How Moody was Encouraged.
I remember a few years ago I got discouraged, and could not see much fruit of my work; and one morning, as I was in my study, cast down, one of my Sabbath-school teachers came in and wanted to know what I was discouraged about, and I told him because I could see no result from my work; and speaking about Noah, he said: "By the way, did you ever study up the character of Noah?" I felt that I knew all about that, and told him that I was familiar with it, and he said, "Now, if you never studied that carefully, you ought to do it, for I cannot tell you what a blessing it has been to me." When he went out I took down my Bible and commenced to read about Noah, and the thought came stealing over me, "Here is a man that toiled and worked a hundred years and didn't get discouraged; if he did, the Holy Ghost didn't put it on record," and the clouds lifted, and I got up and said, if the Lord wants me to work without any fruit I will work on. I went down to the noon prayer-meeting, and when I saw the people coming to pray I said to myself, "Noah worked a hundred years and he never saw a prayer-meeting outside of his own family." Pretty soon a man got up right across the aisle where I was sitting, and said he had come from a little town where there had been a hundred uniting with the Church of God the year before. And I thought to myself, "What if Noah had heard that! He preached so many, many years, and didn't get a convert, yet he was not discouraged." Then a man got up right behind me, and he trembled as he said, "I am lost. I want you to pray for my soul." And I said, "What if Noah had heard that! He worked a hundred and twenty years, and never had a man come to him and say that; and yet he didn't get discouraged." And I made up my mind then, that, God helping me, I would never get discouraged. I would do the best I could, and leave the result with God, and it has been a wonderful help to me.
"We Will Never Surrender."
There's a story told in history in the ninth century, I believe, of a young man that came up with a little handful of men to attack a king who had a great army of three thousand men. The young man had only five hundred, and the king sent a messenger to the young man, saying that he need not fear to surrender, for he would treat him mercifully. The young man called up one of his soldiers and said: "Take this dagger and drive it to your heart;" and the soldier took the dagger and drove it to his heart. And calling up another, he said to him, "Leap into yonder chasm," and the man leaped into the chasm. The young man then said to the messenger, "Go back and tell your King I have got five hundred men like these. We will die, but we will never surrender. And tell your King another thing; that I will have him chained with my dog inside of half an hour." And when the King heard that he did not dare to meet them, and his army fled before them like chaff before the wind, and within twenty-four hours he had that King chained with his dog. That is the kind of zeal we want. "We will die, but we will never surrender." We will work until Jesus comes, and then we will rise with Him.
The Faithful Aged Woman.
An old woman who was seventy-five years old had a Sabbath-school two miles away among the mountains. One Sunday there came a terrible storm of rain, and she thought at first she would not go that day, but then she thought, "What if some one should go and not find me there?" Then she put on her waterproof, and took her umbrella and overshoes, and away she went through the storm, two miles away, to the Sabbath-school in the mountains. When she got there she found one solitary young man, and taught him the best she knew how all the afternoon. She never saw him again, and I don't know but the old woman thought her Sabbath-school had been a failure. That week the young man enlisted in the army, and in a year or two after the old woman got a letter from the soldier thanking her for going through the storm that Sunday. This young man thought that stormy day he would just go and see if the old woman was in earnest, and if she cared enough about souls to go through the rain. He found she came and taught him as carefully as if she was teaching the whole school, and God made that the occasion of winning the young man to Christ. When he lay dying in a -hospital he sent the message to the old woman that he would meet her in heaven. Was it not a glorious thing that she did not get discouragedbecause she had but one Sunday-school scholar? Be willing to work with one.
I heard of a Christian who did not succeed in his work so well as he used to, and he got homesick and wished himself dead. One night he dreamed that he had died, and was carried by the angels to the Eternal City. As he went along the crystal pavement of heaven, he met a man he used to know, and they went walking down the golden streets together. All at once he noticed every one looking in the same direction, and saw One coming up who was fairer than the sons of men. It was his blessed Redeemer. As the chariot came opposite, He came forth, and beckoning the one friend, placed him in His own chariot-seat, but himself He led aside, and pointing over the battlements of heaven, "Look over yonder," He said, "What do you see?" "It seems as if I see the dark earth I have come from." "What else?" "I see men as if they were blindfolded, going over a terrible precipice into a bottomless pit." "Well," said He, "will you remain up here, and enjoy these mansions that I have prepared, or go back to yon dark earth, and warn these men, and tell them about Me and my kingdom, and the rest that remaineth for the people of God?" That man never wished himself dead again. He yearned to live as long as ever he could, to tell men of heaven and of Christ .
The Faithful Missionary.
When I was going to Europe in 1867, my friend Mr. Stuart, of Philadelphia, said, "Be sure to be at the General Assembly in Edinburgh, in June. I was there last year," said he, "and it did me a world of good." He said that a returned missionary from India was invited to speak to the General Assembly, on the wants of India. This old missionary, after a brief address, told the pastors who were present, to go home and stir up their churches and send young men to India to preach the gospel. He spoke with such earnestness, that after awhile he fainted, and they carried him from the hall. When he recovered he asked where he was, and they told him the circumstances under which he had been brought there. "Yes," he said, "I was making a plea for India, and I didn't quite finish my speech, did I?" After being told that he did not, he said, "Take me back and let me finish it." But they said, "No, you will die in the attempt." "Well," said he, "I will die if I don't," and the old man asked again that they would allow him to finish his plea. When he was taken back the whole congregation stood as one man, and as they brought him on the platform, with a trembling voice he said: "Fathers and mothers of Scotland, is it true that you will not let your sons go to India? I spent twenty-five years of my life there. I lost my health and I have come back with sickness and shattered health. If it is tme that we have no strong grandsons to go to India, I will pack up what I have and be off to-morrow, and I will let those heathens know that if I cannot live for them I will die for them." The world will say that old man was enthusiastic. Well, that is just what we want.
Forty-One Little Sermons.
A man was preaching about Christians recognizing each other in heaven, and some one said, "I wish he would preach about recognizing each other on earth." In one place where I preached, I looked over the great hall of the old circus building where it was held, and saw men talking to other men here and there. I said to the Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association who got up the meeting, "Who are these men?" He said, "They are a band of workers." They were all scattered through the hall, and preaching and watching for souls. Out of the fifty of them, forty-one of their number had got a soul each and were talking and preaching with them. We have been asleep long enough. When the laity wake up and try and help the minister the minister will preach better.
—It is the greatest pleasure of living to win souls to Christ.
—I believe in what John Wesley used to say, "All at it, and always at it," and that is what the Church wants to-day.
—If we were all of us doing the work that God has got for us to do, don't you see how the work of the Lord would advance?
—There is no man living that can do the work that God has got for me to do. No one can do it but myself. And if the work ain't done we will have to answer for it when we stand before God's bar.
—What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out anything.