MR. BENJAMIN PERRY gives an account of the circumstances under which the land was purchased, prior to the erection of the orphan houses on Ashley Down, as he heard it from Mr. Müller's own mouth, showing how directly the Lord worked on the mind of the owner.
Mr. Müller had been making inquiries respecting the purchase of land much nearer Bristol, the prices asked being not less than £1000 per acre, when he heard that the land upon which the Orphan Houses Nos. 1 and 2 stand, was for sale, the price being £200 per acre. He therefore called at the house of the owner, and was informed that he was not at home, but that he could be seen at his place of business in the city. Mr. Müller went there, and was informed that he had left a few minutes before, and that he would find him at home. Most men would have gone off to the owner's house at once; but Mr. Müller stopped and reflected,
" Peradventure the Lord, having allowed me to miss the owner twice in so short a time, has a purpose that I should not see him to-day; and lest I should be going before the Lord in the matter, I will wait till the morning."
And accordingly he waited and went the next morning, when he found the owner at home; and on being ushered into his sitting-room, he said:
"Ah, Mr. Müller, I know what you have come to see me about. You want to buy my land on Ashley Down. I had a dream last night, and I saw you come in to purchase the land, for which I have been asking £200 per acre; but the Lord told me not to charge you more than £120 per acre, and therefore if you are willing to buy at that price the matter is settled."
And within ten minutes the contract was signed.
"Thus," Mr. Müller pointed out, "by being careful to follow the Lord, instead of going before His leading, I was permitted to purchase the land for £80 per acre less than I should have paid if I had gone to the owner the evening before."