HELD AT THe HIPPODROME IN NEW YORK, MARCH 29 and 30, 1876'
At the opening of the convention at 10 o'clock, the great hall of the Hippodrome was full, a large audience being present in addition to the 3,350 pastoral and lay delegates, representing 19 states and 340 towns. The great majority of the delegates were laymen.
Mr. Moody, in announcing the subjects of the day, spoke as follows:
The two subjects that we have for this forenoon are as follows: Evangelistic Services—How to Conduct them; and How to Conduct Prayer-Meetings. I have not asked any one to speak on these questions. I thought we would just come together and spend an hour on each question. At Philadelphia, we found that it was profitable just to let any one in the audience ask any question on the subject before us, and we would try and answer it if we could; and in that way, 1 think, we will be enabled to help those that have difficulty. Let me say a few words about this question.
A person said to me: "What do you mean by Evangelistio services? Is not all service evangelistic? What do you mean by preaching the gospel? Are not all services in churches and all meetings preaching the gospel?" No. There is a good deal of difference. There are three services—at least there ought to be—in every church; and every one ought to keep them in their mind. There is worshiping God. That is not preaching the gospel at all. We oome to the house of God to worship at times, when we meet around the Lord's table; that is worship, or ought to be. Then there is teaching—building up God's people. That is not preaching the gospel. Then there is proclaiming the good news of the gospel to the world, to the unsaved. Now, the question we have before us is: How can these services be conducted to make them profitable? Well, I should say you have to conduct them to interest the people. If they go to sleep, they certainly want to be roused up; and if one method don't wake them up, try another. But I think we ought to use our common sense, if you will allow me the word. We talk a good deal about it; but I think it is about the least sense we have, especially in the Lord's work. If one method don't succeed, let us try another. This preaching to empty seats don't pay. If people won't come to hear us, let us go where they are. We want to preach. Go into some neighborhood and get some person to invite you into their house, and get them into the kitchen, and preach there. But make it a point to interest the people; and as soon as they get interested, they will follow you and fill the churches.
Now, I have come to this conclusion, that if we are going to have successful gospel meetings, we have got to have a little more life in them. Life is found in singing new hymns, for instance. I know some churches that have been singing about a dozen hymns for the last twenty years, such hymns as " Rock of Ages," "There is a fountain filled with blood," etc. These hymns are always good, but we want a variety. We want new hymns as well as the old ones. I find it wakes up a congregation very much to bring in, now and then, a new hymn. And if you cannot wake them up with preaching, let us sing it into them. I believe the time is coming when we will make a good deal more of just singing the gospel. Then when a man is converted, let us have him in these meetings giving his testimony. Some people are afraid of that. I believe the secret of John Wesley's success was, that he set every man to work, as soon as he was converted. Of course, you have to guard that point. Some say they become spiritually proud; no doubt of that. But if they don't go to work they become spiritually lazy; and I don't know what's the difference.
Now, the first impulse of the young convert is to go and publish what Christ has done for him. Sometimes a young convert will wake up a whole community and a whole town, just merely tolling what the Lord has done for him; and it is good to bring in these witnesses and let them speak. Then, another thing. In a good many towns where we have union meetings, we change ministers every night; and a good many special religious meetings have been organized, and proved perfect failures. I am getting letters all the time telling about special meetings, how the people turned out well, but there were no results; and on inquiry I found they had a Methodist minister one night, a Baptist minister another, an Episcopal minister another, a Congregational minister another, in order to keep all denominations in, and the result was they preached everybody out of doors. You could see, right on the face of it, that that would be the result. One man gets the people all interested; and just at the point where he needs to continue his own ministrations, another steps in and he goes out. And so there is no getting hold of the people. Now, I believe we have got to have one man.
I remember in Chicago, the last winter I was there, we had preaching every afternoon. We went out with invitations into saloons, billiard halls, etc., and we got a large audience there every afternoon; and we had a new minister every day. We wanted to bring in all denominations, to keep harmony; and I believe there was one solitary conversion, after preaching thirty days. If we had only stuck to one minister, I believe we would have done a great work then and there; and if we are going to have successful evangelistic services, we cannot be changing speakers every night. And that is why it is best to get a man out of town, and all will unite on that one man. I wish we could get rid of this jealousy. If we could unite on one man, and support him with our prayers and our money, if it need be, and just work with him, there would be results. I never knew it to fail yet. It is just this party feeling that comes in and prevents the good results we expect. We are afraid this denomination won't like it, and that denomination won't be properly represented.
Then these meetings ought to be made short. I find a great many are killed because they are too long. The minister speaks five minutes, and a minister's five minutes is always ten, and his ten minutes is always twenty (laughter); and the result is, you preach everybody into the spirit and out of it, before the meeting is over. When the people leave they are glad to go home, and ought to go home. Now, you send the people away hungry, and they will come back again. There was a man in London who preached in the open air until everybody left him, and somebody said, "Why did you preach so long?" "Oh," said he, "I thought it would be a pity to stop while there was anybody listening." (Laughter.) It is a good deal better to cut right off, then people will come back again to hear. But I only just wanted to open this question, and give a few hints of what my idea is. Now, if any of you have a few questions you would like to ask, in any part of the nail, on this one subject, we would like to answer them; and if we cannot, there may be some one else here who can.
Q. Would you start a meeting when there is no special interest in the churches?
Mr. Moody—Certainly I would. A good many are folding their arms and saying, "Wait until the good time comes to favor Zion." The point is, to make the good time come anyway. Go to work. They have got no calendar in heaven. God can work one month aa well as another; and he is always ready, when we are ready.
Q. Would you increase the number of meetings as the interest increases?
Mr. Moody—It depends upon how many meetings I have had. If I had as many as I could attend, I would not increase them; but I would if I could.
Q. Suppose the minister is interested and there is no special feeling among the people, would you call in outside help? Would you commence the effort by calling in at once outside help?
Mr. Moody—That is a very important question. If I were a minister in a community or a church, and could not get more than one or two to sympathize with me, I would just get them around to my study, and we would pray and go forth in the name of the Lord, and say, "We are agoing to have a meeting;" and there will be an interest break out. Three men can move any town. If you are going to wait until the whole church gets aroused, yon will have to wait a long time. Get as many as you can, and God will stand by you.
Q. Suppose the congregation is alive and the minister is dead?
Mr. Moody—Then let the congregation go on without the minister. [Laughter.]
Q. Suppose the minister won't permit them?
Mr. Moody—He can't prevent it. A man that wants to work for God can do so, and nobody can stop him.
Q. Suppose there is a difficulty in the church which cannot be removed?
Mr. Moody—I don't know of any difficulties that God cannot remove. The trouble is we are trying to remove these difficulties ourselves, instead of going to God in prayer.
Q. Why was it the Lord Jesus could not do anvthing at Nazareth?
Mr. Moody—On account of their unbelief; but that was the world, not the church. [Laughter.]
Q. Is it best to put a test question in a church, asking those that are anxious for their souls to rise, or rather to go to another room?
Mr. Moody—I think so. If any man is going to be saved, he is
foing to take up his cross; and if it is a cross, I would like to ask im to do it. What you want is to get them to do something they don't want to do, and it is a great cross generally for people to rise for prayer; but in the very act of doing it, they are very often blessed. It is letting their friends know that they are interested, and are on the Lord's side. I have found, in the last three years, that it has been a great help to us. In fact, I don't think I should attempt to have meetings withont the inquiry-room. People are sometimes impressed under the sermon; but what you want is, to deal with them personally. Here and there one is converted under the sermon; but for every one converted under the sermon, hundreds are converted in the inquiry-room.
Q. Suppose the pastor and a small portion of his congregation desire to nave a meeting, and the trustees refuse to open the doors?
Mr. Moody—Well, I should pray for the trustees. In the first place, the church has made a mistake in electing unconverted men as trustees. We want Christian men to hold office in the church. Men sometimes are put in as trustees that haven't got any character at all,and they regulate your choir, and very often your minister; and if a minister touches their consciences and preaches right at them, they get annoyed and send him away.
Q. In a community where there is an interesting revival, very many families have not been reached—do not attend church anywhere; what would you have laymen try to do?
Mr. Moody—I would have the whole town districted off, and every family visited. I think that could be done.
Q. Do you advocate "anxious seats?"
Mr. Moody—I would rather call it soats of decision; but in union meetings, you know, we have to lay aside a good many of the different denominational peculiarities. The "anxious seat " is known to the Methodists; but if we should call it that the Presbyterians would be afraid, and the Episcopalians would be so shocked that they would leave, and I find, in the union meetings, it is best to ask them to go right into the other room, and talk to them there.
Q. What would you say to a person who replies, "I can be a Christian without rising for prayer?"
Mr. Moody—I should say most certainly he could; but as a general thing, he won't. If a man makes up his mind that he won't do a thing, the Lord generally makes him do it before he gets into the kingdom.
Q. What method would you recommend to get people on their feet to testify for Christ?
Mr. Moody—In the first place, I would bury all stiffness. If a meeting has a formal manner, it throws a stiffness over it, so that it would take almost an earthquake to get a man up; but if it is free and social, just as you would go into a man's house and talk with him, you will find people will appreciate it and get up.
Q. When one or more leading members of the church have so borne themselves in the community as that the church has been scandalized, would you recommend a course of discipline before commencing special meetings?
Mr. Moody—I should say certainly. I should go to the 18th chapter of Matthew and see what we are taught to do there; and if these men would not repent, I would turn them out of the church and then commence to work. I would rather have ten members right with God, than to have a great church of five hundred members and the world laughing at them.
Q. If the world has got in and is stronger than the church, what?
Mr. Moody—Then I would organize another church. [Laughter.] The mistake in all this is, in taking unconverted people into the church. We have got to be more careful.
Q. Suppose there are excitements in the church that seem to draw the attention of the church away from higher things, politics, for instance?
Mr. Moody—I don't know much about politics. The political question might interest the world, and you could go right on without being interrupted; but the thing I dread more than I do politics is these miserable church fairs. [Laughter.] That is the thing that bothers me most. More meetings have been broken up, and the interest dissipated, by these bazaars and church festivals than by your political meetings.
Q. How far is it wise to encourage young converts to labor with inquirers in the inquiry-meetings?
Mr. Moody—I always encourage them. I believe a man who has been a great drunkard, for instance, and been reclaimed, is just the man to go to work among his class.
Q. How would you use the boys and girls?
Mr. Moodv—You have to use a good deal of discretion about children. I will admit there is great danger in having children take an active part, for some people are sure to say, "Don't that boy speak well?" and up comes spiritual pride, and you have ruined that boy.
Q. Is a man justified in neglecting service at his own church, in order to talk to those who will not attend church?
Mr. Moody—My experience has been that a man that has got the spirit to go out after other men will bring a good many into the church. He don't neglect it; he is worth about a dozen men who go and take good cushioned seats, Sunday after Sunday, and don't speak to any one.
Q. When a man feels that he must preach the gospel and the church doesn't want to hear it, must he go out?
Mr. Moody—A great many have got the idea that they can preach the gospel, when they cannot; and some have got the idea that they cannot preach the gospel, and they can to a certain class; and then they are just the ones to speak in that church. Now, I have tried that. When I was first converted, I thought I must talk to them about Christ, but I saw they did not like it; and finally they came and told me I could serve the Lord better by keeping still. Then I went out into the street, and God blessed me; and I got to preaching before I knew it. If the people don't want you, don't force yourself upon them. Go out and preach to the ragged and the destitute.
Q. Would you encourage women preaching in the pulpit?
Mr. Moody—I should say it is a complicated point, and we will leave it. I don't care about my wife going around and preaching. [Laughter.]
HOW TO CONDUCT PRAYBR-MEBTING8.
"I have noticed," said Mr. Moody, "in traveling up and down
the country, and after mingling with a great many ministers, that it
is not the man that can preach the best that is the most successful; but the man who knows how to get his people together to pray. He has more freedom. It is so much easier to preach to an audience that is full of sympathy with you than to those that are criticising all the time; it chills your heart through and through. Now if we could only have our prayer-meetings what they ought to be, and people go not out of any sense of duty, but because they delight to go, it would be a great help to a minister on Sumlay. Now I find it a great help in prayer-meetings to get the people right up close together, and then get myself right down among them. I believe many a meeting is lost by the people being scattered.
Another important thing is to see that the ventilation is all right. Sometimes I have been in rooms where I think the air must have been in there five or six years. You cannot always trust the janitors to take care of it. The people get sleepy, and you think it is your fault. Very often such a thing is the fault of bad ventilation. See that you get fresh air; not too hot, and not too cold, but pure. Then it is a good thing to have a subject. Let all the people know a week beforehand what the subject is going to be. You take the subject of Faith, say, and ask a brother or two privately to say a little on that subject. If they say, "I cannot get my thoughts together;" or, "I am so frightened when I get up that I tremble all over," then tell them just to get up and read a verse. It won't be long before they will add a few words to that verse; and after a while they will want to talk too much, and the meetings thus become very profitable to those men. What we want is variety. Instead of having Deacon Jones and Deacon Smith and Deacon Brown do all the praying and all the talking, have somebody else say something in this way, and thus create an interest.
I would not make the minister always take the lead; for I have noticed when the minister takes the lead, if he ever goes off there is a collapse. Now, it seems to me a minister should get different ones into the chair; and when he goes off, the meetings won't miss him, and there will be no falling off. Not only that, but he is training his members to work. They will go out around the town and in school-houses, and preach the gospel; and we multiply preachers and workers in that way, if they are only just taught to take part. Now, I believe there are a great many in our church prayer-meetings that could be brought out and made to be a great help, if the ministers would only pay attention to it. How many lawyers, physicians, public speakers, we have who do nothing to actively help along the work; and I believe that difficulty could be removed, if the minister would take a little pains. Let the father whose son has been converted get up and give thanks. Have once in a while a thanksgiving meeting. It wakes up a church wonderfully, once in a while to let the young converts relate their experiences. Then you say: What are you going to do with these men that talk so long? I would talk to them privately, and tell them they must try to be shorter. And it is a good tiling sometimes for ministers themselves not to be too long. Sometimes they read a good deal of Scripture, and talk until perhaps only fifteen minutes are left; and then they complain because Deacon Smith, or Jones, or some one else talks too long. Just let the minister strike the key-note of the meeting; and if he can't do that in ten minutes he can tat all. Very often a minister takes up a chapter and exhausts it, and says everything he can think of in the chapter; and then can you wonder a layman cannot say more, who has had no study of the subject? Give out the subject a week ahead; let the minister take five or ten minutes in opening; and then let the different ones take part. That would be a greater variety. When a man takes part, he gets greatly interested Himself. It was pretty true what the old deacon said, that when he took part they were very intesting; and when he didn't, they seemed very dull. [Lauahter.]
Q. Suppose one, two or three brethren come to the prayer-meeting and there are thirty sisters how are you going to get along?
Mr. Moody—I should call it a woman's meeting, and go on and have the sisters take part. [Laughter.]
Q. What should be the main purpose of a prayer-meeting—the conversion of sinners, devotion, or the edification of saints?
Mr. Moody—I should say that the prayer-meeting ought to be for the edification of saints and devotion.
Q. If some are very happy and begin to shout and clap their hands, would you stop them?
Mr. Moody—That is a controverted point, and I will omit that [Laughter.] I have an idea that a gospel meeting is one thing, and a prayer-meeting another. There also ought to be meetings where we proclaim the gospel to the unsaved.
Q. Would you have an inquiry meeting after every preaching?
Mr. Moody—My experience has led me to think the best time to strike is when the iron is hot. If I was preaching, and tried to rouse men to flee from the wrath to come, I would have an inquiry meeting afterward.
Q. Is it profitable to have preaching services every Sunday night for the unconverted?
Mr. Moody—Yes, and every night, too, sometimes; but my idea of church worship is about like this: We have breaking of the bread or communion; then there is teaching; and then in the evening they proclaim the gospel; and in the morning they come knowing it is for the edification of the saints, building up God's people.
Q. You sav you would allow church members to conduct prayer, meetings. You know the character of the New England congregational prayer-meeting, and that there is danger that these people be
gin to take the leadership out of the hands of the minister, and trouble comes of it. What would you do .to prevent that?
Mr. Moody—I should say the minister had not been faithful in building up his people. I don't think there is any trouble of that kind in a good many churches where members lead. Dr. Cuyler does not lead his own prayer-meeting Friday night; and what we want is to bring out the talent that lies buried in the church; and if we don't bring it out in the evening meetings, I don't know how we will.
Here a delegate informed the meeting that Dr. Cuyler never leads his prayer-meetings, but sits in his congregation, sometimes speaking, and sometimes not. „
Q. Would you advise having a young people's meeting, separate from the regular church prayer-meeting?
Mr. Moody—I always have had in our church in Chicago. We have children's meetings once a week, young people's meetings; and then a meeting Friday night for all, old and young.
Q. Is there any relation between united work and united prayer?
Mr. Moody—If they get to praying well, they will work well.
Q. How about the ministers praying and preaching, too?
Mr. Moody—I think it is a good deal better to divide the ground. If a minister does all the praying and preaching and singing, the church will do all the sleeping.
Q. Do you believe in calling on people to pray and speak in the prayer meeting?
Mr. Moody—My theory is one thing, and my practice another. 1 have always advocated open prayer meetings; but when our noon prayer meetings because so large, we often had men whom we did not know coming up and talking and talking and not saying1 anvthing; and others, who had come a hundred miles just to be present at that meeting; and so we have had to put it into the hands of those on the platform. Still, I stick to my theory that it is better to have an open meeting. You sometimes get things that grate upon your nerves; but, at the same time, you get things that you would not get if you took it into your own hands. If men ruin a meeting, you must talk with them personally and make them keep still. Now, you sometimes call on a man to pray when he has not got the spirit of prayer in him; and that is one of the reasons why I object to calling on men. Some men are called on to pray that just pray a meeting dead.
Q. What would you do with the brother who praya the same prayer over and over again?
Mr. Moody—I should see him privately and talk with him about his own soul; because very often you find that these men are oat of communion with God, and are just keeping up the forms.
Q. If you tell a man to be short and he don't obey, what then?
Mr. Moody—I would have a bell.
Q. Suppose you drive him away by that method, what then?
Mr. Moody—Let him go. Five men will come and take his place.
Q. Is it wise to adhere to a series of topics?
Mr. Moody—I would say yea, and I would say no. Sometimes you are in the midst of a series and some special interest breaks out; then let your series go. Make the point that your meetings must be interesting.
Q. Suppose a prosy speaker is an old minister who always takes part, what would you do?
Mr. Moody—I would deal with him as I would with any one else. I would not allow any man to ruin the meeting.
Q. In a social prayer meeting during the week, do you advise that women take part in the prayer?
Mr. Moody—That is a controverted point; some say yes, and some say no; so we will let them have their own way.
Q. Would you stop a man's prayer by a bell?
Mr. Moody—If a man's prayer don't seem to go jiigher than hi» head, 1 should not hesitate to ring him down.
Q. If a man prays in every prayer meeting, and there is a general doubt about his standing, what then?
Mr. Moody—I would go and labor with him; and if I thought he was wrong, I would tell him so. I think we make a great mistake that we don't go to men and just tell them their trouble.
Q. What should be a man's posture when he is praying?
Mr. Moody—I don't know. Sometimes I pray right on my face, and sometimes I bow; sometimes I have sweet communion with God in my bed. It makes no difference how we pray.
Q. What does the Scripture teach that women should do in prayer meeting?
Mr. Moody—It teaches that they should pray like all the rest of them.
Q. Why do you leave out the woman question by saying it is controverted?
Mr. Moody—There are some men who have one hobby-horse, and they trot him out on#.11 occasions. When you come into a union meeting like this, where all denominations are represented, let us leave aside the questions that provoke only dispute instead of breaking up the convention.
Q. Why not as well break up a convention as a church by this discussion?
Mr. Moody—Very well. You get up a convention to talk about it. This convention has not been called for that. [Laughter.]
Dr. Fish of Newark said: I do not know why Mr. Moody has requested me to open this discussion on "Inquiry Meetings: How can they become part of the service in our churches?" except possibly that he is familiar with the fact that for a long time I have had something to do with the inquiry meetings of about 1200 souls, whom I have had the joy and privilege of introducing into the Christian church of Newark, upon profession of their faith. Almost all of them have come through between my fingers, in careful examination and handling in the inquiry-room; and I have never had a year of my ministry where the inquiry-room has not been an important feature. I intend in the future to make much more of it than 1 have ever done, and never to have a service—unless it be an unusual case —in which the inquiry does not form a part. I believe we are accustomed, all of us, to set our nets and not to draw them. When I was at the Sea of Galilee, I forced my oars in as far as I could, and the fishes ran up in plenteous numbers to see what was going on; but I did not catch a single one. The next day a friend of mine caught one fish, and the sea was full of them. Jesus said, "I will make ye fishers of men." Where there are such multitudes of souls, we ought to catch some of them. I think the place to catch souls is the inquiry-room. One Sunday night, I was saying from my pulpit that hand-picked fruit was the best kind of fruit; that the orchardman does not pick up the fruit that falls on the ground and put it away to keep late in the season, but he gets the fruit that is picked one by one, apple by apple, from the bough carefully, and puts it away to keep. I said, hand-picked fruit is what we want. An old woman who had been going to my church a great while, when she heard this, began to work. The next night she brought her husband to the meeting. He said: "For twenty years I have not darkened the door of a church of God; but my wife has been teasing me so muoh all day to come here to-night, I had to come." "\ es," the old woman said, "I thought I would try and do some of the work you told us about last night. My husband was the nearest to me; and I thought I would begin at home and pick him."
There are various advantages that accrue from this sort of thing. I find it beneficial to my people and me to form the practical acquaintance that we form in this way, especially with the new converts. It is not a small matter to become personally acquainted with two or three hundred converts, whom you are apt to receive in a great city like this. The work of conversion is only the first step. If the minister is personally dealing with every soul in the inquiryroom, he is prepared to build up and instruct that soul. They also form a personal acquaintance with each other.
In connection with the matter of making the inquiry-room a permanent part of the church services, it is well to make the preaching service short. I find out, more and more, that short services are the best. (I speak of my Sunday evening services, when I am hand
could go on for six months more, we could almost disband our police force. [Applause.]
Charles Dickens eight years ago went into the Victoria Theatre, in the East End of London. He sat looking in at the door, and an English clergyman was preaching, telling the story of converting a philosopher. It was such an audience as would gather at the Five roints here in New York. Mr. Dickens, whose heart grew tenderer as he drew nearer to the grave, looked in and said: "Looking in at the door out of the mire and dust of my way of life, I hear the story of your saved philosopher; but," said he, "when a man goes to London that will take the story of the dying thief on the cross, whom Jesus forgave, and preach that in London, it will be a sight to see." Well, New York has seen it; it is here.
Mr. Moody closed the discussion as follows:
If the ministers would encourage their members to be scattered among the audience, to never mind their pews, but sit back by the door if need be, or in the gallery, where they can watch the faces of the audience, it would be a good thing. In Scotland, I met a man who with his wife would go and sit among them, as they said, to watch for souls. When they saw any one who seemed impressed, they would go to him after the meeting and talk with him. Nearly all the conversions in that church during the last fifteen months had been made through that influence. Now, if we could only have from thirty to fifty members of the church whose business it is just to watch, and you laymen and laywomen to afterwards clinch them in. The best way in our regular churches is to let the workers all help pull the net in. You will get agoodmany fishes; it won't be now and then one, but scores and scores. Now, a stranger coming into & church likes to have some one speak to him. He does not feel insulted at all. A young man coming to New York a stranger and going to church, if some one asks him to go into the inquiry-room it makes him happy and cheers him. Two young men came into our inquiry-room here the other night, and after a convert had talked with them, and showed them the way, the light broke in upon them. They were asked, "Where do you go to church?" They gave the name of the church where they had been going. Said one, "I advise you to go and see the minister of that church." They said, "We don't want to go there any more; we have gone there for six years and no one has spoken to us." A
A man was preaching about Christians reoognizmg each other in heaven, and some one said, "1 wish he would preach about recognizing each other on earth." In one place where I preached, where there was no special interest, 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 those men?1* 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. If the minister finils ho has not been drawing the net right, if a good many in his church go to work and help him, he will do better; he will prepare the sermons with that one thing in view. Will this draw men to Christ?
I do not see how men can preach without inquiry-meetings. I like to see the converts. One minister in Scotland said he did not believe in disturbing the impression. If he had made an impression, he did not want any one to say anything. He said, "Afteryou sow the seed, you don't want to go and dig it up to see whether it has sprouted." But I told him the farmers all harrow it in, after it is sowed." [Applause.]
TRAINING YOUNG CONVERTS AND LAY TEACHERS.
Dr. Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., said: "Our failure to train young converts in the faith has resulted in the present Loadicean condition of the church. If the young converts who, in the last ten years, have been brought into the churches in this city had be'<n systematically and perseveringly instructed in God's Word and in methods of work, we should not be so greatly surprised at the occurrences of the past four weeks; and I am satisfied that very much dishonor is done to the Holy Gnost, in consequence o'f the failure of the church to train its converts. People constantly say, "Do you think the converts in this revival are going to stick?" That will depend upon the faithfulness of the church; and in the failure of very many of them, the Holy Ghost bears the rebuke of our own laziness. In reference to this training, it seems to me there are three distinct departments: In the Word, in the worship, and in the work of the church. Some of the converts come into our churches from skeptical life, ignorant even of the succession of the books of the Bible. Most of the Bible is an unknown territory, and we need to train our young converts in the texts of the Word.
I would limit them to testimony, in speaking before the church. I do not believe in experience meetings for young converts. When we are confessing Christ, we are safe; but when we are professing religion, we are on dangerous grounds. When some one asked Bishop Griswold, of Richmond, "Bishop, have you much humility?" he said, "None to speak of." Most people have too much to speak of.
The church is a body of workers, and not a body to be worked upon. Everybody is thinking, now-a-days: "Why does not the pastor take care of me? I am a wandering sheep, and ought to be looked after." But the pastor has not, in his relation, the analogy of the shepherd to the fold. The church ought to be a body of workers. The young convert ought to be trained in his place as a worker, and the pastor is the leader of the work. He is the general. He is to do what this man has been doing here for six weeks past, ""bossing" everybody, directing everybody in the way in which he is to do his work. Let him specially set every man to work, if possible, in the line of his secular occupation. Let him use a physician, for instance, at the bedside of the sick and suffering and in his assignments of work consult the secular occupation of the men. Thus it is that the young converts very soon become strong officers for Christ .
SERVICE OF sONO.
Mr. Sankey said: The question is, "How shall the service of song be conducted in the Lord s work?" and for the short time we have here this morning to discuss it, we don't propose to go into any elaborate exposition, but simply to get down at once to the practical workings of the question, flow can the service of song be conducted most successfully, to lead to the best results in the service of the Lord? Now, as there are so many different forms of work, we will have to take them up in order, commencing first with the church, then with the prayer-meeting, then the Sunday-school, then the evangelistic work.
I am very glad, indeed, to see and to know that the power of sacred song is being recognized not only in our own, but in other lands; and now as it is being recognized, the question comes up, How can we utilize this power, how can we best use it in God's house, and to the best advantage for the church of God? Before I go further, let me drop one statement here that will go to prove and establish the fact that the power of sacred song is laying hold of all people of this land and of others, to a greater extent, probably, than for many, many years. The little hymn book that was published in England, containing many or most of the bymns we are singing here to-day, has taken such a hold upon the people—I think, upon the common people—that not less than 5,000,000 copies have been sold of that little book; I mean the music and the words together. They have spread all over the world, and the people are singing these songs away off in India and Africa. No later than last week, I got a copy of the hymns translated into the Kaffir language; and I have as many as twenty or thirty translations altogether.
Now comes the question, How can we utilize these songs and this service the best? In the first place in regard to the church, I would not have an artistic quartette choir. The first thing I would do would be to discharge them, to remove them. [Applause.] Now remember, I don't speak against these persons, individually—there are just as nice people in these quartette choirs as elsewhere; but against the service which they attempt to lead, or rather succeed in monopolizing. I oould not praise God here if I could not sing, too, as well as the choir. You must join and praise God for yourselves. Therefore, in their stead, I would have a large Christian choir. I would have all the Christians I could gather in, from the congregation or elsewhere; and let them lead the service of praise. Some people, I know, will object to this; but I cannot help it. Our experience for the last two years has been this, that we have made it a rule that we will only have Christians lead the praise; and I think one of the principal reasons of our success has been that wo have tried, as far as we could, to get those who love the Lord, and love to sing right out of their hearts. It may not be so artistic as some, but the Lord has certainly blessed this sort of singing. I would have the singers near the ministers; I don't like the choir to be so far away from the minister. They are separated from him, and probably not in sympathy with him. He cannot speak to them, and they cannot counsel with him. There are two powers in the church—opposition powers, sometimes they are, which ought never to be allowed. If we can have Christians lead the singing, you will not be ashamed to have them before the congregation, that the congregation may see them; and their deportment will be such as becomes the house of God. Away back in the galleries, often wo don't know what is going on; but if they are here before the congregation, we can see them, and they can be a help to the minister.
And there is another plan of having a screen, having the choir in the pulpit back of the minister, but behind a screen, so that as soon as the singing is done they will drop behind the screen, like a jack in the box. [Laughter.] I would have that screen removed; and your minister should insist upon it that the choir give as good attention as the congregation does. People who do not give attention to the Word of God when preached, should not lead the service of song in the house of God. I have found this, that by having my choir give attention to the addresses in this room, the contagion spreads, and the audience give attention, too; but if this choir was disposed to be talking, reading books, writing notes, etc., the audience would be watching them to see what they were doing, and the attention would be distracted, and valuable results lost. The most exact attention should be given to the preacher while he is preaching.
I will not dwell further upon that, except to speak about the instrument. I want to talk about the practical things, with which you have to come in contact. I have often found this to be the case, that the large organ drowns the people's voices. Now, it is not so much the fault of the organ as it is the fault of the man who plays it. A large organ can be played very softly, so that the people's voice* are not drowned; but you usually find it the case that the organ ia played so hard as to shake the whole building, and to shake the whole people, so that they can hardly sing themselves. I would ask the organist to play very softly, so as to have the people led by the organ's tones, and not their attention taken up by it. I would rather have a small organ than a large one; a cabinet organ, or a small organ near the pulpit, not to drown the people's voices, but simply to support them. I don't care if this organ is not heard ten feet away, if the choir hear it. What we want is the human voice. There is nothing equal to that in the world; and if we can keep our leaders correctly in tune and time with the instrument, it is all we want. That is why the people join so heartily here in these songs. I might have a large organ here. I don't want it to interfere, however. I cannot sing with that great organ going; for I get to listening to it, and watching to see how the organist plays.
Now, we will go on to the prayer meeting. How would you conduct the singing in a prayer meeting? If you have in your congregation a Christian man who is a good singer, I would have him lead the singing. I would have him at the prayer meeting. Very often some very good man, and sometimes a very good woman, will start up a song entirely out of tune and out of pitch, so that no one can join with them, .and they worry through it, nearly breaking their voices. I would take control of this, and say, "Now, Brother Smith or Brother Jones will have charge of the singing:" and if Brother Smith wants to sit and have one or two friends gathered about him, all the better, and let him pitch the tune. In regard to an instrument at the prayer meeting, some are opposed to it, and some not. If I had a good singer, one whose voice was strong enough, I would have him instead of an instrument; but if not, I would have some one who could play the organ in the proper key, and then the people can follow him. Then, I would introduce many of the Sunday-school hymns into the prayer meeting. I would not sing all the old tunes we love so well, always. Of course, they are
food; but we want variety. Bring in new hymns, now and then, 'he question of introducing new tunes into the service of the church is a very important one. Now and then a new tune should be introduced. The best plan I have found is that the tune should be sung as a voluntary frequently, before it is given out as a hymn. I would exclude altogether operatio pieces from the church of God; and I would have my choir understand that these plain gospel hymns in the worship of God are far better than the finest operatic hymns you can find. [Applause.] Leave them to the opera. Don't bring them into the house of God.
Now, in regard to Sunday-school service, I need not say much about that. I may say that, in this country, we have set an exAmple to the world in regard to Sunday-school singing. It is nowhere, I think, so well conducted as in our own country. But there are a few places that don't have good singing. To those I would say, get an instrument; for the children love music. Get a lady or gentleman to play, and gather a few singers around in front of the instrument, and have them sing frequently. I would talk to the children frequently about the hymns, though not too long. I would not let the singing diverge into a singing-school. Sing on the topics that have been discussed during the day, keeping the minds of the children and the teachers in one direction.
Now, the evangelistic services. These are being conducted very extensively all over the country now; and when you bring all denominations together, I would ask all the ministers to send to the place of meeting the very best singers he has in his choir or congregation, for I find sometimes the best singers are in the congregation, and not in the choir, for some reason or other; and I would thus have all the denominations come together, saying: "For this time, and for these services, we will unite on one hymn, singing for Jesus, singing that we may know Christ." All these meetings of the choirs, I should think, ought to be opened and closed with prayer. I think it is a great thing to open a meeting with prayer. The people feel that they are in the presence of God, and all will work together in the sweetest harmony to further the cause of Christ.
I would make the point, too, to have the people supplied with hymns; for I think the progress of a meeting is oftentimes greatly disturbed by the people not having the words before them. Mr. Spurgeon comments on the hymns, and tells his congregation how he wants them sung, and so the people become deeply interested; and there is not a man in his church that is not singing at the top of his voice. If the minister don't manifest any interest in the singing, and is studying the heads of his sermon, the choir get careless and listless. Many a man will come to church and the sermon will pass into and out of his ears and be forgotten; but the hymn will linger and work for good.
I remember in Philadelphia, years ago, when I was a little boy, I heard an old minister get up and read the hymn, "There is a fountain filled with blood." I have thought of that old man, with his gray hair, and tears streaming down his face as he read that hymn, ever since; though I, have forgotten the sermon and everything else. I want to spend five minutes more, that you may ask me some practical questions. If I have any information, I will be pleased to give it to vou.
Q. Would you not think it better to encourage congregational singing by abolishing the choir altogether, and Tiave it led by a single voice? A. I think not, from the fact that very few precentors have the power of voice to lead two or three thousand people. They have to labor so hard in leading that they don't create that sympathetic feeling toward the singing that should exist. There is no impropriety in it; but I would not advise any man or woman to attempt it alone.
Q. What about smaller meetings? A. The same will apply to small ones.
Q. Would you have the leader of a prayer meeting pitch the tune? A. If a singer, he could do it; but, of course, the man who leads is not always a singer. I think we would have a hard time if I should ask brother Moody to lead the singing here to-day. [Loud laughter.]
Q. If you have not got any singers who are Christians, what would you do? A. I would cor»menoe evangelistic services at once, and get some. [Loud laugh,er.]
Q. Would you recommend solo singing in the ordinary church services? A. Not as a rule.
Mr. Moody—I would if I had Sankey. [Loud applause.]
Mr. Sankey—Let me for a moment speak of this solo singing. I read in the Word here, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." These are hymns which teach and preach the gospel, and these are not hymns of praise. I believe there is another power of singing which many have not discovered yet, that of preaching the gospel. There is no praise in the hymn, "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by;" yet it has been blessed to hundreds of souls. It is not praising God at all. When it comes to praising God, I will join in the general singing as heartily as anyone else. If I want to preach to you in song, 1 would ask you to listen.
Q. Would you ask the congregation to sing in unison? A. As a rule, I would ask them to join in the air or leading part, and iet the choir bring in the tenor and bass and other parts. If, however, a man in the audience is a good singer and his voice is better adapted to singing bass, let him sing bass.
Rev. Dr. Taylor said: It seems to me, as a foundation of all that is said and done on this matter, that we ought to have bright ideas of the importance of praise. Let us think of what the sacrifice of praise in the house of the Lord is designed to do. It prepares the way for the descent of the Holy Spirit into thp heart. Bring me a minstrel, said Elisha; and while listening to the music the Spirit of the Lord came down and he prophesied. Very frequently, through the music of a song of praise, the Spirit of God in his glory has come down and filled the living temple of the human heart; for it not only prepares the way for the sermon to follow, but very often clinches the effect produced by the sermon. I heard the beautiful story about Toplady's conversion. He went into a barn in Ireland, where he heard a Primitive Methodist minister preach the gospel. At the close, the minister gave out the hymn, "Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched." It seemed to him then that the whole company of the congregation took up the appeal from the minister's lips, and instead of one appeal there was that of hundreds. Then he' gave his heart to Christ, and nobly did he honor the obligation in his latter life by laying on the altar of Christ the hymn that we are Ro fond of:
"Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee."
Then, again, singing sustains the heart in trial. Very often in this country we are in the habit of serenading our great men; but ohl no songs in the ear of God are like the serenades which go up from the hearts of God's children, in the night of trial. He comes forth from his throne to speak words of comfort and cheer. Then, again, it braces the heart for conflict. After his last supper Christ sang a hymn. The Lord Jesus sang, and sang with Gethsemanein view, to brace himself up for conflict with the prince of this world. Who does not know, too, how Luther strung himself up for his reformation work by that noble version of the 46th psalm, termed the Marseillaise of the Reformation. Mr. Sankey has covered the whole ground in the admirable address to which we have listened; so in my remarks I will limit myself to congregational singing, and will look at it from the point of view of the pastor. Mr. Sankey has a little forgotten that, while conducting the evangelistic services, he has everything in his power; the pastor has to take the church with him. The church must be like Wordsworth's cloud, and move all together, if at all. Ministers have to suffer, like Moses, for a good many things for the hardness of people's hearts. [Laughter!] If we want to come up to the ideal pitch of perfection, we should probably end by making discord all around. So we have got to make the best of things, as at present. We ought to be limited in our range of selection of hymns. I have a profound conviction that the great size of our congregational hymn-books is killing congregational singing.
It is not possible for the great multitude of the congregation to acquire the facilities to sing all the tunes needed for the rendering of these hymns. The first thing I would recommend a minister to do is, by a species of natural selection, to make his own little selection out of the big one; and if, by any accident, he should give out one that dragged, then put a beacon on it and not give it out again. [Laughter.] Let ministers give good heed to the counsels Mr. Sankey addressed to them, with regard to the necessity of cultivating good feeling between them and the choir. If they persist in looking on the choir as hirelings, it will develop the hireling spirit. Don't continue to look on them as necessary evils. [Laughter.] Go and have a free and frank and brotherly conference with them. Don't manage it by authority; you can never do that. [Laughter.] Manage them by influence and love. Talk sincerely and earnestly on the subject. One more thing I would say, if we have good congregational singing, we must have rousing preaching. [Laughter.] The best way to heat a church is ^o have the stove in the pulpit. [Laughter.]
Rev. Dr. Hastings in an address in some measure differed from the principles laid down by Mr. Sankey. He said, first of all, he had not one particle of sympathy for the church suffering under the curse of mercenary choirs, nor would he until the church would wake up to the fact of the shameful neglect of which she was guilty in this matter of praising God. You ministers, said he, who are tortured by quartettes, I am not sorry for you. Have you gone to the rehearsal? have you taken them by the hand and found out their thoughts about the praise of God? have you ever shown any sympathy for them personally? When they are singing in church, are you looking over notes, or looking over the Bible, or occupying yourself with something else? If I tread on Mr. Moody's toes a little for a minute —one service which is permitted to be interrupted is, the service of song. Mr. Moody, while Dr. Adams was praying didn't say "Open the doors;" but the moment the hymn is singing he says, " Now open the doors and let them in." [Loud laughter.] The most magnificent thing I ever heard in my life is the lifting up of voices in this great congregation. I don't blame Mr. Moody; it is only of a piece with the common habit of the church, throughout the country. What Brother Sankey said this morning was admirable sense for the millennium; but we are but little past the middle of the nineteenth century yet. Let us work toward it. I have got a pretty good pair of legs, long enough for ordinary use. [Laughter.] For many years, whilR my sainted father was with me, I had the delight of having my choir just as I wanted; and when the crisis came, I said to my legs, "Now do your duty;" and I went on the hunt, just as Mr. Sankey recommended, to find singers in the congregation to make themselves targets for the ungenerous criticism of the congregation. My congregation is better than the average on that subject. [Laughter.] Singers have some rights which Christians are bound to respect. They are not respected by the church and ministers as thej' should be; they are held at arms-length. The average condition of musical culture, in a given congregation, must determine what the singing should be, and that congregation cannot ignore the fact without a violation of nature. I would rather have a first-rate quartette than a first-rate precentor. There is more music in it. You can have a Christian influence prevailing in a quartette choir as well as in a choral choir. The churches have not lifted up this ser vice and elevated it with the service of prayer. I long for the revival of love and joy in the Holy Ghost, to bring us to our senses on
this subjeot. Why, look at the days of Solomon, when four thousand were set apart for the service of song. There is not a church 1 ever knew of that took any careful measures to train up either a leader or a choir for themselves.
The second hour's services were now commenced, Mr. Moody saying amid laughter, "Now I don't know how to get the people in;" adding, after giving out the second hymn: "Let's all rise and sing. Never mind the doors. If you are paying attention to what you are singing you won't notioe the people coming in. If I were to set apart two minutes for them to come in, then these ministers would get talking, and I couldn't stop them." [Laughter.] After a short
Ereliminary service, the following queries were put, and answered y Mr. Moody: Q. How can you introduce new hymns into the church? A. One
food way is to nave one night given to sacred song, and singing new ymns and tunes as well as old ones; and then I would nave the people have the books in their home.
Q. How can I get the speakers to be short in the prayer-meetings? A. Be short yourself, and set a good example. [Laughter.]
Q. My church is divided. I can't get them united in special services. What am I to do? A. Just get as many as you can, and just get each one to influence those that are standing out.
Q. I am a pastor in a town with about ten thousand inhabitants. I cannot get the young men out to our meetings. What am I to do? A. The best thing to do is, just to have a yoke-fellows' band, form the Christian young men into a band. Suppose there were only three of them; let them meet and pray together. The little band will soon grow; and in the course of a few months, they will be thirty. Let your preaching be short; throw away your manuscript, and preach right at them. [Laughter.] If you see a man is gone asleep, make up your mind that you have get to close. There ought to be no trouble about that. A man can get a hymn book for five cents. He can drop off one cigar and get it. The great trouble is that a great many only have the books in the church; they ought to have them in their homes.
Q. What do you think of having a service devoted entirely to sacred song opened and closed by prayer? A. A very good thing.
Q. What would you do to get people out to hear the gospel preached? A. Get them out to hear it sung. In that way, you will get them acquainted with it. Touch it up with some little story, when you give it out; and before you know it, you are preaching to them.
Q. What is the best book for inquirers? A. Well, the book written by John is about the best I have ever seen. [Laughter.]
Q. How would you wake up an interest in the church prayermeeting? A. Why, wake up yourself. Shake hands with the yci^ng men; say you are glad to see them; and you maybe sure they will come back again. I believe men living in a country district, have, in this respect, more advantages than we in cities. When I was in my native village, I had all those long winter evenings to myself; and if there had been such meetings, I would have been glad to go to them. When I went back to my native town, last summer, I preached there for a short time. When I was ready to go away, some of the young oonverts asked me what they should da I told them to go right into the school-houses, and hold a series of meetings. The result was that these houses are filled with people at those meetings. I tell you, the nation is hungry for the gospel.
Q. If a church is sadly in debt, would you favor a fair? A. I am a sworn enemy to them. I never knew one yet but the devil got in before we got through. Just conceive for a moment, Paul going down to Corinth to open a fair. God's people have money enough; they don't want to go into the world to get it. There was a time when the church was trying to get out of the world; but now the world has come into the church. A young lady is put behind a table, to draw young people by her beauty. I don't know when I was more mortified than by an advertisement of a church fair in the West, where it was said that any young man could come in and take a kiss from the handsomest woman at the fair, for twenty-five cents. I hope the time is come when we shall be rid of these abominations. It would be a good deal better to preach in the streets than to get a church put up in that way.
Q. How would you get members to work?
A. Well, keep them out of fairs. [Laughter.] I don't think you can move the church in a mass; you have got to work with them privately, and personally. A great many persons would work, if they were shown what to do; and there are a good many others of executive ability in the church, who could set them about it. Suppose the politicians wanted to carry New York; they would know now every man would vote. The most precious hours I ever spent were employed going from house to house, preaching Christ. There is plenty of work; the fields are already white for the harvest. I remember, one time in Chicago, I was asked to take an interest in the children of a saloon-keeper, who was a notorious infidel. I took the man's address. I went down and found the old fellow behind the bar. I told him my errand; and I had to get out a good deal quicker than I got in. I thought I would try him the second time, when he would be a little less under the influence of drink; but he made me go out again. I went back then the third time. "Well," said he, "look here, young man; you were talking about the Bible: I will read the New Testament if you will read Paine's 'Age ot Reason.'" "Agreed," said I; but he had the best of the bargain. [Laughter.] I had a hard iob to read it through. I went down to the saloon to find out how he was getting on. All the time, he would talk about Paine's "Age of Reason." One Saturday, I tried to get him to go to church on Sunday. "Now," he says, "if you want church, you must have it in my saloon. This is as good a church as any in Chicago. You can have preaching here, if you want to." "Well," says I, "to-morrow morning at 11 o'clock I'll be here." "Look here, young man, I want to do part of it myself." I said, "Now, let us distinctly understand how much you and I will have. Now, suppose you and your friends take the first forty-five minutes; and I take the last fifteen." He agreed to this. That Sunday morning, I took a little boy with me that God had taught how to pray. That is some years ago, and I remember how weak I felt as I went down to that infidel saloon. I found, when I got around, he had gone to a neighboring saloon where he had engaged two rooms with folding doors, and had them filled with infidels and deists, and all shades of belief. They first began to ask me questions; but I said: "Now you go on with your forty-five minutes, and I shall listen." So they got to wrangling among themselves. [Laughter.] Some thought tnere was a Jesus, and some not. When the time was up, I said: "Now look here, my friends, your time is up; we always open our meetings with prayer." After I had prayed, the little boy cried to God to have mercy on these men. They got up one by one, one going out by this door and one by another. They were all gone very soon. The old infidel pdt his hand on my shoulder, and said I might have his children. He has since been one of the best friends I had in Chicago. So, you see, it must be personal work with us all.
Q. What is the best book on revivals? A. The Bible. [Loud applause.]
Q. To what extent is it profitable to use the talents of Christian women in special efforts? A. The women in the inquiry meetings here are of great help. A woman's meeting is held every day, at the close of the noon prayer meeting; and their inquiry-room is always nearly full. No one can visit so well as a woman. The time is coming when their will be ten women missionaries for one we have now. A woman can go into the kitchen, and sit right down and talk with a woman at the wash-tub. The poor woman will tell a person of her own sex her troubles, when she will not converse with a man. What a blessing it would be if in this oity, as in London, ladies of wealth and position would visit the woor.
Q. How could you get your choir in the front of the church, when they insist on staying in the rear? A. I tell you how it is done at Northfield. They have got an organ in the gallery, away far from the pulpit. I objected to this, but not only that, I didn't see the object in having singing behind the people. Our ears are not put on in the wrong way. [Loud laughter.] I said I would send to Bradbury and get an organ myself; and then they brought it down.
Q. Suppose none of the congregation understand music? A. Well, I don't understand music; but I can sing as well as Mr. Sankey can. [Laughter.] I can sing from my heart. The fact is, people have gone to sleep. Larks never sing in their nests; it is when they get out. [Laughter.] A little boy who had been converted was constantly singing. While his papa was reading the paper one day, he came up to him and said: "Papa, you are a Christian; but you never sing." Says the father, "I have got established." [Laughter.] Not long after, they went out to drive; but the horse would not go. The father got vexed and said, "1 wonder what ails him?" "I think," said the boy, "he has got established." [Laughter.]
Q. How far shall persons be urged to confess Christ? A. You will see in Romans 10: 10. If we are to be soldiers of Christ, w» are to put on the livery of Christ, and let the world know.
Q. Should the influence of the Spirit be waited for? A. Our work is to preach Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to convince men that Christ is the Son of God. He will do his work if we will do ours.
Q. Should a pastor lead a weekly meeting of young convert*, in order to train them in Bible study? A. A very good thing. We should teach them both Word and works. In an article written by a friend of mine, it is asked, How is a man to mow if he does not sharpen his scythe? What would you say of a man who is always sharpening his scythe? The quickest way to train young converts is to put them to work; but the Word should not be neglected. When the scythe gets dull, it should be sharpened again.
Q. How about fault-finders? A. I would deal with them personally, and ask them how it is with their own souls.
Q. How can you make sinner feel their sinfulness? A. That is God's work; you can't do it.
Q. If a minister or some influential layman should object to your working? A. I should preach in a cottage, or elsewhere. Never force yourself on a people; but if you are faithful, they will be glad to hear you.
"HOW TO GBT HOLD OF NON-CHURCH GOER8."
Rev. Dr. Armitage opened the debate on "How to get hold of non-church goers," saying: "I like this better than the usual form of the question, which is, 'How can we reach the masses?' It is sharper, and goes more directly home. It draws the line distinctly between the church and those who are not the church. First, we are to get hold of non-church goers by going after them. They will not come to us. The Savior of the world went about seeking those that were to be saved; and then he saved those whom he had sought. He is our pattern in that matter. He did not expect the wanderer from the house of Israel to return to the fold; but as the Shepherd, he left the ninety and nine and went into the wilderness after the sheep that had gone astray, and put it on his shoulder and brought it to his flock. Our Lord did not wait for the people to come to him. He wetit after the people, into the cities and villages, everywhere. How can we get hold of non-church goers? It does not mean simply moving them, but there is a nerve about the old Anglo-Saxon way of putting the question when it says, getting hold of them; it indicates muscle, nerve, spirit, will, resolution, industry, perseverence. It is exactly as Jesus did. We must fall baok perpetually upon our Lord's example in this thing; and when we go to the non-churchgoer we must urge the great facts of Christianity—Christ's birth, Christ's life, Christ's death, and resurrection and ascension. We must get hold of them by an intense love for them; nothing less will open their hearts to the church. Love is always unconventional. It knows nothing about poverty; it knows nothing about ignorance; it knows nothing about the distinctions of rank and of character. Love sweeps away all these distinctions as secondary things. Where you visit people in love, you can find that one loving, earnest soul always moves another soul. What would you give for a poet unless he were in a blaze? What would you give for an orator unless he were in a glow? What would you give for a sculptor unless he were full of tenderness? What does the non-church-goer think of you and me, my friend, when we go to him otherwise than full of love, beaming with the love of our Lord Jesus and full of tender sympathy? It is said that the natives of India, when they wish to quarry out a big stone, first chisel a grove around the block of granite; then they kindle a fire along the groove; and when they have kindled the fire upon the stone, then they pour into the trench a little water, and the rock expands and bursts. This is what we must do in serving men, and this is what our Lord Jesus did. He ran the chisel round and wrought a groove upon the intellect, and then
Coured his love into the heart; and then the tender tears fell from is eyes and the rock broke. Let us not fail to go to his teachings for our method of seeking souls.
There was considerable applause at the olose of Dr. Armitage's address; but Mr. Moody remarked, "The time at our disposal is so short that we haven't any time for applause, and must fill up every minute. We will next hear from Rev. Dr. Newton, of Philadelphia." Rev. Dr. Newton said: The Lord Jesus when upon earth called his people "the salt of the earth;" but the salt is of no use unless it be scattered. He also said, " Ye are the light of the world;" but the rays of the sun must be dispersed, if they are to give light all over the earth. Oh, if the church, by its individual members, would but scatter the rays of spiritual light in this way, how many hundreds and thousands might be brought within its influence. We may do this wherever we go. An Episcopal clergyman in England was staying at a hotel, and was waited upon by a little English girl. He asked her, "Do you ever pray?" "Oh, no, sir," she replied; "wo have no time here to pray; I am too busy to do that." "I want you to promise me," said the clergyman, "that during the next two months you will say three words of prayer every night; and when I come here again, at the end of that time, I will give you half a crown." "All right," she said; "I will do it." "Well, Jane, I want you to say every night, 'Lord, save me.'" He left; and two months after when he came again to the hotel he inquired for Jane, and was told; "Oh, she has got too good to stay in a hotel; she has gone to the parsonage up yonder." He went to see her; and as she opened the door for him she said, "Oh, you blessed man, I don't want your half-crown; I have got enough already." And then she told now, at first, she had just carelessly run over the words as she was going to bed at night; but after the first two weeks she began to think what the word "save" meant. Then she got a Bible and found the words, "Christ Jesus came into the world to same sinners;" and the prayer was no longer a mere form. "Now," she said, "I am happy, and I don't wan't your half-crown; but I am so thankful that you asked me to say that prayer." Wherever we go, let us carry that spirit with us, and be ready to speak to all we meet; by that means, we shall soon "get hoH of non-church goers." Take simple means, and use sympathy, feeling, love, and earnestness. In the congregation of an earnest minister, there was a man who was an infidel, and who prided himself on his opposition to the gospel. The minister prepared a sermon, in which, by powerful argument, he sought to convince the man of his error. But he sat unmoved through it all. When the infidel got home, his little girl came to him with her eyes full of tears, and having evidently something upon her heart. He asked her why she was crying, and she replied: "I am thinking of what my Sunday-school teacher has been telling me about what Jesus suffered for us;" and then, looking straight in his eyes, she said, "And oh, papa, don't you thinl- we ought to love this blessed Jesus?" He had resisted the sera To; but the child's words broke him down. He went to his room to pray; and that night he went to the church to seek an interest in the prayers of the people. When the minister heard of it, he said to his wife, after reading over the sermon to her: "There is one great lack about that sermon; there is not enough of Jesus in it." He learned the lesson which we must all learn; that if we want to reach the hearts of men, we must have much of Christ in our sermons and our conversation, and then we may expect God will bless us.
Rev. Mr. Fletcher, of Dublin, Ireland, said: I am the bearer of good news from a far country. Multitudes of people in Ireland, and Scotland and throughout Great Britain bless God for the visit to our shores of our dear brothers, Moody and Sankey. Thousands of hearts are praying for them every day. Before they came amongst us we were very much in the position of the minister alluded to yesterday, who often preached about the recognition of friends in a future state [laughter;] but we never saw our way clear to any kind of real Christian union among the members of the various Protestant churches until God in his good providence raised up these two men, and sent them over to our shores. Through their influence, good men of different denominations have become united, and we are now welded together; and we pray that God may bless this great country of America, from whence came these two men whose labors have been so greatly blessed. And let me say that if ever, in God's good providence, they should return, all England, and Scotland, and Ireland will receive them with open arms. [Applause.] Yet there were some wise men—men with long faces and longheads [laughter]—who prophesied that the work would not be permanent; many of the Episcopalian ministers—and let it be understood that I am Episcopalian myself, to the bask bone, if you please—were of this opinion. They said this kind of work is irregular; it will be much damage to the church; and some said: "Wait two years; we will give you that time; and then see where the converts will be." They prophesied that the effects would be "like footprints on the sand" of the seashore; you see, they got quite a practical idea. [Laughter.] But it was not true. [Applause.] The two years have passed since the work in Scotland, and more than two years since that in Ireland; and what is the result? I say it in the presence of my God—not for the praise of men, but for the glory of God—that the work is broader and deeper now than it was then. You ask, How is this? Wo had convened in a similar gathering to this *50 of the cream of our clergy—more than 400 of them Episcopalians, and the other 450 belonging to the various dissenting denominations; their hearts were warmed; they received a fresh baptism; and now they are working in their own city, town, and village parishes, in a way they never worked before. Hundreds of clergymen who were thus brought together confessed they did not know how to preach until they heard a layman. Now they preach eye to eye, heart to heart, face to face; and they look for immediate results, believing that they may be the means of the salvation of souls, as surely as they believe that Jesus lived, and died, and rose again and ascended into heaven. That is the way to reach the masses. Now what are you to do here? Many of our Episcopalian brethren in Ireland made a fatal mistake; and they are mourning for it to-day. And the same will be the case if the Episcopalian members hold aloof from this movement here. I am sorry there is one absent to-day. You should learn from our experience. Take our testimony. Know that this
work is from God, and that his Spirit is resting upon it. Remember, you don't honor the work by coming into it; but you get great honor by being permitted to take part in it. Look only to the honor and glory of Jesus, honor him by the circulation and preaching of his Word; and thus multitudes will be gathered into the fold of Christ. "Rescue the Perishing" was then sung by Mr. Sankey, who remarked that the following verse contained one of the most blessed truths that had been uttered in connection with the subject before them:
"Down in the human heart,
Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart,
Weakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more."
Rev. Dr. Chambers, of India, said: Two years ago I went into Central India, where the name of Jesus had never been heard. One day I found myself surrounded by people gathered from all quarters determined to stone us, because we spoke of a different God from the one they had worshiped. We saw them gather the stones as we prepared to preach. I thought I would propose to them to tell them a story, and that they should stone us afterward. They agreed to this. When I told then of the birth in a manger, and of the Godman that came to save us all, of his life and his wonderful works, before I .had finished they threw down their stones and I saw the tears run down their cheeks. I told them at last that my story was done, and that they might stone me now, but they said they did not want to now; and they brought their money forward that very day, and bought eighty of our Bibles. They appointed a committee of their noblest citizens, and escorted us back to our camp. Oh, that story of Christ has not lost any of its power, and the more we stick to it the more the devil will quake; the more we leave all controversy, the more sinners will be brought to Christ.
SThe speaker then, by request, sang one of the native songs of lia, translating its poetry.]
At the call of Mr. Moody an earnest prayer on behalf of the salvation of the heathen was offered by Rev. Dr. Schaff; and the. closing speech of the hour was made by Rev. Dr. John Hall. After offering words of congratulation and thankfulness in regard to the glorious work accomplished through the instrumentality of Messrs. Moody and Sankey in Ireland, England, and on this continent, he said that the work would be permanent just in proportion as the churoh was diligent. In regard to the subject under consideration, "How to reach non-church-goers," he replied that the work should be done by each individual Christian, working in their own sphere and among their own oirole of friends, and speoially by special 777
prayer, on behalf of the conversion of persons in whom our interest might be felt. He related circumstances in connection with his own church work, illustrating his idea, and showing how one conversion often leads to several others being reached. The church was as much a New Testament and God-ordained institution as the ministry, and work would therefore be best accomplished through that channel. He said he would not join in the cry for burning of sermons. Many sermons which were read were equally effective as those delivered extempore. He would not lay down any rule as to the length of a sermon. The worst rubbish he ever heard under the name of a sermon was preached in a Protestant church in Rome, and it only lasted ten minutes; and that was ten minutes too long. His theory was that all the trees in God's garden should bear fruit after their kind. [Applause.] When all the members of a congregation were engaged in prayer for individuals in whom they were interested, the result would be constant conversions. Nobody gets the glory, but the temple is built up, and Christ has all the glory.
OUR YOUNG MBJf: WHAT MOBE CAN W! DO FOR THEM?
Mr. John Wanamaker, President of the Philadelphia Y. M. C. A., said: The two questions which are before the convention this afternoon lie very close together. Of the non-church-going masses, certainly a very large portion, if not the largest, is composed of young men. I sometimes think that we forget how large a proportion of our population is composed of young men. I should not wonder if, in this city alone, there are as many as 350,000 young men out of the million and a half people in New York. What a vast oompany it is! What a peculiar company 1 And whilst I love the church dearer than anything else on this earth, yet I cannot but feel that I must work both in and out of it to reach this class of young men. Satan seems to have seized upon our young men, and is holding them outside the door of the church; and the preaching of our wise and faithful ministers therefore does not reach them. Hence, under the fostering care and inspiration of the pulpit, the Young Men's Christian Associations have been organized. If there is one other object these associations have in view, I have, in an acquaintance with them of twenty years, not been able to find it out. If we do not oonduot them in just the manner whioh seems best, I would say to my dear brethren of the ministry, give us your counsel; but don't, in your synods, and assemblies, and conferences, move resolutions about "certain unordained young men," and so forth, and so forth. Come to us, and help us make these associations what you want them to be. We mean to do what good we can by means of this "missing link" between the church and the outlying masses. [Applause.] These young men are sorely tempted, and they need our help. Mr.
Wanamaker told an affecting incident of a young man who presented himself at the Association rooms in Philadelphia; he had oome to the city to search for work, failed to get it, spent his money, and had not enough left to pay for a night's lodging. Just then he was offered a situation in a liquor saloon, but had the oourage to refuse it. "No," said he, "I will starve and freeze first. My father in the country is a Methodist class-leader, and my mother is praying for me; and it would break her heart to know that I was engaged in selling liquor." This young man was just one of thousands in our large cities, and they need our sympathy. Mr. Wanamaker again called upon the ministers present to give the Young Men's Christian Associations their hearty co-operation, and also counseled all present to give themselves to individual work for the Master, not relying upon superintendents, secretaries or committees, but each man and woman making the resolve to bring one soul to Christ every day of their life.
Mr. W. E. Dodge, Jr., very heartily commended the work of Young Men's Christian Associations to the prayers and active sympathy of both ministers and laymen present. In working for the conversion of young men, the first thing to be done was to show them that every one in the church loves and respects them; show them that they are wanted to work in the church; let them feel that they are an important part of the church; and make them work among themselves, and for each other. In country towns and villages, the system of sending out the young men two and two for Christian work had been greatly blessed. Much good had been accomplished, and the churches had been awakened by the reports which these young men would bring of their work. At the conclusion of Mr. Dodge's speech, Mr. Sankey sang, with intense feeling and power, the hymn, "What are you going to do, brother?" and the whole congregation was moved to tears. It was a touching sight to see many of the strong men oocupying the delegates' seats in the centre of the house visibly affected at the touching, solemn, and heart-searching appeal.
Then Mr. Moody, departing from the programme, made some concluding remarks enforcing the need for a constant daily baptism of the Holy Spirit as the only condition of successful Christians. He quoted Scripture passages from the gospel of John and Acts to show that both Christ and the apostles waited for the Baptism of the Spirit before commencing their mission, and said it was a mistake to suppose that, because a man had the Spirit's presence at one time, that as a matter of course he had it ever after. Many a man has lost the unction of the Spirit, and it was only to be regained by heart-searching and earnest imploration. "Oh, for such an outpouring of the Spirit," said Mr. Moody, "during these last moments of the Convention that we may not have room to receive it." After a few moment of silent prayer, a fervent petition was offered by Dr. Roswell Hitchcock.
At the evening meeting the Hippodrome was again crowded to its utmost capacity. The exercises were opened with the familiar hymn, "Come thou fount of every blessing," by the whole congregation. Prayer was next offered by one of the delegates, and then followed the hymn, "Almost Persuaded," by Mr. Sankey. After this Mr. Moody, instead of a sermon, commenced a series of questions, which he put to the Rev. Dr. Plumer, of South Carolina, as follows:
Q. I am living in the world with eternity before me, and I have broken the law of God; what must I do to be saved? A. There is but one single answer to that question. It sounds out in the jail at Philippi: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house." That is the substance of all the Scripture on this subject, summed up in a few words.
Q. Is faith in Christ essential to salvation? A. "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he believeth not in the name of the only-begotten Son of God." "Without faith it is impossible" to please God."
Q. There are a good many in the inquiry-room who tell us we are making too much of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A. That may mean two things—first, that we are making too much of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that cannot be so, for he is all in all, the First and the Last, the Author and the Finisher of our salvation, the one Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King of his church; or it may mean that we are making too much of faith itself, and that cannot be so, unless we are making more of it than the Bible does. The words "faith" and "believe" occur about 500 times in the New Testament; and in a large number of cases, they are so found as to imply the absolute necessity of salvation. Jesus taught his disciples this when they asked him "What shall we do that we may work the works of God?" saying, "This is the work of God that ye believe on the name of his Son whom he hath sent." And again Christ said: "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
Q. Does our faith, or want of faith, decide our relationship to God the Father? A. The Scriptures say: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; ye have both seen and hated both me and my Father;" and so many other Scriptures. No man can refuse to confess that Christ, the Son of God, is come in the flesh, without denying God.
Q. Is faith in Christ wrought by the Holy Ghost alone? A. The Bible says: "Faith is the operation of God; and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering." Faith is the fruit of the Spirit . "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost."
Q. Is there no substitute for this faith in Jesus Christ? A. The want of faith bars everything. I remember John Calvin puts it: "The annihilation of faith is the abolition of all the promises." The Scriptures justify this remark. In the great commission given by Christ to the preachers of the gospel he says, "He that believeth not shall be damned." These words are those of the Son of God.
Q. What is the faith that saves the soul? A. Because faith is a simple act of the soul and not complex, it is not very difficult to explain it, but we can say something about it in a few words. "Believing on Christ," "believing in Christ," and "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," are all terms found in the New Testament, and all mean the same thing. That is comfort; and if we seek the testimony of God concerning his Son, he sets to his seal that God is a true witness, when he says eternal life is in his Son. It is hearty persuasion. Saving faith is a hearty persuasion that Jesus Christ is the sole and sufficient cause of salvation to lost men. It is a cordial belief that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is come in the flesh and has died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.
Q. We hear a great deal about feeling. Can faith be experienced by our sense of feeling? A. The outward sense of feeling cannot be expressed, I suppose is your meaning; but the Scriptures say it can. Paul calls on his hearers to feel after God if haply they might find him. It represents a man as a poor blind man groping his way, and he is in earnest, but cannot see. Take the case of Bartimeus. There he was, blind; but he heard a noise and asked what it meant, and they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by; and he started. He may have stumbled and may have fallen, but be was soon up and at it again; and as he went he cried, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!" Some found fault with him for his noise, and told him to be silent; but he cried out a great deal more, "Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me!" He felt after him and groped his way, found the Lord and got the blessing. So you may be poor and spiritually blind, and so far from the Redeemer; but oh, feel after him, if haplv you may find him.
Q. Is the sense of taste ever used to illustrate faith in the Bible? A. Many a time. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him." The call upon us is to make a trial, to test the thing by experience. We read and hear a great deal of the excellency of coming; but if you come and taste frequently, you will know more of its sweetness than by all the pictures you could give. The text I cited says "See;" that means, "know certainly." The man that comes to Christ and tastes his love, sees that the Lord is gracious.
Q. Is faith ever spoken of as hearing the gospel message? A Many a time. "Incline your ears," saith God. "Hear and your soul shall live." And Jesus himself says, "He that is of God, heareth God's words." And he often said when on earth, "He that has ears to hear let him hear." Indeed, Christ loved suoh language so much that, sixty years after he was glorified in heaven, he sent seven epistles to as many churches, in each one of which he says, "He that hath ears to hear let him hear." Oh, my hearers, hear; and your souls shall live, and not die.
Q. Is faith in Christ the same thing as looking to Christ? So much is said in Scripture about looking, that we should like to hear what is the difference between faith and looking. A. None. In the days of Moses, in the wilderness the fiery serpents got among the people, and many of them died from the effect of the bite. And God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole above the tabernacle; and whosoever looked upon the brazen serpent should live. I don't think it is a stretch of the imagination to say that this case may have occurred many a time. A man might come to his brother to-night and say, "Oh, brother, you are bitten; are you not?" "Yes." "But there is good news for you. There is a serpent of brass upon the pole; and if you will look to it, you will get well." "But," says the bitten man, "I am almost blind now; I am half dead already. It cannot do me any good. Looking on a brass serpent cannot cure a poisoned person, without any medicine." "Well," says the brother, "try it;" and they help him up and direct him to look, and ask him if Ire sees. And he replies, "I do believe I see something glistening in the sun. I feel better already. Why, I am well. Glory be to Godl" And the prophets of Israel said, in reference to the Messiah: "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and beside me there is no Savior." And Jesus himself said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life."
Q. Can people look unto him to-night and be saved? A. We have God's command for it. Why not Took now? Give up all other hopes, and don't trifle and take a dose of morality, or depend upon a little amendment of life, but look upon him and live.
Q. Do the Scriptures teach us the nature of an act of faith to save the soul? A. They say that " I am the living bread that came down from heaven;" and we must eat of it. They say that salvation is the water of life, and we must drink it; that we must receive the Son of God, welcome him, and must fly for refuge, like the man-slayer, for the hope that is set before us in the gospel.
Q. Are we ever commanded anywhere in Scripture to embrace the gospel? A. The word embrace is not found there, but the command is in other terms. Kiss the Son. In western Asia, it was common for persons who had been at variance to have times of settlement, and they came together and kissed, as the father of the prodigal fell upon his son's neck and kissed him in token of perfect reconciliation; and that is the way the custom has been introduced into modern Europe. General Macomb, when at the head of the American army, told me that he was called upon to settle a difference between two officers of the French navy. He heard the story of each separately, and made his decision, and announced it to each separately, and then called them together and announced it to both. They, of course accepted it, and, addressing them in French, he told them to embrace. Whereupon, they threw their arms about each other's necks and kissed, and thus made a final settlement. And so David, in the second Psalm, says: "Kiss the Son lest he be angry and y» perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little," for one drop of his wrath will put any man on earth into torment, like the torment of the damned.
Q. Does faith express trust in the Redeemer? What is the difference between faith and trust? A. Paul speaks of faith as trust in God. In Ephesians he says, "Ye who first trusted in Christ;" and again, "I know in whom I believe." If you look in the margin you will see that it reads, "I know whom I have trusted." You must confide in Christ. The word rely is found three times in the Old Testament, and every time it U in the sense of believe, or relying on God's Word.
•Twenty-siz pages art here added to correct omimon in paring the illuatrutiou.
THE GOSPEL AWAKENING.
Sermons, Addresses and (Bible (Readings,
Rev. Joseph Cook, Maj. D. W. Whittle, Miss Frances
E. WlLLARD, AND REV. GfiO. F. PENTECOST.
Contents Of Appendix.
Life Of Rev. Geo. F. Pentecost . . 811
The Blood Of Christ, Geo. F. Pentecost. . . 817
Birle Reading, " . 825 New England Scepticism In New England,
Rev. Jos. Cook, . • . . . 833
Use Of Birle In The Inquiry Room, Maj. D. W. Whittle 847
Lecture Ry Miss Frances E. Willard . . 854
Portrait Of D. L. Moody . , Frontispiece.
"Ira D. Sankey . . 20
"Maj. D. W. Whittle . . 35
Philip Paul Bliss, . . 40
Rev. Joseph Cook . . .44
Miss Frances E. Willard . 49
Rev. Geo. F. Pentecost . . 809
Moody At The Old Depot, Philadelphia . 81
u "Hippodrome, New York . . 161
""Tarernacle, Chicago . 309
Moody's Church, Chicago . . . 432
Farwell Hall, Chicago, . . . 529
Moody At The Tarernacle, Boston . . 641
REV. GEORGE F. PENTECOST.
It has been proved many times, in the history of Christianity, that when there is need for a special work to be done, the man adapted to the doing of that work is raised up by Divine Providence. If Mr. Moody is adapted to do pioneer work in arousing communities, and awakening sinners, and if Mr. Sankey is just fitted to accompany him as a singer of the gospel, so also, Mr. Pentecost seems to be the man above all others adapted by his peculiar ability to follow Mr. Moody. An eloquent, logical, and powerful preacher, an able expositor of scripture, a thoroughly consecrated Christian, possessed with a very elevated idea ot what it is to be a Christian, Mr. Pentecost though not widely known as yet as an evangelist, is destined to stand in the very front rank of Christian workers of this class.
Mr. Pentecost was born in Albion, Illinois. His mother's ancestry were English people. Her grandfather, Edward Flower, Esq., a wealthy Englishman, came to this country from Yorkshire with his two sons about the beginning of the present century, bringing with them a number of English farmers for the settlement of a colony. They brought with them furniture, and farm outfits, and purchased a tract of land from the government in the western wilderness, and named their settlement Albion. This settlement is now the flourishing town of Albion, Illinois. The furniture and farming utensils were carried across the country from New York, by wagon, and a strange contrast was seen when handsome window sashes, plate glass, carpets, and some fine furniture brought from England, adorned a house made of logs, and "chucked and daubed" with plaster in the chinks. This place was about a mile and a half from the locality of the present village, and was called the " Park Farm" being laid out, part woodland, part prairie, in the old English style. One of the sons, Mr. Pentecost's grandfather, inherited the place. His wife, Eliza Adams, was first cousin of Mrs. Adams, who wrote the hymn, "Nearer my God, to Thee."
Mr. Pentecost's mother was born in the midst of this English settlement, and in 1836 was married to Mr. Hugh L. Pentecost, who was travelling through the then "Far West" "partly on business but more for pleasure," and who, in his journey, visited Albion. He belonged to one of the early Virginia families and descended from Scarboro Pentecost, who emigrated to this country from that part of England indicated by his name, he being a descendant of a family of Huguenot refugees.
Mr. Hugh Pentecost lived for a little time after his marriage at Albion, in his wife's home. There, in the home where his mother had always lived, was born George F. Pentecost, the subject of the present sketch, Sept. 23d, 1842. His father then removed to New Harmony, in Indiana; from thence, in 1849, to Evansville, Indiana. Being unfortunate in business, and becoming much depressed and broken in spirit, the burden of the care and support of" the family fell mostly upon the mother, a woman of great courage and ability.
At nine years of age, George was taken from school and placed in a printer's office, where he learned every branch of the business, from that of "printer's devil" up to that of journeyman printer, attaining the latter position when fifteen years of age. He became an adapt in his work, being a very rapid compositor. About this time he " went west," to Quindaro, Kansas, near Leavenworth, and engaged yi various occupations. Now he was clerk in a store, now worked in a saw mill, now worked on the streets, and then again chopped wood. He appears about this time to have been a kind of Jack-at-all-trades and good at all of them. In 1858 he went to Kansas City and worked again as a printer; thence to Leavenworth; thence to Lawrence; thence to Lecompton. Here he had a Secretaryship under Gov. Denver, and was afterward Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court under Judge Lecompt. After a little time, he was appointed by President Buchanan, Clerk of the U. S. District Court of Kansas, but was compelled to surrender the appointment because he was not of age, being then only twenty years old. In i860, he returned to his mother's home in Henderson, Kentucky (his father having died in 1856), and continued the study of law which he had been pursuing in Kansas, serving in the Courts meanwhile as Deputy District Clerk. At this time, and for three years previous, his life was wild and dissipated; his leisure time being spent in card-playing, wine drinking, and playing billiards in places of low resort. He was at this point what would be called "a fast young man." During the winter of '6o-'6i a revival was in progress in the Baptist church, in Henderson, under the conduct of the Rev. George C. Lorrimer, then a very young man, now pastor of the Tremont Temple, a Baptist church, in Boston. One evening, young Pentecost, with several of his companions, went to the meetings to have a "good time," and make, as they expressed it, sport of the meetings. The result was that George F. Pentecost was converted, as also his two sisters, his mother, and a younger brother, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost. In February, 1861, George was baptised in the Ohio river. He determined at once to prepare for the ministry, and entered a preparatory school for that purpose in Georgetown, Kentucky, but the breaking out of the war, and the disturbed state of the country in that section, prevented him from carrying out his plans. He induced his mother to go to Indianap
olis to live, to escape the dangers of the border, and entered the Eighth Kentucky Cavalry, of which B. H. Brisrow, late Secretary of the Treasury, was Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. Pentecost was at once appointed Chaplain of the Regiment. In 1863, he was married to Miss Ada Webber, of Hopkinville, Kentucky, the home of Colonel Bristow, who, during a brief stay of the regiment there, introduced the young people to each other.
After serving in the army, and returning to Indianapolis to live, Mr. Pentecost had given up the idea of entering the ministry. His lack of education, his marriage, and the care of his mother, seemed to be obstacles insurmountable; but one day he was asked to preach on the Sabbath, for a small and feeble church, and complied with the request. He preached to about twenty people, and they invited him to come the next Sabbath. He went, paying his fare both ways, and then went again, and so became a stated supply, going Saturday nights to h>3 parish and returning to business Monday mornings. Finally they wished him to settle at a salary of three hundred dollars. Mr. Pentecost, writing of this offer and of his experience at this period, gives the following accouny
"This offer was not very encouraging to a young man with a wife, who had entered upon a business then yielding thirty-five hundred dollars a year, with flour at twenty dollars a barrel. However, through the entreaty of a true-hearted wife, who ' would rather go and live in one room and do all the work,' if I 'would only preach the gospel,' than to have all the luxuries I could procure her otherwise, I accepted the call, and settled as pastor of the Baptist church at Greencastle, Indiana, in May, 1864, living in one room, which served as bed-room, kitchen, parlor and study. It was hard, discouraging work. The church had been torn and distracted by political strife, was very low in religious life, and very poor. I was without expenence, utterly without trained preparation for my work, having no education, except such as I had picked up in the printing office, and knew absolutely nothing of theology. My entire library consisted of the Bible, hymn book, Cruden's Concordance, Flavel's ' Fountain of Life,' and Bunyan's ' Doctrinal Works.' With these I went to work, studying the Bible topically with the aid of the Concordance, preaching and studying Bunyan and Flavel, taking their propositions of Scripture truth and expanding them into sermons for myself. I suppose, during my pastorate of two and a half years, within which time I held one protracted meeting, during which I preached every night for three months, I worked almost every page of those blessed old Puritan preachers bodily over into sermons, Little by little I added to my store of books, beginning a course of reading and study, including Greek, which I have pursued ever since, reading omorously in every direction, theology, science, philosophy, and general literature."
From Greencastle, Mr. Pentecost went to Evansville, Ind., where he preached in a hall and on the streets, during the summer, and often as many as five times Sunday. Remainh.e it Evansville two years and a half, and declining a call to the Colloseum Place Baptist Church, New Orleans, he settled at Covington, Ky., where he remained a year and a half, and then, in 1869, became pastor of the Hansom Place Baptist Church, of Brooklyn. From Brooklyn he was called to Boston, in December, 1872, to become pastor of the Warren Avenue Church. He resigned this position in February, 1878, in order that he might give himself wholly to the work of an evangelist.
A special meeting of the members of the Warren Avenue Church was called and held on the evening of February 5, 1878, to take into consideration the resignation of their pastor.
Following is his letter resigning the pastorate:
"To the Warren Avenue Baptist Church, Boston:
Dear Brethren And Sisters In Christ:—It is with deep persona1 regret and at great cost to my personal affection that I am obliged to announce to you in this formal manner what most of you, without doubt, are prepared to near, to-wit: That God has called me so unmistakably to the work of an evangelist that I can do no other than obey the call. In order to do so it becomes mv painful duty to resign into your hands the sacred trust you have committed to me when, more than five years ago, you called me to the pastoral care 01 this church.
In resigning my pastorate, among other things I am profoundly grateful to God that the personal and fraternal ties that bind us together in thelife and lowe of the Lord Jesus Christ are not to be sundered, and that in leaving you I leave you to a united and happy church. It is also a matter of joy to me that the work to which God calls me is such as to allow myself and family to retain our membership in the church in whose fellowship we have shared together many joys and sorrows, and entered into the possession of many blessings.
I commend you to God and the word of His grace. And by that in your pravers vou will not cease to make mention of me to the great head of the church, that a door of utterance may be given me that I may speak boldly and loving the Gospel of our common Lord.
Believing that you recognize the hand of the Lord in this important change of relation between us, I beg that you will, however, if any of you might wish it otherwise, accept this, my resignation, without division of voice or vote. I am ever yours in the Lord Jesus Christ,
GEO. F. PENTECOST.
A resolution was offered by one of the deacons recognizing the fact that for some time the church had seen that they must lose the ministration of their pastor, on account of his peculiar fitness for evangelistic work, commending him to the care of God, after a warm testimonial of praise of his faithful and loving work among them as a pastor. The next evening he began the labors in Hartford, which were crowned with such abundant success immediately following Mr. Moody's departure from that city.
Mr. Pentecost's fitness for evangelistic work was demonstrated before he left his pastorial labors. God had already blessed with revivals each of his pastorates. Besides revival work in his own parishes he often took up special work outside, and while in Boston held successful gospel meetings at Wellesly College, Mass., Norwich, Ct.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Newburyport, Mass.; Bangor, Me.; Worcester and Framingham, Mass.; and, following Mr. Moody, at Manchester, Providence, and Hartford. The work which Mr. Pentecost did in the three last named cities, in company with Mr. George C. Stebbins, a gospel singer of great sweetness and power, was especially successful. In each of these cities he followed Mr. Moody, taking up the meetings where Mr. Moody had left them, carrying out the same programme, without any special change in the services. Mr. Pentecost seems to be peculiarly fitted for taking up the work where Mr. Moody leaves it. He holds the vast crowds together which Mr. Moody leaves as sheep without a shepherd, instructs the converts and older Christians in the principles and requirements of the Christian life, and awakens many of the unconverted who are left untouched by Mr. Moody.
There are several things which may be said of Mr. Pentecost as showing wherein Mr. Moody was justified in the remark which he made to the Hartford ministers: "Mr. Pentecost is the ablest evangelist who has ever crossed my path." In the first place he has great natural advantages and gifts. He has a fine physique, a selfpossession cultivated by fourteen years of extemporaneous preaching having never written a half dozen sermons in his life, is solidly and squarely built—and not unlike Mr. Moody in general appearance, and with any amount of physical endurance. While in Hartford, after preaching three times a day through the week, he sometimes preached four times on the Sabbath. He conducted eighteen services a week, and at least two-thirds of these sermons were delivered in the Rink, where Mr. Moody had preached, a building seating thirty-five hundred people. Mr. Moody once said of him that "he could preach eight or nine times a day and feel all the better for it." Mr. Pentecost shows a good knowledge of systematic theology, is careful and orderly in method, apt and telling in illustration, and at times, with flashing eyes, and his whole form alive with emotion, he rises into passages that have a prodigiously moving force upon an audience, worked as they are by the two requisites of real eloquence, earnest, passionate feeling, and that which Emerson calls "force of statement."
Together with these natural gifts Mr. Pentecost ha? made a special study of the Bible as a book, the Bible as an organic whole. Instead of beginning with a system of theology and trying to read the Bible into it, he began with the Bible, by virtue of necessity in youth, and has read his Bible into his theology. While not unacquainted with the theology of the schools he is not trammelled by it, and his discourses, expositions, and prayer meeting talks are as thoroughly biblical as those of Mr. Moody himself. His expositions of the parables of our Lord are especially helpful and instructive to Christians.
Added to natural gifts and biblical study, Mr. Pentecost has a genuine and profound Christian experience. His little book entitled "The Angel in the Marble" shows how thoroughly the Lord has instructed him, and how he has been led in the path of consecration to Christ. His talks on the Christian life at the noon-day prayer-meetings in Providence and Hartford were the delight of Christians of all classes. A pastor of Providence remarked that it was admitted by many that there had never been so much conviction for sin in Providence as under these searching expositions of true Christian living, and that it was mostly among church members. Mr. Pentecost has been counted by some as among the advocates of the so-called higher life, but those who have sat for a month under his instruction in the winter of 1877-8, give testimony, that while his talks and expositions are deep and searching, urging to a more complete consecration, he repudiates as unscriptural the notions of separate planes of Christian living.
We believe that Mr. Pentecost has a great and successful future before him as an evangelist. He is still young, and not so widely known as some others, but it only needs time and opportunity to make him serviceable and helpful to thousands of Christians, and the agent under God of leading thousands to Christ.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
Dtlmrtd at tkt Hartford Rink, March i, tSjS, by Rrv. G. F. Ptnttcoti.
The preciout blood of Chrijt.—I Pirn I, is.
If yon should take a little camel's hair pencil, as I have done, dip it into a bottle of'carmine ink and pass it lightly over those passages of Scripture from Genesis to the Revelation that make reference to blood in connection with all that refers to salvation, forgiveness, redemption, justification, peace, sanotification, glory, and everything of that kind, you would be astonished to see how red your Bible would look. And if you were to take your penknife and cut out all those passages you had marked, and then read your Bible through, you would be astonished to see how little of the Bible would be left, and how ragged it would be. If you should cut out everything associated with blood, there would bo no aalvation left at all. If you should pass into the heavens and blot out everything associated with the blood of Christ, you would be surprised to find how silent heaven would become, for the songs sung there are inspired by the fact that we are redeemed by His blood. If you were to drop that out there would be no wondering angels, for the mystery they desired to look into would be gone, no heaven, no Lamb, as it had been slain, no white robe, no redemption; just nothing at all but blackness and darkness. Oh, my heart grieves and is ofttimes filled with tears when I hear men trying to give to the people hungering and striving for salvation, something which they call salvation, but which is independent and separate from the blood of the atonement.
Now, in this, passage of Scripture which we have chosen for our text, '.he most prominent thought brought before us is, the blood of Christ. ': ije blood of Christ stands, of course, for the death of Christ; and the death of Christ means the voluntary offering, or the voluntary pouring out of his life before God, which we are told through the eternal Spirit, he offered up a sacrifice for sin; so that by the blood of Christ our thoughts are at once turned to that great culminating fact in the life of Jesus of Nazareth when he was lifted up according to the determinate counsel, and there poured out his soul unto death. Now it is remarkable that redemption, that forgiveness, that peace, that justification, that sanctification, that the ability to forgive, that glorification, are always associated with the death of Christ. We aro never told that his manger cradle gives us these things. We are never told that his wondrous teachings seoure for us these things. We are never told that his mighty miracles secured these things. They all hingo upon and are associated with his death, or with his blood. The new covenant is in his blood. He was raised from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant. He reigns in heaven the King of Glory in virtue of that redemption by blood. He prevails for us as the Great High Priest, because he is gone into the holiest—not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with his own blood, there to appear in the presence of God for us. We might spend the whole evening in showing how the blood of Jesus Christ is the great fact that makes every other fact in connection with Christ precious and potent to us. All this is consistent with the Bible from beginning to end. Almost the very first thing in connection with the promised salvation in Genesis is the fact of the sacrifice, the skins of* which sacrifice were taken and wrapped around the guilty in token that God had come to cover their nakedness when they had failed to do it themselves. And almost the last thing in the Revelation is the song magnifying the Gospel of God that redeemed them through the blood of Christ. We see this development in connection with the blood all the way through. We see God confirming the promise of Christ to Abraham when his heart was shaken; when Abraham divided the sacrifice before him, God met him there, scaling the covenant with blood. We see God remembering the ehildren of Israel in bondage; when the blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled on the door when the angel was passing over the accursed Egypt; when God met to worship with his people and accept their offerings those forty years; when God's priest went in and sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat. Nearly all the subsequent history of that wonderful people is filled with the smoke of burnt offerings and the crimson flow of blood. Everything was sanctified with blood. And behold, God said that without the shedding of blood there is no remission. When Jesus of Nazareth sheds his blood he is set forth as the Lamb or God that taketh away the sin of the world. We find that lamb at last carried to his altar on the cross, and we are told that the blood of that Lamb cleanses from all sin; no more offerings for sin; no more bloody sacrifices. Once for all in these last days God hath sent forth his dear Son; he has found one offering—perfect forever.
So then it seems that just this little sketch should at once settle our minds on this point that our personal salvation is associated with Jesus Christ and him crucified. I would like to say just a word about this adjective "precious"—which is a favorite of Peter's. '' The preoious blood." It is not often that the Scriptures use adjectives in connection with Christ, but here we find precious blood. And first of all it is an adjective of"worth" or "value." It is for the purpose of bringing before us the value of that ransom-price which is our redemption. We speak of diamonds and rubies and other stones of that kind as precious stones, meaning that they have in themselves intrinsic worth, just as all gold and silver and other precious metals have. We want to think 0*1 this worth as infinite in value. There is, however, something in this that makes it precious to us besides its mere intrinsic worth. I say of my children, "they are precious children." That adjective describes the tender, loving relation beiween us. So Christ is precious to us.
I want to call your attention to these words, "the precious blood of Christ," under these three divisions that you can carry away with you and remember. First, why is the blood precious? Second, how is it precious? And third, when is it precious? These three questions answered give the whole story.
I. Why is it precious? Because it is the redemption price of my soul. What does this word "redeemed" mean? It means simply to "buy out of." Remember in this connection that oftentimes a person under the old Jewish economy was sold into slavery, or into bondage, and there was a price of money which was paid to buy them back, or out oi their bondage. Sometimes robbers and banditti catch a man and carry him away into some mountain fastness—a rich man—and then send word to his friends that for a certain sum of money they can ransom him. That gives us a simple idea of redemption. But what are we bought out from under? How came we in any bondage or captivity? Well, we are in bondage by reason of our sin; and we are held under the just claim of the law of God, and the justice of God—the law and justice of God—cannot surrender a soul to salvation till the last jot and title of duty to God is paid. So Jesus Christ, or the Bible, says that he hath redeemed us from the curse of the law and the sentence of the law; "the soul that sinneth it shall die." If I hat sentence is carried out it is our eternal damnation; our banishment from the presence of the Lord and tho glory of his power; and there is no possible way given to men or angels by which man can redeem himself, or break away from this awful curse which sin has brought upon us. The only method under the just, righteous and holy law of God is, that one must be found who is able to redeem us. Now we read all through the Bible that Jesus Christ came into the world on a mission of mercy to us. H^ came into the world to take our nature—to have laid on him the iniquity of us all. He volunteered to put himself under the law. He was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him; with his stripes we are healed. He died—the just for the unjust. Everything about the death of Jesus Christ is cumulative evidence that his work was a redemptive work; that he poured out his soul unto death, ottering it up to the eternal justice, to the eternal holiness of God, to meet the necessary and essential claims of justice and law on account of sin that God might be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Then I say that as a sinner I am hopelessly cursed under the law of God. Jesus is precious to me because he hath redeemed me with his blood from this curse and hath set me free.
Then in the next plaoe, looking beyond the fact of our redemption, the blood of Jesus Christ is precious to me as taking into consideration the infinite worth of that redemption. It does enhance the preciousness oi my own soul. How dear it must have been to God that he should give such a price as that fur its ransom. "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ." A lady said to me to-day: 'Yes, I would give all my money if I oould get peace." But, ah, if your soul eould be purchased with money how small a thing it would be. But it is the blood of the Son of God—that is the life that was laid down to redeem your soul and mine. You see a little blood some day on the side of the street. You couldn't see a handful of blood without stopping to look at it, to save your life. You say: "What is that?" Some one replies, "That is the blood of a horse that got hurt." You pass on saying, "Oh, no matter; only the blood of an animal—a poor dumb brate." And you forget all about it. Or they say, "A man was killed there last night;" and an instinctive shiver goes through you; a orowd is drawn, and th»y look and look again. I remember a sad tragedy that took place in Boston a few years ago up in a belfry. A little child was smitten to death, and a little place about as big as the palm of my hand was covered with blood. People go there to this day and ask to look at that bloody stain. Life, precious life! But oh, what blood is this I see? Not the blood of an animal, nor of a human being. Whose blood is it? Take heed unto thyself and to the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. Who is Jesus of Nazareth? He is God manifest in the flesh. He is that mysterious person appearing on this earth, not for himself, but for others; the incarnate God to purchase us with his own blood. What must have been the amazing wonder of the angels when they saw him—when God said, "Let all the angels of God worship him." Him by whose word came all things into being; Him by whom, and through whom, and unto whom are all things. When the everlasting Father, the mighty God, the Prince of Peace, takes an heir unto himself and then submits that he should die under the curse of the broken law for sinners and pour his blood out—oh 1 what is the infinite prcciousness of that soul for which so costly a redemption is paid. I am surprised that men who hear the Gospel preached ean be careless in view of this fact I am only amazed at the mercy of God, that we have not been long ago stricken down.
Then the blood of Christ is precious for another reason. Sometimes people get the idea that this amazing transaction of the cross was a governmental arrangement with no especial significance in the way of affection or love. God oommendsth his love to us in that while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us. We have a picture setting forth all the effect of tho infinite love of God; precious to me because of what it eost a Father to give that Son to death. Do you think of God as a great, wonderful, impassible being that experiences no sorrow—that can know no emotion such as you and I feel at the death of a child? God through the Scriptures, talks in human language; tells of his sorrow, of his love; of his being grieved at the heart; of his being susceptible of those emotions of which yours and mine are but feeble manifestations. Now .out of the bosom of the Father to make this atoning sacrifice, his only begotten and eternal Son came forth to suffer and die—it was full of cost to the Father. I saw during the war what some of jou saw. I remember a regiment in my own town in Kentucky; I saw the bojs standing in ranks waiting for the word to march to battle. I hart seen a widowed mother hanging upon an only son—seen hot tears pouring down—seen her sinking at the feet of her son when the word to march came. I have seen fathers and mothers, brothers, wives and sisters yielding up their loved ones to the oountry. Some of you here to-night know how great a sacrifice this was. But if you could have known that the loved son would have come back a mangled corpse your patriotism would have broken down. Yon gave him up with nine chances in ten that he would eome back a hero. But when God gave His Son he knew what was coming. He knew the time was coming when under the cause of the law that dear Son bearing the sins of the world would suffer the agonies of the damned, that he would lie in the garden and sweat great drops of blood under the force of an anguish that we can never comprehend. God knew that His Son would have His back stripped, His flesh hanging in ribbons, as he was scourged like a common criminal. God knew that His own Son, the ruler of the uerse, would be spit upon and mocked; God knew not simply that His Son would go to yonder cross bearing the agony of crucifixion, but that in those hours of darkness, when there was silence in Heaven, when the earth reeled and rocked in terrible sympathy with that awful scene, God knew He must smite His Son as he would smite a world of sinners, cursed by the law. There is infinite meaning packed away in the 16th verse, III chapter of John: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but ha.ve everlasting life." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins." Besides it is precious because of what it cost the Son who sprang with gladness to offer himself in our stead, to have his face marred more than the face of any man; to have himself filled with all the mysterious consciousness of a sin-offering—bearing the awful eurse of the law that rested on men and that you and I might be redeemed from that curse.
The blood of Jesus Christ in the next place, is precious to me beause it is the only hope of my redemption. If this sacrifice on Calvary was only one of a dozen ways by which I might get back to God, it would not be so precious. If there was some other way by which we might be justified; if we might by good works or a series of penances or tears be justified, it would not seem so precious. But there is only one way. Not many years ago a young man started across the prairies to Pike's Peak. It was a long road of forty miles—a circuitous trail with no houses. Soon a light snow had began to fall. As he journeyed the snow continued to fall. As long as it was light he could make his way; but the darkness of night came on; he was cold and tired, and the snow had entirely obscured the trail. He was lost on that great barren waste of snow. There he was with night settling around him. He was numb with cold; in vain he tried to keep warm, till sinking in despair upon his knees, and moving his hands about, he plucked up a bunch of the dried grass. The thought came: "Perhaps 1 can kindle a fire." He had stumbled upon a little thicket of dry brush from which he broke some twigs. He found a little piece of paper in his pocket, and then felt for a match, when io, he found he had but one / What do you suppose would have bought from him that one little match? He could have got a hundred in the settlements for a cent. Do you suppose all the gold under the Rocky Mountains would have bought that one match? No! it was his all. His life was wrapped up in it. If it should go out, his hope would go. That young man did not have Christ. The question of death and eternity with its rolling ages came before him as he stooped on bended knees with a prayer that the match might hold fire. What was his joy when it started into a bright flame, and the fire was made and his life was saved. It was the only match he had; that was why it was precious. Here you are my friends lost on the dark mountains with but one name given under heaven whereby you oan be saved and that is the name of Jesus. The blood of Christ is precious because it is the only hope oi your soul's salvation.
II. How is The Rlood PRKCiouB? In the things that it procures for us. If you will turn to Ephesians, I, 7, you will see how it is precious, because the blood ot Jesus Christ secures for us the forgiveness ot sins: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." Pass to the Colossians, I, 20: "Christ having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto himself." Precious because it brings me peace; tells me that the great controversy between Cod and man on account of sin is ended; that the blood of Jesus Christ has made an end of sin. The war was over, so to speak, when the Son of God poured out his blood. But we need something more than peace. Turn back to the Romans, III, 24, 25. The blood of Jesus Christ has made peace. But I have been guilty before God. Oh, that I might stand before God with my conscience purged ol sin and guilt, an accepted justified man. Weil I thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ. "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
With that blood I stand justified, Rom. V. 9. The guilt of sin is rolled away and God regards me as though I had never sinned. Turn now to Hebrews, XIII, 12: "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify tUe people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." I want to say that while there is great similarity between justification and sanctificat «n, there is a distinction. David prayed, "Purge me with hyssop and 1 *hall be clean." But oh, he says, " wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." The blood of Jesus Christ brings to my soul a sense of cleanness. "Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow." God purges not only the guilt of the sinner, but through the blood of Jesua Christ, the blessed chemistry of grace is brought to bear, aud he cleanses the soul. But I go through the world in the midst of trials and the assaults of the adversary and I need a power to overcome them. I look over here to the Rev XII, 10, 11, and read: ". For the accuser of our brethren is cast down; and they (the saints of God) overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."
Away up yonder in an old castle on a mountain of Germany travelers are shown where Luther translated the Bible. They are shown a great black spot on the wall, the tradition of which is that Luther was working late one night almost to exhaustion. He says himself that he was made the subject of the assaults of the accuser of the brethren. One night the Devil came and stood before him in a sort of vision. The Devil said: "Are you Martin Luther?" "Yes," he replied. "You preach justification by faith, and that you are saved thus?" "Yes." The Devil pulled out a great roll, and read about Martin Luther giving the place of his birth, eto. "Yes, that is true," said Luther. Then there was a little black reoord of a sin away back in his earliest childhood. ''Yes," said Luther, "I did it, I did it." Then another—then another. "Yes," he said, "Yes," but his courage didn't fail him. And yard after yard of that dreadful roll, with all his sins of thought or deed, till the poor man sat trembling before that fearful record of a life-time of sin. And the fiend said; "And you are going toheavnn? Ah, what presumption!'' Luther says he was almost ready to give it up. But the Spirit of God whispered in his ear, "Tell him that that is all true, but the blood ot Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin." "Yes," shouted Luthor, starting up, "Yes, foul fiend, you have not painted it half black enough, but you forget to put at the bottom of that record of sin the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin." So saying, he took an inkstand and flung it at the head of the fiend who fled at the mention of the Lord. So we at times are aim st ready to give up our hope, but a thought of the blood of the Lamb makes us secure. That is the way we overcome. Let us turn to the Rev. VII. By and by we shall be in glory. At the 14th verse we find: "And I said unto him, sir, thou knowest. And he said to me. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." This is how the blood ol Christ becomes precious to us; it secures forgiveness of sin, peace, Justification, sanctification; it gives us power in the face of the accuser. It washes us and makes us clean to stand before the great white throne.
III. In Conclusion; When Is It Precious? Why in the hour of our conversion. My mind goes back sixteen years to the time when I was a poor, restless, tired, miserable sinner. Twenty years of my life had been spent without Christ and without hope in the world; ten of that spent in open sin against God and in dissipation. From the time I ww a lad till I was twenty, heaping up such frightful mountains of sin that I was startled at the shadows of night and tried to drown the voice of conicience and shut out the more berious thoughts of growing yeam with cards, wine and the world. I crept one night into a little Baptist church down in Kentucky, my soul all burdened and restless, yet not knowing what was the matter. I heard Christ preached as never before. I heard a young man's life depicted, and then heard, "But know thon that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." I said, "Yes, that is I." I crept back to that church another night, and by and by when the invitation was given for sinners, I went forward. As I have told you before, I wore myself out trying to make peace with God by my strivings. But one night—I don't know what the text was—the Tiaion of Jesus Christ was brought before me—the story of Him who came into the world to take the tinner's place; how God raised him from the dead, thus to declaring that He was satisfied with the offering Jesus made for the sinner. I remember how my soul closed in with that offer of mercy. I didn't know critically whether the Bible was true or not. I just put my soul on that sin-burdened Savior; and there the blood of Jesus Christ first became precious to me. It was fifty years ago, sister, or brother, when in some secluded spot yon kneeled before God. Or it was twenty years with some of you; or last week, perhaps. You know where and when it first became precious to you. To day I kneeled beside a lady, and there with tears she gave herself to Christ. I remember a young lady at my first pastorate in Indiana. She was a beautiful girl. She had a great struggle with herself. At a little supplemental meetiug for young people gathered there, we were pleading with her. I lifted up my voice and sang: •
"Oh bear my longing soul to Him,
Who bled and died for me.
Whose blood now cleanses from all sin,
And gives the victory."
"The victory 1" she said; "0, sing that once more!" And falling on the neck of her sister gave her soul to Christ 1
When I gave myself to Christ I thought I never would sin again. I said to those who were talking about their sins, "If you were ever converted as I was you would never talk about sinning. I will never sic again." And Lthought I never would. But in a week there came • stealing consciousness of something coming between me and God. I knew I had sinned. I said, "I have sinned after he has died for me." And for a few days I -groped in that awful darknet*. But in turning over the leaves of the book listlessly, and almost in despair, I fell upon the words: "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive u.«" I thought of the Advocate that had gone on high, and I ran to my Father and said: "0, my Father, I have sinned!" And again came the sweet angel of peace, and I could trust Him. Thousands of times I have had to have recourse to that blood in moments of great trial. But if God is for us, who can be against us?
There came other days when in the low valley God is dealing with our souls. He opens our hearts and we see the awful depravity. We are plunged in sadness. Then we think of the atonement and we rejoice again that the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient.
And by and by, dear friends, we are going where our friends are gone. We are drawing near the dark waters of death. Soon you will be there. Remember it won't be long. Just a few more days, sister,—just a little .while and you will be there young man. Perhaps you will go before the old ones go. A lady recently said to me, "I want to go to the Rink, but I have an awful fright about it. Suppose it should burn up or fall in, I should be killed." And so she doesn't come because she isn't ready to die. But what is going to sustain us? I sat by the dying bed of a woman. I said, "Is it all well, sister?" And she said, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin" And she went to God with that word upon her lips. It will be precious then.
Gathered around that great white throne I see a vast multitude whose robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Listen to the song they are singing. What is it? "Worthy art thou to take the book and break the seals; for thou wast slain and with thy blood thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests forever."
O it will be glorious when with Moses and the redeemed ones we sing the new song. I wonder what those people who reject the blood ot Christ would do if they could get there (as they cannot). They would say, 'What are they singing?" "They are singing, 'Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us with thy blood'" "But," say they, "We don't believe in blood."
The Lord give us light; the Lord make us to see. and incline our hearts to cast ourselves upon this infinitely precious ransom, is the prayer of your servant for Christ's sake.
Iter. G. T. Pentecost, In the Rink at Hartford, Caan. March », iSyS.
I would like to have you turn your Bibles to the Apostle of Jhi1./ Our reading to-day is based on the 21st verse—" Keep yourself in the love ot God."
There is a great mistake often made in regard to the passage. We are not told to keep ourselves full of our love to God as a great many Christians are trying to do, and who get discouraged because they do not love God as they think they ought to; and yet are all the time trying to increase their love—to bring it up to the proper measure. The result is they are constantly looking at their love to God to see if it is of the right kind, and it there is enough of it. Now this exhortation does not tell us to keep ourselves full of the love of God, but to keep ourselves in the " love of God," or keep ourselves in God's love to you. There is not a single command in the Gospel, bidding the disciples of Jesus Christ to love God. We are commanded to love one another, but we are never commanded to love God. Questions about our love to God are raised the fact that we ought to love God is implied all through, but there is no commandment to that end. But you say, "Did not Jesus say, Math. XXII, 37, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mnid * * and thy neighbor as thy self.'" Certainly but if you will mark the context y Hi will see that this was an answer to a lawyer, (tempting him) as to what the law was. "On these two" says Christ hang all the law and prophets." But it is at this point that man has failed. If our acceptance with God depended on keeping this law who could stand, for we all come short here. At this point the Gospel comes and shows us how having forfeited life because of the failure of our love to God we gave it, by the manifestation of His love to us. Hid perfect love to us; incarnate in Christ Jesus, and ininifest in His finished work. Thus we are bidden to turn away from ourselves to Him. We are privileged n<>w to hide ourselves in His perfect love to us. Truly, if Christ has so loved us we also ought to love one another. So we will, but we will not do this even as a condition of life.
What is it to keep ourselves in the love of God? You say if y»u could you would bo so glad to do so. If being an invalid you were instructed by a physician to go out on this beautiful spring day and take a little fresh air, and he should tell you to keep in the sunshine, you would know what he meant. He wouldn't mean that you must be careful to keep yourself full of warmth—keep up a vigorous exercise, but simply keep in the sunshine. You never have to puuip sunshine up out of yourself, but you just carry yourself into the sunshine. We don't struggle to get love to God out of ourselves, but take ourselves into the love of God and keep there; and let that love save us and sanctify us. A lady whom I met some time ago in Newburyport, Mass., had become discouraged about her Christian life; said she was under constant condemnation because she had so little love for God. She said the more she tried to love Him, the less she seemed able to, she was on the borders of despair. She was sitting at the time in her parlor, in a bay-window, she was lightly ul.nl, and over one shoulder had thrown a zepher shawl. I had noticed her sitting on several occasions. I called her attention to this passage: "Keep yourselves in the love of God." Then I explained it to her; how we were not to get sunshine out ot ourselves, but to keep ourselves in the sunshine if we would be healed and restored. She got the idea, and said: "I understand it perfectly now. For months I h»v« been laid up with inflammatory rheumatism. All remedies seemed to
fail; and at last the doctor told me to come every day and sit in the south window and let the sunshine beat through upon ihis shoulder where the dssease seemed to make its lust stand and that that would chase the the rheumatism out. I am doing this and am now getting well. And in the same way I have simply to keep in the love of God." '' That's it," said I. And thus we want to bring ourselves into the love of God. and keep there, and the blessed love of God like the shining sun will beat down upon our souls, striking us through and through with light and life, and every bit of disease, coldness, doubt, fear, anxiety and dread will be chased out of our hearts. Oh! I wish Christians—and sinners, too, for' that matter—could oome to know that they cannot be saved by creeping along on the lee side of some old stone wall of sin and self-effort; where they struggle and struggle, and think they have to get their own hearts all right before they dare stop out into the beautiful sunshine of God's love.
Now how about this south window? I want to open it to you, calling your attention to a few passages of Scripture, each one of which may be a kind of pane in this great south window through which the love of God is pouring. I Epistle of John, IV, 8, "God is love." Well 1 that is the south window;—God's love. There is your sunshine. Now every day and every hour when any question comes up as tb my relations to God, I just step back into this central truth of the whole revelation of God :—He is love. That is the whole truth about God. Dr. Chalmers says when a man finds out that God is love, he's a converted man.
Now love is not one of God's attributes. Love does'nt stand in relation to the truth of God as justice does, or mercy, or any other attribute. I remember one of the first books I read after I became a minister, was "Charnoek on the attributes." I read it with great delight. It began with an essay on the "Being of God;" then one on the "Power of God," and so on through all His attributes. When I had read the book through it seemed that God was love; and I began to wonder, "How is this? Here is a man who has written a book the thought of which is saturated with the love of God; but how is it that he has failed to give an essay on the attribute of love." I began to think I had a faulty edition. I looked it through and through, and found that it was perfect. Finally it daWned upon me: "I know why it is. This is a work on the attributes, and love is not strictly speaking, an attribute of God. It is the sum of all His attributes." "Being," "Power," "Justice," " Wisdom," and "Truth," are just so many attributes of love. If a man lives in sin and holds on it, the love of God comes down and falls upon him, but by a certain law of love, as soon as it touches him, it manifests itself through the attributes of justice. When the sinner turns from sin to God, love changes color, so to speak, and manitests itself through mercy. Thus the love of God is like the sunshine. We take a prism, and behold all the colors that are hidden in the solar light—all the colors that make the rainbow —are broken up. But my comfort is just this; that centrally and for the last analysis of the whole truth of the Being of God—He is love. I keep myself in that truth all the day long
But you say I want to know something more than an abstract statement like that. Well let us look and see how this blessed love mauifests itself. Turn to John, III, 16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here you see salvation come out of the love of God? It was not Jesus Christ coming into the world and dying that made God love us; but God being love, hath sent forth His love in Jesus. Now I keep myself in this second fact: God has so loved the world that He has given His only begotten Son, in whom, and by whom I am to be saved. Whosoever shall put himself in this manifestation, as in the sunshine of love shall have everlasting liie.
There's a story of a little German girl whose father was engaged in printing Luther's Bible. She had been brought up in the Romish /kith. One day she picked up a scrap of paper and read: "God so loved the
world that he gave '' That was all there was on it; it was only a
fragment; but she read it over and over. She kept that bit of paper with her, day after day. She hid it in her bosom. She didn't understand it in all its connections. She had been taught that God was a holy God. True. That He was a just God. True. That He hated sin and was angry with the sinner every day. True. Her religion consisted entirely in trying to appease this angry God. It was a religion of penances, prayers and the ceremonies of the church to keep the anger of God from breaking out upon her. But now she had found a new revelation of God: "He so loved the world that he gave—." She didn't know what He had given; but she put the paper in her bosom; and presently the cloud lifted. Her face was radiant with joy. Soon she began to' sing. Her mother said: "What's the matter? What has happened?" Pulling out the paper she said: "Oh mother! this little paper! Read it. 1 God so loved the world that Fie gave.'" "Gave what, my child?" said her mother. She replied: ''I don't know; but if He so loved the world that He gave anything at all, I will never be afraid of Him any more." Much more we who know what He gave, why He gave, need not be afraid any-more. With all our guilt and unworthiness we can just put ourselves in the shining of that blessed statement.
But then you may say that God loving the whole world seems to be love greatly diffused. This world is very large. There are millions of people now and millions in past generations, and millions to come, and 1 am afraid such a diffused and divided love will overlook me. 1 want something besides this general statement—something personal in His love to me, that will bring His love a little nearer. In this general statement there is a door, "God so loved the world that -whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life." That word "whosoever" i. a great open door whosoever will, may pass through it and see what is inside. Lo. I find that door swings open into the second chapter of Galatians.
Paul went through there and found pesonal love. He says: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me: So that the life I now live in the flush I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" Here you see it is personal. It is concentrated upon you here. I am, says Paul the personal object of that divine love manifest in Jesus Christ. But you eay "how can I know that this wonderful love of God is all meant for me?" And again: ''If one man just monoplizes this wonderful love of God what are the rest to do?" The Apostle says "the Son of God loved me"—Does it not take away love from everybody etae? I think not. This is a mistake that many fall into. Christians sometimes think they have only a certain portion of that love of God manifest in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Now when you were a child doubtless you have taken w little sun-glass. I know I used to have one of the eyes out of my grandmother's spectacles. I used to love to hold it over my hand and try experiments with the sun. When I got the focus right,itwould burn through a piece of paper, kindle a fire, or burn my hand. Now there is the great love of God. Let me take this text and put between me and the love of God, and hold it there. Presently this blessed love of God which is all diffused in John, III, 16. Is focalized through Galatians, II, 20. I find it dawning upon me—kindling, warning and saving me. In other words, you just want to put yourself right under the fact of Jesus and Him crucified, and there you will find the loveof God concentrated upon you. Could you not, each one in this Kink, take a sun glass, and concentrate all the rays of the sun upon your hand? There is no difficulty in this fact that God loved the whole world^ind yet each one with all His love. For instance, you ahk me if I love my four children. '• How much do you love them?" "Why with all my love." "Well," you say, "that's a sort of general love; it is diffused among four children." "How about the oldest, Lucy?" "Well, I love that first-born child." ''But how much do you love her?" "Why, what do you mean? I love Lucy with all my love; every particle goes out to that child when one speaks her name." "Well, if you love Lucy with all your love, how about the next one?" "Freddie? Well I guess I do love her." "But how much do you love her?" "With all my love." "And then there's the nex t one—the dear little boy with the sweetest of dispositions; why I love him" "But how much?" "With all my love." "And now how about the baby?" "Ah! when you come to talk about the baby—well all I can say is I love that baby with all my love, every bit of it." You say, " This is a very strange thing. Here's a man with four children and he loves them all with his whole love, with all the love he has—the first one with all, the next one with all, the third one with all, and the younjrest one with all." But you know how that can be don't you? Our children have our whole love. Each has it all, and not one is robbed. So I, with my poor soul, don't have to be robbed of any of God's love. I just go right up and say: "My Father and my God in Christ Jesus, here am I. Out of thy great love let me be saved." And the whole ot that great love is poured out upon me aud into me, and I stand before h im—not by a portion of His love, not by a fragment, but by all of it. As I have said before, if I had been the only sinner in the world, I believe God would have sent His dear Son; and Jesus would have sped to the sacrifice as quickly and as gladly to save my soul as to save the whole world.
Now keep yourselves in the love of God; keep yourselves in the power of this great revelation in Christ Jesus. I don't see any chance for a man to fall into coldness or doubt, if he will keep himself in the love of God as he ought to.
Turn to the 7tb ch. Deut. I can understand how when you come to think of yourself you should say, "But I am so sinful, sin has rained me so—gone so deep into my nature, I am afraid I am too bad f3r God to love me." And you have said of yourself as I have of myself. "Now as for my mother, (everybody loved my mother,) it seems as if I could understand how God could love her. But when I think about myself, and all the unoleanness and sin that came into my life during the years of my alienation from Him. I don't see how God can love me; there is nothing in me to love." In this 7th ch. Deut. God says: "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth." Why did the Lord chose this people? "The Lord did not chose you because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people." 4th v. IX. ch. "Speak not thou in thine heart, saying, 'for my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land.'" That is not the reason. "Not for thy righteousness or for the righteousness of thine heart, for thou art a stiff-necked people." Now there was not one single reason to be found in that people, in personal or moral worthiness, why the Lord should chose them. But in ch. VII, 8, we find, " But because the Lord loved you." That is a singular passage of Scripture. The Lord hath chosen thee for a peculiar people and set His love upon you, and made you to be to Him a peculiar treasure—not for your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people; but just because the Lord loved you. The reason of His love to us is not to be found in ourselves but in himself. Now if the reason is in himself and not in myself, then the doubts and fears growing out of my personal unworthiness are dissipated; I put myself in the love of God and it shines it all away. I ask my little girl why she loves me. I have one who always comes and puts her arms around my neck and she says: "0, papa, I do so love you!" And I say, " What makes you love me 1" And she says, "Just because I do." Her own love was her reason for her love. But in a higher and truer sense God says: "Don't you be afraid because of the knowledge of your sin; it is all true; but my dear child, my love for you is not based upon your worthiness or goodness, but is grounded in my own nature. I love you because I lore, and i!.>ist love yon. It was the reason for your creation and your redemption. I am the reason." And so if God ia the reason for his love, I cast to the winds all questions of personal unworthiness; it doesn't move me out of the great love of God. In Romans V, 8, we read: '• But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." When did he commend His love? When we had repented? No; but while we were yet sinners. John says—I John, IV, 10,—" Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins."
Id Ephesians III, we see something of the measure of that love. We want to know how much God loves us. My necessities are very great. Is the love of God high enough, long enough, and broad enough and deep to cover my necessities? Listen. At the 17th verse Paul prays "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love." In whose love? In my love to God? Why if my hope was like a tree, and the only soil was the thin, shallow soil of my love to God, the first storm that swept over it would tear it up from its shallow ground and lay it prostrate. But my hope is rooted and grounded —not in my love to God, but God's measureless love to me. There it roots itself; and no storm, no tempest that can beat upon it can tear it up. Listen: "That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of God that passeth knowledge." Here is the measure. Now if any of these learned gentlemen on this platform can tell you how broad breadth is I would like to have them to do so. Doctor, you are a mathematician, can you tell me how broad breadth is?" (" No.") Here is my friend Dr. Sage, who it> something of a metaphysician. Can you tell me Dr. bow broad breadth is? He says he cannot. Can any one tell me how long length is? Well if you will go out as far as you can see you will reach a place where you can see that much farther. How long is length? How broad is breadth? Give wings to your imagination and fly away. The more you fly away the more the length and breadth stretches out. It is just like God, infinite. There are no limits to length and breadth. So the love of God is long enough and broad enough to cover infinite need. How deep? Deeper than the deepest depths—deeper than the deepest needs ever created in man by sin. The love of God has gone down, down, down, and is still deeper than the utmost depths. But how high is it? Oh, may it not stop before I reach the glory? No; its heights are put above my highest thoughts. "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think." Thue we are in an eternal sea of God's love. My poor starved soul finds infinite fullness here. That is the measure of it
Bat when did this love begin? Here Jeremiah tells me in 31st ch., 3d verse: "I have loved thee. saith the Lord, with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Everlasting love. And contemporaneous with this love,—Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world was the pledge of that love to us.
But won't it come to an end? John XIII, 1, "Jesus knew that His hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father; having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." I go back into the eternal ages of the past, and find love behind me. I go into the future—on, and on, and on, and find love before me. And I keep myself in this love. Many a time I have grcived and wounded it, and been unworthy of it. But I think of the faithfulness of this love, as in the case of Peter. You know that Peter denied the Lord with cursing and swearing. Did you ever think of the first thing the Master said when he got out of his grave? The last time he saw him he looked reproachfully at him and sent him out weeping bitterly. He didn't have an opportunity to speak to Peter any more. On the third day when he rose he saw Mary, and says: "Go into Galilee and tell my disciples, and Peter to meet me there." Why Peter? If he had said John it wouldn't have seemed strange, for John was the nearest to him. But he says, " Go tell my disciples and Peter." Ah, I can fancy when the news came how Peter would say, " But I have denied Him. He will send for the rest but not for me." Peter would be discouraged. Peter wouldn't go. He reft like many a blackslider during these meetings, that he was too unworthy to have a share in this blessed gospel. But Jesus says: "Go tell that poor Peter, I thought of him when on the cross, and he was first in my mind when I rose from the dead. Tell him human love may fail but my love will never fail. 1 will love him to the end." If you go backward it isn't because God's love isn't over you, but because you don't believe it; because you have turned away from it. He loves you to the end.
'• Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.'' Such sinners as you and I, that we should .be called the Sons of God.
Do try to give up keeping yourself in your own faith, your own love your own ieeling, your own experiences; and keep yourself in ihe love of God, and that will keep your feelings and experiences right. It will warm and strengthen, bless and sanctify you, clothe you and lift you up, and glorify you at last. There is but one thing in this world to do, and that is to keep yourself in the love of God. It will be motive and inspiration to you, patience to you, long-suffering to you, gentleness to you. It will work out in you like the sun in the perfume of the flower. And the love of God will bring faith and its blessed fruit. Let us keep ourselves in the love of God, and the love of God will keep us in the place that God wants us to be in, and will fill our lives with His glorious power.
•SCEPTICISM IN NEW ENGLAND.
BY REV. JOSEPH COOK, BOSTON.
* PRELUDE ON CURRENT EVENTS.
Emerson says that the poorest poem is better than the best criticism upon it; and so we may say that the poorest really conscientious life is incalculably better than the acutest worldly sneer concerning it. Men outside the Church, when asked to unite with it, sometimes complain that there are many stunted, fruitless growths in the Church. Poor native spiritual endowments in Christians are the result of poor soil in which they grow; and the world that sneers is itself the soil. It will be noticed, that, as I am not in charge of any church, I have not the slightest personal interest at stake in any thing I may say of the value of church-membership. But if, in a free church in a free state, I utter a single word on that now timely and always greatly suggestive theme, I shall of course be met in some enlightened quarters with the profound remark, that all the effort that has been made in Boston this winter has been incited by a desire to pay church-debts. Well, that is a good object. "Owe no man any tiling" is a divine maxim. An obscure infidel paper in this city shrewdly judges that the entire effort has been intended to fill up the membership of the evangelical churches. The Springfield Republican said the other day that the Boston Index would find something mean and atrocious in the proposition that two and two make four, if that statement were a part of the Apostles' Creed.
Every true church is a contract, not between two parties only, but three. It is not only an agreement of men with men, but of men with Ood. In disbanding a church, men alone cannot annul the contract. This is the scholarly idea of the bond of Christians in fellowship with each other and with an invisible Head. Thus the Christians of the world are really and confessedly members of a theocracy. You think Cromwell's and Milton's dream of a theocracy failed. Many an archangel pities you; and all the deep students of science among men smile, if you say this seriously. God governs; and his kingship is no pretence. Our best hope for America is, that like every other part of the uerse, it is a theocracy. A true church is the outward form among men of God's kingdom in human history; and it illustrates his kingdom in all worlds.
*Bv permission of Messrs. Houghton, Osgood ft Co.. Boston, Publishers of Rer. Joseph Cook's Monday Lectures—"Orthodoxy." "Bloloey," "Transcendentalism." Price $t.50 per Tolums.
We must look on every true church as really a divine institution; for it is a contract with the unseen Power that is filling the world, just as the magnetic currents of the globe fill all the needles on it. Our Lord was, and is, and is to come; and in all true believers he is as tuucb present as the magnetic currents of the globe are in the balancing needles that point out the north pole rightly, if they are true to the currents that are in them, but not of them. The Church is our Lord's body; the Church is our Lord's temple; the Church brings every true believer into contact with the deepest inmost of our Lord's present life in the world; and this is the supreme reason for uniting with it. It it painfully evident here, I hope, that I am speaking of a true church, and not of a Sunday club.
Experience has shown that most men who do not unite with the Church drop away from their early religious life. The two great reasons for uniting with a true Church are, that you are likely to grow more inside the Church than ont of it, and that you can probably do more good in it than out of it.
To which church do I ask you to join yourselves! I wish you could find out. Am I making a party plea t I wish you would ascertain on which side it is made. I know, perhaps, five hundred young men who are members of churches; but I do not know of twenty of theui to which evangelical church they belong, nor do I care. It is not a partisan plea I am making in asking you to become a member of the visible church; and, if you are ;i member of the true invisible church, vou will assuredly wish to aid in making some part of the visible church a true church.
But you say that creeds are long. They are quite short in some places, although they are deep. Not a few newspapers have lately cited a portion of the Andover creed, which the professors there sign. That is in form a very different creed from the one Jthat belongs to the Andover Chapel Church. The public does not seem to know that the detailed statement or confession which the professors may very well be called on to subscribe is a different thing from that statement of essentials which Andover puts into a church creed. The Andover Chapel Church creed is hardly longer than my hand is broad; but it is as deep as any rift in the granite that goes to the core of the world. The best church creeds include great essentials, and no more. I think now especially of the short creed in the Yale College Church, written by President Dwight, not very wide, but fathomlessly deep. These are simply the creeds which you wish to make the basis of your action, and therefore may well make the basis of your profession.
I hold in my hand the creed which the American evangelist, who will soon lead our devotions, subscribed twenty-one years ago in Boston That confession of faith has by the Divine blessing amounted to something in the world. As a ray of keen light for others, our evangelist will allow me, in his presence, to read, what perpapa he never hi jeen, the record oa the church books, of his examination in that h use of God yonder in which he first resolved to do his duty : —
"No. 1079. Dwight L. Moody. Boards 43 Court Street. Has been 1 jptized. First awakened on the 16th of May. Became anxious about himself. Uiw himli-.ii' a eiuner; and sin now seems hateful, and holiness desirable. Thinks he has repented. Has purposed to give op sin. Feels dependent upon Christ for forgiveness. Loves the Scriptures. Prays. Desires to be useful. Religiously educated. Been in the city a year. From Northfield, this State. Is not ashamed to be known as a Christian. Eighteen years old.
"No. 1131. Maroh 12, 1856. Thinks he has made some progress sinoe he was here before,—at least in knowledge. Has maintained his habits of player, and reading the Bible. Believes God will hear his prayers. Is fully determined to adhere to the cause of Christ always. Feels that it would be very bad if he should join the church, and then turn. Must repent of sin, and ask forgiveness for Christ's sake. Will never give op his hope, or love Christ less, whether admitted to the church or not. His prevailing intention is to give up his will to God.
"Admitted May 4,1856."
That is a most moving record. Gentlemen, I hold that this is an examination that no church need feel ashamed of; and the results of it are of the same character.
The Christian ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper you do not approach closely unless you come into the Church. In close contact with illumined souls there is a power which will come to you nowhere outside of God's house. Why ia it that there is such strange influence exerted upon itself by a great assembly all of one miud 1 Go to the little gatherings where Borne men of the class that neglect God's house spend their Sundays,— fire-engine rooms and the secret clubs for drinking,— and all the sentiment' runs one way there. Such men are like eels in pools of the muddy sort, and often come to think that their pool i-. the whole ocean. You are easily transfused with the spirit of any company that moves all one way. Put yourselves into the crystalline springs and streams. Somewhere in the Church you will find crystalline waters. There is a church inside the Church. Move in that; live entwalhed in that. Let that be the transfusing bath of your inmost life; and very soon you will find in the power of that interfusion of soul with soul that assuredly God is yet in his holy temple.
Yes; but there are hypocrites in the Church. I know it. Let Tennyson describe one: —
"With all his conscience and one eye askew,
80 false, he partly took himself for true;
Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry,
Made wet the crafty crow's-foot roond his eye i
Who never naming God except for gain,
So never took that useful iiame in vain;
Made him his cat's-paw, and the Cross his t >ol.
And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool;
Nor deeds of gift, but gifts of grace, be forged,
And, anake-like, slimed his victim ere he gorged;
And oft at Bible-meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy, oily beat."
The black angels look through pillars of blue fire of that sort. Do you want the Church better 1 Unite with it, and turn out such men; or, rather, unite with it, and keep such men from getting in. [Applause.]
Perhaps some of our churches are too ambitious to be large in numbers. Let us be reasonably shy of that church ambition which care* more for quantity than quality. Our evangelist has said that he once in Chicago was ambitious to have a big church. He obtained one. Then he became ambitious to get a small one. A recognition of the necessity of spiritual church-membership is the crowning glory of the churches of America of all denominations; and it is almost a distinctively American idea.
Think of the host in the air behind me, as I invite you to become members of God's house! Here is a visible audience which might be enlarged to fill the city, or the nation, or the continent, or the world: but even then the audience before me would be as a ripple compared with the sea, in contrast with this audience in the air behind me,— all the sainted of our New-England shore, all who have gone hence from foreign lands, and are now in the Unseen Holy 1 The Church is one on earth and in heaven. Think of the martyrs of the Reformation, those who, on the Continent of .Europe, prepared the way far this modern rising of the sun, and of all those who in the eighteen Christian centuries have labored, and into whose labors we have entered. The goodly company of the martyrs and apostles and prophets is before you. With all that company I urge you to join hands, when I ask you to pass your brief career in this world in organized, aggressive companionship with those who have a zeal for good works.
New-England scepticism of the last fifty years is the upheaved, foaming, temporary crest of two interfused waves, slowly rising from the historic deep, moving toward each other, meeting with loud shock, and throwing themselves aloft,— one American, and one German. Theodore Parker and much else floated in Boston at the summit of this glittering, uncertain crest, when each wave was at its height, and when in New England each increased the height of the other. In Germany the watery •well of rationalism is going down. ( See Dorner, Schwartz, Kahni*. Christlieb, Hagi nbncli, Tli«luck, and other writers on the decline of rationalism in the German uersities. On that topic see an article in
the Uibliotheca Sacra for October, 1875.) In New England the vexed billow which upheaved Theodore Parker is going down also. Both waves have already broken into foam, passed their climax, and are slowly sinking now into the thoughtful, abiding level of the sea.
Under what compulsion of winds and tides did these waves rise? Answer me that question, or do not attempt to explain to me Boston and New England. Make some fairly adequate response to that inquiry, or do not try to tell me how Theodore Parker's errors, and those of the school of thought he represents, arose. In order to understand the sources of his mistakes, it is necessary for me to cast what I hope will not be a wholly useless glance over the causes of New-England scepticism at large. Long enough has this city had the name, long enough has Harvard Uersity yonder had the reputation, it does not now deserve, of leading erratic thought in regard to the highest of all possible themes. A very curious past is behind us.
When Timothy Dwight, soldier, poet and theologian, magnum atque venerabi/e rumen, began his presidency at Yale College in 1795, the students there were accustomed to name each other after the French atheists. Jefferson, suspected of French principles, in both religion and politics, was soon to become the chief magistrate of the nation. The enthusiasm for Lafayette and for Gallican liberty had inclined the heart of our whole people toward France. The atrociously shallow and unclean, but brilliant and audacious Parisian infidelity of the period, looked attractive, even to the most talented and scholarly undergraduates. "That was the day," writes Lyman Beecher in his "Autobiography" (vol. i. p. 43}, '"when boys that dressed flax in the barn read Tom Paine, and believed him. The college church was almost extinct. Most of the students were sceptical, and rowdies were plenty. Wines and liquors were kept in many rooms. Intemperance, profanity, gambling and licentiousness were common." Lyman Beecher was in Yale College as a student in his third year, when Timothy Dwight came there as president; and now these two men lie not far from each other in the unspeakably precious dust of the New Haven cemetery, at rest until the heavens are no more. At the first communion scasou after President Dwight's installation, only a single student from the whole membership of the college remained to participate in the service of the euchurist. In all the history of the American Church there has hardly been an hour of greater disaster. The senior class brought before the president a list of questions for discussion, one of them on the inspiration of the Scriptures (Dwight's T/teology, Memoir, vol. i. See also Sparks's Life of Dwight). He chose that theme for a written debate, asked the young men to be as thorough as possible on the infidel side, treated them courteously, answered them fairly, delivered for six months from the college pulpit massive courses of thought against infidelity; and from that day it ran into hiding-holes in Yale College.
If Harvard Uersity had had a President Dwight, I say not what might have been its subsequent history and that of portions of Cambridge and Boston; but it would have been different. Among the eloquent memorials of the fathers, Mr. Emerson, in the Old South Church. lately told us that Providence has granted to Boston thus far the guidance of the intellectual destiny of this continent. Boston is a sea-blown city of amusingly self-blown trumpets. It is safe to affirm, that, in the geography of American culture, Boston is as yet, in the opinion of many, and especially in her own, the highest summit. But Harvard Uersity is Boston's summit. Religious diseases, originated chiefly by contagion from France in her revolutionary period, and by manv years of war on our own soil, filled the veins of Harvard, as well as those of Yale, at the opening of our national life. At the close of the last century, Harvard, as well as Yale, was in a vicious state, induced chiefly by the very same causes which had produced demoralization at i| i li-. Under the elms yonder, as well as under those at New Haven, sceptical students called each other in honor by infidel names,—Voltaire, Rousseau, D'Alernbert. In that Parisian period, unreportable vices were as common at Harvard as at Yale. We have just had a pleasant book written, describing student life in Harvard as it unrolls itself at present, and as many of you and as I remember it; but a volume describing life there ninety years ago, and as frankly wiitten as this new description, we should not care to have generally circulated. In several works of historic fiction the average undergraduate of that time is represented as a low character. You know the pictures the world received from Hogarth; but some of the scenes he has put on immortal canvas to illustrate "The Rake's Progress " might be matched out of the fairly representative life of Yale and Harvard in that French period. The average undergraduate of the last years of the last century, at both Yale and Harvard, was far less of a gentleman, and immensely less of a Christian, than he is to day. Why, at Harvard at this moment a great body of the students are members of churches, and, other things being equal, are not thought the less of on that account. I hold in my hand here elaborate statistics as to recent classes in Harvard Uersity. Take one of the very last, and in it there were, of men about to graduate, of Unitarians, 39; Episcopalians, 35; Congregationalists, 23; Baptists, 11; Presbyterians, 6; Liberals, 4; Methodists, 2; Roman Catholics, 2. According to that table, there is really more reason for calling Harvard «n orthodox college than a heterodox. The college is not denominational in any sense. It would not like to be called Unitarian, or Con grt-gational, or Episcopal. Among the students there are well organized and vigorous religious societies, and the conditions of admission to them are more severe than to most churches. I find reason, therefore, for contrasting the present with the past of Harvard favorably. But this change has come about within the last fifty years. At Yale, in my class, we had more than two-thirds on entrance, members of Christian churches. I know that we hear of scandalous things in these large companies of students at Yale and at Harvard. You cannot bring together a thousand young men, without finding a few among them of the shallow and riotous sort; but they do not give the tone to the whole college. Perhaps they do to a few secret societies,— breathing-holes of frivolity, and often of what is far worse. The mass of students are honorable men, and come from honorable families, although at the present day it can be said that a few are what the most were in the last twenty years of the last century, at Yale and Harvard. Certain it is that these diseases of a greatly tempted time existed in Cambridge with as much intensity as they did at New Haven. Certain it is that at Harvard there was no President Dwight to drive them out, as there was at Yale. The atmosphere of Harvard as well as of Yale at the opening of our national life was heavily infected with Parisian infidelity, but no adequate corrective was applied at Harvard j and, although the evil results are now largely outgrown, they have been very noteworthy to those who have minutely studied how the sick forehead of a certain kiud of culture in Boston, laid in the palm of God to rest, has tossed there with doubt, as in Channing's and Parker's case, whether the hand was ever pierced for human sins; and now lately with doubt, as with some of the FreeReligionists, whether there be any personal hand at all or not.
Boston is asked to give an account of herself. She had excellent fathers; but she has of late had the name of being the apologist for much looseness of thought. We are willing to give an account of ourselves. We have had a trial such as no other Commonwealth on this continent ever had. We have had a State Church. How did this arise? Yale and Harvard were founded by men of Christian zeal; and how did it come about, that, in so short a time, these institutions lapsed into a condition that gave joy to the shallow infidel clubs of Paris? All Frenchmen were not like Lafayette. These results arose from adequate causes which ought not to be forgotten. If you wish to understand Boston doctrinal unrest, you must go back first to the period when Paris ruled us. You must recall the time when Lafayette and Jefferson had our heart, and wo were not a little in awe or admiration of that very brittle sceptre,—Parisian thought about religion, a style of intellectual allegiance that no man is proud of now. The infidelity which flourished in 1795 in Yale and Harvard among young men, no scholar to-day cares to answer for: it is an unclean and degraded thing. We have grown far beyond all that. Ho.w did we sink so low as to follow that pillar of ashes and blood which rose on the Seine, and led the nations not altogether celestially for a while—a little electricity in it, no doubt; some white-fire mingled with the bine in the whirlwind; but Saharas of dust alsO, and hosts of- hissing, flying scraps of white-hot volcanic stone?
Our fathers did not believe that a man might be a minister, although unconverted; but when George Whitefield was in this city, it was ne sary for him to insist that a. man should not be a minister unless con.verted. (See Whitefield's New England Journal, passim.) On Boston Common, with twenty thousand people in his audience, George Whitefield defended the proposition that a man does not become a saint in his sleep; that conversion is an ascertainable change, or will show itself by its effects: and that if the results which will naturally follow from such a state of life are not visible, their absence is proof that a man should not be a member of God's house. Why did he need to oppose in New England, ideas which did not cross the Atlantic in the Mayflower I How did New England wander so far away from Plymouth Rock, and find herself in this low marsh, where many of the State churches of Europe are struggling to-day 1 Why, she fell into that marsh by having herself a State Church. The marshes of the State churches of Europe, —you understand them very well. We had the oozy acres of a State Church to walk over in Massachusetts for more than fifty years; and the smutch is not off our feet yet that we received in those bogs.
In 1631 the General Court of Massachusetts Bay passed an order that "for time to come none shall be admitted to the freedom of the body politic but ohurch-rneiubers." What is the effect of making a rule that nobody can vote unless he is a church-member 1 Why, everybody will want to be a church-member, and there will be large churches, and you will admit men into the church whom it will be very hard to get out. Now it was a public law of this Commonwealth, passed early, with all due form, that only church-members could vote. That was eleven yean after the landing on Plymouth Rock. Remember, however, that the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay, rather than the Pilgrims of Plymouth Bay, are responsible for the secularization of the holiest portion of NewEngland life. Where did that law come from ( It was a thrifty scion from the far-spreading European bough. Our fathers had seen children baptized and confirmed in State churches; and it was thought, that, in some sense, all baptized persons were members of the church. That was and is the predominating opinion of Europe. This idea the Puritans of England—who were not separatists, as the Pilgrims were—did not leave behind them when they crossed the sea. So we had here in my denomination—the most aristocratic on this continent, if you please, and the most split, and, in some particulars, the most harmful—a State Church.
The Puritans who landed in Boston brought to America the theory that every child should be made, as far as possible, a member of the church; and, therefore, it was a part of their anxiety in founding a new civilization to have all children baptized. Those of our fathers who were not separatists had State Church ideas concerning the baptism of children. The secularization of Orthodoxy in New England arose primarially from the desire of the Puritans to secure the. religious culture of the whole population. The law of 1631 was passed with the best of intentions, but it had the most mischievous effects.
What happened next 1 In 1635 we turned Roger Williams away from the Massachusetts Colony, chiefly for political reasons, as the high; eat authority on this vexed theme, the learned editor of " The Boston Congregationalist," says and proves, in spite of the dissent of Rhode Island and of Brown Uersity. ( See Dexter, Rev. Dr. H. M., As to Roger Williams, p. 79.) The reasons why Roger Williams was sent away were no doubt fundamentally political; nevertheless, one source of irritation with him was that he objected to the baptizing of infants. Why did he do that? Among many other reasons, because he saw that to regard all baptized persons as, in an important sense, members of the church, led to the secularization of church-membership. I remember where T am speaking; I know what prejudices I am crossing: but I know that in this assembly, assuredly, nobody will have objection to my advocacy, even at a little expense of consistency with my own supposed principles, of the necessity of a spiritual church-membership. [Applause.] If I say that a certain denomination, represented by that man who was driven from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, has, in spite of all we hear of criticism about one of its beliefs, been of foremost service in bringing into the world, among all Protestant denominations, an adequate idea of the importance of a spiritual church-membership, I know that no generous heart or searching intellect will object to that statement. [Applause.]
In 1653 no less a man than Henry Dunster, president of Harvard Uersity, announced himself as an opponent to the doctrine that infants should be baptized. He refused to allow an infant of his own family to be baptized, and delivered several sermons against the baptism of infants. Baptist authorities, assert that Henry Dunster became a Baptist. (See an address delivered in Philadelphia, before the American Baptist Historical Society at its eleventh anersary, by Rev. Daniel C. Eddy. Philadelphia: Historical Society Press, 1864.) But he continued to be president of Harvard Uersity. His pastor, the Rev. Jonathan Mitchell, in 1657, on account of collisions of debate of the kindest sort between himself and this revered man, who had been his teacher, caused a synod to be called, in which action was taken of which we feel the mischief yet. Questions raised as to the baptism of children had "come to some figure first in the colony of Connecticut." (Mather's Magnolia, vol. ii. p. 238. Hartford ed.). A comparison of all the authorities, however, shows that both Mitchell of Cambridge and Stone of Hartford were lea.ling forces among the influences which brought together the Massachusetts council of 1657. (See McKenzie, Rev. Dr. A., History of the Hhepard Church, Cambridge.) This Jonathan Mitchell would have been quite a figure in that sky of culture which some think too soft, too transcendental, for anything in the stern days of our fathers to have risen into. The recent structure of the Shepard Church in Cambridge stands yonder under the "Washington Elm,— it U my fortune to be a member of it,—Mr. McKenzie's; and of that church, successor to Shepard, this Jonathan Mitchell was pastor. Cotton Mather says of him,—
"HU Sermon* were admirably Witt-Studied... .He ordinarily medled with
no Point but what be managed with such an extraordinary Invention, Curious Deposition, and Copious Application, as if he would leave no material Thing to be said of it, by any that should come after him. And when he came to Utter what he had Prepared, his Utterance had eiich a becoming Tuneablatetf, and Vivacity, to set it off, as was indeed Jnimilnhle .... Tho' he were all along in hi* Preaching, at a very lovely tiong of one that hath a pleasant Voice, yet has he drew near to the Close of his Exercises, his Comely Fervency would rise to a marvellous Measure of Energy; He would speak with such a Transcendent Majesty and Liveliness, that the People (more Thunderstruck than they that heard Cicero * Oration for Ligarius) •* ould often Shake under his Dispensations, as if they had Heard the Sound of 'he Trumpets from the Burning Mountain, and yet they would Mourn to think, lhat they were going presently to be dismissed from such an Heaven upon Earth." (See Sibley, John Langdon, librarian of Harvard Uersity, Livet of Harvard Graduates, pp. 148-150.) Richard Baxter said that "if there could be convened a Council of the whole Christian World, that mau would be worthy to be the moderator of it."
Now that man came very near opposing himself to infant baptism. On the twenty-fourth day of December, 1653, with arguments elaborately prepared, he went to the study of Henry Dunster to convince the president of Harvard Uersity that opposition to infant baptism was wrong; but Jonathan Mitchell came away almost converted to Henry Dunster's views. He found, that, in his secret thoughts, it was injected into his own miiid now and then, that infant baptism had certain mischievious tendencies in the state. But these suggestions came oftenest on Saturday, when he was very busy writing his address for the next day; and he thought, therefore, that they were from-the evil spirits. It could not be good angels that sent these suggestions; for no good spirit would interrupt the writing of a sermon. Besides, although "these thoughts were darted in with some impression, and left a strange confusion and sickliness on his spirits," they were "injected, hurrying suggestions, rather than deliberate thoughts." On these grounds chiefly, Jonathan Mitchell, in days of Salem witchcraft, concluded that till arguments against infant baptism must be put aside. The question was settled in his own mind; but the importance of these interruptions turned out to be really considerable to New England to this hour. He insisted on debating tlie matter in public over and over; and his influence, says Cotton Mather, was something of which the centre wa.s at Cambridge, and the circumference outside New England.
Largely by the effect of this eloquent man, Mitchell, there was brought together at Boston, in 1057, by invitation of the General Court, an assembly of tlir principal ministers of Massachusetts; and by that boly of grave men it was ordained that the half-way covenant be adopted. By that covenant those parents who were baptized in infancy were, if living respectable lives, allowed to have their children baptized. Churchmembers became eligible to civil offices. (See Mather's Magnolia, vol. ii. pp. 238-270. Hartford ed.)
Notice how the political strain was on Massachusetts all the way through. That decision gave great umbrage to the churches. President Chauncy of Harvard opposed it; and in 1662 another synod was called, and it was affirmed again that the half-way covenant should be the rule of the land. That changed one or two thousand things.
It is an inadequate account of the origin of secularization of N«w England orthodoxy, to attribute the half-way covenant exclusively to religious causes. If we look beneath the surface of this deterioration in its middle stages, we shall find political causes at work. Palfrey well says (History of New Englang, vol. ii. p. 492) that "the degree of irritation that prevailed" concerning the half-way covenant "is scarcely to be explained by a consideration of only the ostensible grounds of dispute. 'From the fire of the Altar,' says Mather, (Magnolia, Book iii. 117) 'there issued thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes.' The truth is, that political regards brought their explosive fuel to the flame."
The fashion had been set that only church-members could be eligible to public office. I know that in 1688, on the accession of William and Mary, the law that required church-membership as a condition to citizenship was repealed; but you cannot raise a great wave like this and stop it by changing rulers in England. We had had it from 1631 to 1638. It was the rule that only church-members should be eligible to office, and partly, as a result of that, we had had a half-way covenant. Long after 1688, that rule of fashion tCad the half-way covenant kept on in spite of the changes of laws under William and Mary.
It is, therefore, not surprising that in 1704 we find men like Stoddard of Northampton maintainining that unregenerate persons might come to the Lord's Supper. Whitefield wrote in 1740, ''Mr. Stoddard is much to be blamed for endeavoring to prove that unconverted men might be admitted into the ministry."
To close this astounding story of the secularization of New England Congregationalism, we find at last Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield making objection seriously to the prolonged abuses of the church-membership. When Jonathan Edwards at Northampton, finding out that some moral evils greatly needing criticism were appearing in the younger lives he was set to guide, taught that unconverted persons should not be members of God's house, opposed his predecessor's evil plea that church ordinances are or may be saving, and insisted that a man should experience the new birth before coming to the communion service, his hearers rose, and drove him into the wilderness for ascetic heresy. I know where in Massachusetts I can put my hand on little irregular scraps of brown paper, stitched together as note-books, and closely covered all over with Jonathan Edwards' handwriting. Why did h« use such coarse material in hia studies 1 Why was he within sight of starvationt Because he had opposed the secularization of the Church. Why did that man need to accept from Scotland funds with which to maintain his family t Because he insisted upon a spiritual churchmembership. Why did his wife and daughters make fans, and sell them to buy bread 1 Because he opposed the spirit of the half-way covenant Because he defended with vigor, as Whitefield did, the idea that a man should not be a minister unless converted, nor a church-member unless converted, and so set himself against the whole trend of this huge, turbid, hungry, haughty wave of secularization that had been rimnjr ever since 1631. Of course he was abandoned by the fashionable. Of course his life was in some sense a martyrdom. His note-books were made from the refuse of brown paper left from the fans. There is nothing Massachusetts so little likes to be fanned with as those fans Jonathan Edwards' wife and daughters made, and sold for bread. Yet, you starved him; but Scotland fed him, thank God! [Applause.] When Edwards was dismissed, it was proposed that there be a council of ten pastors; and he of course claimed the right of choosing five; but he was obliged to go beyond the broad bounds of old Hampshire County in order to find five who agreed with him. He went to Mount Holyoke, a marked spot then, apparently, as it is now, in the spiritual history of New England, and obtained Woodbridge of South Hadley as one of the council, because Woodbridge agreed with him in opposition to this secularization of the church.
Political pressure and social arrogance led to the half-way covenant That led to an unconverted church membership. That allowed the existence of an unconverted ministry. That ministry filled tha land with the hue and cry against Whitefield and Edwards.
I hold in my hand a copy of a record made as late as 1728 on the official books of a church in Westfield; and it is a specimen of the i-ecords you may find all over Eastern Massachusetts. I go up and down from the Memoriae to the Connecticut as a flying scout, and every now and then I chance to meet a talkative document like this :—
"At a church meeting holden in Wettfield, Feb. 25, 1728, Vott<l that thow wb» enter full communion may have liberty to give Mi account of a work of Mvin£ conversion, or not. It ihall be regarded by tne church at a matter of" iniiifrmci.
Gentlemen, out of the fashion of the English State Church, the can of our fathers for their children, and the political pressure which preceded the accession of William and Mary, came the half-way covenant. Out of the half-way covenant came the secularization of the church-membership of the Congregational body in New England. Oat of our connection with the state came marshes of stagnant church-life here, similar to the marshes of much of State Church life in Europe to-day. There is hardly a breeze that sweeps over Boston that does not come from those marshes, not yet dry, and that never had any salt in them to keep them sweet. You know that I am speaking here more frankly than I could have spoken fifty years ago; for it has not been the fashion, in my portion of New England, denominationally to admit the evil of this half-way covenant as fully as I have now done, until within twentyfive or thirty years; but these are the facts.
A law by which only church-members could vote was in operation in Massachusetts from 1631 to 1688, in form, and much longer in spirit.
The political and social pressure arising from that law led to the> adoption of the half-way covenant, by which persons not professing to have entered on a new life at all were allowed to enter the church.
Out of that pressure arose Stoddard's evil plea, that unconverted net-sons should be brought to the communion service. Out of all these causes came an unconverted church-membership. Out of that came gradually an unconverted ministry. Out of that came a broad departure from many points of the lofty and scientifically severe ideals of Plymouth Rock.
Out of that departure arose, in experience, a wide and deep secularisation of the more fashionable of the churches of Eastern Massachusetts. Out of this secularization of the churches of Eastern Massachusetts came their chief weakness in their resistance to the irreligious influences arising from the French war and the Revolution, and to the accession of the French infidelity at the moment when Lafayette and French liberty had bent the national soul toward France.
What does Joseph Tracy say in his " History of the Great Awakening i" I open that most cautions book on the whole topic; and I read, "Every Congregational Church in New England, probably, has either adopted Edwards's and Whitetield's doctrine concerning church-membership, or become Unitarian." (See pp. 411—413, 418.)
Americans have all sorts of sense, except historic sense. We have had a State Church; we have had a secularized church-membership in one of our denominations, the ruling one; and little by little that secularization so lowered our standards, that it is not amazing at all, and it ia a thing we ought to have expected, that out of the combination of causes included in the older Armenianism, the half-way covenant, the disturbances of the French war and the Revolution, French infidelity, the popular misconceptions of scholarly Orthodox doctrine, and some crude and rash statements in Orthodoxy itself, came Unitarianism.
Out of Unitarianism, and the brilliancy of its early literary and secular successes, came Harvard Uersity in its largely unevangelical attitude—an attitude now greatly changed.
Out of Harvard Uersity, in its unevangelical attitude, came the occasionally sceptical or doctrinally indifferent literary circles of Eastern Massachusetts.
Out of the sceptical literary circles oi Eastern Massachusetts came one part of the influences that set a portion, though only a portion, of the Boston fashions of thought.
Here we are face to face with an age when anti-slavery was taken op by your eloquent Parker, and the Church lagged behind. This was ite own fault Time has criticised that slowness on the part of Orthodoxy to follow Providence, that tardiness which left between the Church and Qod a chasm which is filled up, in great part, with the corpses of my own generation. You will allow me, as a member of a decimated generation, to be frank concerning the slowness of Orthodoxy to follow Qod, until he whom we dare not name plainly became abolitionist Parker followed him, and obtained a following. This is the outcome of a single historical glance; but if I could have gone into detail, if I could have shown you how link has followed link, you would be amazed to find Boston to-day not wreathed round and round with misconceptions of the highest truth: and that religion here, which has allowed itself to be corrupted so much in the past, is to-day so little corrupted. Omitting fractions, the statistics show, that, in 1816, there was one unevangelical church in Boston to every three thousand of the population. Now there is only one to every six thousand. In 1816 there was only one evangelical church in Boston to every four thousand inhabitants. Now there is oue to every two thousand. In the experience of half a century, a period long enough to constitute a very fair test of the tendencies of thought, and exhibiting the results of no mere temporary swirl of opinion, evangelical churches in Boston have risen from the proportion of one to four thousand to that of one to two thousand, and the unevangelical of all kinds have fallen off from the proportion of oue to three thousand to that of one to six thousand. Very significant on the dud of Boston, with this past behind us, is the declining shadow of that philosophy, which, in a dim morning of religious experience, sees Olympus and Parnassus, and mistakes them for Sinai and Calvary.
Orthodoxy has not always followed God; but only so far as it follows him will it ultimately have any following. Deum gequi, to follow God. was Seneca's supreme rule for political action. Our painful past summarizes its eager councils by writing these Roman words over all ik* rof church and school, social life, literature, and reform.
USE OF THE BIBLE IN INQUIRY ROOM,
BY MAJOR D. W. WHITTLE.
1st. Unconditional .submission to the authority of the Word. Enter into no argument upon the authenticity of the Scriptures. Lessen the power of no part of the Bible by any admission as to any part not being of God, given by inspiration; with rare exceptions, those who desire such arguments are not honest, they are not seeking light, but fortifying themselves in darkness. You cannot help them. Should you meet with one who has an honest desire for information as to the history of the composition and compilation of the Scriptures, you can place him in the way of obtaining it; but do not occupy the time in the Inquiry Boom upon the subject. If two men were to meet to engage in conflict with swords, and one were to say to the other: "Now before beginning the battle I desire to know the history of your sword, and to have proof of the authenticity of its claims as a sword," a proper reply would be, "That question can be easily settled by our at once commencing the conflict. I will show you by my use of my weapon, the reality of its being a sword."
So we ought to so use the Word as "the sword of the Spirit," in the application of its truths to the conscience of the sinner, that be will not want any historical proof as to the message being from God.
Infidelity concerning parts of the Bible is very prevalent. Many professed Christians are not ashamed to say that they do not believe all the Bible, and, as a rule, the unconverted man reserves the right of rejecting whatever he pleases. To one who has been but a surface student of the Word, and has not seen the place, in gradual unfolding, in typical teaching, in prophetic symbolism, that every chapter and verse of the Bible has in the revelation of God's scheme of redemption for ruined man and sin-cursed earth, it seems an unimportant matter to answer the doubts of the unbeliever by saving, " Well, perhaps that ought not to be in the Bible," or " It is probably a mistranslation. It would have been better to have had several books of the Old Testament left out," or, "It isn't necessary that you should believe that," or, some similar admission that yields the point to the devil and makes God a liar. Such do not realize their sin in dishonoring God, nor the evil consequences of their infidelity to the inquirer. If the Word is impeached in one part, discredit is thrown upon every other part. And whatever profession a man may be led to make, that he trusts Christ as bis Saviour, if he has admitted doubt into his mind as to any part of of the Scripture, he has no assurance as to his own acceptance, and no peace in believing.
Every worker in the Inquiry Room will frequently meet with the question: "Now do you really believe all the Bible? Must we believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, and about the flood, and so on." The answer should be given with the same seriousness, and in a manner calculated to make the same impression, that the reply of a wife, who justly revered her husband, would produce if she were asked if she really believed her husband always spoke the truth.
Let the answer of every child of God ever be: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Every part of the Bible is literally true. I believe the word just as God has spoken it; how dare you suggest that I doubt it!"
Much might be said upon this subject, and, perhaps, not too much if it led us into a deeper sense of the reality of the Bible as the word of the living God, and a more profound reverence for it as the book of truth. Certainly the Holy Ghost cannot use an infidel to bring souls to Christ, and if infidelity is in our hearts, our labor will count for naught. We must go to God and confess it as a sin, and look to Christ for deliverance from it. • And, as we should treat it as a sin in ourselves, so we should treat it as a sin in others. It is not for us to sympathize, in a false sense, with those who say they can't believe the word of God, but to tell them plainly that unbelief is the vilest sin the soul of man is capable of committing against a Holy God, and that it must be repented of and forgiveness through the blood of Christ received, or it will inevitably land the soul in eternal perdition.
A dear minister, in St. Louis, was met in the Inquiry Room one evening by an intelligent man who answered his appeal to him to accept Christ, by saying, that he couldn't believe the Bible. His reply was. "Well sir, whether you believe it or not, the Bible is true, and if you don't believe it you will be lost." The gentleman looked at him a moment, and knew from the sscpression of my friend that he had replied from the profound convictions of his own soul. His next objection was, "I can't believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God ;" the answer was, "Well, the Bible says he was the son of God, and whether you believe it or not, He is the son of God, and if you do not believe it you will be damned."
The minister turned away with the impression that the gentleman would be angry, but believing that he had been guided aright. A friend of the inquirer remonstrated with him, that he had not argued the question, but he left it in the hands of God. Within a few minutes the gentleman came to him with the question: "What must I do about this matter? How can I be saved?" Was pointed to the cross, and knelt with tears of thanksgiving and praise to Christ as his Saviour. God admits of no excuse, no palliation for unbelief; and surely God cannot be beseeching sinners by us, when we are in a mawkish condition of sympathy with the unbeliever, and smoothing over and palliating his sin, rather than showing him its heinousness and awful condemnation.
Our power in the use of the Word depends upon unswerving faith in its infallibility. "Thus saith the Lord" must be to us all-sufficient, for ourselves and for others. With the firm belief of the truth of Christ's declaration, " That the Scriptures cannot be broken," we will handle our weapon with confidence, we will wield it with all our strength. With these words of introduction as to the Word let us pass on to specific suggestions as to its use in bringing souls to Christ.
In the army, the ammunition for the soldiers starts from the arsenaL In a general sense, all the ammunition for the army is prepared there, from same material and for same purpose. When sent out, it is sorted, and each command receives that fitted to the calibre of its weapons. Each soldier receives all he has capacity to carry, and for which he ia expected to have.immediate use. So with the Bible. It is God's arsenal. All of its truths are from Him. All for the puipose of glorifying Christ, and overcoming the power of sin. But when these truths are to be put in action, they are sorted. We are to select as led of the Holy Spirit, passages adapted to our calibre. We should never put before others a message from God's word, that doesn't come hot from our own hearts, or use truth that we have not ourselves digested. So we are made able ministers, as in 2 Cor. iii: 6. We should gather from the Bible, for use according to our capacity. We should not attempt to teach beyond our apprehension; and of the passages that have fed us, and that we can carry, we should always have at hand, as the individual soldier the forty rounds in his cartridge box, a supply for immediate • use. Classify in your mind, or, what is better, upon a sheet of paper, the truth needed for presentation to the sinner; then under each head of the classification note your passages, and make yourself familiar with them, and with their position in your Bible. Always use your Bible in referring to them. Do not use a slip, printed or otherwise, and do not quote from memory. Your own classifications and your own selections of passages, will be better for your own use than any would be that is provided for you. But it is wise to compare with others, and to receive suggestions from others. And, as a suggestion, I offer the following classification, which you can note down, and fill out with your own Scripture references:
1st. Requirements of God's law.
2d. Failure of man to keep the law.
3d. Condition of man condemned by the law.
4th. Man's rejection of God's Son.
5th. Christ as the substitute under the law.
6th. Forgiveness through Christ.
7th. Illustrations of faith.
8th. Illustrations of salvation.
With the general line of truth here set forth, in mind, other classifications will suggest themselves. In sitting down with an inquirer do not expect that you must use all your ammunition upon him. Be natural, kind, and courteous in your approach to those who may be strangers to you; win their confidence by your sympathy and genuine interest in their welfare, and ascertain their condition; ask them to tell you frankly just how much they are interested, and how much concern they feel as to their personal salvation.
My first question usually to an inquirer is, "Do you believe that you are a sinner before God, and lost without a Saviour?" And the answer to this determines the direction of the instruction. If you find that conviction has been produced by the sermon, and that an anxious sinner is before you, do not'seek to reproduce what has already been done by the Holy Spirit, but, if he admits his lost condition, show him the testimony of God's word as to the full and complete satisfaction made by the death of Christ for his sins, that forgiveness is offered to faith, and, that faith is to take God at His word and believe the record. Urge hia immediate surrender to God, and acceptance of the Gospel. On the other hand, if the inquirer is only awakened to a sort of half-way desire to become a Christian, and has no deep convictions as to his present lost condition, and of the nature of sin, present the truth to him under the first four heads. If conviction is produced, present Christ, and urge immediate acceptance. If the inquirer denies the testimony of the Word as applied to himself, and tries to justify himself and make out a good character, and clings to his self-righteousness, he is not in a condition to be urged to say that he will trust in Christ. Show him what Christ has done, in connection with the truth as to his own utterly lost condition, and leave such truth with him as will sweep away his false' views of himself and lead him to Christ. Great harm is done in pressing a sinner to a decision before the Spirit of God has prepared the way. Our anxiety in dealing with souls should be, to be faithful, as in Christ's stead, and not go beyond the Spirit's leadings.
The large majority of those we shall meet in the Inquiry Room, during Mr. Moody's meetings, if we can judge by reports of his work, and by our personal knowledge of the Holy Spirit's power that he has received, will be those prepared by faithful presentation of the truth, accompanied by the Spirit's power to their souls, to be told in the simplest possible way how to believe; they will see that they are lost, they will see that Christ is a Saviour, they will see the plan of redemption, the one absorbing thought will be, "Is there salvation for me? Can I be saved? How can I get hold of Christ?" Here is the blessednes* of this personal work. God seems to have so ordered it that right here there must be personal contact between the Spirit of God through a believer, and the word of God by the mouth of a believer, and the sinner; and the result is life.
The passages most used by the Holy Spirit in this way, in meetings in this country, and as I have seen by the reports, and have heard from Mr. Moody himself in meetings in England, have been those that most clearly set forth Christ as the sinner's substitute. John iii: 16, and its use will illustrate this. Also Isa. liii: 6; Rom. iii: 25s Gal. iii: 13; 1 Peter ii: 24. We can have great confidence in magnifying God's grace, and preaching an unconditional salvation.
Our part is to make known the Gospel—both sides of it. (2 Cor. ii : 16.) God will take care of the result if we use his Word in dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
To get the sinner to look away from self to Christ is our work. The sinner under conviction is kept in darkness by looking at and into himself. He has a conception of what a religious experience ought to be, and waits for it to come to him. He tries to work up his feelings by thinking of his sins, and by thinking of the sufferings of Christ, with the idea that when he has produced feeling enough tliat will be a religious experience, that will be conversion, while he has not really laid hold of Christ at all by a saving faith. By the use of the Word we present Christ to the sinner as the object of faith, and the Scriptures revealing Christ as the ground of faith. God's promises in the Gospel are like so many hands held out to the sinner to draw him to Jesus. We read of Jesus many times when on earth, "He put forth his hand and touched him," "He laid his hand on every one of them and healed them." So His hands are still put forth in the Gospel invitations.
A dear old lady came once to a meeting where Christians were having much joy in the apprehension of Christ, and trembling, with tears, arose and said: "I want you to pray for me. I have been forty years a member of a church, but am not a Christian. I have never had any assurance that my sins were forgiven. I was convicted of sin when young and earnestly sought acceptance with God. I was told to join the church and the experience I desired would come. I did so, and have struggled on for forty years, doing every duty, Ro far as in my power—doing everything that Christians do—but I am not saved." She sat down weeping, and many wept with her for sympathy, at the recital of her long, weary, fruitless forty years in the wilderness. She was pointed to the record, as in Bom. iv : 24, 25, and v : 1, and saw by the Word that her justification was an accomplished fact in Christ, and that the way to appropriate it and to realize it was, not by feeling, not by struggling for an experience, not by joining the Church, not by doing, but by simply believing what God said about it.
Her joy was like the joy of a little child. This Scripture had revealed Christ to her, and enabled her by faith to receive Him into her heart.
It is of the enemy of souls to lead the convicted sinner to look for the experience of feeling and the result of believing before he believes. He is told, and truly so, that all the steps of his conversion must be the work of the Holy Spirit; that he must be drawn by the Spirit, quickened by the Spirit, and that when he is born again " the Spirit will bear witness with his spirit that he is a child of God,"—all of which is most blessedly true—but all of which the anxious soul will invariably misapply. We are to show him that the Holy Spirit does all this through the Word, as presenting Christ. That he is drawn by the Gospel invitations, Matt. xi:28; that he is quickened when he believes; that "Christ was delivered for his sins, and was raised again for hia justification," Rom. iv : 25; and his attention should be specially directed to the testimony that the sinner can know nothing of the indwelling and the witness of the Holy Spirit until after he believes. See John i: 12; vii : 38, 39; 1 John v : 10-13; Eph. i : 13, and Rum. viii: 16, in connection with Rom. v : 1 and viii : 1.
In all these Scriptures, and in every Scripture that refers to the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the soul, it is stated or implied that the soul has first believed, and that the witness of the Spirit accompanies the faith that is exercised in the message of salvation, and never cornea until such faith is exercised.
We must lift up Jesus—Jesus only, as n vealed in the Word, with the message of a finished and complete salvation, before the sinner, and insist—without reference to his excuses, his plea of inability, or his desire for delay—upon his immediate duty being the surrender of his will to God in the believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Insist that the will on his part to be saved is all he wants. Show him that he is permitted to take salvation, and to take it free, Rev. xxii: 17; that he is invited to take it, Matt, xi: 28. Show him that he is entreated to take it, 2 Cor. v : 20; that he is commanded to take it, 1 John iii : 23; and finally, that your warrant for urging him is that your Lord has said: •'Compel them to come in," Luke xiv : 23; and that Christ has said they are lost because they toill not come. John v : 40.
Always leave the inquirer with his finger upon the chapter and verse that has been used by the Spirit to give him light. Tell him to make much of that Word; to rest upon that and not upon his feelings as to the fact of his salvation.
Never consider your work as done until you have evidence that the sinner fully accepts Christ, and he can say that he fully and joyfully believes, John v : 24, and testify on the authority of the Word that he is saved.
Be faithful in presenting to the new-born child of God his position as a follower of Christ in this world. Show to him that his growth and usefulness as a Christian, and his communion with God, will depend upon his being dead unto sin and living in the spirit of entire consecration to God and separation fiom the world, and that this result is attained, not by any power in himself, but by looking constantly unto Jesus. Urge upon him his responsibility for the souls of others, and his immediate duty to labor for their salvation. If we can lead converts to convert others, we have a double joy, a double crowu.
MISS WILLARD'S CENTENNIAL TEMPERANCE ADDRESS
At the Woman's International Temperance Convention, held in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, June 12, 1876, the following address was made by Miss Frances E. Willard, of Chicago :—
Thought cannot grasp, much less may our poor words convey, the meaning of this hour. Its pathos is too deep for tears, its hope too lofty for music's most exultant strains, its purpose and its faith too sacred for anything but prayer.
We look about us—this is the Academy. Brilliant pageants have flashed across this spacious stage; noble men and women, standing here in other days, were wont to stir our hearts with pity for the fallen, and nerved the arms of patriots to strike off the shackles of the slave. We are in Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love," founded by him who, in the New World, was foremost leader of that Society which, by countless gentle deeds, has proved its right to its title of "the Friends." We are in the greatest of Republics, helping to celebrate its hundredth birthday anersary.
Surely, the omens are auspicious; and, as surely, in all the noble history of this auditorium, never has it been the rallying place of truer patriot! to welcome guests more honored; nor has the city of William Penn been the rendezvous of those who came upon an errand more fragrant with "brotherly love," nor can it point to such a liberty achieved as your love, labor and prayer, dear friends, shall help to win for poor humanity.
Who are we, here to-night?
The variety in unity upon this platform is a most gracious emblem of the many-sided Reform in whose interest we are met. Here are
"Brave hearts from Severn and from Clyde
And from the banks of Shannon,"
and just beside them are their sisters from the city of Toronto and the country of Prince Edward, with others fiom twenty States of our Union, including some from the sunny South famous in song and story. Here is our noble friend who has done "yeoman's* service" across the
•Mre. I*tltl, Youmuu, of Picton, Canada, tbe leader among the women of the United Province*.
border—she is "a host in herself;" and beside her, our own "Mothet Stewart," whose labors in the mother-land have acclimated her so thoroughly that they send her back, a regularly constituted delegate from the British Women's Temperance Union. And here, sitting beside our own president, is the kindly, welcome face of Margaret Parker, President of that same British Society, recently organized at Newcastle on Tyne. She comes from Dundee, Scotland, and as she was the leader of a band of women who, inspired by the Crusade, carried their protest against license to the Mayor of that city, we all feel like welcoming her in the poet's words:
"Hurrah for the bonnets of bonny Dundee 1"
Why are we here, to-night?
Because of many things; among them, this: After Humanity had struggled up out of despotism, which is the slavery of the body; out of ignorance, which is the slavery of the mind; out of superstition, which is the slavery of the conscience, it found itself bound by a still more galling chain. The customary social use of intoxicating drinks, and the legalized sale of the same, are declared to be the occasion and the method of a slavery the most odious that has ever riveted its fetters on mankind. For it enslaves not the body only, but the soul ; claims not alone the life which is, but that which is to come. "Uncle Tom," under the lash, was yet calm and exalted in the liberty wherewith Christ maketh free; but v, hen a man can't think, can't reason, can't use his own five senses though nobody hinders him, and when such a spell is laid upon his conscience that his cruelty is greatest to those who love him best, then is he a slave indeed. Furthermore this tyranny of alcohol has all climes, all seasons, all classes for its own; and winds its fiery chain around the intellect of a Burns, a Sheridan, a Webster, as surely and securely as around the witless skull of a Falstaflf or a Caliban.
We are here because, not in our land alone, but in yours, deur friends who have come to us from far, this slavery exists and grows and flourishes. Because the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Because the great family of races is, in proportion to its enlightenment, making common cause against the common foe. Because it comes at last, the day which our own Whittier fortells. the day—
"* * of uersal brotherhood;
Unknown to other rivalries
Than of the mild humanities
And gracious intei change of good;
Wheu meet, beneath saluting flags,
While closer strand shall lean toward strand,
The Eagle of our native crags,
The Liou of our mother-land."
We are here to stretch another cord of international fraternity over the continents, and under the sea; to bring nearer to each other our widely severed homes, by standing side by side in the great battle for their preservation, and to learn in the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace, that—
"Names and creeds and altars fall—
Thou, 0 Christ, art all in all."
For there is adequate protection vouched for by our respective governments for every subject, save the dearest and most loyal of them all, and that is Home.
The night was long and dreary in which, through murky air, mothers went out to seek their erring sons; in which heart-broken sona and daughters mourned over their strong staff broken, and their beautiful rod; and wives murmured with white lips—
"He cometh not, my heart is dreary |
Be cometh not, my heart is weary—
I wish that I were dead."
But behold, the morning cometh! The queens of home, the guardians of society, the teachers of little children, have found there is something they can do besides sitting back yonder in the shadows, hopelessly singing this sad refrain. They are on the track at last, of the worst foe that home, society and little children ever knew! It means—this gathered audience, this crowded platform, these thrilling songs, these tremulous prayers—that we have heard and heeded the voice which caused Mary to rise up hastily when she caught the words, "TAe Matter is come and calUth/or t/tee."
Ah, women of Ohio, on whom first fell the Pentecostal fire now spreading to all shores, the question Why are toe here t can not be fitly answered until, with loving, reverent gesture, your sisters point to you. Coming, as I do, from a month's work in your own State, the fiercest battle-ground of the Crusade, I am more than ever struck with the supernatural character of that great uprising. As I have rested in your homes, how many times I have said "Now talk to me of the Crusade ;* and how significantly uniform has been your answer, "O, that is something which never can be told; it was only to be felt and lived and wept and prayed over; it wasn't to be told." O you, who, as pioneers in this gospel movement of the women, have borne and labored and had patience; you who have knelt on rumshop floors, or on the cold stones of the street; you who, in face of jeering mobs sang "Rock of Ages cleft for me;" you who wept over the tempted and the fallen who were strangers to you, because you remembered they were somebody's scnis; you who have heard prison bars clashing behind you, because upon the streets, often blocked up by beer casks and reeling forms of men enslaved, you prayed that God would make bare his arm for our deliverance; you who have read the Bible in ten thousand haunts of sin, and tenderly talked of Him who taketh away the sin of the world, we cannot forget that our presence here to-night means that you were present two years ago in the saloons, where the Spirit of the Highest led you; present because the bells of heaven had struck the hour when woman should come forth to fight against the rum power, in the name of God! We bid you to the veterans' post, the post of honor, as we fall into line in our sacred peaceful war; knowing full well thy blessing, dear old England and brave America, beloved mothers of thrice grateful daughters, thy blessings rest upon us as we come!
What are we here to do?
We are here to learn from one another the blessedness of the benignant life; to understand more perfectly that not in the acquisition of a language, not in the mastery of a piano key-board, not in an acquaintance with current literature lies the secret of the happiest life, but that to guard the ninety and nine that went not astray; to train their little feet to love the safe, sure path, and then go out after the hundredth who has wandered-—
"Away on the mountains bleak and bare,
Away from the teenier Shepherd's care,"
in this liess the supreme happiness of life. As Christian women, we have, all along, been amateurs in doing good; we are here to strengthen our conviction that to do good is the business of life, is just what Christians are for, not as their secondary work, but as their first; before riches, before knowledge, before everything except the business of being such people and doing such things as shall most hasten the triumph of Him whose right it is to reign King of nations, as he now reigns King of saints.
A grand word is that Saxon word " lady," "giver of bread." We are here to revise that definition in accordance with the latest researches. Lady, giver of the bread of life; and lastly, we are here to answer, as the roll of English-speaking nations shall be called, the sad, brave question, " Watchman, what of the night?" and to lift up holy hands to God without wrath or doubting.
Who would be glad if they knew that we are here? Countless is the host that question rallies round us. From the humble cabin in the woods of Canada to the lonesome shanty on the far-off prairies of the West; from famine-haunted garret, damp basement and reeking tenement house, the thin-faced wives of drunkards would brighten with smiles of hope if they knew that we were here. Long have they prayed to God, and often have they thought he did not hear or else he did not heed. The long, heart-breaking procession of little children with rum-blighted lives; the impotent victims of appetite, with vacant, hopeless gaze; the sailors on a thousand ships, of brave and gentle heart, who have sailed on every sea and been unbefriended on every shunj; all these, a great multitude which no man can number, form the constituency which gives inspiration to every word and deed of our temperance sisterhood. From fortunate lives, from happy homes, laden with blessings and with hopes, we stretch our hands toward the tempted and the fallen, the disappointed and bereft;—may God stand by us as we stand by them I
What shall we go from here to do?
Well, not one single harsh, ungentle thing. We shall not go from here in any sense the enemies of anybody. It is liquor-selling that we fight against—not liquor-sellers. It is liquor-drinking that we oppose— not liquor-drinkers. You fiee we have learned
"To hate the sin, and yet the sinner love."
We recognize the traffic as a frightful anachronism; the relic of a less enlightened, less Christian, social state, and the appetite as one super induced by customs unworthy of this kindly and well-instructed age. That the appetite is inherent, we deny, and in support of our position adduce the fact that, as a class, women have never drank, and millions of strong and active men have always totally abstained. If there is present here to night a man who has no conscience about drinking or selling intoxicating liquors, I want him to listen to our declaration of war, which is this:
We come to you in the spirit of Christ's gospel. We are nobody's enemies, least of all, yours. We do uot take a position antagonistic to your habits or pursuits for any of the reasons which, in all ages, have opposed armies on the field and statesmen in the cabinet. We do not seek to acquire territory, save that we would fain win for total abstinence the territory of your hearts. We do not seek possession of your riches, though we do covet the riches of your influence and your example.
You may deem us fanatics now, but we believe there are hours ahead when you will not so regard us. For hundreds of men who once sold and drank intoxicating liquors have told us we have proveii ourselves good friends to them. There are to-day thousands of men who one year ago were either drunkards or steady drinkers, who declared that the temperance women of this land and such reformed men as Dr. Reynolds, of Maine, and Francis Murphy, of Illinois, are the very best friends they've ever known. There are saloon-keepers and distillers, brewers, rectifiers, and wholesale dealers who admit their business to be unworthy of enlightened manhood, and who expiess to us in private their wish and purpose to withdraw from it. And even if none of these men were ready to admit to-night that we are right and they •re wrong, there is an hour not far ahead of them—life's most significant And honest hour—when they will see that in the endeavor to persuade them to ttetter habits and better business we were true friends whose rounds were faithful. As they look back over the infinite pathos of life's "might have been ;" as they see that the only indestructible material Ln destiny's tierce crucible is character; as that vast life beyond this life's last mile-stone lifts un them through the gloom its mystic vision, and they see how its warp and woof were woven in the humming loom of the hurried life that is, they will send back to the earth the echo of their ierrible surprise. Like the German poet on his death-bed, after a long atheistic career, their cry will be : " We must, then, think of God also I"
What should our watchword be as we go hence each to her battle with the common foe?
Eternal llupe. For we believe that Truth is on our side, and Truth can never fail, for it is dear to God—dearer by far than it can be to us. So, though the light of the Tempi ranee Reform shines often in darkness which comprehends it not, it must just go on shining, all the same. Its progress must be like that of all philanthropies, founded as they are in the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man. It must shine on until the day breaks and the shadows flee away. At first it was only a beam in darkness, then a torch held up in the gloom, then "a light in the window for thee, brother," then a beacon flashing grandly out on the most dangerous headland of the Republic's and the Empire's coast, but it shall grow and gather light, until it climbs the zenith like another aun, and pours the healing of its bright benignant beams into the darkest heart and the most desolate home. Let us never be disheartened— it is God's great beacon light, not ours!
Dear sisters, from near and far away, all that ought to be true is ideally true to-night, and will be actually true some day, as sure as God is God. True then already, in the realm of thought, in the beneficent purpose of Jehovah, true in the outlook of our faith, be it our blessed privilege to work right bravely on toward the realization of its truth in the realm of things material. Even as in Scotland, dear Margaret Parker, the stalwart clansmen threw the sacred heart of Bruce out into the hot and surging battle that with unconquerable ardor they might rush to regain it, so we have thrown into the battle of the angi-1 against tie dragon, this ideal of a better civilization; we have staked our all bpon it and we will pursue it with a steadfast courage, undismayed by volleys of adverse opinion, undeterred by the galling cross-fire of harsh criticism, unblinded by the suflbcating smoke-cloud of the public apathy. Sisters, let your war-cry be " For God and Home and Native Land." Then " tarry not in all the plain."
Be of brave heart, O, eager scouts of humanity's great army; strike out into the forest and blaze the trees, like your fathers, the hardy pioneers of old! Slowly they march, they of the rank and file, but yet they're trumping straight behind you—don't you catch, sometimes, away ahead there, the muffled music of their coming feet? The fanaticisms of yesterday are the reforms of to-day and the splendid victories of to-oioi-row. I am no prophet, yet I dare claim that before the head of the youngest iiere -is gray, there will be placed in some national museum here in America, beside the rope with which a witch was hanged in Massachusetts, beside the block from which a mother and her child were sold into slavery in South Carolina, the license by which in this Centennial year freemen have legalized the cup of death. If you, women of Canada. are before us in realizing your grand idea of Home Protection, t.hen shall you again furnish a refuge for our slaves, and the North Star shall be the guiding light to the more glorious freedom guaranteed by enforced prohibitory law. In the race for that consummation so devoutly to be wished, remember, we on this side of the line are emulous, not envious; aspiring, not ambitious; and should you earliest win, we shall he reenforced with the enthusiasm which caused a Grecian heio to exclaim. "The laurels of Miltiades will not suffer me to sleep."
Dear friends, let me summon to your thought those who have fought and won in other fields. Look backward along the shining corridors of history and learn again the lesson of courage and of faith. Yesterday see Luther standing before his fierce accusers with his outstretched hand upon the Book whence has radiated our Christian civilization. Listen to his words : "Here I stand, I can do no other; God help me. Amen." To-day see Protestantism traced on the world's map by free pulpit, free press, free schools, even as a June day is traced by sunshine. Yesterday William Wilberforce rising in the House of Commons and repeating amid jfers and scoffs what for twenty years he had been sayiug: '"I move the abolition of Slavery in his Majesty's colonies." To-day William Wilberforce raised to the peerage of England's proudest and most sacred names. Yesterday, William Lloyd Garrison, egged in the streets of Newport, dragged through the streets of Boston with a rope around his neck, but declaring in that famous editorial in the Liberator: "I will not excuse, I will not equivocate, I will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard." To-day, William Lloyd Garrison, while yet alive, crowned with the laurels of immortal gratitude. Yesterday, John Brown, going to the scaffold, the victim of what then seemed the lost cause; to-day. John Brown's soul marching on in the loving memories of four millions of enfranchised slaves, and his name the emblem of a nation's victory
"Though sometimes depressed and lonely,
Let your fears be laid aside
When you but remember only
Such as these have lived and died."
But as the stars grow dim when the splendor of sun-rise fills the finn-
Ameiit, so all others who have labored to elevate humanity drop from
our thoughts when we turn to the wide-armed cross upon a lonely hillside and recall His words who said, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Christ is the magnet of the race he has redeemed. Ty?t us go hence carrying in loyal hearts his blessed pledge, " Lo. I am -»ith you always," and seeking grace to make our own the loving prayer
"Ob to be nothing, nothing,
Only to lie at His feet ,
A broken and emptied vessel,
For tlus Matter » Km made
ADDRESSES, QUESTION DRAWER AND OTHER PROCEED-
INGS OF THE CHRISTIAN CONVENTION HELD IN
CHICAGO SEPTEMBER 18, 19, 20, 1883, TOGETHER
WITH THE SERMONS PREACHED IN
CHICAGO ON THE SABBATH
PREVIOUS, BY D. L.
Morning Sermon,Sept. 16, Iss3,ry U. L. Moody
Evening" " " """
How Can We Rest Secure A Preparation For Christ's
Work, Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D.
Same Surject Continued, Major D. W. Whittle .
"" " H. L. A. Stevenson.
"" " D. L. Moody
The Great Hindrances, Rev. J. H. Barrows, D. D.
"" ""C. L. Goodell, D. D.
"" ""D. L. Moody .
Question Drawer,Conducted Ry D. L. Moody-
How To Interest The Lay Element Of Our Churches
Rev. C. L. Goodell, D. D
How Faith Spreads, Rev. S.J. McPherson .
Question Drawer, Conducted Ry D. L. Moody
How To Reach Haritual Non-church Goers, Rev. H.
M. Scudder, D. D
Same, Surject Continued, Rev. M. M. Parkhurst .
"" Rt. Rev. C. E. Cheney, D. D.
What Shall Re Done To Secure A More General At-
Tendance Of The People Upon Worship, Rev. P.
S. Henson, D. D.
Same Surject Continued, J. L. Houghteling
How Can The Influence Of Christian Homes Re In-
Creased, Rev. Dr. Ninde
Same Surject Continued, Rev. R. M. Hatfield D. D.
Devotional Exercises, Rev. W. M. Lawrence, D. D. . 944 ""Charles M. Morton . . . 947
Methods Of Organization For Religious Work,
William Reynolds ....... 94S
Question Drawer, Conducted Ry D. L. Moody . . 951
Sermon. Text In Titus 2; 11--14, D. L. Moody . 955
How Can The Personal And Social Study Of The Birle
Re Increased, Rev. Herrick Johnson, D. D. . 969
Same Surject Continued, B. F. Jacobs .... 974
How May Our Foreign Population Re Evangelized,
Rev. F. E. Emerich ....... 975
How To Reach The Germans, Rev. L. M. Heilman . 977 "" " "Prof. Samuel Ives Curtiss . 9S0
How Shall We Interest Our Children In The Gospel,
Rev. E. C. Ray . 988
How May Music Re Best Used And Controlled In ProMoting Worship And Spreading Thr Gospel, Ira D. Sankey ........ 993
Same Surject Continued, James McGranahan . . . 99S "" " D. L. Moody . . . -1005
"" " Rev. P. S. Henson, D. D. . 1006
"" " Rev. Herrick Johnson, D. D. . 1007
Closing Addresses On " Consecration For The Work,"
Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D. D 1008
Same Surject Continued, William Reynolds, Prof.
Morehcad, Mr. Lattimer, Rev. Dr. Hatfield, J. S.
Smithson, Major D. W. Whittle, Bishop Cheney,
Rev. Dr. Henson, and ethers.
Closing Address Ry D. L. Moody 1010