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قراءة كتاب The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Müller

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The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Müller

The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Müller

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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the hired houses in which the children had thus far been accommodated. Land was purchased, and a building was erected in the vicinity of Bristol. This was soon filled to overflowing, and another building was demanded. This was erected, and it also was very soon filled. These buildings were sufficient to accommodate seven hundred orphans. At the present moment, a third building, larger than either, is in the process of erection, and is to be finished in the course of the ensuing summer. When this shall be completed, accommodations will have been provided for eleven hundred and fifty orphans. These expensive buildings have been erected; the land has been purchased on which they stand; this multitude of children has been clothed and fed and educated; support and remuneration have been provided for all the necessary teachers and assistants, and all this has been done by a man who is not worth a dollar. He has never asked any one but God for whatever they needed, and from the beginning they have never wanted a meal, nor have they ever allowed themselves to be in debt. There seems in this to be something as remarkable as if Mr. Müller had commanded a sycamine tree to be removed and planted in the sea, and it had obeyed him.

But this is not all. Mr. Müller saw that there was a great demand for copies of the Holy Scriptures, both in Great Britain and on the Continent, and he commenced the work of Bible distribution. This so rapidly extended itself that he was soon obliged to open in Bristol a large Bible House. He believed that great good might be done by the circulation of religious tracts, and he has carried on this work extensively. He was moved to make an attempt to aid and even to support missionaries among the heathen, as well as other good men, of various denominations, who, with very inadequate means of living, were preaching the gospel to the poor and destitute at home. He began to aid them as their necessities came to his knowledge, and now one hundred such men are depending on him, wholly or in part, for support.

Here, then, we certainly behold a remarkable phenomenon. A single man, wholly destitute of funds, is supporting and educating seven hundred orphans, providing everything needful for their education, is in himself an extensive Bible and Tract and Missionary Society, the work is daily increasing in magnitude, and the means for carrying it on are abundantly supplied, while he is connected with no particular denomination, is aided by no voluntary association, and he has asked the assistance of not a single individual. He has asked no one but God, and all his wants have been regularly supplied. In these labors of love he has, up to the present time, expended nearly a million of dollars. It is thus that he has endeavored to show to an unbelieving world that God is a living God, and that he means what he has said in every one of his promises.[10]

I have referred to Mr. Müller as if he were the sole agent in this work. This, however, is by no means true. His co-workers in the Institution are all of the same spirit as himself. Mr. Craik, a gentleman from Scotland, has been with him from the beginning, has shared in all the labors and responsibilities of these vast undertakings, and has been specially blessed as a preacher of the gospel. The remuneration of all the assistants is contingent on the means received in answer to prayer. When sacrifices are to be made, they are all prompt to make them, and they do not expect an answer to prayer until they have contributed, from their own scanty wages, whatever can be spared after providing for their actual necessities.

The last Report of Mr. Müller’s labors has just been received. From this we learn another interesting fact. It seems that the late revival in Ireland is indirectly connected with these labors in Bristol. A pious young Irishman read “The Dealings of the Lord with George Müller,” and received from it new views of the power of believing prayer. He felt the need of prayer for the perishing around him, and determined by prayer and conversation to labor for their salvation. First, however, he asked that God would give him an associate. This prayer was granted. These two then united in earnest prayer for some additions to their number. This prayer was granted. In this manner a small company was united in asking for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on their neighborhood. They devoted themselves to prayer and to labor among the people by whom they were surrounded. Their prayers were answered. The Spirit was poured out; twenty-five souls were converted. Multitudes united with them in supplication. They went from place to place, praying and laboring for the conversion of men; and thus the work extended, until the whole district of Ulster was visited with that remarkable outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

All these we suppose to be indisputable facts. If in any respect there has been a misstatement, or even an exaggeration, the means are abundant for detecting it. The whole work has been carried on in the presence and under the inspection of the whole city of Bristol. There stand those large and expensive buildings. There are seen the seven hundred orphans who are in every respect admirably cared for. Everything has been paid for, for Mr. Müller is never in debt. His poverty is well known, and he will not accept of any money as a provision for his future necessities. His accounts have been annually audited by a competent committee. There is not the man living who can contradict his assertion, “I never asked aid from a single individual.” Hundreds weekly visit the Institution, and no one has ever found in it anything at variance with Mr. Müller’s published statements. Last of all, the Rev. Dr. Sawtelle, a gentleman known to thousands in this country, has added his independent testimony to the truth of all that is here related. More conclusive evidence to the truth of facts cannot be desired.

To account for a fact is to refer it to some general law whose existence is already established. When it is therefore asked, How shall these facts be accounted for? we inquire, to what known law can they be referred? They cannot certainly be referred to any known law of human action. How would we decide if a similar case should occur in physics? Suppose a series of experiments should be made daily for twenty-five years in chemistry or mechanics, with the same invariable result, and this result could be referred to no previously established law,—to what conclusion should we arrive? There could be but one conclusion, in which all men of science would unite. They would all declare that a new law had been discovered, and would modify their systems accordingly. It seems to me that on all sound philosophical principles we are bound to come to the same conclusion in the present case. We can refer these facts to no other law than to that announced by the Saviour in his promise to answer the prayer of faith. There is no reason to suppose that in the case of Mr. Müller and his associates there is anything exceptional or peculiar. What God has done for them we cannot doubt that, under the same conditions, he will do for every other believing disciple of Christ.

What, then, are the conditions of this remarkable experiment, if such we may call it? They are something like the following. A poor and unknown man is convinced that it is his duty, as a servant of Christ, to labor in several ways for the relief of the temporal and spiritual wants of the ignorant and destitute. He consecrates himself to the work by dedicating to it his time and labor, and whatever pecuniary means should come into his possession. He resolved

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