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September 19, 2012Permalink Leave a comment

When I don’t love you enough

When I don't love you enough, family, I will take my work home with me, and spend almost all my time on it, instead of enjoying time with you.

When I don't love you enough, God, I will act like you want me to when I'm at church, but act like I want to the rest of the time.

When I don't love you enough, children, I will let my husband sexually or physically assault you, and pretend it didn't happen.

When I don't love you enough, wife, I will let my eyes and mind wander to other women, and not keep the vow I made before you, God, and others, to cherish you and forsake all others.

When I don't love you enough, God, I will pollute my eyes and mind with the interests and fantasies of this world, leaving it in such a useless state for You, that I am the flavorless salt and noisy gong you spoke about.

When I don't love you enough, fellow citizen, I will rule over you as your government leader, instead of representing you and your needs – and protecting you as God would have me do.

When I don't love you enough, future husband, I will give my body and affections to many others before you come along, hoping that one of them will be you – but knowing none of them are – because I've lowered my standards for them out of desperation.

When I don't love you enough, future wife, I won't follow God's guidance to restrain myself and treat each woman I meet as a sister and friend, preserving each one as a gift to their husband, until God presents you to me.

When I don't love myself enough, I will dislike those I encounter who are like me – even my own family. 

God, please teach me to love all that you have made, to set myself aside, and to love as you do!  I know you promise that Life will be much better if I do as you say.

October 13, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

Chapter 9: Gems of Thought from Northfield Mines.

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 9

GEMS FROM NORTHFIELD.

Best Thoughts of Various Conventions — Nuggets from the Addresses of Mr. Moody, Dr. Bonar, Dr. Gordon, Dr. Pentecost, Dr. Pierson, Major Whittle, and others.

PAUL says: “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Evidently he had in mind a contrast between the sensual effects of strong drink and that Divine intoxication which comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit. What are the effects of alcoholic inebriation? An expansion of vision, followed by blurring of sight; unnatural exhibitions before the brain; great hilarity, followed by moroseness; on the muscular system, in stimulating to efforts; upon the speech, in muddling language. How different the effects of the Holy Spirit!

What are they? The eyes see with truth and power; the mind is aroused to grand efforts of thought; the faculty of speech to most gracious and eloquent utterances; while the whole person is strengthened and the disposition attuned to the Spirit of Christ. The effects of drink in excess are disastrous; no man can ever be filled with the Holy Ghost to excess. — Pierson .

THE service of the Israelites was very similar to that of surrounding nations; but whereas the latter kindled the fires upon their altars, God distinguished His service by sending down fire from Heaven. That is the difference between true religion and its counterfeit. Natural religion depends on the energy of the flesh. Supernatural religion depends on the energy of the Spirit of God, which comes down from above. It is quite possible to be perfectly right in the forms of our service, and yet destitute of Divine power. — Pentecost .

WE need to realize more the personality of the Holy Ghost. A Brooklyn clergyman lately defined the Holy Spirit as a shadowy effluence proceeding from the Father and the Son. How would it sound if he should baptize a child “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the shadowy effluence,” etc.? Deny the personality of the Holy Ghost and you deny everything. — Pierson .

THE Divine energy, as finally manifested to the Church, was in the form of tongues of fire. But beware of strange fire! In Leviticus 16:12, Aaron was bidden to take a censer of live coals from off the altar of the Lord, and use it to offer up incense. He must not kindle the censer with any other fire but that which had come down from Heaven. It was the neglect and contempt of this commandment which constituted the sin of Nadab and Abihu. They dared to worship God with strange fire. Suppose the Apostles, who had been told to tarry at Jerusalem till fire was sent down from Heaven, had dared to disobey. Suppose Peter had said to John: “John, four or five days have passed, and how do we know the Spirit is coming? Perhaps it has come. We know the Gospel; we are witnesses of the crucifixion and resurrection; why not go and preach?” What would have happened? The message would have been an utter failure. We have the Gospel, we have right forms, but oh! let us beware of preaching in the energy of the flesh. We must have Holy Ghost power. Nadab and Abihu were slain at the very beginning of the Mosaic dispensation. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead at the very beginning of the history of the Church. I sometimes tremble lest a strange fire have crept unawares into my own service. We need to watch. — Pentecost .

I’ M glad there are things in the Bible I don’t understand. If I could take that book up and read it as I would any other book, I might think I could write a book like that, or that you could. I am glad there are heights I haven’t been able to climb up to. I am glad there are depths I haven’t been able to fathom. It’s the best proof that the book came from God. I suppose there are a good many things in the prophecies concerning Christ that no one could understand till Christ came and fulfilled them. Just look at some of those prophecies. He was to be born in Bethlehem, and carried into Egypt. When that announcement was made, how strange it must have sounded! But when the time came, God put the whole world in motion to bring Mary to Bethlehem so that Jesus might be born there. Caesar issued a decree that the whole world should be taxed. All this was done just to bring that virgin up to Bethlehem. I believe that God would have created a world rather than that any prophecy should be unfulfilled. — Moody .

I BELIEVE the reason people won’t come more than they do into our churches is because we don’t feed them enough on the Word of God. They have been fed on sawdust long enough. For men who have nothing but essays it is hard to get pulpits, and it will be harder. The reason there are so many pulpits vacant is that there ain’t men enough willing to give the Word of God. Go into one of our city parks in winter to feed the birds and throw down a handful of sawdust. You may deceive them once, but you won’t a second time. But throw down crumbs, and they’ll sweep them up.

So in the churches, give people the Word of God and they will know the difference. A man once made an artificial bee, and thought no one could tell the difference between that and a real bee. But another man said he could show the difference. He put the two bees down on the table, and then put a drop of honey before them. The real bee went for the honey. There are a great many artificial Christians, and they don’t want the Word of God.

They’ll go somewhere else. Well, let them go. For every one that goes, five will take his place. What we want is to give people the Word of God in season and out of season. — Moody .

ISAIAH is divided in the original into three portions, each ending with a mournful refrain concerning the wicked. These refrains will be found at the end of the <234801> 48th chapter, of the <235701> 57th and of the whole book. When God divided the book into three portions He must have meant something; and so in the center of the middle portion we find that wonderful piece of poetry, the crown-jewel, the blood-red ruby — the <235301> 53rd chapter. In the British Navy there is a scarlet thread running through every line of cordage, and though a rope be cut into inch pieces, it can be recognized as belonging to the Government. So is there a scarlet thread running all through the Bible — the whole book points to Christ. In the promise made to Adam appears, as it were, the first twig of a tree. Twig after twig is added, till we can count not only 200 direct promises of the Messiah, but 1,500 direct and indirect. Then, as history comes to fulfill these predictions, each little twig in turn is set on fire, yet not consumed, till finally the whole tree becomes a great burning bush, and we take off our shoes and stand in awe, for it is holy ground. — Pierson .

UNDER the old dispensation a man was righteous at the end of works and sacrifices; under the new, Christ having done all, He is righteous at the beginning, and thence proceeds to work on. It is now possible to be righteous at the beginning of one’s life rather than at the end of it. — Gordon .

LET it be clearly understood that we can and do make it hard for Christ to confess us. For as the devil of old came into the presence of God accusing Job, so now the devil in a sense enters the courts of Heaven accusing us before the Father. Here is some poor trembling, faltering sinner who walks unworthy of the vocation whereunto he is called. The devil comes before God, and says: “Ah, yes; that is one of Yours — who promised to serve You and be faithful, and yet see how he is living.” Christ’s reply is: “Well, he has confessed Me before men, and I promised to confess him before My Father. Yes; he is one of Mine, and I am hoping that this and that will remove every trace of evil.” It is a hard thing for Christ to confess us in the face of our many inconsistencies, but He is faithful to His promise. — Gordon .

I THINK there can be little doubt that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, and that before his conversion he had a good deal of pride and ambition, which wealth so often gives to a man. And it was the fashion among the rich people of that day to have a tomb at Jerusalem. I suppose Joseph thought, “I would like to have a sepulcher too, to perpetuate my name.” It was not easy, however, getting sites; and all the good places had been taken. But at last he found a place for his tomb at a point you would never have expected him to fix upon — near Calvary. There was a spot to be bought there, and Joseph bought it; and being near the place of execution, he took care to have a garden round it. Little did he know, at that time, and less did he care, what was to come of this. God often has a plan in the lives of unconverted men which they know little of. — Bonar .

IT IS written, “Not many wise, not many rich, not many noble are called;” yet the Lord always has some wise, some rich, some noble, among His followers. When Joseph of Arimathea came to Christ and believed in Him, Christ did not tell him to give up his position in society, and become as a fisherman. No; Christ evidently intended him to remain where he was, as a counselor and witness for Him among those with whom he daily came in contact. You know it is far more difficult to speak to your own flesh and blood, and bear testimony for Christ, than to go to those who do not know you. When a young man is converted, he is almost always inclined at first to say: “I shall give up my position. I know I could do far more good if I was a preacher; so I’ll leave my business and become a preacher of the Gospel.” Now, before any one does a thing of that sort, he should be very careful that God wants him to do it. Very often mistakes are made just in this way. God may have given you some work to do in the position in which He has placed you, which no one could do if you were to leave it undone. — Bonar . “ I WILL go to Pilate,” says Joseph, “since I can do no more, and ask for the body; and I will bury my Master in my own tomb.” So he finds his way to Pilate’s house, and he seeks an interview. And here his well known good character stands him in good stead, for the answer comes from Pilate at once — “Yes, let him come in, by all means.” Then Joseph tells his errand. “Ah, is He dead already?” “Yes,” says Joseph. Well, Pilate would rather have the official testimony as well; so he calls upon the officers; and when he finds their report agrees with Joseph’s, he is quite ready to grant him what he asks. Then Nicodemus joins Joseph, and they two — two councilors, two rich men — bring with them spices and fine linen; and they come to the cross. They don’t care who is looking for them; nor how they are scorned. And in that hour the prophecy is fulfilled. There is not only one rich man, but two, at the cross. — Bonar . “GOD spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell.” The sin was one sin, and God spared them not. What was that one sin? They “kept not their first estate.” They “left their own habitation.” The idea seems to be that in pride of heart they were discontented with the position God had placed them in, and they left it. Like Adam taking the forbidden fruit, it was the simplest act possible, and we know what it entailed. The lesson for us is a very solemn one. How often we say, “Oh, this is only one sin.” You trifle with one sin. But we see here that one sin may bring eternal wretchedness — eternal wrath. Again, it was the first sin. As when Adam took the forbidden fruit, the moment they sinned their first sin, God spared them not. — Bonar .

NEVER trifle with one sin. It is like the little cloud, which, as a poet has said, may hold a hurricane in its grasp. The next sin you commit may have a mighty effect in the blighting of your life. You do not know the streams that may flow from that fountain; for sin is a fountain — not a mere act, but a fountain of evil. — Bonar .

GOD “spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell.”

Correctly this should be translated, “turned their faces hellward, and reserved them for chains of darkness.” They were not to have those chains put on till Christ should come to bind Satan with all his followers. They were, however, immediately turned hellward. God saw it just and righteous to visit them with this wrath. Anything less would have shaken the throne of His holiness. He must show His abhorrence of sin, and make the universe to know, and know forever, what sin is, and what sin deserves. Whenever we get a glimpse of these fallen spirits they never complain. Now and then in the Gospel history we find they crossed Christ’s path. They never say: “Thou hast dealt too severely with us.”

No; it is, “Thou Holy One of God.” — Bonar .

A GODLY priest in the Middle Ages preached the Gospel to a listless audience. A dark-looking stranger came up to him after the service — so goes the legend — and said: “Come down to hell, and make us one such offer.” But there is no such offer in hell. What will become of the sinner who does not accept the atoning blood? The Son was, for our sakes, put in the position of the angels whom “God spared not,” and we are eternally free if we choose to be so. No doubt the spirits below cry, “Oh, that we could recall the first spark that fired all that train of evil and wrath.” Then beware of the next sin. It may cause your eternal ruin. — Bonar .

THERE is nothing the world so wants as holy men. The cause of Christ is paralyzed because of sin — sin in believers. The natural man will always take sides against God when you press him close, and say, “God isn’t going to punish sin. He wouldn’t do this or that.” But the new man ought always to justify God, and take sides with Him against sin. There ought to be that difference between God’s children and the children of the world; and when people say the punishment is severe and unjust, we should side with God, and say, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” God will do right. Everyone will say “Amen” when it comes to the punishment of sin. And we should all condemn sin as God condemns it, the moment we see it. It is in ourselves, though sometimes it is hid from us. It may be some hidden sin that keeps God from using us more. Let us be honest with God, and ask Him to search us and show us ourselves. Let David’s prayer be ours: “Search me, O my God” — not my neighbors, nor other people, but “Search me !” — Moody .

MY little boy, since taken to Heaven, once asked me: “Papa, how is it that one person, Christ, could atone for the sin of millions of men?” We were in a garden at the time. Said I to the boy: “Suppose there was on the ground there a handful of worms; don’t you think you would be more valuable than those worms?” “Yes.” “Suppose that wheelbarrow was full of worms; would you not be more valuable than them all?” “Yes.” “Suppose all the millions of worms in the earth were gathered together, would you not still be more valuable than they, no matter how many?” “Yes; I am sure I would.” “Then, is there not a far greater difference in the scale of being between Christ and man than between man and the worm?

We are creatures. God is the Creator. Had many other worlds sinned as well as ours, the blood of Christ would be more than sufficient to atone for them.” — R. C. Morgan .

IF YOU do not indulge in godly sorrow, is it not likely you are losing a good deal of sanctification? Have we nothing to repent of? No wasted hours? How little we have done for God! Ah, that we had prayed more! If we had prayed more we need not have worked so hard. We have too little praying face to face with God everyday. Looking back at the end I suspect there will be great grief for our sins of omission — omission to get from God what we might have got by praying. — Bonar .

IF we really believe that God loved us with His whole heart, what a help it would be to us in our daily lives! We would then feel that we could go at any moment into the presence of a loving Father, who cared as much for us as if He had nothing else to care for. A child may come into the presence of its earthly father, except when the parent is occupied. Our Heavenly Father is never so occupied. At all times He will bestow on us the same attention. A child likes to play in the presence of its earthly parents, even though they take no notice of it, and is happy simply because it is with them. How much more ought we to be joyous in our Heavenly Father’s presence. We need not be always singing. The heart has a silent language. There is too little of adoration — simple worship — at the present time. — Bonar .

WE have a seat at the King’s table, and that seat is kept waiting for us.

Sometimes God longs to see that seat filled, and so He removes His child from this world to a better. We wonder why such and such Christians are taken from among us; but God was weary without them. — Bonar .

WHATEVER may have been the faults of the Old Testament characters, no mention is made of them in the New Testament. There they are always referred to as saints without blemish. It seems that God delights to praise His saints. He keeps His promise that He will not only forgive but forget their iniquities, and He remembers only their good qualities. — Bonar .

AN infidel said to me: “In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews we see the Old Testament characters spoken of as saints of the very first order. Now, from what we read about them in the Old Testament, they must have been a nice lot of saints. Is that all your religion can do? “I told the objector he was going a little too fast; that the eleventh chapter came after the tenth, and that to understand the eleventh he must read the tenth. In that chapter God said: “Their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.” Well, after He had said that, He couldn’t say anything about their sins, for He had forgotten them. — Pentecost .

ALTHOUGH God forgave the sins of Jacob and David, and the other Old Testament saints, yet there were certain consequences of their sins which those saints had to suffer after they were forgiven. If a man gets drunk and goes out and breaks his leg, so that it must be amputated, God will forgive him if he asks it, but he will have to hop around on one leg all his life. A man may sow thistle seed with grain seed in a moment of pique against his master, and the master may forgive him, but the man will have to reap the thistles with the grain. — Moody .

WE don’t thank and praise God half enough. That is one reason why so many of our churches are so dull and gloomy. When churches get into a backslidden state, they hire singers to stand away up in some organ loft and praise God for them. How can we expect God to give us further blessings if we don’t thank Him for what He has given us? There ought to be more of thanksgiving in our prayers, and there ought to be more of thanksgiving from the heart in our singing. One of the best ways to wake a church up and start a revival, is to hold a praise meeting. — Moody .

ONE Christmas morning my little boy awoke at about four o’clock, and got up to see what was in his stocking. He found a box of paints and a little book. Said he: “Santa Claus knew just what I wanted,” and went off contentedly to sleep. When he arose at the usual time, he was shown, in a lower room, a whole tree full of presents for him. He was satisfied with the trifles, which he thought were all he was to get; and what was the joy of the mother to lead him into the place where greater things were prepared for him. When Christians are grateful for what they have already received, the Lord delights to give them far greater blessings. — Sankey .

COMMUNION with God has the effect to make us joyous. The Lord does not like to see any of His disciples looking sad. If you cannot do anything else for the Master, then shine for Him. Some people you cannot drive from you any other way. There are those who seek to entice you to follow the world with them. They cannot be induced to see Christ as you do. Let your face shine with the brightness that comes from communion with God, and they will not trouble you. Christians can sometimes do more by shining for God than by speaking for Him. — Bonar .

THERE is no power like love. I loved my little boy long before he loved me. One night I heard him say to his mamma, when he thought me asleep, “I love papa.” What a thrill of joy that gave me! I had loved him from infancy, but now he was beginning to love me. A few weeks before, he might have seen me carried out of the house in a coffin, and perhaps, not knowing better, have thoughtlessly laughed about it. But now my love for him had found a response. Something like this is the feeling God has when a sinner melts under His love. Love produces love. What a power it might become in our pulpits and Sunday School classes and meetings! The reason we have so little love for Jesus Christ is that we are so little acquainted with Him. The more intimately we get acquainted with the Son of God, the more shall we love Him, and we may get acquainted with Him by reading about Him in the Word. — Moody .

ONE reason why we should be intensely interested in the coming of Christ is that we are enjoined so often to have regard to it. I don’t know that there is any one matter of duty — indeed, I am sure there is no matter of duty we are so often pointed to with the finger of God as this: to look forward to the coming of Christ. You will find fifty times, I am sure, the coming of Christ adduced and enjoined on us as a reason for the practice of special duties and the cultivation of special graces. Even that one word “Watch” the Lord uses 198 times. If you don’t let the thought of Christ’s coming interest you, in all the variety of ways in which it is presented to us in the Epistles, and by the Lord Himself, your holiness will suffer great loss. — Bonar .

IN EDINBURGH, when our Queen first came, the vessel that brought her landed in the evening. It was concluded — “Oh, she will not come ashore till nine in the morning,” and our Lord Provost had that idea. But what happened? The Queen was very famous — used to be when she was active — for taking people by surprise, and she landed between six and seven. The Chief Magistrate was sadly ashamed of himself. He didn’t lose his place; he was still what he was before; but he bitterly regretted that he had not been waiting for her, to welcome her when she set foot upon the shore. I think that will be the way with those who are not looking out for Christ’s kingdom. They will regret not having been waiting for Him, when they might have been there to give Him a hearty welcome. — Bonar .

CHRIST says He will take us by surprise. Dr. Payson has a striking idea about it. He says: “Yon is a great city. It is a busy market day. They are all busy in the marketplace. Someone looks up, and is struck with an unusual appearance in the sky He keeps his eye on it. He touches his neighbor and says, ‘What is yon?’ As they are looking, a third and fourth join. The appearance seems getting redder and redder — brighter and brighter. A dozen or twenty join the group. As they are all gazing up, the hum of the market ceases. The whole market looks up, and cries, ‘What is this in the sky?’ The brightness is becoming an exceeding brightness — brighter than the sun at noon. The sun is darkened. The brightness becomes insufferable. ‘Look! Our shadows are all cast in an opposite direction from what they were a little while ago.’ A human form is seen. It is the coming of the Lord again. He has burst upon us in an hour when we were not thinking.” Well, I dare say something like that will occur in many a city of our world in that day. When He does appear, it will be a glorious appearing. — Bonar .

IN a town of Switzerland a few years ago, some working men going early to work, walking along the street, saw a white figure on the top of a high house. What was it? A lady in her nightdress; and she was sitting looking down, quite happy, smiling in perfect security. She was a somnambulist.

She had risen in her sleep without anyone in the house knowing it, and had taken her station, and was pleasantly looking about, and no doubt dreaming — dreaming pleasant dreams. Well; they didn’t know what they could do to save her from her peril. Just as they were talking together, the sun rose. A bright beam of the sun fell upon her eyes; she saw where she was; gazed one moment around, and then fell headlong — killed on the spot. It was an awful awakening. Fellow sinner, if you are out of Christ, and the day of His coming overtakes you — oh, what if the first beam of that bright day be the first moment of your awakening, and it is too late! — Bonar .

ALL believers have been set apart to Christ. But, when vessels are set aside, dust settles on them. Daily cleansing, therefore, is needed. Observe how careful and particular were the injunctions concerning the cleansing of vessels under the Levitical law. When any creeping thing touched a vessel after it was dead, the vessel had to be placed in water until the even. We are constantly touching the dead things of the world. We may be unconscious of it, but the touch contaminates us. Therefore we must make daily application to be cleansed from all defilement. — Needham .

A TELEGRAPH wire must be completely insulated before it can convey the electric communication. So we must be separated from the world before God’s message to sinners can have free course through us. When Saladin looked at the sword of Richard Coeur de Leon, he wondered that a blade so ordinary should have wrought such mighty deeds. The English king bared his arm, and said, “It was not the sword that did these things; it was the arm of Richard.” In like manner we should be instruments that the Lord can use, and when He has used us, the glory should all be His. — Pentecost .

IN the economy of redemption it was arranged by the three persons of the Godhead that the Spirit’s work was to be unseen and silent. He was to be like the wind. You cannot see it, but the effects of it you can see plainly.

The Spirit has all along, in the most wondrous kindness, consented — if I may use the expression — to be thus hid while doing His work. No jealousy of the Son; no jealousy of the Father. He delights to take of the things of Christ and show them to us — and because they are the things of the Father, too. But He does it all quietly — so silently and quietly that very generally a soul is brought to Christ without thinking very much about the Spirit, and it is only afterward that the soul says, “Well, I would never have known this but for the Spirit. It was He that took the seals from my eyes.” Isn’t there amazing love in this? — Bonar .

IN the last chapter of the Bible see how the Spirit is waiting for our complete joy — waiting along with us for the hour when we shall be glorified; for that is the meaning of the first clause of the seventeenth verse, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come, Lord.” And the Spirit and the Bride also say, “Whoever hears, take up the cry, Come, come, Lord Jesus,” and while you do this, look around upon a perishing world, and tell them to make haste and come to Christ. Tell them not to lose their opportunity of such blessedness. “Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” These are the Spirit’s last words, and aren’t they full of love — full of grace? Do you not see His heart flowing out to us in every syllable? — Bonar .

GOD has a niche for every one of His children. Happy the man or woman who has found his or her place. A great many men want to do big things.

That is the mistake I made when I started out. I wanted to preach to intelligent people, but I found the people didn’t like to hear me. So I began with the children. They liked to hear me, and I got along very well — I grew right up along with them. But it was years before I could talk profitably to grown people. I talked to the children, and it was a grand school. It was the preparation I needed. That was my theological seminary. — Moody .

I REMEMBER preaching in Liverpool in a certain church, and the results were astonishing. In ten days that church took in 400 new members. I was amazed. But I learned that a poor old bedridden woman had been praying about it. When we get to the other world, and find out the secrets of Heaven, we will find that some people we never hear of now — some bedridden saint, some one living way up near the gates of paradise — will have accomplished a great deal more than some men who have been heralded through the press. — Moody .

A MAN asked me once: “Isn’t conscience a safer guide than the Holy Spirit?” I just took out my watch, and said: “ Isn’t my watch better than the sun?” Suppose I said to you: “I will tell you the hour by my watch, and you must always take the time from me.” That is conscience. But it is the sun that is to rule the time. Conscience is fallen and corrupt. If we had an unfallen conscience, like holy Adam, it would be as if my watch were always to agree with the sun. But now it is a most unsafe guide.

Sometimes we hear men say: “Oh, I don’t see any harm in this. My conscience doesn’t condemn me.” It isn’t your conscience, or your consciousness, that is the rule of right and wrong. The law is the standard.

By the law is the knowledge of sin. Sin is the transgression of the law; not of conscience. — Bonar .

A PERSON does not commit the unpardonable sin by any one act. It is by a course of resistance against God. God, by His Spirit, shows the man the way of life, and presses him to enter upon it, and he resists. How long the Spirit of God will wait upon that resisting man, it is not for us to say; but it is an awfully perilous thing for a man, even for another minute, to resist Him. For He may say: “I will strive no more. I withdraw.” And then the sin is never forgiven. The Spirit takes a final farewell of the man who has so resisted him; and then the man has no more care for pardon. He will not care about the coming judgment. He will never, I suppose, be troubled till the trump sounds and he is summoned into the presence of God, all unprepared. — Bonar .

IT is said that “Pharaoh hardened his heart,” and it is also said that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. The children of Israel, when in Egypt, had a great deal to do with bricks — working clay into bricks. Now, they say that if you want to harden blue clay, there is a very simple way to do it.

The worker in the brick has just to withhold water, and leave the clay where it is in the sunshine. If he leaves it there without pouring water on it, it becomes as hard as a stone; whereas, if he wishes to soften it, he takes care to water it, and to water it often, and the clay keeps soft, and can be molded into any shape. Now, when God by His Spirit works upon the soul, He is just pouring water upon the clay; but when He must leave the soul, what He does is just to withdraw the water and the soul hardens.

When the sinner reaches that state, sermons affect him no longer. God just says of him: “Ephraim is joined to his idols; let him alone.” — Whittle .

A GENTLEMAN once came to my friend, Dr. Somerville, and said: “My son is going away to South America. He will not be within reach of the ordinances of religion. I know he will have no Sabbath; and he is to be away three years. Now, I want you to pray for him, that he may not lose all the good disposition he seems to feel.” Dr. Somerville looked at him and said: “Ay; you are going to put your son’s head into the mouth of a lion, and then going to stand and pray, ‘May the lion not crush him!’” — Bonar .

JOHN the Baptist was only six months a preacher. No more. Thirty years’ preparation for six months’ preaching! But those were months of mighty blessing. The effect of it was of this nature: It shook the whole of Judea; it shook Jerusalem; it shook the Temple. Men came out to him. He never went to them; they went out to him — there was such an amazing power in his preaching and character. And you know the effects to this day.

Some of the things said about the effects of his preaching are very interesting. “Since John began to preach,” says Christ, “the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” That is to say, men are determined not to lose their opportunity; they snatch at the offer when it is within their reach. It must have been a mighty uprising. I wish we had such days again. When we get men of such fellowship with God, I think we may expect days like those to dawn. Men will be coming to us from every side, and saying, “What must we do to be saved?” — Bonar .

ONE of my elders said in prayer meeting: “As I was corning along Argyle Street” (one of our busiest streets in Glasgow), “I saw a crowd at a shop door, and I had the curiosity to look in. There I saw an auctioneer holding up a grand picture so that all could see it; and when he got it in position, he stayed behind and said to the crowd, “Now, look at this side of the picture, and now at this other side,” and so on, describing each part of it. “Now,” said this good man, “the whole time I never saw the speaker; it was just the picture he was showing;” and turning to us he said, “That is the way to work for Christ.” He must increase, but we must be out of sight. — Bonar .

IT sometimes seems hard to find out any reason for God’s dealings with His children. We may not be able to find out what it is, and think that perhaps it is because of some undiscovered sin; but I don’t think God often acts in that way. He generally likes to let His people know their faults, when He chastises them. You remember when Absalom could not get Joab to come and talk with him, he burnt up his cornfields, and then he came. Now, the Lord often sends sore afflictions upon His children in order that they may come and talk with Him more. You know Christ took away Lazarus in order that the sisters might send for Him, and that the people through all ages might get a wondrous discovery of Him as the Resurrection and the Life. And you remember how John the Baptist was taken away from his disciples in order that they might rather go to Christ. — Bonar .

A GREAT many object to the noise of revivals — the unhealthy excitement. Why, there is more excitement in a race course in one day than you will see in a church in fifty days. Get into a political campaign, and you will see more excitement than in a hundred religious meetings. “Undue excitement!” they say. “Some people will get out of their minds.” The fact is, the world is out of its mind, anyway. Again, some object to revivals because, they say, they are “not in the regular order.” Remember that it was church dignity that crucified Christ. The Sanhedrim were very careful of church dignity, and so they had to put Christ out of the way. He didn’t come in the “regular” order. You never find a single prophet that comes in the regular line. God will always work in His own way. He will mark out channels for Himself. We need to learn this lesson, and just stand aside and let Him work — work as He pleases. — Moody .

WHENEVER we see troubles in congregations, it is a sign that those congregations have not been doing their full duty in presenting Christ to a lost world. I will not say without exception, but as a rule, the troubles are not found in congregations that are busy with revival work. They get so busy in the work of God that they give no more attention than is needful to minor matters, and everything goes on harmoniously. — Bonar .

REVIVAL work must come home to the individual believer. I suppose you have read of the raintree in Mexico. It is a very remarkable tree. Travelers tell us about it. It grows to a height of sixty feet, and it will be, perhaps, about three feet in diameter at the root. Well, that tree has a singular quality. It imbibes and condenses moisture from the atmosphere as no other tree does. On that account it is called the raintree. Generally the bark of the tree is dripping wet. It is very remarkable that this raintree not only takes in moisture in the damp season; but in the midst of summer, when the rivers run low, and the brooks round about are nearly dry, then it is that it imbibes the most moisture, and is dripping the most with it. So you see we have here a picture for believers. You may be lamenting the want of life in your congregation or neighborhood. Will you be a raintree? Will you imbibe moisture? The Holy Spirit through the Word is giving it to you.

Will you take it in? The drier others are around you, will you take in the more for their sake? But another thing. It is a good thing to see a dozen raintrees together. If we had that in every neighborhood, if those trees would pour out their streams together upon this country, we would soon see an altered countryside. — Bonar .

THE father’s and mother’s example has a very great deal to do with the whole tone of the family; so much so, that I think before there can be a blessing in the family upon the children, we may lay it down as essential that the parents be cheerful and happy people. It is the duty of the parents to be cheerful and happy — to let the children see what they have got that carries them through all the cares and difficulties of life. Let the children see this without their being told it. — Bonar .

TO parents let me say that you are to be all along expecting the conversion of your children from their very earliest years. I believe in early conversion. I cannot tell how soon it may appear. I think there are conversions from the womb. Indeed, we have one instance of this in the case of John the Baptist. But we are to do our part. We are to let our children see Christ reflected in us, and lead them to love Him. Parents, would it not be a dreadful thing if you should be taken away and leave behind your children who cannot tell whither you have gone? You don’t live a happy Christian life. You don’t fill your household with the light of rejoicing. And when you are gone — oh, they like to think you are in Heaven; but you can make it unmistakably sure that you are. If you can do that, you may expect that they will all meet you there. — Bonar .

THE accidental miracles of our Lord are among the most remarkable — those that, as it were, He spilled over by the way. While He was on His way to do one miracle He dropped another, almost as if He didn’t intend it. He was going to heal the daughter of Jairus, when the woman with an issue of blood reached out her hand, touched the hem of His garment, and was healed. When an electric jar is filled, only a touch will unload it. So it might be in the experience of every believer. I think I know some Christians who have done good without knowing it — without intending it. I don’t know but that, if we were fully the Lord’s, the greater part of the good we did would be that of which we were not cognizant. Service would overflow from us. — Gordon .

THE first thing said of the disciples after Pentecost was that they were “filled with the Holy Ghost.” Whenever there was anything important to be done, it says, for example, “Paul, being filled with the Spirit,” spake thus; “Peter, being filled with the Spirit,” did this. It was characteristic of the Apostolic Church that they were men full of the Holy Ghost. Is that our privilege? It is not only our privilege; it is our duty. “Be filled with the Spirit” is a command. “Be not drunken with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking unto one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs.” If a man is drunk with wine, he will speak out. He won’t have to be educated before he will let loose his tongue. If a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he won’t have to learn much before he can deliver his message — it will come spontaneously. In Germany a man was once so holy that the neighbors called him the “God-intoxicated man.” We want a God-intoxicated Church. — Gordon .

I WONDER how many have read the life of James Brainerd Taylor. He was a graduate of Princeton, and only twenty-eight when he died; yet he did a work that any man might envy. He got hold of the idea that there was something in this doctrine of the endowment of the Spirit. Studying the subject, he became perfectly sure that the Holy Ghost might come upon him as upon the disciples. So he prayed, and his prayers were answered.

Whenever he went out he stirred all with whom he came in contact.

Sinners used to fall before his preaching as grass before the scythe. He couldn’t help speaking to men, and his words were mighty. One day he was out driving, and he drew his horse up to a watering trough. It so happened that another young man was doing the same thing. While the two horses’ heads met in the trough, he turned to the young man and said: “I hope you love the Lord. If you don’t, I want to commend Him to you as your best friend. Seek Him with all your heart.” That was all; they turned and went their ways. But what was the result? The young man thus spoken to was converted, was educated for the ministry, and went as a missionary to Africa. — Gordon . “WHERE the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Some people think that means liberty for them to do just about as they please. The real meaning is very different. The Spirit is to do just as he pleases. I never shall forget how I was startled when a young man — a stranger, but a very good Christian man — asked me this question: “Do you always have a program made out for the Holy Ghost in your church?” That was all he asked; but it stuck to me. Everything was fixed very exactly — a voluntary here, a response here, a sermon here, and so on — all fixed from beginning to end. I don’t think the Spirit of God has anything to do with that. Let us have more liberty. It is the lack of this liberty that causes so much deadness in the pulpit, and deadness in the pew. Oh, for the liberty of the Spirit! — Gordon .

WHEN the people of a church become thoroughly consecrated, a revival is sure to follow. Once the great Athenian General, Themistocles, was about to fight a naval battle. All were ready when the sun rose, but the order to advance did not come. Hour after hour passed — no command to advance.

Some of the officers murmured, saying: “Is Themistocles afraid?” “Is he a traitor? or is he going to fight, that battle?” But Themistocles knew what he was about. According to the geography of that country, at nine o’clock a land breeze sweeps down from the mountain. He thought: “Now if I wait till nine o’clock, instead of having half of my men at the oars and the other half at the spears, I can let the wind do the business.” So he waited; the wind filled the sails; and he won the battle, because every man was a warrior. In our churches there are too many men at the oars. There is a committee on music — three or four men to attend to the music, and that is all they have to do year in and year out. Then we have a committee on credentials, and a committee on finance, and a committee to attend to the social wants of the young people. Thus our churches are all divided up into committees, so that when we come to the great work to be done — the conversion of souls — our men are all engaged at the oars. Oh, that we might understand that it is possible to have this heavenly breeze, to fill our sails, and release us from the oars. Let our motto be, “Every man a warrior!” — Gordon .

I BELIEVE a man who is full of the Holy Ghost will have liberty. What we want in our churches more than anything else is this liberty. Why, look at the stiffness in most of our churches. Put a man in an audience where men and women are going to criticize, and he won’t have much liberty — much freedom. In the day of Pentecost, how many do you suppose criticized? I don’t believe Peter would have preached near as well as he did if people had been criticizing him. But while he was preaching the people were listening in a proper frame of mind, and they helped him right on. He just had liberty that day — great liberty. When you see a minister in the pulpit who doesn’t have liberty, pray for him. You will find he will get on much better than if you were to sit there and criticize him. When a man has the Spirit in him, he will have liberty. It won’t be hard for him to speak and testify. There’s many a man toiling hard in the pulpit, with no liberty — bound hand and foot. Oh, my friends, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there will be liberty. — Moody .

YOU MAY be as dry as Gideon’s fleece — all dried up — no power at all; but it is the privilege of each one of us to have the dew of Heaven resting upon us all the while. That is what God wants. Are you thirsty? I sometimes wish we had in every church a meeting for hungry and thirsty Christians. I would put a man at the door so as not to let anyone else in.

Let him ask everyone: “Are you hungry? Are you thirsty?” They wouldn’t know what you meant, some of them. Lots of people go to prayer meeting because it is customary. They go year after year — go for nothing, and get nothing. They are not in earnest about anything. Now, it seems to me that if we could have a meeting in all our churches of two, three, four, or five Christians, dead in earnest — wanting the power of the Spirit, and the power of God resting upon them — there would be a wonderful difference. If they were really in earnest in asking for the gift of the Holy Ghost, they would get it. — Moody .

I HAVE heard a great many people say we should empty our hearts so as to let the Holy Spirit come in. Well; I know I can’t empty my heart. I can’t get pride out of my heart. I can’t get jealousy out of my heart. I wish I could. I haven’t got the power. But if a man desires above everything else that he may grow smaller and smaller as John the Baptist did — if it is his desire that he shall decrease and Christ increase; then I believe the Lord will pour the water down so that it will crowd out those things.

Sometimes in trying to make a pump work I used to see if I could pump all the air out so as to get all the water up. After trying a while that way, I would get some water and pour it in from the top, and that would crowd the air out. When a man finds that he can’t empty his heart, what he wants is just to let the water in from above. Get under the fountain. — Moody .

ELIJAH says to Elisha: “Is there anything you want? Don’t be afraid to ask. You seem to be very timid.” Elisha says: “Yes; there is something I want.” “Well; don’t be afraid to ask. You shall have whatever you want.”

A blank check! Well; what did he ask? Did he ask for as much of the Spirit as Elijah had? That would have been a great thing. Talk about kings! Elijah had power over kings. Kings are in the habit of ordering their subjects around. Here was a subject who was in the habit of ordering kings around.

Talk about the power of Caesar, Napoleon, Alexander — the great generals and warriors of this earth. Why, it is nothing to the power of the man who is in communion with God. Elisha isn’t going to ask for a small thing. He says: “I want a double portion of thy spirit.” I can see Elijah turn round to him in surprise, and say: “You have asked me a hard thing.” But he says: “If you see me when I am taken from you, you shall have it.” “Then,” says Elisha, “you’ll not get away without my seeing you.” He wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and he was determined to get it. So he took good care to see him in the chariot, and he did see him. Elisha performed just twice the number of miracles that Elijah did. Jesus Christ has come down from Heaven since then, and is it so wonderful to ask for the influence of the Spirit? We ought to have a hundred times more power than Elijah and Elisha had. — Moody .

Chapter 7: A Call to Work.

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 7

A CALL TO WORK

Mr. Moody on Christian Activity — Getting People Stirred Up — The Two W’s: Word and Work — Beginning at Home —Nothing Small — Different Ways of Doing Good.

LET me read a few verses in the second chapter of Titus: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

I want to call attention to these words: “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” A great many people are stirred up by hearing what other people are doing. You remember the great revival of 1858, when half-a-million people were brought into the kingdom of God.

That was done by one town hearing what another town was doing — just merely hearing reports of what God was doing in other places. You know very well a great many people in our churches are sound asleep. They haven’t got any idea that they have any mission in the world — that they have any work to do for the Lord. If we can do anything to get these people stirred up that have been in the church a long while, and get them actively engaged in the Lord’s work, that is what we ought to do. It is very pleasant to sit and listen while Mr. Rainsford expounds the Word of God, but that won’t amount to anything unless we put two things together:

Word and Work — the two W’s. You will soon get spiritually gorged if it is all Word and no work. If you want to be healthy Christians, there must be both Word and work. If we can get people to work, how rapidly they will grow. My experience is that a man or woman who is engaged in the Lord’s work and feeding on the Bible is growing all the while. Whoever is not working is sure to become stunted. The Christian life means progress and growth. And I think there is no better place for people to begin Christian work than right at their own homes. There has been quite a missionary spirit kindled at Mount Hermon, but I have recommended those young men to begin at home first before they go out to foreign fields.

The best place to begin is in the home field — in your own parish. If a man hasn’t got a good enough record to have any effect at home, he won’t be of much account in the foreign field. You will notice this is Christ’s order. In Acts 1:8, He says: “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” I will venture to say, the hardest place for those disciples to begin to preach was in their own city — Jerusalem. Then Judea was the next hardest place. Then Samaria was the next hardest place. The hardest place to begin is at home, in your own church, your own family. But that is what we want. We want to say: “My lot is cast here, and here is the place I must go to work.” And if every Christian man and every Christian woman would sincerely pray, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” what a mighty work would be accomplished! If you have got a heart for the work, God will qualify you. There will be no trouble about your finding something to do. If each one of us is doing some little thing, it isn’t little in the Master’s sight. If we keep at it 365 days in the year, there will be a good deal of work done at the end of the year. The men that have been permitted to do higher things are the men that began with small things. If you are not willing to deal with one man about his soul, and labor with that one man, you are not fit to go into the pulpit and preach to others.

Some of Christ’s greatest discourses were given to one person or two persons. It was to Nicodemus He preached that great sermon on regeneration. He delivered that wonderful sermon at the well when the disciples were off to the city — delivered it to one poor fallen woman.

Don’t wait for something to turn up, but go and turn up something.

There are a great many different ways of doing good. A lady once visited an hospital, and noticed with what pleasure the patients would smell and look at the flowers sent to them. Said she, “If I had known that a bunch of flowers would do so much good I would have sent some from home.” As soon as she got home, she sent some flowers out of her garden. It was a little thing — a bouquet of flowers. It was a very insignificant work — very small. But if it is done in the right spirit God accepts it. A cup of water given in His name is accepted as given to Himself. Nothing that is done for God is small. When Elijah sent his servant to see if there was any sign of rain, and when the servant saw the cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, perhaps he thought it was a very insignificant thing. But Elijah knew what it meant; and he told the man to go and warn Ahab that he had better make haste and get home or he would get a good drenching before he got there. Elijah knew God was in the cloud. Anything that God is in isn’t small. If we go to work right at home we will have success. There isn’t a child of God but can do something if he will. Go home on fire, and see if you can’t get people to go to church. If you can’t get grown people, get the children. If you can’t get people to church, go to their homes. Hold meetings in schoolhouses. Go up into these mountains, and visit the families. All along in New England, and all through this country — through Pennsylvania and the Middle States — look at the thousands and thousands of families in the outlying districts that are not in the habit of hearing preaching, and as things are now there is no way of reaching them.

I’d like to see laymen preaching to these people. I don’t believe they are ever going to be reached till the laity go to work. You haven’t got to wait till you are ordained. Christ’s commission is to everyone: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” If we are the branches we are to bring forth fruit. Make up your mind you are going to bring forth fruit. When I was in London, an old woman of eighty-five came and begged to be given something to do. I gave her a district, and how joyfully she took it and went to work. People who would have closed the door on a young man wouldn’t close the door on an old woman of eighty-five. If everyone would do as much as she did, what a difference there would be! I find a good many men as I travel over this country who never know what it is to be cold — never know what it is to be lukewarm.

Why? Because they are at work for the Lord all the while. I heard of a man in Pittsburgh who gave away $500 a day. I thought I would like to see that man. There was a line of beggars at his door every morning; and he would spend from nine to twelve o’clock with them every day. So I took my place in the line. I wanted something for Mount Hermon. As I talked with him, I said: “Do you never get discouraged at this kind of work? Don’t you find so much ingratitude that you get disheartened?” “Oh,” said he, “I haven’t time to look for that.” That man was just doing it for the Master; and he hadn’t time to get discouraged. Said I: “Haven’t you any doubts about the wisdom of this way of doing?” Said he: “I haven’t time to doubt.” If you are busy about the Master’s work, you won’t have time to grow lukewarm. Perhaps you say: “If I had $500 a day to give away, wouldn’t I be a happy Christian.” Well; you have got better than that.

Give yourself. Money is of very small account in the sight of God.

When Mr. Sankey and I were in London, there was a lady who attended our meetings, and was brought into the house in her carriage, being unable to walk. At first she was very skeptical; but one day she said to her servant, “Take me into the inquiry room.” After I had talked with her a good while about her soul, she said: “But you will go back to America, and it will be all over.” “Oh, no,” said I, “it is going to last forever.” Well; I couldn’t make her believe it. I don’t know how many times I talked with her. At last I used the fable of the pendulum in the clock. The pendulum figured up the thousands of times it would have to tick, and got discouraged, and was going to give up. Then it thought, “It is only a tick at a time,” and went on. So it is in the Christian life — only one step at a time. That helped this lady very much. She began to see that if she could trust in God for a supply of grace for only one day, she could go right on in the same way from day to day. As soon as she saw this, she came out quite decided. But she never could get done talking about that pendulum.

The servants called her Lady Pendulum. She got a pendulum stuck up in her room to remind her of the illustration; and when I went away from London she gave me a clock — I’ve got it in my house. That lady can’t go out visiting, and so she just makes needlework texts for framing, and sends them wherever they will do good. One I received was “This is Not Your Rest.” The one she sent me before that was, “Zealous of Good Works.”

Thank God, we have got all eternity to rest in. This is the place to work. I pity any child of God that wants to sleep all the time down here.

Brothers, sisters, wake up! We have got plenty of time to rest hereafter.

Well, now, that lady has made four hundred of these texts, and she sends them to the poor people of London. I suppose she thought I belonged to that crowd. So I do. There she is in her house working out these texts, and praying that God will bless them. When they go out they are covered with prayer. The question is not what Gabriel can do, or what we will do when we get to Heaven; the question is, What can you and I do before we get there?

Chapter 6: Mr. Moody’s Bible Nuggets.

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 6

MR. MOODY’S BIBLE NUGGETS.

A Compact Presentation of Some of the Leading Truths of Scripture — Symmetrical Outlines of Doctrine — Hidden Treasures Brought to Light.

THE following are a few of the results of Mr. Moody’s system of Bible marking, as exhibited by him on various occasions at the request of friends:

[(1) Many other (over 600) suggestive outlines of Bible marking and Bible reading, by Mr. Moody and others, will be found in the volume “Notes and Suggestions for Bible Readings,” F. H. Revell, Chicago or New York.]

SEVEN NEW THINGS.

  • Justification: a change of state; a new standing before God.
  • Repentance: a change of mind; a new opinion about God.
  • Regeneration: a change of nature; a new heart from God.
  • Conversion: a change of life; a new life from God.
  • Adoption: a change of family; a new relationship towards God.
  • Sanctification: a change of service; separation unto God
  • Glorification: a change of place; a new condition with God.

WHY CHRIST BECAME MAN. 1. To bear sin — 1 John 3:5-8; John 1:29. 2. To obey God’s law — Hebrews 10:7; Romans 5:19. 3. To destroy death — Hebrews 2:14; John 10:10. 4. To sympathize with us — Hebrews 2:17. 5. To give us an example — 1 Peter 2:21. 6. To reveal God to us — John 14:9; Colossians 1:15. 7. To unite God and man — Romans 5:10.

CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF 1. For many — Mark 10:45. 2. For the Church — Ephesians 5:25. 3. For me — Galatians 2:20.

GOD IS FAITHFUL 1. To fulfill the hope of my calling — 1 Corinthians 1:9. 2. To establish the believer — 2 Thessalonians 3:3. 3. To succor the tempted — 1 Corinthians 10:13. 4. To fulfill all His promises — Hebrews 10:23; 11:2.

THE SINNER IS Without God; without Christ; without hope; without strength; without remedy; without faith; without excuse.

JESUS ONLY.

The light of heaven is the face of Jesus.

The joy of heaven is the presence of Jesus.

The melody of heaven is the name of Jesus.

The harmony of heaven is the praise of Jesus.

The theme of heaven is the work of Jesus.

The employment of heaven is the service of Jesus.

The fullness of heaven is Jesus Himself.

The duration of heaven is the eternity of Jesus.

If Christ you know, enough all else unknown; If Christ unknown, vain though all else you learn.

THE SAINT’S PLACE.

In Christ’s hand — safety.

At His feet — learning.

At His side — fellowship.

Between His shoulders — power.

In His arms — rest.

WEAK THINGS MADE STRONG, IN JUDGES.

Left-handed, 3:21; ox-goad, 3:31; woman, 4:4; nail, 4:21; piece of a millstone, 4:23; pitchers and trumpets, 7:20; jawbone of an ass, 15:15.

IN RUTH — BOAZ A TYPE OF CHRIST.

Lord of the harvest. Supplier of wants. Redeemer of the inheritance. Man who gives rest. Near-kinsman. Bridegroom.

DO THE KING’S BUSINESS Heartily, Colossians 3:23. Diligently, Ezra 7:23. Faithfully, Chronicles 34:12. Speedily, Ezra 7:21.

ESTHER TEACHES The wonderful overruling providence of God The love of God for His own people.

The power of God to overturn the devices of the wicked.

THREE THINGS IN JOHN.

The Gospel of John opens with Jesus Christ in the bosom of God, and closes with the sinner in the bosom of Jesus Christ. John 6:21: “For Him hath God the Father sealed” — that is, Christ. In the Mosaic ritual the lamb of the sacrifice was stamped and sealed by the priest as fit for sacrifice. So the Son of God was sealed. (Mr. Needham — The Jews in London seal their meat. As soon as the meat is unfit for food they take the seal off. Jesus Christ is sealed as the food of His people. The seal has never been removed because He is a fit food for His people always.) John 19:15: The Jews chose Barabbas, a murderer and robber. They have been murdered and robbed ever since. They chose Caesar as their king, and the Caesars have pillaged and robbed them ever since.

THE NAME OF JESUS. Philippians 2:9: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” What the name of Jesus is: 1. It is the only source of salvation — Acts 2:12. 2. Faith in it gives life — John 20:31. 3. Faith in it gives remission of sins — Acts 10:43. 4. Faith in it makes a man whole — Acts 3:6. 5. Faith in it makes us sons of God — John 1:12. 6. Faith in it gives power in prayer — John 14:13. 7. Faith in it gives victory over devils — Luke 10:17. 8. It is the motive power of the Christian life — 2 Timothy 2:19. 9. It is the object of this world’s hatred — Acts 4:17. 10. It is the test by which the world is condemned — John 3:18. 11. It is the crowning glory of the redeemed in heaven — Revelation 3:12.

Chapter 5: Prayer Meetings and other Topic.

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 5

PRAYER MEETINGS AND OTHER TOPICS.

Mr. Moody’s Question-Drawer — “Get Out of the Ruts” — Cottage Meetings — Attracting Non-Church Goers — Mothers with Infants.

Q. WHAT is the best way to conduct the weekly prayer meeting?

A. There is no trouble about getting the people to attend the weekly prayer meeting if it is made interesting. It should be the best meeting of all, and you can make it so. First, you want plenty of fresh air. You can’t do anything in a close, stuffy room. If a farmer comes in after a hard day’s work, and the room is close, he falls asleep. The people say he wants spirituality; what he wants is fresh air. Let the room be clean, neat, cheerful, and well-lighted. Make the place attractive. Don’t have a cold minister behind a box to lead. Sometimes a minister reads a long Scripture lesson and delivers a lecture. He takes pains to say he is unprepared, and you find that out for yourself before he has gone very far. Break up this coldness and lifelessness. Let the leader get out of the ruts and be free and sociable in his manners with the people. If the minister is determined to keep in a rut, invite him to tea with you some evening, and have a serious talk on the subject, so as to break up the monotony. Above all don’t have any long prayers. All the prayers should be brief. We don’t hear of long prayers in the Bible, except at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, and that comes but once in centuries. No one likes to hear a long prayer, and when a man is making one, very likely the people are praying that he will stop. Long prayers may have been all right in other times, but they are not now. Men think quicker than they used to, and act quicker. A man used to take ten foolscap pages to send an order for goods to New York; today he sends it by telegraph, and puts it into ten words. See how short are the prayers recorded in the Bible. “Lord, help me!” is one. “Lord, save, or I perish!” is another. Why; a man said that if Peter had had as long a preamble as men put into prayers nowadays, he would have been forty-feet under water before he would have got as far as the petition for rescue. Prayer isn’t praise; it is asking God for something. You can ask God for something in a few words. If a man will pray fifteen minutes in a prayer meeting, he will pray all the spirituality out of it. I’d rather have a man pray three times and only five minutes at a time, than to have him take fifteen minutes at once. When I was in charge of a work in Chicago, I used to say: “I am going to take up the Good Shepherd tonight,” and then get the people to quote texts or make remarks on that subject. If the minister leads, he shouldn’t exhaust the subject in his opening address, and leave the people nothing to say. He had much better try to draw them out.

Then again, it is a good thing for him to bring in fresh voices, even if he has to go and hunt them up. That is the way Dr. Kittredge has done in Chicago, and he has an average attendance of 800 at his prayer meetings. I think I never met Dr. Kittredge but he would say: “Where are you going to be Wednesday night? Will you be here?” “Yes.” “Well; I just wish you would come into our prayer meeting.” He is always looking out for help that way. He has kept it up for fifteen years, and I wish you could see his prayer meeting. When you have men ready to speak, there needn’t be any long pauses. These awful pauses will kill any meeting. The minister should put in a word here and there to keep the interest going. But he shouldn’t take up much time. Any minister that preaches twice on Sunday and then gives a long lecture in the prayer meeting will kill any church in this country. Put that down for a fact. It isn’t the man that does everything himself that accomplishes the most work, but it is the man that gets others to work.

Q. How can you get those men from outside?

A. Have the meeting in your mind so much that when you meet any one of the kind you want, you will invite him. Get one on Monday, another on Tuesday, and so on. I wish we had greater variety in our prayer meetings.

Make a plan, and have it all thought out before Wednesday comes. It means work. You can’t get anything in this world without working for it.

There can be life in our churches if we aim for it.

Q. Wouldn’t a man feel a little restraint if he was called upon publicly to speak on a certain subject?

A. You needn’t call upon him publicly. When you see him in advance you can say: “We are going to have such a subject, ‘Grace,’ or ‘Assurance.’

You have a few days to look it up, and I want you to be ready to speak when there is a good chance.” I’d rather not call a man out. Have the meeting so perfectly free that they can’t help getting up. If you like, give a man a whole chapter of the Bible to speak on. That is broad enough, isn’t it? Anything to get men to open their lips. Make it easy for them.

Q. Do you think it is best to have young people’s meetings? Is there not danger of having too many meetings?

A. My experience is that the more meetings we have, the more interest there is. Some people say that if you have one meeting you don’t want another; that you oughtn’t to have too many irons in the fire. But one iron keeps another one hot, doesn’t it? If you have a meeting for the young people on Monday night, and they are fired up, they will come around to your meeting on Wednesday night. What you want is to develop the whole talent in your church. One person has a talent to lead a meeting; others have talents for speaking and singing. If we could get all the talent out that we have got in our churches, there couldn’t be too many meetings.

I believe the time is coming when in many of our churches there will be a meeting every night in the week.

Q. Would you have the pastor lead the meeting all the time?

A. No; for if he leads all the time, the moment he goes away the whole thing will collapse. One man told me that his church had a wonderful minister — he preached twice on Sunday, led the prayer meeting all the time, and did ever so much other work. But that is a very unhealthy state of things. Everything shouldn’t depend on the minister. What you want is to bring out all the talent you have got in the church.

Q. How should the singing be conducted in the prayer meeting?

A. It is a very good thing to have one leader, because then the people get to understand his ways, and you know he will pitch the tune right. If you leave it to anyone, one person will pitch the tune too high, or another too low. Have one leader if you can. Then it is a very good thing to have such liberty in the meeting that this leader will break right out and sing one verse, or two verses. Have everything short and right to the point. Make it easy for the people to sing everything that is started. Let everyone take part. Then about new tunes. It helps a meeting wonderfully to introduce new tunes as fast as the people will learn them. Say the meeting begins at half-past seven. Give it out that the place will be open at seven o’clock, and that you will spend half an hour in learning new pieces. Sing new tunes as well as old ones. There ought to be more effort made for good music in all our churches and Sabbath Schools.

Q. Would you encourage young people to take part in the prayer meeting, or would you have only staid people take part?

A. “Staid people!” They are exactly the kind we don’t want. Get the young people to take part, of course. That is the very way to break up your stiffness. When we have a “staid” prayer meeting the best thing to do is to break it up. Get out of the ruts. Do you know what a rut is? It is where the wheel gets so deep that you can’t turn it this way or that. What we want more than anything else is to get out of the ruts!

Q. Suppose there are two Scotch elders that are not on good terms, so that one won’t take part if the other does?

A. Ask them to tea with you, and if there is any difference get it out of the way. There is no better man in the world than a Scotchman if he is headed right, but he is very troublesome if he is headed wrong. The best man you can have in your church is a Scotchman if he is right; and you can afford to spend some time to get him right if he is wrong.

Q. What would you do if a man in your church didn’t like to hear young converts testify?

A. I should doubt his Christianity. Of course if a young convert is conceited and egotistical, and talks a great deal about himself, people don’t like that. Tell him it is offensive for anyone to talk much about himself.

But if a convert has the true ring in his testimony, if he has got Heaven in his soul, and some man doesn’t like to hear him, the man hasn’t got the right spirit himself — there must be something wrong.

Q. What would you do with him?

A. Make it too hot for him. If a man doesn’t like to hear the testimony of young converts, make it so that he won’t hear anything else. If he can’t stand it, he ain’t converted. You mustn’t let that man control the church, or have your whole work spoiled because he doesn’t like to hear young people.

Q. Which do you think is the best city missionary, a man or a woman?

A. Give me the women every time. I’ll tell you why. Now, there is a good reason for it. I know all about it, for I was a city missionary for years.

Most of the visiting has to be done in the daytime, when the men are away from home. If a woman goes into a house she can sit down with the wife and family, and talk and pray, and when the man comes home in the evening he won’t get mad and rage as he might if a man had been there. A woman can go into any of the people’s homes anywhere, and talk with the women and children. Not only that, but the women have got more tact.

They have got advantages that men haven’t got. I firmly believe that if we had today in these great cities hundreds where we have one lady missionary, we would soon break up this Nihilism, and Communism, and all such things. I don’t know any agency so powerful as these godly women. They are like angels when they go into dark cellars and garrets, and just hold up Jesus Christ. I tell you. I pray the Lord of the harvest that he will just raise up thousands of women to do this work. When I see so many women that are gay, frivolous — with nothing in the world to do but to go into gay society — and God has given them great talents, I think it is a great calamity, a great pity, that such women do not offer themselves for the work of the Master in this direction. I’d like to see women used a thousand times more than they are. You hear men cursing and swearing, and if a man comes along they don’t stop; but let a woman come, and see the respect they will show her.

Q. Do we want strong-minded women?

A. No; God uses the weak things of the world. Sometimes the weakest women accomplish the most. I suppose the weakest woman in her neighborhood was Mary of Bethany, and yet she has outlived all the women of that age. What she did has outlived all they ever did. I suppose if any of our newspaper reporters had been there, and had seen Mary open that alabaster box and anoint the feet of Jesus, they would have thought it wasn’t worth putting in the papers. They would have said, “There’s nothing in that.” But that act has outlived all the monuments in the world. Mary loved the Master, and at last her heart became so full that she just broke that alabaster box and poured out the costly ointment. As the Scotchman said, it was the only thing she could give to Christ that He could not give away again. If she had given Him the alabaster box, He would have given it away; but she broke it, and poured the ointment on Him as the greatest compliment she could offer. We can all do something.

You can have it said of you: “She hath done what she could.” Let the women do what they can, and righteousness will run through our streets like a river in a very short time. I would like to see more of our women catching the missionary spirit, and consecrating themselves to this work.

Q. How can we get non-church goers to attend church?

A. That is a big question. I would like half an hour to talk upon it. I can only say this: Take this town. In these country towns the difficulty is that people have so far to go that, if they have no conveyance, they think they must stay at home. A year ago, at a meeting we had in the church one Sunday, a plan was suggested that we get some wagons, and you will see them around here now. One was called “Church Wagon No. 1,” and another “Church Wagon No. 2.” We arranged to have the farmers hitch their horses, and then we were all right. There are some people at the foot of the mountain and on the mountainside that have got no horses, and they are two miles away. So we hitch the horses, and just bring sixteen non-church goers in each of those wagons. We have one wagon at this end of the town, and one at the other end, over the river. In that way we get the people out that haven’t been in the habit of going to church. It doesn’t cost much — just the wagons and harness. Take up a subscription in your church to cover the expense. I want to say, that if a man has got a heart to reach these non-church goers, God will open up the way. But you must let these people know that you want them. People won’t come if they think you don’t seem to care for them. If it gets noised around that we want these people, we are going to have them. We must be in earnest about it.

Let these farmers that have got horses go around and carry people that haven’t. Let them put themselves out. If they go out of their way, people will say, “That means business.” Then there is another thing. In our cities this accursed pew system has got to be changed. I call it accursed, and I’ll tell you why. A great many people hire a pew, and then think they own it as much as they own their house. If a stranger comes into the pew, they think he is just as much out of place as if he had gone into their house.

When a church has that system, men say, “I am not going in there, and feel as if I am not welcome.” Did you ever go into a church in some strange place, and have the sexton put you into someone’s pew? The people that own the pew take a good look at you, as much as to say that you are in somebody else’s place, and it gives you a very awkward feeling. I have been there myself. I know just how you feel. I never go into church in my life that I don’t feel very awkward till the services get going. I tell you this is all wrong. The pews should be free. If you think you can’t have free pews, then let us come to a compromise — let us have them free every Sunday night. Let it be known that the seats are perfectly free on Sunday night; let the strangers have the best seats that night; let it be well advertised, and make the people welcome when they come. If you do this, you will soon have all the non-church goers you can deal with. “Oh, but,” says someone, “that will wear the carpets.” What if it does? Did you ever see a church worn out? I would travel all over the world to see a church worn out. You can get the people to come if you want to. But they won’t come and sit in rented pews. I remember hearing a story of a man that owned a pew, and didn’t seem to like it when a stranger took his seat there. He wrote on a slip of paper: “This is my pew,” and handed it to the stranger, who wrote back, “What do you pay for it?” The man wrote, “I pay $75,” and the stranger wrote back, “It’s a good pew. It’s worth it.”

Now, the idea that men have — “I hire this pew; it belongs to me” — stands right in the way of all our efforts to reach non-church goers. The whole system is wrong — no doubt about it. What if some crusty bachelor wants to have things stay as they are — never mind him. Get the people in. It’s no good preaching to empty seats. If a man makes up his mind that he is going to have his church filled, he’ll have it. A good many people are afraid of doing anything out of the regular lines — of doing anything out of order. Now, you will find perfect order in a cemetery. You will find perfect order where there is death. Where there is life you will find something out of order.

Q. How do you start a cottage prayer meeting?

A. The way we used to do in Chicago was this. We would go around from house to house till we found a woman who was willing to have a meeting in her house — it might be an unconverted woman. It takes a good deal of moral courage for any woman to have a meeting in her house, where all the people in the street know her; but if you get her consent, ask the neighbors to come in — a great many people who won’t go to a church will go to a cottage prayer meeting. Some of the best hours I have spent in my life were in the cottage meetings. If I have had any success, that is where I learned to preach. Get twenty or thirty mothers together with their children or their babes in arms. Read a portion of Scripture. Get the children to sing; it will always interest a mother to hear her child sing, even if it doesn’t sing as well as Mr. Sankey. Talk comforting words to the mothers. I tell you what — I’d rather, a thousand times, talk to these mothers than to Gospel-hardened sinners. When a young mother is just beginning to feel her responsibility, it isn’t very difficult to reach her heart. Never mind the babies. When we were holding meetings in London, in the Circus, I remember there was a special meeting appointed for the mothers, and they were told to bring their babies. The meeting was just for mothers and babies — that was the ticket of admission — a baby. Well; I never saw so many babies in my life. If a baby cries, the preacher should raise his voice a little louder than the baby can cry. Encourage the mothers to bring their babies. It is delightful to see a mother with a baby in her arms going right into the house of God. If some fidgety people don’t like to hear a baby cry, let them go. Others will come and fill up the church. When Mr. Sankey and I were in Liverpool we saw a woman in the place where the meetings were held, an hour before the time, and she stayed right through the meeting. She was all worn out; looked like a poor woman, and I suppose she had carried that baby two hours.

During the meeting the baby got restless and began to cry. Some of the people looked cross, and I saw the woman was very uneasy and nervous; she didn’t want to disturb the meeting, and yet didn’t want to go. She did her best to quiet the baby, but it would cry, and at last she started to go out. I said: “Let that baby cry if it wants to. I can speak as loud as the baby can cry. Now, don’t look at that mother, but just pray that the Lord will bless her.

Remember, she hasn’t anyone to take care of that baby, and perhaps she hasn’t been in church for years.” By-and-by the baby got asleep. How she listened to the preaching! with tears coming down on her dress. At the close of the sermon I asked those who had any desire for salvation to rise, and the first one was that woman. With her baby in her arms she presented herself for prayer. It touched my very soul. I asked those who wanted to become Christians to go into the inquiry room while we were singing. The baby woke up and began to cry again, and the mother got very nervous. Then a great, manly six-footer came up and said to her: “Let me take that baby while you go into the inquiry meeting.” Perhaps he had never had a baby in his arms in his life; but he took it, and walked up and down before 8,000 people. That man was a hero. The mother went into the inquiry room, and found peace in her soul. Then she took her baby and out into that dark city she went. I will never forget that scene, and I don’t suppose she will ever forget it — 8,000 people praying for that mother that wet night. You can reach the masses by just laying yourself out for it, and God will bless you.

PRAYER MEETINGS AND OTHER TOPICS. Mr. Moody’s Question-Drawer — “Get Out of the Ruts” — Cottage Meetings — Attracting Non-Church Goers — Mothers with Infants.

Q. WHAT is the best way to conduct the weekly prayer meeting?

A. There is no trouble about getting the people to attend the weekly prayer meeting if it is made interesting. It should be the best meeting of all, and you can make it so. First, you want plenty of fresh air. You can’t do anything in a close, stuffy room. If a farmer comes in after a hard day’s work, and the room is close, he falls asleep. The people say he wants spirituality; what he wants is fresh air. Let the room be clean, neat, cheerful, and well-lighted. Make the place attractive. Don’t have a cold minister behind a box to lead. Sometimes a minister reads a long Scripture lesson and delivers a lecture. He takes pains to say he is unprepared, and you find that out for yourself before he has gone very far. Break up this coldness and lifelessness. Let the leader get out of the ruts and be free and sociable in his manners with the people. If the minister is determined to keep in a rut, invite him to tea with you some evening, and have a serious talk on the subject, so as to break up the monotony. Above all don’t have any long prayers. All the prayers should be brief. We don’t hear of long prayers in the Bible, except at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, and that comes but once in centuries. No one likes to hear a long prayer, and when a man is making one, very likely the people are praying that he will stop. Long prayers may have been all right in other times, but they are not now. Men think quicker than they used to, and act quicker. A man used to take ten foolscap pages to send an order for goods to New York; today he sends it by telegraph, and puts it into ten words. See how short are the prayers recorded in the Bible. “Lord, help me!” is one. “Lord, save, or I perish!” is another. Why; a man said that if Peter had had as long a preamble as men put into prayers nowadays, he would have been forty-feet under water before he would have got as far as the petition for rescue. Prayer isn’t praise; it is asking God for something. You can ask God for something in a few words. If a man will pray fifteen minutes in a prayer meeting, he will pray all the spirituality out of it. I’d rather have a man pray three times and only five minutes at a time, than to have him take fifteen minutes at once. When I was in charge of a work in Chicago, I used to say: “I am going to take up the Good Shepherd tonight,” and then get the people to quote texts or make remarks on that subject. If the minister leads, he shouldn’t exhaust the subject in his opening address, and leave the people nothing to say. He had much better try to draw them out.

Then again, it is a good thing for him to bring in fresh voices, even if he has to go and hunt them up. That is the way Dr. Kittredge has done in Chicago, and he has an average attendance of 800 at his prayer meetings. I think I never met Dr. Kittredge but he would say: “Where are you going to be Wednesday night? Will you be here?” “Yes.” “Well; I just wish you would come into our prayer meeting.” He is always looking out for help that way. He has kept it up for fifteen years, and I wish you could see his prayer meeting. When you have men ready to speak, there needn’t be any long pauses. These awful pauses will kill any meeting. The minister should put in a word here and there to keep the interest going. But he shouldn’t take up much time. Any minister that preaches twice on Sunday and then gives a long lecture in the prayer meeting will kill any church in this country. Put that down for a fact. It isn’t the man that does everything himself that accomplishes the most work, but it is the man that gets others to work.

Q. How can you get those men from outside?

A. Have the meeting in your mind so much that when you meet any one of the kind you want, you will invite him. Get one on Monday, another on Tuesday, and so on. I wish we had greater variety in our prayer meetings.

Make a plan, and have it all thought out before Wednesday comes. It means work. You can’t get anything in this world without working for it.

There can be life in our churches if we aim for it.

Q. Wouldn’t a man feel a little restraint if he was called upon publicly to speak on a certain subject?

A. You needn’t call upon him publicly. When you see him in advance you can say: “We are going to have such a subject, ‘Grace,’ or ‘Assurance.’

You have a few days to look it up, and I want you to be ready to speak when there is a good chance.” I’d rather not call a man out. Have the meeting so perfectly free that they can’t help getting up. If you like, give a man a whole chapter of the Bible to speak on. That is broad enough, isn’t it? Anything to get men to open their lips. Make it easy for them.

Q. Do you think it is best to have young people’s meetings? Is there not danger of having too many meetings?

A. My experience is that the more meetings we have, the more interest there is. Some people say that if you have one meeting you don’t want another; that you oughtn’t to have too many irons in the fire. But one iron keeps another one hot, doesn’t it? If you have a meeting for the young people on Monday night, and they are fired up, they will come around to your meeting on Wednesday night. What you want is to develop the whole talent in your church. One person has a talent to lead a meeting; others have talents for speaking and singing. If we could get all the talent out that we have got in our churches, there couldn’t be too many meetings.

I believe the time is coming when in many of our churches there will be a meeting every night in the week.

Q. Would you have the pastor lead the meeting all the time?

A. No; for if he leads all the time, the moment he goes away the whole thing will collapse. One man told me that his church had a wonderful minister — he preached twice on Sunday, led the prayer meeting all the time, and did ever so much other work. But that is a very unhealthy state of things. Everything shouldn’t depend on the minister. What you want is to bring out all the talent you have got in the church.

Q. How should the singing be conducted in the prayer meeting?

A. It is a very good thing to have one leader, because then the people get to understand his ways, and you know he will pitch the tune right. If you leave it to anyone, one person will pitch the tune too high, or another too low. Have one leader if you can. Then it is a very good thing to have such liberty in the meeting that this leader will break right out and sing one verse, or two verses. Have everything short and right to the point. Make it easy for the people to sing everything that is started. Let everyone take part. Then about new tunes. It helps a meeting wonderfully to introduce new tunes as fast as the people will learn them. Say the meeting begins at half-past seven. Give it out that the place will be open at seven o’clock, and that you will spend half an hour in learning new pieces. Sing new tunes as well as old ones. There ought to be more effort made for good music in all our churches and Sabbath Schools.

Q. Would you encourage young people to take part in the prayer meeting, or would you have only staid people take part?

A. “Staid people!” They are exactly the kind we don’t want. Get the young people to take part, of course. That is the very way to break up your stiffness. When we have a “staid” prayer meeting the best thing to do is to break it up. Get out of the ruts. Do you know what a rut is? It is where the wheel gets so deep that you can’t turn it this way or that. What we want more than anything else is to get out of the ruts!

Q. Suppose there are two Scotch elders that are not on good terms, so that one won’t take part if the other does?

A. Ask them to tea with you, and if there is any difference get it out of the way. There is no better man in the world than a Scotchman if he is headed right, but he is very troublesome if he is headed wrong. The best man you can have in your church is a Scotchman if he is right; and you can afford to spend some time to get him right if he is wrong.

Q. What would you do if a man in your church didn’t like to hear young converts testify?

A. I should doubt his Christianity. Of course if a young convert is conceited and egotistical, and talks a great deal about himself, people don’t like that. Tell him it is offensive for anyone to talk much about himself.

But if a convert has the true ring in his testimony, if he has got Heaven in his soul, and some man doesn’t like to hear him, the man hasn’t got the right spirit himself — there must be something wrong.

Q. What would you do with him?

A. Make it too hot for him. If a man doesn’t like to hear the testimony of young converts, make it so that he won’t hear anything else. If he can’t stand it, he ain’t converted. You mustn’t let that man control the church, or have your whole work spoiled because he doesn’t like to hear young people.

Q. Which do you think is the best city missionary, a man or a woman?

A. Give me the women every time. I’ll tell you why. Now, there is a good reason for it. I know all about it, for I was a city missionary for years.

Most of the visiting has to be done in the daytime, when the men are away from home. If a woman goes into a house she can sit down with the wife and family, and talk and pray, and when the man comes home in the evening he won’t get mad and rage as he might if a man had been there. A woman can go into any of the people’s homes anywhere, and talk with the women and children. Not only that, but the women have got more tact.

They have got advantages that men haven’t got. I firmly believe that if we had today in these great cities hundreds where we have one lady missionary, we would soon break up this Nihilism, and Communism, and all such things. I don’t know any agency so powerful as these godly women. They are like angels when they go into dark cellars and garrets, and just hold up Jesus Christ. I tell you. I pray the Lord of the harvest that he will just raise up thousands of women to do this work. When I see so many women that are gay, frivolous — with nothing in the world to do but to go into gay society — and God has given them great talents, I think it is a great calamity, a great pity, that such women do not offer themselves for the work of the Master in this direction. I’d like to see women used a thousand times more than they are. You hear men cursing and swearing, and if a man comes along they don’t stop; but let a woman come, and see the respect they will show her.

Q. Do we want strong-minded women?

A. No; God uses the weak things of the world. Sometimes the weakest women accomplish the most. I suppose the weakest woman in her neighborhood was Mary of Bethany, and yet she has outlived all the women of that age. What she did has outlived all they ever did. I suppose if any of our newspaper reporters had been there, and had seen Mary open that alabaster box and anoint the feet of Jesus, they would have thought it wasn’t worth putting in the papers. They would have said, “There’s nothing in that.” But that act has outlived all the monuments in the world. Mary loved the Master, and at last her heart became so full that she just broke that alabaster box and poured out the costly ointment. As the Scotchman said, it was the only thing she could give to Christ that He could not give away again. If she had given Him the alabaster box, He would have given it away; but she broke it, and poured the ointment on Him as the greatest compliment she could offer. We can all do something.

You can have it said of you: “She hath done what she could.” Let the women do what they can, and righteousness will run through our streets like a river in a very short time. I would like to see more of our women catching the missionary spirit, and consecrating themselves to this work.

Q. How can we get non-church goers to attend church?

A. That is a big question. I would like half an hour to talk upon it. I can only say this: Take this town. In these country towns the difficulty is that people have so far to go that, if they have no conveyance, they think they must stay at home. A year ago, at a meeting we had in the church one Sunday, a plan was suggested that we get some wagons, and you will see them around here now. One was called “Church Wagon No. 1,” and another “Church Wagon No. 2.” We arranged to have the farmers hitch their horses, and then we were all right. There are some people at the foot of the mountain and on the mountainside that have got no horses, and they are two miles away. So we hitch the horses, and just bring sixteen non-church goers in each of those wagons. We have one wagon at this end of the town, and one at the other end, over the river. In that way we get the people out that haven’t been in the habit of going to church. It doesn’t cost much — just the wagons and harness. Take up a subscription in your church to cover the expense. I want to say, that if a man has got a heart to reach these non-church goers, God will open up the way. But you must let these people know that you want them. People won’t come if they think you don’t seem to care for them. If it gets noised around that we want these people, we are going to have them. We must be in earnest about it.

Let these farmers that have got horses go around and carry people that haven’t. Let them put themselves out. If they go out of their way, people will say, “That means business.” Then there is another thing. In our cities this accursed pew system has got to be changed. I call it accursed, and I’ll tell you why. A great many people hire a pew, and then think they own it as much as they own their house. If a stranger comes into the pew, they think he is just as much out of place as if he had gone into their house.

When a church has that system, men say, “I am not going in there, and feel as if I am not welcome.” Did you ever go into a church in some strange place, and have the sexton put you into someone’s pew? The people that own the pew take a good look at you, as much as to say that you are in somebody else’s place, and it gives you a very awkward feeling. I have been there myself. I know just how you feel. I never go into church in my life that I don’t feel very awkward till the services get going. I tell you this is all wrong. The pews should be free. If you think you can’t have free pews, then let us come to a compromise — let us have them free every Sunday night. Let it be known that the seats are perfectly free on Sunday night; let the strangers have the best seats that night; let it be well advertised, and make the people welcome when they come. If you do this, you will soon have all the non-church goers you can deal with. “Oh, but,” says someone, “that will wear the carpets.” What if it does? Did you ever see a church worn out? I would travel all over the world to see a church worn out. You can get the people to come if you want to. But they won’t come and sit in rented pews. I remember hearing a story of a man that owned a pew, and didn’t seem to like it when a stranger took his seat there. He wrote on a slip of paper: “This is my pew,” and handed it to the stranger, who wrote back, “What do you pay for it?” The man wrote, “I pay $75,” and the stranger wrote back, “It’s a good pew. It’s worth it.”

Now, the idea that men have — “I hire this pew; it belongs to me” — stands right in the way of all our efforts to reach non-church goers. The whole system is wrong — no doubt about it. What if some crusty bachelor wants to have things stay as they are — never mind him. Get the people in. It’s no good preaching to empty seats. If a man makes up his mind that he is going to have his church filled, he’ll have it. A good many people are afraid of doing anything out of the regular lines — of doing anything out of order. Now, you will find perfect order in a cemetery. You will find perfect order where there is death. Where there is life you will find something out of order.

Q. How do you start a cottage prayer meeting?

A. The way we used to do in Chicago was this. We would go around from house to house till we found a woman who was willing to have a meeting in her house — it might be an unconverted woman. It takes a good deal of moral courage for any woman to have a meeting in her house, where all the people in the street know her; but if you get her consent, ask the neighbors to come in — a great many people who won’t go to a church will go to a cottage prayer meeting. Some of the best hours I have spent in my life were in the cottage meetings. If I have had any success, that is where I learned to preach. Get twenty or thirty mothers together with their children or their babes in arms. Read a portion of Scripture. Get the children to sing; it will always interest a mother to hear her child sing, even if it doesn’t sing as well as Mr. Sankey. Talk comforting words to the mothers. I tell you what — I’d rather, a thousand times, talk to these mothers than to Gospel-hardened sinners. When a young mother is just beginning to feel her responsibility, it isn’t very difficult to reach her heart. Never mind the babies. When we were holding meetings in London, in the Circus, I remember there was a special meeting appointed for the mothers, and they were told to bring their babies. The meeting was just for mothers and babies — that was the ticket of admission — a baby. Well; I never saw so many babies in my life. If a baby cries, the preacher should raise his voice a little louder than the baby can cry. Encourage the mothers to bring their babies. It is delightful to see a mother with a baby in her arms going right into the house of God. If some fidgety people don’t like to hear a baby cry, let them go. Others will come and fill up the church. When Mr. Sankey and I were in Liverpool we saw a woman in the place where the meetings were held, an hour before the time, and she stayed right through the meeting. She was all worn out; looked like a poor woman, and I suppose she had carried that baby two hours.

During the meeting the baby got restless and began to cry. Some of the people looked cross, and I saw the woman was very uneasy and nervous; she didn’t want to disturb the meeting, and yet didn’t want to go. She did her best to quiet the baby, but it would cry, and at last she started to go out. I said: “Let that baby cry if it wants to. I can speak as loud as the baby can cry. Now, don’t look at that mother, but just pray that the Lord will bless her.

Remember, she hasn’t anyone to take care of that baby, and perhaps she hasn’t been in church for years.” By-and-by the baby got asleep. How she listened to the preaching! with tears coming down on her dress. At the close of the sermon I asked those who had any desire for salvation to rise, and the first one was that woman. With her baby in her arms she presented herself for prayer. It touched my very soul. I asked those who wanted to become Christians to go into the inquiry room while we were singing. The baby woke up and began to cry again, and the mother got very nervous. Then a great, manly six-footer came up and said to her: “Let me take that baby while you go into the inquiry meeting.” Perhaps he had never had a baby in his arms in his life; but he took it, and walked up and down before 8,000 people. That man was a hero. The mother went into the inquiry room, and found peace in her soul. Then she took her baby and out into that dark city she went. I will never forget that scene, and I don’t suppose she will ever forget it — 8,000 people praying for that mother that wet night. You can reach the masses by just laying yourself out for it, and God will bless you.

Chapter 4: More about Personal Work.

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 4

MORE ABOUT PERSONAL WORK.

Mr. Moody on Individual Cases — Peculiar Difficulties — The Divinity of Christ — About Holding On and Holding Out — The Weak Ones — Are Feelings Safe Guides? — Confessing and Forgiving — Questions and Answers.

I WANT to take up some other classes. Here in New England we meet a great many who are troubled about the divinity of Jesus Christ. Very often they want to discuss the question, but don’t discuss it with them. I have never known any good to come that way; generally you are farther apart at the end than at the beginning. I would just give them the Bible. If that and the Holy Spirit won’t help them, I don’t know what will. There are several passages specially adapted for this purpose. Take 1 Corinthians 15:47: “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” That is Paul’s testimony. Then 1 John 5:20: “We know that the Son of God is come,” etc. Sometimes they ask, “Where did Christ ever say He was God?” Give them John 17:3: “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Then see His testimony before the high priest, in Mark 14:61,62: “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am,” etc. It was this testimony which cost Jesus Christ His life, for the council cast a verdict of guilty of blasphemy, and by Jewish law the penalty of that crime is death. He made out that He was more than man. If He was not what He claimed to be — if He was a mere man — then it is idolatry to worship Him. It is breaking the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” I ask these people, “Where shall we put Him? You say He was a good man, but how can that be, if He tried to deceive us? If He was not what He claimed to be, He must have been an impostor. How could He be a good man and let us make Him an idol?

Moses and Elijah never did that, and was He less good than they? If He was a bad man, then it is very strange that He should have forfeited all for a malefactor’s cross and a pauper’s grave.” He declared that He was equal with God, in John 5:21,22, and John 16:15. How could a good man, a mere man, say that? He declared that He was omnipresent in Matthew 18:20 and 28:20. Moses and Elijah couldn’t have said that. Look at John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by Me.” No mere man ever said that. Here is another verse Matthew 28:18: “Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” What man ever said that? Then in Mark 2:7, after He had forgiven the man sick of the palsy, the question was raised, “Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” No man ever claimed such power till Christ came. Then, again, He allowed men to worship Him. No good man, no angel, ever allowed himself to be worshipped. If any man had done so, he could not have been a good man. In John 9:38, the blind man who had received his sight, said: “Lord, I believe,” and worshipped the Savior. Christ didn’t rebuke him. See Revelation 22:8: “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had seen and heard, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant.” In Acts 14, when Paul and Barnabas healed the cripple at Lystra, the people came bringing sacrifices, and wanted to worship them as gods, but they wouldn’t allow it. Yet Christ allowed men to worship Him. In Matthew 14:33 we read: “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying of a truth Thou art the Son of God.” He didn’t rebuke them. In Matthew 8:2; “Behold there came a leper and worshipped Him saying, Lord if Thou wilt, Thou cants make me clean.” Again in the 15th chapter, in the story of the woman of Canaan ( 5:25): “Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, “Lord help me!” There are many other passages, but I give you these to show that Christ was worshipped, and that he never rebuked it.

He claimed to be a God-man. He claimed that he was before the morning stars sang together. “Before Abraham was, I am.” “He is the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father.” And how men can read this book and not see this, is a mystery to me. I don’t know anything that will do these people more good than just to give them the Word of God. If you have anyone troubled about the divinity of Christ, don’t complain and scold and condemn him, and then leave him. There are some people who, if they saw one of this class in our inquiry rooms, would say: “Why! this man doesn’t believe Jesus Christ is divine. He is a heathen. We won’t talk to him at all.” Now, that isn’t the way. Christ was constantly dealing with men that had the same views. How tenderly and gently He dealt with them. And how are we going to deal with them but by showing Christ as the God-man? Sometimes the part of His nature we see is human, sometimes not. When He commanded the waters to be still, and the winds to cease He spoke as God. When He cried, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He spoke as man. But I must pass on. “HOLDING OUT.”

A great many are afraid they won’t hold out. It is a good thing to press upon these people that they haven’t got to hold on to Christ; it is Christ holding on to them. See John 10:28: “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” Then you can use Hebrews 6:18; Isaiah 41:10-13; Corinthians 1:10; the <19C101> 121st Psalm — “He that keepeth thee will not slumber;” 2 Timothy 1:12 — “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day;” 2 Timothy 4:18 — “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.” What is it that protects the crown of Victoria? It is the army. The army keeps the crown perfectly safe. I remember in London holding meetings in the East End, and as we were going along the streets one night, we met some soldiers marching. I said: “Where are those soldiers going?” “They are going to the Bank of England.” It was the law of the land that just as soon as the sun went down, a certain number of soldiers went to the Bank of England and stayed there till daybreak. That made the bank perfectly safe.

There was no chance for thieves to get in there. So, if our life is hid in Christ, how are the powers of darkness going to get at it? Oh, the security of the believer in Christ, if we only trust Him — that is all we want. What we want is to believe He is able to keep. What we want is just to trust Him. In 2 Corinthians 1:10, we find three “delivers” — “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust, that He will yet deliver us.” A great many people are troubled about the future. God will take care of the future. What they want is to trust Him today.

THOSE WHO FEEL WEAK Another class of people say they haven’t got strength. Well; it is a good thing they haven’t. The weaker we are the better. What is faith? “Our weakness leaning on God’s strength.” It is a good thing for one to wake up to his own weakness. “I am as weak as water,” says someone. Then God can hold you. That is the way God’s grace is magnified. I remember when we were in New York — in the Hippodrome — there was a poor miserable man in the inquiry meetings; and a good Christian lady was toiling and working with that poor fellow. After she had explained to him the way, the man went out into the great city. In those days we had scrip for small currency, and as this man put his hand into his pocket he found ten cents. He hadn’t been able to carry so much money in his pocket for many years. He couldn’t pass a saloon if he had any money — some insane power would seize him and he would spend every cent for whiskey. As he took out this bit of paper he just prayed that the Lord would enable him to hold on to that ten cents for twenty-four hours; then he would have no more doubt that God was able to keep him. And he did hold on to the money. Next day he came into the meeting, told the story, and held up the scrip as a token that God was keeping him. Every time I go to New York, I ask, “How is the ten-cent man getting on?” and Mr.

McBurney always tells me he is getting on first rate. If you feel you haven’t any strength, remember the weaker you are the better. What is it that holds that little vine all the way up, seventy or a hundred feet above the ground? It can’t stand alone. It is the great oak it is clinging to that holds it up. If we just lay hold of the Cross it will hold us. Any man that belongs to a strong government can stand, can’t he? Our ambassadors can stand in foreign courts with a great government back of them. I have a great admiration for the Irishman who said it didn’t matter how weak he was as long as he had a rock to stand on. If you make the Cross your foundation you are going to stand.

FEELINGS.

Then there is another class that are in great trouble about their feelings.

They are afraid they don’t feel right, or don’t feel enough. So they get into doubt, and the devil will keep them on that plank for a few weeks, and then let them down into the pit again. I want to say there isn’t a word about feeling in the Scriptures in reference to salvation. It doesn’t say, “He that feeleth.” It is “he that believeth.” Not one word about feeling. I do a great many things that I don’t feel like doing. Obedience means marching right on whether we feel like it or not. Many times we go against our feelings. Faith is one thing; feeling is another. What was it that made the slaves free? Was it their feelings? Suppose they had tried it — just imagined they were free and acted on that feeling. They would very soon have heard the crack of the slave-driver’s whip. No; it was Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation. Now, the proclamation of the Gospel is: “He that believeth…. hath everlasting life.” I remember some years ago — oh, how I used to pray for feeling! I thought faith was feeling, and that some strange kind of feeling would come stealing over me. But it wasn’t that at all. Then I found in Romans 10:17, this text — and how it came upon me like a flash of light — “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Sometimes we go right against our feelings. I remember once when I went to Cleveland — I had been eighteen years in Chicago, and when I got to Cleveland I found Lake Erie was on the west side of the city. I was completely turned around. The sun rose in the West and set in the East all the time I was there. If I had gone according to my feelings, I would have gone right into Lake Erie and been drowned for it. But I didn’t go according to my feelings; I went according to knowledge. Knowledge is better than feelings. One time I went across the corner of this county, and I was driving along some roads where I had never been before. When I had got, as I thought, within about five miles of Conway, I began to think: “Now, you are going according to your feelings. Hadn’t you better have a little knowledge about this thing?” So I reined up to the first house and called: “Hello, there!” The man came out; and when I asked him about the road I found that instead of going to Conway, I was going right away from it.

First I thought the man was wrong. Then I thought: “This man has lived here for years. He knows the way better than I do.” So I turned around and drove my horse right against my feelings. Don’t mind your feelings.

Let feelings take care of themselves. What you want is to obey. When people begin talking about their feelings, bring them right to Scripture.

Q. Have we not feeling in these two passages: “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness;” and Philip to the eunuch — “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”

A. That isn’t feeling, is it? You may believe with all the heart without feeling. Suppose I send my boy for a pail of water. He may not feel like it, but he goes whether he feels like it or not. He obeys.

Q. Has the heart anything to do with feeling?

A. A man may have feeling or may not. What God wants is strict obedience. I can’t always feel just as I want to. If I could I wouldn’t have the toothache, wouldn’t have a headache, wouldn’t have a pain in my body. I can’t control my feelings. The devil can play upon them as on a harp with a thousand strings. But there is one thing I can do. By the grace of God I can obey. A great many men are waiting for feeling, but feeling never saves, and the most unsatisfactory Christians are those who are governed altogether by their sentiments.

Q. Doesn’t it say, we are to believe with the whole heart?

A. I think the whole heart means the whole man — hands, feet, mind and everything. We are not to wait for feeling. I heard of a man who was lying under a tree on a very cold day, and someone asked him what he was doing there. Says he: “I am waiting till I feel warm enough to get up, and then I will cut down this tree.” If he had got right up and gone on cutting, he would soon have been warm enough. In every case where Christ healed the infirm, it was act first and get feeling afterward. He said to the man with the withered arm, “Stretch forth thine hand.” The man didn’t stop to find out whether he was believing with all his heart or half his heart. He just stretched out his arm, and the Lord healed him right there. He said to Zaccheus, “Come down.” Zaccheus didn’t say “I don’t feel right, Lord.”

The Lord had said, “Come down.” That brought him. What God wants is obedience. What men are to do is to surrender their will — do what God tells them, and let feelings take care of themselves.

Q. Where does repentance come in?

A. What is repentance? Turning around. A great many people are all the time analyzing their feelings. It is a great deal better just to look at the Master, and obey Him. Feeling comes — repentance comes — after we have received Christ. A soldier once said that according to his idea repentance was: “Halt! Attention! Right about face! March!” That is about the best definition of repentance. “Attention!” — listen to God. “Turn!” — “why will ye die?” If I am not going toward God, but going the opposite way, the quicker I turn about the better. Conviction is not repentance. A man may go right straight on and know he is wrong.

Q. Which is the best to rest upon for your salvation, feelings or the Word of God?

A. The Word of God. Because the devil can move my feelings at his will.

He can make me feel different twenty times a day.

Q. In repentance isn’t sorrow involved?

A. A man may be very sorry and not repent. There are a great many men in Auburn Prison who are sorry enough that what they have done has brought them there; but if they got out they would do the same thing right over again.

Q. What about the text, “Godly sorrow leadeth to repentance?”

A. That is for Christians. How can a man have godly sorrow before there is anything godly in him? With me — grief on account of sin didn’t come till I knew Christ. Then I had sorrow for sin. When you tell a man that he has got to feel sorry for sin, you are putting something between that man and God. The cry is, “Turn ye, turn ye!” I have seen men in the inquiry room crying because they were not anxious enough. Did you ever hear of such a thing! The devil tells them they must be sorry before they can come to God. My commission is to command all men everywhere to repent. If a man is willing to let Christ reign in his heart, that is all God wants. Let that man know Jesus Christ, and the sorrow will come. Get men to Christ, and repentance will take care of itself. In Scotland they used to ask such questions as these when persons applied to join the Church: “Have you repented enough? Have you felt your sins enough? Do you feel as worthless as that toad? If you don’t you can’t come.” That was put into a book and used in Scotland, where they hedged the Lord’s table around and thought people couldn’t join the Church till they were about so old. I believe Heaven is the natural right of every soul in this community. They may have Christ this very hour if they will. We want to hold Jesus Christ up, and nothing else.

BELIEVERS’ SINS Now, there is another class who are afraid that they will sin again. But who doesn’t sin again? It isn’t a sign that a man isn’t converted if he falls into sin. On the contrary, he is more likely to realize his sinful nature after conversion than before. I am ashamed to tell it, but before I was converted, I got so I could swear and it didn’t trouble my conscience. But after I knew Jesus Christ, when one time I got an oath out of my mouth, it cost me more sorrow and agony than I can describe. For months I never got over it. I have never done it since. Before, when I swore, I never thought about it. Now, how could I utter such words? My Savior has done so much for me that I don’t want to grieve His heart. Some young converts say, “I am afraid I have sinned again, and I can never be a Christian.” Let such as these turn to the 1st Epistle of John, <430201> 2nd chapter: “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I don’t want to make light of sin, but it is to me a comforting thought that my Master has made provision for my sin. This was written in John’s old age, when he knew well enough by his own experience whether the Christian sins or not. So he tells us that Christ is gone up on high as a priest. He was here as a prophet, now He is a priest. His office is to intercede for our sins. When I go wrong it is useless to try to justify myself; but I can go into my closet and tell it all out, and it is all settled — all put away. See 1 John 1:10: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar.”

We have all sinned. When you tell an unconverted person who wants to become a Christian that he is to live without sin, you discourage him. Of course that is his aim — that is his object. But if he does fall into sin afterward, he is likely to say, “Oh, I am not converted at all.” How the devil tormented me, and told me I was not converted because I did things I loathed and hated. I didn’t understand that I had a battle on hand — that I had the old Adam still in my nature. “The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” I thought when I became a Christian I had nothing to do but just to lay my oars in the bottom of the boat and float along. But I soon found that I would have to go against the current. And then it was such a sweet thought that I had got One to represent me, so that when I sinned I could go to Him as my Advocate; and, thank God, He never lost a case yet. Just commit the whole case to Him. He will take good care of it.

CONFESSING AND FORGIVING.

There is another point: Very often a young convert will go off with a light heart, full of ecstasy and joy and then inside of twenty-four hours you will find him in great darkness. He thinks he hasn’t been converted. If you don’t know how to use the Bible, and know the workings of that man’s heart, he will remain in darkness. Now I have found that there are two reasons — it is always one of two reasons that has brought him into bondage. One is that he is ashamed to go home and confess Christ, and the other is that there is someone he cannot forgive. I have never seen it to fail in my life. You can use Romans 10:9-11: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Now, if a man is ashamed, don’t you see darkness comes; and he will never get into the light till he is ready to confess Jesus Christ.

Then, in the Sermon on the Mount our Savior teaches the great doctrine of forgiveness. If the Holy Spirit reveals someone who has got aught against me, or I have got aught against him, and I am not ready to forgive, of course darkness will fall. It will help these young converts a great deal to show them the <401801> 18th chapter of Matthew on the question of forgiveness; and the <451001> 10th of Romans on being willing to confess Christ.

UNBELIEF.

I want to say a word right here about unbelief. Some people tell me that it is a hard thing when I say that unbelief is the greatest sin — greater than blasphemy, drunkenness, and the like. But just turn to 1 John 5:9,10: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which He hath testified of His Son…. He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son…. He that hath the Son hath life, and He that hath not the Son of God hath not the life.” You can’t offer a man a greater insult than to accuse him of telling a willful lie. Many a man has been knocked down because he called another man a liar. That is the sin of unbelief; giving God the lie — calling Him a liar. “I CAN’T BELIEVE.”

There is another class. Some persons say, “I can’t believe.” I like to press them on this point. I was once talking with a man, and he said, “I can’t believe.” Said I, “Who?” “But I can’t believe.” “Who?” “You don’t understand my case. I can’t believe.” “Who?” The man began to color and squirm around, and he said, “Mine is a peculiar case. I can’t believe.” “Who?” The man became more and more embarrassed, and said he: “You don’t understand my case at all. I have a great many intellectual difficulties. There are a great many things I can’t believe.” I kept on asking “Who,” and finally the man broke down, and said — “I can’t believe myself.” “Thank God for that!” When a man says he can’t believe, the question is whether he can believe the Lord, and I just press him on that one point. I challenge any infidel to put his finger on any promise which God has not kept. For 6,000 years the devil has been trying to find that God has broken His word. What a jubilee there would be in hell today if they found God had broken His word! Didn’t He keep His word with Adam, and Abraham, and Moses? Isn’t every Jew a monument of God’s word? “Come, my friend,” you can say; “did you ever know Him to break His word?” Press the unbeliever on that point. It is so easy. A man said to me once: “I think the doctrine you preach is the most unreasonable I ever heard.” “What part?” “Why, you teach that pernicious doctrine, that a man is saved by simply believing.” “Yes,” says I; “thank God I do. It is Scripture, and I try to preach Scripture.” “But,” says the man, “it is against reason.” “I can’t help that. God is above reason.” Says the man: “I don’t see how any rational man can stand up before an audience and say they are saved by simply believing, when a man’s life is not affected by what he believes.” “Is that your difficulty?” I said. “I can show you in three minutes that you are affected by what you believe. If someone came and shouted that this building was on fire, and you and I believed it, we would get up and get out pretty quick, wouldn’t we?” “Yes.” “Then I suppose you can’t deny that you are affected by what you believe?” If a man believes this Book, it will change his life quicker than anything else. “CAN’T BE SAVED ALL AT ONCE.”

Sometimes a person will say: “You can’t make me believe a man can be saved all at once.” Well; as I read the Bible, I don’t see how a man can be saved in any other way. If you take a gift, there must be a minute when you haven’t taken the gift and another minute when you have. There must be a minute when you take it. In passing from one territory to another, there must be a minute when you cross the line. Take the cases of the men converted under Christ; weren’t they instantaneous? “Ah,” you say, “but that is when Christ was on earth.” Then come to the days of the Apostles.

When Peter preached at Pentecost there were 3,000 converted in one day.

Then, again, at Caesarea, when Peter preached to the Centurion and his family and friends, they were all baptized that very day. First came in the Jews, then the Gentiles; and as soon as the door was opened to the Gentiles they came in with a rush. You just want to take Scripture, and when one doesn’t believe that sinners can be converted all at once, the best thing is to go right to these instances of immediate conversion recorded in the Bible. You will find plenty of them.

Q. Wasn’t Zaccheus converted instantly?

A. Yes. As soon as he heard the word of Jesus he came down from the tree. I don’t know just the moment of his conversion. I suppose it must have been somewhere between the branches and the ground. It was very quick, I know.

There isn’t any subject I am more interested in than this personal dealing with individuals. Just preach Christ, and the Spirit of God will bear witness. When you are talking with an inquirer, it is a good thing to get him on his knees. But don’t get him there before he is ready. You may have to talk with him two hours before you can get him that far along. But when you think he is about ready, you can say, “Shan’t we ask God to give us light on this point?” Sometimes a few minutes in prayer have done more for a man than two hours in talk. But there is great danger in trying to get a man on his knees before he is that far on. When the Spirit of God has led him so far that he is willing to have you pray with him, he is not very far from the kingdom.

Q. Would you ask a man to pray for himself?

A. I think it is a good thing in dealing with inquirers to get their lips open on their knees. If they don’t want to pray, make a prayer and get them to repeat it. Make an easy prayer, or take one of the short prayers of the Bible; for example, “Lord, help me!” Tell the man: “If the Lord helped that poor heathen woman, He will help you if you make the same prayer. He will change your heart if you make it from the heart.” I don’t send a man home to pray. Of course he should pray at home, but I would rather get his lips open in the inquiry room. It is a good thing for a man to hear his own voice in prayer. It is a good thing for him to cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”

Q. In your experience what has been the most frequent turning point of the soul? Isn’t it when the man is on his knees?

A. It is when the man says, “I will.” It is the surrender of the will. The battle is fought on the will. Very often the act of getting on his knees has an effect on the man’s will; but generally the will is given up before he gets there. There should be more preaching on the will! Men don’t act up to the light they have got. Tens of thousands know the way to the kingdom, but they don’t want to give up the will.

Q. Do you believe in preaching to the heart?

A. If I have had any success it has been in going right to the heart — not at the head. Others may thunder away at the head all they want to: I would rather get a man’s heart right than his head. The shortest way to a man’s heart is the best way of preaching.

Q. What would you say to a professed convert who can’t forgive somebody?

A. I wouldn’t give a snap of my finger for his hope. It is utterly impossible for a man to be a disciple of Christ if he doesn’t cultivate the spirit of forgiveness.

Q. Wouldn’t you empty a church if you preached that?

A. Yes; and fill it up with other people.

Q. How do you explain that word “believe”? Isn’t the belief spoken of partly intellectual?

A. It is submission of the will. I might say: “Will you take this horse? It is worth $1,000.” You might believe my offer; but it wouldn’t do you any good if you didn’t take the horse. I might believe the proclamation of salvation, but that alone would do me no good. I have got to appropriate it.

Q. For the inquiry work how do you get trained workers?

A. Go right to work to get them and train them.

Q. When would you train them?

A. Whenever you can. At the prayer meeting is a good time. Turn the prayer meeting for a while right into a training class. By-and-by this man and that woman will catch the spirit, and you will have a band of workers.

It is a thing to weep over that we have got thousands and thousands of church members who are good for nothing towards extending the Church of God. They understand bazaars, and fairs, and sewing circles, and all that kind of work; but when you ask them to sit down and show that man or woman the way into God’s kingdom, they say: “Oh, I am not able to do that. Let the deacons do it, or someone else.” It is all wrong. The Church ought to be educated on this very point.

Q. When would you have the inquiry meeting?

A. I think there ought to be three kinds of services in all the churches. One service is just to worship — to offer praise, and to wait on the Lord in prayer. Another service is for teaching. The great lack of this country is teaching. At this kind of service there needn’t be a word to the unconverted, but let it be for the church people. We want to get the church up on a higher plane. Let there be teaching out of the Scriptures, and the church will grow. Sunday morning is the best time for teaching. Sunday afternoon is the best time in cities for Sunday Schools. But Sunday night is the best night in the whole week to preach the simple Gospel of the Son of God. When you have preached that, and felt the power of the unseen world, and there are souls trembling in the balance, don’t say, as I have heard good ministers say: “If there are any in this place concerned — at all concerned — about their souls, I will be in the pastor’s study on Friday night, and will be glad to see them.” By that time the chances are the impression will be all wiped out. The devil will snatch away the seed.

How is it at most of our evening services? The minister preaches the Gospel with great effect, then he pronounces the benediction; the music strikes up, and the golden opportunity is lost. I tell you, we want a revolution in this thing! We are not making any inroads upon the unconverted. A great many churches in this country hardly expect to gain in numbers. If they hold their own they think they are doing pretty well.

A gentleman said not long ago: “We have had the most successful year we ever had. We have paid all the bills, and have several hundred dollars in the church treasury.” “How many conversions?” “I don’t know. You mustn’t ask me about that. But we have paid our pastor’s salary, and are out of debt. We have had a very good year.” That is what is called prosperity.

Some people have an idea that inquiry meetings are — oh, well, a sort of meetings evangelists have, a sort of new-fangled notion, and all that. I don’t believe a man can preach the simple Gospel faithfully anywhere in this country and not have inquirers inside of thirty days, and there will be those added to the Church daily of such as shall be saved.

But then if you are going to hold an inquiry meeting there is one way to kill it. I remember when we went to Edinburgh, I wanted to start an inquiry meeting. One of my friends said: “Well, you know, Mr. Moody, the Scotch people don’t like inquiry meetings. It is an American idea. It doesn’t take with the Scotch people. We tried it, and utterly failed.” I said: “I needn’t tell you how you tried. You said: ‘If there is anyone that would like to engage in religious conversation, will you go into the pastor’s study.’ You called that out before the whole congregation, and made people uneasy. That is the way not to get any one. You couldn’t have done anything better calculated to kill the meeting.” Take this way: Put the “if” in the right place. You remember the case of the father who wanted Christ to cast the dumb spirit out of his son. He said, “If thou canst do anything,” but the Lord answered him, “If thou canst believe.” Christ got the “if” straightened out. There was a prominent minister in New York City — a good man too — and one of his elders said to him: “Why can’t we have an inquiry meeting? It seems to me we might have a great many converts just now.” The minister said: “Well; just to please you I will try one, but I don’t believe anyone will come to it.” So the next night he announced that if there were any persons concerned about their souls, the session would be in the session room, and meet them. Why! he might as well have asked them to go before a justice of the peace. Asking an awakened soul to go before the whole session! If you want to get these people to talk with you, put yourself in their way, and make it easy for them to come and see you.

When you give the invitation, be careful how you do it. After you have preached twenty or thirty minutes — and here let me say it is a good thing to stop before people think it is time to close; then they are willing to stay longer, they are not worn out — after a short sermon I would say: “If anyone has got to go, will you please rise and go, while we sing this familiar hymn.” Put the “if” in the right place. A few will drop out. You have got nearly the whole audience there. Then I would give the notice a second time — “If there is any one that has got to go, will you go while we are singing this hymn, so as not to disturb us in the after-meeting.

There are two classes we want to remain. We want the Christians that are willing to talk to some of these unsaved ones. And then if there is anyone that has got the least desire to become a Christian, we want you to remain.” Sing a little. Have one or two prayers — special prayers for those people then and there. Pass among the people, and if it is your own congregation, say: “Brother Brown, won’t you speak to this man;” and “Brother Jones, won’t you speak to that man.” That’ll wake up your church more than anything else; and you can keep it going fifty-two times a year. I know a church in Chicago, where they have this kind of work right along. They have inquirers every Sunday night, because they look for them. I do think it is a great mistake to give up the Sunday night service for anything that comes along. I would hold that night just sacred to preaching the Gospel.

Q. Suppose you have a large church; would you have inquiry meetings in the same building where you have the preaching?

A. It makes very little difference. I wouldn’t have any cast-iron rules. I wouldn’t have them always rise for prayer or always come forward. I would say sometimes: “Anyone in this audience that would like to become a Christian, will you kneel right where you are.” I remember once in a meeting there was a father who didn’t know his son was at all concerned; but when I made this request the young man dropped right down by his side. We don’t want any cast-iron rules. That’s one reason I don’t like Popery — when you go in anywhere you know just where you are coming out. Sometimes Mr. Sankey wants to know what hymn I am going to give out next; and if I tell him, very likely I will give out something altogether different. If you ask the Spirit of God to lead you, you can’t have any cast-iron rules.

Q. Do you ask for an expression of anxiety?

A. Expression is a good thing. It involves the surrender of the will. If you can get a man to walk across a church before all the people and go into an inquiry room, it means a great deal. No human power can get a man to do that. Only the Spirit of God can do it. Nine-tenths of the men surrender their will before they get there. That is the advantage of the Methodist altar. People surrender their will before they get that far.

Q. Is it a good thing to sing in the after-meeting?

A. Yes; before the personal, individual work begins, especially while people are going out and you are trying to get anxious ones into the inquiry room. It is a good thing then to sing, because it makes the work easy. Sing sometimes softly, sometimes loudly. When people are going out it is a good deal better to drown the noise. Other times it is best to sing very, very softly, so that the words will go to the heart.

Q. Would you go among the people?

A. I generally go around and get the workers assigned, but you have to be very quiet.

Q. Would you always have an inquiry meeting?

A. No. If you have not had power, don’t hold this after-meeting. Ask the Christians to remain. It is a great setback to ask people to go into an inquiry-room, and not one go. It is a great discouragement. There is nothing like keeping the people stirred up all the time — full of courage — full of hope. Nothing succeeds like success. We are more likely to have results if we expect them right on the spot.

Chapter 3: A Convention Talk.

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 3

A CONVENTION TALK.

Mr. Moody on the Importance of Personal Work — How it Should be Done — Inquirers and How to Meet their Needs — No Two Cases Alike — Backsliders — Without Conviction — Penitent Ones — Questions and Answers.

(The intensely practical character of the talks given at the Northfield Conventions, renders them of far more than transient interest; and hence a general demand has arisen that they be couched in permanent form, and given a larger hearing. That the reader may judge of their value, several are herewith presented. Among the most suggestive was that by Mr. Moody on “Personal Work.”)

PERSONAL dealing is of the most vital importance. No one can tell how many souls have been lost through lack of following up the preaching of the Gospel by personal work. It is deplorable how few church members are qualified to deal with inquirers. And yet that is the very work in which they ought most efficiently to aid the pastor. People are not usually converted under the preaching of the minister. It is in the inquiry meeting that they are most likely to be brought to Christ. Some people can’t see the use of inquiry meetings, and think they are something new, and that we haven’t any authority for them. But they are no innovation. We read about them all through the Bible. When John the Baptist was preaching he was interrupted. It would be a good thing if people would interrupt the minister now and then in the middle of some metaphysical sermon, and ask what he means. The only way to make sure that people understand what he is talking about is to let them ask questions. I don’t know what some men, who have got the whole thing written out, would do if someone should get up and ask: “What must I do to be saved?” Yet such questions would do more good than anything else you could have. They would wake up a spirit of inquiry. Some people say, all you want to do is to make the preaching so plain that plain people will understand it. Well, John the Baptist was a plain preacher, and yet he asked: “Have you understood these things?” He encouraged them to inquire. I think people sometimes would be greatly relieved, when the minister is preaching way above their heads, if he would stop and ask whether they understood it. His very object is to make the Word of God clear. Christ was a plain preacher; but when He preached to Saul, the man was only awakened. Christ could have convicted and converted him; but He honored a human agency, and sent Ananias forth to tell the Word whereby he was to be saved. Philip was sent away into the desert to talk to one man in the chariot. We must have personal work — hand-to-hand work — if we are going to have results.
NO UNIFORM RULE FOR ALL.
I admit you can’t lay down rules in dealing with inquirers. There are no two persons exactly alike. Matthew and Paul were a good ways apart. The people we deal with may be widely different. What would be medicine for one might be rank poison for another. In the 15th of Luke the elder son and the younger son were exactly opposite. What would have been good counsel for one might have been ruin to the other. God never made two persons to look alike. If we had made men, probably we would have made them all alike, even if we had to crush some bones to get them into the mold. But that is not God’s way. In the universe there is infinite variety.
The Philippian jailer required peculiar treatment. Christ dealt with Nicodemus one way, and the woman at the well another way. It is difficult to say just how people are to be saved, yet there are certain portions of Scripture that can be brought to bear on certain classes of inquirers.
I want to say, I think it is a great mistake, in dealing with inquirers, to tell your own experience. Experience may have its place; but I don’t think it has its place when you are dealing with inquirers. For the first thing the man you are talking to will do will be to look for your experience. He doesn’t want your experience. He wants one of his own. No two persons are converted alike. Suppose Bartimeus had gone to Jerusalem to the man that was born blind, and said: “Now just tell us how the Lord cured you.”
The Jerusalem man might have said: “He just spat on the ground, and anointed my eyes with the clay.” “Ho!” says Bartimeus; “I don’t believe you ever got your sight at all. Who ever heard of such a way as that? Why, to fill a man’s eyes with clay is enough to put them out!” Both men were blind, but they were not cured alike. A great many men are kept out of the kingdom of God because they are looking for somebody else’s experience — the experience their grandmother had, or their aunt, or someone in the family. I knew an old man who used to tell people to go down to a certain bridge and get on their knees, and the Lord would meet them there. Some Christians take the ground that sinners are not saved unless they are saved just in their way. Then it is very important to deal with one at a time. A doctor doesn’t give cod liver oil for all complaints. No; he says, “I must see what each one wants.” He wants to look at the tongue, and inquire into the symptoms. One may have ague, another typhoid fever, and another may have consumption. What a man wants is to be able to read his Bible, and to read human nature too.
DIFFERENT CLASSES.
Now, it will be a great help to some of us to divide inquirers into classes, and I would like to say a few words about some of these. In the first place, there is a class of people who lack assurance. Of course they are church members, but there are plenty of people inside the church who need inquiry work just as much as those outside. For example, there are a great many church members who are just hobbling about on crutches. They can just make out that they are saved, and imagine that is all that constitutes a Christian in this nineteenth century. As far as helping others is concerned, that never enters their heads. They think if they can get along themselves they are doing amazingly well. They have no idea what the Holy Ghost wants to do through them.
BACKSLIDERS.
I would like to take up the class of backsliders. You always find when Christians are awakened there are a great many returning backsliders, and you want to know how to deal with them. Backsliders are doing a vast amount of injury. One backslider will do more harm than twenty Christian men can do good. Unconverted people say: “Here are some men who have tried this way. If there is as much joy in it as you make out, how is it that so many people are dissatisfied and go back into the world?” It’s a hard argument to overcome. It is very important to get these stumbling blocks out of the way. Now, in dealing with backsliders, I use Jeremiah more than any other book in the Bible. Some use only the New Testament, but I want the Old Testament as well as the New. It seems as if the whole Book of Jeremiah was written for backsliders. See Jeremiah 1:17: “Thou, therefore, gird up thy loins, and arise and speak unto them all that I command thee.” It is God speaking through Jeremiah. In the second chapter and thirteenth verse, He says: “My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” That goes right to the heart of every backslider — that is, every true backslider. A great many people are not true backsliders. As the old chaplain in the army said, they never slid forward. They have been clinging to some minister, some church, some choir; they never were converted at all. But a man that has ever known the Shepherd — ah, he will hear the voice. When you find a real backslider, who has once known the Lord and loved Him, take him to the Word as quick as you can — “My people have hewn out cisterns, broken cisterns.” And then just turn right around to him and say: “Isn’t that your difficulty? Does the world satisfy you? Does the water of this world quench your thirst?” And if he is a true child of God, he will shrink and say: “Don’t! oh don’t!” He can’t bear to hear it. Then in the nineteenth verse of the same chapter: “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee.” I have known men whose backslidings have been ruin to their families, and their children have grown skeptical. When you read this passage to this kind of backsliders, they will say: “What! does the Bible say that? That is my case. Darkness and sorrow have come into my family.” There is nothing like bringing the word of God to bear upon these people. I remember when I was in St. Louis the last time, there was an old man who had been away off on the mountains of an ungodly life, but in his early manhood he had known Christ. There he was in the inquiry room, literally broken down. About midnight that old man came trembling before God, and was saved. He wiped away his tears, and started home. Next night I saw him in the audience, with a terrible look in his face. As soon as I’d got done preaching, I went to him and said: “My good friend, you haven’t gone back into darkness again?”
Said he: “Oh, Mr. Moody, it has been the most wretched day in my life.” “Why so?” “Well, you know, this morning as soon as I got my breakfast, I started out. I have got a number of children, married, and in this city, and they have got families; and I have spent the day going around and telling them what God has done for me. I told them how I had tasted salvation, with the tears trickling down my face; and, Mr. Moody, I hadn’t a child that didn’t mock me.” That made me think of Lot down in Sodom. It is an awful thing for a man who has been a backslider to have his children mock him. But it is written: “Thy backslidings shall reprove thee; know therefore, and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God.” Then look at the thirty-second verse: “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me, days without number.” You know very well if you lost an earring you would hunt for days to find it. Yet you may lose your Christian hope, and you won’t hunt for it. If you lost a diamond ring, how you would hunt for it! I have met a great many backsliders in that way. I remember saying to a lady: “Madam, you think more of that earring than you do of the kingdom of God. Don’t you know that?” “Why, no!” “Yes; if you lost it, wouldn’t you hunt for it?” “Yes.” “Have you thought as much of the peace you have lost? You have lost the peace of God, and the joy of your salvation.
Have you sought it?” In that way you are likely to bring them back. Take Jeremiah 3:12-14: “Return, thou backsliding Israel,…. for I am merciful.”
Then the nineteenth verse: “How shall I put thee among the children?….
Thou shalt call Me, My Father; and shalt not turn away from Me.” Then read Hosea 14:1,2,3,4,5, and a great many others. There is one peculiarity about backsliders. They have got to get out the way they got in. “Repent, and do the first works.” “Turn from your backslidings.” “Turn from your sin.” Take the same road that took you away from Christ to bring you back. I once remember once talking with a backslider, and I said: “If you would treat Christ as you would treat any earthly friend, you would never go away from Him.” “How is that?” “Did you ever know a backslider to go in his closet, get down on his knees, tell the Lord he was tired of His service, and bid him good-bye, and then go back into the world? When you are leaving a friend you bid him good-bye, don’t you? Then you treat Christ as you would not treat an earthly friend.”
Q. What would you say to a backslider who wanted to get back his old experience?
A. He doesn’t want his old experience; he wants a new one. God doesn’t repeat Himself. That is the very pit a great many tumble into — they want the same experience. But God will give them a fresh experience, and perhaps a better one. You remember how God used Peter after He restored him. I don’t believe David was used before he fell as much as he was used afterward. Look at that <195101> 51st Psalm. What a help it has been to multitudes — written by a restored backslider! If you have fallen and come back, God may use you far more in the future than He ever did before.
Q. What would you do with a man who thinks he has backslidden so far there is no hope for him?
A. The devil tells him that. He says: “There is no chance of your being renewed,” etc. Why, there’s no one but has backslidden. I have backslidden many times. Thank God, I never lost my hope. But I have gone away from the Lord. There isn’t a Christian on the face of the earth that hasn’t backslidden.
Q. Would you advise men who have backslidden, and been restored, to go into Christian work again?
A. Yes; by all means. Sometimes they make the best workers. They are apt to go very softly and carefully.
Q. Is it wise to have them go forth as Christian preachers and teachers?
A. Well; David taught, I think, a great deal better after he was restored than before. Peter taught. His great sermon at Pentecost was after he had been restored. Someone might have said to him: “Didn’t I hear you denying Christ and swearing the other night?” “Oh, yes; but God has forgiven me.” Peter spoke out of a full heart, because he had been forgiven.
When God forgives a man; that is the end of it. He is forgiven — justified.
Q. Would you discriminate in the matter of testimony after a man has fallen?
A. Well, let me tell you about confession. Every man ought to make a public confession if his sin has been public. Suppose, now, I have done this man a wrong, and no one knows it but us two. Then the confession ought to be between us two alone. I don’t believe in making confession of such a thing publicly — it isn’t called for. Suppose I had a difficulty with my family. It ought to be settled with my family. It needn’t go forth to the world. But suppose I have been a public blasphemer — have been seen reeling in the streets of Northfield a drunkard — it is known by all the people here — I ought to make my confession so that the whole town will hear it, and the chances are they will receive my testimony.
PERSONS NOT CONVICTED.
Now, let me speak about another class — those that have not been convicted of sin. When we preach the Word it falls upon all kinds of ground; and we must preach right along, no matter what the soil is. Some men cultivate rich soil, but some of us have to do what we can in stony ground among these old hills of New England. We must not sit in judgment upon men that we think are hard to impress, and say: “These men are not worth offering the Gospel to.” Our business is to offer the Gospel to everyone. We are to sow beside all waters. But in dealing with these men in the inquiry room, it is a great mistake to give certain passages to a man who has not been convicted of sin that were never meant for him. The law is what the man wants. It is no use talking peaceful words when he doesn’t know there is war; no use offering medicine when he doesn’t know he is sick. The Pharisee on the housetop was just as far from God as he could possibly go. The publican was just at the threshold of the kingdom before he went in. Look at those two men. They are types of two classes in the inquiry meeting. Give one the law, nothing but the law. Don’t give comforting passages. I wouldn’t say: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” He isn’t heavy laden. He has got his head so high that he is likely to tumble over backward — full of his own conceit, his own righteousness. That man needs the law. Give him Galatians 3; and Romans 3:10: “There is none righteous; no, not one”; and the <235301> 53rd chapter of Isaiah: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray.” Read to him descriptions of his own heart, and let him see himself as God sees him.
But remember that it is the work of the Holy Ghost to produce conviction. I am simply to present the truth, and let the Holy Spirit do His work. It isn’t my fault, if I have preached faithfully, and the man isn’t convicted. “When He comes, He will convince the world of sin.” I don’t believe there is any power on earth that can convince a man of sin without the Holy Ghost.
INVITATIONS TO THE PENITENT.
There is another class of inquirers, and that is, those who are deeply convicted of sin. For those I would take, first, the <401101> 11th chapter of Matthew: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” This comes with great tenderness and great power when a man is awakened. Then use texts that say: “Come.” The word “come” occurs 1,900 times in the Bible. It begins away back in Genesis, and runs right through to the last chapter of Revelation — “Come,” “Come.” In talking to an unconverted person, make it as plain as you can. Sometimes I talk this way: “‘Come’ is the first thing a mother says to her little child. When she wants it to learn to walk, she places it beside a chair, goes off a little distance, and then says ‘come,’ and the little thing lets go of the chair and runs to its mother. That is what coming means. If you can’t come as a saint, come as a sinner. If you feel that your heart is so hard you are not fit to come, God wants you just as you are.
He can soften your hard heart. If you are weary and heavy laden, come, and the Lord will bless you.” I remember a man in the north of England, a few years ago, the last time Mr. Sankey and I were there. He fell into the hands of a good worker — a Scotchman. He said he felt he was bound by a chain so that he could not go to God. “Eh, mon,” said the Scotchman, “why don’t you go, chain and all?” “Why, I never thought of that!” And he went. One text you can make great use of is John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life,” etc. Another is John 6:37: “Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” I remember laboring with a man in Chicago. It was past midnight before he got down on his knees, but down he went, and was converted. I said: “Now, don’t think you are going to get out of the devil’s territory without trouble. The devil will come to you tomorrow morning and say it was all feeling; that you only imagined you were accepted by God. When he does, don’t fight him with your own opinions, but fight him with John 6:37. Let that be the ‘sword of the Spirit.’” The struggle came sooner than I thought. When he was on his way home the devil assailed him. He used this text, but the devil put this thought into his mind: “How do you know Christ ever said that, after all? Perhaps the translators made a mistake.” Into darkness he went again. He was in trouble till about two in the morning. At last he came to this conclusion.
Said he: “I will believe it anyway; and when I get to heaven, if it isn’t true, I will just tell the Lord I didn’t make the mistake — the translators made it.” So he trusted in Him who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.
Q. Is it right for a man to mourn over his non-success in preaching if he fails?
A. If a man doesn’t have any fruit in his ministry, he may well mourn. “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” But then, if a man delivers the message faithfully, and doesn’t see any fruit after one sermon, he isn’t to lash himself because he hasn’t got power. If I am right with God there will be fruit to my labor.
Q. Is the aid of the Spirit ever arbitrarily withheld?
A. What do you mean?
Q. Cannot a man preach faithfully for a long time and still see no fruit?
A. Ah! but don’t you know there is sometimes something that is obstructing the work of the Spirit — like a row in a church choir? The Holy Spirit can’t do anything in a church that has got a row on hand. The difficulty with a great many churches in this land is that there are so many old stumps in the way of the plough. There are family feuds — church members who won’t speak to one another. How is the Spirit of God going to work there? The minister blames himself; but he needn’t, except for one thing: He ought to get up and get out. I wouldn’t waste my life preaching to a church like that. I’d rather go into a city and organize a church of my own — get men off the streets.
Q. A preacher may give a sermon and see no results at the time; but afterwards he may go into families and find conviction there — isn’t that true?
A. Yes; there has got to be personal work. Sometimes I have preached and asked people to raise their hands. Not a soul. Then I have gone down into the audience and said to some man, “Don’t you want to become a Christian?” — and found a great many ready to be talked to. Sometimes a splendid work can be done among people who don’t like to express themselves before the whole audience. You can’t always tell. But there are times when you feel as if you were preaching against a brick wall. There doesn’t seem to be any power in your words. They come back in your face. The people are not in a condition to receive the Word.
Q. What would you do with persons who go into the inquiry room to work, and yet their record is not clean?
A. I wouldn’t have them there. Some of the inquirers would be likely to say, “Physician, heal thyself” — “Take the beam out of your own eye before you try to take out mine.” I haven’t a doubt in my mind, if we are to have earnest, faithful, honest dealing with souls, we must keep these men away from inquirers. I know it is a difficult thing to do, but I’ve done it many a time. If there is a man who isn’t right, just go to him and say that he must straighten out a few things in his life before you want him there. If he gets angry, that settles it — shows he is not right. But if it breaks him down, then it is different. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” The best friend will tell you your faults. If I haven’t got grace enough to be told my faults, the less I say about the Lord Jesus Christ the better. Christ was always telling His disciples their faults.
Q. How far would you carry your instruction from the Bible, aiming at conviction?
A. A man ought to be able to handle his Bible, and give as many passages as he thinks are needed.
Q. How are you going to know where to turn the scale?
A. If a man acknowledges himself lost, then I go on another line. But there must be a breaking first. We must give enough of the law to take away all self-righteousness. I pity the man who preaches only one side of the truth — always the Gospel and never the law.
Q. Is it right to tell an inquirer just to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, and leave out conviction?
A. I don’t tell a man to feel that he is a sinner before God. We don’t feel we are sinners really till afterward. The question is: “Do you believe you are lost — alienated from God — and that your only hope is in Another?”
Q. Is a man convicted of the sin of drunkenness, for example, by any other means than the Holy Ghost?
A. No. He may know he is a great sinner, but yet the Holy Ghost must give him a conviction of the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
Q. Is it possible for a man who has been convinced by the Holy Spirit to keep some sins?
A. If he doesn’t know they are sins, yes. But the next thing will be, the Holy Spirit will show him that they are sins. His conscience will become quickened, and he will get light. I did a great many things twenty years ago that I wouldn’t do now any more than I would stick my hand into the fire.
I got light. Most of my repentance came after I knew Christ. I never saw sin in its exceeding sinfulness till I knew Christ. The first thing the Spirit of God does is to let a man know that he is a sinner. If the Spirit has taken up His abode in his heart, he sees what an awful thing sin is — loathes it, hates it. Then he is ready to preach the Gospel of Christ who came to put away sin.
Q. What would you say is the greatest sin?
A. Unbelief. That is the mother of all sin. There wouldn’t be a drunkard, or a harlot, or a thief, or a murderer, if it wasn’t for unbelief. It brought forth all the misery in this world. Only the Holy Ghost can convince a man of that sin.

Chapter 2: The Northfield Summer Gatherings.

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 2

THE NORTHFIELD SUMMER GATHERINGS.

Summer Pursuits of a Busy Man — Mr. Moody at Home — Conferences of Christian Workers — Their Manifold Advantages — Outlines of Four Conventions — Bible Study, Consecration, and Anointing from on High.

MR.MOODY’ S conception of the meaning of the word “vacation” must be peculiar to himself. With most men the word signifies a period of absolute repose, or at least of separation from serious work. With him it rather implies a much coveted opportunity for the fulfillment of some of the schemes with which his fertile brain is always teeming. It was in his vacation intervals that the educational work, already vast, with which he is identified was projected and year by year pushed to its present proportions. Institutions in which nearly half a million of dollars have been invested, and which are, perhaps, only the earnest of what shall be, will perpetuate one phase of his influence, and remain as a monument to his memory, if the Lord tarry, during generations yet unborn. Had he accomplished nothing else, it would have seemed wonderful that so many buildings could have been reared and so many forces set in motion within seven short years. Yet all these weighty and multifarious occupations have been, so to speak, but the pastimes of the play hours of a giant. During nine months of the year Mr. Moody is engrossed in the arduous evangelistic labor which he still considers the principal mission of his life.

Recently his campaigns have been of such a nature as to require almost constant traveling, in addition to preaching and toiling for souls. In former years it was his custom to preach in some immense tabernacle in the heart of some great city. If he had cared for personal distinction, it would plainly have been good policy for him to have continued that practice. But with increasing experience he realized more and more the desirability of closer contact with the people than was possible in the mammoth conventicles that had resounded with his voice. Baltimore was the scene of a complete change of plan. The city was divided into districts. In each district the Gospel was preached for a stated period, a large force of trained workers was kept busy among the inquirers, and arrangements for “drawing the net” were much more efficient than under the old plan of assaulting a whole city at once. Upon leaving the district the local clergy were expected to follow up the work. In this manner district after district was dealt with till the whole community was thoroughly canvassed. The results of this altered method were so satisfactory that Mr. Moody has followed it ever since. During his last visit to London, instead of preaching as he had done before to 14,000 people in the Agricultural Hall and similar multitudes in other places, his system of action was to attack the city in detail by sections. Two portable iron tabernacles capable of holding just as many people as he thought he could most advantageously address, were moved from time to time along the line of a predetermined circuit. If the work was less conspicuous and less available as a sensational topic in the newspapers, it was probably much more fruitful in profound and eternal results. Since his second return to America, Mr. Moody has still further developed the same tendency; and during the season of 1884-85 and of 1885-86, he has bestowed his attention upon the smaller cities so numerous throughout the continent. His habit is to arrange a course of travel, consisting of a chain of cities across some important belt of territory, and remain about three days in each place. During those three days he will preach, perhaps, three sermons a day, in which he endeavors to concentrate what he has found by experience to have been the most effective arguments and appeals in his entire arsenal of weapons; and whatever time is not thus occupied is for the most part spent in inquiry work. Other evangelists precede and follow him, and in each place the ministers garner the harvest and utilize the spiritual awakening. Thus with Caesar-like rapidity of movement Mr. Moody has, within two years, been able to visit cities of from ten to one or two hundred thousand population in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Canada, the Northwestern States, the Western States, the Empire of Texas, the Gulf States of the South, the Southern Seaboard States, and in fact representative points in nearly the whole of the most densely peopled portions of North America.

In June he usually shies to his beloved Northfield, and upon his arrival instantly plunges into the business pertaining to the two schools. In addition to his concern for their material welfare he assumes the role of a theological professor. The students have the rare privilege of hearing him unfold his own methods of Bible teaching and the principles upon which he frames his discourses to the unconverted. It must surely be of inestimable benefit to them to hear his words of advice, encouragement, and stimulus, and to see such a living embodiment of robust faith, sanctified commonsense, and unquenchable zeal.

Whenever his presence in this country and other conditions render it possible, Mr. Moody is wont to summon to Northfield, some time in the month of August, a Convention of Christian Workers. Precisely what his object is in so doing has never been exhaustively explained, but it may be conjectured that among the excellent purposes sought to be effected are these: Mr. Moody himself can have very little opportunity to hear other men preach or deliver expository lectures. When he wishes to gain some knowledge of the treasures others have reached in exploring Bible truths, or of their style of expression and illustration, how is he to obtain it? He can examine books, but books rarely convey the freshest thoughts of their writers, nor can there be the same advantage in reading a disquisition as in conferring with its author. And the views of several persons on the same subject, if in books, cannot be compared without inconvenience. But let the best Bible scholars and evangelists in the land be assembled in conference for mutual profit. Let them bring their ripest and latest wisdom, and let them exchange whatever discoveries they have made or whatever ideas have been found of practical utility. Could there be any way in which Mr. Moody might acquire so much information, if that is among his wants? In the second place, to the many evangelists who are similarly engaged throughout the year, and to such pastors and Christian workers as may be able to attend, a like advantage must accrue. It is safe to say that many of these have learned more with respect to the capital and essential truths of Christianity within one month than they would be likely to learn in a whole year of unaided study. In the third place, many are enabled to become acquainted with the Northfield Seminary and the Mount Hermon School by personal observation who would otherwise only know of them through the medium of print. The buildings are comparatively empty during August, and may as well be turned into temporary hotels for the entertainment of a concourse of friends from abroad. Mr. Moody always impresses upon his visitors that the schools are theirs as much as his; and the fact that the Christian public at large is responsible for their sustenance is realized by several individuals whom the Lord has blessed with large wealth. In the fourth place, Mr. Moody is afforded an unequaled opportunity of indoctrinating other laborers in the Master’s vineyard with the ideas upon which he lays such emphasis, and to stir them up to more vigorous and sagacious effort. One of his favorite principles is, that it is far better to set others to work than to try to do all the work oneself. That is perhaps the most potent consideration behind his exertions in the educational field. And it can hardly be without a place among the considerations impelling him to call the series of summer conventions. Although he takes but little time himself in comparison with the time he allots to others, what he says when in some degree he does lessen his self-imposed restraint is of the highest value, not merely to the eclectic company present, but to the whole Christian world. He believes the ordinary church life of today must be revolutionized in several directions before it can be at all adequate to cope with the civilization of this swift-working age. Such changes as he considers most imperative he proposes and commends with all the momentum of deep conviction.

Church workers and evangelists gain from him numberless keenly practical suggestions with regard to the best method of conducting meetings and winning the unsaved. And in his discourses they discern elements of that original theological system which has contributed to place him among the most influential spiritual teachers in either hemisphere. Finally, no one feels more than does Mr. Moody the need of what he terms the endowment of power from on high, as an indispensable requisite to success in preaching the Word. Hence, much of the attention of the convocation is always turned to the nature and offices of the Holy Spirit, His relation to preaching as a vital factor in its influence, and the importance of seeking His aid in abundant measure. All are led to engage in prayer for a special anointing of power for service, and on many sacred occasions earnest pleading has been answered by most awful and blessed visitations of the Holy Ghost. No one who has passed through such an experience will ever forget it. To many that Massachusetts hill has become a very Mount of Transfiguration, and they have gone down into the world with faces glowing and with hearts burning in newborn devotion to their Savior King.

The first Convention was called in 1880. From beginning to end it was a period of heart-searching, of consecration, and of humble supplication for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The only large building then constructed was the one now known as East Hall, behind which a capacious tent was pitched. Under this canopy, from day to day, were held meetings of the most thrilling character. Confession of unworthy motives issued from men prominent in Christian work, mingled with strong crying and tears that they might be purged from every taint of evil and “filled with the Holy Ghost.” For ten days these exercises continued with increasing fervor.

When they culminated it seemed as if the windows of Heaven were opened, and to each waiting soul was granted even more of the Spirit than he felt able to bear. The results of this transcendent blessing were soon apparent when the delegates returned to their diverse spheres of labor.

In 1881 a Convention was called for the purpose of Bible study, and continued for thirty days. At the invitation of Mr. Moody the Rev. Dr.

Andrew A. Bonar, of Glasgow, Scotland, who had just served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, crossed the Atlantic to visit Northfield. The venerable chieftain was a picturesque figure at all the gatherings. His addresses were characterized by the accuracy of scholarship and precision of statement peculiar to the Scottish intellect, combined with a profound insight into the deeper meanings of the sacred text, and an indescribable sweetness and tenderness of manner which immediately endeared him to all with whom he came in contact, and won for him their unlimited deference and regard. He was accompanied by his daughter, whose musical talents were frequently called into exercise. Among the speakers, in addition to Mr. Moody and Dr.

Bonar, were the Rev. Dr. Pentecost, of Brooklyn; the Rev. Dr. Gordon, of Boston; Major Whittle; Mr. Geo. C. Needham; Mr. R. C. Morgan, of the London Christian; the Rev. Dr. Brookes, of St. Louis; the Rev. Dr.

Goodwin, of Chicago; the Rev. J. W. Erdman, and many others. The singing was conducted, and many special pieces sung, by Mr. Sankey, Mr. and Mrs. James MacGranahan, and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. C. Stebbins. The forenoon and evening meetings were held in East Hall. The afternoon meetings were held in the Congregational church of the village, necessitating a walk or drive of about a mile and return. Occasionally meetings were held in Bonar Glen. When time permitted, knots of people would stroll into secluded places and improvise meetings for the closer study of God’s Word. During the whole month the interest never flagged, but rather seemed to deepen. The range of study was extensive, closing with a season of personal consecration and waiting for the Spirit.

Owing to the absence of Mr. Moody in England no Conventions were called during the three summers following. But in 1885 a call was sent out for a Convention, to occupy ten days, in the early part of August. When the visitors arrived most of them were astonished to behold the changes that had been effected during their absence. Two new buildings — Marquand Hall and Stone Hall — had arisen as if by a touch of Aladdin’s lamp. New drives had been laid out, and the grounds artistically beautified.

The metamorphosis was at first bewildering. Marquand Hall became the principal hotel. The classrooms of Stone Hall afforded lodging for a number of men who took meals at the Marquand dining room. East Hall as a hotel had the advantage of being slightly retired. Accommodation was found for many guests in the homes of the villagers, though the pressure in that direction was not as great as on previous occasions when the Seminary was still in embryo. The general meetings, forenoon and afternoon, were held in the great auditorium of Stone Hall. Devotional meetings were held morning and evening in the chapels of the two dormitories. At some of these smaller meetings interesting addresses were made by missionaries or persons engaged in unusual work. A tent was pitched on the green near the road, in which additional meetings were convened when demand arose. One of the most striking incidents of the Convention was an address by Mr. J. E. K. Studd, of the class of 1883, Cambridge University, England, and distinguished in athletic circles as having been captain of the University Cricket Eleven. Mr. Studd gave an account of the visit of Mr. Moody to Cambridge, and the wonderful religious movement in the English and Scotch universities. He narrated the circumstances leading to the departure of a band of Cambridge’s best men for China, headed by Mr. Stanley Smith and his own brother, Mr. C. T.

Studd. His rehearsal of their apostolic tours in Great Britain of their voyage to the East, marked by numerous conversions on shipboard, and of the marvelous blessing attending their first exertions in China, was received with exclamations of amazement and delight. An honored guest of Mr.

Moody was the late John B. Gough, who spoke at a special evening meeting in Stone Hall, few supposing that he was so soon to be caught up from earth. At the same meeting a vigorous address was made by Mr.

William Noble, whose work has led to the erection of Hoxton Hall, in London, England. Among the lecturers on Bible topics were the Rev. Dr.

Gordon, of Boston; the Rev. Dr. Pierson, of Philadelphia; the Rev. Dr.

Pentecost, of Brooklyn; Dr. L. W. Munhall, of Indianapolis; Mr. Geo. C.

Needham; the Rev. W. W. Clark, of Staten Island; and several others. The singing was conducted by Mr. Sankey, Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Towner, and Mr. and Mrs. James MacGranahan. The themes of discussion were all practical, and such as held direct relation to aggressive evangelical work.

The last day was devoted to the contemplation and invocation of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Gordon spoke in the forenoon, and in the afternoon Mr.

Moody gave an address which must have been superhuman, whether in wisdom or power. Prayer followed for a special blessing upon each one present. Many a withered rod was thereafter made mighty in the hand of Jehovah; many a vessel was refilled from the ever-flowing fountain.

In 1886 another Convention was held, continuing for ten days, from the 4th to the 15th of August. On this occasion the central figure among the visitors was the Rev. Marcus Rainsford, incumbent of Belgrave Chapel, in London, England. Two sons of his have attained distinction in the Episcopal Church. One of them — the Rev. William S. Rainsford — is the successor of the elder Dr. Tyng, as rector of St. George’s Church, New York. Mr. Rainsford, who came from London especially to attend this Convention, is portly and dignified in appearance, with a bright, genial face, and ruddy color. He is of Irish birth, and his earlier ministry was in the Emerald Isle, as chaplain to the Earl of Roden. Consequently, there is a quaint flavor in the literary form of his addresses, which at times he does not hesitate to irradiate with Hibernian humor. His later life has been spent among families of rank, which renders it all the more noteworthy that his discourses are so uncompromising in declaring “the whole counsel of God” without regard to the feelings or preferences of his hearers. He is singularly gifted in Bible exposition, especially in bringing out the full meaning of episodes in the earthly life of our Savior, and in elucidating the mysterious doctrines of the Christian revelation. Mr. Moody presided at all the meetings, and at the close of some of his suggestive addresses suffered himself to be made the target of countless questions from all parts of the house. Among the other speakers were the Rev. Dr. Pierson, of Philadelphia; Major Whittle; the Rev. Dr. Gordon, of Boston; the Rev. Dr.

West, of St. Paul; the Rev. A. F. Schauffler, of New York; the Rev. J. W.

Erdman; Mr. Geo. C. Needham; the Rev. H. M. Parsons, of Toronto, and Mr. Wm. E. Blackstone, of Chicago. On the last day several addresses were made upon the work of the Holy Spirit, Mr. Moody supplementing what had been said with observations of his own as they occurred to him.

Prayer, silent and vocal, ascended that every disciple present might receive the Divine unction and be clothed anew with power for service as never before. The air trembled, as it were, with the unmistakable brooding of the gracious Spirit, and it was in a subdued and hallowed mood that the company dispersed. Those who remained till the farewell meeting in the evening were doubly blessed.

The attendance at these various Conventions has reached from 300 to 500, if those only are included who travel from a distance. The people of the village and vicinity enlarge the throng, which at times must rise in number to 1,500. Mr. Moody never announces his program more than one day in advance. Cut-and-dried programs he eschews as an obstacle to the free course of the Spirit, and depends almost momentarily upon guidance from above. One result of this habit is that attention must be constantly on the alert. He insists on hearty singing and plenty of it. Mr. Towner has brought a male choir consisting of Mount Hermon youths to a high point of proficiency, and Mr. Moody regards their performances with almost childish delight. When they finish one piece he will say, “Now, while you are on your feet, sing something else” — usually indicating the selection.

Mr. Sankey, Mr. MacGranahan, and Mr. Towner are ever composing new melodies, and they are greatly aided in determining the value of these by observing the degree of readiness with which the people assembled are able to join in singing the choruses. Mr. Moody sees that an abundant supply of vehicles is in readiness during the intervals between the meetings, whose owners are willing, at a moderate charge, to enable visitors to enjoy the exhaustless beauty of the surrounding country. In his own conveyance he carries as many as practicable of his personal friends, new and old, and points out to them the limits and adjuncts of the Seminary property. He is particularly pleased when the pleasure seekers in their afternoon drives turn in the direction of the school for young men, four miles away, over the river. He is wont to say, “Your education isn’t completed till you have seen Mount Hermon.” Now that the Seminary for young ladies is so well established, he feels that it demands less of his care than formerly; and if there is one thing upon earth upon which his heart is set inordinately, it is the prosperity of the newly founded “school of the prophets.”

So far as can now be known, similar Conventions will be held in succeeding years. Mr. Moody desires to encourage the attendance of ministers of the Gospel engaged in regular pastoral work, and to this end he purposes diminishing to the utmost the cost of their entertainment. At the last Convention a number of college students who had attended the Summer School at Mount Hermon, and greatly desired to attend the August assembly also, solved for themselves the problem of cheap living.

The frame buildings on the hillside, intended for dormitories, were appropriated to their use. By clubbing together in a somewhat primitive fashion, they contrived to live at an expense per head of only thirty cents a day, and “live well.” In some such manner as this it is hoped that a great number of ministers throughout the country, who would otherwise be debarred from so doing, will be enabled to visit Northfield, and have part in the seasons of refreshing on that mount of privilege.

The ultimate influence of the Conventions already held cannot be comprehended, much less computed, by finite minds. Included among their attendants have been missionaries from every clime under the sun, students in preparation for antipodean fields, evangelists of Pauline activity, clergymen in charge of great citadels or forlorn outposts in the name of the coming King, editors of metropolitan newspapers in America and beyond sea, city missionaries, superintendents and teachers in Sunday schools, church officials, consecrated business men, and followers of Christ of every description and degree. If each of these received a new impetus and a breath of heavenly inspiration, and then in turn set other souls in harmonious motion, what mathematician can estimate the myriad consequences?

Chapter 1: Northfield and its Schools.

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series The Home Work of D. L. Moody

Chapter 1

NORTHFIELD AND ITS SCHOOLS.

A Charming Village — The Old Moody Homestead — Mr. Moody’s Residence — Origin of His Educational Work — Its Magical Development — Description of the Two Institutions — Faith Realized in Brick and Stone — Practical Courses of Study — Hives of Cheerful Industry — Special Preparation for Christian Service.

JOHN WESLEY used to say, “The world is my parish.” If there is any man at the present day who is entitled to utter the same words in their most literal sense, that man is Dwight L. Moody. When, in 1872, Mr. Moody, accompanied by Mr. Sankey, crossed the Atlantic to begin that wonderful campaign in Great Britain and Ireland which was to render their names famous throughout the civilized globe and mark an epoch in modern evangelism, it was probably with the expectation that they would return to Chicago and resume their customary work. But the moment they reached America it became evident that henceforth they could have no abiding city on earth, and that the life before them must be the itinerant activity of evangelists at large. In these circumstances it was natural that Mr. Moody’s thoughts should turn to the place of his birth and the home of his youth. Somewhere he must retire now and again for a brief respite from his all but incessant labors. Somewhere he must provide a shelter for his family, and fulfill as best he could the duties of a husband and father.

And it is a coincidence which has been deemed remarkable by not a few, that if he had searched the whole Continent for a locality perfectly adapted to these purposes and to the many others which have since arisen, he could not possibly have found a place combining so many advantages as the spot which it pleased God should afford his first environment.

Northfield is a typical New England village at the point of junction of three States — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. A glance at the map will show that at this point the Connecticut River bisects a portion of Massachusetts and separates Vermont from New Hampshire.

Along the east bank of the river and south of the State line, lies the ancient settlement of Northfield, bordering the stream for more than a mile and half hid among giant elms. The region has been under cultivation not far from two hundred years. The first settlers were harassed by hostile Indians. The trail of the savages ran along the river, and for a long period the pioneer farmers dwelt among the mountains, where the oldest houses are still to be found. Increasing tranquillity led to the formation of the present village. In Jonathan Edwards’ account of the great revival centering at Northampton in 1733, Northfield is included among the places affected.

Like most New England hamlets, it reached the limit of its growth about fifty years ago, and since then there has been little change. Meanwhile, the trees which line the long, wide avenue in double rows on each side have attained a towering height and prodigious girth, and in the most ardent summer days they cast over the grassy meads an ample shade. The quaint white houses stand some distance from the road and from each other, and the spacious grounds around them are in many cases neatly mown and adorned with beds of flowers. Crossing the avenue are several country roads, pursuing any of which, a few minutes’ walk will lead the city-stained stranger into leafy nooks and fairy dells as sequestered and primeval as his heart can desire.

The old homestead which was Mr. Moody’s birthplace is still occupied by his mother. The house fronts a country road which, branching from the main street, winds in an easterly direction up the hillside toward a mountainous district. It is a plain old farmhouse, looking out upon orchards and meadows, and containing in its door-yard a fine tree under which Mr. Moody is said to have thought out some of his most useful sermons. Mrs. Betsy Moody is now (1886) in her eighty-second year, yet her activity, mental and physical, is hardly abated. She does most of her own housework, and could not be persuaded to relinquish her daily tasks. “If I gave up work,” she says, “I might as well lie down and die.” It is evident that from her much of the untiring energy of the evangelist is derived, though she told the writer once in conversation that while her husband lived he was just as hard a worker as she was. She is a great reader, and by means of several newspapers regularly taken, is at all times thoroughly informed upon the events of the day. She is now a devout member of the Congregational Church, having with the whole family abandoned the Unitarian for the Orthodox faith. Proud as she must be of her honored son, that son is if possible even more proud of his venerated mother. At the celebration of her eightieth birthday, loving friends arranged conspicuously the motto: “Her children arise up and call her blessed.”

When Mr. Moody decided to establish his household in Northfield, he purchased, for about $3,000, a plain but roomy frame house, with grounds, at the north end of the town, near his mother’s house. The building fronts upon the main road, and is rather too near it for comfort or privacy. Mr. Moody bought it only because it was available at the time, and says that if he were to build to suit himself he would rather be situated on the hill some distance from the dust and publicity of the roadway. To the structure as he found it, he has made additions from time to time as they were required. His study is on the first floor near the entrance. A glance at his library confirms the impression that he is a man of one book.

The only books of value to him are the Bible and whatever publications will help him to understand it better. A fine clock shown to visitors was sent to him by a lady in England who was relieved and encouraged on the question of Christian continuance by the illustration of the pendulum.

Everything about the house is characterized by simplicity and regard for the conditions of effective work.

In the heart of the town stands the commodious residence of Dr.

Pentecost, of Brooklyn, while still farther south can be found the modest white cottage which Mr. Sankey has recently purchased for the purposes of a summer home.

No sooner was Mr. Moody fairly domiciled in Northfield than he observed the absence of adequate educational facilities for the neighborhood. Having always lamented the deficiencies of his own early education, he was unable to see the young people of the village and vicinity growing up under similar disadvantages without considering whether it would not be within his power to improve their opportunities.

There were many farmers’ daughters who were qualified by intelligence and earnest industry to fill positions of the highest usefulness if their talents were properly developed, but who had no prospect whatever of securing a suitable education. Their fathers, eking a scanty living from the rocky and reluctant soil, could not send them to any of the excellent institutions already established for the higher education of young women, because the expense, moderate indeed to persons in easy circumstances, was entirely beyond their reach. Touched to the heart by an acquaintance with these facts, and well aware of the demand for trained Christian women as city missionaries, and as foreign missionaries, Mr. Moody began to devise liberal things. At the outset, however, he never dreamed of the dimensions to which the work he was thus led to initiate was destined to attain. In the middle of the town stands an old frame hotel, which is now used partly as a tenement house. Thought Mr. Moody to himself: “If I could only buy that building and turn it into a school, that is just about what I should like.” Nothing larger than that had yet entered his mind. But the old hotel was not for sale, and he was obliged to turn his attention elsewhere.

NORTHFIELD SEMINARY FOR YOUNG LADIES.

Like Topsy in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” it would be difficult to say exactly when and where the Northfield Seminary was born. It just grew. When the idea began to take form in Mr. Moody’s mind, he constructed a small addition to his own house, with rooms for eight girls; and when twenty girls had been admitted into these cramped quarters, with others besieging the house for accommodation, he built a small brick dormitory and classroom on the other side of the street. This too soon became overcrowded; and it was evident that what had been done was but an index to what ought to be done. While Mr. Moody was feeling his way toward “room and verge enough,” it was so ordered in the good providence of God that a large hillside farm adjoining his own and his mother’s holdings to the north could be purchased for a reasonable amount. The land was bought, and plans were outlined looking to the erection of a building of considerable size. About that time Mr. Moody was joined by a most sympathetic and efficient coadjutor. This was Mr. H. N. F. Marshall, a retired Boston merchant, who, having been led to consecrate himself and all his property to the work of the Lord, and feeling a strong personal attachment toward the evangelist, to whom he was a spiritual debtor, found that no occupation could be more congenial than to assist the educational schemes of his friend. For this purpose he took up his residence in Northfield; and having had large experience in supervising the construction of buildings, and managing property, he soon found himself in his element.

In 1879 the handsome brick building, now known as East Hall, was erected. Its situation is more commanding than that of any of the subsequent structures. From the eminence on which it stands the view to the west and north is superb. The foreground is the eastern slope of the Connecticut valley. The river itself gleams at intervals throughout many miles of its winding course. The western slope of the valley, partly wooded, rises gently, and culminates in a range of verdure-crowned hills.

In the direction of Vermont the range of vision is almost unlimited. The color of the landscape changes gradually from bright green to pale and still paler blue, till at last the actual horizon becomes indistinguishable as mountain peaks melt into hazy sky. East Hall cost about $30,000, and was designed as a dormitory. It is capable of accommodating sixty students. The smaller brick building near Mr. Moody’s house was for some time used in connection with it as a recitation hall. A large dwelling house on the roadside farther north, was remodeled and turned into an additional dormitory, and named Bonar Hall, after the Rev. Dr. Bonar, of Glasgow. Its capacity was about forty students. This building was destroyed by fire in March, 1886. In 1881 Mr. Moody was overwhelmed with applications for admission to the Seminary, and at the same time realized the economic advantage of conducting its operations upon a larger scale. The expense to the institution for each student was then about $160 a year, while he estimated that with another large dormitory, the cost could be considerably reduced. The charge for board and tuition has always been $100, the balance being made up by benevolent contributions.

Merely mentioning the project to a few friends, he went to England, and was absent, except at vacation intervals, for about three years. In the interim the residuary legatees of the Marquand estate, doubtless chiefly through the instrumentality of Mr. D. W. McWilliams, of Brooklyn, one of their number, undertook the erection of the much needed dormitory. In 1884 the building was completed, at a cost of about $60,000. Its site is to the northwest of East Hall, somewhat nearer the road. In appearance it is handsome and substantial. The material is dark-red brick, with granite trimmings. The style is a modification of the Queen Anne, with the close cut eaves, low ceilings, and small paned windows of that order, combined with many modern features. The building is used entirely as a dormitory, and is capable of accommodating eighty students, with office, drawing room, dining hall, etc. About midway between Marquand Hall and East Hall stands a handsome building of Northfield granite, called Recitation Hall, or more popularly, on account of its gray material, Stone Hall. It was completed in 1885, and is intended to serve as the recitation hall of the Seminary. The cost of this building, like the recitation hall at Mount Hermon, was borne by the hymn book fund. Mr. Moody says, when pointing to either structure, “Mr. Sankey sang that building up.” Stone Hall is very massive looking, and somewhat after the Egyptian order. The first story is divided into classrooms. In designing the second story the original plan was to use it for recitation rooms; but Mr. Moody concluded that he must have some place for congregational purposes, and accordingly this floor was rendered capable of a double service. On ordinary occasions it is divided into three apartments: a chapel in the middle, and two recitation halls, one at each end. On special occasions the whole can be thrown into one great auditorium. When so arranged the hall will accommodate a larger gathering than any church in the village, and during the summer conventions its capacity has often been taxed to the extremity.

Within the building are chemical, physical, and botanical laboratories. A problem which until recently remained unsolved was to find suitable accommodations for the Seminary library, which consists at present of about 4,000 volumes. The only place available for the purpose seemed to be some part of Stone Hall, and yet in that building all the space was likely soon to be required for classrooms. A liberal friend of the work, however, Mr. James Talcott, of New York, has cut the Gordian knot by offering to erect a Library building at a cost of about $20,000. A like amount has been subscribed by Mr. D. M. Weston, of Boston, for an additional dormitory building.

All the buildings are admirably suited to their various purposes. Outside or inside they look bright, cheerful, and attractive. The interior finish is in light colored hardwood throughout. The furniture is substantial and comfortable. Improvements have from time to time been made upon the grounds, until now they present almost the aspect of a park. Winding macadamized drives connect the buildings with the main thoroughfare. To the north is a romantic ravine, called Bonar Glen. The Seminary grounds include over two hundred and fifty acres, and afford conditions for every form of outdoor recreation. A pretty lake has recently been added to the property. It is two and three-quarters acres in extent, and has been dammed and otherwise improved at an expense of about $4,000. The entire cost was borne by Mr. John Wanamaker, of Philadelphia, through whose generosity the young ladies may enjoy excellent boating in summer and skating in winter. Along a roadside in the rear of the Seminary stand two frame houses, which are to be fitted up as dormitories, in the endeavor to accommodate a few among the many importunate applicants for admission who have hitherto been turned away for lack of room.

In admitting students, great care is exercised to ensure that the advantages of the institution shall be granted only to the most worthy. The process of exclusion is rigid, and results in the “survival of the fittest.” Applicants must be fifteen years of age, and in good health. They must pass satisfactory examinations in arithmetic, English grammar, and geography. “It is desired that only those shall apply who have a thirst for knowledge and such an aim as will lead them to improve every opportunity, and enter heartily into the spirit of the institution.” All the household work is performed by the students. There are two courses of instruction, the one Latin and the other English, each covering three years. In both, English composition is a leading feature. Greek, French, and German are elective studies. In mathematics, algebra and geometry are required, and trigonometry is elective. Other branches are mental and moral philosophy, history, natural sciences, music, and the fine arts. The study of the Bible is continued throughout the course, since it is believed that a knowledge thereof should underlie and overlie all education. Much time is spent on the life of Christ. “It is desired to surround the students with such religious and social influences as are fitted, with the blessing of God, to bring them to the responsibilities of life in a spirit of earnest consecration to the Master.” As a rule, the students seem happy, healthy, and busy. To illustrate the tone of their daily life, the following pledge-card may be reproduced, which is to be found tacked inside the doors of most of the rooms in the dormitories:

GOD HELPING ME, I, a disciple of Jesus Christ, agree: 1. “To Judge Not.” 2. To try to bring at least one soul to Christ each year. 3. To observe regular seasons for secret prayer, asking to be made more Christlike, and praying especially that some unconverted personal friend may be saved. And that in my work for the welfare of others I may depend upon the Holy Spirit to make me successful. 4. To engage in no amusement where the Savior could not be my companion. 5. To stand up for Jesus always and everywhere. 6. To do in a kindly spirit all in my power to help others to keep this pledge. Signed, _________________ The motto of the institution is this Bible text ( Isaiah 27:3): “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it, night and day.”

At present there are two hundred and seventeen students in attendance.

They come from all parts of the Continent, and indeed from Europe.

Several years ago a band of Indian maidens were brought from Indian Territory. They were apt learners, and are now toiling as missionaries and teachers among their people. Of the many graduates, some are engaged in city mission work and several are in foreign fields. The principal is Miss Evelyn S. Hall, a graduate of Wellesley, who is assisted by twelve lady teachers and four matrons. Mr. D. M. Weston is President; Colonel Estey, of organ fame, is Vice-President; Mr. H. N. F. Marshall is Treasurer; and the Board of Trustees embraces several of the best known names in this country.

At the Convention of 1886 a Ladies’ Aid Society was suggested by one of the visitors, and immediately formed. Any lady or gentleman may become a member on payment, annually, of $2.00, or a life member on payment of $30.00. Mrs. Moody is treasurer. The purpose is to lend money to needy and deserving students, to enable them to meet the expenses of the course without impairing their independence. It was reported that wherever the experiment has been tried elsewhere the students gladly meet the debt at the first opportunity, in order that others in the condition from which they have emerged may likewise be helped. Thus $300, the expense of a three years’ course, may be kept constantly in circulation, and become the perpetual support of one student.

MOUNT HERMON SCHOOL FOR YOUNG MEN.

While the Northfield Seminary was still in its infancy, Mr. Moody decided to commence also a school for boys. With characteristic promptitude and large faith he hesitated not to assume the double burden.

No land suitable for the purpose could be had in the immediate vicinity of Northfield; and it was desirable that the school should be located at some distance from any town to secure the greatest possible immunity from evil influences. What was wanted, therefore, was a tract of land not many miles away, within easy distance of some railroad station, and yet in a measure isolated. “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” Through a train of circumstances which it is needless here to recount, but in which the hand of Providence was most clearly apparent, at this juncture of affairs a certain parcel of property which exactly met the requirements of the proposed establishment came into the market. It was a splendid farm of four hundred acres, in the town of Gill, about four miles from Northfield, in a southwesterly direction, across the Connecticut. This land had been held by one family for several generations, and was supposed to be unpurchasable at any terms. In the whole region no domain could have been found more eminently desirable for the purposes in view, and it was a coincidence little less than miraculous that just when Mr. Moody was in search of a site for his intended boys’ school, this fine place was on the point of falling under the hammer. At first two hundred acres were sold. These he bought for $7,000. The timber standing thereon was alone worth that amount. A little later he bought the other two hundred acres for $5,500. Thus the whole tract cost him $12,500 — a mere fraction of its estimated value — while at no time within the preceding fifty years could it have been bought for love or money. The soil had been under systematic tillage by intelligent farmers, and was thus in excellent condition for the industrial department which was to form so prominent a feature of the projected institution. The situation of the place was such that the boys could be effectually secluded from the contaminating influences of towns, and guarded from injurious companionships. At the same time railway communication was within easy reach. The Connecticut River Railroad traverses the neighborhood, and a station, chiefly for the accommodation of the school, has been provided. The elevated and undulating plateau affords numerous admirable building sites.

The height upon which this property is situated is now called Mount Hermon. From it the view is far reaching and variegated. If compared with the view from the Seminary buildings it might be said that while that is peaceful and beautiful, this is wild and sublime. Nature is gentle or rugged, placid or energetic, as befits the sex at either place. The drive from Northfield to Mount Hermon is picturesque at every turn. The river is crossed by a wire-rope ferry. Communication between the several buildings of both institutions is maintained by telephone.

The money with which the farm was purchased and the school commenced, was the gift of Mr. Hiram Camp, President of the New Haven Clock Company. He wrote a check for $25,000 and has since declared that no act of his long life has yielded him greater happiness. Said he recently: “If I could have that money back again, and see the school reduced to nothing, would I take it? A thousand times no! There’s no joy like the joy of giving.” He has since contributed liberally toward the development of the school, and from year to year he watches its progress with ever increasing delight.

At first the old farmhouses which were found upon the place were used as dormitories. In connection with them a small wooden building was put up to serve as a recitation hall. When it became necessary to enlarge the dormitory accommodations, it was deemed best to preserve the family system. Instead of congregating a large number of boys in one large building, the plan was preferred of dividing them into groups of not more than twenty, and housing them in small cottages, each under the charge of two matrons. In 1885 four brick cottages had been erected, with a dining hall of suitable proportions. In that year, also, the fine, large building called Recitation Hall was dedicated. This structure is built of brick and granite.

In the basement are three classrooms. The office of the superintendent, and eight recitation rooms, occupy the first floor. The principal feature of the second floor is the library, containing 1,400 volumes. Additions to the collection of books, of suitable character, are greatly desired. Space is here found, also, for four recitation rooms. On the third floor is a handsome chapel, capable of seating 400 persons; and a museum department, devoted partly to musical instruction. A magnificent view is obtained from the cupola.

In course of time Mr. Moody found reason to change in some degree the plan of the school. The boys he had taken were many of them too young to have formed any definite purpose in life, or to entertain while studying anything but the vaguest notion of their future. Experience proved that the results would be much more satisfactory if the age of admission were raised to sixteen, and the course of study adapted to youths who are almost young men. This, of course, lessened the force of the considerations favorable to the family system of housing; and when the number of students grew so rapidly that accommodations upon an extensive scale must needs be contemplated, plans were prepared for the erection of a large dormitory and a dining hall. In the summer of ground was broken for the new buildings, and they were dedicated in June, 1886. The dormitory, called Crossley Hall, is of brick and Northfield granite. It is 167 feet long, 50 feet wide in the middle, and 40 feet wide in the wings; and the flag staff on the main roof is 105 feet high. The style of architecture is modern and strikingly handsome. All the interior is finished in ash, with furniture to match. The first floor is marble-tiled. Glancing at the building from the outside it is observed that the middle portion rises four stories, with granite-capped gables, and the wings to three stories, with brick dormers. The central feature of the front facade is an imposing cut granite arch, fronting the vestibule. A broad hall leads across the building, and this is crossed by a corridor which runs to the ends and connects with twenty-five sleeping rooms. To the right of the entrance is a comfortable office, rendered cheerful by an open fireplace. The second floor contains a large parlor and twenty-five sleeping rooms. The third and fourth floors have twenty-seven sleeping rooms each. As there are two beds in each room, the entire dormitory will accommodate 208 persons.

Two windmills pump spring water into a large tank in the attic.

The Dining Hall is a solid brick structure 100 by 40 feet, with a wing by 30 feet extending back for the culinary department. From the north front corner there rises to the height of 64 feet a massive tower, under which is the entrance. This tower is to be utilized for a bell and clock, and will also afford means of ventilation. The main hall is 80 by 40 feet in size, lighted by thirteen double-arched windows, and the ceiling, 17 feet high, is enriched by deep paneled wooden beams. The arrangements for the comfort of the students are in every respect complete.

Mr. Moody’s own definition of the object of the Mount Hermon School has been thus given: “Mount Hermon is a school for young men of sound bodies, good minds, and high aims — not for the physically or morally weak. It undertakes to furnish for earnest Christian young men, who desire to serve the Master, opportunities to secure a better preparation than otherwise would be within their reach. It also provides a place where young men whose early education has been neglected can be instructed according to their individual needs. In the admission of candidates reference is had to character and ability, rather than to scholarship. Then, it aims to care for the physical welfare of its pupils, to train them to industrious habits, and to give them some practical knowledge of work, by requiring of each one a certain amount of manual labor daily. It costs $100 per year for board and tuition.”

If the ideas of its founder as they have at various times been expressed were to be further summarized, they might take this shape: There is a distinct need for a class of Christian workers so trained as to be adapted for labor among the masses in the destitute parts of great cities, and in other fields not reached by the ordinary means of grace. At the same time there is a large class of young men, earnest and consecrated, who would be glad to enter upon such work if they could do so after a short and special course of study. While the full course of the regular colleges and theological seminaries may be requisite for those entering the regular ministry, a simpler and briefer course is quite sufficient for the purposes of an humble class of toilers. In fact if a young man does not readily receive a high polish, and is likely in his sphere of endeavor to have mostly to do with the illiterate, or the “common people,” it is not desirable to educate him away from their mental level. If he talks to them in the language of college bred men, he is as one dropped out of another planet.

The more familiar he is with their habits of thought, the greater will be his success among them. Seeing, then, that young men whose only ambition is to toil among the lowly poor are as well, if not better, without a seven years’ course, and at all events would consider it out of the question, is it not wise to provide a school suited to their peculiar wants? And if any of the students feel drawn toward the regular ministry, will they not be better prepared to profit by the regular college course after a period of severely practical training?

The standard of admission is such that the attendants are a body of picked young men. Careful scrutiny is made of the antecedents and disposition of each applicant. “Lazy, ignorant, or vicious boys will not be received knowingly, or long retained if received ignorantly.” Pupils are taken only on probation. Such questions as these are asked: “Has the candidate shown an ambition to excel in anything?” “Has he formed any purpose in life?” “What are his prominent traits of character?” “Has he had any bad companionships?” “Why do you wish to send him to this school?” It may easily be imagined that after running the gauntlet of a series of inquiries of this searching description, the general morale of the students must be high.

There is one thing which this institution specifically is not — it is not a reform school. Schools designed for the wayward or vicious certainly have a place in our present civilization; but the Mount Hermon School is meant, first and last, to furnish the Christian education craved by multitudes of Christian young men. The students are required to engage in some form of useful labor two or three hours a day. Some are employed on the farm, some in the laundry, and some in attending to the numberless chores around the buildings. All the housework is performed by them. Those occupied upon the farm become proficient in sowing, reaping, and harvesting, as well as in the care of cattle and sheep. If there is nothing else to be done, one resource always remains — the time-honored New England amusement of clearing some field of its superfluous stones. The allotted tasks are performed with conscientious and cheerful fidelity. Each student realizes that whenever he is unwilling to contribute toward the cost of his education by partially “working his passage,” there are numerous less fortunate youths waiting to take his place. Besides the economy effected, the manual labor accomplished by the young men greatly aids in preserving the healthful condition of mind and body without which their studies would be of dubious benefit. The students illustrate the harmony and beauty of true Christian living, and seem “diligent in business, fervent in prayer, serving the Lord.”

There will now be room for 300 young men, while heretofore the limit of accommodation has been but slightly over 100. The students come from all quarters of the earth, and have represented several races. While most of them are Americans, not a few have been sent hither from England, and among the number there might, at different times, have been seen Germans, Scandinavians, Turks, American Indians, and Japanese. The latter, when they graduate, return to their native lands as missionaries.

The course of instruction is substantially a thorough grounding in English.

The usual studies of a high school or academy are pursued so far as is considered judicious. Above all textbooks is placed the Book of books.

Mr. Moody, when at home, lectures upon Bible topics five times a week.

Clergymen distinguished for their mastery of the practical use of the Bible — such as Dr. Gordon, of Boston; Dr. Pierson and Dr. Wayland, of Philadelphia; Dr. Pentecost, of Brooklyn; and Dr. Brookes, of St. Louis — visit the school in rotation, and deliver courses of lectures. They compose what has been humorously termed “the faculty.” Prof. Henry E. Sawyer, formerly associate principal of the Connecticut Normal School, is principal. He is assisted by an able corps of instructors and officials. The Board of Trustees is headed by Mr. Hiram Camp, and its treasurer is Mr.

Wm. F. Lee, of 679 Madison Avenue, New York. About $10,000 remains to be subscribed to complete the furnishing of the new buildings. The cost of furnishing one bedroom is $50.

In July, 1886 at the suggestion of Mr. L. D. Wishard, College Secretary Y.M.C.A., Mr. Moody invited all the colleges of this country and Canada to send delegates to a “Summer School of College Students,” at Mount Hermon. It was presumed that many Christian young men attending college would be willing to spend a part of their vacation in “searching the Scriptures.” The response was most gratifying; 250 students, representing eighty colleges, came together from all sections of the continent. The school continued for nearly a month, with constantly heightening interest.

Lectures were delivered by Mr. Moody, Major Whittle, Dr. Pierson, Dr.

Gordon, Dr. Brookes, Dr. Morehead, and Dr. Clark. Prof. Towner conducted the singing. Toward the end a missionary spirit developed, which grew in intensity from day to day. Missionaries and sons of missionaries spoke with glowing countenances of the rewards of faithful obedience to the injunction of Christ bidding us proclaim the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. Meetings were held for special consecration, at which in a wondrous manner prayer was answered for a special descent of the Holy Spirit and endowment of power for service. Before the school was disbanded fully ninety-five, and perhaps one hundred young men yielded themselves to the life of missionaries of the cross in foreign lands.

Never in the religious history of America was there a parallel to this Pentecostal spectacle.