REV. H. LINCOLN WAYLAND, PASTOR OF THE THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH, WORCESTER, MASS.
With an Introduction BY FRANCIS WAYLAND.
BOSTON: GOULD AND LINCOLN, 59 WASHINGTON STREET. NEW YORK: SHELDON AND COMPANY. CINCINNATI: GEORGE S. BLANCHARD.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by GOULD AND LINCOLN, In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY GEO. C. RAND AND AVERY, 3 CORNHILL.
Having been requested by Messrs. Gould and Lincoln to examine the work entitled "A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller," the Editor was convinced that its republication in this country would greatly promote the piety of American Christians. But to reproduce the work in its original form was attended with difficulty. The "Narrative," in four parts, (published respectively in 1837, 1841, 1845, and 1856,) and the four "Annual Reports" issued in 1857, 1858, 1859, and 1860, would occupy not less than eighteen hundred pages of the size of those contained in this volume. The cost of such a work would greatly limit its circulation and its usefulness, if indeed any publisher should undertake its issue. There seemed no alternative except to abandon the idea of an American edition altogether, or to present it to the public in a condensed form.
Such a condensation seemed, on examination, to be entirely practicable. Owing to the "Parts" of the "Narrative" having been published at four separate periods, it often happens that the same matter is several times repeated. A large portion of the space is occupied with the acknowledgment of donations received. These entries, although appropriate in a report made to the donors and to the British public, have not the same interest for American readers. The discussion of some points in church polity, and the account of the Author's journeys upon the Continent, though interesting and instructive, are not necessary to the continuity of the history. Although in some cases the portions which have been omitted cover a considerable period of time, yet it is believed that all which is essential has been retained. No pains have been spared on the part of the Editor to preserve the value of the work while reducing its compass, and to give, in a form universally accessible, a clear exhibition of the wonderful results of the life of George Müller, as well as of the principles by which his life has been governed.
Believing that the book would be rendered more attractive to the reader, and more convenient for reference, the Editor has divided it into Chapters, and has prefixed to each a brief statement of some of the leading subjects introduced in the Chapter. For these "contents," as well as for the headings of the Chapters, and for the general title of the volume, the Editor alone is responsible.
The "Narrative" of George Müller has been blessed in other lands to the awakening of spiritual life. It was the means, as will be observed by the reader, of greatly forwarding, if not of originating, the work of grace now advancing in Ireland. "The Life of Trust" is submitted to the Christian public of America, in the hope that its still small voice may be heard even amid the clangor of political strife and the revulsion of commercial interests, and that it may be used by the Divine Spirit to promote and strengthen in the hearts of American Christians, Faith in the Living God.
H. L. W. Worcester, Dec. 12, 1860
It was only after the consideration of many months, and after much self-examination as to my motives, and after much earnest prayer, that I came to the conclusion to write this work. I have not taken one single step in the Lord's service concerning which I have prayed so much. My great dislike to increasing the number of religious books would, in itself, have been sufficient to have kept me forever from it, had I not cherished the hope of being instrumental in this way to lead some of my brethren to value the Holy Scriptures more, and to judge by the standard of the Word of God the principles on which they act. But that which weighed more with me than anything, was, that I have reason to believe, from what I have seen among the children of God, that many of their trials arise either from want of confidence in the Lord as it regards temporal things, or from carrying on their business in an unscriptural way. On account, therefore, of the remarkable way in which the Lord has dealt with me as to temporal things, I feel that I am a debtor to the church of Christ, and that I ought, for the benefit of my poorer brethren especially, to make known the way in which I have been led. In addition to this, I know that to many souls the Lord has blessed what I have told them about the way in which he has led me, and therefore it seemed a duty to use such means, whereby others also, with whom I could not possibly converse, might be benefited. That which induced me finally to determine to write this Narrative was, that if the Lord should permit the book to sell, I might, by the profits arising from the sale, be enabled in a greater degree to help the poor brethren and sisters among whom I labor;--a matter which, just at that time, weighed much on my mind. I therefore began to write. But after three days I was obliged to lay the work aside on account of my other pressing engagements. Subsequently, I was laid aside on account of an abscess; and being unable, for many weeks, to walk about as usual, though able to work at home, I had time for writing. When the manuscript was nearly completed I gave it to a brother to look over, that I might have his judgment; and the Lord so refreshed his spirit through it, that he offered to advance the means for having it printed, with the understanding that if the book should not sell he would never consider me his debtor. By this offer not a small obstacle was removed, as I have no means of my own to defray the expense of printing. These last two circumstances, connected with many other points, confirmed me that I had not been mistaken, when I came to the conclusion that it was the will of God that I should serve his church in this way.
The fact of my being a foreigner, and therefore but very imperfectly acquainted with the English language, I judged to be no sufficient reason for keeping me from writing. The Christian reader, being acquainted with this fact, will candidly excuse any inaccuracy of expression.
For the poor among the brethren this Narrative is especially intended, and to their prayers I commend it in particular.