January 14. I have set apart this evening for prayer, asking the Lord once more not to allow me to be mistaken in this thing. I have considered all the reasons against building another Orphan House. For the sake of clarity, I wrote them down.
Reasons against establishing another Orphan House for seven hundred Orphans: Would I be going beyond my spiritual capabilities? "For I say, through the grace giving 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 bath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3).
If the Lord left me to myself, one tenth of the difficulties and trials I face would be enough to overwhelm me. But as long as He sustains me, I am carried through one difficulty after another. By God's help I would be able to bear other difficulties and trials. I expect an increase of faith with every fresh difficulty the Lord helps me through.
Would I be going beyond my physical and mental strength? Of all the objections against establishing another Orphan House, this is the only real difficulty. The whole management, direction, and vast correspondence of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution has depended on me alone these sixteen years and ten months. By hiring an efficient secretary, clerk, and an inspector of the schools, I might with God's help accomplish even more as the director.
If I felt sure that the present state of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution were to be the limit to my work, I would lay aside this thing at once. But I am not sure that I have reached God's limit. The Lord has helped me through all the difficulties in the past. Seeing this vast field of usefulness before me, and since I have many applications for the admission of orphans, I long to be used still further.
Is it like "tempting God" to think of building another Orphan House for seven hundred more orphans? "Tempting God" means, according to the Bible, to limit Him in any of His attributes. I do not wish to limit His power or His willingness to give me all the means I need to build another large Orphan House.
How will I get the money for building this large Orphan House? Even if I did, how will I, at the same time, get the money for carrying on the work that already exists? Looking at the matter naturally, this is indeed a weighty objection. But while I have no hope of succeeding on my own, I am not in the least discouraged spiritually. God has the power to give me the thirty-five thousand pounds I will need and much more. Moreover, I delight in the greatness of the difficulty. I want to be fully assured from the very outset that I go forward in this matter according to the Lord's will. If so, He will give me the means; if not, I will not have them. I do not intend to ask anyone personally for help, but I will give myself to prayer as I have in the past.
Suppose I succeed in getting this large Orphan House built. How will I be able to provide for seven hundred more orphans? I am too much a businessman not to realize the seriousness of this question. If I only looked at the thing naturally, I would admit that I am going too far. But spiritually, I see no difficulty at all. If I am able to build this second Orphan House, God will surely provide as He enables me to trust in Him for supplies.
Suppose I was able to obtain this large sum for building a house for seven hundred other orphans. Suppose I was able to provide for them during my lifetime. What would become of this institution after my death? My business is to serve my own generation with all my might. In this way I will best serve the next generation if the Lord Jesus tarries. He may come again soon. But if He tarries and I pass on before His return, my work will benefit the generation to come.
If this objection was a sound one, I should never have begun the orphan work at all for fear of what might become of it after my death. Thus all the hundreds of destitute children whom the Lord has allowed me to care for during the last fifteen years would not have been helped by me.
Would building another Orphan House cause me to be lifted up in pride? There is danger of this, even if I was not called to increase this ministry. One tenth of the honor the Lord has bestowed on me, and one tenth of service with which He has entrusted me, would be enough to puff me up with pride.
I cannot say that the Lord has kept me humble. But I can say that He has given me a hearty desire to give to Him all the glory and to consider it a great mercy on His part that He has used me in His service. I do not see, therefore, that fear of pride should keep me from going forward in this work. Rather, I ask the Lord to give me a humble attitude and never permit me to rob Him of the glory which is due to Him alone.
Reasons for establishing another Orphan House: Many applications for admission continue to come in. I consider it a call from God for me to do everything in my power to provide a home and scriptural education for a greater number of orphans. I cannot refuse to help as long as I see a door opened by God.
The moral state of the poorhouses greatly influences me to-go forward. I have heard from good authority that the children placed in these houses are corrupted by the immoral people who live there.
I am further encouraged by the great help which the Lord has given me in this blessed service. When I look at the small beginning and consider how the Lord has helped me for more than fifteen years in the orphan work, I am confident about going forward.
My experience and capabilities have grown with the wilt. As director of the work, under God, from Its smallest beginnings, I am responsible to Him to use the abilities He has given me. These things, in connection with the former reasons, seem to be a call from God to go forward in a greater degree than ever.
5. The spiritual benefit of more orphans is another reason why I feel called to go forward. I desire more for them than mere decency and morality. I want them to become useful members of society. We teach them to work and instruct them in useful skills for this life.
I cannot be satisfied with anything less than the orphans' souls being won for the Lord. Since this is the primary aim concerning the dear orphans, I long to be more extensively used than ever, even that I may have a thousand of them under my care.
My greatest desire is to show forth the glory of God and His readiness to hear prayer.
I am peaceful and happy in the prospect of enlarging the work. This perfect peace that I feel after all the heart-searching daily prayer and studying the Word of God would not be the case if the Lord had not intended to use me more.
Therefore, on the ground of the objections answered and these eight reasons for enlarging the work, I have come to the conclusion that it is the will of God that I should serve Him by enlarging this work.