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

A brother sent a hat to brother Craik


12. I felt, this morning, that we might do something for the souls of those poor boys and girls, and grown-up or aged people, to whom we have daily given bread for some time past, in establishing a school for them, reading the Scriptures to them, and speaking to them about the Lord. As far as I see at present, it appears well to me to take a place in the midst of those poor streets near us, to collect the children in the morning about eight, giving them each a piece of bread for breakfast, and then to teach them to read, or to read the Scriptures to them, for about an hour and a half. Afterwards the aged, or grown-up people, may have their appointed time, when bread may be given to them, and the Scriptures read and expounded to them, for, perhaps, half an hour. About similar things I have now and then thought these two years.--There was bread given to about 30 or 40 persons today; and though the number should increase, in the above way, to 200 or more, surely our gracious and rich Lord can give us bread for them also. No sooner had these thoughts arisen, and I communicated them to my dear brother Craik, than I was also directed to a place where the people may be assembled, holding comfortably 150 children. We went about it, and may have it at the rent of 10l., yearly. The Lord directed us, also, to an aged brother as a teacher, and he gladly accepted of our offer. Surely, this matter seems to be of God. Moreover, as I have just now a good deal of money left of the 60l., we have
wherewith to begin; and if it be the Lord's will, and if He will accept it, I am willing to lay out at once 20l. of it in this way, yea, all that is left, if He will but speak; and, by the time that this is gone, He can send more. O Lord, if this matter be of Thee, then prosper it! [This desire was not carried out. As far as I remember, the chief obstacle in the way was a pressure of work coming upon brother Craik and me just about that time. Shortly after, the number of the poor who came for bread increased to between 60 and 80 a day, whereby our neighbours were molested, as the beggars were lying about in troops in the streets, on account of which we were obliged to tell them no longer to come for bread. But though, at this time, this matter was not carried out, the thought was, from time to time, revived and strengthened in my mind, and it ultimately issued in the formation of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and in the establishment of the Orphan-Houses.]

June 22. A brother sent a hat to brother Craik, and one to me, as a token of his love and gratitude, like a thank-offering, as he says. This is now the fourth hat which the Lord has kindly sent me successively, whenever, or even before, I needed one. Between August 19th and 27th was sent to us, by several individuals, a considerable quantity of fruit. How very kind of the Lord, not merely to send us the necessaries of life, but even such things as, on account of the weakness of our bodies, or the want of appetite, we might have desired! Thus the Lord has sent wine or porter when we required it; or, when there was want of appetite, and, on account of the poverty of our brethren, we should not have considered it right to spend money upon such things, He has kindly sent fowls, game, &c., to suit our appetite. We have, indeed, not served a hard Master. I am quite ashamed when I still, sometimes, find my heart dissatisfied, or, at least, not grateful as it ought to be.

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