Sunday, March 13, 2011

Salary and Solicitation

Bethesda Chapel in Bristol, England
On the subject of a set salary and asking for money this was George Muller's stand:

Shortly before his marriage the thought of a stated salary worried Mr. Muller, for he felt that his should be a life of trust in God and not in the promise of the brethren. He found three reasons why he should give up a fixed remuneration.
  • A salary implies a fixed sum, generally made up of pew rents. But according to James 2:1-6, "pew rents are against the mind of the Lord."
  • A fixed pew rent may at times become a burden to the follower of Christ and Mr. Muller did not wish to lay the smallest straw in the way of the church's spiritual progress.
  • The whole system of pew rents and salary are liable to become a snare to the minister, in that he works for hire rather than for spiritual reasons.
At the end of October, within a month after his marriage, he announced to the Teignmouth congregation that henceforth he would receive no regular salary, and would trust wholly in the Lord for his needs.  

He asked that a box be placed in the chapel where whoever desired to help him might leave his offering. Henceforth he was to ask no one, "not even my beloved brethren and sisters, to help me...For unconsciously I had been led to trust in an arm of flesh, going to man instead of going to the Lord at once."

One morning when their money had been reduced to eight shillings (about $2.00, a shilling equaling approximately 25c), Muller asked the Lord for money. For four hours the preacher waited but still no reply. Then a lady came to the house.

"Do you want any money?" she asked.

Faith was tested, yet remained triumphant, and the minister replied, "I told the brethren, dear sister, when I gave up my salary, that I would for the future tell the Lord only about my wants." "But," she replied, reaching for her purse, "He told me to give you some money," laying in his hand two guineas...


Heather Harris said...

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever, of which George Muller could testify to, as can I, and I am sure you too. Truly, the Lord is faithful. I haven't been able to browse through this website, but do you have any material on Anthony Norris Groves? I know that George Muller was profoundly influenced by him and later became his brother-in-law. ANG and George Muller have been profoundly influential to me, and I am grateful to the Lord for continually using their testimony and life.

Becca said...

I have been in search of Muller's six-part autobiography for some time. In my various internet wanderings, I found two things: this site (where you stated in 2006 that you were looking for a set), and another site with a real treasure, if you can afford $130.

The set comes in four volumes, but for all I can tell, it is the complete six parts bound in four volumes, with a variety of other things. Check it out, and I hope you have already found what you wanted. If not, maybe that's it.

Gina said...

Love this sharing ... keep up! ~ Shalom ~ Sharon