December 15, 1853
December 15. I praise, adore, and magnify the Lord for His love and faithfulness in carrying me from year to year through His service and supplying me with all I need! Without His help and support, I would be completely overpowered in a very short time. With His help I go on and am very happy in my service. I am even in better health now than I was twenty years ago.
For the past several years, Bible distribution has become more important to me. The powers of darkness have attempted to rob the Church of the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, I have taken advantage of every opportunity to distribute the Bible throughout the world. Many servants of Christ in various parts of the world have helped me in this work. Through them, thousands of copies of the Bible have been distributed.
If you are in the habit of distributing tracts and have never seen fruit, I suggest the following hints for your prayerful consideration: Through prayer and meditation on the Word, become willing to let God have all the glory if any good is accomplished by your service. If you desire honor for yourself, the Lord must put you aside as a vessel unfit for the Master's use. One of the greatest qualifications for usefulness in the service of the Lord is a heart that truly desires to honor Him.
Precede all your labors with earnest, diligent prayer. Do not rest on the number of tracts you have given because a million tracts may not lead to the conversion of one single soul. Yet, a blessing beyond calculation may result from one single tract. Expect everything to come from the blessing of the Lord and nothing at all from your own exertions.
At the same time, work! Walk through every open door, be ready in season and out of season as if everything depended on your labor. This is one of the great secrets in connection with successful service for the Lord-work as if everything depended on your diligence, and trust in the blessing of the Lord to bring success.
This blessing of the Lord, however, should not merely be sought in prayer, but it should also be expected. The result will be that we will surely have it.
Suppose, that, for the trial of our faith, this blessing is withheld from our sight for a long time. Or suppose we die before we see much good resulting from our labors. Our labors, if carried on in the right way, will be at last abundantly rewarded, and we will have a rich harvest in the day of Christ.
At the beginning of this period there were 300 orphans in the new Orphan House on Ashley Down. During the year 30 orphans were admitted making 330 in all. The total number of orphans who were under our care from April, 1836 to May 26, 1854 was 558.
During the past year my faith was tried in a way it had never been before. My beloved daughter, my only child and a believer for several years, became ill. The illness turned to typhus, and there seemed to be no hope for her recovery. But faith. triumphed. My beloved wife and I gave her into the hands of the Lord, and He sustained us both. My soul was in perfect peace, trusting my heavenly Father. She remained very ill for more than two weeks before she began to grow stronger and was moved to Clevedon to recover.
Of all the trials of faith I have passed through, this was the greatest. By God's abundant mercy, I Was able to delight myself in God, and He gave me the desire of my heart. God is always faithful to those who trust in Him.
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