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A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with Ge

Obtaining and circulating the Scriptures


As

the Lord has so greatly condescended to listen to my prayers, and as I consider it one of the particular talents which He has intrusted to me, to exercise faith upon His promises regarding my own temporal wants and those of others; and as an Orphan-House for boys above seven years of age seems greatly needed in this city; and as also, without it, we know not how to provide for the little boys, in the Infant-Orphan-House when they are above seven years of age; I purpose to establish an Orphan-House for about forty boys above seven years of age. But there are three difficulties in the way, which must first be removed, before I could take any further step in this work. 1. My hands are more than filled already through the work arising from the ministry of the Word, the attending to the ordering of church affairs, and the oversight of 370 brethren and sisters. And yet, in addition to this, I have also the work which comes upon me in connexion with the six day-schools, a Sunday-school, an adult-school, the two Orphan-Houses, and the circulation of the Scriptures. (This latter part of the work is more and more increasing; for merely within the last seven months 836 copies of the Scriptures have been circulated). For these reasons, then, I could not in any degree enlarge the field of labour, except the Lord should be pleased to send us a brother, who, as steward, could take from me the work which arises from keeping the accounts, obtaining and circulating the Scriptures, giving advice
in ordinary matters respecting the Orphan-Houses, attending to the applications for admission of children in the Orphan-Houses, &c. But whether there is an Orphan-House for boys established or not, such a brother is greatly needed, even as the extent of the work is now, and I therefore lay it on the hearts of the believers who may read this, to help me with their prayers, that such a brother may be found. 2. In addition to this, it would be needful, before I could take any further step, to obtain a truly pious master for the boys, add other suitable individuals who may be needed to take care of the children. 3. The third thing by which I desire to be assured, that it is the will of God that I should go forward in the Orphan-House is, that He provide the means for such an enlargement of the work. Whilst, on the one hand I would confess to the praise of God, that He has been pleased to give me faith to trust in Him; yet, on the other hand, I desire to be kept from presumption and enthusiasm. I do not intend to wait till thousands are raised, or till the Institution is endowed; but I must have such a sum given to me as is needed to furnish a house for forty boys, and to clothe that number, and to have a little to begin with: without such a sum I should not consider it to be the will of God to enlarge the field. What I ask then from the brethren who may feel interested in seeing an Orphan-House for boys established in Bristol is, that they would help me with their prayers, that if it be the will of God, He Himself would be pleased to remove these three difficulties out of the way.

[Whilst the preceding pages of the first edition of this Narrative were in the press, and before the reception of the last proof sheet for correction, the same friend who gave me on May 24, 1837, Forty Pounds for the orphans, and whom up to that time I had never seen, gave on July 12, 1837, Four Hundred and Sixty Pounds more, being altogether Five Hundred Pounds.]

REVIEW OF THE LAST FIVE YEARS, THE TIME THAT I HAVE


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