On this day in 1898, the funeral of George Muller, the man who did so much among the orphans of England and for the sake of the Gospel around the world, was held in Bristol, England. It was reported that “Tens of thousands of people reverently stood along the route of the simple procession; men left their workshops and offices, women left their elegant homes or humble kitchens, all seeking to pay a last token of respect.”
At the age of 92, it seemed that Muller was still going strong for his Lord. And by this point in his life, he had a massive ministry to care for. The Scripture Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad, which he started at the age of 28, was distributing thousands of Bibles and tracts across England and other parts of the world. Over half a million pounds had been given to the institute to use for literature and to be distributed to different missionaries around the World.
There were five large orphan houses that had to be up kept and provided for. During the course of their time, over 10,000 orphans passed through the orphanages.
He traveled to 42 different countries and preached to nearly 3 million people. The night before he died, he lead a prayer meeting at his own church, preaching with as much power as he did when he was young. But that would be the last time this warrior would preach. The next morning, when they brought him his morning tea, they found him dead in his room.
How could one man do so much? It was probably because he worked so much on his private, be level. Muller was not just a man who said he loved the word of God. He was a man who lived upon it. During his lifetime, he read through the Bible 200 times, from cover to cover. The Bible was so important top Muller that he would often say, “That the word of God alone is our standard of judgment in all spiritual things.” How major of a role is the role of God playing in your life?
More than a year earlier, Stanley had set out to search for Livingston, who the world had lost contact with and many feared had died in the African wilderness. By following clues of a mysterious white man, Stanley and his crew had been able to locate the missionary. Stanley recorded his first meeting with Livingston:
So I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back the crowds, and, passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue of people until I came in front of the semicircle of Arabs, in the front of which stood the white man with the gray beard. As I advanced slowly toward him I noticed he was pale, looked wearied, had a gray beard, wore a bluish cap with a faded gold band round it, had on a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of gray tweed trousers. I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob, – would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing, – walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said, ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?’
‘Yes,’ said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.
I replace my hat on my head and he puts on his cap, and we both grasp hands, and I then say aloud, ‘I thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you.’
He answered, ‘I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.’
During the next five months,Livingstone became a father-figure to Stanley. He poured a vast amount of knowledge into stanley, who devoured every word he heard. He later wrote that “I found myself gazing at him, conning the wonderful man at whose side I now sat in Central Africa. Every hair of his head and beard, every wrinkle of his face, the wanness of his features, and the slightly wearied look he wore, were all imparting intelligence to me, – the knowledge I craved for so much ever since I heard the words, ‘Take what you want, but find Livingstone.”
When it came time for him to leave, Stanley begged Livingstone to come back to England with him. But Livingstone refused. His response was simply, “I must finish my task”. And so the two men parted.
Later, giving an account of his time with the missionary, Stanley wrote:
For four months I lived with him in the same house or in the same boat or in the same tent, and I never found a fault in him. His gentleness never forsakes him. No harassing anxieties, distraction of mind, long separation from home and kindred, can make him complain. He thinks all will come out right at last; he has such faith in the goodness of Providence.
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