Mr. J. L. Houghteling, President of the Young Men's Christian Association, being introduced to continue, in a ten-minute talk, the subject of church attendance, prefaced his remarks by saying that his standpoint would be that of the pews, as Dr. Henson's had been from the pulpit. The newspapers said this morning, oegan he, that the Christian Convention was one of the greatest gatherings of Christian people that had ever been held. In the hall there were 3,000 people; outside, comprising the remainder of the city, were 647,000 others. Supposing that instead of Farwell Hall the Exposition Buildings were occupied for the same purpose, there would perhaps be a daily attendance of 10,000, aggregating in the three days 30,000. This latter total then, when compared with the population of the city would represent about the proportion of church goers. The reason for this small proportion of church-going people was found in the fact that through human corruption the church had corns to be designed for the few in question. The church had become equivalent to a piece of merchandise, something with salable features, like a position on the Board of Trade. This was hard talk, remarked the speaker, but true. The facts of Christianity were neglected in the churches, and too much attention instead, given to theory. The people had gone back upon the facts, while to the pastor was left the theory.
"Let me picture the average church in Chicago," continued Mr. Houghteling, who forthwith sketched the reality most effectively. He said that all the pews were let out under a sense of proprietorship, and that there was no proneness to take in strangers. An invitation to attend church was published in the Sunday morning papers, with the invitation left out. When strangers from force of habit or conviction attended they were met by a parcel of welldressed gentlemen, and could but observe that the service was of a character somewhat habitual and perfunctory, conducted under the belief that it would all improve one's chances of heaven. Was there any wonder that the proportion of church-goers was small?
The rented pew business, continued the speaker, who incidentally observed that he stood up from the pews, and so spoke for their occupants, was a modern business, and a system which he was inclined to say was one of the mistakes of Protestantism. He had found no recommendation in the Bible about high places in the synagogue. The pew-renting system was not found among Catholics, unless they had been corrupted by juxtaposition with Protestants.
In the great cathedrals abroad seats were free and room for prince and beggar, side by side.
The speaker declared himself not afraid to say that free churches were a very important element in drawing masses. Experience in Chicago had proven this true. There was a little church in this city where the seats were free as air—freer than water, for water was taxed. In this little church there was more money spent in the service of God than in any church of its size in all Chicago. Which the active little congregation was Mr. Houghteling refrained from publicly announcing, but expressed his willingness to tell, more privately, any and all.
In England it had been shown that the free churches were the ones that drew. Perhaps some might say that our churches can't lie turned from proprietary to free churches. But the second service could be made free as air, and every Christian man could become a cordial host in the house of God. A cordial invitation should be extended to people. And how? Let some family in each block be named who should care for the interests of the Granger in that block and see that they are invited to attend this or that church as the denomination and locality ot the family might be; while if the stranger were of a denomination not identical with this particular family, then the latter should inform the pastor of that other denomination that such and such people are within his jurisdiction. In this way should the interests of parishioners be followed up, nor need there either, at the same time, be any machinery in it.
Another element of attraction to churches, and a factor for good, was successful ushering. Besides I he Spirit of Almighty God a cordial manner and common sense were essential characteristics of an usher. He should be honestly glad to see a person, and should welcome him as his best friend and in his own house. Again, an usher should use discretion in the locating of strangers in church pews. A poor mother, just from the washing of her dishes, and clad in a humble way, would feel uncomfortable in a front seat where she might feel that the entire attention of the congregation was attracted toward herself. Then, again, good judgment should so far direct an usher that he would not place a modest young country lad in the same pew with a young lady. He certainly wouldn't feel at home, and it wasn't altogether certain that she would be particularly pleased.
Speaking from personal information Mr. Houghteling alluded to the pronounced success achieved by one good church officer whose cordiality and sincerity of manner eventually brought into his church seventy young men, who came to stand shoulder by shoulder to worship.
Let the churches be made as free as grace, as free as his call who had said come all and be refreshed. Let the facts of Christianity be brought up to its theories, and the churches would be filled.
At the conclusion of Mr. Houghteling's remarks, Mr. Moody said if all these advocates of free churches would come over to Chicago Avenue they would be given seats. As Dr. Henson said, there were two sides to this question. There was a class of people who wanted to be together in church as a family. These should have some consideration. When in London he had made inquiry regarding the management of Mr. Spurgeon't church. He found that the pews there were rented, but the highest-priced pew was 75. 6d. or about $2 in our money for the quarter, or $8 a year. Thus the very best seat in the tabernacle could be purchased by the poorest laboring man to hear the grandest man on the face of the globe. The cheapest pew was about one-fourth this amount. If we could not have free churches, we could have them with pews at a price within the reach of every one. They could make a compromise.
The hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves" was sung, and Major Whittle led in prayer
The quartette on the platform sang "Peace, Be Still." Dr. Ninde, of the G-arrett Biblical Institute at Evanston, then took up the topic:
"HOW CAN THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIAN HOMES BE
He commenced by saying that he felt both oppressed and stimulated by the magnitude of the theme. He doubted if there was a more important theme in the programme, however inadequate the discussion might prove. The union of the hearts by the marriage tie constituted the home; the indissoluble union of the Christian hearts constituted the Christian home. How can the influence of such a home be increased?
1. By increasing the attractiveness of the home in its natural features. Amid the havoc and wreck which sin had made the home is the oasis in our social desert. Missionaries speak of the heathen women as looking in through the doors of Christian dwellings and weeping as they contrasted the barrenness and misery of their own. By seeking to make our home life warm and genial and beautiful, we indirectly but powerfully increase its influence for religious end>.
2. We may increase the influence of the home for religious ends by deepening our conviction of the great idea for which the home was founded. God's purpose in the home was to seek thereby a godlv seed. The religious nurture of childhood is therefore the grand work of Christian parents. And to effect this purpose we need to revive the old and faded truth of the church in the house. We are too apt to associate God's special presence and Christian work too exclusively with the temple where the Christian community gather for religious worship, and forget that this earth has no more sacred place than the dwelling consecrated by the devotion nf loving hearts.
It is a glorious privilege, amid the religious indifference of these times, to stand within one's own threshold a divinely anointed rep
resentative of the family, and declare that, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The great work of Christian parents is to create, instrumentally, and nurture piety in their children. This work must be done promptly. The work must begin even before the dawn of self-consciousness. To delay is to lose the best opportunity and to imperil the souls of our children. It must be pursued continuously. God never wavers in His gracious work. At no moment is He absent from the heart of the child. It must be done with infinite painstaking. No press of worldly cares must interfere with our unwavering devotion to the religious welfare of our children. And the discipline we employ must be largely self-discipline. There is an unconscious influence which goes out from our very tones and looks and powerfully modifies the character of the voung.
Such painstaking care will lead to a holy tact in presenting religion to our children. We shall present religion, not by obtruding, but by insinuating it. We too often preach to our children. We assail and overwhelm them with it, and thus too often arouse their prejudices and defeat our purest wishes. To expend care now is to save ourselves care in the future. The worst furies that lash the soul of many a father and mother are the living or dead victims of parental neglect.
3. The influence of Christian homes may be vastly increased over those who are its transient inmates. Many a one has felt a strange impressiveness in the very atmosphere of a pious home leading him to Christ. The Christian home ought to be signalized by gracious, saving influences upon all who enter within its sphere.
Rev. Dr. Hatfield followed Dr. Ninde in the discussion of this topic, and said it was the most important question that had been before the convention. Hut one might better try to preach ten sermons on it than deal with it in ten minutes. He had read an article in one of the popular quarterlies on "The Dangerous Classes." He had supposed that this referred to the tramps and communists, but was surprised to find that it referred to the wealthy men—the men who were in the great corporations, the monopolists, as the dangerous classes, and he quite agreed with the writer, Dr. Howard Crosby, or at least thought he was not far out of the way. He agreed with others that every sou! saved was of equal value before God. When we become enthusiastic in caring for the neglected classes we were in danger of missing a great class very much in need. He had been making observations for years regarding the historv and future of children of prominent members of the Christian churches, and he stood appalled at the facts that confronted him.
He had stood in the churches and looked at the leading men there—men whose names were good for thousands—men who had been in the church for vears, and yet not one of them had a son
worthy his weight in scrap iron, so far as religion was concerned. He had gone to other congregations and found the same thing there. He had looked over the churches in this city, and he declared that it was a rare thing to find a man of prominence there who has a son in the work of Christ. Many of these sons were worldly, not a few were skeptical and atheistic. Many were steeped in crime to the very lips, and they were bringing their fathers and mothers down to the grave in sorrow. It was not so bad on the other side of the house, but the daughters were living lives of pleasure. What was the matter? He was afraid he would not pass a very good examination in the doctrine of election, and he would no doubt be pronounced unorthodox, but he believed in the election of the sons and daughters of Christian parents as much as he believed in the election of any one. He could look over families and predict their home life. He knew of a moral certainty that the children would be found at the Savior's feet. In the house of God one would see the father, mother, sons and daughters all go to the table and partake of the sacrament. Then there were other families where it was just as clear to his mind that there would be slight gleaning for Christ. What was the matter, he asked? What was to be done to increase the power for Christ in the homes? If they had to go through the process of converting people over and over, and could never plant missions where the children would be brought into the church by the influence of the home, they could not expect to save the world to Christ.
He believed in a gospel that saved men, and he believed in employing all classes, but he had not so much faith in that kind of work that wanted to save alone the drunkard and the prize-fighter and other men of the vicious classes. He believed in saving the homes and the children who were born to God in Christian homes. He believed in reclaiming the heathen, but there were the children of the church to be saved and they must not be neglected. He had often thought of what must have been the thoughts of our first mother. Eve, with her first child. She had no mother to instruct her in raising her child. He had something of the same feeling as he looked upon the young mother to-day with her babe in her arms. He paid a glowing tribute to the Christian mothers of the land who were doing so much for character in the rising generations.
The first thing needed in this work was character on the part of the parents, and especially on the part of the mothers. Something in the way of reproof might be necessary, but the thing that environed the child from its infancy was the kindly influence of Christian parents. He knew of one house where there were nine children, and they could as men and women all testify to the fact that they had never heard an angry word or received an angry look from the Christian mother who presided over that home. And her work was seen in the Christian character of the sons and daughters left to revere her memory. God's blessing rested upon that family.
What could be done for the mothers especially? One thing was of great and all-absorbing importance. The mothers should be thoroughly convinced of the importance of the work given them to do. He might be old-fogyish on this subject, but he was not carried away by the idea of sphere in woman's work.
He believed the highest sphere for woman was in the home as the mothers of families. He had heard one member of the convention remark that the husbands in his church stayed at home and toovk care of the children while their wives were out doing the church work. He preferred that his wife should remain at home where she had so much influence for good in molding the character of the children. He said a man might go on the Board of Trade and be greatly impressed with the magnitude of the business transacted there, but for him he believed that the work of the wives at home was a hundred times more important than this. Yes, the mothers were doing a grander work and were of more importance than the President of the United States. In speaking of church going he said he did not believe in holy-day Christians—people who were exhausted with one service, for whom one sermon was too much to digest. They spent their afternoons reading the Sunday papers or riding on the boulevards. The children were sent to Sabbath-school, but for his part he preferred that his children should not be sent to the Sunday school at the sacrifice of the preaching service. There was in every man a fool age—the age when a youth was neither boy nor man, but knew more than his father or mother or the ancients, and he was too big to go to Sunday school. Had he been trained in going to church the church would have some hold upon him, but he had not and he was lost to the influences that the church might have been able to throw around him.
These children of the Sabbath school were the ones who neglected the church in their later years. They should be taken into the church and made to feel at home there. In his own home it had never been a question of going to church on Sunday morning any more than it was as to whether the children should eat their breakfast Monday morning or go to school. It was the order of the household and everybody conformed to it.
He spoke also of Bible instruction, and regarded the mothers as the best instructors. The mother had the children for seven days in the week, and the Sunday school for one hour. In Sabbath observance he found that the mothers had a great influence upon the children. He had a word for the men who were "compelled" to work on Sunday, and said no man was compelled. No man was compelled to own stock in the companies that were breaking the Sabbath. "Give it to them," came from the rear of the platform, and the Doctor went on for a moment more pouring hot shot at the corporations that indulged in Sabbath breaking.
Mr. Moody took the floor as soon as it was released by Dr. Hatficld and said he would subscribe to most that he had said, but he wanted him to pitch into the fathers as well as the mothers.
He then told how he had cornered a good Christian into confessing that he had spent every evening away from home—no matter if it was at prayer-meeting and church services—was away during all the day, and never saw anything of his children, and yet he grieved that his children had wandered away from him. No man had a right to do this. No minister had a right to give up seven evenings during the week and reserve none for his family. For himself he always reserved Saturday and evening for his wife and children, and was very cross if asked to give up that day to any other purpose. He thought every man should do this much ;it least for his family, that he might get acquainted with his children.
AFTERNOON SESSION. Mr. Moody introduced the first subject and speaker of the afternoon.
Rev. Dr. W. M. Lawrence, Pastor of Second Baptist Church, Chicago, spoke as follows:
If comparisons are allowable, this question may be considered as one of the most important ones presented in the schedule. It is certainly one of the most difficult anywhere, but especially in this city and vicinity, and in attempting to answer it I would say, first, in our plan of work give the devotional meetings the place they are given in the word of God. I understand by devotional meeting's the prayer gatherings, and I suppose that every minister and Christian workman has some sort of plan or some set of principles running through his work. His preaching service comes in for some part, his pastoral work comes in for another, his benevolent work for another, his public work for another, and his devotional work for another. If, then, these are to work in peace and profit, let him adjust them and prepare for them as God's word—his chart indicates.
I think you will appreciate this point better if you consider the prevailing notions men possess who appear not to have studied this phase of Christ's work. Go into the majority of our churches, and what do you find? A spacious audience room, c«ref ully ventilated, ample preparation for excellent music,.seats that are comfortable, the whole place easy of access, and in every way, inviting. Now.
what next? Up a long alley *and at the back of the building, or down cellar, or in the middle of the church is a room half the size, seldom as large as that, is what is called the prayer room.
Sometimes it is in deplorable condition. It is so low ceiling it is impossible to ventilate it. As a rule I do not believe in building chapels and then the main audience rooms, but 1 have sometimes thought it well to let it be done because the people might in that way get a good prayer room. The common idea about the whole thing is that it is a second-rate affair.
Even the minister's conducting of the affair is looked upon and expected to be a second-rate affair, a slovenly affair. And architecture and service combine to teach the people that the devotional services are secondary, and, like certain physician's prescriptions, may be taken or omitted at pleasure, and they literally are. Now if you want to have the meetings more profitable you must kill the prevailing notion regarding them, and this can be done as I have stated, by showing what position such meetings have in God's word..
And they are recognized therein. If you want a commentary on the prayer meeting take the Book of Acts. Before you get through the first chapter you have two prayer meetings. The first, a meeting for consolation right after our Lord's departure. These all continued with cue accord in prayer and supplication with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there and His brethren. And the second was to ask advice about choosing a successor to Judas.
Take the next chapter. They are again gathered in an upper room, and suddenly there came a sound of a rushing, mighty wind. The Holy Ghost came, and the Church of the Apostolic day was born, 3,000 men were born, and where the characteristics of the converts are given in the close of the chapter it is said that they all remained steadfast in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayers. So the fourth chapter tells how, after the release of Peter and John, they went to their own company and had prayer and a new baptism and the Holy Ghost. And you will not forget that after the release of Peter by the angel he came down to where they had a prayer-meeting, and they could not believe that the object of the prayer-meeting had been accomplished so soon, and refused to believe Rhoda that Peter was at the door. And then do not forget that woman's gathering at the place for prayer where the European church was born, in the heart of Lydia, and gather together these instances, and tell me if God's word assigns to the prayer gathering any such secondary idea that is so common to-day. We elevate the sermon as though it were the only way to reach a human heart; but the sermon is the testimony of but one man; the prayer-meeting, the testimony of many.
-. Give it the place in your cfturch work that it has had in the experience of successful Christians. Where are men converted in the prayer-room? It is true they are convicted under the preaching —most of them, but the sun that ripens this fruit is a prayer-meeting. It may be of two only. But the Lord is there.
"And heaven comes down our souls to greet,
And glory crowns the mercy seat."
I heard recently that all the while Finney was preaching he had a man out praying for him. When our brethren who are with us to-day were in Philadelphia the meetings of power were the prayer-meetings, and observe the moments of power at this session have been the moments which we have spent before the cross. Teach your people in every way that church success is pravermeeting success; that they cannot succeed without it. Teach them what place it holds in the economy of church labor, and when vou have reproved the false ideas regarding its importance you have gone a long ways towards making them interesting.
3. Give the people clear ideas of what a devotional meeting is. If it is anything it has a purpose in it. They are called sometimes "social" meetings of the church, but "social" should be characteristic of all your gatherings. But the social part of a prayer-meeting is apt to come when the benediction has been pronounced, and people go to get a little dry religion and look out for a pleasant time afterward. They are devotional meetings—meetings where all the people give themselves into the hands of the Lord, to realize His presence. They are meetings for conversation, for confession of Christ, for confession of sin. They are the family meetings of the church, where plans of work are to be broached and God's wisdom invoked. .
4. They are the people's meetings.
Let the leader, whoever he may be, remember that his place is guide. Especially let him consider this in the selection of his topic, so that it shall have some relation to the life of his people that week. To engage the attention of the people upon the condition of the inhabitants of Alaska, when God is pouring out His Spirit upon the Sunday-school is folly. Let the topic be born out of the »-ery life of the people. Let the condition of the church give rise to the topic, and you will have something that everybody has been thinking about. Of course, if nothing special suggests itself, a topic from some topic book may be shown, but I never would follow any topic simply because it was in the book.
Another thing, do not be too formal nor too exhaustive in vour opening remarks, or you will get more than you aim for. I do not say that a man should only talk so long. That depends—ten minute*
may be too short or too long, according to circumstances. His opening should be like a lever to turn on the power, and if a foot will do, all right. Some places need more than others, but be sure you have something for somebody else. One reason I never can get any help out of these books on Bible readings, etc., is because they help too much. I have read so hard to keep up with them that I haven't any strength left to go alone and then try to keep the people reasonably close to the topic. If the Lord puts a thought into a man's heart or a song into a man's heart it ought to come out, and I venture to affirm that it will, if the Lord puts it there, have some relation to the topic, if that is also from the Lord. But my trouble is, I announced a topic and nobody for some time seemed inclined to respect it or to talk upon it, but a few kind words and a great deal of perseverance have accomplished much. And further, remember to encourage all to come to prayer. I say encourage, because no one wishes to come to anything as a criminal. Encourage the business men; take them individually; show them how they need it, how their Christian strength will be increased; how their souls will obtain rest, and do this especially if you live in a city where it is the fashion to seek rest anywhere but in God's house. What sight more effective than to see a young man and his employer in the same prayer-room? And finally, look out for the working of the spirit in every meeting; you expect it in some way, not in all.
Dr. Lawrence, through Mr. Moody, asked Mr. Sankey, before leaving, to sing hymn 378, "Beyond the Smiling and the Weeping," one, the people were reminded by Mr. Moody, that was held a favorite by President Garfield. So the song was tenderly sung, Mr. Sankey being assisted in the refrain by a lady's voice that proved a verv tuneful coadjutor.
Mr. Charles M. Morton, pastor of Railroad Chapel, then, as the assigned ten-minute speaker on the above topic, advanced, and began by saying that it was the world's verdict that prayer meetings were not interesting. Whenever they were interesting it was the exception. The world had only grace enough to enjoy that which was interesting. There was a grand little band in every prayer meeting ready to bear their part in whatever came up. In most prayer meetings we knew every one who was going to pray, and what they were going to pray about.
The only question was as to how long they would pray. He had been in such prayer meetings, and he thanked the Lord that he did not live in the town, so that he would have to attend such meetings all the time.
In every prayer meeting there were men and women capable of doing good work. But something must happen to break the ice and bring these to the surface. The men who sprang to the surface soon after being converted were the men who did the best work. John B. Gough said he had as much diffidence now in appearing before an audience as he did when he first began work in the lecture field. But when he began to speak he was all the better for his diffidence.
Mr. Morton then gave his own experience in being converted under the preaching of Moody.
The leader of the meeting should have a great deal of common sense. Common sense and the Holy Spirit in such places were generally found together. The leader should only make suggestions, so that the others might take them up. But too often the leader talked for half an hour, exhausting the subject, and leave nothing for others to say. He had seen leaders in the noon meetings in Farwell Hall talk for thirty-five minutes, and then sit down and ask the brSthren to be brief. He thought that to do that required a good deal of cheek. It was just like when he was a boy and had to wait when there was company. He was posted at the door to sec if there was anything left for the children, and he generally found that there was not much. The leaders used up all that was good and left only the chaff and middlings for any who followed him.
Then there should be care in the selection of hymns to be sung. These were too often wholly out of order in the meeting. There were some hymns, he thought, that were mere stuff any way, and fit for no meeting. For instance, "Plunged in a gulf of dark despair." There was no comfort or enjoyment in singing such hymns.
The prayers should be short and for each other rather than for something thev knew nothing about. It did a man a great deal of good to hear himself or his friends prayed for. It made him feel that his friends thought of him.
The next topic and speaker were
"METHODS OF ORGANIZATION FOR RELIGIOUS WORK."
Mr. William Reynolds, of Peoria, Illinois, spoke as follows on this subject:
He supposed that there were hundreds of people in the audience whose pleasure had been somewhat marred because there had not been present others whom they would have liked to have had their own enjoyment of this great feast. He supposed that there were possibly hundreds of ministers, who as they had been sitting in the meeting during the session of the convention, had been longing and wishing that the people could be with them to hear all the things that had been said and enjoyed.
He would not attempt to theorize. What he would have to say would be of a veTy practical character, and everything that he should advocate would be things that he had tried and found to succeed. If he was to take a text for his remarks he would take two, as follows: "Go, son, work in my vineyard," and "To every man his work."
God never said work to any one excepting to His children, to those to whom He had given the power of becoming sons of God. God expected service from none but His children. The speaker thanked God that there was as much Christian activity in the churches as there existed to-day. There never had been in the history of the world so much Christian effort as now, as there was at this hour. In this State of Illinois alone there were 60,000 men and women teaching God's word in the Sabbath school. In this Union there were 750,000 of its best men and women teaching voluntarily, without money or price, God's word. But only a fragment of the church were doing its work.
What could be done to develop workers out of the idle element of the church? We had the talent, the men and women, the brain and heart of the country, and the world inside the church, that we might use and that would be willing to be used, if they knew what to do, if properly pursued. How could we make them realize their responsibility and stir them up to do their duty, or what it is rather their privilege to do, for it ought to be a privilege to work for Him who died for us—saved us by His blood.
As a result of the convention, the speaker expected that better sermons would be preached next Sunday throughout all the Northwest than had been preached for three years, perhaps for five years past, and he thought the theme of them would be what the preachers had seen at the convention. He advised every minister to tell what he had seen. They should not let the melted ore cool, but go to work at once when they had stirred up their congregation, and mould their people into workers. Many failed to do this. That was the trouble. They were stirred up by a good stimulative sermon, but let its effect cool till its influence was lost. What was wanted was organization. They had been told the day before that it was the best organized political party that won in a campaign. The best organized army won the battle. Many of our churches were said to be like great religious mobs. They came together and went away; and nothing was accomplished.
Wesley and Whitfield were mighty men in the last century. What was the result of their work? Where now were the results of Whitfield's works? Largely in heaven, sitting at the right hand of God.
What did Wesley leave? Not so great a man as Whitfield,but what was the result of his work? The grandest church in this country. Why was there this difference between the results of the
work ot' these two men? The difference lay between Wesley's organized work and Whitfield's work without organization. \Ve must put every man into his adapted place of work; not try to make every man do the same kind of work. Some men are fitted for one thing, some for another, and if put into the wrong place will be sure to fail.
If a man was found not to succeed in one place he should be put into another, and another, until the right place was found for him.
The speaker knew a man once. He had a big heart, a broad face, and still a broader smile, but he had a most wonderful faculty of getting rid of his Sunday-school class [Laughter] that he had ever heard of. Now that man has found a place in the church that just suited his talents. He was placed at the door to receive the people as they came in, and the broad smile and the heartv manner and his big heart made him a grand success.
He was a man of grace in that church, because people with such welcomes as he gave them were made to feel at home in the church, and they came again. There must be division of church work, and it must be organized work in every division. If the speaker was looking for a minister he would look for a good organizer in preference to a good pulpit orator, not that he did not think highly of the latter, but because organizing powers would do more than oratorical powers.
Every element in the church should be organized. They should be organized into three divisions, to be sub-divided if necessary. The first division should be the Sunday-school, for that was the right arm of the church. The next division should have charge of the missionary work—going out visiting from house to house. That was next in importance.
The third should be the social department. Some were specially adapted to this work, though good for nothing as Sunday-school teachers or as missionaries. This department was an important one, because the social element in our Nation was an important part of it and should be administered to. A good sanctified laugh was a good thing. If the church wanted to keep the young men and young women in the church, it must look well after this department. The social element must be recognized.
Next, it should be understood that any one who joins the church joins with the expectation of going to work, and something suitable to them must be given them to do. The school children must be turned into teachers. A young home visitor must be sent with an old one to learn the best methods.
At the close of Mr. Reynold's remarks a duet was sung by Mr. and Mrs. McGranahan, and afterward Hymn 102 by the congregation.
The hour, 4:30, being then arrived for the opening of the "Question Drawer," Mr. Moody bent himself to the answering of queries.
THE QUESTION DRAWER.
The first question was:
"Is not an association for women as much needed as that for the men in Christian work?"
What I have seen of these associations in this countrv and Europe, I have found they have much that is good. These associations reach the girls in the city and save them from ruin. When in Liverpool I visited a building which was being erected there for such an association by the women of England. It is as fine a building as in the city, and the ladies have built it without the assistance of the men. It will be opened next month. In the several rooms in that building the girls of the city who go there to get work will be instructed in the Bible and made good Christian women. They are not only taught on the Sabbath but during evenings through the week. We talk about the expense of such institutions. Why, nothing will stop expense but death, and a man who is afraid of expense had better die. I was glad of the opportunity to go to a man the other day and ask him for $50,000. He said he had not given $50,000 in a lump tor a good while, and he hesitated. But he said he had made it a rule to give $500 a day to some good work, and he never went to bed at night until this had been accomplished. I say, Lord bless such men. We need just such men.
There are lots of men in this country who would be much happier if they would give $500 a day for a year or two to some good cause. It is estimated that there are 30,000 fallen women in the city of Chicago. I hope that is not so, but if it is there is a great opportunity for work here. Remember that it is not themselves alone, but they are dragging down your sons to degradation. If there was a Woman's Christian Association here to help these women and prevent them from going so low it would be a great work. But Dr. Lorimer knows more about it than I do, let us hear from him.
Dr. Lorimer said he was always ready to lend a hand in Mr. Moody's work. Talk about the expense of such institutions as this referred to, the people should see that it was the wisest economy to prevent crime. There was a Woman's Christian Association in Chicago, but it had no building of its own as it should. And the ladies of Chicago should be ashamed that it did not. There were ladies of wealth here and a building could be erected without trouble. We were talking too much about women's rights. He •would not say but he was in favor of the women having their rights. He was a great defender of the purity of women. It would make the heart sick to show what were the scant earnings of the girl.-, who come to this great city and found work. They were so scaur that one was surprised to know that any people had to clothe themselves and live respectable on the allowance. And that was one reason why they did not live respectable. They did not go into such lives because they liked it; they were more often driven to it. The city should have an association to look after these. In this great city it was a shame that so little was being done for the purity of women. In Boston and New York there were associations with large buildings. The doctor hoped that something practical would come of this convention, and nothing better could be done than this kind of work. The Christian people wanted to impress upon the world that they were interested in fallen humanity.
Mr. Moody said one thing had impressed him in the old country, and that was the number of institutions there. There were so many, too, that were carried on by men and women privately. In Scotland and England there were hundreds of missions and chapels am! homes and other like institutions supported by private individuals. In Edinburgh one lady had a child hospital, and she not only paid for its support but she visited it daily and helped nurse the little people.
"Arc we going to get money for all these missions?"
I heard a man complaining yesterday that he had not been called to give anything for a long time. I have no doubt that we will get all the money needed. I would just as soon go and ask a man for $50,000 as not. You are not asking for money for yourself, remember. It is for the Lord, and you can ask for it with perfect good grace.
"Is it best to have one speaker or two at an evangelistic meeting?"
One, by all means. I have often seen one man get up and make a good impression, and another come along and wipe it out. It is better, too, to have one man right along for several weeks. And I want to say right here—not to flatter you—that Chica«j» has to-day better and abler ministers than I ever knew before in my twenty-seven years' knowledge of the place. I never saw the churches so well manned. Let us thank God for such men. No city in the country has so much ability in her pulpits to-day a^ Chicago. If these men were invited into the different parts of the city the> would draw crowded houses and do great good. Tht-v would not, of covirses care to go to preach to empty benches, and I don't blame them for refusing xo go to preach where preparation has not been made for good meetings. The greatest work that had been done in England had been in missions established by tic Church of England. The different churches in the g>eal ci«if» had established these missions and their different ministers left their own pulpits for ten days and gave this time to the missions. Some of them went from one mission to another and gave up several weeks to this work. The preachers of Chicago could be induced to do the same, and such men as Dr. Lorimer and Dr. Hatfield would fill the churches and convert many people.
Let the pastors on the North Side, and the South Side and the West Side change pulpits, and hold revivals. There was no danger but that the people would come out to hear such men, if the speakers were well advertised. Some ministers objected to having their names placarded on the walls, but why should they?
The theatres advertised their plays, and why should not the churches advertise their work. There would be no trouble in always getting'the people if a little common sense was used. There were a hundred men in Chicago who could preach the gospel better than any of the evangelists from abroad. Mr. Moody did not think that one or two sermons a week would convert Chicago. There must be sermons every day. He then told the story of his own conversion, and said he attended services in Boston for weeks, and every Sunday he felt thrilled by what he heard from the pulpit, but before another sermon came the effect of the last had been lost. Had there been sermons every day he would have been converted much sooner. It was practical to convert Chicago. It was a good place to start this new movement in. The men who could preach should do nothing else. They should let all the machinery of the church go and do nothing but preach. There were men who had talents for different parts of the work. Some were good pastors and some were capable of looking after the machinery, and others were good preachers. Some of the preachers were afraid of repeating themselves. He was not. He believed in repeating a good thing. When a man preached a sermon that moved the people and had good results, he should repeat it to others and see if he could not convert them. In England good sermons were repeated, and he remembered one place where he saw it announced as the 48sth night of one service. When he found that he had a sermon that the people liked he would not take the trouble to get up another until that had been exhausted. Those who wanted a new sermon every day, and were afraid of repeating themselves, were afraid of losing their dignity. They wanted to maintain their reputation for learning.
"Can you tell us anything about the Mildmay?"
I wish we had a Mildmay in this town. The Church of England started it several years ago. There are training-schools there where people are trained for different works. There was a training school for nurses, and these nurses were sent for all over the country. They were Christian women, and by their influence as nurses were able to do a great deal for Christianity.
Chicago was a good place for this work.
"Is a person justified all at once?"
Yes. But sanctification is another thing.
"How do you get children interested in sermons?"
At my school in Northfield I wanted my boys to hear Mr. Pentecost preach, and, as it was late, I was afraid they would go to sleep. So to keep them awake I offered to give the boy one dollar who could remember most of what he said. The result was they all got note books and pencils and began writing down what he said. Some of them remembered nearly everything he said. Some ministers give up five minutes of their sermon to the children. They need not fear spoiling the sermon. To get hold of the parents the best way is to get the children.
"Is it well to number converts?."
Elijah got into trouble by trying to number Israel. It is best to let the Lord keep the record. It makes me creep all over to hear a man tell how many he has converted. It is best not to triumph.
"Is there any danger starting men into the work too young?
There is a good deal of danger in not starting them to work soon enough. Pittwa in Parliament at 21 and was Prime Minister at 22. Napoleon was younp and Alexander had conquered the world at 32. There is danger sometimes in flattering young men who are at work for Christ Spiritual pride is a very great injury. The young men in Chicago could be used to good advantage. They could go out and talk seven nights in the week while the minister preached but one. And these young men could reach men who could not be approached by anybody else.
"Do you believe in open air preaching"
Yes; but not every man who can talk is fit to preach to openair audiences. It needs a peculiar talent to go there. He wants to have tact, to know how to get along with these people. These meetings were attended by shrewd men, infidels and skeptics, and they were always ready to trip up the preacher. The man preaching to open-air audiences should not allow himself to be drawn into controversy.
"How can you get the people out to the week day meeting*?"
Make them interesting. The praver-meeting should be made interesting. The great work of the church was in the pravermeeting. Make the prayer meetings short and pithy. Send the people away hungry that will want to come again. I knew a man once who preached until he had driven every soul away from the church. He said he though* it was a pity to stop as long a* he had any body to preach to.
"What do you mean by a training school?"
A place where men well along in life could go and study and receive training for religious work. They are too old to go off to school. They need to be prepared for the work and they have not the time to take a regular course at the colleges and the seminary. They are to be taught in the Bible. In this work of saving souls we want the laymen as well as the preachers. There are hundreds of young men in Chicago who would go into such schools and be fitted for the work. We want to train the women too. In Northfield we have a ladies' seminary, and the girls are educated for this work. They are the ones to go to the fallen women. The men have no business in such places. It is the women, the great-hearted, noble women, who can save their fallen sisters, A lady in Birmingham has devoted herself to this work, and has rescued over 300 women. It is sad that Chicago, with its 30,000 fallen women cannot be reached and saved. Then men should be taught in German and French. I would give $100,000, if I had it, could I speak German. There is a great work to be done there, and the doors are open. There is no reason why there should not be another such a revival there as that started by Martin Luther.
There were other questions, but Mr. Moody had already used up more than his half hour, and the audience was beginning to tire of the long session. The long meter doxology was sung, and the people dismissed.
The feature of this evening service was
Mr. Moody's Sermon.
His text was found in Titus ii, 11, 12, 13 and 14. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
"Teaching us, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godlv in this present world;
"Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ;.
"Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Mr. Moody spoke as follows:
I-want to call your attention to grace in a three-fold aspect: Grace that bringeth salvation; and grace for living, grace for service; the grace of God that bringeth salvation as it appears to all men. He didn't send it, but Christ came and brought salvation, and Christ is God's gift to this world. He gave Him up freely for us all; and if a man is lost it is because he spurns God's gift, because he won't take Christ as his Savior.
Now, salvation is as free as the air we breathe. I believe that in Christendom where the gospel is preached, more men are kept out of the kingdom of God because they are trying to merit salvation by their works and their own virtue than any other one thing. Now it is "To him that worketh not, but believeth." I will admit salvation is worth going around this world on our hands and knees for it, it is worth climbing its mountains, swimming its rivers, and going through its deserts—but we are not going to get salvation in that way, but we must take it on God's terms, and that is as a gift. We work because we are saved—not to be saved. When we work to be saved we work away from the cross and not toward it. After salvation is ours we are ready to work. A good many men are trying to work to heaven, and throw this passage into your face:
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
How are you going to work out what you have not got? Suppose you send your boy to school and tell him he may spend $500, out he has not got it to spend—how can he spend it? I gave my boy this year a part of the garden to plant with just what he pleased. I said:
"I will give it to you on condition that you work it out and don't let the weeds get the advantage of you," and he took it and went to work. Now, he had to have it before he could work it.
You might as well try to leap over the moon as to work out your salvation in your own name and strength. You can't do it. It is the gift of God, and Paul says in Ephesians, first chapter and second verse:
"For by grace ye are saved. By grace and not by yourselves; for that is the gift of God. Take heed lest ye should boast."
There is a good deal of boasting in Chicago, but you will hear nothing of that in Heaven. Men get suddenly rich here, and they will tell you how they came here poor boys and got rich, and they are very proud of the money they have accumulated. But when you come into the kingdom of God, all boasting is excluded. We have got to come as a beggar. Some one has said that if you come to God as a beggar you will go away as a prince, and if you come to Him as a prince you will go away as a beggar. Now, there is no apostle who has said so much about works for salvation and about salvation as Paul.
A man ought to work day and night if he is saved; he ought not have a lazy hair in his head or a lazy drop of blood in his veins. What had Saul ever done up to the time Christ met him? He had done everything that he could to stamp out Christianity. He was then in the very act of going to Damascus to take every one he could find that called upon Jesus, and bind them and kill them;
but Christ met him, and He dealt in Grace with him. The voice that he heard out of Heaven was the voice of love:
"Saul, Saul, why persecutes! thou Me?"
And the hard heart of Saul was broken, and he was ready to receive the crucified Christ, and instead of going to crucify Christ, he went to praise and glorify God. I was in a Southern city awhile ago, and a minister pointed out in the congregation a man, and told me his history. When the war broke out he lived on the other side of Mason and Dixon line, and of course, he joined the Southern army. He was arrested as a spy, and was tried by courtmartial and was condemned to be shot. In the cell, waiting to be executed, every time the soldiers took in his rations—it seemed as if he laid awake nights to heap up names against Abraham Lincoln. It made the soldiers angry; and at last they got so mad they said they would be glad when the bullet went through his heart.
They would like to have silenced that tongue, and they wanted to let him starve to death. One day an officer came to the man. He was still full of bitterness, and he expected the officer had come to order him out to be shot. When the officer came in he commenced again against Abraham Lincoln, but the officer handed him a pardon, signed by the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The man looked at the pardon, and then broke down and wept like a child. He said: "Abraham Lincoln pardoned me, that never spoke a good word for him." The officer said:
"You have some good friend in Washington, and he has got Mr. Lincoln to pardon you."
And the minister said:
"There is no man in the country that is more reverent to the memory of Lincoln than that man."
That is grace. There is not a man in Chicago that salvation is not offered to, "Whosoever will, let him come and partake of the water of life freely." And do you know that is the last invitation let clown into this thirsty world. I can imagine after Paul had written his letter that the Master Eye could see that somebody would be stumbling over the doctrine of election, and would be in despair because they were not of the elect. John was in the spirit on the Lord's day in Patmos—and what a day that must have been for John when he heard that old familiar voice. For sixty years he had not heard it, and when that gentle hand was again laid upon him how it must have thrilled him.
And he heard that sweet, silver Voice saying:
"John, write these things to the church!" And he took up his pen and wrote. And the Voice said: "Put in one more invitation before you seal up the book!" And this is the last invitation let
down into this world: "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. Let him that heareth come." And he wrote, and the Voice again said: "Put this in, 'Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely." Friend, will you take it to-night? It is freely offered. I read some time ago of a Sunday school teacher who had a class of little boys, and he had a silver watch, and he offered it to the largest boy in the class, and says: "Take that watch; I give it to you." And the little boy laughed at him and wouldn't take it. And he offered it to the next one, and the next one, and when he got to the smallest boy in the class the little fellow reached up and took it. [Laughter.] The teacher said: "Keep it and put it in your pocket, you have taken me at my word. Take it home. It is yours. Don't bring it back to me." And the rest of the class says: "Teacher, you didn't mean that. You didn't mean to give him that for good?"
"Yes, I did," said the teacher.
"Oh! if we had known that, we would have taken it." (Laughter.)
You would not have to go out of Chicago or out of Farwell Hall to-night to see that boy. When we speak to you about this unspeakable gift, there is not a man in this hall that would turn from it if he thought the gift was in his reach.
Now let me pass to the second head: " Grace for living," teaching us, denying ungodly lusts, etc. Now, dear friends, I believe a good many people get the gift without getting light. They don't get it in all its benefits. He came that we might have lif6 more freely and more abundantly, and I believe that there are hundreds and thousands of our church members who are like Lazarus when he came out of the sepulchre. They are bound hand and foot, with a napkin around their mouth—they can't speak. They are without power to use their tongues. Jesus came that we might have grace in all its fullness, and that we might have life abundantly, and if we have not got it there is no one to blame but ourselves. He says: "Boldly come out and get help in the time of need." Is it not the time of need now? Do you mothers not need grace to train your children for time and eternity?. Don't you laymen need God to direct you in your business? O, I pray most fervently that the low standard in the church of God may be raised. If we could only get the standard higher and get rilled with the grace of God we would see marvelous results. I do not fear the opposition outside of the church one-half that I fear the low standard in the church.
I fear the casting of shadows around the heart of the word of God a thousand times more than the Roman spear that went to His heart These so-called friends of the cross, and yet its enemies, by their worldly lives! They have the name, but not the power.
"Teaching us, denying ungodliness in every shape." He, died for that very purpose—that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and I do pray earnestly that this convention may result in a higher standard of Christian life right here in Chicago. I said to my friend, Mr. Sankey: "I don't know but we might better go up and preach to Christendom, and go right through the church, and preach to you Christ and His grace than to sinners." Whenever you have seen the church setting its face toward Bethel, and coming out of Shechem, and out of Egypt and coming up to Bethel, the power of God seems to fall upon the ungodly, and the churches are crowded •with men inquiring the way to Zion. What we want is more grace. If you ask me what the church of God needs more than any other thing, I would say grace, that we might live to adorn the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Now, you find a great many people in bondage and in constant fear. They are in fear that death is going to be dark and terrible, and things before them are dark and gloomy.
Dr. Bonner made this remark some time ago, that gave me a great lift. Once in a while a sentence from a child of God will be like a flood of light. He made the statement that "Tnere is nothing before- the true believer that is not glorious." If we get that into our minds we would not be so sad, cast down and gloomy. And if you will show me a church that is full of joy and gladness I •will show you a church that God has used. And if we can only realize that everything before us is glorious, we would be of good cheer, and we would sing songs ot gladness. I went to my Bible and I found our garments are to be grace and glory, our songs are to be songs of glory, our home is to be the home of the glorified, and our rest is to be glory. This vile body is to be fashioned as His glorious body. "Ah," some of you say, "Death!" Well,death is only the gateway of immortality. It is through the portals of death that we pass into everlasting life. All that death can do to the true believer is to take down the house and put him into a fa rbettcr one; a body that cannot be tainted by sin; a bodv like His own. Speaking about death, I think that the twenty-third Psalm is more misquoted than any other one thing in the whole Bible.
How many times I have heard people get up in our social prayer meetings and quote the verse in that psalm:
"Yea, though I walk through the dark valley"—and then emphasize "dark." Do you know dark is not in it. It says: "Yea, thougn I walk through the valley of the shadow." Did you ever see a shadow where there was not light? Put out the light in this hall; go down into a cellar, and see if there is a shadow. All that death can do is to throw its shadow across our path. Well, a shadow don't hurt us. We can walk right through a shadow.
Dear friends, what we want is to live in the power of the gospel, and we haven't a thing to fear in life or in death. If we could get more of the grace of God, that shall lift us up above all these circumstances. People say: "Well, you don't know the difficulties and trials I have. \ ou don't know the circumstances that surround inc." Well, my friends, what does the psalm say? "As thy day is, so shall thy strength be. My grace is sufficient for thee"' And if He had grace enough to carry the twelve apostles in such a triumphant way at the end, has He not grace to earn" us to the end. Talk about our sufferings! What are our sufferings to the sufferings of the early church?
I don't know but that if the sufferings of martyrdom were to come again it would be better for the cburch of God. It would burn out this luke warm spirit that is with us. In the second century a king told a martyr that if he didn't recant from his Christian belief he would banish him, and he said: "Oh, king, you can't banish me from Christ, because I am with Him to the end of time." The king said: "I will take your property away." He said: "My treasures are upon high and you can't get at them." The king stamped his foot on the ground, and shouted: "I will kill you." And he says: "You can't; I have been dead forty years in Christ." What can you do with such martyrs as that? Let the king take his life; he would only be in glory in the presence of the King.
Now I come to the third head. There is grace enough if we will only eat what bread God gives us. He died that He might redeem us and make us a peculiar people, jealous of good works. I hope the people of this convention will be stirred up to good works. If we can only light up our torch and go to our different fields of labor, this convention will do us more good than any convention ever held in the Northwest.
Here are representatives of the whole Northwest, and God can use the weakest saint here, if you are only willing to be used. Some one sent me a tract entitled, " What is That in Thy Hand?" I liked the title, and it brings out this thought: When God called Moses to go down into Egypt, Moses began to excuse himself. At last God said, "What is that in thy hand?" It was a rod which Moses had cut from a bramble hush, probably to help him tend his sheep. And God said: "With that ye shall deliver the children of Israel." I can imagine Moses starting down into Egypt and meeting sorne freethinker who had been acquainted with him. He said to Moses:
"Moses, where are you going?"
"I am going down to Egypt."
"What are you going clown there for?"
"To bring up three million of bondmen."
"Do you think Pharaoh will let them go?"
"I don't know. I will bring them.
"Where is your army?"
"I have no army."
"What will you do it with?"
"With this rod."
Why, he would have thought the man was clean crazy, but bear in mind God had linked His almighty power to that rod. He had given His word that Moses should deliver the children of Israel. I suppose the king looked upon the rod with a great deal of contempt, but when he refused to let the children of Israel go, Moses turned the waters into blood with it, and he brought plague upon the Egyptians with it, and when he stretched that rod out over the waters of the Red Sea, the mighty host of God passed through dry shod. When they wanted water in the wilderness He struck the rock with that rod and a pure, beautiful stream flowed out, and the weary, thirsty multitude were revived by it. Centuries have rolled away but the story of the rod has not failed yet. Let us give God what we have, and not what we have not got. You say you haven't much. Just use what you have got. A man said some time ago that he felt like a mere cipher. Just put God alongside of a cipher and it becomes a good deal. When a man is next to nobody God will take him up and use him.
When the committee ot official men from Jerusalem went down to see who John the Baptist was, he said: "I am nobody. I am nothing but a voice." But when Christ came John began to preach down himself and up Christ, and he was a mighty preacher. When we, who are nothing, want to work for Christ, He will use us. Look at Joshua with his 600,000 men walking around the walls of Jericho. Suppose you had met him on theseventh day and asked him:
"Joshua, what does all this performance mean. You have been •walking around here six days. What are you going to do?"
'I am going to take the walls of Jericho."
'Yes; we will have them down before night."
'Where is your battery? Where is your artillery?"
'Here with these rams' horns."
And they went on blowing their rams' horns and down went the walls of Jericho. If we cannot blow a fine trumpet let us take what we have, and with a stammering tongue, but with a heart on fire for God, we can be used.
Take Gideon. When he marshaled his 32,000 men, and he knew the Midianites had 130,000 men, his heart sank within him, and he said:
"What shall I do with these 30,000 men?"
But the Lord said: "You have got too many. Take those that are afraid and send them home to their mothers. Take twothirds of this audience of this house and let them go away, and if the rest of us have God with us we will be more than equal to the whole number. Gideon had only 10,000 men left, but the Lord said: "Gideon, you have got too many yet, take them down to the brook and try them." And ali but 300 rushed down to the brook, and the Lord says:
"Those 300 men are the men whose hearts will be loyal to the king. Let us have them."
The first Quaker said that every Quaker ought to shake the country for miles around him. Wesley said if he had a hundred men that feared nothing but sin he would set up the gates of God on earth, and I believe he would. If you had met Gideon with his 300 men you would have said:
"Where are you going?"
"Going out to meet those Midianites."
"What have you got to meet them with?"
"Some pitchers and some lights in them."
What a contemptible thing, you would think. But Gideon went on and routed the Midianites with just those empty pitchers. He used what he had.
Take Samson. He was going out to fight a thousand men. Suppose you had met him and said:
"Why, Samson, what have you got to meet those men with?"
"The jaw-bone of an ass."
I suppose he just saw it on the ground and picked it up, and the Lord helped him and he slew a thousand men. Now if the Lord can use the jaw-bone of an ass, can He not use you? Will you let Him use you? I heard a man in Scotland say that every man in Saul's army knew that God could use him to meet Goliath, but there was only one man that knew He would, and went out and slew Goliath.
There is a good deal of difference between what God can do and what God will do. I believe every one here thinks God can use him, but how many would take five stones out of the brook and go out and meet the giant.
Samson was playing with a shamgard, I heard a preacher in Glasgow say, and a man came running over the hill and said: "Six thousand Philistines are coming after you." Samson said: "I can take care of them." And he took his oxgoad and slew 400 of them. He used what he had.
The Bible is full of such instances. Look at the man out there in the desert with but five little barley loaves and two small fishes. 1 can imagine how the disciples, when they were giving bread to the first man, gave him a very small bit, but it held out, and by and by they gave larger pieces, and soon they were breaking the loaves in two, and giving every man all he wanted. Look at that good Samaritan. Look into his saddle-bags, and you will find that he had but a little oil, but it was a pretty good thing for the man that fell among thieves. Some people would have wanted to save him with sermons, but you have got to have something else. That Samaritan preached a grand sermon, when he poured the oil into his wounds. Suppose he had brought out a large manuscript or a long article on science. The poor man didn't want that, he wanted some one to care for him, and get his arm under him and lift him up.
Many a man in Chicago has fallen among thieves and among drunkards and among harlots, and he wants some one to tell him not what a bad man he is, but to come to him in pity and try to help him out. Some people carry a bottle of vinegar, but it is better to have oil. Sometimes I think it is better to get above this sectarian feeling. You know the Jews hated no people worse than Samaritans. They wouldn't sell them anything. Yov know a Jew has to hate a man pretty well if he wont sell to him. The Jews believed that the Samaritans hadn't even a soul. In this parable of the Good Samaritan God teaches us to rise above this miserable sectarian feeling—shall we stop and ask whether a man is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant?
If we see a man perishing let us hasten to his help, and use what we have got. Dorcas used only a little needle, but how she set the needle going through the earth. Mary had an alabaster box of ointment. It was not worth much, I suppose, but she dropped it upon the feet of the Saviour, and the fragrance of it is in the church to-day.
"I do not know that Mary was a strong-minded woman, or that she was wealthy as beautiful; perhaps she did not move in the very best society, but there is one thing I do know—she could love. Wherever the gospel of the Son of God is preached, that story is told out. I suppose Mary forgot all about herself, but she loved the Master, and she poured that ointment out upon Him. Eighteen centuries have rolled away, but the name of Mary of Bethany is as fresh as it ever was. I suppose there is no woman's name so fresh as her's, except the name of Mary, the mother of the Savior. I can imagine some man when Christ was on earth, prophesying that that story would be told in the nineteenth century, and not a man on the face of the earth would have believed it. We look back on the days of miracles, but we forget we are living in the days of miracles. Missionary societies in New York and London have put the
story of Mar}' into 250 languages, and have sent out millions of copies of it. That story will live as long as the Church of God is upon earth. She made herself immortal by that one act Nothing you do for Jesus Christ is small. We want to-day men and women who are willing to do.
I suppose if these reporters had been living in the days of Mary, and heard on the streets of Jerusalem that she had broken that alabaster box upon Him, they would not have thought it was worth noticing; but it has outlived everything else that took place then. If they had seen that widow cast those two mites into the treasury of the Lord they would have said, "There will be no one in Jerusalem that will care for that."
But see! Eighteen centuries have rolled away, and that story has outlived anything else that occurred there.
If a man gave a thousand pounds to the temple the Terusalem reporters would have published that in their papers. [Laughter.] When the widow cast in her mite, the Lord saw her act, and He said:
"She has given more than all of them."
If there is heart in it, God will accept your service. If you have only one talent, and make use of that, you will hear the Master say in the evening of life, "Well done." We should never call anything small that we do for the Lord. When the prophet's servant came back and said he saw a little cloud no larger than a man's hand coming up out of the sea Elijah knew what that meant, and he said.
"Make haste and tell Ahab to get home."
He knew there was abundance of rain in that cloud. Have you a Sunday school class? It is a great thing to be permitted to be a co-worker with God. It is a great thing to have the privilege of leading one little ewe lamb into the kingdom of God.
I remember of being in a place some time ago, and I saw a teacher who had a class at 3 o'clock. I said:
"Have you a class at 3 o'clock?"
,'Oh !" she says, "I have a class."
"Were you at your class to-day?"
"Did you tell the Superintendent you would not be there?"
"Did you get a substitute?"
"Well," I said, "did your class have any teacher to-day?"
"I think not, for I saw a good many teachers in the hall to hear you."
"Who took her room?"
"I suppose no one did."
"Is that the way you take to do the Lord's work?"
"Well, you see, there are only five persons in the class?"
Now, among that five persons, I said, there may be one who might be a reformation in himself—a Wesley, a Whitfield, a Luther, a Melancthon. It is a great thing to have five human souls to teach. Each one of this class may become a herald from heaven, a blessing from above, and do a hundred times more good than you can do. And each man and woman can well afford to spend a whole life to get even one soul into the kingdom of God. Paul, who brought Simon and Peter to Christ. And what did they? Peter got three thousand at one time. Peter led them to Christ. And, dear friends, you may be instrumentalities in leading some one of these thousands of foreigners to Christ, and they may go back to their older country and be themselves the instruments of lighting up their own people with the glory of God, and spreading around the glad tidings of Christ. Oh, that God might take the scales from over our eyes to-night that we might have the glorious luxury of working for Him to-night.
I believe that there is not an angel in heaven but what would, if they could have the privilege of leading one soul to God, would come down to earth to do it.
It is a great privilege, a wonderful privilege, to be the instrumentality in the hands of God of leading one dear, precious soul to God. Now, my dear friends shall we not at this hour come again fresh to God? We ourselves cannot convert the world. Our world is not responsible to us. We must simply be faithful. God will judge our work and reward us for it. I believe that if the archangel Gabriel himself should come down to-night and should preach with all the eloquence of heaven itself and every offer should be held up to his hearers, with the glory of that upper world painted before them, there would not be a soul among them converted excepting through the Holy Ghost working upon it. All we have got to do, dear friends, is to preach Christ crucified and tell the story of the cross, and the Lord will do the rest. He will bless the seed we sow.
Let us sow it by the side of the living waters. A word spoken here and a word spoken there will be blessed of God and souls will be gathered up. The converting is for the Lord. The thanks should be to the Lord. Oh that we may all be anointed afresh tonight, and that many hearts may be kindled afresh.
I see a man sitting over there whom I know, and I hope he will go back home to preach with renewed strength from God. I see men from distant portions of the West—men from St. Louis. I hope that God will send them, too, to work still better than they have worked before. Perhaps it is only for a little while, a few
days, a few weeks, a few months, that the}- will have to work in, and then all their chance for work will be over. If we are going to wipu away the bitter tears from the helpless widow's eye, if we are going to lend relief to that poor, fatherless child, let us make haste. The day will soon be ended, the night will soon be here. There is no time to waste. I remember that when I was in Liverpool I made this promise: I said to a lady if you will find four likely boys, I will try to have them trained at Northfield. I came home. Only a few weeks had passed away. I was ready to retire to bed at 10:30 at night, when I heard the ring of the telephone, and I sent tc my office, and the station men telephoned up to me that there were three boys wanting me. I telephoned back to have them sent to a hotel till morning, and when I went there the next morning I found three brothers that were orphans. Then I remembered my promise. When I made that remark in Liverpool I forgot all about it in a few minutes after making it. Even then the mother of these three boys was dying.
I did not know it, but God knew if I did not. Their father had been a hard-working man—a solicitor. He had died and left her a widow with three children—three boys. They came over to me well dressed. You could see from their appearance that a devoted, loving mother had lavished her affection upon them—had cared for them with a true mother's love. Her boys told me of that mother's grief on her dying bed that she had to leave them, with no one to care for them. Their mother was now in the grave far away. I felt when these three boys came to me that I had had given to me a great privilege—the privilege of having those orphans sent to me, a gift from God. It refreshed my soul to think that I could look at them, after the promise I had made at Liverpool. It was only a word—a single remark—that dropped from their lips, but the fruit of it came back to me, and the three are now in one room. They have got the photographs with them of their loving mother. Think of it, how it all happened She died, and the next week they were on their way over the sea to their new home, and now we are educating and training them, hoping that when prepared they may go out to foreign lands as missionaries to spread abroad the gospel of God Oh, what a blessed privilege it is to have the privilege of working for Christ; to have the privilege of doing a little—ever so little. My friends, if you do not know what to do go to some one older, some one more experienced than yourselves, and find out from them what you can best do.
If I had a thousand working bodies instead of one, I could find work for each to do. I remember how I did when I first tried to work for the Lord. I did not know much. I did not know which way to turn; what was the best thing I could do. But I did some
thing. I did my little work the best way I could. And then God blessed me, and kept giving me more and more to do, until I got so much to do that if I had had a thousand different bodies to work with I would still have had enough to do. Now, dear friends if, any of you cannot hold as high a position as you would wish and desire to hold, take such a position as you can get; go as a bearer of wood, a drawer of water; do anything that you find that you can do. If you can find nothing else to do, take a loaf of bread and visit the poor widow, and the Lord will reward you. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself," and "the liberal soul shall be made fat."
My friends, if you want to get out of the misery and sorrow and gloom and sadness that are gathering around you, do something for the Lord. A woman came to me some time ago, with a scowl on her face. She said to me, "Mr. Moody, do you ever have any doubts?" I replied, "My good woman, I do not have any time for doubts. [Laughter.J If you work for the Lord you will have no time to doubt." It is the people who do nothing but talk to themselves and about themselves that have time to doubt. My dear friends, oh, look over the fields, and you will see them white for the harvest.
There was a nobleman in England in the last century. He got so that he looked upon life as such a heavy burden that finally he wanted to throw it away. He did not want to live any longer. But it happened that he was approached by a child begging for alms. He did not look at the child. He told him that there were eight of them in the family; that his father and mother was sick, and they were starving. He said to himself: "I might just as well give my pocket-book to the family, as I shall not want it any longer now;" and so he went to the house and said to them, "There, you can have all that is in it," and th^ tears sprang up into the eyes of the father and mother. They could hardly believe it. And the joy that was there so touched him that he said he would call again the next day; and he went there on the next day, and he became the most noted philanthropic man of his age, doing immense good. He was saved by his own good deed; and you may be saved; and there are many men and women in gloom and sorrow and misery and sadness who may do the work of the Lord, and He will lift them up to the peace and joy of heaven. My friends, there is plenty of room In this city. The fields are wriite for the harvest. I would say now that I have never seen a prouder day than this. I think I never saw a better night for the work of the Lord than last Sunday night at the North Side church. They knelt down before the Lord by hundreds. I believe there will be streams of salvation breaking out all over the city if the people will go forward in the work.
Shall we not take the city for Christ? Friends, let us preac'.i and hold Him up. The world cannot go on without Christ. The world is perishing for the want of Christ. Let us preach Him at all seasons, in season and out of season, and the Lord will bless u-i if we go on.
Now, then, a great many people are afraid of being callci peculiar. Now I would not give much for a man that is not peculiar in some way, I believe that old Enoch was the mo>t peculiar man that ever lived. What kind of a man was he, was asked. Oh, a very good man, but he would not go to the theatre on Sunday or any other day. He wouldn't go to a horse race. He calls it an ungodly world. And so they called him a peculiar man; peculiar in the sight of the world. A good many say that they do not want to be called peculiar. If you had gone to some one in those old days and asked what they thought of Elijah, they would have said that Elijah was a good man enough, but he was a peculiar one. He would not bow himself to Baal. My friends, I would to God that we had many such men as Elijah with us now.
If you had gone down to Babylon in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and asked what kind of a man Daniel was, they would have answered you, "Oh, he is a good man enough. He is not a corrupt man. You could not bribe him, but he is a very peculiar man. lie prays three times a day."
Now our business men in Chicago do not have time to pray three times a day. They have to go on 'Change and buy and bargain and make money and pile up millions. They say they have too much business to attend to to pray three times a day. But this man Daniel, who was the prime minister of that country and had all the business of the State to do, had time to pray three times a day; and who was the great man? He or they? Where are now the names of the merchant princes of Babylon, or their wise men? You don't know the name of one of them. All have faded away centuries ago; but the name of Daniel shines still brighter than ever; and they that turned away to rejoice in the Lord are, as the stars, forever and forever.
Dear friends, let us, as we hasten to go from this hall, say, "Lord, here am I, Lord, choose me. I lay myself at Thy feet— soul and body—a living sacrifice on the altar of God. Let me hear Thy voice sending me out into the white fields to work for Thy glory."
THIRD DAY OF THE CONVENTION.
The day did not break auspiciously, but the third day and final sessions of the famous Christian Convention did—there was no storm inside. The usual vast crowd assembled, and the usual preliminary services of song as fitly led up to the work of the initial hour. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Stimpson, of Worcester, Mass, and inspiration for the day sought in that hymn of hope, "Sing Them Over Again to Me, Wonderful Words of Life." Prayer and still other singing ensued, Mr. Sankey conducting in "More Love to Thee." Mr. Moody then continued the services by announcing that Professor F. B. Fisk would read from the Scriptures. Professor Fisk chose the twelfth chapter of Romans, and forthwith read, at times making brief comments, those concise injunctions for the living of a godly life.
After the singing of "Nearer, my God, to Thee," and after Mr. Sankey had sung, by request, that beautiful number, "The Mists Have Rolled Away," effectively assisted by the congregation, Mr. Moody announced a necessary change in the programme, and in view of it introduced the Rev. Dr. Herrick Johnson, whose duties at the Theological Seminary demanded his being heard in the morning instead of the afternoon.
The topic was:
"HOW CAN THE PERSONAL AND SOCIAL STUDY OF THE BIBLE BE
Rev. Dr. Johnson said: "How can the personal and social study of the Bible be increased?" is the way the question is put. I should prefer to put it, "How can the individual and associated study of the Bible be increased?" Let me be swift to say that it has increased in the last decade beyond all precedent, and is increasing. The surest road to future success is by the way of the recognition of the fact and method of past success. I am instant to say this because it has come to pass in our time that whenever any one stands up before an audience to speak in reference to the shadows that fall upon our world, and to picture somewhat the dark side of the truth, there is always some one ready to rush to the front and exclaim, "Behold, another pessimist come to judgment. Lo! we have a weeping bulrush, and now look out for the lamentation of Jeremiah."
That fellow evidently thinks lhat there is no study of the word of God, and he is blind to the facts of the hour: so I am swift to say that there is more study of the word of God than ever; that more millions bend over the word of God to-day, with eagerness to get at its contents, than have done so in any other age or hour of the world's history.
You may go anywhere and hear something about the facts of the Scripture. The best thoughts of the best men of the best races are gathering their utmost, and are thus increasing the volume bearing them into the track of Christ. Never before have there been so many facilities for the study of the word of God furnished, and such rare facilities offered as we have this very hour; and never so many have there been willing to employ these facilities for getting at the secrets and treasures of the holy word.
But saying this and understanding and believing this, it is nevertheless to be admitted that there are thousands upon thousands who never read the word, or read it only once a day; perhaps late at night when worn with the labors and toils of the day, yet not willing to sleep, and hardly daring to sleep, unless they have let their eye» go down a half page of Scriptures. There are thousands upon thousands in our Christian homes who read it only once a week— on the Sabbath perhaps, and in their secret hearts, believing that the Bible is, after all, a somewhat stupid book. There are thousands of thousands who used to read it every Sabbath, who now never read it, it being blanketed over with that great Sunday refuge from ennui, the Sunday morning newspaper, and the cause of so much weak, sickly, sentimental, formless, wishy-washy twaddle. The cause of so much instability in the Christian faith is a want of familiarity with this word of God. Nothing so largely puts good fiber into Christian manhood and womanhood as Scripture pabulum, and we cannot have the best of this sort of thing until we get a more thorough study of the word of God than we have to-day. And the cause of a great deal of the latent power in the church to-day—a power that I believe is yet to be developed over and above anything that has been developed in the past—is the want of familiarity with the Scriptures.
How, then, can the individual and associated study of the Bible be increased?
Let me say negatively, I. By not minimizing its truth. We cannot crowd the word of God into "Come to Jesus" and say we are preaching the word of God. The commandments are as much a part of the word of God as any other portion. We cannot expect that all will honor God's word and secure its extended study and reading unless we are prepared to give it full and adequate proclamation; and it was my joy, therefore, m the opening session of this convention to hear Brother Whittle emphasize so distinctly the importance of convincing men that they are lost hefore they are ready to be saved. The Scriptures are a saving balm. But what is a balm for, except for a wounded member, and who will care anything about it unless he has one? The Scripture is a lullaby, but it is more than that. The word of God is quickening, living fire, sharper than any two-edged sword. Does the lullaby pierce? Is the sweet song a sword to the spirit? No. We must not minimize the truth if we are going to secure for the word of God more attentive reading and study.
In the second place, we are not going to secure its study by mutilating the Bible_ tearing out sections and throwing away books. It is a poor way of getting a hearing for a book to tear it up into parts and shy leaves at a fellow [Laughter.] We cannot do what we want by tossing away Moses, and flaunting at Paul, and eulogizing Jesus alone. If the Old Testament must go the New Testament must go, too. Moses and Jesus and Paul must stand or fall together. Deuteronomy and Ezra and the Gospels and Epistles must stand or fall together. For beginning at Moses and the prophets the same story extends all through the Bible. The crimson thread of the Old Testament and the crimson thread of the New Testament, each dyed in the blood of Calvary, are seen, and that thread stretches from Moses to John, from John to Revelation, and all along upon that thread are strung the connecting links of history. The course of prophecy and history are one and what God has joined let no man tear apart. Not by mutilating the Bible are we going to secure the more general reading of the Bible.
Next, not by theories of its origin which put it on the level of the purest naturalism can the individual and associated study of the Bible be increased. Those books which constitute the Bible are not a natural development in the order of nature. They did not grow like Topsy. They were made—made in sections by the hand of God, through His spirit working on in the minds of men. The inspiration of Moses is not the inspiration of Newton. Paul did not speak as Confucius, or Zoroaster, or Vishnu, or Socrates spoke. The men of the New Testament spoke like those of the Old Testament, for they spoke by the Holy Ghost. The men of the New Testament said that they come with the wisdom that the Holy Ghost teaches; the men of the Old Testament spake from God himself. And so we must elevate the Bible up to this high level and keep it there if we would give it more general reading.
Now, to take the positive side:
By writing better living epistles we are to secure an increased study of the word of God, individually and associated, by writiug better living-epistles. We, in our lives as Christians, ought to be j perfect transcript of the word of God. Are we? We know howvery far short we fall from being that, and yet there is no better way by which we can emphasize and command attention for the word of God than to put that word into a life.
We have heard a great deal recently about a new translation of the New Testament, and I am one of those who rejoice in the " revision." We need it, and ought to have it. I welcome and indorse and believe in it. But the translation I believe to be most needed is the translation of the word of God into action—living "epistles," that shall tell to men everywhere what the truth is.
The walking epistle goes everywhere. You can go into the business place, the mart, everywhere, and walk the gospel right into the eye and the heart of man, for you walk into them.
Mr. Moody said, and I echoed the remark because I thought it wonderfully in the line of my own thought, and adapted to the occasion, though used in a different connection—he said one of the most humiliating things in the church is that there are so many portions of it who have no testimony. What is that but saying that if we are going to send out this gospel and get men interested in it we must put it into ourselves, and not do with it as if it were something for our own experience alone. We should make men look upon it. Look at that motto, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost." Oh! if this mass of Christians are to-day to realize that—not simply to their own timid consciences, not so that a feeble hope could be born from it, but so that men should be made to believe it. Oh! that the Christian could see as each one walked the street, the temple of the Holy Ghost. Oh! how the streets would be crowded to find out where the cause of this power was.
Again, we may increase the study, individual and associated, of the word of God by better methods in the household. Here is a little child—you have often seen such a beautiful sight—nestled in his mother's arms, hearing a Bible story, the story of Moses, the story of Joseph, the story of Abraham, the story of Paul in prison, the story of the shipwreck, those inimitable stories of Jesus told in parable, and those other inimitable stories—parables in action—called His miracles. The Scripture is full of them, of just such stories: and that child, with open eye, and mouth, and ear, takes in the beautiful stories, listening with eager, wondering interest, and asking the mother to tell some old, old story, over again. The child never tires of it. See that boy. He is 16 or 18 years of age. What interest has he in the word of God? He has grown from babyhood into manhood. He is in the same Christian home; and yet if you
will shut in such a young man who listened so eagerly to the stories of the Scripture when he was a child—if you will shut this young man up with an almanac, a directory and a Bible, he will turn over the pages of the first for a few minutes; do the same with the second, but he will almost die before he will look at the Bible.
What is the trouble. It is because he has become—been made —disgusted with the Scriptures. And yet Milton and Newton and a host of other great men have kept the Bible ever before them, and satisfied the calls of their intellect by going to the word of God for inspiration and pabulum. Well, we must attribute something of the trouble to the actual prejudices of the human heart. They have been developed from time to time, and if he has not been converted, they continue to increase. But I tell you the boy has not been treated rightly in connection with the Bible. He has been taught to consider its reading as a system of tasks, and he has been compelled, with his father and mother to go through the tiresome genealogies chapter by chapter, one chapter a day, from Moses to Revelation. Oh! it seems to me if we want to keep our young men in the household familiar with the Scriptures, in love with them, and glad to read them, we must not have any rigid order for their reading it. Free it from the idea of a task. And I feel sure if this were done we should have more Bible-reading in our homes.
Here is a field filled with the odors of sweet blossoms, and you must cultivate it. Then, I say, that we should give more notice to our methods in the household.
My third point is that, in order to increase the study of the Scriptures in an individual and associated way, we should have better methods in the pulpit, and here, of course, I am speaking to myself as well as to others in the ministry. I believe that there is a great deal of preaching not at all adapted to secure readers for the Scriptures and make men in love with it. ft is in this way that the text is sometimes read at the beginning and that is the last heard of it.
Another method is to take a text and stick to it, but he only thumps and bumps at it. It is a repetition of the text turned up and down in various forms. That is the sermon, but there is not any gospel in it. He has simply given the text and verbal emphasis as he has thumped down the words. Suppose we treated any other book in that way, and professed to be one who was going to teach a great deal of Shakespeare, for instance, and we took my "kingdom for a horse" for a text, and that is the last we say about the king and the horse he wants. That would be one way