The Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours of George Muller Part 7

The Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours of George Muller -

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The next morning, Saturday, the 5th of June, at 9 o'clock, we went on board the "Sardinian" (Allan Line), and soon after 10 began our voyage down the river. In the evening, at 7 o'clock, a meeting was held in the forecastle for the sailors, to whom my husband spoke for 20 minutes, and at 8 o'clock he conducted a Bible reading in the Chart Room. On Sunday morning, June 6th, he preached in the saloon, and every day had a Bible reading with the passengers. After entering the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we passed through six hundred miles of fogs and icebergs, which so greatly hindered the progress of the ship, that the voyage occupied eleven days instead of only eight or nine. On Sunday morning, June 13th, Mr. Muller preached again in the saloon, and spoke in the afternoon from Job xvii.

9, at a little meeting in the Chart Room.

On Wednesday, the 16th, at 3 p.m., we landed at Liverpool, proceeded the next day to Bristol, and arrived on Ashley Down at half past 4; where the dear Orphan boys and girls received and welcomed us with hearty cheers. Near the lodge a number of Christian friends also had assembled to witness our arrival, and, at New Orphan House No. 3, we had the pleasure of greeting and shaking hands with nearly all our numerous helpers.

Thus ended our sixth missionary tour (marked in every way by the loving kindness of the Lord), in the course of which my husband preached 299 times at 42 different places.



_From Sept. 15th, 1880, to May 31st, 1881._

After Mr. Muller had laboured for ten months in word and doctrine during his first visit to America, though he preached 308 times, he had to leave the country with 108 written invitations which he was not then able to accept. This led him to go to the United States a second time, when he stayed nine months, and spoke in public 299 times altogether; but on leaving found, that 154 written invitations remained unaccepted.

On this account therefore, after staying in Bristol from June 17th, 1880, to Sept. 15th of the same year (where he laboured continually at the Orphan Houses, and in pastoral work belonging to the three chapels with which he is connected)--believing it to be the will of God that he should return to the United States, on Thursday, Sept. 16th, we embarked at Liverpool for Canada in the "Sardinian;" and, after a favourable voyage, on Sept. 26th, at 11 a.m., landed at Quebec.

During the passage, he held eight meetings; spoke at three Bible readings, and circulated about 200 little books amongst the passengers and crew. On the evening of the 26th, he preached at the Baptist Church, Quebec; and during the seven days that we remained held eight other meetings in the city. Whilst at Quebec, a Roman Catholic gentleman of high position, attended nearly all the services; we conversed with him afterwards; and he gladly accepted the three volumes of my husband's Narrative.

On Oct. 4th, at 8 p.m., we left Quebec by rail, arrived at Boston, in the United States, at 10 minutes past 5 on the following afternoon, and remained there five weeks. During that period, Mr. Muller preached many times at the different places of worship, and attended the "Market men's prayer meeting" at noon, where he habitually gave addresses. This meeting was frequented chiefly by men of business, who met every day for prayer and exhortation from 12 to 1 o'clock. My husband preached also at East Cambridge, Chelsea, Newton, and Newtonville; addressed the students of the Theological Seminary at Newton Central, seven miles from Boston, and on Oct. 27th held a meeting for the students of the Theological Seminary of the University of Boston.

On Oct. 29th we went to Wellesley College, 16 miles from Boston, where, on that evening and the next morning, he addressed the 360 lady students who belong to it, many of whom were Christians. Neither in Great Britain nor on the Continent of Europe, have we ever seen educational establishments for young ladies equal to the Colleges which are to be found in the United States. When visiting four of these Institutions, we heard that the pupils are not only instructed in the various branches of a first-class education, but that the young ladies are carefully trained in a knowledge of housekeeping also, and of the numerous domestic duties connected with home life. By turns, they each do the portion of the daily work of the establishment assigned to them, both for the sake of learning _how_ it should be done properly, and also that physical exercise may be healthfully combined with the culture of the mind. The religious training at these Colleges too is excellent, and the spiritual interests of the young ladies are carefully attended to.

Before our departure from Boston, we visited Plymouth, New England, 37 miles distant, where Mr. Muller preached at the "Church of the Pilgrims," an interesting place of worship, because it represents the Church erected by the "Pilgrim Fathers" on their first arrival in the United States. Plymouth is noted as being the place where they landed on the 22nd of Dec., 1620, and as containing the site of the first house ever built in New England. At "Pilgrims' Hall" are many interesting relics that belonged to them, brought over to America in the "Mayflower," which conveyed the strangers across the Atlantic to their new home. At Boston and in the neighbourhood my husband spoke 38 times in public altogether.

After leaving this city, Milford, Massachusetts, was our next resting place, where four meetings were held; and on Nov. 13th we left for Amherst. Here, on the following afternoon, at the College Chapel, Mr.

Muller addressed 339 students; in the evening, at the Congregational Church, he preached to a crowded congregation, and the next morning attended a pastors' meeting, when he addressed fifteen of his fellow labourers in the ministry, whom he sought to encourage in their service for the Lord.

From Amherst we went to Northampton, where, at Smith's College, he addressed 260 of the lady students. In this town. President Edwards resided for many years, and the Church, at which he ministered, was pointed out. On Nov. 18th we paid a second visit to Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, South Hadley, founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon, where, that evening and the next morning, Mr. Muller addressed the 250 lady students who belong to it. From this Institution, many godly young women have gone forth as missionaries; and some Christian school-teachers of note, were trained and educated at Mount Holyoke. On the evening of Nov. 19th, my husband preached at South Hadley Church, early on the morning of the 20th, he gave a third address to the young ladies at the Seminary, and on the forenoon of that day we left for Hartford, Connecticut, 52 miles from South Hadley, where he preached six times, and addressed thirty of his brethren in Christ at a pastors' meeting. He held three meetings also in this city for the Germans.

On Nov. 27th we went to New Haven, Connecticut (the seat of Yale College, founded in the year 1700); and whilst there, through the courtesy of the President and of the University chaplain, Mr. Muller had opportunities of addressing a considerable number of the students, for whom he held two meetings. This was an important service, which he gladly undertook, having heard of great blessing resulting from his labours amongst the students of Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Universities, both in Europe and America.

At New Haven he preached twelve times, and once at Fair Haven in the vicinity. Four of these meetings were in German; at one he addressed a number of pastors, and at another spoke to 140 children belonging to the Orphan Asylum.

On Dec. 8th we left New Haven for New York, and remained there fourteen weeks and three days; because, during our two former visits to America, having been able to give but little time, to this, the largest city in the United States, Mr. Muller considered it right to remain as long as possible, that he might do what he could for the spiritual welfare of the people. The population of New York is about one million four hundred thousand. It contains upwards of three hundred thousand Germans, and as at Brooklyn there are two hundred thousand more, he had abundant opportunity of labouring amongst them. The English-speaking population of this city, Brooklyn and the neighbourhood, is about one million and a half. We remained therefore at New York from Dec. 8th, 1880, to March 19th, 1881.

During the whole of this period, my husband preached 69 times in the city, 15 times at Brooklyn, once at Harlem, twice at Hoboken, New Jersey, twice at Tremont, once at Washington Heights, and twice at Union Hill, New Jersey--92 meetings altogether, 38 of which were in German.

That winter was the coldest that had been known in New York for thirty years, and the many long drives my beloved husband took at night to Brooklyn and other places, seven, eight, or nine miles from our hotel, when the weather was most severe, were very trying, especially as it was necessary to cross a ferry, where the ice was occasionally so thick, that it was with difficulty a passage could be forced through it by the steamer. Constrained by the love of Christ, however, he persevered in a service, that would have been considered, by most persons of his age, an arduous undertaking; but though he _felt_ the cold, was not allowed to suffer from it in the least.

On March 19th we went to Newark, New Jersey, a city of about 120,000 inhabitants, amongst whom there are more than 30,000 Germans. Before our arrival, a series of services for them had been arranged, so that for three weeks Mr. Muller preached exclusively amongst the Germans, and not until a later period, at the large American churches of the city. During our visit to Newark, he preached three times at Elizabeth, twice at Orange, twice at Bloomfield, gave long addresses at two meetings for pastors, held three meetings for Christian workers, conducted one service for Theological students, and preached 26 times at Newark.

On April 18th we went to Port Chester, where he preached four times; on the afternoon of April 22nd we left for Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 464 miles distant; and on the morning of April 23rd, arrived at the Monongahela Hotel, Pittsburg, after travelling all night. There, my husband held nine meetings in English, and nine in German (as Pittsburg and Alleghany, an adjoining city, contain about 60,000 Germans) and attended two meetings of German and American pastors whom he addressed.

Pittsburg (which is a very large manufacturing city) was enveloped in one vast cloud of smoke, and fine particles of dust, so that, although the weather was at times sultry and oppressive, it was necessary always to keep the windows shut. "This city is at the head of the river Ohio, at the confluence of the Alleghany and the Monongahela, and is situated in a district extremely rich in mineral wealth, whilst its vicinity to inexhaustible coal and iron mines, has raised it to great distinction as a manufacturing place. The immense extent of its manufactures, and of the coal and oil trade of the city can be realized, from the fact, that within the limits of what is known throughout the country as Pittsburg, there are 35 _miles_ of manufactories of iron, glass, steel, copper, oil, woods, cotton, and brass, without including manufactories of various other materials."

On May 12th we left Pittsburg, and, after passing one night at Philadelphia, returned to New York on the 13th, where Mr. Muller fulfilled a few preaching engagements, before our embarkation for England on the 21st. During this our third tour in the United States, he preached 244 times altogether. At eighteen of these meetings, he addressed German or American pastors; fifteen were held for the students of Universities, Theological Seminaries, and Colleges; and seven for Christian workers.

On Saturday, May 21st, we embarked for England in the "Britannic," and, after a most favourable passage, landed at Liverpool on May 30th. The next day we returned to Bristol; and, on reaching Ashley Down in the afternoon at half-past 4, were cordially welcomed home by many hundreds of the Orphan boys and girls, who, with several Christian friends and a large staff of helpers at the Orphan Houses, were waiting our arrival.

Thus ended this seventh missionary tour, a long journey by land and water, which (like our previous travels) was marked from beginning to end by innumerable mercies.



_From August 23rd, 1881, to May 30th, 1882._

After remaining in Bristol for eleven weeks, on August 23rd, 1881, we set off for Dover on our eighth missionary tour; crossed over to Calais on the 24th, went on to Paris, and, having started for Switzerland on the 25th, arrived at Berne on the 27th.

After Mr. Muller had preached many times there, had held meetings at Mannedorf, Wadenschwyl, Zurich, Basel, and Stuttgart, having been led through the advice of a brother in Christ, to decide on visiting the Holy Land, on Thursday, Oct. 20th, at 2 p.m., we embarked at Marseilles in the steamer "Said," for Alexandria. My husband had had it particularly laid upon his heart to comfort and encourage the missionaries from Great Britain, America, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries, who labour in the East, because their trials and difficulties are great; and he desired to visit some of the German colonies, that he might preach amongst them, and encourage the German pastors in their work. After leaving Marseilles, for eighteen hours the weather was very rough, but as the wind gradually abated, the sea became calm; we anchored in the Bay of Naples for a few hours, and at half-past 2 on the afternoon of Oct. 26th, landed at Alexandria.

Here the Scotch minister, the German pastor, and the German deaconesses showed us much kindness; and, during the ten days that we remained, Mr.

Muller had a considerable amount of work. He preached repeatedly in German at the Prussian Hospital, held meetings in English at the Scotch Free Church, addressed the children of the Scotch Jewish Mission Schools, and the children of the American United Presbyterian Mission Schools, and preached at the German Church.

On the afternoon of Nov. 3rd, we went by rail to Ramleh, six miles distant, which has a cooler climate than Alexandria, and contains a few handsome residences, where some of the wealthy inhabitants of the city live. On the way, we passed four cemeteries, one Jewish, another Catholic, a third Greek, and the fourth Mahometan. The tombs in the Mahometan burying ground were of an Oriental character, and very unlike monuments erected over graves in European cemeteries. We passed a palace belonging to the Khedive or Viceroy of Egypt also. A large grove of palm trees laden with dates had a most luxuriant appearance. At Ramleh, at a small chapel, Mr. Muller addressed a congregation of Catholics, Jews, and Protestants who understood English; and on the 4th, at the Scotch Mission School, conversed with several Jewish girls, by means of Arabic translation.

In going to and from the meetings, we noticed the great variety of costumes worn by persons who passed us in the streets. Loose, white garments, and red turbans with gold ornaments, were worn by the Turks; most of the women were closely veiled, so that their eyes only could be seen; and a few had veils arranged in such a manner, that one eye alone was visible. Brass ornaments too, fixed between the eyes, were generally worn by _un_-veiled women, which disfigured their countenances much.

Most of the poor walked about barefoot, and some Arabs, in thin clothings, slept soundly, as they lay stretched at full length by the side of the pavement in the streets. During our short stay at Alexandria the heat was great; as late in the year as the beginning of November, the thermometer sometimes registered 90 degrees, and the flies and mosquitos were most troublesome.

On Nov. 4th Mr. Muller preached a farewell sermon at the Prussian Hospital, in German, and on the 5th we went by rail to Cairo, where he preached for the German pastor, and held meetings in connection with the American Mission; openings for service being numerous in this city as well as at Alexandria.

On Nov. 9th, we set off early in an open carriage, with a dragoman as interpreter, to see the Pyramids, ten miles from Cairo, which are reached by a good road under a shady avenue of trees; and a little before noon alighted near "the great Pyramid of Cheops, 460 feet high, which was erected as a tomb, about 30 centuries ago, when its construction employed 100,000 men for twenty years. The exterior of this Pyramid was once smooth, but it is now rough and uneven, presenting 206 steps from one to four feet high, by which an ascent to the summit is made. From this point the view includes the Nile, the minarets of Cairo, the plain where the French defeated the Mamelukes, the site of Memphis, the great African Desert, a multitude of tombs, and two other Pyramids.

From Gizeh to Memphis on the west side of the Nile, about 70 Pyramids can be counted, all burial places of kings, with tombs and chapels adjoining them. A quarter of a mile from the nearest Pyramid, lies the Sphinx, a stone lion 102 feet long, now heavily buried in sand, having a human face 18 feet in length; but the head and part of the neck only are now visible." Our walk to the Sphinx was oppressively warm, for the sun shone with a brightness that was dazzling. The heat and glare too from the sandy ground on which we trod, made the atmosphere around like the hot air issuing from an oven. Troups of Bedouin Arabs congregate in the neighbourhood of the Pyramids, who flock around strangers and volunteer their services as guides.

Besides visiting the Pyramids, before our departure from Cairo, we walked through the Museum, which contains a valuable collection of Egyptian curiosities, consisting of statues, pottery, manuscripts of the Pharaohs, and other relics, some of which are supposed to be nearly 4,000 years old; but the most remarkable objects in the Museum are the mummies. These are embalmed bodies (principally of Egyptian Kings), recently discovered, and amongst them (it is said) is the mummy of that great oppressor of the Israelites, the Pharaoh, during whose reign they had so much to suffer, until delivered by Jehovah through His servant Moses.

On Nov. 11th, we left Cairo for Ismailia, and from there proceeded in a small mail steamer (via the Suez Canal) to Port Said, where we arrived two hours after midnight. At this town Mr. Muller preached twice in English, and on Sunday, Nov. 13th, at the former of these two services, were fourteen English sailors who had recently been shipwrecked. Their lives therefore having been so mercifully preserved, he took advantage of the circumstance to press upon them the acceptance of the gospel. At Port Said he held only one German meeting, upon which occasion, fifteen young men and women from Bohemia (who gained a livelihood by exercising their talent for music) were present, all of whom were Roman Catholics.

To each a copy of the Bible or New Testament in German was given, and the fourteen sailors were presented with Bibles or Testaments in English. After this German service was over, a meeting was held also for the breaking of bread, where Mr. Muller gave an address in English.

On the following day, at 2 p.m. we went on board a large Russian mail steamer bound for Jaffa, and found that, besides the saloon passengers, there were about 100 Russian pilgrims in the steerage of the ship, accompanied by their priests of the Greek Church, who were all travelling on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. These pilgrims performed their religious services on deck, where they bowed, crossed themselves repeatedly, and turned their faces eastward towards the Holy Land. They looked very poor, and were dirty in their habits and appearance. Each individual belonging to this company was supplied with a copy of the Holy Scriptures in Russ, at a nominal price, by a Scotch Evangelist, and a colporteur, who labour for the Lord habitually at Port Said.

After a favourable passage, on Nov. 15th, at 8 a.m., we arrived off Jaffa, on the coast of Palestine and (as there is no harbour to the town) anchored about a mile distant from the shore; but on account of cholera at Mecca, had to remain there for quarantine four and twenty hours. On the 16th, however, at 8 a.m., the Turkish doctors permitted us to land; but the passage from the steamer to the shore, in a boat rowed by eight Arabs, was exceedingly unpleasant, the waves at Jaffa being tremendous when the wind is high.

From the ship's deck, the town had a striking and even beautiful appearance; but, on walking through the streets, we found them only filthy lanes, and were glad to take up our abode at the Jerusalem Hotel, situated in a pleasant locality, at some distance from the shore. As there is a large German colony at Jaffa, and American and English missionaries reside in the town, Mr. Muller was able to preach both to German and to English congregations, and with Arabic interpretation, when neither of these languages was understood. He preached also at Sarona, another German colony, three miles distant, and held meetings in German at the house of a Russian Baron residing at Jaffa. On Nov. 21st, at the residence of the English clergyman, he addressed about 60 persons at half-past 4; and on the following day preached at a Hall belonging to Miss Arnot (a Christian lady from Scotland) who has a large school for Arabic children. On the morning of the 24th he spoke at the Dispensary to a congregation consisting of Mahometans, Jews, and members of the Greek Church, when the Syrian doctor (a Christian) translated for him into Arabic; and on the 25th addressed 100 individuals, including natives, and English-speaking persons, with Arabic translation, at the same place. On the morning of Sunday, Nov. 27th, he gave an address at the Baron's house in German, and in the afternoon preached (for the English clergyman,) on the second coming of Christ.

During our walks at Jaffa, we greatly admired the plantations of orange and lemon trees which flourish there luxuriantly; and the high, thick hedges of prickly pears, cactus, etc., which abound, show that the warmth of the climate is semi-tropical; but the town itself consists of poor bazaars, dismal houses, and dirty, crooked lanes, which repel visitors instead of inviting them to sojourn there.

After a sojourn of twelve days at Jaffa, at 7 o'clock on the morning of Nov. 28th, we started for Jerusalem in an open Russian waggon, drawn by three horses (the only kind of conveyance to be obtained), and noticed that between Jaffa and Ramleh--where we stopped for an hour--the land was tolerably well cultivated, and looked fertile. At half-past 12, as the horses required further rest, we alighted at a little roadside inn, and in two hours our journey was resumed. Now we travelled through a district called in Scripture, the "Mountains of Judaea," where the aspect of the country became wild and desolate. Palestine (spoken of in the Old Testament as--"A land flowing with milk and honey," and as--"The glory of all lands") is now barren, rocky, and uncultivated; and it is evident that the curse of God rests not only upon the Jews, but upon their _country_ also, which is now under Turkish rule.

Nevertheless, the day is coming when Jehovah will remember the _land_ also; for at the return of the Lord Jesus, when Israel as a nation will be converted and restored, "The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."

At length, after a trying journey of twelve hours, over a rough, rugged road, nearly covered with large, loose stones, at a quarter-past 7, we reached Jerusalem and alighted _outside_ the Jaffa gate, because carriages cannot enter the city, as the streets are far too narrow and too badly paved, for conveyances of any kind to be driven along them. At the Mediterranean Hotel, we engaged a pleasant corner room upon the first floor, from which there was a fine view of the Mount of Olives; and the terrace on its flat roof (where we took our daily walks) commanded an extensive prospect. It included the Mosque of Omar on Mount Moriah, where the Temple formerly stood, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mosque on Mount Zion, which contains the tomb of David, the site formerly occupied by Herod's Palace, the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, The Citadel, or Tower of David, most of the public buildings in the city, and the Mount of Olives. During our stay at Jerusalem, Mr. Muller held numerous meetings in English and in German, and preached habitually in these two languages, both with and without interpretation into Arabic. At a church where Arab Christians assemble for worship he preached with translation into that language; at Zion School (founded by Bishop Gobat) he addressed the teachers belonging to it; spoke in English and in German at the Jewish School of Industry; preached six times in part of a building called St. John's Palace, now fitted up as a German chapel; gave an address at the lecture room of the English Church; spoke to the children of a Syrian Orphanage outside the city, two miles distant, with Arabic interpretation; addressed 108 Arab girls in German twice at the Talitha Cumi boarding school; spoke in English, without translation, to 135 boys and several gentlemen and ladies at Bishop Gobat's school; attended a Dorcas meeting two afternoons, where he addressed a considerable number of ladies, in German; spoke a second time at the Syrian Orphanage with Arabic interpretation, and upon two different occasions addressed the patients at a small hospital for lepers outside the city. He spoke twice also to the patients of another hospital.

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