Dr. Tholuck informed me that the Continental Society in England intended to send a minister to Bucharest to help an aged brother in the work of the Lord. After consideration and prayer, I offered my services. Despite all my weaknesses, I had a great desire to live wholly for God. Unexpectedly, my father gave his consent, although Bucharest was over a thousand miles away.
I now prepared for the work of the Lord with diligence and pondered the sufferings which might await me. I had once fully served Satan; but now, drawn by the love of Christ, I was willing to suffer affliction for the sake of Jesus. Earnestly, I prayed about my future work.
At the end of October, Hermann Ball, the missionary to the Polish Jews, said that his health would soon force him to give up his work. When I heard this, I felt a strong desire to take his place. The Hebrew language suddenly became exciting to me even though I had previously studied it only from a sense of duty. Now I studied for many weeks with eagerness and delight.
While I still desired to take brother Ball's place and delighted in learning Hebrew, I called on Dr. Tholuck. Unaware of my thoughts, he suddenly asked me whether I had ever had a desire to be a missionary to the Jews. He was an agent with the London Missionary Society for promoting Christianity among them. I was astonished by his question and told him what had been on my mind for the last several weeks. I added that it was not proper for me to consider any other service because I had already agreed to go to Bucharest. He agreed.
When I came home, however, our conversation burned like fire within me. The next morning, all my desire for going to Bucharest was gone. This seemed to be very wrong and fleshly of me, and I entreated the Lord to restore my former desire to labor there. He graciously did so almost immediately. Meanwhile, my earnestness in studying Hebrew and my love for it continued.
About ten days later, Dr. Tholuck received a letter from the Continental Society. Because of the war between the Turks and the Russians, they had decided not to send a minister to Bucharest since it was the center of war. Dr. Tholuck asked me again what I thought about becoming a missionary to the Jews. After prayer and consulting with spiritually mature brethren, I concluded that I should offer myself to the society, leaving my future with the Lord.
Dr. Tholuck wrote to the society in London and received an answer in a few weeks. They had a number of questions for me and my acceptance depended on my satisfactory answers. After replying to this first communication, I received a letter from London. The committee decided to take me as a missionary student for six months probation, provided I would come to London.
One obstacle stood in the way of my leaving the country. Every Prussian male was obligated to serve three years as a soldier, but those who finished their studies at the university only had to serve one year. I could not obtain a passport out of the country until I had either served my time or been exempted by the king himself. I hoped the latter would be the case. It was a well-known fact that those who had given themselves to missionary service had always been exempted. Certain influential Christian brothers who were living in the capital wrote to the king. He replied that the matter must be referred to the government officials, and no exception was made in my favor.
My chief concern now was how I could be exempted from military duty and obtain a passport for England. But the more I tried, the greater the difficulty appeared to be. By the middle of January, it seemed as if my only recourse was to become a soldier.
One more avenue remained untried-it was my last resort. A major in the army was a Christian and on good terms with one of the chief. generals. He proposed that I start the process of entering the army. Since I was still very weak physically from a former illness, I would be found unfit for military service.
I believe that the Lord had allowed things to happen this way to show me that my friends would be unable to obtain a passport for me until He was ready. But now the time had come. The King of kings intended that I go to England because He would make me a blessing there despite my unworthiness. At a time when hope had almost been given up, and when the last plan had been tried, everything began to fall into place. The doctors examined me and declared that I was unfit for military service. The chief general himself signed the papers, and I got a complete dismissal for life from all military duty.
I came to England physically weakened and soon became very ill. In my estimation, I was beyond recovery. Yet the weaker I became in body, the happier I was in spirit. Every sin I had ever committed was brought to mind, but I realized that I was washed and made completely clean in the blood of Jesus. This realization brought me great peace, and I longed to die and be with Christ.
When my doctor came to see me, my prayer was, "Lord, You know that he, does not know what is best for me. Therefore, please direct him." When I took my medicine, my prayer was, "Lord, You know that this medicine is no more than a little water. Now please, Lord, let it produce the effect which is for my good and for Your glory. Let me either soon be taken to heaven, or let me be restored. Lord, do with me as You think best!"
After I had been ill for two weeks, my health began to improve. Some friends asked me to go into the country for the fresh air. When I asked the doctor, he said that it was the best thing I could do. A few days later, I left for the little country town of Teignmouth.
I had a great deal of time to study the Bible while I recovered. During this time, God showed me that His Word alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things. The Word can be explained only by the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of His people. I had not understood the work of the Holy Spirit in a practical way before that time.
Now I learned that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world. He originated the wonderful plan of our redemption, and He also arranged the way it was to be brought about. The Son fulfilled the law and bore the punishment due to our sins, satisfying the justice of God. Finally, the Holy Spirit alone can teach us about our sinful state, show us the need of a Savior, enable us to believe in Christ, explain the Scriptures to us, and help us preach the Word.
The Lord enabled me to put this last aspect of the Holy Spirit to the test by laying aside my commentaries and almost every other book and simply reading the Word of God. That first evening when I shut myself in my room to pray and meditate over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than during the last several months.
After my return to London, I decided to do something to help my brothers in the seminary. I suggested we meet together every morning from six until eight to pray and read the Scriptures. After the evening prayer, my communion with God was so sweet that I would continue praying until after midnight. Then I would go to a brother's room, and we would pray together until one or two in the morning. Even then, I was sometimes so full of joy that I could not sleep. At six in the morning, would again call the brethren together for prayer.
After I had been in London for ten days and had been confined to the house because of my studies, my health again began to decline. I decided to stop spending the little energy I had left on my studies and go to work for the Lord. I wrote to the missionary Society and asked them to send me out at once. They sent me no reply, but continued to support me while I studied.
After waiting six weeks, and in the meantime seeking to work for the Lord, it occurred to me that I should begin to labor among the Jews in London whether I had the title of missionary or not. I distributed tracts among the Jews and invited them to come and talk to me about the things of God. I preached to them in the places where they gathered and read the Scriptures regularly with about fifty Jewish boys. I had the honor of being reproached and ill-treated for the name of Jesus. The Lord gave me grace, however, and I was never kept from the work by any danger or the prospect of suffering.
Toward the close of 1829, I began to doubt whether it was right for me to be supported by the London Society. It seemed unscriptural to me for a servant of Christ to put himself under the control and direction of anyone but the Lord. The society and I exchanged letters on this subject, and in complete kindness and love, we dissolved our relationship. I was now free to preach the gospel wherever the Lord opened the way.
In December, I stayed with some Christian friends who lived in Exmouth. The second day after my arrival, a brother said to me, "I have been praying for a month that the Lord would do something at Lympstone, a large parish where there is little spiritual light. I believe you would be allowed to preach there." Ready to speak of Jesus wherever the Lord might open a door, and desiring to be faithful to the truths which He taught me, I went. I easily obtained permission to preach twice the next Sunday.
God blessed and encouraged me as I worked for His Kingdom. I began learning to be sensitive to His Spirit. He taught me how to study and revealed more of His Word to me. More opportunities to preach were opened, and I rejoiced to serve my Lord Jesus Christ.
Despite my sinful lifestyle and cold heart, God had mercy on me. I was as careless about Him as ever. I had no Bible and had not read any Scripture for years. I seldom went to church; and, out of custom only, I took the Lord's Supper twice a year. I never heard the gospel preached. Nobody told me that Jesus meant for Christians, by the help of God, to live according to the Holy Scriptures. In short, I did not have the least idea that there were people who were different from myself.
One Saturday afternoon in November, I took a walk with my friend Beta. He told me that he had begun to visit a Christian's home every Saturday where there was a prayer meeting. He said that they read the Bible, sang, prayed, and read a printed sermon.
When I heard this, I felt as if I had found the treasure I had been seeking all my life. We went to the meeting together that evening. I did not understand the joy that believers have in seeing any sinner become interested in the things of God, so I apologized for coming. I will never forget the kind answer of the dear brother. He said, "Come as often as you please. Our house and hearts are open to you."
We sat down and sang a hymn. Then brother Kayser, now a missionary in Africa, knelt and asked a blessing on our meeting. His kneeling down made a deep impression on me, for I had never - seen anyone on his knees before, nor had I ever prayed on my knees. He read a chapter from the Bible and a printed sermon. At the end of the meeting, we sang another hymn, and then the owner of the house prayed. While he prayed, I thought, "I could not pray as well, although I have more education than this man."
The entire evening made a deep impression on me. I felt happy, although if I had been asked why, I could not have clearly explained it. When we walked home, I said to Beta, "Everything we have seen on our journey to Switzerland and all of our former pleasures are nothing in comparison with this evening."
The Lord begins His work in different ways with different people. I have no doubt that on that evening, He began a work of grace in me. Even though I scarcely had any knowledge of who God truly was, that evening was the turning point in my life.
For the next several days, I went regularly to this brother's house, and we read the Scriptures together. The Lord and the Word were so exciting to me that I could not wait until 'Saturday came again. Now my life became very different, although I did not give up every sin at once. I did give up my wicked companions, going to taverns, and habitual lying. I read the Scriptures, prayed often, loved the brethren, went to church with the right motives, and openly professed Christ although my fellow students laughed at me.
As I read missionary newsletters, I was inspired to become a missionary myself. I prayed frequently concerning this matter for several weeks. A few months later, I met a devoted young brother named Hermann Ball, a learned and wealthy man. He chose to labor in Poland among the Jews as a missionary rather than live a comfortable life near his family. His example made a deep impression on me. For the first time in my life, I was able to give myself up to the Lord fully and without reservation.
The peace of God which passes all, understanding now filled my life. I wrote to my father and brother, encouraging them to seek the Lord and telling them how happy I was. I believed that if they saw the way to happiness, they would gladly embrace it. To my great surprise, they replied with an angry letter.
The Lord sent Dr. Tholuck, a professor of divinity, to Halle. As a result, a few believing students transferred to Halle from other universities. As I became acquainted with other Christians, the Lord helped me to grow in Him.
My former desire to give myself to missionary service returned, and I went to my father to ask his permission. Without it, I would not be admitted to any of the German missionary institutions. My father was greatly displeased and severely reproached me, saying that he had spent so much money on my education hoping that he could comfortably spend his last days with me in a parsonage. Now, all these prospects had come to nothing. He told me that he would no longer consider me his son. Then he wept and begged me to change my mind.
The Lord helped me to bear this difficult trial. Although I needed more money than ever before, I decided never to take any more from my father. I still had two more years of seminary left. It seemed wrong to let my father support me when he had no guarantee that I would become what he wanted me to be-a clergyman earning a good living.
The Lord enabled me to keep this resolution. Several American gentlemen, three of whom were professors in American colleges, came to Halle for literary research. Because they did not understand German, Dr. Tholuck recommended me to teach them. Some of these gentlemen were Christians, and they paid so well for the instruction I gave them and for the lectures I wrote for them that I had enough money for school and some to spare.
The Lord richly made up to me the little I had given up for His sake.
Although I was still very weak and ignorant in faith, I longed, to win souls for Christ. Every month I circulated about three hundred missionary papers, distributed many tracts, and wrote letters to some of my former companions in sin.
A local schoolmaster held a morning prayer meeting a few miles away, and I decided to attend. At that time, however, I did not know that he was not a believer. He later told me that he had held the prayer meetings merely out of kindness to a relative. The sermons he read were not his own, but copied out of a book. He also told me that he had been impressed with my kindness and that I had been instrumental in leading him to care about the things of God. Ever since that time, I knew him as a true brother in the Lord.
This schoolmaster asked me to preach in his parish because the aged clergyman needed my assistance. I thought that by learning a sermon written by a spiritual man I might minister to the people; so I put the sermon into a suitable form and memorized it.
I got through the morning service, but I did not enjoy preaching. I decided to preach the gospel in the afternoon and began by reading the fifth chapter of Matthew. Immediately as I began to teach on, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit. My morning sermon had been too complicated for the people to understand, but now they listened to me with great interest. My own peace and joy were great, and I felt this was a blessed work.
On my return trip to Halle, I thought, "This is the way I would always like to preach." But then I thought that while this type of preaching might work for illiterate country people, it would never be accepted at the well-educated assembly in town. I knew that the truth should be preached at all costs, but I thought it should be presented in a different form, suited to the hearers. I remained unsettled about choosing a style of preaching for some time. Because I did not yet understand the work of the Spirit, I did not realize the powerlessness of human eloquence.
Although I regularly went to church when I did not preach myself, I seldom heard the truth because there was no enlightened clergyman in the town. When Dr. Tholuck or any other godly minister preached, I often walked ten or fifteen miles to enjoy the privilege of hearing the Word.
In addition to the Saturday evening meeting, I fed my faith at a meeting every Sunday evening with six other believing students. Before I left the university, the number increased to twenty. In these meetings, one or more of the brethren prayed, we read Scriptures, sang hymns, someone exhorted the group, and we read some edifying writings of godly men. I opened my heart to the brethren for prayer and encouragement to keep me from backsliding.
I was growing in the faith and knowledge of Jesus, but I still preferred reading religious books instead of the Scriptures. I read tracts, missionary newsletters, sermons, and biographies of Christian people. God is the author of the Bible, and only the truth it contains will lead people to true happiness. A Christian should read this precious Book every day with earnest prayer and meditation. But like many believers, I preferred to read the works of uninspired men rather than the oracles of the living God. Consequently, I remained a spiritual baby both in knowledge and grace.
The last and most important means of growing in the Lord, prayer, was also something I greatly neglected. I prayed often and generally with - sincerity. But if I had prayed more earnestly, I would have made much more rapid progress in my faith. Despite my slowness to grasp spiritual principles, however, God showed His great patience toward me and helped me to grow steadily in Him.
From the Autobiography of George Muller
I was born at Kroppenstaedt in the kingdom of Prussia on September 27, 1805. My father, a tax collector, educated his children on worldly principles, and my brother and I slipped easily into many sins. Before I was ten years old, I had repeatedly stolen government money which was entrusted to my father and forced him to make up the losses.
When I was eleven years old, my father sent me to Halberstadt to be prepared to study at the university. He wanted me to become a clergyman-not that I would serve God, but that I would have a comfortable life. Studying, reading novels, and indulging in sinful practices were my favorite pastimes.
My mother died suddenly when I was fourteen years old. That night I played cards until two in the morning, and went to a tavern the next day. Her death made no lasting impression on me. Instead, I grew worse.
Three days before my confirmation and communion, I was guilty of gross immorality. The day before my confirmation, I lied to the clergyman rather than confess my sins. In this state of heart, without prayer, true repentance, faith, or knowledge of the plan of salvation, I was confirmed and took part in the Lord's Supper. Because I had some feeling about the solemnity of the occasion, I stayed home during the afternoon and evening.
That summer I spent some time studying but more in playing the piano and guitar, reading novels, frequenting taverns, making resolutions to become different, and breaking them almost as fast as I made them. I was glad when my father obtained an appointment for me at a school near Magdeburg because I thought that if. I left my sinful companions, I would live a different life. But I grew still more idle and continued to live in all sorts of sin.
In November I went on a pleasure trip where I spent six days in sin. My father discovered my absence before I returned, so I took all the money I could find and went to Brunswick. After spending a week at Brunswick in an expensive hotel, my money was gone. I then went, without money, to another hotel for a week. At last, the owner of the hotel, suspecting that I had no money, asked for payment and took my best clothes as security.
I walked about six miles to an inn and began to live as if I had plenty of money. On the third morning, I went quietly out of the yard and ran off.
By this time the innkeeper became suspicious and had me arrested. The police questioned me for about three hours and sent me to jail. At the age of - sixteen I became an inmate of a prison, dwelling with thieves and murderers.
After a year, the commissioner who had tried my case told my father of my conduct. I was kept in prison until he sent the money for my traveling expenses, my debt to the inn, and my stay in prison. My father arrived two days later, beat me severely, and took me home to Schoenebeck. Through more lying and persuading, I convinced him to allow me to enter school at Nordhausen the following autumn.
I lived in the house of the principal at Nordhausen. Through my conduct, I grew highly in his favor. He had such a high esteem for me that I was held up by him as an example to the rest of the class. But while I was outwardly gaining the esteem of my fellow men, I did not care in the least about God. As a result of my sinful lifestyle, I became ill and was confined to my room for thirteen weeks.
During my illness, I felt no real remorse and cared nothing about the Word of God. I owned more than three hundred books, but no Bible. Now and then I wanted to become a different person and tried to amend my conduct, particularly when I went to the Lord's Supper. The day before attending a communion service, I used to abstain from certain things. On the day itself, I promised God that I would become a better person, thinking that somehow God would induce me to reform. But after one or two days, I forgot everything and was as bad as before.
At age 20 I received honorable recommendations and became a member of the University of Halle. I even obtained permission to preach in the Lutheran church. But I felt as truly unhappy and far from God as ever.
I now resolved to change my lifestyle for two reasons: first, because unless I reformed, no parish would choose me as their pastor; and secondly, without a considerable knowledge of theology, I would never earn a good living. But the moment I entered Halle, all my resolutions disappeared. I resumed my loose living even though I was in the seminary. Deep in my heart, I longed to renounce this wretched life. I did not enjoy it, and I had sense enough to see that one day it would ruin me completely. Still, I felt no sorrow about offending God.
One day while in a tavern with some of my wild friends, I saw one of my former classmates named Beta. I met him four years earlier at Halberstadt; and, because he was so quiet and serious, I despised him. It now appeared wise for me to choose him as my friend, thinking that better companions would help me improve my conduct.
The Spirit of God was working in Beta's heart at Halberstadt, but Beta was a backslider. He tried to put off the ways of God and enjoy the world he had known little about before. I sought his friendship because I thought it would lead me to a moral life, and be gladly became my friend because he thought it would bring him some good times.
In August, Beta, myself, and two other students drove through the country for four days. When we returned, my love for traveling was stronger than ever, and I suggested that we set off for Switzerland. Through forged letters from our parents, we procured passports and acquired as much money as we could. We left school and traveled for forty-three days.
I had now obtained the desire of my heart - I had seen Switzerland. But I was still far from being happy. On this journey I acted like Judas. I managed the money so that the journey cost me only two thirds of what it cost my friends. By many lies, I satisfied my father's questions concerning the expenses.
During my three weeks of summer vacation, I resolved to live differently in the future, and I was different - for a few days. But when vacation was over, and new students came with fresh money, all my resolutions were soon forgotten. I easily slipped back into my old habits. Nevertheless, the God whom I dishonored by my wicked behavior and unrepentant spirit had not given up on me.
From the Autobiography of George Muller
What is meant by the prayer of faith? What is the significance of the passages in the Old and New Testaments which refer to it? Were these promises limited to Bible times or have they been left to us as a legacy until Jesus returns?
These questions attract a great deal of attention among believers. The thoughtful Christian who reads any of the wonderful promises in Scripture often pauses to ask himself, "What can these words mean? Can it be that God has made these promises to me? Do I really have permission to commit all my little concerns to a God of infinite wisdom, believing that He will take charge of them and direct them according to His boundless love and absolute omniscience? Is prayer really a transcendent power which accomplishes what no other power can, overruling all other agencies and rendering them subservient to its own wonderful effectiveness? If this is true, then why shouldn't I always draw near to God in full confidence that He will do as He has said?"
A most remarkable instance of the effectiveness of prayer is recorded in this book. A young German Christian named George Muller answered -a call from the Lord to help the poor children of Bristol in England. He preached the gospel to a small company of believers from whom, at his own suggestion, he received no salary. His only support was the voluntary offerings of his brethren. In answer to prayer, funds were received as needed.
After a few years, God called him to establish a house for the care and education of orphans. He was drawn to this work, not only from motives of benevolence, but from a desire to convince men that God does answer prayer.
Mr. Muller began this work in such a manner that aid could not be expected from anyone but God. He did not, of course, expect God to create gold and silver and put, them into his hands. He knew that God could incline the hearts of men to aid him, and he believed that if the work was of Him, He would meet every need. Thus, in childlike simplicity, he looked to God, and all that he needed was furnished as punctually as if he were a millionaire drawing regularly on his bank account.
George Muller was a slender man, standing six feet tall in his boots. His dark brown eyes twinkled with a benevolent expression as he talked. He dressed in black, except for a white necktie fastened with a plain pin in front. His jet black hair was coarse and carefully combed in place. Whether in the pulpit or on the street, his entire appearance was a perfect model of nearness and order.
He mastered six languages-Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German, French, and English. He read and understood Dutch and two or three Oriental languages. His library consisted of a Hebrew Bible, three Greek Testaments, a Greek concordance and lexicon, with a half dozen different versions of the Bible and copies of the best translations in several languages.. These constituted his entire library!
When he preached, he would read a whole chapter or part of one and then proceed to draw out rich treasures that made it worth crossing the ocean to hear. His method of preaching caused the members of his congregation to become mighty in the Scriptures. They were better qualified to guide inquiring souls to Christ than many young ministers who had spent three years in a theological seminary.
Most men would consider such an extensive ministry as his to be a reasonable excuse for cutting short their prayer and study time. Not so with Mr. Muller. In his prayer closet, alone with God and the Bible, he would gird up the loins of his mind and burnish his armor for the battles of the day. With absolute confidence and childlike simplicity, he believed every Word that God had spoken. He eagerly returned to God's Word several times each day as though he was in constant communication with heaven, receiving fresh letters of instruction and precious promises from his heavenly Father.
Muller never studied the Bible for others. He studied only for himself to find out what His Father required of him. He became so impregnated with God's truth that, when he spoke of God, his listeners would be reminded of the words of our Savior in John 7:38, for from him seemed to flow "rivers of living water."
His prayers were offered in simple language with a humble and fervent spirit. Because he knew his Father was so rich, benevolent, and forgiving, he was free to ask for and obtain great blessings. But the most remarkable feature about, his prayer was that he asked for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. To glorify Christ and magnify His name above every name seemed to be the all-pervading theme that filled his heart and life.
The amount of labor Mr. Muller performed is amazing to us today. The almost endless variety would be more than most other men could bear. Yet, he was always calm, peaceful, and in a prayerful frame of mind, casting all his cares upon the Lord.
It was George Muller's greatest hope that his record of God's faithfulness to him would encourage believers to develop faith like his own-the faith without which it is impossible to please God; the faith that works by love and purifies the heart; the faith that removes mountains of obstacles out of our path; the faith that takes hold of God's strength and is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. May this faith fill the hearts and lives of those who read this book.
Charles Inglis, the well-known evangelist, relates the following remarkable incident:
"When I first came to America thirty-one years ago, I crossed the Atlantic with the captain of a steamer who was one of the most devoted men I ever knew; and when we were off the banks of Newfoundland he said to me: 'Mr. Inglis, the last time' I crossed here, five weeks ago, one of the most extraordinary things happened that has completely revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. Up to that time I was one of your ordinary Christians. We had a man of God on board, George Mueller, of Bristol. I had been on that bridge for twenty-two hours and never left it. I was startled by someone tapping me on the shoulder. It was George Mueller.
Captain,' said he, 'I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.' This was Wednesday.
It is impossible,' I said. Very well, if your ship can't take me God will find some other means of locomotion to take me.
I have never broken an engagement in fifty-seven years.'
I would willingly help you, but how can I? I am helpless.'
Let us go down to the chart room and pray,' he said.
"I looked at this man and I thought to myself, 'What lunatic asylum could the man have come from? I never heard of such a thing.'
"'Mr. Mueller,' I said, 'do you know how dense this fog is?'
No,' he replied, 'my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.'
"He went down on his knees, and he prayed one of the most simple prayers. I thought to myself, 'That would suit a children's class, where the children were not more than eight or nine years of age.' The burden of his prayer was something like this: 'O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in five minutes. You know the engagement You made for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Your will.'
"When he had finished, I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray.
First,' he said, 'you do not believe God will do it; and, second, I believe He has done it. And there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.'
I looked at him, and George Mueller said this: 'Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years and there has never been a single day that I have failed to gain an audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone.' I got up, and the fog was gone. On Saturday afternoon George Mueller was in Quebec."
Scripture Texts That Moulded George Muller
CERTAIN marked Scripture precepts and promises had such a singular influence upon this man of God, and so often proved the guides to his course, that they illustrate Psalm cxix.105:
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
And a light unto my path."
Those texts which, at the parting of the way, became to him God's sign-boards, showing him the true direction, are here given, as nearly as may be in the order in which they became so helpful to him. The study of them will prove a kind of spiritual biography, outlining his career. Some texts, known to have been very conspicuous in their influence, we put in capitals. The italics are his own.
"GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE." (John iii.16.)
"Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm." (Jeremiah xvii.5.)
"O, fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him." (Psa. xxxiv.9.)
"Owe no man anything, but to love one another." (Rom. xiii.8.)
"SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU." (Matt. vi.33.)
"The holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." (2 Tim. iii.15.)
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matt. vii.7,8.)
"WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON: IF YE SHALL ASK ANYTHING IN MY NAME I WILL DO IT." (John xiv.13,14.)
"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on... Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow." (Matt. vi. 25-34.)
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine." (John vii.17.)
"If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John viii.31,32.)
"And the eunuch said, See, here is water: what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him." (Acts viii.36-38.)
"Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death." (Rom. vi.3, 4.)
"Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread." (Acts xx.7.)
"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a man in vile raiment; and ye have respect unto him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool, are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" (James ii.1-6.)
"Having, then, gifts differing according to the grace that is given us." (Rom. xii.6.)
"All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." (1 Cor. xii.11.)
"Not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." (Philip. iv.17.)
"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on"... "Behold the fowls of the air... Consider the lilies of the field... For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." (Matt. vi.25-32.)
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." (Matt. vi.19.)
"SELL THAT YE HAVE AND GIVE ALMS." (Luke xii.33.)
"A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven." (John iii.27.)
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name." (Acts xv.14. Comp. Matt. xiii.24-30, 36-43.)
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come... Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Tim. iii.1,13.)
"Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing." (2 Cor. vi.14-18.)
"Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." (Zech. iv.6.)
"MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE." (2 COR. xii.9.)
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God." (1 Cor. vii.20, 24.)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Tim. iii.16.)
"OPEN THY MOUTH WIDE, AND I WILL FILL IT." (Psa. lxxxi.10.)
"Mine hour is not yet come." (John ii.4.)
"He took a child, and set him in the midst of them and when He had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me; and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me." (Mark ix.36, 37.)
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Rom. xii.18.)
"For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb.xii.10,11.)
"WHAT THINGS S0EVER YE DESIRE, WHEN YE PRAY, BELIEVE THAT YE RECEIVE THEM, AND YE SHALL HAVE THEM." (Mark xi.24.)
"He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded." (1 Pet. ii.6.)
"O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come." (Psa. lxv.2.)
"Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul." (Psa. Ixvi.16.)
"A FATHER OF THE FATHERLESS." (Psa. lxviii.5.)
"My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction." (Prov iii.11.)
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." (Psa. ciii.13.)
"JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER." (Heb.xiii.8.)
" To-morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matt. vi.34.)
"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." (1 Sam. vii.12.)
"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good:"
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. (Psalm xxxiv.8.)
"All the fat is the Lord's." (Lev. iii.16.)
"I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me." (Psa. xl.17.)
"Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psa. xxxvii.4.)
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psa. Ixvi.18.)
"Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: The Lord will hear when I call unto Him." (Psa. iv.3.)
"JEHOVAH JIREH." (The Lord will provide.) (Gen. xxii.14.)
"HE HATH SAID, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE; SO THAT WE MAY BOLDLY SAY, THE LORD IS MY HELPER." (Heb. xiii.5, 6.)
"Be thou not one of them that strike hands, or of those that are sureties for debts." (Prov. xxii.26.)
"He that hateth suretyship is sure." (Prov. xi.15.)
"I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved." (2 Cor. xii.15.)
"Ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. iii.26.)
"CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM FOR HE CARETH FOR YOU." (1 Pet. v.7.)
"Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Phil. iv.6.)
"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John xi.40.)
"WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD." (Rom. viii.28.)
"Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. xviii.25.)
"Of such (little children) is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. xix.14.)
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. viii.32.)
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." (James i.17.)
"The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." (Psa. xxxiv.1O.)
"There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." (Prov. xi.24, 25.)
"Give and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke vi.38.)
"The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand." (Isa. xxxii.8.)
"For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good. (Mark xiv.7.)
"Let not then your good be evil spoken of." (Rom. xiv.16.)
"Let your moderation (yieldingness) be known unto all men." (Phil. iv.5.)
"MY BRETHREN, COUNT IT ALL JOY WHEN YE FALL INTO DIVERS TEMPTATIONS (i.e. TRIALS); KNOWING THIS, THAT THE TRYING OF YOUR FAITH WORKETH PATIENCE, BUT LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, THAT YE MAY BE PERFECT AND ENTIRE, WANTING NOTHING." (James i.2-4.)
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not into thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Prov. iii.5, 6.)
"The integrity of the upright shall guide them; but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them." (Prov. xi.3.)
"Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established." (Prov. xvi.3.)
"For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure faith." (Rom. xii.3.)
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord." (Psa. xxvii.14.)
"After he had patiently endured he obtained the promise." (Heb. vi.15.)
" VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME, HE WILL GIVE IT YOU." (John xvi.23.)
"He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparing; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2 Cor. ix.6.)
"Ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. vi.20.)
"THEY THAT KNOW THY NAME WILL PUT THEIR TRUST IN THEE: FOR THOU, LORD, HAST NOT FORSAKEN THEM THAT TRUST THEE." (Psa. ix.10.)
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." (Isa. xxvi.3, 4.)
"If there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath and not according to that he hath not." (2 Cor viii.12.)
"BE YE STEADFAST, UNMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD, FOR AS MUCH AS YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD." (1 Cor. xv.58.)
"Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." (Gal. vi.9.)
"Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men! (Psa. xxxi.19.)
"THOU ART GOOD AND DOEST GOOD." (Psa. cxix. 68.)
"I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." (Psa. cxix.75.)
"My times are in Thy hand." (Psa. xxxi.15.)
"The LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Psa. Ixxxiv.11.)
"Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe." (Psa. cxix.117.)
"Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be." (Rev. xxii.12.)
"It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts xx.35.)
"Give us this day our daily bread." (Matt. vi.11.)
"Able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." (Eph. iii.2O.)
"Them that honour Me I will honour." (1 Sam. ii.30.)
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter i.7.)
The Great Need of Being Saved By Faith in Christ Jesus
“Should this, however, be read by any who are not believers in the Lord Jesus, but who are going on in the carelessness or self-righteousness of their unrenewed hearts, then I would affectionately and solemnly beseech such, first of all to be reconciled to God by faith in the Lord Jesus. You are sinners. You deserve punishment. If you do not see this, ask God to show it unto you. Let this now be your first and especial prayer. Ask God also to enlighten you not merely concerning your state by nature, but especially to reveal the Lord Jesus to your heart. God sent Him, that He might bear the punishment, due to us guilty sinners. God accepts the obedience and sufferings of the Lord Jesus, in the room of those who depend upon Him for the salvation of their souls; and the moment a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus, he obtains the forgiveness of all his sins. When thus he is reconciled to God, by faith in the Lord Jesus, and has obtained the forgiveness of his sins, he has boldness to enter into the presence of God, to make known his requests unto Him; and the more he is enabled to realize that his sins are forgiven, and that God, for Christ’s sake, is well pleased with those who believe on Him, the more ready he will be to come with all his wants, both temporal and spiritual, to his Heavenly Father, that He may supply them. But as long as the consciousness of unpardoned guilt remains, so long shall we be kept at a distance from God, especially as it regards prayer. Therefore, dear reader, if you are an unforgiven sinner, let your first and especial prayer be, that God would be pleased to reveal to your heart the Lord Jesus, His beloved Son.” - George Muller
(Taken from George Muller’s Narratives)