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.