OVER THE SEA.
Mr. Moody with his Bible, and Mr. Sankey with his music-book and organ, arriving in Liverpool on the 17th of June, 1873, learned that the friends who had invited them to Great Britain were both dead. Lamenting their loss but not disheartened, they immediately commenced their work.
They held meetings in Liverpool, York, Sundevland, Newcastle, Stockton-on-tees, Carlisle, Darlington, and Shields. At several of these places hundreds were influenced to come to Christ.
After they reached Edinburgh three or four of the largest halls were constantly in requisition, yet disappointed thousands turned away from these overcrowded buildings unable to gain admittance.
Dr. Blakie says, of the work in Edinburgh: "There have been some very remarkable conversions of sceptics. Dr. Andrew Tbomprjon told of one who, having been awakened on the previous week, had gone for the first time to church on the previous Sunday. He had hardly been in a place of worship for years, and a week before would have scouted the idea. He was so happy in the morning that he returned in the afternoon. The blessing seemed to come down upon him. Another sceptic who carried his unbelief to the verge of blasphemy has now conie to the foot of the cross.
"Among the most direct and touching fruits of saving impressions of any one, affectionate interest in the welfare of other members of the family is one of the surest and most uniform. A working man of fifty years of age, for example, is impressed and brought to peace in believing, and immediately he comes to the minister and cries out, with streaming eyes, 'Oh! pray for my two sons!' A father and his son are seen at another meeting with arms round each other's necks. In many cases the work of conversion seems to go through whole families. That peculiar joyfulness and expectation which marks young converts, is often the means of leading others to the fountain, and two, three, four, and even more members of the same family share the blessing."
And Dr. Bonar says, "There was scarcely a Christian household in all Edinburgh, in which there were not one or more persons converted during the revival."
Through the two months of the Evangelists' stay in Edinburgh a noon prayer-meeting was held daily, at Free Association Hall, and each noon attended by over one thousand persons.
Among the inquirers were youths in their teor.s, students from the Uersity, soldiers from the Castle, old men with their threescore years and ten, the rich, the poor, the educated, the uneducated, the backslider, tbe blasphemer, and the sc?pt!c; and in many instancas the wounded were healed and the burdened went home rejoicing.
During the holidays masse« of young people from the school crowded the meetings. So great was the attraction cf Mr. Sankey's singing and Mr. Moody's eloquence, that hundreds of young persons, especially of the higher classes, who were formerly accustomed to go to the theatre, opera, aud pantomime, gave them up deliberately and, from choice and the force of conviction, attended the Gospel and pr.iyer-meetings.
The last meeting was held on the slope of Arthur's Seat, no edifice being in the least capable of containing the vast multitude.
The following is a graphic sketch of a day at Elgin:
"Surely something unusual was going on, streets abandoned, the house-doors fast, the shops closed. Through half a mile of the empty streets ours were the only footsteps that echoed on the pavement, and every thing was sil; nt aad desolate as a plague-stricken city! At last, just on the verge of the town, the stillness was broken by the distant sound of n, voice, and ths turn of a lane revealed a sight which time can never efface from the memory. There stood the inhabitants, motionless, breathless, plague-stricken indeed, plague-stricken with the plague of sin. The sermon was evidently half over, and the preacher, with folded arms, leaned over the wooden rail of the rude platform. Oh, the sin upon those faces round him! I cannot tell you who were there, or how many, or what a good choir there was, or what Mr. Sankey sang, or which dignitary prayed. I cannot tell you how beautifully the sun was setting, or how fresh the background of woods looked, or how azure tho sky was. But these old men penitent, these drunkards petrified, these strong men's tears, these drooping heads of women, these groups of gutter children, with their wondering eyes! Oh, that multitude of thirsty ones—what a sight it was! What could tho preacher do but preach his best? And long after the time for stopping, was it a marvel to hear the persuasive voice still pleading with these Christless thousands?
"One often hears doubts as to the possibility of producing an impression in the open air, but there is no mistake this time. No, there is no mistaking these long, concentric arcs of wistful faces curving around the speaker, and these reluctant tears, which conscious guilt has wrung from eyes unused to weep. Oh, the power of the living Spirit of God! Oh, tho fascination of the Gospel of Christ! Oh, the gladness of the old, old story of these men and women hurrying graveward! These thousands just hung spellbound on the speaker's lips. It seemed as if he daren't stop, so mnny hungry ones were there to feed. At last he seemed about to close, and the audience strained to catch the last solemn words; when the preacher, casting his eye on a little boy, seemed moved with an overpowering desire to tell the little ones of a children's Christ. Then followed for fifteen minutes more the most beautiful and pathetic children's sermon we have ever heard; and then, turning to the weeping mothers and fathers, conclude:! with a last tender appeal, which must have sunk far into m-my a parent's heart.
When these tireless Evangelists had compassed Scotland they crossed the water. Mr. Sankey was a decided favorite with the Irish people.
The majority of people iu Dublin are Roman Catholics. Strangely enough the first convert given them in this capital was a young man of the Romish faith. So many of that persuasion flocked to hear them that Cardinal Cullen felt obliged to publish an edict prohibiting their attendance upon the meetings.
The following is an extract from an article—entitled "Fair Play," in a Catholic paper—on the revival: "With much regret we notice indications of an attempt to excite the hostility of our Catholic population against the religious services conducted by some Protestant missionaries from America. We trust we shall not appeal in vain to the spirit of tolerance, of honorable fair play, of respect of conscience in the breasts of Irish Catholics, when we call upon them to crush the slightest attempt at offensive demonstration against the religious exercises which some sections of the Protestant community are holding, under the auspices of the gentlemen we refer to. We Catholics should ever discriminate between the Protestantism of sincere men devoted to their own convictions, but seeking no unjust interference with ours, and the wretched kind of Protestantism which consists in wanton insult and aggression upon the Catholic poor. For this latter warfare on our homes and altars, we shall always have scorn and reprobation; for the former, we should always have respectful sentiments. Let Messrs. Moody and Saukey do all they can to make Protestants esiruest in religion. Let us Catholics daily devote ourselves more and more energetically to the practical duties of our holy faith; and let us all, Protestant and Catholic, work and pray to keep the teachings and theories of the Huxleys and the Tyndails far from the shores of Ireland."
Leaving Dublin the brethren returned to England.
At Birmingham, in one week, they held twentytwo services, reaching in the aggregate 156,000 men, women, and children.
At one of the meetings a roughly clad man, to all appearance a common laborer, who had come to town after the meeting was over, seemed much disappointed. He had walked, in the rain, nearly six miles in order to hear the Evangelists, and arrived too late to gain an entrance. He said he had to walk back and preach the same evening. He was somewhat relieved when he obtained a ticket for the worker's meeting the following Sunday morning.
May, June, July, and August, of 1874, were given by the Evangelists to London. Agricultural Hall, in North Loudou, was the first building chosen for their labors, and it was variously computed that the arrangements afforded accommodation for from fifteen to eighteen thousand people.
At the first meeting inside, the great multitude were singing Old Hundred. Outside there were infidels distributing handbills, containing malignant misstatements; multitudes of young men full of frolic and fun; gaily-dressed evil women laughing and jesting; carmen, boardmen, and loafers, swearing and mocking; among all not one serious face, not one with thought or care for their immortal souls, proving that the brethren were wise in devoting four months to the city which evidently needed them so much.
Afterward, many of these wretched characters were induced to come to the services and to Christ.
The noon prayer-meeting, held at Her Majesty's Opera House, was a marked feature of the work in that metropolis.
The number of requests for prayer constantly flowing in could not be read separately, but were classified, as follows: sixty requests for prayer for unconverted children, forty requests by Christian wives for husbands out of Christ, ten requests by sisters for brothers addicted to the use of liquor. Hundreds of Sunday-school teachers request prayer for their pupils. Twenty requests for profligate sons by heart-broken parents.
And one day came to Her Majesty's Opera House the strangest petition of all. A poor woman in Newgate prison condemned to die sent a request for prayer. The heart of the great audience, mostly of the nobility, was touched with compassion, and with bowed heads they prayed the kind Father to bless the miserable, condemned criminal.
A tract distributor passing over Waterloo Bridge offered a man a tract. He declined it with the remark, "I shall be in hell before uight."
"No, you will not, for I am going to heaven, and will stick to you all day."
They left the bridge together, the hungry man was fed and taken to one of the meetings. While there he fell asleep. "Let him bleep, perhaps he has been walking all night," said his friend.
After the services were ended he was taken home to supper, inquiring concerning all this kindness, "what's up?" He was fed, cared for, reasoned with, instructed and taught the way to heaven, instead of going to hell as he had said.
After five weeks at Agricultural Hull and some time spent at Row Road Hall the Evangelists removed to the Royal Opera House in the Haymarket.
Here the wealthy, the titled, the cultivated, and the leaders of fashionable society gathered—particularly at the Bible readings.
A Neve York journal, on the revival in London, contained the following: "We presume thiit the aristocracy and the literati will scarce hear of the movement that, is about them. Tt is an after generation that builds the monuments of the prophets. Bunyan got no words of honor from the Duke of Bedford, whose descendant has lately set up his statue." But long before these words were written Mr. Moody had been welcomed as a guest within the walls of Dunrobin Castle, and dined with the Lord Chancellor of England.
At bis first meeting in London he was assisted by a peer of the realm and, at the Haymarket, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Sutherland, the Prince Teck, and many more of the nobility, listened to his stirring appeals, wept over his pathetic stcries, and joined heartily in the sweet songs led by Mr. Sankey.
They must also have added to their presence and influence the weight of their purses, for the amount expended in London alone, in arrangements for the revival, was $325,000.
One young man's testimony may be given as an illustration of hundreds: "I went into the inquiry room, and Mr. Sankey walked up and down with me, and talked to me as though he had been my own father; and I found Christ."
The four months' labor of the Evangelists in London was ended, and they left Great Britain followed by the grateful love, the thankful tenderness, tho heart-stirring benedictions of millions of people to whom under God they had been the instrument of blessing.