During the Crimean War Dr. Cyrus Hamlin served as a Congregational missionary in Turkey. God greatly used him among the soldiers, and especially blessed his work through the years of a long career. Later he was retired from missionary work and served for three years as teacher of theology in the Bangor Theological Seminary, from which position he was again retired due to old age.

While Dr. Hamlin was visiting a nephew in Portland, Maine, the young man said, "I do not believe in a special divine providence."

"To this the famous missionary replied, "You don't? Why not? I have found many incidents in my own life of providence."

Then the nephew spoke about the missionary's plight, that now at the age of seventy he was discarded, cast off, "a derelict of society with nothing but to end your days in the poorhouse. I state with emphasis that I do not believe in a special divine providence."

Dr. Hamlin tried vainly to argue his case, but he left it in the hands of God, for he had long before asked his Heavenly Father to take care of him. He had prayed seriously and sincerely about the rest of his years, and he felt that his life was in the hands of God.

The next morning while the two men were preparing for breakfast, the doorbell rang and the nephew answered it, and was somewhat amazed when the stranger inquired for his uncle. After breakfast the nephew hastened off to his work and forgot all about the uncle and stranger. That evening as the two men sat on the porch the nephew asked:

"By the way, Uncle, who was the stranger who wished to see you this morning?"

The uncle said that he was a Dr. Lambert, of Rupert, Vermont; and when asked what the visitor wanted, the missionary quietly said: "Oh, he merely offered me the presidency of Middlebury College, with an acceptable salary and a home. And I think it would be far better for me to accept the offer than to go to the poorhouse. Don't you?"

"Uncle," declared the nephew, "I believe in special divine providence."

For five years Dr. Hamlin served as president of the college, and at the age of seventy-five resigned against the urgent protest of the trustees. The remaining fifteen years of his life were spent in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Later in his life when he was nearing ninety, he found his house mortgaged so that he could live on the money received, and when the note came due he could not pay it. But this aged veteran in the service of God took the case to the Almighty. Shortly thereafter, as the biographer says, "Literally from every nook and corner of the globe money began to arrive until the debt was wiped out."

The last years of his life this famous missionary lived mainly or altogether on what was sent to him in answer to prayer.


From: ANSWERED PRAYER IN MISSIONARY SERVICE By Basil William Miller, Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, Missouri. First Printing, April 1951 Second Printing, July 1951 Printed in United States of America