|Bethesda Chapel in Bristol, England|
Shortly before his marriage the thought of a stated salary worried Mr. Muller, for he felt that his should be a life of trust in God and not in the promise of the brethren. He found three reasons why he should give up a fixed remuneration.
- A salary implies a fixed sum, generally made up of pew rents. But according to James 2:1-6, "pew rents are against the mind of the Lord."
- A fixed pew rent may at times become a burden to the follower of Christ and Mr. Muller did not wish to lay the smallest straw in the way of the church's spiritual progress.
- The whole system of pew rents and salary are liable to become a snare to the minister, in that he works for hire rather than for spiritual reasons.
He asked that a box be placed in the chapel where whoever desired to help him might leave his offering. Henceforth he was to ask no one, "not even my beloved brethren and sisters, to help me...For unconsciously I had been led to trust in an arm of flesh, going to man instead of going to the Lord at once."
One morning when their money had been reduced to eight shillings (about $2.00, a shilling equaling approximately 25c), Muller asked the Lord for money. For four hours the preacher waited but still no reply. Then a lady came to the house.
"Do you want any money?" she asked.
Faith was tested, yet remained triumphant, and the minister replied, "I told the brethren, dear sister, when I gave up my salary, that I would for the future tell the Lord only about my wants." "But," she replied, reaching for her purse, "He told me to give you some money," laying in his hand two guineas...