Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/829

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812

MtLLEE.

although he confesses to many youthful delinquencies indicative of unfitness at that time for a sacred calling. At the age of four- teen he lost his mother, and at fifteen left school and lived with his father, reading the classics with Dr. Nagel. At the dose of 1821 and the beginning of 1822 he was in custody several days for living at hotels without the means of paying for his board and lodging. He afterwards spent two years and a half at the gymnasium of Nord- hausen. He became a member of the University of Halle, with honourable testimonials, and thus obtained permission to preach in the Lutheran establishment. In 1825, with others, he travelled forty-three days in Switzerland, on foot. Attendance at a devotional meeting at a private house produced a change in his thoughts and life. In 1826, he was fired with a mis- sionanr zeal, first damped by a courtship and then fanned by con- versation with missionaries. He began preaching in August, 1826, and lived for two montns in free lodgings provided for poor students of divinity. Then he joined another divinity student. He wrote to a titled lady of Frank- fort, of reputed liberality, for a small temporary loan; no answer came, as expected ; but still he did receive the amount from some one who had heard of his application ; and the money, which was sent in silver by parcel, was accompanied by an anonymous letter written in a very religious tone. This inci- dent is mentioned because Mr. Mdller's lifework is therein fore- shadowed and epitomised; he has received and applied the spontane- ous gifts of imsolicited donors for a period so protracted and on a scale so stupendous that the Home at Bristol, carried on without the usual organization and advertise^ ment, is one of the marvels of a coimtry and an age distinguished by the inscription " Supported by

voluntary contributions." In June, 1828, the London Society for Pro- moting Christianity among the Jews invited him to London on a six months' probation; but the Prussian law required from him three years' military service. He failed to obtain exemption ; but an illness came on and left him in a condition unfit for military service ; and in March, 1829, he reached London. He studied Hebrew and Chaldee ; but he fell iU again, and by medical advice, went £> Teign- mouth, where he formed the ac- quaintance of his " beloved brother, friend, and fellow-labourer, Henry Craik." He could not ooziorm to the disciplinary conditions of the Jews' Society, and he ceased to be one of its missionary students in Jan., 1830. Ultimately he con- sented to settie down at Teign- mouth, as the minister at Ebenezer Chapel; he also laboured in Bristol. In 1880, he married Mary Groves ; and the same year gave up pew rents and threw himself on volun- tary gifts, for which a box was set up in the chapel. He was often reduced to a few shillings, but he made known his wants "to the Lord only," and they were usually supplied. In 1834 he and his co- labourers established "The Scrip- tural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abioad," to assist day schools, Sunday schools, and adult schools, to supply cheap Bibles, and aid missionary societies ; and it was not to ask for worldly patronage, nor to contract debt. In Dec. 1835, after a visit to the Continent, and after much consideration, he printed a proposal for the estab- lishment of an Orphan House for destitute children bereaved of botii parents. A second statement is dated Jan. 16, 1836. That said, " It is intended to receive the chil- dren from the seventh to the twelfth year, and to let them stay in the house till they are able to go to service." The work prog^ressed through spontaneous offers of