THE SITE SELECTED--SIX THOUSAND ORPHANS IN PRISON--HOW TO ASK FOR DAILY BREAD--REVIEW OF TWENTY-FOUR YEARS--"TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW"--INSURANCE AGAINST BAD DEBTS.
During the year ending May 26, 1855, Mr. M. received toward the erection of the second new Orphan House five thousand two hundred and forty-two pounds eighteen shillings threepence, and the whole sum on hand for this object amounted to twenty-three thousand and fifty-nine pounds seventeen shillings eightpence one farthing. After recording the amount thus obtained, he adds:--
I judged that, though I had not such an amount of means in hand as I considered necessary before being warranted to begin to build, yet that I might make inquiries respecting land. Accordingly, I applied in the beginning of February for the purchase of two fields which join the land on which the new Orphan House is built. On these two fields I had had my eye for years, and had purposed to endeavor to purchase them whenever I might be in such a position, as to means for the building fund, that it would be suitable to do so. I found, however, that, according to the will of the late owner of these fields, they could not be sold now. Thus my prospects were blighted. When I obtained this information, though naturally tried by it and disappointed, I said; by God's grace, to myself, "The Lord has something better to give me, instead of these two fields;" and thus my heart was kept in peace. But when now the matter was fully decided that I could not obtain those fields, which had appeared to me so desirable for the object, the question arose, what I was to do for the obtaining of land. Under these circumstances some of my Christian friends again asked, as they had done before, why I did not build on the ground which we have around the new Orphan House. My reply was, as before, that it could not be done: 1. Because it would throw the new Orphan House for nearly two years into disorder, on account of the building going on round about it. 2. There would not be sufficient room without shutting in the present house to a great extent. 3. That, as the new Orphan House stands in the centre of our ground, there would not be sufficient room on any of the sides for the erection of a building so large as would be required. I was, however, led to consider whether there was any way whereby we could accomplish the building on the ground belonging to the new Orphan House. In doing so, I found that,--1. By having a high temporary boundary made of old boards, the building ground could be entirely distinct from the present establishment. 2. By building on an entirely different plan from that of the present house, we should not only have room enough; but that, also, 3. The present house would not be so inclosed that the health of the inmates of the establishment would thereby be injured.
But there was in connection with this another point which now came under consideration in addition to the particulars already mentioned: it was this. Though for four years past I had never had a doubt as to its being the will of God that I should build accommodation for seven hundred more orphans; yet, at the same time, I had for a long time seen the desirableness of having two houses instead of one, for the seven hundred orphans. This previously formed judgment of having two houses for three hundred and fifty orphans in each, or four hundred in the one, and three hundred in the other, led me now to see whether there could be another house built on each side of the present new Orphan House; and I judged, from measuring the ground, that there was no objection to this plan. I then called in the aid of architects, to survey the ground, and to make a rough plan of two houses, one on each side, and it was found that it could be accomplished. Having arrived thus far, I soon saw that we should not only save expense by this plan in various ways, but especially that thus the direction and inspection of the whole establishment would be much more easy and simple, as the buildings would be so near together. This, indeed, on being further considered, soon appeared to be a matter of such importance, that if even land could be had but a quarter of a mile off, the difficulties would be greatly increased thereby. At the same time I found that we still should retain so much land for cultivation by the spade as would furnish some out-door employment for many boys, and would produce such kind of vegetables as are the most important for young children to be had fresh out of the ground; or that we could easily rent a piece of ground near for that purpose, though it could not be bought.
The result, then, to which I have arrived at present is this: that having seen what could be accomplished on the ground which we have already, I decided to build, without any further delay than was necessary for preparing the plans, at the south side of the new Orphan House, another house for four hundred children. The plans are now ready, and in a very short time, God willing, i. e. as soon as all the necessary preliminary arrangements can be made, the building will commence, which I think will be in the early part of July of the present year (i. e. 1855).
This house is intended for four hundred female orphans, bereaved of both parents, from their earliest days until they can be placed out in service. With regard to the other house for three hundred orphans, to be built at the north side of the new Orphan House, nothing definitely can be stated at present. There is enough money in hand to build, fit up, and furnish the house for four hundred orphans, and it is expected that something will be left; but there is not sufficient money in hand, at present, to warrant the commencement of the building of both. As soon, however, as there is, I shall be delighted to take active measures with regard to that for three hundred orphans also. I do not ask persons to help me with their means. I speak to the Lord about my need in prayer, and I do not wait upon him in vain. At the same time I feel it right to state that there is a loud and an abundant call for caring for destitute orphans. On May 26, 1854, I had six hundred and two waiting for admission, each bereaved of both parents by death. Since then one hundred and ninety-seven more have been applied for, making in all seven hundred and ninety-nine. Of these I have been able to receive only thirty-nine during the past year, and forty-five who were waiting for admission have been otherwise provided for, or have died since application was made for them; so that still seven hundred and fifteen orphans are waiting for admission, from three months old and upward. But this number, I state unhesitatingly, would be much larger, had not very many persons refrained from making application because they judged it would be of no use, as there are already so many waiting for admission. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that there are many tens of thousands of destitute orphans in this country. And what provision is there in the way of orphan establishments it may be asked. At the last census, in 1851, there were in England and Wales thirty-nine orphan establishments, and the total number of orphans, provided for through them, amounted only to three thousand seven hundred and sixty-four; but at the time the new Orphan House was being built there were about six thousand young orphans in the prisons of England. To prevent their going to prison, to prevent their being brought up in sin and vice, yea, to be the honored instrument to win their souls for God, I desire, by his help, to enlarge the present establishment so as to be able to receive one thousand orphans; and individuals who have purposed not to live for time but for eternity, and to look on their means as in the light of eternity, will thus have an opportunity of helping me to care for these children. It is a great honor to be allowed to do anything for the Lord; therefore I do not press this matter. We can only give to him of his own; for all we have is his. When the day of recompense comes, the regret will only be that we have done so little for him, not that we have done too much.
During the year from May, 1854, to May, 1855, ample means were provided, in answer to prayer only, for the maintenance of the orphans, and for the various purposes of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution. The following statement exhibits the results of Mr. Müller's labors during the year under review:--
During this year four day schools in Bristol, with 184 children in them, were entirely supported by the funds of the Institution; and several other day schools in Devonshire, Cornwall, Suffolk, Ireland, and Scotland, were assisted with copies of the Holy Scriptures. Further, one Sunday school in Bristol, with 158 children, was entirely supported, and seven others in Cornwall, Devonshire, Somersetshire, and Gloucestershire, with about 400 children in them, were assisted. Lastly, one adult school, with 133 adults was entirely supported during this year. The amount expended during this year, on these various schools, was £338, 2s. 5d.
In connection with all these various schools, I would suggest the following important matter for prayer. From March, 1834, to May 26, 1855, there were 5,956 children in the day schools. In the adult schools there were 2,459 persons. The number of the Sunday-school children amounted to 2,817. Thus, without reckoning the orphans, 11,232 souls were brought under habitual instruction in the things of God in these various schools; besides the many thousands in the schools in various parts of England, Ireland, Scotland, British Guiana, the West Indies, the East Indies, etc., which were to a greater or less degree assisted.
The total sum which was expended during the twenty-one years, from March 5, 1834, to May 26, 1855, in connection with the schools, which were either entirely or in part supported by the funds of this Institution, amounted to £7,204, 12s. 8¼d.
The number of Bibles, New Testaments, and portions of the Holy Scriptures, which were circulated from May 26, 1854, to May 26, 1855, is as follows:--
Bibles sold, 693. Bibles given away, 890. Testaments sold, 950. Testaments given away, 748. Copies of the Psalms sold, 82. Other small portions of the Holy Scriptures sold, 136.
There were circulated from March 5, 1834, to May 26, 1855, through the medium of this Institution, 13,949 Bibles, 9,047 New Testaments, 188 copies of the Psalms, and 789 other small portions of the Holy Scriptures.
The total amount of the funds of this Institution spent on the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, from March 5, 1834, to May 26, 1855, is £3,389, 10s. 1d. The amount spent during this year, £476, 12s. 3d.
During this year there was spent of the funds of the Institution, for missionary objects, the sum of £2,081, 3s. 2d. By this sum fifty-seven laborers in the word and doctrine, in various parts of the world, were to a greater or less degree assisted.
The total amount of the funds of the Institution spent on missionary operations, from March 5, 1834, to May 26, 1855, was £16,115, 0s. 5½d.
There was laid out for tracts, from May 26, 1854, to May 26, 1855, the sum of £624, 8s. 4d.; and there were circulated within this year 895,034 tracts and books.
The total number of all the tracts and books which were circulated from the beginning up to May 26, 1855, was 3,584,710.
The total amount of means expended on this object, from Nov. 19, 1840, to May 26, 1855, was £2,868, 15s. 6¾d.
At the commencement of this period there were 298 orphans in the new Orphan House on Ashley Down, Bristol. During the year there were admitted into it 39 orphans.
The expenses for the orphans during this year were £4,304, 4s. 7½d.
Without any one having been personally applied to for anything by me, the sum of £74,132, 6s. 10¾d. was given to me for the orphans, as the result of prayer to God, from the commencement of the work up to May 26, 1855, which sum includes the £15,055, 3s. 2¼d., which was the cost of the building, fitting up and furnishing of the present new Orphan House, and the £23,059, 17s. 8¼d., which was in hand on the 26th May, 1855, for the building fund, and the £116, 17s. 8½d., the balance for the current expenses. It may also be interesting to the reader to know that the total sum which was given for the other objects, from the commencement of the work up to May 26, 1855, amounted to £25,239, 8s. 10¾d.; and that which came in by the sale of Bibles and tracts, and by the payments of the children in the day schools, from the commencement, amounted to £4,531, 12s. 10¾d. Besides this also a great variety and number of articles of clothing, furniture, provisions, etc., were given for the use of the orphans.
I have the joy of being able to state that we have great cause for thankfulness in that in the midst of many difficulties our labors among the orphans continue to be blessed, and that especially again and again instances now come before us in which those who were formerly under our care declare themselves on the Lord's side.
Besides being able to meet the expenses for the orphans and the other objects, amounting altogether to £7,832, 7s. 0½d., during this year I was able to add to the building fund £5,242, 18s. 3d. The total income during the year was £13,054, 14s. 4d.
Dec. 31, 1854. During this year there have been received into fellowship 61.
The Lord has been pleased to give me during this year £697, 11s. 5d.
One or the other of my readers may be ready to exclaim, six hundred and ninety-seven pounds eleven shillings fivepence! What a large sum! Not one out of a hundred ministers has such a large salary, nor one out of twenty clergymen such a good living! Should you, esteemed reader, say so, my reply is: Indeed, mine is a happy way for the obtaining of my temporal supplies; but if any one desires to go this way, he must,--
1. Not merely say that he trusts in God, but must really do so. Often individuals profess to trust in God, but they embrace every opportunity where they may directly or indirectly be able to expose their need, and thus seek to induce persons to help them. I do not say it is wrong to make known our wants; but I do say it ill agrees with trust in God to expose our wants for the sake of inducing persons to help us. God will take us at our word. If we say we trust in him, he will try whether we really do so, or only profess to do so; and if indeed we trust in him, we are satisfied to stand with him alone.
2. The individual who desires to go this way must be willing to be rich or poor, as the Lord pleases. He must be willing to know what it is to have an abundance or scarcely anything. He must be willing to leave this world without any possessions.
3. He must be willing to take the money in God's way, not merely in large sums, but in small. Again and again have I had a single shilling given or sent to me. To have refused such tokens of Christian love would have been ungracious.
4. He must be willing to live as the Lord's steward. If any one were to begin this way of living, and did not communicate out of that which the Lord gives to him, but hoard it up, or if he would live up to his income, as it is called, then the Lord, who influences the hearts of his children to help him with means, would soon cause those channels to be dried up. How it came that my already good income still more increased so as to come to what it is, I have stated in the early part of this volume; it was when I determined that, by God's help, his poor and his work should more than ever partake of my means. From that time the Lord was pleased more and more to intrust me with means for my own purse.
Various reasons might have kept me from publishing these accounts; but I have for my object in writing the glory of God, and therefore I delight in thus showing what a loving Master I serve, and how bountifully he supplies my necessities; and I write for the comfort and encouragement of my fellow-believers, that they may be led to trust in God more and more, and therefore I feel it due to them to state how, even with regard to this life, I am amply provided for, though that is not what I seek after.
Up to May 26, 1856, the total income for the building fund was £29,297, 18s. 11½d., so that only about £5,700 more will be required, as far as I am able to see, in order to accomplish to the full my purpose respecting the accommodation for 700 more orphans.
During the year 1855-1856, the wants of the orphans, as well as the demands of the missionary, Bible, tract, and school work, were supplied more amply than ever before, and a blessing rested upon all these departments of labor, as will appear from the following statement:--
During this year four day schools, with 203 children, were entirely supported by the funds of the Institution; and nine day schools were assisted with copies of the Holy Scriptures. Further, one Sunday school, with 158 children, was entirely supported, and eight others were assisted. Lastly, one adult school, with 158 adult scholars, was entirely supported, and two other adult schools, in Kent and Norfolk, were assisted with books. The amount which was spent during this year, in connection with these schools, was £348, 5s. 11¼d.; and the sum total expended during the last twenty-two years, in connection with the schools which were either entirely or in part supported by the funds of this Institution, amounts to £7,552, 18s. 7½d. The number of all the children who were under our care, merely in the schools which were entirely supported by this Institution, from March 5, 1834, to May 26, 1856, was 6,104 in the day schools, 2,911 in the Sunday schools, and 2,611 persons in the adult school. Thus, without reckoning the orphans, 11,626 have been brought under habitual instruction in the things of God in these various schools; besides the many thousands in the schools in various parts of England, Ireland, Scotland, British Guiana, the East Indies, etc., which have been to a greater or less degree assisted.
During this year was expended on the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, of the funds of this Institution, £496; 10s. There were circulated during this year 2,175 Bibles, 1,233 New Testaments, 119 copies of the Psalms, and 155 other small portions of the Holy Scriptures. There have been circulated since March 5, 1834, through the medium of this Institution, 16,124 Bibles, 10,280 New Testaments, 307 copies of the Psalms, and 944 other small portions of the Holy Scriptures. The sum total spent on the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, since March 5, 1834, is £3,886, 0s. 1d.
During this year there was spent, of the funds of the Institution, for missionary objects, £2,501, 9s. 1d. By this sum sixty-one laborers in the word and doctrine, in various parts of the world, were to a greater or less degree assisted.
The sum total which has been expended on missionary operations, of the funds of the Institution, since March 5, 1834, is £18,616, 9s. 6½d.
There was laid out for the circulation of tracts, from May 26, 1855, to May 26, 1856, the sum of £791, 1s. 0½d., and there were circulated 812,970 tracts and books. The sum total which has been expended on this object since Nov. 19, 1840, amounts to £3,659, 16s. 7¼d. The total number of all the tracts and books which have been circulated since Nov. 19, 1840, is 4,397,680.
At the beginning of this period there were 297 orphans in the new Orphan House. During the past year there have been admitted into it 25 orphans. The total number of orphans who have been under our care since April, 1836, is 622.
Without any one having been personally applied to for anything by me, the sum of £84,441, 6s. 3¼d. has been given to me for the orphans, as the result of prayer to God, since the commencement of the work, which sum includes the £15,055, 3s. 2¼d. which was the cost of the building, fitting up, and furnishing of the present new Orphan House, and the £29,297, 18s. 11½d. received up to May 26, 1856, for the building fund, and the £167, 18s. 11¾d., the balance of the current expenses. The total sum which has been given for the other objects since the commencement of the work amounts to £28,904, 11s. 3¾d.; and that which has come in by the sale of Bibles and tracts, and by the payments of the children in the day schools, from the commencement up to May 26, 1856, amounts to £5,145, 17s.
Dec. 31, 1855. During this year the Lord has been pleased to give me £726, 16s. 2¼d.
May 26, 1856. Yesterday evening it was twenty-four years since I came to labor in Bristol. In looking back upon this period, as it regards the Lord's goodness to my family and myself, the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and the saints among whom I seek to serve him, I exclaim, What has God wrought! I marvel at his kindness, and yet I do not; for such is his manner; and, if it please him that I remain longer on earth, I expect, not fewer manifestations of his love, but more and more.
Since my beloved friend and fellow-laborer and I first came to Bristol, 1,586 believers have been received into fellowship, which number, with the 68 we found in communion, makes 1,654. But out of that number 252 have fallen asleep, 53 have been separated from fellowship, 145 have left us, some, however, merely through circumstances and in love, and 510 have left Bristol; so that there are only 694 remaining in communion.
By the contributions received during the year 1856-7, the whole amount on hand for the new buildings was raised to thirty-one thousand eight hundred seventeen pounds one shilling and elevenpence. For the Bible, tract, and missionary work, and for schools, Mr. M. had the pleasure of receiving and of expending eight hundred and twenty-nine pounds more than in the previous year. For the support of the orphans all means were so abundantly provided that at the end of the year there was on hand a balance of one thousand four hundred and eighty-nine pounds.
The following incident illustrates the author's reliance upon God for his own future support.
On Oct. 12, 1856, was sent to me a check for one hundred pounds, with the request of the donor to receive this for myself, as the beginning of raising a fund for my support when advanced in years, and for that of my family. This very kind and well-intended proposal by the donor, who since has died, appeared to me as a subtle temptation laid for me, though far from being intended so by him, to depart from the principles on which I had been acting for twenty-six years previously, both regarding myself and the orphan work. I give the account of this circumstance fully, as it may be profitable to one or other of the readers.
* * * *
Oct. 11, 1856.
In admiration of the services which you have rendered to poor orphans and mankind in general, I think it right that some provision should be made for yourself. I think it right to send you one hundred pounds, as a beginning to form a fund, which I hope many good Christians will add to, * * * * for the maintenance of you and your family, if your own labors should be unequal to it, and I hope you will lay out this as a beginning accordingly. May God bless you and your labors, as he has hitherto done everything connected with your Institutions.
I am, dear Sir
* * * *
By God's grace I had not a moment's hesitation as to what to do. While I most fully appreciated the great kindness of the donor, I looked upon this as being permitted by God as a temptation to put my trust in something else than himself, and I therefore sent the following letter in reply:--
Bristol, Oct. 12, 1856.
My dear Sir:--
I hasten to thank you for your kind communication, and to inform you that your check for one hundred pounds has safely come to hand.
I have no property whatever, nor has my dear wife; nor have I had one single shilling regular salary as minister of the gospel for the last twenty-six years, nor as the director of the Orphan House and the other objects of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad. When I am in need of anything, I fall on my knees, and ask God that he would be pleased to give me what I need; and he puts it into the heart of some one or other to help me. Thus all my wants have been amply supplied during the last twenty-six years, and I can say, to the praise of God, I have lacked nothing. My dear wife and my only child, a daughter of twenty-four years, are of the same mind with me. Of this blessed way of living none of us are tired, but become day by day more convinced of its blessedness.
I have never thought it right to make provision for myself, or my dear wife and daughter, except in this way, that when I saw a case of need, such as an aged widow, or a sick person, or a helpless infant, I would use my means freely which God had given me, fully believing that if either myself, or my dear wife or daughter, at some time or other, should be in need of anything, God would richly repay what was given to the poor, considering it as lent to himself.
Under these circumstances, I am unable to accept your kindness of the gift of one hundred pounds towards making a provision for myself and family; for so I understand your letter. Any gift given to me, unasked for, by those who have it in their heart to help me to supply my personal and family expenses, I thankfully accept; or any donation given to me for the work of God in which I am engaged, I also thankfully accept, as a steward for the orphans, etc.; but your kind gift seems to me especially given to make a provision for myself, which I think would be displeasing to my heavenly Father, who has so bountifully given me my daily bread hitherto. But should I have misunderstood the meaning of your letter, be pleased to let me know it. I hold the check till I hear again from you.
In the mean time, my dear sir, however you meant your letter, I am deeply sensible of your kindness, and daily pray that God would be pleased richly to recompense you for it, both temporally and spiritually.
I am, dear Sir, Yours very gratefully, GEORGE MÜLLER.
Two days after I received a reply, in which the donor desired me to use the one hundred pounds for the support of the orphans, for which object I gladly accepted this sum. The day after that I received another one hundred pounds from the same donor, and four days after that one hundred pounds more, all for the support of the orphans, and all from an individual whom I have never seen.
In the following words is contained a useful lesson to persons engaged in business:--
Feb. 24, 1857. Received five pounds as a thank-offering to the Lord for preservation from making bad debts the past year. Has it ever occurred to the reader that the Lord only can preserve any one engaged in business from making bad debts? Has it also occurred to the reader that often the Lord is obliged, because we do not use for him, as good stewards, that with which he has been pleased to intrust us, to allow bad debts to be made? Consider these things, dear Christian reader, you who are engaged in business. If you were engaged in mercantile affairs, connected with hundreds of thousands of pounds, you may by the help of God, be preserved year after year from making bad debts, though several millions of pounds should be turned in the course of a few years, provided you keep before you that you are the Lord's steward, and carry on business for him; whilst, on the other hand, thousands of pounds may be lost in one single year, out of only a comparatively small business, because he who carries it on "withholds more than is meet, and therefore it tends to poverty," the Lord being obliged by bad debts (as they are called), which he uses as one of his rods, to deprive his servants of that which was not used aright.
The review of the year ending May, 1857, presents us with the following results:--
There have been during this period four day schools entirely supported by the funds of this Institution. There are at present in these four day schools 181 children.
In addition to the entire support of these four day schools, six schools were assisted with money, or books, or copies of the Holy Scriptures, or both money and books.
There was one Sunday school, in which there were 175 children, entirely supported by the funds of this Institution; and six others were assisted.
There has been, since the formation of the Institution, one adult school connected with it, the expenses of which have been entirely borne by the Institution, and in which, since March 5, 1834, altogether 2,699 adults have been instructed. The number at present on the books is 72.
There were also two other adult schools assisted during the past year.
The total amount of means which has been expended during the last twenty-three years in connection with the schools, which have been either entirely or in part supported by the funds of this Institution, amounts to £7,938, 13s. 4d.
The number of Bibles, Testaments, and portions of the Holy Scriptures, which have been circulated since May 26, 1856, is as follows:--
Bibles sold, 601. Bibles given away, 1,476. Testaments sold, 829. Testaments given away, 393. Copies of the Psalms sold, 151. Other small portions of the Holy Scriptures sold, 316.
There have been circulated since March 5, 1834, through the medium of this Institution, 18,201 Bibles, 11,502 Testaments, 458 copies of the Psalms, and 1,260 other small portions of the Holy Scriptures.
The total amount of the funds of this Institution spent on the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, since March 5, 1834, is £4,407, 7s. 2½d. The amount spent during the past year, £521, 7s. 1½d.
Some time since a brother in the Lord wrote to me that he had it in his heart to visit from house to house, in a large manufacturing town in Yorkshire, and, if possible, to supply each house with a tract, and to seek out persons who were destitute of copies of the Holy Scriptures. I supplied him, therefore, with 10,000 gospel tracts and 30 Bibles, and subsequently with 127 more Bibles, and finally with 10,000 more tracts and 74 Bibles.
The third object of this Institution is, to aid missionary efforts.
During the past year has been spent of the funds of the Institution for this object, the sum of £3,177, 17s. 11½d. By this sum seventy-four laborers in the word and doctrine, in various parts of the world, have been to a greater or less degree assisted.
The year before last, I had been enabled to spend on this part of the work more than during any previous year; but the last year I was, by God's help, enabled not only to disburse for this object as much as during the previous year, but £676, 8s. 10½d. more. For this privilege I feel grateful; yet I long to be permitted by the Lord to do much more still. But whilst it has been a source of joy to me to be able to assist seventy-four servants of Christ in many parts of the world, that which was far more than this a cause of thankfulness, was, that almost week by week, and often repeatedly in the same week, I had refreshing intelligence from the brethren whom I sought to help.
The letters of these brethren exhibit the fact that the aid conveyed through Mr. M. was most timely, coming often in the hour of sore need. They also give assurance that their labors had been singularly blessed to the conversion of the heathen, and of the ignorant and deluded among whom they preached.
The total amount of the funds of the Institution which has been spent on missionary operations, since March 5, 1834, is £21,794, 7s. 6d.
There has been laid out for tracts, from May 26, 1856, to May 26, 1857, the sum of £975, 18s. 7½d.; and there have been circulated within the last year 1,313,301 tracts and books. The sum total which has been expended on this object, since Nov. 19, 1840, amounts to £4,635, 15s. 2¾d.
The total number of all the tracts and books which have been circulated since Nov. 19, 1840, is 5,710,981.
Letters from those to whom tracts were sent for distribution, convey the intelligence that in very many instances the tracts were blessed to the conversion of sinners.
At the commencement of the last period there were 299 orphans in the new Orphan House on Ashley Down, Bristol. During the past year there were admitted into it 30 orphans, making 329 in all. When the last Report was published, there were 847 orphans waiting for admission. Since then 231 more destitute orphans, bereaved of both parents by death, and some only a few weeks old, have been applied for to be admitted, making 1,078 in all. Of these 1,078 we were only able to receive 30, as has been stated, and 58 either died or were otherwise provided for, as their relatives or friends have informed us, so that there are still 990 waiting for admission. Christian reader, think of these 990 destitute orphans, bereaved of both parents! I have now, however, before me the most pleasant prospect, if the Lord permit, of being able to receive 400 of them in about three months, and also of being permitted to build the third house for 300 more.
Without any one having been personally applied to for anything by me, the sum of £92,175, 4s. 2½d. has been given to me for the orphans, as the result of prayer to God, since the commencement of the work, which sum includes the £15,055, 3s. 2¼d. which was the cost of the building, fitting up, and furnishing of the present new Orphan House, and the £31,817, 1s. 11d., which had been received up to May 26, 1857, for the building fund, and the £1,489, 7s. 9d., the balance of the current expenses. It may also be interesting to the reader to know that the total amount which has been given for the other objects, since the commencement of the work, amounts to £33,293, 9s. 10¼d.; and that which has come in by the sale of Bibles, since the commencement, amounts to £2,080, 9s. 10½d.; by sale of tracts, £1,778, 2s. 5d.; and by the payments of the children in the day schools, from the commencement, £2,066, 13s. 4½d.
The Lord is pleased to continue to allow us to see fruit in connection with the orphan work, with reference to those who are now under our care, and we hear still again and again of cases in which those who were formerly under our care, have been led to declare themselves openly for the Lord, besides those in whom we saw the work of grace manifestly begun before they left the Orphan House.