Chapter III

CHAPTER III.

MR. MOODY'S WAIFS.

Mr. Moody's pupils grew very much attached to him and some of them very zealous for the honor of the school. One day an urchin who had been caught with the young evangelist's sweets—he used to carry a quantity of maple sugar around with him to entice the children—came into the school and sat down with his cap on. A lad, who had been some time a member of the mission, walking in, saw the new recruit with his cap on. He deliberately stepped up to him, snatched off the offending article and, striking him a blow in the face with it which felled him to the floor, said, "I'll learn you better than to wear your cap in this school," and marched away, to his place, with the air of one who had performed a meritorious act.

One Sabbath afternoon one of Mr. Moody's eldest pupils rame to him for advice. His father, a Roman Catholic, was bitterly opposed to the mission, and, every Sunday afternoon, in a drunken frenzy, would give him an unmerciful beating. He had endured this for several successive weeks.

Mr. Moody advis: d him to pray. This he did.

Upon reaching home his father came toward him

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with birch uplifted ready to give him the accustomed flogging.

Quietly taking off his coat, the boy said, "you have always been kind to me, father, when not in liquor: it is not my father which beats mo every Sunday, but whiskey, so now I am going to fight the whiskey."

This was but adding fuel to the fire. A sharp contest ensued but whiskey was so badly conquered that ever after the father allowed his boy to attend the school unmolested.

Mr. Moody did not attempt the degree of order in his mission which would be necessary in an ordinary Sunday-school, but there was a big. bold fellow who tried his patience sorely. He could neither be entreated, nor frightened, nor shamed into obedience, but grew constantly worse. The teachers held a consultation, and thought he ought to be dismissed; but this was contrary to Mr. Moody's ideal of the Gospel, and they separated without arriving at any definite plan of action.

The next Sunday came and with it this same burly boy more noisy than ever. There was fear that he would actually break up the school.

Mr. Moody came suddenly upon the culprit in the vestibule, seized him by both arms, lifted him from his feet, took him to a class-room, locked the door and—thrashed him.

This was not in the least an easy matter, for the offender was agile, and vigorous, and fierce, as an untamed animal. But Mr. Moody proved the stronger, and when they came into the school-ror>m the pupil was completely couquered and reduced to subjection.

Mr. Moody said, afterward, to a (eacher, "It \vas hard work but I think we have saved him."

A great event in the history of this school was a visit from President Lincoln. That great man left a half-finished dinner, and a distinguished company, to be present at a session of Mr. Moody's school. While in the carriage, on the way, Mr. Lincoln asked not to be invited to speak to the school. But upon his introduction as the president cf the United States, the excitement of those rough scions of American citizenship was uncontrollable, and yielding to their enthusiastic clamoring he made a Sunday-school speech for the first and last time in his life.

There was, however, nothing of religion in his address. It was not until afterward, when the weight of a nation's civil war was crushing him, that he himself learned the truth and value of religion. And his great, honest nature would never allow him to stoop to speak upon a subject beyond his experience or understanding.

Afterward, when the war broke out, and Lincoln called for volunteers, sixty of these same boys enrolled themselves in the Army of the Republic.

In his visitations from house to house Mr. Moody met very many wretched families. O e Sui.day morning going into a- miserable attic he found the wife half crazy from rum, the husband on the vrrge of delirium tremens, and the children half f-mished for want of food. He went out and procured them some nourishment. Then he talked to them on temperance, and persuaded the man to sign thepledge, a copy of which he had with him.

The following Sabbath all the family attended the mission. Pas-sing that way, a day or two afterward, the man called to him from tbe window, threw a silver coin to him and said, ''I like that Sundayschool and I want to take a little stock in it."

That reformed inebriate is now a Christian gentleman with a thriving business and a delightful horue of his own.

One Saturday night Mr. Moody, with his friend Mr. Stillson, entered a drinking saloon and—while the men were carousing and swearing—askec! to leave some religious papers with those who were drinking. Permission being granted they entered into conversation with the bar-keeper, and gradually learned that his father and mother were Christian people. Simultaneously they asked the question, "Do your parents know that you are selling liquor?"

The man was evidently touched and softened. They spoke with him kindly and bade him "good night."

They had not yet reached home when they felt that they had failed in their duty in not praying with the bar-tender. So they turned back, re-en

tered the saloon, and asked the keepar's forgiveness for not praying with him.

Then Mr. Moody knelt down and offered a prayer of which Mr. Stillson says—

"I never hoard Moody pray like that before, it seemed as if he was baptized and inspired by the Holy Ghost."

Two weeks afterward they met him in the street, when he told them he had given up drinking, closed his liquor saloon, and would rather die in the alms-house than have any thing more to do with liquor.

One trouble, a cause of serious annoyance to Mr. Moody, was the Catholic boys breaking the windows of his building and disturbing his meetings.

At length, when his patience was exhausted, ho called upon Bishop Duggan, the Romish prelate of the city, and stated his cause of complaint. Surprised at his fearlessness and zeal the bishop promised that thereafter the boys in his church should bo properly restrained.

Emboldened by the bishop's kindly answer Mr. Moody then preferred a strange request.

lie said, "I often come across sick people who are Roman Catholics. I should be glad to pray with them and relieve them, but they are so suspicious of me they will not allow me to come near them. Now, bishop, won't you give me a good wjrd to those people; it will help me amazingly ia my work."

The -bishop replied, "I will be most happy to give the recommendation if you will join the Catholic Church, you seem to be too good find valuable a man to be a heretic."

"I am afraid that would hinder me in niy work among the Protestants," answered Mr. Moody.

"Not at all," returned the prelate.

"What," said the evangelist, "do you mean to tell me that I could go to the noon-prayer-meeting, and pray with all kinds of Christian people—Baptists, Methodists, Congregationalists, every denomination, just as I do now?"

"Oh yes, if it were necessary, you might do that."'

"So, then. Catholics and Protestants can pray together, can they?" ."Yes."

"Will, bishop, this is a very important matter. No one wants to belong to the true church more than I do. I wish you would pray for me right here that God would show me His true church and help me to be a worthy member of it."

The bishop could not very well refuse, so they kneeled down together and he prayed very kindly for the heretic, and, afterward, the heretic prayed earnestly for him.

The bishop prohibited his wild parishioners from breaking any more of Moody's prayer-meeting windows, and from that time until his decease Bishop Duggan was a good friend to Mr. Moody.