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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
الصفحة رقم: 7

that he would neither appeal to any of the ordinary motives which dispose men to humanity, nor even solicit aid from any human being, but simply make his wants known to God, believing that, if he was doing the work of God, the divine promise was pledged in his behalf. Not only did he trust in God that all the pecuniary aid which he needed would be furnished, but that, in answer to prayer, all needed wisdom would be given him in the conduct of his complicated and arduous undertakings. The result has met his most sanguine expectations. The institution has increased to a most magnificent charity, aside from its missionary, Bible, and tract operations; all its wants have been from time to time supplied; and it is at the present moment carried on upon precisely the same principles on which it commenced. We cannot resist the conclusion that if any one will undertake any other Christian work in a similar spirit, and on the same principles, his labor will be attended with a similar result.

While we believe this, however, we do not pretend to affirm that just such immediate results will always be seen. This would be to limit the omniscience of God by the short-sighted ignorance of man. It may best suit the purposes of infinite goodness to answer the prayer of faith by crosses and disappointments; but these in the end shall be found in the most signal manner to promote the object to be accomplished. While the disciples were praying and laboring for the extension of the kingdom of Christ in Jerusalem, it seemed a strange answer to prayer that they should be driven out of the city; but the meaning of it was evident when churches arose in Phenice and Cyprus and Antioch, and it became manifest that the gospel was designed not for Jews alone; but for the whole family of man. Paul devoted himself with unquenchable zeal to the salvation of men, and, with a fervid eloquence which has given him a place among the noblest orators of antiquity, delighted to spend his life in persuading men to be reconciled to God. He was a man whose confidence in God was as unshaken as any whose history has been recorded by the pen of inspiration. It doubtless was to the disciples of that age, as well as to himself, a most unaccountable dispensation that he should have been impeded in his great work by the necessity of composing dissensions and rectifying errors which were constantly arising in the churches which he had planted, and, most of all, that so many years of his life should have been spent in prison. Yet it is to these, at the time untoward circumstances, that we owe the writing of those epistles which occupy so large a portion of the volume of inspiration, and without which the message of God to man would not have been completed. In no other way could his prayer to be useful to the cause of Christ have been so fully answered.

With this understanding of the promise granted to the prayer of faith, I do not see why we should not take the case of Mr. Müller as an example for our imitation. Whoever attains to this same simple desire in all things to do the will of God, and to the same childlike trust in his promises, may, I think, hope for a similar blessing. God is no respecter of persons. “If any man do his will, him he heareth.” And all the teaching of the Scriptures confirms us in this belief. The passages which we have quoted at the commencement of this paper, with hundreds of others, all lead to the same conclusion. In the Scriptures every form of illustration is used to impress upon us the conviction that God is indeed our Father, and that he delights to grant our requests for anything that is for our benefit, and specially that he pledges himself to direct by his counsel, and aid by his providence, every one who honestly labors to promote the cause of true benevolence and real religion.

If this be so, how important is this subject in its bearing on individual effort. No Christian, though the poorest and humblest, ever need despair of doing a noble work for God. He need never wait until he can obtain the co-operation of the multitude or the wealthy. Let him undertake what he believes to be his duty, on ever so small a scale, and look directly to God for aid and direction. If it be a seed which God has planted, it will take root, grow, and bear fruit, “having seed within itself.” “It is better to trust in God than to put confidence in man; it is better to trust in God than to put confidence in princes.” A multitude of cases can be adduced to prove that this course is in harmony with the designs of God. It is abundantly shown in the case of Mr. Müller. Take the case of Robert Raikes. Suppose that he had established no school until a powerful association, formed from ecclesiastical dignitaries, millionaires, and the multitude, had united in his support, his effort could hardly have escaped ridiculous failure. On the contrary, he simply established a school by himself. It was a seed which God had planted, and its fruit now shakes like Lebanon.

On the contrast which is seen between the plan of Mr. Müller and the plans by which our missionary and other benevolent operations are conducted, it is unnecessary to enlarge. If Mr. Müller is right, I think it is evident that we are all wrong. We cannot go into this subject in detail. We may, however, be permitted to remark, that the means which are frequently employed to secure the approbation and pecuniary aid of worldly men, in carrying forward the cause of Christ, are intensely humiliating. It would seem as though God was the last being to be relied on in carrying forward the work which he has given us to do.

But it is time to bring these remarks to a close. We commend this most unpretending of narratives to the thoughtful consideration of Christians of all denominations. We have greatly overrated the teaching of these facts, if they do not furnish strong incentives to a life of holy exertion, and impart an unwonted and powerful motive to earnest and believing prayer.

Providence, December 17, 1860.