Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Life Well Lived

Much of what is posted here on the George Muller site is taken from other sources and is included here for the sake of those who may not be familiar with the life and lasting legacy of this man of God.  The following summary is taken from the Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement by Thomas Boston Johnstone.

MÜLLER, GEORGE (1805-1898), preacher and philanthropist, born at Kroppenstadt near Halberstadt on 27 Sept. 1805, was the son of a Prussian exciseman. Though a German by birth, he became a naturalised British subject, and for over sixty years was identified with philanthropic work in England. When four years of age his father received an appointment as collector in the excise at Heimersleben. 

When ten years of age he was sent to Halberstadt to the cathedral classical school to be prepared for the university. His mother died when he was fourteen, and a year later he left school to reside with his father at Schoenebeck, near Magdeburg, and to study with a tutor. After two and a half years at the gymnasium of Nordhausen he joined the university of Halle.

Though he was intended for the ministry, Müller was a profligate youth, but at the end of 1825 a change came over his disposition, and he was thenceforth a man of self-abnegation, devoting himself exclusively to religious work. For a brief period Miiller gave instructions in German to three American professors, Charles Hodge of Princeton being one of them. 

In 1826 he resolved to dedicate himself to missionary work either in the East Indies or among the Jews in Poland. In June 1828 he was offered an appointment by the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews, and he arrived in London in March 1829 to study Hebrew and Chaldee and prepare for missionary service. But in 1830, finding that he could not accept some of the rules of the society, he left, and became pastor of a small congregation at Teignmouth, at a salary of 55l. a year. 

In the same year he married Mary Groves, sister of a dentist in Exeter, who had resigned his calling and 1,500l. a year to devote himself to mission work in Persia. Towards the close of the same year Müller was led to adopt the principle with which henceforth his name was associated, that trust in God, in the efficacy of sincere prayer, is sufficient for all purposes in temporal as well as in spiritual things. He accordingly abolished pew-rents, refused to take a fixed salary, or to appeal for contributions towards his support — simply placing a box at the door of the church for freewill offerings — and he resolved never to incur debt either for personal expenses or in religious work, and never to lay up money for the future.

After about two years in Teignmouth Müller went to Bristol, where he remained for the rest of his life. There he and others carried on a congregation, schools, a Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and other organisations, but the work among orphans was that by which he was chiefly known. The suggestion and the pattern of the Bristol orphanages were taken from the orphanages which Müller had visited in early life at Halle; these were erected in 1720 by a philanthropist named Francke, whose biography greatly influenced Müller. 

Beginning with the care of a few orphan children, Müller's work at Bristol gradually grew to immense proportions, latterly no fewer than two thousand orphan children being fed, clothed, educated, cared for, and trained for useful positions in five enormous houses which were erected on Ashley Down. These houses cost 115,000 pounds all of which, as well as the money needed for carrying on the work — 26,000 pounds annually — was voluntarily contributed, mainly as the result of the wide circulation of Müller's autobiographical ‘Narrative of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller’ (London, pt. i. 1837, pt. ii. 1841; 3rd edit. 1845) which was suggested to him by John Newton's ‘Life.’ This book conveyed to people in all parts of the world knowledge of Müller's work, his faith, and his experiences. As a consequence, gifts of money and goods flowed in without direct appeal.

In 1838 the biography of the great evangelist, George Whitfield, helped to intensify Müller's religious fervour, and, after he had passed his seventieth year, he set out on a world-wide mission, which, with brief intervals at home, covered seventeen years. He travelled over much of Britain and of the continent of Europe, made several journeys to America, and visited India, Australia, China, and other parts to preach the gospel.

In the course of his life Müller received from the pious and charitable no less than 1,500,000l.; he educated and sent out into the world no fewer than 123,000 pupils; he circulated 275,000 bibles in different languages, with nearly as many smaller portions of Scripture; and he aided missions to the extent of 255,000l. He supported 189 missionaries, and he employed 112 assistants. The record of his life seems to associate itself more closely with primitive and puritan periods of history than with modern times.

Müller was found dead in his room on the morning of 10 March 1898.
Müller was twice married. His first wife died in 1870. In 1871 he married Miss Susannah Grace Sangar, who accompanied him in his missionary tours; she died in 1895. From 1832 till his death in 1866 Henry Craig assisted Müller. In 1872 Mr. James Wright, who married Müller's only child, Lydia, became his assistant, and the work is still being carried on under Mr. Wright's superintendence.

[The Lord's Dealings with George Müller (London), 5 vols. 1885; Annual Reports of Scriptural Knowledge Institution; Memoir of George Müller, reprinted from the Bristol Mercury, 1898; Pierson's George Müller of Bristol, with introduction by James Wright, 1899.]

Monday, June 13, 2011

Looking for the Author of This Story

The following story was posted in December 2008.  I believe I received it by e-mail but we lost many of our e-mails when our computer crashed.  A representative from the George Muller Charitable Trust has contacted me to ask if I know the name of the person who submitted this story.  

If you are reading "this" and YOU are the one who sent me the story, please e-mail me and I will forward your contact information to the man who got in touch with me.

Thanks so much!

David Fisher

Here is the story that I posted:

In 1939 my mother died; I was eight at the time. There were four children in our family, and we lived in Highley Nr Bridgenorth in Shropshire . It was war time and my father was in his sixties. He was too old to look after us and needed to find somewhere for us to go together to be looked after. My Aunty went to church at a little Mission Hall in Birmingham where they supported an orphanage called George Müller's Homes. My Aunty felt this would be the right place for us to go and persuaded my father to send us there. My brother and one sister went in 1939 and I followed a year later in 1940. My other sister stayed home with them.

I arrived at Müller's very excited and wondering what life would be like, but missing my mum and my other sister, as we had been very close. I had been fostered for a year, which had been a very unhappy experience when I often went hungry. George Müller's Homes seemed like heaven to me, with regular meals, plain and simple, clean clothes, baths (I hadn't had many of them) good shoes, discipline and education. We read the Bible and sang children's songs. We had our own hymn book, a copy of which I still have today. I did not know anything at all about Jesus. I was so hungry for love and in such need of reassurance that as I heard the stories of Jesus, who loved me, a little orphan, my heart just opened up to him. I was nine then, and Jesus and those truths are still with me at the age of 74.

What was life really like there? Fun and hard. It was wartime, and we had to share everything. We slept 60 to a dormitory, made our own beds, scrubbed and polished floors, worked in the laundry (for about a thousand children and the staff). Imagine the washing for all of us! We were taught to clean our own shoes, brush our hair, knit our own stockings and socks darn them too. We used scrubbing boards in the laundry, learned how to lay tables, wait at tables, clean silver and polish furniture. We learned how to make our own clothes, stitch samplers, write letters, to sing and recite poetry, march to music, skip to music, sing the alphabet and other songs. My favourite was reciting poetry, and I write it and love it to this day thanks to Mullers dedicated teaching staff. People came from far and wide to see us perform. We were taught to write properly with nib pens and ink Although the teaching staff could not really show affection because they mustn't be seen favouring one more than another they were very kind. We did miss out on cuddles which made me miss my mum more, but I was fortunate I had a big sister and a brother in the boy's department who we saw once a month. When we left Müller's it was hard to get close to him as we'd missed out on the growing up and together times.

The highlight for me was Sunday afternoons when the book cupboard was opened. I was an avid reader then and still am. We were encouraged to read all good books and it taught me to choose carefully what things I read and I vetted all my children's books and comics as they were growing up. I read 'Pilgrim's Progress', and 'The Holy City' by John Bunyan, and was fascinated in later life to see the cage on Bedford bridge where he was imprisoned. I now have my own copy of 'The Holy War'. I always had a copy of 'Pilgrims Progress' as we were given a Bible and a copy of Pilgrims Progress when we left the home.

There is so much more I could tell! Such is my love for Müller's and the happy times I had there that I go up there every year to our reunion and am on the committee which runs it. Old boys and girls come from all over the world. George Müller and his Faithful God live on in his family, of which I am proud to belong. We sing the song 'We Love This Family of God' and one line in it says 'We are family, we are one' - and that's how we feel!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Have you checked out the Wikipedia page on George Muller for additional information on his life and work?

They try to ensure that the material posted there is accurate. 

It, at least, will give you more links to him and you can research this godly man's impact on his generation and those to follow.