Sunday, April 22, 2012


This is taken from the new biography of Archibald Brown, by Iain Murray.  Brown was a friend (and successor) of Spurgeon's and is inevitably overshadowed by him; but he deserves to be much better known.  Spurgeon once said 'The God who answers by orphanages, let him be God' (he obviously had in mind his own orphanage, Barnado's, Muller's - and Brown's).  Brown opened an orphanage in Harley street to help the poorest of his own district.  Here's a story worth knowing.

Brown believed in God’s daily providential care, and the fact that it was not his habit to emphasise the extraordinary makes the following words the more impressive:

The first of October set in very cold, and the matron said, ‘The boys ought to have some greatcoats, Mr Brown.’  I said, ‘Go and ask the Lord to give us some.’  She looked and said, ‘Do you mean that?’  I said, ‘Yes.’  So we just knelt down and said, ‘Lord, please send us some greatcoats for these boys.  They are thine, not ours.’  Now then, scoffer, account for it if you can.  That was at three o’clock.  At five o’clock that afternoon a messenger came over from the orphan home, saying, ‘You are wanted at once.’  I went and saw a cab in front of No. 2 Harley Street, and in my unbelief I said, ‘Dear me!  Is anybody ill, and has the doctor been fetched?’  When I went in there was such a scene.  There were Scotch tweed coats all over the place.  A whole cab-full had been sent.  I said to the gentleman who had brought them, ‘I have not ordered these.  Isn’t there some mistake?’  He said, ‘No, a gentleman came into our place two hours ago (that is the time the matron and I were praying) and said that we were to bring down as many greatcoats as were necessary to rig out all your boys, and they were to be of the best Scotch tweed.’

From ‘Archibald G Brown’ by Iain Murray (page 112)

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