Brethren history

Preface & Introduction

Ten Years After: A Sequel To The Autobiography Of George Müller

Being An Account Of The Work At The Ashley Down Orphanage, Bristol, For The Ten Years Following The Death Of Mr. Müller

Compiled By G. Fred. Bergin

J. Nisbet & Co., Ltd.
London

Preface

“He counteth the number of the stars.”—Psalm 147: 4.

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”—Matt. 10:30.

      My dear Almighty Lord,

      My Conqueror and my King
      Thy sceptre and Thy sword,
      Thy reigning grace I sing;
      Thine is the power;
      Behold I sit
      In willing bonds
      Beneath Thy feet.

—Watts

In the early thirties of last century the Lord implanted a strong desire in the heart of His servant George Müller, who was then under thirty years of age, to present to the Church and the world a visible, tangible proof that He delights to hear and answer the prayers put up to Him in the worthy name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The lack of faith which Mr. Müller saw around in the children of God, and the growing materialism in the world, moved him in the year 1836 to begin this testimony.

The Lord granted such a measure of success to this effort, that far beyond anything Mr. Müller ever conceived, he was allowed, all through the remaining years of the century, up to his death in 1898, to bear a clear, full, unmistakable testimony to the fact that God is, that He is the living God, and “that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him.”

Chapter One, Birth and rebirth

One Sunday morning early in the last century, the congregation at John Street Chapel, Gray’s Inn Lane, London, were startled by the sight of a young man dressed in a sky-blue swallow-tailed coat, ascending the pulpit steps to stand side by side with their minister. Large gilt buttons added the finishing touch to his outfit and marked him as a member of the fashionable set of the day. But when he began to speak there was a hush; for in restrained, aristocratic tones he explained his purpose in entering the pulpit. He had come, he said, to testify to his new-found peace and delight in Christ.

Such was the setting for the first public witness of Robert Cleaver Chapman. Those who heard him were impressed by his obvious sincerity, but who would have thought that morning that this young man of twenty had seventy-nine years of active service before him, during which his character and influence would be increasingly acknowledged throughout the country, and indeed in Ireland and Spain also, whilst his name was to rank with George Müller and J. N. Darby as one of the “chief men among the brethren.”

Chapman was the son of Thomas Chapman of Whitby. The Chapmans of Whitby were an ancient and honourable family boasting a coat of arms with the motto “Crescit sub pondere virtus.” Thomas Chapman was a wealthy merchant at the time of Robert’s birth. He was then resident in Elsinore, Denmark, and his large family grew up there, surrounded by affluence and luxury. Few of those who had dealings with Robert Cleaver Chapman in later years guessed that this humble man, who often had to look directly to the Lord for his next meal, could look back to a childhood whose earliest memories were of a great and richly furnished house, a staff of servants, and a coach bearing the family coat of arms.

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