On July 14, 1844, it was two years and nine weeks since the last public account about the Scriptural Knowledge Institution was given. In that last Report it was stated, that we desired to leave it to the Lord’s direction, as to the time when another should be published. When the year was expired, I saw no particular reason to lead me to think that I ought to serve the Church of Christ by publishing a fresh Narrative about the Orphan-Houses and the other objects of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, neither did I see a leading of the Lord towards this service; and soon after, it pleased the Lord to call me to labour in Germany. Having returned in March 1844, it appeared to me desirable now to publish, at the close of the second year, which would be up on May 10, 1844, a fresh account: partly, because of the 5000 Reports, which had been printed, only a few copies were remaining; partly, because many believers expressed a great desire for some further account of the Lord’s dealings with us in the work; partly, because there was now an abundance of profitable matter ready to be communicated; and most of all, because I was longing to show by a public audited account, that the considerable sums, with which I had been entrusted, had been appropriated according to the intention of the donors. But much as I desired, for the above reasons, to have written the Report then, the weakness in one of my eyes already mentioned prevented my doing so, till at last, my eye being better, I was enabled to do so.
I now add a few particulars with reference to the operations of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, for Home and Abroad, from May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844. During this period also six Day-Schools for poor children were supported by the funds of this Institution. Besides this, the rent for the school-room of a seventh school, was paid during a great part of this period, and also occasional other assistance was given to this and two other schools. —The number of all the children that had schooling in the Day-Schools, through the medium of the Institution, from March 5, 1834, to July 14, 1844, amounts to 3319. The number of those in the six Day-Schools on July 14, 1844, was 338.
During this period likewise, one Sunday-School was supported by the funds of the Institution.
The number of adults that were instructed from Jan. 1841, to July 14, 1844, in the two adult schools of the Institution, amounts to 734 persons. The average attendance during the winter was from 50 to 70 persons, and in the summer from 20 to 40. The number on the list of adult scholars was on July 14, 1844, eighty persons. Books, writing materials, and instruction, are given entirely gratis to the adult scholars.
The number of Bibles and Testaments which were circulated from May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, is as follows: —237 Bibles were sold, and 284 Bibles were given away. 146 New Testaments were sold, and 162 New Testaments were given away.—From March 5, 1834, to July, 14, 1844, there were circulated 4,828 Bibles, and 3,357 New Testaments.
From May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, was laid out for missionary objects the sum of 234l. 8s. 6d., whereby assistance was rendered to the work of God in Jamaica, in Demerara, in Upper Canada, in the East Indies, in the Mauritius, and in Switzerland.
From May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, was laid out for the circulation of tracts the sum of 43l. 9s. 1 1/4d. During this period were circulated 39,473 tracts, and altogether were circulated, from Nov. 19, 1840, to July 14, 1844, 59,082 tracts.
From May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, there were received into the four Orphan-Houses, 39 Orphans, who, together with those who were in the houses on May 10, 1842, made up 125 in all. Of these: 1, One girl left the Institution against our will. Her aunt repeatedly applied to me to have her niece, who, having been more than eight years under our care, was now of use to her. I remonstrated with the aunt, and sought to show her the importance of leaving her niece with us for another twelvemonth, when she would be fit to be sent out to service; but all in vain. At last, knowing how exceedingly injurious her house would be for her niece, I told the aunt that I could not conscientiously dismiss the girl to go to her house; but the aunt’s influence induced the orphan to leave. May God, in tender mercy, visit the soul of this poor wanderer! Such cases are trying, very trying, but even concerning them faith contains a precious antidote. 2, Two of the children were removed by their friends, who by that time were able to provide for them. 3, One girl, who was received when grown up, we were obliged, after a long season of trial, to send back to her relations, in mercy to the other children. 4, Three girls were sent out to service, all three as believers. 5, Three Orphans died, one as an infant, and two in the faith. One had been more than two years in church fellowship, and had walked consistently. 6, Four boys were apprenticed, two of whom had been several years in church fellowship, before their apprenticeship.
There were on July 14, 1844, one hundred and twenty-one Orphans in the four houses. The number of the Orphans who were under our care from April 1836, to July 14, 1844, amounts to 183.
I notice further the following points in connexion with the Orphan-Houses.
1. Without any one having been personally applied to for any thing by me, the sum of 7748l. 16s. 4 3/4d. was given to me as the result of prayer to God, from Dec. 1835, to July, 14, 1844. 2. Besides this, also, many articles of clothing, furniture, provisions, etc., were given. 3. During these two years and two months we had very little sickness, comparatively in the four houses, though there was so much fever in Bristol. I mention this to the praise of the Lord, who mercifully preserved us.
The total of the income for the Orphan-Houses, from May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, was 2489l. 0s. 7 1/4d., leaving a balance of 1l. 11s. 11 3/4d. in hand on July 14, 1844.
—The total of the income for the other objects from May 10, 1842, to July 14, 1844, was 1164l. 18s. 4 1/4d., leaving a balance of 20l. 12s. 7d. in hand on July 14,1844.
I cannot omit mentioning that between. May 10, 1842, and July 14, 1844, there was admitted to communion one of the Sunday-School children, and one of the Day-School children. Likewise 6 more of the Orphans were received into church fellowship, so that up to July 14, 1844, altogether 29 of the Orphans had been admitted. In addition to this, between May 10, 1842, and July 14, 1844, one Orphan, before being received, died in the faith, and another, though but nine years of age, would have been received, had she not been just then removed by her relatives, who took her with them to America. But whilst we desire to receive these instances as precious encouragements from the Lord to continue our service, we cannot but believe, judging from the many prayers the Lord gives us for the dear children and adults under our care and instruction, that that which we see is but an earnest of a far larger harvest in the day of Christ’s appearing.— The greatest present visible blessing, which is resting upon the work, consists in what the Lord is pleased to do through the Narratives which are written and published respecting it; for a very considerable number, in various parts of the world, have through them either been converted, or, as believers, led on in the knowledge of God.
To avoid misunderstanding, it may be well to insert the following paragraph, which was written by my beloved brother and fellow labourer Henry Craik, and appended to the last Report.
"Hitherto, my name has been appended to the Report along with that of my beloved brother and fellow labourer George Muller; but, as the responsibility and management of the work devolve entirely upon him, it has seemed well to both of us, that, for the future, his signature should appear alone.—It is scarcely needful to add, that this alteration does not arise from any kind of disunion or even difference of judgment between us. I would especially recommend to the people of God, into whose hands this brief Narrative may fall, to read, examine and ponder the instructive facts and principles herein stated and illustrated; and I desire that the non-insertion of my name may not be understood as implying anything like a disapproval of the way in which the Scriptural Knowledge Institution has been conducted from the beginning. As the honour of being the instrument in this great and blessed work belongs to him, and, in no degree, to me, I feel a satisfaction in the omission of my name, lest, otherwise, I should even appear to glory in ‘another man’s labour.’—HENRY CRAIK."
Thus far only, for the present at least, do I think it well to continue the accounts of the Lord’s dealings with me.—George Müller