1827年8月，慕勒开始热心国外布道事业，加入了不列颠大陆宣道会（Continental Society of Britain）。1828年，他接受伦敦会（London Missionary Society）的建议，于1828年3月19日抵达伦敦，进入神学院受训6个月，然后在英国的犹太人中工作。但在1829年5月中旬，慕勒生了一场重病，当时他甚至都没有想到能够活下来。当他痊愈时，他奉献自己服务于上帝的旨意。不久他离开了伦敦会，确信上帝会为他从事基督教工作满足他的需要。他成为德文郡Ebenezer会堂的牧师，不久和玛丽·戈洛弗（最早在都柏林开始“奉主名聚会”的A.N.戈洛弗的姐妹）结婚。在他担任这所教堂牧师期间，他拒绝领取固定的薪水，相信那种实行会导致教会成员耗尽他们的责任，而不是出于自愿。他还废除了教堂长凳的租金，指责这给了富人不公平的显赫。
1832年，慕勒迁居到港口城市布里斯托（Bristol），开始和革拉克（Henry Craik）一起，在伯赛大会所（Bethesda chapel）工作。他直到去世，一直在此讲道，同时还献身于其他工作。
1834年，他建立了国内和海外圣经知识协会（Scripture Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad），目标是援助基督教学校和传教士，以及分发圣经。这个组织不接受政府支持，只接受主动送来的馈赠，到慕勒去世时共收到并支付出去150万英镑($2,718,844 美元），这些钱主要用来支持孤儿院，并分发了将近200万本圣经和宗教书籍。这些钱还用来支持全世界的其他传教士，例如中国内地会的创始人戴德生。
1832年2月和1835年11月20日，慕勒两次读到法兰克(August Hermann Francke)的传记，法兰克从1696年起在普鲁士的哈勒（Halle）创办“孤儿之家”，并从不向人要求捐款。慕勒也产生了开办孤儿院的心愿。由于在1835年12月5日，他读到圣经中诗篇81篇10节——“你要大大张口，我就给你充满”而大受鼓励，加上革拉克的赞同，于是在12月9日，经过众人的考虑和祷告，终于做出了决定。会后陆续有信徒主动奉献钱财和家具。
慕勒夫妇照顾孤儿的工作开始于1836年4月11日，起初是在布里斯托（Bristol）自己的家中做准备工作，以容纳30个女孩。同年11月28日，在同一条街又租房开始了第二间孤儿院。不久，又布置了2所房子，需要照顾的儿童总数达到130人。1845年，由于人数继续增长，慕勒决定设计一所独立的建筑，以容纳300个孩子。1849年6月18日，在Ashley Down 28,000 m²的土地上，建成了这所孤儿院。到1856年5月26日，又兴建了第二院，可容纳400人。到1870年，总共已建立了5所孤儿院，收容超过2,000名孤儿。最后全部孤儿人数达到10,024名。维持孤儿院开支的捐款总数，超过了150万英镑。
尽管这5座孤儿院开支浩大，仅建筑花费总数就超过10万英镑，但慕勒的原则是，从不向人要求捐款，从不把任何孤儿院的需要告诉外人，更从不借债，他只做一件事：向上帝祷告，但每次的帮助总是在最需要的时刻由各方自动送来，没有一次叫孤儿们挨饿。许多次，他在离给孩子开饭的时间已经只有一个小时的时候收到主动送来的食物，进一步加强了他对上帝的信心。每天早晨进早餐后是读圣经和祷告的时间，每个孩子在离开孤儿院时会得到一本圣经。孩子们的穿着和教育都很好，慕勒甚至雇佣了一名学校督学以保持高的水准。事实上，许多人声称附近工厂和矿山无法获得足够的工人，因为他为孩子们长大后离开孤儿院提供的职位是保安学徒、职业训练和家庭服务。 这所孤儿院现在还是英国布里斯托城最大的孤儿院。不过在1958年，孤儿院的总部迁离Ashley Down，原址改为一所大学。孤儿院原址旁的马路，仍称作慕勒路（Muller Road），是布里斯托城最长的一条没有酒吧的街道。
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation
Jump to search
For people with a similar name, see Georg Müller (disambiguation) and George Mueller (NASA).
George Ferdinand Müller
Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller
27 September 1805
Kroppenstedt, Kingdom of Prussia (now Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)
10 March 1898 (aged 92)
Cathedral Classical School, Halberstadt
Evangelist and missionary, Director of Orphan Houses
Mary Groves (7 Oct 1830 – 6 Feb 1870, her death)
Susannah Grace Sanger (30 Nov 1871 – 13 Jan 1894, her death)
Lydia (17 Sep 1832 – 10 Jan 1890); Elijah (19 Mar 1834 – 26 Jun 1835). Two other children were still-born, 9 Aug 1831 and 12 Jun 1838.
Johann Friedrich Müller (Oct 1768 – 20 Mar 1840), Sophie Eleonore Müller (née Hasse; Apr 1771 – 16 Jan 1820)
George Müller (born Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller, 27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898) was a Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England.
He cared for 10,024 orphans during his lifetime, and provided educational opportunities for the orphans to the point that he was even accused by some of raising the poor above their natural station in British life. He established 117 schools which offered Christian education to more than 120,000.
In 1829, Müller offered to work with Jews in England through the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. He arrived in London on March 19 of that year, but by mid-May, he fell ill and did not think that he would survive. He was sent to Teignmouth to recuperate and, while there he met Henry Craik, who became his lifelong friend. Müller returned to London in September, but after ten days started to feel unwell again. He blamed his failing health on his having been confined to his house because of his studies. He asked the Society to send him out to preach but received no reply. By the end of November he became doubtful whether the Society was the right place for him and on 12 December made the decision to leave but to wait for a month before writing. Müller returned to Exmouth in East Devon, England on 31 December for a short holiday and preached at various meetings while there. He wrote to the Society in early January, requesting that they might consider allowing him to remain with them if they would allow him “to labour in regard to time and place as the Lord might direct me”. This they refused to do at a meeting on 27 January 1830, communicating this to Müller in writing, and thus bringing to an end his association with the London Society. He moved from Exmouth to Teignmouth and preached several times for Craik, which led to a number of the congregation asking him to stay and be the minister of Ebenezer Chapel in Shaldon, Devon, on a salary of £55 per annum. On 7 October 1830, he married Mary Groves, the sister of Anthony Norris Groves. At the end of October, he renounced his regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire. He also eliminated the renting of church pews, arguing that it gave unfair prestige to the wealthy (based primarily on James 2:1–9).
Müller moved to Bristol on 25 May 1832 to begin working at Bethesda Chapel. Along with Henry Craik, he continued preaching there until his death, even while devoted to his other ministries. In 1834, he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, with the goal of aiding Christian schools and missionaries; distributing the Bible and Christian tracts; and providing Day-schools, Sunday-schools and Adult-schools, all upon a Scriptural foundation. By the end of February 1835, there were five Day-schools – two for boys and three for girls. Not receiving government support and only accepting unsolicited gifts, this organisation received and disbursed £1,381,171 – around £113 million in today’s terms – by the time of Müller’s death, primarily using the money for supporting the orphanages and distributing about 285,407 Bibles, 1,459,506 New Testaments, and 244,351 other religious texts, which were translated into twenty other languages. The money was also used to support other “faith missionaries” around the world, such as Hudson Taylor. The work continues to this day.
The work of Müller and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own rented home at 6 Wilson Street, Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. Soon after, three more houses in Wilson Street were furnished, not only for girls but also for boys and younger children, eventually increasing the capacity for children who could be cared for to 130.
In 1845, as growth continued, the neighbours complained about the noise and disruption to the public utilities, so Müller decided that a separate building designed to house three hundred children was necessary, and in 1849, at Ashley Down, Bristol, the new home opened. The architect commissioned to draw up the plans asked if he might do so gratuitously. By 26 May 1870, 1,722 children were being accommodated in 5 homes, although there was room for 2,050 (No 1 House – 300, No 2 House – 400, Nos 3, 4 and 5 – 450 each). By the following year, there were 280 orphans in No 1 House, 356 in No 2, 450 in Nos 3 and 4, and 309 in No 5 House.
Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost more than £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God. Müller was in constant prayer that God touch the hearts of donors to make provisions for the orphans. For example, on one well-documented occasion, thanks was given for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage. In his autobiographical entry for February 12, 1842, he wrote:
A brother in the Lord came to me this morning and, after a few minutes of conversation gave me two thousand pounds for furnishing the new Orphan House … Now I am able to meet all of the expenses. In all probability I will even have several hundred pounds more than I need. The Lord not only gives as much as is absolutely necessary for his work, but he gives abundantly. This blessing filled me with inexplicable delight. He had given me the full answer to my thousands of prayers during the [past] 1,195 days.
Receipt form issued by George Müller
Müller never sought donations from specific individuals and relied on the Almighty for all of his needs. He asked those who did support his work to give a name and address so that he could prepare a receipt. The receipts were printed with a request that the receipt be kept until the next annual report was issued so that the donor might confirm the amount reported with what he had given. The wording in the image reads: “Owing to the great increase of my work, I have found it necessary to authorize two of my assistants (Mr. Lawford and Mr. Wright) to sign receipts for donations, if needful, in my stead. Donors are requested, kindly to keep the receipts and to compare them with the “Supplement” to the Report, which records every donation received, so that they may be satisfied that their donations have been properly applied.-The “Supplement” is sent with the Report to every Donor who furnishes me with his or her name and address.-I would earnestly request all Donors (even those who feel it right to give anonymously) to put it in my power to acknowledge their donations at the time they come to hand; and should any Donor, after having done this, not receive a printed receipt within a week, they would much oblige me by giving me information at once. This interval must, of course, be extended in the case of Donors who send from places out of the United Kingdom. George Müller”. Every single gift was recorded, whether a single farthing, £3,000 or an old teaspoon. Accounting records were scrupulously kept and made available for scrutiny.
Every morning after breakfast there was a time of Bible reading and prayer, and every child was given a Bible upon leaving the orphanage, together with a tin trunk containing two changes of clothing. The children were dressed well and educated – Müller even employed an inspector to maintain high standards. In fact, many claimed that nearby factories and mines were unable to obtain enough workers because of his efforts in securing apprenticeships, professional training, and domestic service positions for the children old enough to leave the orphanage.
On 26 March 1875, at the age of 70 and after the death of his first wife in 1870 and his marriage to Susannah Grace Sanger in 1871, Müller and Susannah began a 17-year period of missionary travel:
26 March 1875
6 July 1875
15 August 1875
5 July 1876
England, Scotland and Ireland
16 August 1876
25 June 1877
Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands
18 August 1877
8 July 1878
Canada and the United States (including a visit to the White House)
5 September 1878
18 June 1879
Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy
27 August 1879
17 June 1880
United States and Canada
15 September 1880
31 May 1881
Canada and the United States
23 August 1881
30 May 1882
Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Turkey and Greece
8 August 1882
1 June 1883
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Russia and Poland
26 September 1883
5 June 1884
18 August 1884
2 October 1884
England and South Wales
16 May 1885
1 July 1885
1 September 1885
3 October 1885
England and Scotland
4 November 1885
13 June 1887
The United States, Australia, China, Japan, the Straits of Malacca, Singapore, Penang, Colombo, France
10 August 1887
11 March 1890
Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Ceylon and India
8 August 1890
Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy
Müller always expected to pay for their fares and accommodation from the unsolicited gifts given for his own use. However, if someone offered to pay his hotel bill en route, Müller recorded this amount in his accounts.
He travelled more than 200,000 miles, an incredible achievement for pre-aviation times. His language abilities allowed him to preach in English, French, and German, and his sermons were translated into the host languages when he was unable to use the three languages which he spoke. In 1892, he returned to England, where he died on 10 March 1898 in New Orphan House No 3.
George Müller’s tombstone
The theology that guided George Müller’s work is not widely known, but was shaped by an experience in his middle twenties when he “came to prize the Bible alone as [his] standard of judgement”.
He records in his Narratives
“[…] That the word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, he is the teacher of his people. The office of the Holy Spirit I had not experimentally understood before that time. Indeed, of the office of each of the blessed persons, in what is commonly called the Trinity, I had no experimental apprehension. I had not before seen from the Scriptures that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world; that in him that wonderful plan of our redemption originated, and that he also appointed all the means by which it was to be brought about. Further, that the Son, to save us, had fulfilled the law, to satisfy its demands, and with it also the holiness of God; that he had borne the punishment due to our sins, and had thus satisfied the justice of God. And, further, that the Holy Spirit alone can teach us about our state by nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, etc. It was my beginning to understand this latter point in particular which had a great effect on me; for the Lord enabled me to put it to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the word of God and studying it. The result of this was, that the first evening that I shut myself into my room, to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously. But the particular difference was, that I received real strength for my soul in doing so. I now began to try by the test of the Scriptures the things which I had learned and seen, and found that only those principles which stood the test were really of value.” 
Müller also wrote of how he came to believe in the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace while staying in Teignmouth, Devon in 1829. George Müller was a founding member of the Plymouth Brethren movement. Doctrinal differences arose in the 1840s and Müller was determined to determine the truth by the “infallible standard of the Holy Spirit”. At the time, he and Craik were pastors of the Bethesda and Gideon fellowships in Bristol. Membership at Gideon was open to all believers, while only believers who had been baptised could claim full membership of Bethesda, although all believers were welcome at Communion. Müller consulted Robert C Chapman on the issue of accepting unbaptised believers, and Chapman stated that distinction should be made between unbaptised believers who “walked disorderly” and those who lived according to the Bible. Müller and Craik independently contemplated the issue and decided that unbaptised believers, who otherwise lived according to Scriptural principles, should not be denied membership.
Dissension arose at Gideon regarding the presence of unbelievers at communion and the view held by some that pews were private property. Eventually, Müller and Craik withdrew from this fellowship on 19 April 1840, concentrating thereafter on the Bethesda Chapel.
John Nelson Darby and Benjamin Wills Newton became opposed concerning certain matters of doctrine and a discussion was held in Plymouth on 5 December 1845. A document entitled The Principles of Open Brethren stated: “Certain tracts issued by Mr. Newton were judged to contain error regarding the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the question arose whether it was sufficient to exclude from fellowship those who held the erroneous teaching, or whether all who belonged to a gathering where the error was tolerated were to be put outside the pale, even if they themselves had not embraced it. One party, led by Mr Darby, took the latter view. Others, in particular the Bethesda Church, in which Messrs Müller and Craik ministered, refused to admit any who were convicted of holding the evil doctrine themselves, but did not exclude those who came from Mr Newton’s meeting. The exclusive party thereupon declined to have any further fellowship with members of the Bethesda Church or others like-minded. The latter soon came to receive the title of ‘Open Brethren’.” The more exclusive side of the brethren movement became known as the Exclusive Brethren and was led by Darby. Darby called on Müller in July 1849 to discuss the split, but Müller had many prior engagements and could only receive Darby for 10 minutes. It was impossible to fully discuss the problem in such a short time, and the two men never met again.
Though the pre-tribulational rapture doctrine gained momentum as a result of the literature of the Brethren movement, Müller’s church was wary of such teachings. George Müller held to a Post Tribulation Rapture doctrine along with others such as Benjamin Wills Newton and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, and said that “scripture declares plainly that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostasy shall have taken place, and the man of sin shall have been revealed…”
Müller wrote frequently about the stewardship of money and the non-reliance on earthly riches, and how God would bless the man who kept to these principles, and felt that laying his own experiences bare would prove the truth of his claims. His personal income, from unsolicited gifts (he refused any kind of salary) rose from £151 in 1831 to more than £2,000 in 1870. However, he retained only around £300 a year for himself and his family, the rest he gave away.
William Henry Harding said, ‘The world, dull of understanding, has even yet not really grasped the mighty principle upon which he [Müller] acted, but is inclined to think of him merely as a nice old gentleman who loved children, a sort of glorified guardian of the poor, who with the passing of the years may safely be spoken of, in the language of newspaper headlines, as a “prophet of philanthropy.” To describe him thus, however, is to degrade his memory, is to miss the high spiritual aim and the wonderful spiritual lesson of his life. It is because the carnal mind is incapable of apprehending spiritual truth that the world regards the orphan Houses only with the languid interest of mere humanitarianism, and remains oblivious of their extraordinary witness to the faithfulness of God.'
His name is frequently spelt as “Mueller”, particularly in the United States. Whilst “Mueller” is a possible substitute spelling for “Müller” in German, George Müller never changed his name from the original spelling and always took care to place the two dots over the letter “u” to form the umlaut. When asked by his nephew, Edward Groves, what difference this made to the pronunciation, Müller pronounced his name as though it was spelt “Meller”.
Müller was born in Kroppenstädt (now Kroppenstedt), a village near Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1810, the Müller family moved to nearby Heimersleben, where Müller’s father was appointed a collector of taxes. He had an older brother, Friedrich Johann Wilhelm (1803 – 7 Oct 1838) and, after his widowed father remarried, a half-brother, Franz (b 1822).
His early life was not marked by righteousness – on the contrary, he was a thief, a liar and a gambler. By the age of 10, Müller was stealing government money from his father. While his mother was dying, he, at fourteen years of age, was playing cards with friends and drinking. While in seminary at the University of Halle in Germany, Müller described his status as one of
wicked behavior and unrepentant spirit … Despite my sinful lifestyle and cold heart, God had mercy on me. I was as careless as ever. I had no Bible and had not read any Scripture for years. I seldom went to church; and, out of custom only, I took the Lord’s Supper twice a year. I never heard the gospel preached. Nobody told me that Jesus meant for Christians, by the help of God, to live according to the Holy Scriptures. …
Then Müller attended a prayer meeting in a private home in 1825 which so moved him that a swift transformation began in his behavior. “I have no doubt … that He began a work of grace in me. Even though I scarcely had any knowledge of who God truly was, that evening was the turning point in my life.”
Müller’s father hoped to provide him with a religious education that would allow him to take a lucrative position as a clergyman in the state church. He studied divinity at Halle and there met a fellow student, Beta, who invited him to the Christian prayer meeting which changed Müller’s perspective. He was welcomed and began regularly reading the Bible and discussing Christianity with the others in attendance. After seeing a man on his knees praying to God, he was convinced of his need for salvation. He went to his bed, knelt and prayed, and asked God to help him in his life and to bless him wherever he went and to forgive him of his sins. He immediately stopped drinking, stealing and lying, and developed hope of becoming a missionary, rather than the comfortable clergyman that his father had envisioned for him. He began preaching regularly in nearby churches.
A life of prayer
Müller prayed about everything and expected each prayer to be answered. One example was when one of the orphan house’s boiler stopped working; Müller needed to have it fixed. This was a problem, because the boiler was bricked up and the weather was worsening with each day. So he prayed for two things; firstly that the workers he had hired would have a mind to work throughout the night, and secondly that the weather would let up. On the Tuesday before the work was due to commence, a bitter north wind still blew but in the morning, before the workmen arrived, a southerly wind began to blow and it was so mild that no fires were needed to heat the buildings. That evening, the foreman of the contracted company attended the site to see how he might speed things along, and instructed the men to report back first thing in the morning to make an early resumption of work. The team leader stated that they would prefer to work through the night. The job was done in thirty hours.
In 1862, it was discovered that one of the drains was blocked. Being some 11 feet underground, workmen were unable to find the blockage despite several attempts. Müller prayed about the situation and the workmen at once found the site of the problem.
Strong gales in Bristol on Saturday 14 January 1865 caused considerable damage in the area and over twenty holes were opened in the roofs. About twenty windows were also broken and two frames damaged by falling slates. The glazier and slater normally employed had already committed their staff to other work so nothing could be done until the Monday. Had the winds continued, with heavy rain, the damage to the orphanage would have been much greater. After much prayer, the wind stopped in the afternoon and no rain fell until Wednesday, by which time most of the damage had been repaired.
Once, while crossing the Atlantic on the SS Sardinian in August 1877, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but Captain Joseph E. Dutton (later known as “Holy Joe”) said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller’s appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed a very simple prayer, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain’s unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. Müller said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for more than fifty years and there is not one instance that I have failed to have an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, for you will find that the fog has gone.” When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted, and Müller was able to keep his appointment. The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.
Müller’s faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent hours in daily prayer and Bible reading. Indeed, it was his practice, in later years, to read through the entire Bible four times a year.
The George Müller Charitable Trust
After his life, his work was continued by The George Müller Foundation, which was renamed The George Müller Charitable Trust on 1 March 2009. The Trust maintains the key principle of seeking money through prayer alone – it actively shuns fund-raising activities. The charity works together with local churches in the Bristol area to enable them to reach out and care for their communities, especially children, young people and families with physical, emotional, social or spiritual needs; and encourages giving to support mission, social care, relief and development work across the world. From 1986 to September 2010, it also provided residential care for the elderly in Tilsley House, Weston-super-Mare. The Trust continued to maintain a sheltered accommodation unit for the elderly in Tranquil House, next-door to Tilsley House, until it was closed in 2012.
A small museum maintained by the Trust at its headquarters in Cotham Park, Bristol, is open by appointment only. Records of all children who passed through the orphanage are held and may be inspected by relatives for a modest fee.