For many centimes there has not been a more remarkable testimony of unfaltering trust in the faithfulness of God in supplying human wants, than is found in the life and labor of George Muller and his Orphan Home, in Bristol, England. His record is one of humility, yet one of daily dependence upon the providence and the knowledge of God to supply his daily wants. It has been one of extraordinary trial; yet never, for a single hour, has God forsaken him. Beginning, in 1834, with absolutely nothing; giving himself, his earthly all and his family to the Lord, and asking the Lord's pleasure and blessing upon his work of philanthropy, he has never, for once, appealed to any individual for aid, for assistance, for loans; but has relied wholly in prayer to the Lord -- coming with each day's cares and necessities -- and the Lord has ever supplied. He has never borrowed, never been in debt; living only upon what the Lord has sent -- yet in the forty-third year of his life of faith and trust -- he has been able, through the voluntary contributions which the Lord has prompted the hearts of the people to give, to accomplish these wonderful results: Over half a million dollars have been spent in the construction of buildings -- over fifteen thousand orphans have been cared for and supported -- and over one million dollars have been received for their support. Every dollar of which has been asked for in believing prayer from the Lord. The record is the most astounding in the faith of the Christian religion, and the power and providence of God to answer prayer, that modern times can show.
The orphans' homes have been visited again and again by Christian clergymen of all denominations, to feel the positive satisfaction and certainty that all this were indeed the work of prayer, and they have been abundantly convinced.
The spectacle is indeed a standing miracle. "A man sheltering, feeding, clothing, educating, and mailing comfortable and happy, hundreds of poor orphan children, with no funds of his own, and no possible means of sustenance, save that which God sent him in answer to prayer."
An eminent clergyman who for five years had been constantly hearing of this work of faith, and could hardly believe in its possibility, at last visited Mr. Muller's home for the purpose of thorough investigation, exposing it, if it were under false pretenses or mistaken ways of securing public sympathy, or else with utmost critical search, desired to become convinced it was indeed supported only by true prayer. He had reserved for himself, as he says, a wide margin for deductions and disappointment, but after his search, as "I left Bristol, I exclaimed with the queen of Sheba, 'The half had not been told me.' Here I saw, indeed, seven hundred orphan children fed and provided for, by the hand of God, in answer to prayer, as literally and truly as Elijah was fed by ravens with meat which the Lord provided."
Mr. Muller himself has said in regard to their manner of living: "Greater and more manifest nearness of the Lord's presence I have never had, than when after breakfast, there were no means for dinner, and then the Lord provided the dinner for more than one hundred persons; and when after dinner, there were no means for the tea; and yet the Lord provided the tea; and all this without one single human being having been informed about our need."
Thus it will be seen his life is one of daily trial and trust, and he says, "Our desire therefore, is, not that we may be without trials of faith, but that the Lord graciously would be pleased to support us in the trial, that we may not dishonor him by distrust."
The question having been asked of him, "Such a way of living must lead the mind continually to think whence food, clothes, etc., are to come, with no benefit for spiritual exercise," he replies: "Our minds are very little tried about the necessaries of life; just because the care respecting them is laid upon our Father, who, because we are his children, not only allows us to do so, but will have us to do so.
"It must also be remembered that even if our minds were much tried about our supplies, yet because we look to the Lord alone for all these things, we should be brought by our sense of need, into the presence of our Father for the supply of it, and that is a blessing, and satisfying to the soul."
This humble statement from the experience of one who has tried and proven the Lord in little things, as well as large, conveys to the Christian that world of practical instruction which is contained in the precepts of the Bible, viz: to encourage all to cast their cares on God; and teaches them the lessons of their dependence upon Him for their daily supplies.
The meaning of the Lord's blessing upon the work of Mr. Muller, is to make it a standing example and illustration to be adopted in every Christian home. "How God supplies our needs, how he rewards faith, how he cares for those who trust in Him. How he can as well take care of his children to-day as he did in the days of the Prophets, and how surely he fulfills his promise, even when the trial brings us to the extremities of circumstances seemingly impossible."
Mr. Muller's experience is remarkable, not because the Lord has made his an exceptional case for the bestowal of blessings, but because of the remarkable, unwavering and persevering application of his faith, by the man himself.
His faith began with small degrees, and small hopes. It was painfully tried. But it clung hopefully, and never failed to gain a triumph. Each trial only increased its tenacity, and brought him greater humility, for it opened his own heart to a sense of his own powerlessness, and this faith has grown with work and trial, till its strength is beyond all precedent.
The lessons which the Lord wishes each one to take from it, is this: "Be your faith little or weak, never give it up; apply my promises to all your needs, and expect their fulfillment. Little things are as sacred as great things."
In the journal kept by Mr. Muller during his many years of experience, he has preserved many incidents of answer to prayer in small matters, of which we quote the following from his book. "The Power of Faith and Prayer."
1. "One of the orphan boys needed to be apprenticed. I knew of no suitable believing master who would take an indoor apprentice. I gave myself to prayer, and brought the matter daily before the Lord. At last, though I had to pray about the matter from May 21 to September, the Lord granted my request, and I found a suitable place for him.
2. I asked the Lord that he would be pleased to deliver a certain sister in the Lord from the great spiritual depression under which she was suffering, and after three days the Lord granted my request.
3. I asked the Lord daily in his mercy to keep a sister in the Lord from insanity, who was then apparently on the border of it. I have now to record his praise, after nearly four years have passed away, that the Lord has kept her from it.
4. During this year has occurred the conversion of one of the greatest sinners that I had ever heard of in all my service for the Lord. Repeatedly I fell on my knees with his wife, and asked the Lord for his conversion, when she came to me in the deepest distress of soul, on account of the most barbarous and cruel treatment that she had received from him in his bitter enmity against her for the Lord's sake. And now the awful persecutor is converted.
5. It pleased the Lord to try my faith in a way in which before, it had not been tried. My beloved daughter was taken ill on June 20. This illness, at first a low fever, turned to typhus, and July 3 there seemed no hope of her recovery.
Now was the trial of faith, but faith triumphed. My wife and I were enabled to give her up into the hands of the Lord. He sustained us both exceedingly.
She continued very ill till about July 20, when restoration began. On August 18, she was so far restored that she could be removed to Clevedon for change of air. It was then 59 days since she was taken ill.
6. The heating apparatus of our Orphan Home unexpectedly gave out. It was the commencement of Winter. To repair the leak was a questionable matter. To put in a new boiler would in all probability take many weeks. Workmen were sent for to make repairs. But on the day fixed for repairs a bleak north wind set in."
Now came cold weather, the fire must be put out, the repairs could not be put off. Gladly would I have paid one hundred pounds if thereby the difficulty could have been overcome, and the children not be exposed to suffer for many days from living in cold rooms.
At last I determined on falling entirely into the hands of God, who is very merciful and of tender compassion. I now asked the Lord for two things, viz.: "That He would be pleased to change the north wind into a south wind, and that he would give the workmen a mind to work.
Well, the memorable day came. The evening before, the bleak north wind blew still; but on the Wednesday the south wind blew exactly as I had prayed. The weather was so mild that no fire was needed.
About half-past eight in the evening, the principal of the firm whence the boiler-makers came, arrived to see how the work was going on, and whether he could in any way speed the matter.
The principal went with me to see his men; to the foreman of whom he said: "The men will work late this evening, and come very early again to-morrow."
"We would rather," said the leader, "work all night."
Then remembered I the second part of my prayer, that God would give the men a mind to work. By morning the repair was accomplished, the leak was stopped, and in thirty hours the fire was again in the boiler; and all the time the south wind blew so mildly that there was not the least need of a fire.
7. In the year 1865, the scarlet fever broke out in several of the Orphan Homes. In one of which were four hundred girls, and in the other four hundred and fifty. It appeared among the infants. The cases increased more and more. But we betook ourselves to God in prayer. Day by day we called upon Him regarding this trial, and generally two or three times a day. At last, when the infirmary rooms were filled, and some other rooms that could be spared for the occasion, to keep the sick children from the rest, and when we had no other rooms to spare, at least not without inconvenience, it pleased the Lord to answer our prayers, and in mercy stay the disease. The disease was very general in the town of Bristol, and many children died in consequence. But not one in the Orphan Home died. All recovered.
At another date, the whooping-cough also broke out among the four hundred and fifty girls of our Home, and though many were dying in the towns of the same disease, yet all in the Orphan Home recovered except one little girl who had very weak lungs, a constitutional tendency to consumption.
8. In the early part of one Summer, it was found that we had several boys ready to be apprenticed, but there were no applications made by masters for apprentices. This was no small difficulty, as the master must be also willing to receive the apprentice into his own family. We again gave ourselves to prayer, instead of advertising. Some weeks passed, but the difficulty remained. We continued in prayer, and then one application was made for an apprentice, and from the time we first began, we have been able to find places for eighteen boys."
THE CONSUMPTIVE'S HOME.
In the United States there is a Parallel Record to George Mailer's Life of Faith and Trust, found in the history of the Consumptive's Home of Boston, Mass. It was established twelve years since by Doctor Cullis, who in the ardor of his faith and trust gave himself to the work of the Lord, by ministering in Jesus' Name, to the poor consumptives who were unable to provide for themselves. Doctor Cullis is a man of humility, and devoted to his life work, and has been most abundantly blessed by the Lord in his field. To the honor and glory of our Heavenly Father, he has never been forsaken by Him.
The Institution began twelve years ago, in small quarters. Now it embraces a very large gathering of useful enterprises: A Consumptive's Home, Children's Home, Grove Hall Church, Tract Repository, a Training College, and a Cancer Home. The means provided have all been sent by the Lord, who has prompted the hearts of good people to send to it their voluntary contributions.
There is no financial fund, endowment, or pecuniary provision whatever existing for the support of the Home. No individuals have made any agreement for its support; there is no trade or occupation used or connected with it, whereby to obtain any remuneration. There has never been any appeal to man for assistance, no subscriptions ever taken, no contributions solicited, either publicly or privately; there are no agencies or connections to receive funds from any religious society for procuring charitable relief.
The supplies for the carrying on of this work, during these twelve years, have been wholly in answer to believing prayer, to the Lord.
They have fulfilled faithfully the Lord's commands, "Cast all your cares on Him, for he careth for you." They have also pleaded in faith, without a doubt, "Anything ye shall ask the Father in my name, I will do it." And they have asked and received, and the Provider has never yet failed them.
During the twelve years' time there has been sent to the Consumptive's Home, without any solicitation whatever, but in answer to believing prayer and faith and trust in God's providence, a sum no less than three hundred and sixty thousand dollars, and over fifteen hundred patients have been gratuitously cared for. No one has been urged, asked, or even hinted to contribute to it. Each morning, noon and night prayer has been offered to send means to provide for their daily wants, and the Great Shepherd has sent the supplies.
During these twelve years, the experiences of Doctor Cullis, the founder, have been most remarkable in the frequent answers to prayer in minute details of life, and especially in healing. There are so many such cases, that there is no possible room to doubt. There have often been moments, yes, days of distress and intense trial, when, with not a single penny on hand, it seemed as if failure had come; but faith could not let the promise go, neither was it possible for them to believe that He who could do so much, would forsake so good a work, which was undertaken only in obedience to the guidance and direction of the Lord; and God has always brought deliverance, and honored them and brought glory to his own name.
In the daily history of these struggles and trials and triumphs of faith, are found many surprising incidents, a few of which we relate.
A BAD DEBT PAID.
"To-day a bill was paid of [USD]31, which I had given up as good for nothing. A long time ago I gave it to the Lord in prayer, and promised Him if it was ever canceled that it should be His."
HELP IN NEED.
"The sums received for several days had been small. One day as the Doctor was in prayer for his needs, he received a note from a lady asking him to call at her house, naming the day and the hour. At the time appointed he called, and found the lady sick in consumption, near to death. She said she had some money which she wished to dispose of before her death. She placed in his hand a five hundred dollar note. It was her last gift. She had received it from the hand of the Lord, and she returned it to Him again."
PRAYING FOR STOVES.
"This afternoon, knowing the necessity of stoves for some of the upper rooms, as the weather is quite cool, I went to the Lord, in prayer, and told him of our need, praying Him in one way to supply us.
"I then went down town to a friend, to look at stoves and inquire the price, when he said, 'that's all right, I shall not charge anything,' and said he would see that they were put up. This man knew nothing of our great need; he had never visited the Home, knew but little about it, and not a word did he know of the state of my purse. "The Lord inclined the man's heart to give the stoves."
PRAYING FOR A FURNACE.
"I am earnestly praying for the means to purchase a furnace, for we cannot receive patients into the new Home until it can be warmed. I am looking to the Lord, and He will help."
Seven days later. "A gentleman has this day ordered a furnace to be put in, with fourteen tons of coal at his expense. I will here say that his attention was not called to our need, but he asked how the house was to be warmed; he then learned of our want, and ordered as above. Truly, 'Whosoever believeth in Him shall not be confounded.'"
THE LORD'S RETURN FOR GIVING UNTO THE POOR.
"This afternoon a poor woman, whose history I have known for some time, and who has a sick husband over eighty years of age, called on me, stating that she had only a ten-cent loaf of bread for herself and her husband to eat since Wednesday, and to-day is Saturday.
"Notwithstanding my own need, I felt that I could not withhold from one in greater straits than myself, so in Christ's name, I gave her enough to procure necessary food for a few days. The Lord did not forget it, but this evening has returned the amount with bountiful interest. For the turn I gave Him, He has sent me [USD]40. 'There is that scattereth yet increaseth.'"
A WATCH GIVEN TO THE LORD -- HOW THE LORD RETURNS A BETTER ONE.
"Last year, during a season of great need, I sold my watch; yesterday, the Lord returned it by a gift of a much better one from a friend, who had purchased it abroad, knowing nothing of my need, thus proving, 'He that soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully.'"
THE LORD GAVE DOUBLE WHAT WAS ASKED FOR.
"This morning and noon I called upon the Lord in prayer for the means to pay a bill of [USD]100. By three P.M., a check was sent me of [USD]200."
BLESSINGS AMID CALAMITIES.
"The roof of one of our houses having caught fire from a spark from a neighbor's chimney, it was mostly destroyed; some of the furniture, and the whole home badly damaged by water. All hearts thanked the Lord the circumstances were no worse. In the midst of our calamity, blessings surrounded us. An unknown donor sends in 20 tons of coal. For weeks I have been praying for the means to purchase our Winter fuel, and now the Lord has inclined the heart of an unknown friend to supply our need."
A REMARKABLE PROMISE.
At one period in the history of the Consumptive's Home, a sum of three thousand dollars placed in the safe, and reserved to be used for payment on the purchase of a new building was stolen, and there was not left a single dollar; every penny was gone.
Nothing daunted, again going to the Lord, and pleading the Lord's own promise, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." The request was made in prayer for the three thousand dollars, and the promise of the amount was definitely made to be paid out a certain day.
The day came. Before it had arrived, the Lord had sent the three thousand dollars with unusual contributions, and both the promises of the Lord and that of his children were kept.
The ordinary business man would have said it was foolishness for a poor man, with not a penny in the world, all his means stolen from him, to positively promise on a certain day the next month, to pay so large a sum, exactly the same as was stolen.
The skeptic would have said, "All foolish to plead before an unseen God, and ask for such a sum. You will never get it. Why didn't your God prevent your money from being stolen. If your Bible is true, he ought to have protected you from loss."
The answer to all these is thus: The Doctor did trust in the promise of an unseen God, whom he had tested in the past many hundred times, and who had always been faithful in keeping his promises, and his faith knew that his God would not suffer his own work to fail nor suffer reproach.
Still further to silence the skeptic, let it be said that after the robbery became known, the sympathy for the institution became so much greater, that the contributions voluntarily sent in consequence thereof replaced the three thousand dollars within thirty days, and produced far more in excess, to go towards other needs. Thus an adversity became a blessing. The Lord uses sorrow to produce good.
A WOMAN DELIVERED FROM THE HABIT OF DRINKING.
"I visited a family for whom I have felt a deep interest for weeks past. The father had been out of employment some time, and they have lacked food and clothing. Much of their trouble has been caused by the intemperance of the mother. Her husband has borne long and patiently with her, and although she would for a long time leave off drinking, it was only to fall again still lower. While furnishing them with clothing, and assisting them in other ways, I besought the mother to give her heart to Jesus, knowing that he could keep her from falling. She became, a constant attendant at our meetings. Says "Jesus has taken her love for drink all away." One of her little ones, who is just beginning to talk, said the other day, "Mamma, you don't drink now." They are a happy family, and their home is greatly changed.
PRAYER FOR PURCHASERS.
When removal to the new Home was determined upon, there still remained five of the old buildings on hand to be disposed of. This too was taken to the Lord in prayer that he might send purchasers.
One building was sold in October, and the remaining four in November. When it is considered that a portion was property usually very difficult of sale, and that no advertisement of it had been made, no other means than prayer resorted to, it must be convincing to all that there must be "one who knoweth all things," who hears and helps in financial as well as in spiritual necessities.
ASKING FOR LARGE GIFTS.
Upon the 26th of September the record of the Home was as follows: "There is due on the first of next month, [USD]2,450 interest on our property, and we are now within four days of the time, with not a dollar towards it. For several days I have been asking that amount of the Lord."
Now here was a man depending wholly upon chance gifts for the livelihood of several hundred people, with a debt of over two thousand dollars to pay in four days. His occupation and work were such that no one could even possibly think of making any loans, as there was no security. Neither was it the principle or the practice of the Home ever to solicit a dollar. What was to be done? It was taken to the Lord in prayer, and all waited the result.
Was it at all probable that so large a sum of money could be sent in so short a time by any one or any number of persons?
That evening a letter from the probate office at Exeter, N. H., was received by Dr. Cullis, informing them of the death of a citizen of Portsmouth, with a bequest to the Home of five thousand dollars. The Lord answered their prayer the same day and sent double what was asked for.
A SEVERE TUMOR HEALED.
During the year 1872, there was under the professional care of Dr. Cullis, at the Consumptive's Home, a Christian lady with a tumor which confined her almost continuously to her bed in severe suffering. All remedies were unavailing, and the only human hope was the knife; but feeling in my own heart the power of the promise, I one morning sat down by her bedside, and taking up the Bible, I read aloud, God's promise to his believing children. "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
I then asked her if she would trust the Lord to remove this tumor and restore her to health and to her missionary work. She replied, "I am willing to trust the Lord for it."
I then knelt and anointed her with oil in the name of the Lord, asking Him to fulfill his own word. Soon after I left she got up and walked three miles. From that time the tumor rapidly lessened until all trace of it at length disappeared.
FAITH CURED HER.
This incident was related by the lady herself in a public meeting in Boston, where it was heard by the sorrowing wife of an afflicted husband, whose statement is as follows:
"I was first confined to my house with a violent cold. I lost my voice completely, suffered with pain in my lungs and expectorated almost constantly. I grew worse every day, and in a week called in a physician. On examination he found my lungs diseased. I also had fever. With all his care my cough grew worse, and night sweats set in; a few weeks later my wife was told by the Doctor that my lungs were badly ulcerated, and that my case being hopeless, it was not worth while for him to attend longer; also that she must NOT be surprised if I should pass away suddenly. I then tried some highly recommended medicine, which seemed only to increase my disease.
"When I became so weak as to be nearly helpless, Dr. Cullis was called in. He sounded my lungs and gave the same verdict, saying my only hope for recovery was in the Lord. Diarrhea also set in, and my feet began to swell."
This statement will show his perfect helplessness.
After the return of his wife from the above meeting, he read over and over the precious promises of God, and became more and more convinced of the power of faith. Believing that "He is faithful that promised" he sent for Dr. Cullis to come and pray with him.
"Dr. C. prayed, anointed me with oil, and in the name of the Lord Jesus, commanded me to be healed. Instantly my whole being was thrilled with an unknown power, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. From the moment I believed, the work was done. My lungs, so long diseased, breathed with new vigor, and I returned thanks to God for the results of faith. Since that memorable night I have taken no medicine, and my health has been constantly improving, so that I am feeling better now than I did before my sickness."
Two years after he was seen by Dr. Cullis, and continued in perfect health, and engaged in active business.
CURED OF CANCER.
A lady came to the Consumptive's Home with a cancer in the cheek, which had attained the size of a filbert. It had a very red and angry appearance. After prayer for her healing she went into the country, when some one remarked, 'E. thinks that faith will cure her, but that is something that will have to be burned out or cut out.' Her friends tried to induce the use of various applications, all of which she firmly refused. She returned home in eight weeks, entirely cured. Her friends acknowledged, 'Faith did do good after all.'
CURED OF NEURALGIA.
A lady of East Cambridge writes, "For nineteen years I have been afflicted with neuralgia; added to this, of late years a combination of diseases has rendered life an intolerable burden, and baffled the skill of every physician to whom I have applied. By the prayer of faith I have been healed, both body and soul, and made to rejoice continually. I can now say I am entirely well, and engaged in arduous work -- often among the sick, losing whole nights of rest."
CURED OF SPINE DISEASE.
Dr. Cullis thus speaks of a signal answer to his prayer. "While at the home of L.R. in England, I was asked to pray with his daughter, who had spinal curvature. Subsequently L.R. writes, 'We. are full of thankfulness and praise about E. She is quite well and strong, and does everything like her sisters. She has such perfect faith that the Lord had healed her, that she at once put away the board and said she should never lie upon it again, and on the following Sunday she walked four miles in a hot sun, and sat for two hours on a bench without a back. As far as we can judge, she is quite well in every respect. For fifteen months before she had been a constant cause of anxiety to us -- never walked or attended to study.'"
AN INJURED LEG RESTORED TO PROPER LENGTH.
"Some months ago a young lady called, requesting to be prayed for. She simply told me that some years ago she was run over and her hip badly injured. I asked her if she could trust the Lord for healing. She replied, 'Yes.' I prayed, with her, and she went home.
"I learned after a day or two, that she was perfectly cured, and obtained from her these facts: Some six years before, she was run over by a hack, and her hip so injured that she was confined to her bed for six months. She then got up with a permanent lameness, one limb being shorter than the other. In two or three instances since, she has been confined to her bed for three months at a time. She now walks perfectly, both limbs being of the same length. She says of herself, 'I can leap and run as well as any other person, and my heart overruns with praise and thanksgiving to God.'"
A LOST VOICE REGAINED.
"Some nine months since a lady showed signs of indisposition, and soon was attacked by a cough. Change of air was prescribed, but after a lapse of some weeks she returned to her home, in no way improved. Physicians were consulted, her lungs found to be much irritated and pulse low. Soon all appetite left her, a hoarseness succeeded, resulting in entire loss of voice.
"There was little desire to eat, as everything taken into the stomach caused great distress. Months succeeded; nothing could be gained from medical treatment. I felt that I must trust all to God. I seemed to feel that God would heal me. I read in his Bible, 'The prayer of faith shall save the sick.' I accepted it at once, I felt sure that it was for me. I was led to visit Boston and see Doctor Cullis. I stated all the circumstances of my illness, and was asked if I could trust God to heal me? I replied, 'Yes, I am sure the Lord is able and willing.'
"'We knelt in prayer; in a moment, as it were, my. voice came to me, I was able to talk with ease, and from that time nothing that I have eaten has given me any distress. The Lord's promises are sure, and He has filled my soul with joy and praise.'"
In speaking of the many cases of cures in answer to prayer, Doctor Cullis says: "I have noticed that in some cases the cure has been instantaneous; others I have prayed with two or three times, or even more. My explanation is, as far as I have been able to observe, that there has been oftentimes a question or lack of faith on the part of the patient; for some seem to come, not in faith, but as a matter of experiment. God's word says it is the prayer of faith that shall save the sick."
From this it will be noticed that the faith is that of the patient, and the more strongly it is fixed on God and the promise, the surer the answer.
It is but justice to say, that in no case has there ever been the thought or the assumption, by Doctor Cullis himself, of having any divinely conferred power to heal all that come to him, or for whom he may pray. No such power would ever be given to any human creature by our Lord. It is the Lord himself who works the wonder -- but solely because of the faith of sufferers who have sought the addition of the prayer of one who is stronger in faith and prayer than its own. Each must wait upon God, and must have faith without a doubt, and perfect willingness to trust all to Him, and continue to expect the blessing.
It should be noticed, also, that all who have come pleading the prayer of faith, and asking the Lord for relief, have either then, or before, pledged themselves to the service of the Lord, and have desired the good gifts they seek, that they may more efficiently work for His own honor and glory, and the good of others.
When such a desire for healing is united with the desire and the promise to work in future for the Lord, His own kingdom and glory, the Lord is pleased with it, and His promise is made sure to those who come in faith.
It is needless to say that those who come for prayer, with the desire only for experiment, and also those who are withholding their lives or pledges of devotion to Him, need never expect an answer.
CURED OF ST. VITAS' DANCE.
"Very early in childhood, I was seized with a nervous trouble, something like St. Vitus' Dance. As I grew older it did not pass off, but settled into a disease of the muscles. It became a terrible affliction. It was usually under my control, but I could not endure protracted work of any kind, or unusual fatigue; I had consulted, in various cities, the best physicians, but they pronounced it incurable. All that could be done was to be careful of overwork and excitement. It must have been twenty-five years since I was first taken.
"Doctor Cullis asked me if I could give my body to the Lord to be healed; I felt that I could truly say 'Yes.' He then, in a simple manner, prayed that the Lord would restore strength of nerve and muscle. I went home, touched and improved by the comforting words. At the end of the week I was startled at the recollection that I had felt hardly anything of my trouble. My nerves began to feel as if they were held with a grasp of iron. The muscles refused to move as before at every inclination. For two weeks this painful tension lasted. Then I felt a gradual relaxation, and found that I was strong like other people. I tested myself in the severest way -- walked, wrote and lifted -- after each exertion I could enjoy perfect rest. The mystery of the miracles was explained to me. This power of God manifested in the past, is manifest to us still. Faith can grasp and use it. Close beside us stands a living Christ."
HIP DISEASE CURED.
A lady from Brooklyn, N.Y., came to the Consumptive's Home for prayer cure.
"She had a diseased hip, and had used crutches for twenty years. Often the hip joint would slip from its socket, so that it was impossible for her to walk without crutches. She now writes, 'My lameness was incurable, and God interposed in my behalf, in answer to your prayer. I have been able to walk for five months without the crutches I have used for over twenty years.'"
A BAD DEBT PAID.
A correspondent of Doctor Cullis, who was unable to collect a debt from a refractory and worthless debtor, promised to give it to the Lord, if it was ever paid. The following is his letter:
"Perhaps you remember that the writer, some months ago, asked you to pray that some money which had been due him a long time, and which to all human appearance was never to be paid, might by God's interposition be paid in full. Enclosed, find the full amount, [USD]25, which was paid a few days since. All glory to Him, who never, never fails."
CONSUMPTION INSTANTLY HEALED.
"At a meeting in the Chapel of the Consumptive's Home, held March 7, 1876, public prayer was offered for a young man in Florida, who was apparently gone in consumption; an interested friend had previously written him that prayer would be offered for him at that time.
"Not long after she received letters from him, stating that at that same hour he too had joined in supplication, and was instantly healed. He says that while before the Lord, pleading his promise, his voice and strength were taken away for a time. Then he began to praise the Lord, and to feel, 'tis done,' and it was done, and tells of the wonderful change, his ability to talk and sing, with no difficulty whatever."
CURED OF CATARRH.
"I have been afflicted with catarrh for over twenty years. I had consulted many physicians and used many remedies -- all failed to help me. In the Spring of 1874, I grew so much worse that life became a burden; I suffered from dizziness and great prostration; I was urged to go to you for faith cure. This was no new thing to me; I believed in it, yet found it difficult to exercise faith for myself.
"My daughter went to see you, as I was then unable to go. I looked to God, and believed from that very moment. My whole soul and body seemed thrilled, and I began to gain strength immediately.
"In a few days I was able to go to your Home. You prayed simply that God would take all disease from me. I have been entirely well from that time; not only cured of catarrh, but tumors on my limbs were entirely removed. I desire to give God the praise; I bless him that He does forgive our transgressions and heal our diseases."
These instances are only a very few out of many, that have occurred, too numerous for repetition here. It must be admitted, that God has most signally blessed the faith of the inmates of the Consumptive's Home, answered their prayer for others. In nearly all the cases of healing which have occurred, the sufferers have failed in all other means, and in their extremity have depended wholly in faith in God.
In speaking of them, Doctor Cullis says: "We do not give these instances of the healing of the body, dear friends of Jesus, as in any degree paramount to the healing of the soul; but that as the dear children of God, we may claim all our privileges, and enjoy the knowledge of our fullness of possession in Him who declares" all things are, yours." Shall we in any manner, of smallest or largest import, limit the love and power of God, who deigneth out of the highest heaven to declare," The Lord thinketh upon me." As an earthly parent separates no part of the well-being of his child from his watchful care, so doth our Heavenly Father not only "forgive all our iniquities," but "healeth all our diseases." Let us not confine faith operation to the saving of the soul, while God's word is full of previous promise for the saving, keeping, and healing of the body.
"For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord."
A MOTHER'S FAITH -- THE LIFE OF BEATE PAULUS.
In a sketch of the life of Beate Paulus, the wife of a German minister who lived on the borders of the Black Forest, are several incidents which illustrate the power of living faith, and the providence of a prayer-hearing God.
Though destitute of wealth, she much desired to educate her children, and five of her six boys were placed in school, while she struggled, and prayed, and toiled, -- not only in the house, but out of doors, -- to provide for their necessities.
"On one occasion," writes one of her children, "shortly before harvest, the fields stood thick with corn, and our mother had already calculated that their produce would suffice to meet all claims for the year. She was standing at the window casting the matter over in her mind, with great satisfaction, when her attention was suddenly caught by some heavy, black clouds with white borders, drifting at a great rate across the Summer sky. 'It is a hail-storm!' she exclaimed in dismay, and quickly throwing up the window, she leaned out. Her eyes rested upon a frightful mass of wild storm-clouds, covering the western horizon, and approaching with rapid fury.
"'O God!' she cried, 'there comes an awful tempest, and what is to become of my corn?' The black masses rolled nearer and nearer, while the ominous rushing movement that precedes a storm, began to rock the sultry air, and the dreaded hail-stones fell with violence. Half beside herself with anxiety about those fields lying at the eastern end of the valley, she now lifted her hands heavenward, and wringing them in terror, cried: 'Dear Father in heaven, what art thou doing? Thou knowest I cannot manage to pay for my boys at school, without the produce of those fields! Oh! turn Thy hand, and do not let the hail blast my hopes!' Scarcely, however, had these words crossed her lips when she started, for it seemed to her as if a voice had whispered in her ear,' Is my arm shortened that it cannot help thee in other ways?' Abashed, she shrank into a quiet corner, and there entreated God to forgive her want of faith. In the meantime the storm passed. And now various neighbors hurried in, proclaiming that the whole valley lay thickly covered with hail-stones, down to the very edge of the parsonage fields, but the latter had been quite spared. The storm had reached their border, and then suddenly taking another direction into the next valley. Moreover, that the whole village was in amazement, declaring that God had wrought a miracle for the sake of our mother, whom he loved. She listened, silently adoring the goodness of the Lord, and vowing that henceforth her confidence should be only in Him."
At another time she found herself unable to pay the expenses of the children's schooling, and the repeated demands for money were rendered more grievous by the reproaches of her husband, who charged her with attempting impossibilities, and told her that her self-will would involve them in disgrace. She, however, professed her unwavering confidence that the Lord would soon interpose for their relief, while his answer was: "We shall see; time will show."
In the midst of these trying circumstances, as her husband was one day sitting in his study, absorbed in meditation, the postman brought three letters from different towns where the boys were at school, each declaring that unless the dues were promptly settled, the lads would be dismissed. The father read the letters with growing excitement, and spreading them out upon the table before his wife as she entered the room, exclaimed: "There, look at them, and pay our debt with your faith! I have no money, nor can I tell where to go for any."
"Seizing the papers, she rapidly glanced through them, with a very grave face, but then answered firmly, 'It is all right; the business shall be settled. For He who says, "The gold and silver is mine," will find it an easy thing to provide these sums.' Saying which she hastily left the room.
"Our father readily supposed she intended making her way to a certain rich friend who had helped us before. He was mistaken, for this time her steps turned in a different direction. We had in the parsonage an upper loft, shut off by a trap-door from the lower one, and over this door it was that she now knelt down, and began to deal with Him in whose strength she had undertaken the work of her children's education. She spread before Him those letters from the study table, and told Him of her husband's half scoffing taunt. She also reminded Him how her life had been redeemed from the very gates of death, for the children's sake, and then declared that she could not believe that He meant to forsake her at this juncture; she was willing to be the second whom He might forsake, but she was determined not to be the first.
"In the meanwhile, her husband waited down stairs, and night came on; but she did not appear. Supper was ready, and yet she stayed in the loft. Then the eldest girl, her namesake Beate, ran up to call her; but the answer was, 'Take your supper without me, it is not time for me to eat.' Late in the evening, the little messenger was again dispatched, but returned with the reply: 'Go to bed; the time has not come for me to rest.' A third time, at breakfast next morning, the girl called her mother. 'Leave me alone,' she said; 'I do not need breakfast; when I am ready I shall come.' Thus the hours sped on, and down stairs her husband and the children began to feel frightened, not daring, however, to disturb her any more. At last the door opened, and she entered, her face beaming with a wonderful light. The little daughter thought that something extraordinary must have happened; and running to her mother with open arms, asked eagerly: 'What is it? Did an angel from heaven bring the money?' 'No, my child,' was the smiling answer, 'but now I am sure that it will come.' She had hardly spoken, when a maid in peasant costume entered, saying: 'The master of the Linden Inn sends to ask whether the Frau Pastorin can spare time to see him?' 'Ah, I know what he wants,' answered our mother. 'My best regards, and I will come at once.' Whereupon she started, and mine host, looking out of his window, saw her from afar, and came forward to welcome her with the words: 'O Madame, how glad I am you have come!' Then leading her into his back parlor he said; 'I cannot tell how it is, but the whole of this last night I could not sleep for thinking of you. For some time I have had several hundred gulden lying in that chest, and all night long I was haunted by the thought that you needed this money, and that I ought to give it to you. If that be the case, there it is -- take it; and do not trouble about repaying me. Should you be able to make it up again, well and good -- if not, never mind.' On this my mother said: 'Yes, I do most certainly need it, my kind friend; for all last night I too was awake, crying to God for help. Yesterday there came three letters, telling us that all our boys would he dismissed unless the money for their board is cleared at once.'
"'Is it really so?' exclaimed the innkeeper, who was a noble-hearted and spiritual Christian man. 'How strange and wonderful! Now I am doubly glad I asked you to come!' Then opening the chest, he produced three weighty packets, and handed them to her with a prayer that God's blessing might rest upon the gift. She accepted it with the simple words: 'May God make good to you this service of Christian sympathy; for you have acted as the steward of One who has promised not even to leave the giving of a cup of cold water unrewarded.'
"Husband and children were eagerly awaiting her at home, and those three dismal letters still lay open on the table, when the mother, who had quitted that study in such deep emotion the day before, stepped up to her husband, radiant with joy. On each letter, she laid a roll of money and then cried: 'Look, there it is! And now believe that faith in God is no empty madness!'"
THE PERSECUTOR'S FATE.
Dr. Eugenio Kincaid, the Burman missionary, states, that among the first converts in Ava were two men who had held respectable offices about the palace. Some time after they had been baptized, a neighbor determined to report them to government, and drew up a paper setting forth that these two men had forsaken the customs and religion of their fathers, were worshiping the foreigner's God, and went every Sunday to the teacher's house; with other similar charges. He presented the paper to the neighbors of the two disciples, taking their names as witnesses, and saving that he should go and present the accusation on the next day.
The two Christians heard of it, and went to Mr. Kincaid in great alarm, to consult as to what they should do. They said if they were accused to government, the mildest sentence they could expect would be imprisonment for life at hard labor, and perhaps they would be killed. Kincaid told them that they could not flee from Ava, if they would; that he saw nothing he could do for them, and all that they could do was to trust in God to protect them, and deliver them from the power of their enemies. They also prayed, and soon left Kincaid, saying that they felt more calm, and could leave the matter with God.
That night the persecutor was attacked by a dreadful disease in the bowels, which so distressed him that he roared like a madman; and his friends, which is too often the case with the heathen, left him to suffer and die alone. The two Christians whom he would have ruined then went and took care of him till he died, two or three days after his attack. The whole affair was well known in the neighborhood, and from that time not a dog dared move his tongue against the Christians of Ava.
Is there no evidence in this of a special providence, and that God listens to the prayers of persecuted and distressed children?
THE CAPTAIN AND THE QUADRANT.
A godly man, the master of an American ship, during one voyage found his ship bemisted for days, and he became rather anxious respecting her safety. He went down to his cabin and prayed. The thought struck him, if he had with confidence committed his soul to God, he might certainly commit his ship to Him; and so, accordingly, he gave all into the hands of God, and felt at perfect peace; but still he prayed, that if He would be pleased to give a cloudless sky at twelve o'clock, he should like to take an observation to ascertain their real position, and whether they were on the right course.
He came on deck at eleven o'clock, with the quadrant under his coat. As it was thick drizzling, the men looked at him with amazement. He went to his cabin, prayed, and came up. There seemed still to be no hope. Again he went down and prayed, and again he appeared on deck with his quadrant in his hand. It was now ten minutes to twelve o'clock, and still there was no appearance of a change; but he stood on the deck, waiting upon the Lord, when, in a few minutes, the mist seemed to be folded up and rolled away as by an omnipotent and invisible hand; the sun shown clearly from the blue vault of heaven, and there stood the man of prayer with the quadrant in his hand, but so awe-struck did he feel, and so "dreadful" was that place, that he could scarcely take advantage of the answer to his prayer. He, however, succeeded, although with trembling hands, and found, to his comfort, that all was well. But no sooner had he finished taking the observation than the mist rolled back over the heavens, and it began to drizzle as before.
This story of prayer was received from the lips of the good Captain Crossby, who was so useful in the Ardrossan awakening; and he himself was the man who prayed and waited upon his God with the quadrant in his hand.
THE FAITH OF DOROTHEA TRUDEL.
The life of Dorothea Trudel has afforded some remarkable instances of answer to prayer; during the years 1850 to 1860, at the Swiss village of Maennedorf, near the Lake of Zurich, and that of Molltingen, were seen and witnessed, cases of cure in response to unyielding faith in the promises of the Lord.
Dorothea Trudel was a worker in flowers, and in time came to have many workers under her, and when she was about thirty-seven years of age, four or five of her workers fell sick. The sickness resisted all treatment, grew worse, appeared to be hopeless. She was a deep, earnest Christian, and while diligent and unselfish as a nun, yet her anxiety for her work people drew her to earnest prayer and study of the Scriptures for relief. Like a sudden light, she says, the well known prayer of the Epistle of James, 5: 14, 15, flashed upon her.
"If medical skill was unavailing, was there not prayer? And could not the same Lord who chose to heal through medicines, also heal without them? Was he necessarily restricted to the one means? There was a time when his healing power went forth directly; might it not be put forth directly still?"
Agitated by these questions, she sought help in prayer, and then kneeling by the bedside of these sick people, she prayed for them. They recovered; and the thought that at first had startled her, became now the settled conviction of her life.
Her reputation spread; others who were sick, came to her for relief, but she sought only the recovery of the patients by prayer alone. Many recovered. Her doors were besieged, and at last she consented to receive invalids at her home, from compassion. By degrees her own house grew into three, and at last it became in fact a hospital.
She lived a life of humility, and perfect simplicity, yet strength of faith, and at her death her work was, and still is, carried on by Mr. Zeller, who also has had marvelous successes in answer to prayer.
There have been gathered together in her biography, well authenticated cases of answer to prayer, when the patient was considered wholly incapable of help from medical skill.
"There was one of a stiff knee, that had been, treated in vain by the best physicians in France, Germany and Switzerland; one of an elderly man who could not walk, and had been given up by his physicians, but who soon dispensed with his crutches; a man came with a burned foot, and the surgeons said it was a case of 'either amputation or death' and he also was cured; one of the leading physicians of Wurtemburg, testifies to the cure of a hopeless patient of his own; another remained six weeks, and says he saw all kinds of sicknesses healed; cancers and fevers have been treated with success; epilepsy and insanity more frequently than any other form of disease.
"Neither is the life and experience of Dorothea Trudel an exceptional one. Pastor Blumenhart of Wurtemberg, has had his home crowded for years with patients, and cures occur constantly.
"The mother of Dorothea Trudel was an eminently pious woman, and it was her custom, when any of her children were ill, to bring them in prayer before the feet of the Heavenly Physician, as Dorothea herself says: 'Our mother had no cure except prayer, and though at that time we did not understand, yet since then we have found it out, that it was the healing hand of the Saviour alone, that helped and restored us.'"
CURED OF THE SMALL-POX.
"Even when I had the small-pox, and became blind, no doctor was sent for, and no one was told of it. Our father was not at home (he, father, most unfortunately, was not a religious person); and when our mother asked him to come, telling him how ill I was, he would not believe it, and preferred to remain with his friends. Our mother, however, was not in the least vexed or excited; she prayed for him, for all of us, especially for her sick child, and before my father came home, my eyes were re-opened."
CURED OF SEVERE FITS.
"Once again, one of my brothers had a fit brought on through fright. It was a most violent and painful attack, and we were greatly alarmed. This time, also, our father was out; and our mother said to us, I know this fearful illness, my children; it is one of the heaviest trials which could have, occurred, but Jesus, who cured that lunatic boy, can heal our child. Do not speak of the attack to any one; we will go only to Jesus about it; and then she prayed with us.
"Not long after, a second fit came on, and again our father was taking his pleasure at the public house. This time mother told him what had happened in his absence; but he laughed at it, and said, 'I don't believe it; you were frightened at the child having bad dreams.'
"His wife replied, 'For the sake of your unbelief, I hope that the child will have another attack whilst you are at home, so that you may witness it yourself, then you will believe; I pray God, however, that this may be the last time.'
"It came to pass about a week after, that another most dreadful fit came on; the boy foamed violently, and threw himself about in fearful convulsions; on this occasion the father was present, and he was convinced of the nature of the attack, and alarmed at what he saw. But the mother's prayer was heard, for the disease never showed itself again for thirty-four years, while both parents lived."
BUYING A COW.
"Our father going away abroad, he sold one of our two cows, and took the proceeds with him. (He, the father, was a reckless spendthrift, idle, and fond of the public inn.) A rich neighbor directly offered to loan us money enough to buy another; this kind proposal we gratefully accepted. Although we did not understand much about bargains of this kind, yet the cow we purchased served us so remarkably, that we were obliged to acknowledge whence the blessing came. In Summer we could sell fourteen measures of milk; in Winter, twelve to the dairyman, so that the borrowed money was speedily paid.
"At the same time the cow performed the farm work required of it, with such strength and quickness, we were astonished. When our father, on his return, heard us speaking with pleasure of this animal, he became so enraged with the poor thing, that he was determined to sell it, and actually offered it at half its value.
"The faithless children were in a continual fright. When any one came near the house, we thought that we were assuredly going to lose our cow. But mother exhorted us not to be so fearful; for, said she, 'If your father could do always as he likes, none of you would be alive now; but God will never let him go any farther than he sees to be for our good. Believe me, God, who has given us this cow, will keep it for us as long as we need it.'
"And so it turned out, for the cow never left us whilst our mother was alive; and when we were all provided for, a purchaser came, who paid a high price for the creature, having heard of its wonderful powers from the man to whom we sold the milk for so many years; but no sooner was the animal taken to its new home, than the wonder ceased, and this cow became no better than any other."
A LADY CURED, WHO HAD BEEN REJECTED FROM AN ASYLUM.
"Madam M -- -- , the mother of twelve children, had been quite shattered in mind by the death of her husband, and had been actually sent away uncured from an asylum. She came to Dorothea's home, was blessed in remembrance in her prayers, and after seven weeks went away perfectly cured. She acknowledged the Lord was indeed her helper, and she has remained well to this day."
THE SOUL CURED AS WELL AS THE BODY.
On many occasions she experienced wonderful help from God, who, while performing marvels for the body, which is the least important part, accomplishes what is far greater, even the salvation of souls.
"Among others, one named B. T -- -- , went to her, who had been suffering for six months from a disease of his bones, and had been for a lengthened period in a Swiss hospital, under medical treatment. At length he, by the advice of Christian friends, sought for relief from his malady at Dorothea's house. His care began in the first week of his visit, and in a few weeks he was completely recovered."
On one occasion a young artisan came, in whom cancer had made such progress as to render any approach to him almost unbearable.
"At the Bible lessons, this once frivolous man, now an earnest inquirer, learned where the improvement must begin; and from the day that he confessed his sins against God and man, the disease abated. Some time afterwards he acknowledged one sin he had hitherto concealed, and then he speedily recovered his bodily health, and returned to his home cured in spirit also."
"A lady in S -- -- had so injured her knee by a fall, that for weeks she lay in the greatest agony. The doctors declared that dropsy would supervene; but the Heavenly Physician fulfilled those promises which will abide until the end of the world; and by prayer, and the laying on of Dorothea's hand, the knee was cured in twenty-four hours, and the swelling vanished."
PRAYER, NOT MESMERISM.
"Several people have maintained that her work was one of mesmerism; and when once she was asked to visit an out patient, she earnestly implored the Lord not to heal this invalid through her means if she employed mesmerism; but if not, to permit recovery. The woman was cured in a short time, though Dorothea had never entered her house, and had, therefore, no opportunity of placing herself in a mesmeric relation to this patient."
HELP IN PECUNIARY AFFAIRS.
"In pecuniary affairs, also, the Lord was their helper. Many times something had to be paid, and they had no means wherewith to meet the claims. Once, God actually sent aid by means of an enemy, who offered money; another time, three thousand francs came from Holland, just as they were needed, and also unexpected on a third occasion they were about to borrow money to pay for bread, when two hundred and fifty francs arrived."
THE FAITH LIFE OF MR. ZELLER.
After the death of Dorothea Trudel, the work at Maennedorf, instituted by her, has been furthered and carried on by Mr. Samuel Zeller, who had been her associate. He has published two reports, which contain many instances of answers to prayer, showing that the Lord still gave blessed results, and rewarded their faithful trust.
"No disease is found to be more obstinate than epilepsy, yet several instances are recorded of patients being restored to perfect health. Persons afflicted with mental disorder and convulsions are frequently brought to Maennedorf, and many return cured or benefited.
"On one occasion, a lady who had been afflicted with constant headache for five years, found her disorder removed speedily under the influence of prayer. In other cases the passion for strong drink was taken away; fever more or less disappeared; and the subjects of various kinds of chronic diseases, even some apparently far gone in consumption, have found their strength return to them under the same influence.
"Unhappy victims of spiritualist delusions have found deliverance at the mercy-seat; and there, too, many in the bondage of sin have rejoiced in a present Saviour.
"One patient afflicted with convulsions, who came several years successively without being cured, at last confessed that she possessed a book of 'charms' in which she put some degree of, faith, and she had recommended them to others. She was led to see the folly and sin of such things, and soon after the book was burned she was restored to health."
Many cases have occurred where the suffering patient was utterly unable to come to Maennedorf, but prayer has been offered there in their behalf, and the answers have been as frequent as with the cases which have come under the same roof.
"A brother living at R -- -- was seized with a violent fever, and appeared to be at death's door. Intelligence having been sent to Maennedorf, united prayer was made in his behalf; and very soon afterwards a telegraphic message announced that he was recovering. On this occasion the promise was remembered with joy,' Before they call I will answer.'"
"Perhaps one of the most striking cases of blessing recorded is that of a lady, who was subject to fits of insanity so violent that they threatened her life, and who was so far conscious of her miserable condition, that happening to go into a meeting where she heard God's word, she requested to be prayed for. A friend wrote to Maennedorf, describing the case, and asking prayer on her behalf; and only a fortnight later, the same friend communicated the happy news of her recovery. After a fit of unusual severity, she fell into a deep sleep, from which she awoke in her right mind; more than that, she learned to believe in the Lord Jesus, and rejoiced in His love."
"A patient in this institution, who arrived unconverted, and was thought to be in a dying state, heard the good news of Salvation, and was enabled to rejoice in the Lord, through simple trust in Him; and from that moment she began to rapidly recover from her disorder, and soon became strong enough to nurse another patient."
Another remarkable case was that of a young girl who, in consequence of the breaking off of a marriage engagement, manifested decided symptoms of insanity. She not only recovered from her malady, but found the Saviour.
THE BLIND RESTORED TO SIGHT.
Prayer was asked for a young lady who was wholly blind. A letter received soon after brought this joyful news:
"In answer to your prayer for our niece, I must thankfully tell you, her eyes are so much better that the Doctor this morning told her to thank God for having saved her from the most dangerous kind of cataract.
"While examining her eyes, the Doctor, who is a Jew, took up a book lying near, and opening it told her to try and read, which she was able to do with ease. It was a hymn book, and the first words on which her eyes fell were these:
'Christ Jesus, glorious King of Light,
"'That will do,' said the Doctor, 'you are much better.'
"I for my part hastened to my chamber, and shutting the door fell on my knees with a cry of joyful praise."
Threats were made by many of the villagers that they would burn up the house for this institution, saying all manner of unreasonable things. "You can not prevent this by prayer," said one writer, "we have taken an oath to do it." Mr. Zeller remained quiet, taking no notice of these threats, but quietly trusted in the Lord. Though other anonymous letters came frequently, yet the threats were never carried out.
It will he seen from this that, blessed as was the work of faith, still the spirit of persecution was permitted by the Lord only to make his own children rely more confidently on Him, and that he might fulfill more positively his promise, "No evil shall befall thee, no harm come nigh thy dwelling."
THE BANK OF FAITH. GOD THE GUARDIAN OF THE POOR.
Perhaps the providence of God in supplying the wants of the poor never was more closely watched and better described than has been done by the late William Huntington, formerly a minister in London, England, who, in a book with the quaint title of the "Bank of Faith," tells how, in his course of life, day by day the Lord guarded him, helped him, and provided for every need, even the most trifling. It is a precious record of faith and full of true encouragement. He answers as follows this question: "Should we fray for temporal blessings?"
"Some have affirmed that we have no warrant to pray for temporal blessings, but, blessed be God, he has given us 'the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.' Yea, the promise of all things pertaining to life and Godliness, and whatever God has promised we may warrantably pray for.
"Those that came to our Saviour in the days of his flesh, prayed chiefly for temporal mercies. The blind prayed for sight, the lepers for a cure, the lame far the use of their limbs, and the deaf for the use of their ears, and surely had they prayed unwarrantably, their prayers would not have been so miraculously answered.
"Elijah prayed for a temporal mercy when he prayed for rain, and it is clear that God answered him. Elisha works a miracle to produce a temporal mercy when he healed the barren plains of Jericho."
Is my reader a poor Christian? Take it patiently. God maketh the poor as well as the rich. Envy not the rich. Riches are often seen to be a canker-worm at the root of a good man's comfort, a snare in his life, an iron pillar at the back of his pride. A gar prayed to be fed with food convenient for him, and you may pray for the same, and what God gives you in answer to your prayer you will be thankful for.
That state is surely best which keeps you dependent on God and thankful to Him, and so you shall find it to the end. Go on, poor Christian, trusting in the providence of God.
THE LIFE OF HIS CHILD SAVED.
"My eldest daughter now living fell sick at about five or six months old, and was wasted to a skeleton. She had a doctor to attend her, but she got worse and worse. It seemed as if God intended to bereave us of her, for he brought her even to death's door.
"My wife and I have sat up with her night after night, watching the cradle, expecting every breath to be her last, for two or three weeks together. At last I asked the Doctor if he thought there was any hope of her life. He answered, no, he would not flatter me. She would surely die.
"This distressed me beyond measure, and as he told me to do no more for her, I left my room, went to my garden in the evening, and, in my little tool house, wrestled hard with God in prayer for the life of the child.
"I went home satisfied that God had heard me; and in three days the child was as well as she is now, and ate as heartily. This effectually convinced me that all things were possible with God."
GOD SENT SUPPLIES.
"When I had been three weeks out of employment, I found a new place, and after pawning all my best clothes to pay expenses, when the cart set us down at the new home on Monday morning, I had the total sum of ten pence half-penny left, to provide for myself, my wife and child, till the ensuing Saturday night.
"Though I was thus poor, yet I knew God had made me rich in faith. We went on our knees beseeching the Almighty to send relief, as he in his wisdom thought proper.
"The next evening my landlord's daughter, and son-in-law, came up to see their mother, and brought some baked meat, which they had just taken out of their oven, and brought for me and my wife to sup along with them.
"These poor people knew nothing of us, nor of our God. The next day in the evening they did the same, and kept sending victuals and garden stuff to us all the week long."
THE GOD WHO SUPPLIED ELIJAH BY A RAVEN SUPPLIED ME WITH FISH.
One of the most beautiful instances ever known, which almost identically repeats the Bible over again, especially in the instance of Elijah as he was fed in an unseen way by the hand of God, is given in the life of Mr. Huntington. He was wholly unable to provide for his family, and could depend only on God.
"As I went over a bridge, I cast my eye on the right-hand side, and there lay a very large eel on the mud by the river side, apparently dead. I caught hold of it and soon found it was only asleep. With difficulty I got it safe out of the mud upon the grass, and then carried it home. My little one was very fond of it, and it richly supplied all her wants that day. But at night I was informed the eel was all gone, so the next day afforded me the same distress and trouble as the preceding day had done.
"The next morning, as I entered the garden gate, I saw a partridge lie dead on the walk. I took it up and found it warm; so I carried it home, and it richly supplied the table of our little one that day.
"Again the next day still found me unprovided, and brought forth fresh work for faith and prayer. However, the morrow took thought for the things of itself, for when I came to take the scythe in my hand to mow the short grass, I looked into the pond, and there I saw three very large carp lying on the water apparently sick. When the master came I told him of it. He went and looked and said they were dead, and told me I might have them if I would, for they were not in season. However, they came in due season to me. And I found, morning after morning, there lay two or three of these fish at a time, dead, just as I wanted them, till I believe there was not one live fish remaining, six inches long, in the pond, which was near three hundred feet in length.
"I could not help weeping, admiring the goodness of God. As I studied the Bible, I clearly perceived that the most eminent saints of the Bible were brought into low circumstances, as Jacob, David, Moses, Joseph, Job and Jeremiah, and all the apostles, in order that the hand of providence might be watched."
GOD TAKES AWAY THE SNOW.
"In the Winter the Lord sent a very deep snow, which lay a considerable time on the ground. We were brought into great straits, as our wheat was now of no use to us, and we could obtain no wood, the landlady saying that as the snow was likely to last some time, she must keep what little she had left, and could sell us no more.
"There was before us the fear of great suffering with the cold. I begged of God that he might that night take away the snow, and send us something to burn, that our little one might not perish with the cold, and the next morning the snow was all gone."
"A violent humor came into my eyes, and for some months I was in danger of losing my sight. Both myself and my second daughter had it more or less for several years.
"In answer to prayer, God healed her eyes and mine too, so that our sight was perfectly recovered."
PRAYING FOR TEA.
"As the life of faith consists in bearing the cross of Christ, we must not expect to be long without trials. Providence soon frowned on me again, and I got behindhand, as usual.
"This happened at a time when my wife was about delivery of child, and we were destitute of those necessaries of life which are needful at such times. The nurse came: we told her there was no tea in the house. My wife replied, 'Set the kettle on, even if there is not.'
"The nurse said, 'You have no tea, nor can you get any.' My wife replied, 'Set on the kettle.' She did so, and before it boiled, a woman (with whom at that time we had no acquaintance) came to the door, and told the nurse that she had brought some tea as a present for my wife."
THE LORD PAID HIS DEBT.
"It was the time of my returning from the north country. I observed that there were some small debts to be discharged. But the hand of God was fast closed; this continued for some time: and for all that time, I watched and observed narrowly.
"At this time there was a special debt due of twenty pounds. This sum hung long. I looked different ways, and chalked out different roads for the Almighty to walk in; but his paths were in the deep waters, and his footsteps were not known; no raven came, neither in the morning, nor in the evening.
"There was a gentlewoman at my house on a visit, and I asked her if she had got the sum of twenty pounds in her pocket, telling her at the same time how much I wanted it. She told me she had not; if she had, I should have it. A few hours after, the same woman was coming into my study, but she found it locked, and knocked at the door; I let her in, and she said, 'I am sorry I disturbed you.' I replied, 'You do not disturb me; I have been begging a favor of God, and I had just done when you knocked; and that favor I have now got in faith, and shall shortly have in hand, and you will see it.'"
"The afternoon of the same day, two gentlemen out of the city came to see me; and after a few hours of conversation, they left me, and to my great surprise, each of them at parting put a letter into my hand, which, when they were gone, I opened, and found a ten pound note in each. I immediately sent for the woman up-stairs, and let her read the letters, and then sent the money to pay the debt."
It is impossible to give in this page any large portion of the life of Mr. Huntington, who was rich in faith, and upon whom God showered abundant answers to prayer. But, like all of us, he, too, suffered extremely in all the necessities of life, yet ever looked to God above for help. Of his experience, he says in his own words, after having for years thoroughly tested the promises and faithfulness of God:
"A succession of crosses was always followed with perpetual blessings, for as sure as adversity led the van, so sure prosperity brought up the rear.
"Never, no never, did the Holy Spirit withhold his prevalent intercession from, me in times of trouble, nor did my God ever turn a deaf ear to my prayer, or fail to deliver me."
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."
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