift gladdened our hearts, arriving, as it did, when we had nothing in hand for this object, and in answer to many cries to God. It was sent immediately to servants of Christ in Central Africa.—26th. The income for the month ending this day has been £3,913 0s. 11d. Dear reader, join with us in praising our God for His bounty, and let us together learn afresh, the while we worship, that “with God all things are possible.”
We received on the 29th, from London, £11. The donor, a former Orphan, writes:—
“Please accept two £5 notes and £1, my gift for the dear Orphans. I want you to receive it on the anniversary of dear Mr. Wright’s death. I cannot tell you how I look forward to the yearly Report, I find so much comfort from reading it. I have bought the Autobiography of dear Mr. Müller, and Mr. Wright’s life. I have spent many pleasant hours reading them, and shall lend them to my friends.”
There came on the 31st, from Scotland, £100, with £5 for myself. This gift of a donor, who has often helped Mr. Müller and Mr. Wright in times of sore need, came to us in such a time now, and greatly strengthened our hands in God, to trust Him in the darkest hours and severest trials of faith.
From Kendal, £17 and £20. From “Hannah,” Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again,” £1. This donor is satisfied with the security offered. Are you, dear reader?
The total income for yesterday was £38 2s. 5d., and today, February 2nd, is £23 2s. 11d. How we need in such circumstances to cling to our God, the living God, who “cannot deny Himself.”—4th. The income for yesterday (Sunday) and today is £15 7s. 9d. Our trial of faith is severe. The total income on the 8th was £8 1s. 6d. Our faith and patience are being again sorely tried, yet the Lord sustains, we are having a fulfillment of the words: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
On the 9th, we received from Mundesley, £25.—11th. From Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5s. The donor writes:—
“I received lately one of your booklets, The Peace of God Garrisoning the Heart, in which you mentioned that you tried to place your girls where there was family prayer morning and evening, which suggested to me to commence morning prayers. We have always had evening prayers, but my wife being an invalid, morning prayers have seemed impossible. However, God has blessed the attempt. I have pleasure in enclosing a small donation as a thank-offering for your suggestion.”
This blessed and time-honored custom is being so sadly neglected, that I insert this letter with the earnest hope that others also may follow this good example.
There came to us on the 12th, from Colchester, £1. The donor writes:—
“Our hearts were deeply stirred by our visit to the Homes, and though we have often read the Reports and heard about the work, we were simply filled with wonderment at the greatness of the work, and the good hand of our God.”
We received on the 14th, from Treforest, £71 5s.—15th. From Dunedin, N.Z., £50 for Missions. From Devonport, N.Z., £10 for Bibles, Schools and Missions, and £10 for Orphans. The donor writes:—
“The happy privilege has been given me of sending you £20. I thank you for the Report received. These Reports have been to me for many years a real spiritual tonic and stimulant.”
On the 16th, we received from Tayport, £14, with £7 for myself.
Words Of Mr. Wright’s, Written Twenty-Eight Years Ago
Yesterday a manuscript note was found amongst beloved Mr. Wright’s papers, dated June 2nd, 1878. It is as follows:—
“The Scriptural Knowledge Institution has been carried on for forty-four years and three months, on the principle of not making known its wants (pecuniary) to man, but to God only, in believing prayer. This principle appears now to be on its trial. There is nothing in hand for the first four objects, and the balance in hand for the Orphans is lower than it has been since July, 1874; Mr. Müller is away, and cannot be here until the 7th or 8th of July! I may adopt the words, ‘We have the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead!’ If the principle on which the work has so long been carried on is a scriptural one, as I believe it is, it will answer in the hands of any servant of God, to whom He gives grace, to trust Him, as in those of Mr. Müller. I am purposed, therefore, by His help, seeing He has put me in this position, to go on, trusting in Him alone. ‘Our God is able to deliver, and He will deliver’—so I believe and expect—’but if not,’ Dan. 3:17, 18, I will not, by His help, look anywhere else for deliverance, but leave myself in His hands. I am not my own, but His, let Him do with me as seemeth Him good.—June 3rd. This day is announced the decease of Mr. H. of W——, who frequently sent £100.
Another ‘brook’ dried up, but the ‘Fountain’ remains! I am not cast down. I hope in God, and believe that I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”
At a time of sore trial of faith this came, as a message sent by the Lord, to cheer me and strengthen my confidence in God, and the purpose of Mr.Wright then, is now, by God’s grace, my purpose—to wait only upon God, the living God.
If the reader will turn to the Autobiography of George Müller, page 504, he will see that during the three months after this time of trial referred to by Mr. Wright, Mr. Müller received £18,400. What a proof was this that Mr. Wright’s confidence was not misplaced!
On the 19th, we received from Italy, £20, from a former Orphan, who writes:—
“I enclose a cheque for £20, which I offer as a very small recompense for the hospitality I received in Mr. Müller’s Orphan House. I am only a poor teacher, or I would send more.” This donor, having been about eight years under Mr. Müller’s care, left on February 23rd, 1854, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the 20th, the legacy of the late Mrs. F. G., £217 19s. 11d., reached us.—25th. The total income today is £13 0s. 1d.—26th. Today I received a letter from a gentleman, in which he says:—
“I used to subscribe annually, but have been given to understand that of late years more has been sent than needed.” To this I replied as follows:—
“I note what you say about having subscribed annually in past days, but that you have ceased to do so in consequence of having been told that we have more funds than we needed. It was Mr. Müller’s principle, all through his long life, never to give any information with regard to the state of the funds other than the yearly Report. I send you a copy of the last two Reports; the next will not be out till the end of July, and that will contain information as to present matters.”
The reader will see how little foundation there was for what this correspondent supposed to be the case, when he learns that the income by the first post on March 1st amounted to £7 6s. 2d. The payments already today are £111 1s. 8d., so our trial increases, and deliverance is delayed. While thus being sorely tried, there was brought to me, by one of my fellow-workers, some lines by Miss Lucy A. Bennett, that God has used to cheer His perplexed servant:
“A thousand wants thy path attend,
Ten thousand blessings God will send.
What though yon threatening clouds appall,
God’s mercy towers o’er them all:
O’er the calm current of His will
Grace bears thee onward—Homeward still.”
Yes, “the current of His will” is “calm”—I am at peace. The text on my sheet almanac this morning “Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid” was “bread and wine” to my soul, from the hand of our heavenly Melchizedek. This wondrous word “It is I,” agrees with the same “I am” spoken to Moses out of the bush (Exodus 3). Well, then, may we be of good cheer.
On the 2nd, there came from a Missionary, £12 10s. for Missions, etc., with £30 for the Orphans, and £7 10s. for my own use. This gift was an exceedingly great cheer to our hearts because of its timeliness, for it came to supply pressing needs; and because of the source from which it came, viz., one who has labored for the Lord for years, “without charge,” in a tropical climate; from it we afresh learned that the resources of our God are indeed infinite, and that He “hath His servants everywhere.”
Today (4th) the Lord shows me blessedly what He can do. By first post I received a cheque for £400, from Australia, from donors who have never given before, with the words: “A thank-offering to the Lord for increased profit on business.” How kind of the Lord, to whom this thank-offering was given, to direct that it be sent to me. I also received 5s. from a former Orphan, with a grateful letter in which she says:—
“I am very pleased to tell you my master and mistress have given me a very nice silver watch for five years’ faithful service, and I shall value it very much.”
From two former Orphans, £30, a portion of a legacy they had received. From Eastville, 2s. 6d., and some articles for sale. The donor, a widow, writes:—
“I feel so thankful from time to time to see my two dear girls so happy and well cared for in your Homes.”
The mail of the 5th brought us from Ontario, Canada, £51 4s. 6d. for the Orphans, with a like amount for the Schools, Bibles, Tracts and Missions. The donor writes:—
“I have only read a little in your life of Mr. Müller, but take this opportunity to thank you for it. I concluded to send the within donation, £102 9s., to you instead of the great throng who are instantly pleading for money. These appeal directly to me, while you do it indirectly through a Mediator. So my text to you is: ‘Them that honor Me, I will honor’ 1 Samuel 2:30.”
On the 7th, we received from “C.-on-M.,” £135—11th. The income for the week ending today has been £860 16s. 10d.
There was paid on the 12th, on account of the legacy of the late C. W., Esq., £125. From Norwich, £50.—13th. From New Brighton, N.Z., £20.—14th. Last evening at our prayer meeting we cried to the Lord for large help, which we so need at present, and He has been pleased today to send us £5 10s. 11d., the smallest income for many days. Still, we cling to Him, and count on Him, and expect from Him that which we sorely need. In the midst of such trial He greatly cheers our hearts in other ways. Today I said good-bye to a girl. Just as she came to me by appointment, her mother arrived, who not long since came out of gaol, and has not seen the child since. This girl came to us three years ago. Three weeks after getting here she was saved through a conversation with one of her teachers, and has given real joy from that time till now. When I brought this girl and her poor mother together, it was touching to hear the girl pleading with her mother to turn to the Lord. It is worth living for, to rescue such a girl as this. She now goes out with an excellent character and a good outfit to a situation in a Christian family.
We received on the 23rd, from readers of the Life of Faith, £7 17s. 9d. The income for this week has been only £113 18s. 3d., and we need over £500 a week. Esteemed reader, try and put yourself into our position, with over 1,900 children to feed every day, and all the numerous expenses of this Institution, and admire with us the goodness of God, that in all these circumstances He keeps our minds in perfect peace. We are looking out for His answers, expecting them.
Large Sum Received At A Time Of Very Great Need
On the 25th, at our prayer meeting at 2 o’clock, I mentioned that the income thus far was £24 15s. 8d. We again told the Lord our poverty, and we besought Him in His mercy to hear us. Within an hour of our thus gathering I had the news that £1,843 7s. 7d. had been paid to our Bankers this day, the legacy of the late Miss E. McN. Now admire with me, beloved reader, this exhibition of the Lord’s power. Oh, the blessedness of dealing with God! It is “they that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.” May you be led to know something of the joys of the life of simple trust in the living God.—28th. From readers of The Christian, £19 14s. 0d.
We received on April 2nd, from near Chard, £90. The Solicitor, who sent this on behalf of his client, wrote me:—
“He has desired me to inform you that he purposed bequeathing by his Will to your Orphan Homes a legacy of £100, but he thinks that possibly the money may be of use at once, and he requests me accordingly to send you the sum of £90, i.e. £100 less legacy duty, as a donation to the Orphanage funds.”
This mail brought us from Durban, Natal, £474 14s., the legacy of the late Hon. A. J. C, being £500 less legacy duty and costs. I had no notice of this legacy having been left to this Orphanage, until I received the cheque. By these two amounts the Lord reveals to us once more how well able He is to supply every need of this His work, and that from sources of which we are absolutely ignorant. In the first case He moves this gentleman to think that the money may be of use at once—what an answer to our cry for present help! In the second He causes this legacy to be paid promptly, without the legal formalities that often cause serious delay. “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord” (Ps. 107:43).
From Scotland, £80 for Missions, etc., with £20 for the Orphans, and £5 for myself. The donor of this amount could have had but little idea of the refreshment he gave our hearts; it was an answer to many cries to our God, and came at a time of sore need.—6th. The total income for this week is £941 19s. 8d. Blessed be God!
There came in on the 9th, from Kidderminster, £20. 10th. Anonymously, £21, from “City of Cardiff,” from “Disciple.”—13th. From the Board of Governors of the “Thomas Porter Equipment Fund,” £150.—20th. From Newtown, Berks, 10s. The donor writes:—
“Allow me to say that the Homes and their history were a very clear testimony of God Himself to me, that wonderfully helped me out of the mazes of rationalism and infidelity, to which I was falling before conversion.”
The total income for all the objects for this past week has been £139 11s. 9d., so we are indeed again cast on God.—23rd. From “H. C. B.,” £50.
We received from Redland, £1 for Missions, £5 for the Orphans, with £1 for myself. The donor writes:—
“I bear my humble testimony to God’s faithfulness, and whatever has happened in the Church, or the outside world for the last fifty years, the work in connection with the Orphans on Ashley Down is an answer to it all. Was there not a faithful covenant-keeping God, how are the Orphans provided for? I can never get a satisfactory answer to this question.”
On the 29th an envelope was put into the box at New Orphan House No. 5, which contained a Bank of England Note for £50; there was no name given. The Lord knows the donor, and will not fail to reward. If the kind donor sees this, it will rejoice his or her heart to learn that this gift supplied an immediate and pressing need.
There was paid to us on May 1st the legacy of the late Miss M. E., £144 10s. 5d. We note the good hand of our God in this legacy, and in the speed with which the executors realized the estate, and paid it. We sorely needed the help which it afforded us.—3rd. From Mundesley, £10. The donor writes:—
“I am sure you prove day by day how God cares for the Orphans, and now He has put it into my heart to send the enclosed cheque for £10.”
It is indeed as this friend says, and we thank God for putting into her heart to send this, and we thank her for obeying His promptings.
On the 8th, the balance of the legacy of the late Miss E. E. H. R., £90, reached us. Through the lack of definiteness in the wording of the Will of this kind friend, the executor put the estate into Court., and the Judge in Chambers decided that of the £200 left—I have no doubt for this work—only half should come to us; hence we get £100 less legacy duty. This shows the importance of accuracy in the making of Wills. May I here call the reader’s attention to the fact that a form is given on the last page of the annual Report for a bequest to this Institution, in order that the purpose of any leaving bequests may not be frustrated.
The Autobiography Made A Blessing
There came on the 11th, from India, £1, with the following letter:—
“Some months ago a copy of the Autobiography of Mr. Müller was sent to me. The reading of the book has been a great help to me. I noticed how many answers to prayer regarding business matters were recorded. I remembered about a parcel which I had ordered, but which had gone to the wrong address. No word of the missing parcel could be received. I had mentioned the matter in prayer once or twice, but I began to make it a matter of definite prayer, and resolved to give a thank-offering to the Orphan Homes should the parcel reach me safely. Within a week of that date, I heard about the missing parcel, and three days ago it reached me. I enclose a Postal Order for £1, as a thank-offering.
“An Indian Missionary.”
Last evening (14th) I met, at Bethesda, a Christian woman, who put a purse into my hand, containing, as I afterwards found, £21 is., which she said she gave to me now instead of leaving it to me in her Will. It was real cheer to me to see how the Lord, whom we were entreating to help us in our great need, moved this dear friend to give now instead of by-and-bye. Surely He is the living God.
Special Kindnesses Of God
There reached us on the 18th, on account of the legacy of the late E. G. C. P., Esq., £1,000. This afternoon a lady went over No. 5 New Orphan House as a visitor. Before leaving she told the Matron that she wished to give a donation, and forthwith wrote a cheque for £300, and gave it to her. Yesterday the total income for all purposes was £5 16s. 8d., and we were much in prayer to our never failing Friend, the living God, and today He has sent us £1,312 9s. 4d.
From Scotland a donor writes on the 21st:—
“I herewith enclose cheque for £30, which I would like you to divide in three, £10 for the Orphans, £10 for Missions, and £10 for yourself. May God still use you as a witness for Himself in this dark world of sin.”
The legacy of the late Mr. R. T. B., £66 7s. 6d. was paid. 22nd. From Southport, £5. The donor writes:—
“She always feels it a privilege to help. In this day of blasphemy she rejoices to think the Orphanages stand as a testimony to the faithfulness of God, and to the truth of His Word, which abideth for ever.”
The income for the week ending this evening is £1,508 4s. 8d. Join us, dear reader, in praise to our promise-keeping God.
The Lessons Of The Past Year
The Holy Spirit speaks to us through His servant James, words only to be understood and obeyed by His own gracious operation on our souls, in connection with the circumstances through which we are called to pass: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold trials” (James 1:2). The Apostle Paul had learned this difficult lesson when he wrote: “Therefore I take pleasure in … necessities … in distresses for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor. 12:10).
This apostolic path of “trials, necessities, distresses,” has been that which our God has seen fit in His infinite wisdom to call us to tread during the past year. To the praise of His grace, and of His faithfulness, I record that He has been with us, and in some measure He has enabled us to “count it all joy,” and even to “take pleasure” in these things; not for their own sake, but for the deepened experience we have gained of Himself and of His power. Again and again have we found our position described with an accuracy that only the Holy Spirit could have foreknown and fore-written in that Psalm within a Psalm, viz., verses 23 to 32 of Psalm 107:—
“They that go down to the sea in ships,
That do business in great waters:
These see the works of Jehovah,
And His wonders in the deep.
For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind,
Which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths:
Their soul melteth away because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man
And are at their wits’ end.
Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble,
And He bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm,
So that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they are quiet;
So He bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Oh that men would praise Jehovah for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the seat of the elders.”
We have done “business in great waters,” and we have seen “the works of Jehovah and His wonders.” We have been “at our wits’ end” by the “stormy wind,” which He commanded, and we cried to Him and have seen Him make “the storm a calm” and now we “praise Jehovah for His lovingkindness.”
When Mr. Müller began in 1834 and 1836 unbelief said, when the novelty had worn off, the work would cease. When he died the same unbelief said it could not go on as it had done while he was alive; but it did go on for nearly seven years under Mr. Wright’s care. When he died two years and four months ago, unbelief said, now it must cease, but by the lovingkindness of God it still exists in its seventy-fourth year. All through the year “the bush burned with fire,” and now, as when Moses gazed in wonder at that sight in Horeb, “the bush is not burnt,” and for the very same reason now as then, viz., that Jehovah is in “the midst of the bush.” “Oh magnify the Lord, with me, and let its exalt His name together.” Again and again have we been brought very low; faith and patience have been sorely tried, and that frequently; then in due time the Lord has appeared to our help—note one such instance, in the record of the income on the 18th of tins month.
Often in days of trial this year I have been greatly cheered and helped by the beautiful lines of the beloved servant of God, Richard Chenevix Trench, D.D., of Dublin, which I subjoin in the hope that other tried children of God also may be cheered likewise.
“ Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make,
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched grounds refresh as with a shower!
We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power.
Why therefore should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others—that we are not always strong,
That we are ever overborne with care,
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy and strength and courage are with Thee.”
The total income for the year ending May 26th, 1907, was £29,063 13s. 6d., which left an adverse balance on the Orphans’ account of £183 17s. 10d.