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Free Books » Muller, George » A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings

A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with George Muller - Part 5 - Intro A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings by Muller, George




For more than ten years I have asked the Lord daily, and often repeatedly in the course of a day, to allow me the honour and privilege, to write the continuation of the Narrative of the Lord’s dealings with me, which was carried on to May 26, 1856; but I was never so situated as to time to be able to do so, till of late. Now, however, I feel not only particularly led to this service, but am also, through particular providential circumstances, able to do it, so far as it regards time. The reasons, which have induced me, year after year, and especially of late years, to desire to publish the continuation of my Narrative, are the following:—

1, When the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad was formed on the 5th of March, 1834, its beginning was, as to outward appearance, most insignificant; and, though year after year it was enlarged, still it was small, comparatively, after ten years, in 1844; and though from 1844 to 1856, when the last part of my Narrative was published, the Institution had in all its five Objects been very much enlarged, it was even then small, in comparison with what it is now, in 1874. My desire, therefore, is to carry on the history of the Institution in this volume to the end of the fortieth year of its existence, and to show, how the very self-same principles on which it was established, and carried on, when small, are in practice now, and only these, while the Institution is large, very large, and very comprehensive; that with the same ease we go forward and find faith and prayer sufficient for everything, though the Institution is a hundred times larger than in 1834 and 1835, and though it is even five times larger than it was in May 1856, the time to which the account is carried on in the second Volume of this Narrative. I desire, therefore, to give the Continuation of the Narrative for the encouragement of the disciples of the Lord Jesus in general, and particularly for the encouragement of those who labour more especially for the Lord, and for the comfort of those who are in particular trials and difficulties.

2, A further reason why I desire to publish the continuation of this Narrative is, that those, who have read the first volume of it, and who saw, how in the year 1830 I took two momentous steps, (in beginning my service as I did in Devonshire in January of that year, solely in dependence upon the Living God, and how, in October of that year, I gave up my emolument in connexion with the ministry of the Word) may see, that verily I was guided by the Lord, and that He not only owned and helped me up to 1856, but that more than ever He has been pleased to make it manifest, since May 1856, how blessed is the man that trusts in Him and in Him alone.

3, The reader of the first two volumes of this Narrative, and especially the readers of the last fifteen Reports of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, will remember, how I have written again and again in my publications "about Stewardship," "consecration of our means to the Lord, together with all we have and are," and also about "systematic giving to the Lord’s Work, and the poor." When writing on these subjects for the press, during the last thirty years, I have hinted at my own seeking to carry out these principles, but I have refrained till now, from giving a practical illustration from my own experience. Now, however, I purpose in this volume, to bring before the reader, how I have acted myself with regard to these various points, and how the Lord has not only blessed me in my own soul in doing so, but how He also, beyond the highest conception of most, in all probability, has recompensed me temporarily, and entrusted me so abundantly with means for myself, that the reader will marvel, except he is much himself acquainted with God, when he comes to the part of my Narrative where I write on this subject. I shall give minutely the account of my life in this respect during the last 43 years. But there remains lastly, one more reason.

4, When I began the Orphan Work, one of the especial objects, which I had in view, was to benefit the Church of God at large, by the accounts which I might be enabled to write in connexion with this service; for I expected, from the beginning, to have many answers to prayer granted to me; and I confidently anticipated that the recording of them would be beneficial to believers, in leading them to look for answers to their own prayers, and in encouraging them to bring all their own necessities before God in prayer. I likewise firmly believed, that many unconverted persons would, by means of such writings, be led to see the reality of the things of God. For the same reasons I began afterwards to publish "The Narrative of the Lord’s Dealings" with me. As I expected, so it has been. In very many instances the reading of the Reports of the Institution, or the "Narrative of the Lord’s Dealings" with me, has been blessed by God to the conversion of those who knew not our Lord Jesus. In many thousands of instances, likewise, believers have been benefited through them, being thereby comforted, encouraged, led more simply to the Holy Scriptures, led more fully to trust in God for everything, in a word, led in a greater or less degree, to walk in the same path of faith, in which the writer, by the help of God, is walking. The many thousands of instances of blessing which have been brought before me during the past 36 years (for almost daily I have heard of fresh cases), have only still further led me to earnestness in prayer, that the Lord would condescend to use these publications still more, and make them a blessing to many tens of thousands of His children, and to many tens of thousands of the unconverted. And now the reader will rejoice with me, when he reads what follows. I am led to relate the following, that the Godly reader more than ever may be encouraged to prayer, and also, that an accurate statement may be given of this fact, which has been referred to in many public places in connexion with Revival meetings, and which likewise has been several times stated in print.

In November, 1856, a young Irishman, Mr. James McQuilkin, was brought to the knowledge of the Lord. Soon after his conversion he saw my Narrative advertised, viz.: the first two volumes of this book. He had a great desire to read it, and procured it accordingly, about January, 1857 God blessed it greatly to his soul, especially in showing to him, what could be obtained by prayer. He said to himself something like this: "See what Mr. Müller obtains simply by prayer. Thus I may obtain blessing by prayer." He now set himself to pray, that the Lord would give him a spiritual companion, one who knew the Lord. Soon after he became acquainted with a young man who was a believer. These two began a prayer-meeting in one of the Sunday Schools in the parish of Connor. Having his prayer answered in obtaining a spiritual companion, Mr. James McQuilkin asked the Lord, to lead him to become acquainted with some more of His hidden ones. Soon after the Lord gave him two more young men, who were believers previously, as far as he could judge. In Autumn, 1857, Mr. James McQuilkin stated to these three young men, given him in answer to believing prayer, what blessing he had derived from my Narrative, how it had led him to see the power of believing prayer; and he proposed that they should meet for prayer to seek the Lord’s blessing upon their various labours in the Sunday Schools, prayer-meetings, and preaching of the Gospel. Accordingly in Autumn, 1857, these four young men met together for prayer in a small schoolhouse near the village of Kells, in the parish of Connor, every Friday evening. By this time the great and mighty working of the spirit in 1857, in the United States, had become known, and Mr. James McQuilkin said to himself, "Why may we not have such a blessed work here, seeing that God did such great things for Mr. Müller, simply in answer to prayer." On January 1, 1858, the Lord gave them the first remarkable answer to prayer in the conversion of a farm servant. He was taken into the number, and thus there were five who gave themselves to prayer. Shortly after, another young man, about 20 years old, was converted: there were now six. This greatly encouraged the other three who first had met with Mr. James McQuilkin. Others now were converted, who were also taken into the number; but only believers were admitted to these fellowship meetings, in which they read, prayed, and offered to each other a few thoughts from the Scriptures. These meetings and others for the preaching of the Gospel were held in the parish of Connor, Antrim, Ireland. Up to this time all was going on most quietly, though many souls were converted. There were no physical prostrations, as afterwards. About Christmas, 1858, a young man, from Ahoghill, who had come to live at Connor, and who had been converted through this little company of believers, went to see his friends at Ahoghill, and spoke to them about their own souls, and the work of God at Connor. His friends desired to see some of these converts. Accordingly Mr. James McQuilkin, with two of the first who met for prayer, went on February 2, 1859, and held a meeting at Ahoghill in one of the Presbyterian churches. Some believed, some mocked, and others thought there was a great deal of presumption in these young converts; yet many wished to have another meeting. This was held by the same three young men on February 16th, 1859; and now the spirit of God began to work, and to work mightily. Souls were converted, and from that time conversions multiplied rapidly. Some of these converts went to other places, and carried the spiritual fire, so to speak, with them. The blessed work of the spirit of God spread in many places.—On April 5th, 1859, Mr. James McQuilkin went to Ballymena, held a meeting there in one of the Presbyterian Churches; and on April 11th held another meeting in another of the Presbyterian churches. Several were convinced of sin, and the work of the spirit of God went forward in Balleymena.—On May 28th, 1859, he went to Belfast. During the first week there were meetings held in five different Presbyterian Churches, and from that time the blessed work commenced at Belfast. In all these visits he was accompanied and helped by Mr. Jeremiah Meneely, one of the three young men who first met with him, after the reading of my Narrative. From this time the work of the Holy Ghost spread further and further; for the young converts were used by the Lord to carry the truth from one place to another.

Such was the beginning of that mighty work of the Holy Spirit, which has led to the conversion of hundreds of thousands; for some of my readers will remember how in 1859 this fire was kindled in England, Wales and Scotland; how it spread through Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland; how the Continent of Europe was more or less partaking of this mighty working of the Holy Spirit; how it led thousands to give themselves to the work of Evangelists; and how up to the year 1874 not only the effects of this work, first begun in Ireland, are felt, but that still more or less this blessed work is going on in Europe generally. It is almost needless to add, that in no degree the honour is due to the instruments, but to the Holy Spirit alone; yet those facts are stated, in order that it may be seen, what delight God has in answering abundantly the believing prayer of His children.

Seeing, then, how greatly God has condescended to own these records in my Narrative, regarding His willingness to listen to prayer, made to Him in the name of the Lord Jesus, I am delighted to give the continuation of this Narrative, because it contains numberless other such instances, in order that thus further glory may redound to God, and that the readers may still further be encouraged to expect great things from God, and to trust in Him at all times, and under all circumstances.

This volume will be divided into Five Chapters. The first will especially give particulars in connexion with the enlargement of the Orphan Work, by the building of the New Orphan Houses No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5, thus providing accommodation for 2,050 Orphans, instead of the 300 only, who were in the New Orphan House No. 1. The Second Chapter will refer to the way in which it pleased the Lord to supply the means for the School—, Bible—, Missionary— and Tract-Fund, from May 26,1856 to March 5, 1874. The Third Chapter will give the Lord’s way in providing for the thousands of orphans, who were in the Five Orphan Houses on Ashley Down, from May 26, 1856, to March 5, 1874. The Fourth Chapter will give the statistics from May 26, 1856, to March 5, 1874, with reference to the Schools connected with the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, Missionary operations, Tract circulation and Orphan Work, as to numbers, amount of means expended and blessing resulting from these operations, as far as it is known, &c. The Fifth Chapter will refer to the Lord’s Dealings with myself personally. The whole volume, however, will be mixed with practical remarks, instructive for young believers, as the subjects may lead to them.