Or suppose we take the other way to teach Shakespeare, with the same text. You commence, "Well, we will discuss the nature of a king, and say something about a king. My second point is a horse, the fine points of a horse, the relation of a king to a horse." How much of Shakespeare is going to be taught in that way. Is not that the way in which the word of the Lord is often preached, and is that method the best way of increasing the interest in the word? What is the best method of increasing the interest in the word of God? It is to tell people to go and seek for themselves after new riches in the word of the Lord.
It was my pleasure to follow Albert Barnes as his successor—all honor to his blessed memory. It was his habit, Sabbath after Sabbath, year after year, to explain the Scriptures, to take passages at considerable length and unfold their meaning : to show their drift and their tendency and their fullest meaning : and.the result was that I found in the church men and women who knew far more of the word of God than I did; who were familiar with the sacred history from beginning to end, who were in the habit of talking about it day by day, for they had been taught by that good man of God to do so by his preaching and by the manner of his preaching. Before God, I believe, if we want to have more study of God's word, we must show by this connected way of preaching what the way is
Look at Scotland, remarkable for its knowledge of the word of God—a knowledge attained largely through this method of teaching; by multiplying the means for unlocking the secrets of the Bible, and disclosing its treasures of thought and sentiment and poetry, itsublimities, its glories, its pathos, its blessed facts and revelations; keeping ever high above all other thoughts, the fact that the Bible is a divine revelation of God's word. Above all I would say keep before you the purpose to make men believe that this word of God is not only the best history; not only the best poetry the world can show in all literature, but beyond all and over all, that it is a divine revelation, thrilling through all its nervous words with the inspiration of Jehovah. [Applause].
A hymn, " My Jesus, I love Thee," was sung at the conclusion of Dr. Johnson's address, and Mr. Moody at once introduced Mr. B. F.Jacobs, who was appointed for a ten-minute talk on this same subject of Bible study.
Mr Jacobs began by saying, it had been said that the written word of God was treated now as was the living word when-Christ was upon the earth. The problem to be considered was how to overcome the neglect of, rather than the opposition to, the word of God. To attain this end the speaker first recommended some change in the treatment of the Bible in public worship, at which time he deprecated the putting of the hymn-book so far in advance of the Bible. He did not altogether approve of the method of the Episcopalians, who incorporate a fragment of Scripture with the prayer Ixxik or with the hvmns.
He believed that better and the best results would ensue from a more liberal use of the Bible in the worship of God.
Again, he believed that the word of God should have place in the prayer meeting. He declared, and his declaration evoked most audible approval, that the Bible ought to be used in the Sunday school and not lesson papers or question books. He reproved those rich churches which neglect to furnish the Bible to their mission schools. He affirmed that the Bible should be used in family worship and not Spurgeon's "Gems," or "Ray's Morning Exercises." Many a young man was setting up his family altar who vitally needed to be shown the use of the sacred word.
Mr. Jacobs, in passing, showed what noble examples for those sustaining the various relations of family life were contained in the Bible lessons that are being taught in the Sunday school. He spoke of the praying mother of Samuel, conscious of the truth that character is transmittable, who prayed before her son was born and aftei his coming had blessed her prayers. He incidentally touched upon the little lessons of life, that the boy Samuel, in his various services, preached for the children of all time.
He emphasized the need of organizing Bible bands, by which agency, while the family is assigned its daily chapter, the little child, too, is not omitted, but is given its tiny verse.
As another aid to social Bible study, he asked why there might not be established in different parts of the city reading clubs for Bible study, as there were clubs for the profitable and pleasurable reading of other literature. For what treasures there were to be mined! Poetry, biography, history were there in beautiful abundance. Again, might not the ladies of the congregations go into the houses of this city, carrying the word of God, as was done after Miss Dryer's plan? To further promote the study of the Bible personal diligence was necessary, for the Bible was a personal book all the way through. God reached His people through His people, one by one. The Bible was the palace beautiful. If it was opened at random and aid sought and none came, perhaps many a poor soul wondered why the Lord did not meet his need. But the help was there ; just the right kind for every one.
Prayer by Dr. Hatfield followed the remarks of Mr. Jacobs.
The topic for 11 o'clock was,
The Rev. F. E. Emerich said he had lived for many years in a German home, and he had for that reason been selected to speak on this question. God had wonderfully blessed America in bringing to its shores the peoples from every country on the globe. God had given America a heritage and a privilege of working for Him that had been accorded to no other people.
It had been said that in this country there was to be enacted the modern Pentecost—when all the peoples of the world would be brought together to hear the word of God.
There was no difficulty in reaching the Scotch, English and Welsh people by American methods, because they were so near akin to ourselves that our methods reached them. But what were we to do for the Germans and Scandinavians In his church, Mr. Emerich said he had thirteen different nationalities on the church rolls but the greater portion of them were Scandinavians. He found no difficulty in reaching these people because they had been taught by our methods. They had been reared in the grand old Lutheran Church, and they had a great love for the memory of Luther. They had been brought up in a Christian faith In asking the question of what should be done for the Germans, we should remember not so much the infidelity and rationalism of the Germany of to-day, but more the Germany of Luther, whose 400th anniversary was to be celebrated this year. Could these people be evangelized? Luther had worked out his reformation by faith. We should remember this, and that the great Wesley had drawn his power to evangelize from German sources, If the German had not the gospel in its churches it had the power of the gospel in its church hymns, which had been translated into almost every tongue, and were in fact our greatest power for evangelization.
The evangelist need not give up hope for these people.
The Methodists were doing a grand work among these people, and giving the Germans a literature that would bring good fruit. Then there was the Lutheran Church, which had reached the Germans in its own way, and if we would remember the religious history of-Germany rather than its infidelity, and take hope to work with them, they could be evangelized.
But how were they to be reached?
First, we must acknowledge the work that was being done among the Germans to-day. They had a love for the old mother church of Luther. It was making itself manifest this year more than for many years. The Germans loved that church. We must acknowledge the work that church was doing in this country and at home. It ranked third in the great evangelical churches, only the Methodist and Baptist standing ahead of it. The church workers of this country could not afford to fail to give recognition to such a power for Christ. What if it did not have the same methods we employed? The old notions that had clung to the Lutheran church would drop off when it had become somewhat Americanized. We should remember that the Baptists had stood where the Lutherans did a century ago, but they had seen their mistakes when Edwards and Whitfield gave them the proof. Why should not we be as hopeful concerning the Lutherans?
As much could be done with the German churches as had been done with others.
When the revival of God's spirit came upon them they would speak the truth. They would learn as the American church had learned to preach the gospel free from dogma. We needed patience with these German Christians.
The speaker had been greatly impressed with the patience of God with Israel. We needed the spirit of Christ, and we needed to remember what the Apostle Paul said about the patience of Christ. The Germans came to this country with prejudices, and these must be overcome. They came with un-American ideas concerning the observance cf the Sabbath and temperance. We should remember that our ideas of these questions were as strange to chefci as were their ideas to us. They had followed Calvin and Luther, and believed they were right in their way. Mr. Emerich said, as . for himself, he had lived twenty years in a German home and learned the customs of the people, but he had afterward lived for sixteen years in the homes of New England, and he had now but one idea of Sabbath observance, and that was the New England way.
He knew the German way and the New England way, and he coidd look at the question from the German standpoint. He knew how long it took him to learn that he must not buy on the Sabbath day. He had no idea that he was breaking the fourth commandment until his old teachej kindly pointed it out to him. Many of these German people had never once had presented to them from the standpoint of love, the fourth commandment. They ohould put in the leaven of God's truth and it would do the work.
Then in answering the question of how to reach the foreign
Eopulation, he would say. by recognizing what work had alrtady een done for the Germans, and by working in harmony with the foreign pastors, helping them with sympathy and practical efforts. We needed to have faith in the power of Christian community and fellowship. Another way was to reach the foreign population through the children. These people wanted their children confirmed, and they were much more careful about teaching them the Scriptures then were our own people.
"HOW TO REACH THE GERMANS."
The Rev. Lee M. Heilman, of Grace English Lutheran Church, spoke as follows:
To evangelize all our foreign population would, in a large meas
ure, revolutionize our courts of justice, our social life, and general political and religious institutions. To bring under the power of the gospel all the various nations and tongues of our land and make them speak for Christ would be to convert Babel into a Pentecost, and nations among us would be born in a day. There is, perhaps, no topic that can claim the serious attention of such an assembly more profitably than this, for on the solution of it hangs on the one hand the future of our land and the permanence of its free institutions, and on the other hand assurance that here shall not be left another district of Christ's church turned into heathen, Asia Minor with no cross left. While these hundreds of thousands are coming annually to us, we need inquire how the godlessness, the rationalism, formalism and infidelity poured upon us shall be made to disenthrall great talent and turn it to the Master's service.
It is, however, only just that I should protest against the too prevalent idea among us Americans, that there is almost no piety among those of any other than the English speech. I speak for Scandinavians and some Protestant Germans. Still that does not change the fact that of these very nations, and many others more or less foreign, are many hundreds neglecting their dearest interests and thousands more of them doing violence to the kingdom of God.
To reach these with the saving grace of Calvary is of course to reach souls in a common fallen race. There is but one Jesus, one gospel, and one spirit of regeneration, to touch on the mainspring of human want. The solution of the problem in hand lies in how this Christ, the wisdom and the power of God, shall be brought to this foreign population. This class of people has not been generally reached, and there are reasons for it, and these furnish the answers how to bring them more to a knowledge of the truth.
There is, for example, in Chicago but one church for about every 4,000 Protestant Germans and Scandinavians. There are Lutheran pastors, it is estimated, who have in their parishes at least i,5oo*families. No church or pastor can there minister to the sick and dying, and meet all other demands, and then yet properly cultivate the field. Hence it is, many have only a nominal relation to the church by their occasional attendance of their children at the schools and the burying of their dead by the pastor. Is it any wonder that the best are tempted to careless and bad habits, and that many are led to vice and clothe a quaking conscience with scepticism? Church life and influence, and the word of God are wanting, and there the heart left without the ordained safeguards is as uncertain of its course as is the serpent coiled on the rock. Home life is soon demoralized and the young left unrestrained are reared, especially in their idling Sabbath hours and at nights, tor every vice of tongue, eye and palate. With not room enough in churches, and not sufficient agencies to win the non-church-going young men of Catholic, Protestant and no persuasion, and of all languages, the field brings forth our most dangerous and Godless classes.
Again, however, I remark, the foreign population must not be treated as a charity people. To build them churches, and have some Americans at stated times take the part of workers among them will never get into the heart of their real thousands. Money and prayers have done great things, but proxy methods are not enough. God's plan is to have churches where all classes actually unite into one association. Besides, He appoints pastors who must have the "care of souls and the oversight of the flock." They are to be among them like the physician, for every emergency. The pastoral element is divinely chosen, and there is no eloquence, or learning, or any form of proper evangelization that can safely take the place of its office to care for the sick, the dying, visiting the doubting and backsliding, or preaching from house to house the cross of Jesus. Let all other agencies do their part but you cannot sustain a church work properly except by a "house-going pastor," who makes a permanent and " church going people" Do not, especially, seek to reach the foreign population by proxy only, for if there is not a nearer touch of heart to heart, they will feel the work as a kind of charity, and that feeling tends to depress rather than to lift up and inspire.
Then, again, there must be a care for their Americanizing. The question of language, nationality, and habits presents enormous difficulties. Let the old people have 'the gospel in their mother tongue, but have not for their leaders and ministers the unprogressive who are sticklers for the forms, and seek to propagate the formalism and spirit of their native countries. Give them men of this modern age and who are filled with the spirit of regeneration and of moral reform in Sabbath keeping, temperance, and the general good of men. My observation has taught me that there are ministers and people in various denominations, no matter what earnest professsions they make, who, rather than leave their own habits and tongue and their church, or suffer their English speaking children to do so, will let the church die and their youths sent into the world. There is special need to care for the more liberal and anglicized. There are towns and large districts in the city where are no English churches.
Suffer me, however, to present this antithesis as a next remark: These people ought not be too readily deprived of their own churches unless they adhere to an unevangelical branch or prefer another. Great harm and confusion have been thus often caused and more souls sent from the cross than brought to it. If they are Methodists across the sea let them be that there. It they are Ger
man Reformed, or Lutheran, or Presbyterian, or Congregational, they are reached and preserved far more easily in their own home, if possible. Believe me as speaking from honest conviction and knowledge on this point, and out of mercy for the souls concerned. It is a duty to be wise as well as faithful, like Paul, who, to win the formalistic Pharisee, claimed himself to be of them. I know, some will be doubtful about the Lutheran and Reformed, and perhaps the German Evangelical Union, but there are evangelical branches of them, notably of the first named who are Americanized, pietistic, and claim such men as Spener, Tholuck, Luthhardt, and Christlieb, and their success, where they have been permitted to go, is proof of this point. Go, however, my brother, and in any church and way save the fallen and unreached thousands of all classes.
Once more, I remark, the young people should be brought into the church, whatever that church. It is not enough to gather them into the Sunday school, but when really brought to a personal Savior let them profess Him and take on them the decided and whole armor of the Christian life. In 1865 the Rev. Mr. Punshon said in England that when Newcastle-on-Tyne, which was a very hotbed of infidelity, was canvassed, "it was found that nine-tenths of the most prominent members of the infidel clubs had passed through their Sabbath schools.'' If you would really reach them, and through them the older, bring them into full church life.
In a word, let us be consecrated in any way to save these hearts athirst for the water of life. Let our work be popular and plainly preach repentance and a living faith. Let us tenderly mingle among them and learn to appreciate them, and so compel the worst to find Christ the real want of the soul. Aid our Sabbath Association and Young Men's Christian Association. Let us by our holy lives convince the skeptic of the power of our religion, and by our real brotherly union of all churches disarm the assault that we are really at war among ourselves. We should remember that all tongues are of one parentage and alike sinful, and that one Jesus alone can heal the wound of death.
Professor Samuel Ives Curtiss, of the Chicago Theological Seminary, in discussing this subject further, said he would first present a few figures. Illinois had a native population of 2^94,294 and a foreign population of 583,576; Minnesota had a native population of 513,097 and a foreign population of 267,276; Wisconsin had a native population of 910,0^2 and a foreign population of 405,425: Chicago had a total population of 503,185, according to the census of 1880, and of this 204,859 were foreign born.
He then spoke as follows:
I will first speak of some of the hindrances to the evangelization
of those Germans who were born in Germany, because of their education and surroundings in that country.
i. The State has said, until recently, to all parents in Germany, You must have your children baptized. The fathers might say, But I don't believe in Christianity; I don't believe there is a God. The State has said it makes no difference. It is the law that every Protestant and Catholic child should be baptized; bring your child or we will fine you.
2. The State has said, until recently, ever - oy and girl of the age of thirteen or fourteen must be confirmed. Here again the parents might say, "But we do not believe in Christianity." The State has said, "I cannot help that. Your boy or girl cannot enter upon an occupation without a certificate that they are members of the State church
3. The State says you may not leave the church, and elect any pastor you choose. With me rests the nomination of your pastor. He is, to a certain extent, a State official.
What is the result of this? An estrangement of the masses in the cities and towns from the ministry. Many a German says, the minister does not care anything about me. He only cares for my money. When my boy is baptized it means a fee; when he is confirmed, another fee; when sickness invades my family, more fees, and when death comes, other fees. Some pay them loyally. A pastor in Leipzig once told me the story of a peasant who wished to help his father, who was poor, and had a large family. He came to him and said: "Pastor, I want you should write my funeral sermon, and I will pay for it." In due time it was written and paid for. After a time the peasant, seeing his pastor was not getting on very well, came and said: "Pastor, I want you should write a funeral sermon for my wife, and I will pay you for it." It was prepared, and so he went through the whole family.
The minister is not to blame. He says: "Here I am, with my three colleagues, with a parish of 40,000 on my hands. What can we do? I would gladly do more. My heart yearns for the
Eeople. The church building was erected by the State, and it was uilt to last. The dust of ages is in it. It is like being in a charnel house to attend service in it—cold, dark, gloomy. Are the people there? No, they are in the sunny fields, listening to music in the gardens, and at evening attending the schools of wit in the theater."
Now, can you wonder that the natural tendency for the majority of Germans when they come to this country is to throw aside these irksome restraints? How many thousands upon thousands of native-born Americans who have been connected with pleasant churches at the East, cease to be church members when they go
West, and thus fall into indifferentism? But this is far more true of the Germans who come to this country.
i. The lack of vital piety among many of the ministers.
Religion is too often a matter of the head rather than of the heart. It is taught in the schools like arithmetic and grammar, and too often by men who are unbelievers.
Piety, a change of heart, is not at all necessary for a student of theology. The ministry is a profession like law and medicine, and it is too often the case that the men who cannot pass the terribly strict examination for the legal profession, or think they cannot, study for the ministry.
The students are more characterized for ochsen and kneipen, as they call it, :nan for religious work. Not more than 60 out of the 600 theological students in Leipzig are engaged in practical Christian work. I will not deny that the German church furnishes some of the most devoted Christian pastors, but the system of religious education, although in many respects valuable, is stunted and neutralized to a great extent by this unbelieving atmosphere. The effect of this upon all Germans who have been under this influence is to cause them to be satisfied with a dead name.
It was a standard question at the tax office when I resided in Leipzig, whether the tax payers were Evangelical, Catholic or Jewish. Everybody is either Jew or Christian, and if brother Moody were to preach among the Germans, and hold an after-meeting, and were to put the question to man or woman, are you a Christian, the invariable answer would be, certainly. He would mean, have you been born again? They would mean that they had been baptized, were members of the national church and had been educated in the truths of religion.
This constitutes a tremendous obstacle in reaching the people who have been under such training when they have come to this country.
2. Another hindrance is in Sabbath desecration.
The German habit of making Ihe Sabbath a holiday instead of a holy day is one of the greatest obstacles to the evangelization of Germans, whether in the fatherland or in this country.
The church can never be a power in this or that land when the Sabbath is given up to worldly pursuits and pleasures. God must have all or none. The ride for health, the friendly call, the journey that ends Sunday morning or begins Sunday evening are the camel's head, which will finally be followed by his whole body. The Sabbath must be kept as the grand field day for the church, or religion will be weak and sickly.
Now Leipzig, where I resided five years, is estimated to have a population of 200,000. It has seven churches. It has perhaps three stirring preachers, but they do not preach every Sunday. They alternate with colleagues, who have but little power to arouse the people. I am sure, from my own observation, that an average attendance of 3,500 to 4,000 a Sunday would be very large in Leipzig; that would leave 196,000. non-church goers. But this summer, when I was there, on one of the Sundays 40,000 people left on excursion trains for various resorts in the neighborhood. Can religion be a power under such circumstances? Can such a Sabbath be a field day for the church? When in the whirl of the business and pleasures of this life is room to be found to follow in the sorrowful footsteps of our Lord who came to die for this world?
This is a tremendous hindrance to the evangelization of the Germans.
Now, how shall we evangelize therm1 I must confess that my heart yearns for them. I lived among them six years. Three of my children were born among them. All that is mortal of one sleeps in a German burying-ground. But I feel that I have no wisdom in this matter. I have had no practical experience in the work among them.
I will, however, venture to offer the following suggestions as to those who work among them:
1. The ministers and evangelists who labor among them must be consecrated, devoted men. No man is fit for the work who thinks he can get a living in that way better than in any other, or who proposes to make his work a stepping stone to anything else. Men's hearts should be on fire with love for the work. They should be ready to say within themselves, woe is me if I preach not the gospel to them.
Men cannot resist the power of divine love as communicated through human speech, and exemplified in a human life.
Ministers and evangelists may get a hearing when speaking in a foreign tongue through an interpreter, or when using the language imperfectly. Mutual love and confidence will cover up u multitude of defects. But there is a more excellent way than to speak to them in a foreign language.
2. They should themselves be foreign-born and be able to speak German with fluency and correctness.
The prophet says in Is. xi., i, according to the Hebrew, "Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem." If you wish to touch the hearts of people, speak to them in the tongue in which they were born, vraken some sleeping memory of a praying mother, of a faithful pastor. Let your language be that of sacred recollection, and that which men use when they are dying, and you will have the last medium of touching their hearts.
3. They should know the history and customs of the people.
It is not enough that a man should be a German to speak to Germans. He must know the glories of the fatherland. He must know her patriots and statesmen. While he ought to be an American through and through, he ought to be able to kindle into patriotic devotion when he hears such German songs as "The Watch on the Rhine."
He ought to know not only that Germany had a Martin Luther, but what Martin Luther did, and what Germany has been and is to-day for the religious thinking of the world. He ought to know their social customs, and remember that the practice of using wine and beer among the pastors and Christian people in Germany is much the same as it was among our Puritan ancestors seventy-five years ago. We should be patient and very charitable as to these things.
4. They should avoid as far as possible antagonism to the historical churches. In their own bosom (that is of the churches) the powers are yet to work most effectually for the evangelization of Germany. To treat them, therefore, as foes is to wound Christ in the house of His friends. Let us fellowship with them so far as they will allow it, going two-thirds or the whole of the way if necessary to clasp hands.
5. Other churches which are not national may engage in this work. Like the Dissenters in England, they may stir up the old historic church to new life and energy.
In any case, this work should go forth from the church, and should return thither. For Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, and we are one with Him when we try to promote the efficiency and spirituality of that body of which He Himself is the head. N
THE NOON MEETING.
The noon prayer meeting was simply a continuation of the morning session, as many people coming in as there were those that retired. Mr. Moody requested the audience to sing hymn No. 71, "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds."
Dr. Moorhouse then offered prayer, and was followed by Brother Millard in another prayer, after which the hymn No. 87, "Lord, I Hear of Showers of Blessings," was sung.
The Rev. Dr. Arthur Little read Psalm 24, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or, who shall stand in His holy place?"
"He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity; nor sworn deceitfully." "Search me, Oh, God, and know my heart."
In other words, my beloved friends, it has been my privilege to be a listener here, and not a speaker, said Dr. Little. I have come to see that, if this convention has done any good to me, I must humble myself, and as I go to God's temple from day to day and week to week, see that I have clean hands and a clean heart. In the last three days this convention has proved that there was a terrible deficiency on the part of the Christian churches and workers. If there is not an honest effort made on the part of professing Christians to bring in the thousands in the suburbs of the large cities who never enter the Lord's house, it is useless to have brought Brother Moody here at all.
Brother Moody then offered a prayer, in which he invoked the Lord's aid in assisting the people and clergymen of this city to come to the temple with clean hearts and hands. He asked God to grant that the reports of this convention, as published in the press of Chicago, be efficient in stirring up a Christian feeling in the hearts of those in distant portions of the land, so that a wave of Christian salvation might sweep over the country, as it did in 1857 and 1858.
Hymn No. 77, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," was sung by the audience with a right good will.
Brother Moody then related a story of a family in England who had an erring son in Australia who was saved through the prayers of his mother in England.
Fred Riebold, from Dayton, Ohio, related the manner of his conversion some fourteen months ago, and how the love of God completely filled his being now.
Major Whittle spoke in reference to Riebold, who, he said, was one of the speculating and fast class of men in Dayton, and one of a syndicate that manipulated a railroad. All this he had given up for God's work. Major Whittle then offered a prayer, and the closing anthem, "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow" was sung.
The benediction was offered by Dr. Bascom, and the immense throng filed out of the hall.
There were several hundred people who never left the hall between the morning and the afternoon sessions, but sacrificed their lunches rather than lose their seats for the afternoon, and those who did leave had their places taken by others as fast as they were made vacant. At 2 o'clock Mrs. McGranahan, presiding at the organ, led the vast audience in singing several gospel hymns. Mr. Moody came in a few minutes before the time for opening the convention, and was kept busy looking over notes sent to him. He requested Mr. and Mrs. McGranahan to sing "The Two Lives." It was a touching song, telling the simple story of two lives representing the two extremes of society—the rich and the poor. So widely sepa
rated in tnis world, they both lay in the Savior's arms at death, and "none could tell which had lived in the terrace house and which in the street below."
No one was more affected bv this little song than the man who had requested that it be sung. Mr. Moody sat there with a look of sorrow on his face as the story of earthly trials was told in song, but as the distinction between the two lives was wiped out at death, there came a smile stealing over his face until there was a look of complete and perfect happiness there. The face was an indicator of the heart of the man, and the people noticed this and knew that Moody was a man of great heart and deep feeling.
After a prayer by Dr. Hanson, Mr. McGranahan and his wife sung " We shall be satisfied."
Mr. Moody said there had been some complaint from those holding tickets that they had not been able to get into the meeting the night before. The committee were not to blame for this, because so many people without tickets gathered about the doors that the ticket-holders could not get near. The result was that some got in without tickets and some holding tickets were kept out As the next session would be the last, the rush would probably be greater than ever, so it would be well for every one to look out for himself and not depend too much upon tickets.
Mr. Moody said: I am going to bring a charge against the ministers. They don't want children in the church during the service.
Dr. Hatfield—I deny the charge. I invite my people to bring the children to the services.
Dr. Humphrey—I know a man who not only invites the children to his church, but he gives them note-books and pencils and offers prizes of Bibles to those who will take down and remember the text.
Dr. Goodman—Yes; and I saw that man 'present thirty-nine Bibles to a class of boys, and I observed that he had 450 children out of the 600 in his Sabbath school in his church. And; I resolved that I would try the same thing and see if I could not do as well. I am going to try it.
Dr. Henson—I get tired of preaching to the old saints and sinners and want young hearers. I encourage the children to come and hear me.
Another minister said: "I believe that the church should be put ahead of the Sunday school even in our talk to children."
Another said: "I invite my children not only to the church service but to the prayer meeting."
Still another: "I am always glad to see the children at all tervices. We want the infantry in God's army."
J. H Walker said: "I deny the charge too. I urge my people to bring the children, and I say to them that they have no business iu the house of God without their children And last Sunday morning I had the accompaniment of a crying baby all through my sermon, but it did not disturb me."
Dr. Johnson—Mr. Moody, you will have tc withdraw that charge.
Mr. Moody—Well, I will take that back, but I will make another They don't give the children anything when they do come. [LaughterJ
Dr. Kendall—See here, Mr Moody, I have always stood by you, but I won't do so any longer if you do not speak the truth.
Mr. Moody—Don't I speak it. Do you give them anything?
Dr Kendall—I don't know I believe I do. At least, I try to. I am reforming, or trying to I have found I could give the par . ents some good hard hits when I was talking to the phildren.
And so the brisk cross-firing continued, one or two other platform speakers good-naturedly shooting their personal experiences at Mr. Moody. He faced the interesting fusilade that he had drawn out, with his back to the audience and his stanch and portly form seeming big enough to stand a broadside of the kind of bombardment he had provoked
The firing slackening up Mr. Moody threw in .. bit of his own experience. He said that he was seventeen years of age before he had heard a solitary word addressed to children. He recollected that for seventeen years he had thus heard nothing that was intended for him and his like, and that, at that age, he was waked up one day in church because he snored so loud. With such youthful memories he was glad that the ministers were devoting five minutes to children's talks. Some time ago, continued the ready evangelist, there was a man who was asked how it was that he had such fine sheep. He replied that it was because he looked after the lambs. So, said Mr. Moody, look after the children All in the same vein of illustration and comment Mr. Moody told of a bit of a sermon that a little six-year-old girl, in imitation of the firstly, secondly, etc., method of her father had produced. Firstly, she said:
"The Lord loves us very, very much."
Secondly. "But He does not like us to sin."
Thirdly. "Don't you want to love Him."
Fourthly. "Lord have mercy on us."
Still talking for and about the children, an aged, white-haired pastor briefly referred to his successful work among the young people during his pastorate in Cincinnati, and said that when Christ came and made promises of salvation He put into these promises
salvation for two—the believer and his offspring. So, concluded the venerable speaker, when I see a child backslide I feel as guilty for that child as when I first repented myself. After another clerical brother had given his particular experience on this children's topic, Mr. Sankey suggested that there be sung a children's hymn, which was done, number 97 being selected. Dr. Johnson followed in prayer, and there was sung, "Behold what love, what boundless love." "The Rock of Ages" was then sent swelling upward, for Mr. Moody wanted the singing of an old church hymn to open the discussion upon the question of church music.
"HOW SHALL WE INTEREST OUR CHILDREN IN THE GOSPEL?"
Rev. E. C. Ray, pastor of Presbyterian Church, of Hyde Park, spoke as follows:
The same Qld gospel that has been preached from Eden down. The same child-nature in Cain and Abel and our babies. The same old promise, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." A good missionary's bad son came to Christ late in life. His old mother said,''I expected it; I always believed the promise, 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.'" We take the promise otherwise. There is only one way—Christ. We believe that if we train up our children in Christ they will never depart from Him, never need to come back from sin to Him in old age. Now what characteristics of child-nature mustXve consider in order so to present the gospel that they shall be savingly, permanently interested in it?
In working iron we use tools various. But fire to soften comes first. Love is the force to make human nature plastic. We must love the child not only when fresh, rosy bright, sweet, and clean; but when dirty, sick, ignorant, dull, cross. Love it because to despise one of these little ones is to despise Christ; love it for what it is in the kingdom of heaven, in the slums, in the present, in the future. Such love never faileth. It is a force which makes the child-heart soft for our molding. As God begins to interest us in the gospel by loving us, so we must begin with the little ones.
And then the gospel must be addressed to their affections. That gate into the child-heart stands always wide open. Take the truth in by that gate. Longfellow, in his poem to the children, said:
"The heart,hath its own tnemory, lijcethe mind,
And in it are enshrined
The precious keepsakes, into which are wrought
The giver's loving thought."
A little London girl who took the prize for a fine house plant, was asked how it thrived so in her narrow garret room. "I moved it around in the sun all day," she said. Keep the child-heart in the love of God. That love is a force; heat is a mode of motion. Show the gospel as it is, lovely. Make Sunday lovely. Make church services lovely. Make home religion lovely. Plant the incorruptible seed in the affections. You can't interest a child in philosophical religion or in sour religion. A child in a household where there is not the joy of the Holy Ghost is like a tender plant in a cellar.
And love alone can interest children in gospel work. Dr. C. S. Robinson says: "I once promised to help a disabled shoemaker with work. The friend who asked me, a New York merchant, walked six miles that winter night to cheer the poor fellow's heart with the news. If ever I straightened myself up to do something for another it was when I heard that. A man loved him; then so did I." The pitying love of God for the lost; the cross with its extended arms, embracing all races; your own earnest desire to save souls; these will interest the children in gospel work." Draw out a full clear note from your violin and the harp in the corner will echo it. There are tender strings in the child-heart that wait to be sympathetically awakened.
Wordsworth, reviewing his childhood, found this:
"Heaven lies all about us in our infancy;
Shades of the prison house begin to close
Upon the growing boy;
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The youth who daily farther from the East
Must travel, still is nature's priest.
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the man pereeives it die away
And fade into the common light of day.
imagination belongs to childhood and youth. The child-hunger for Arabian Nights, Munchausen, Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen is from above, heaven-sent. The strong, vivid imagination which makes a princess of a soiled rag doll, and of some old boards a palace, must be utilized in interesting the child in the gospel. Those Old Testament stories—we have to cudgel our brains sometimes to get homiletics out of them and to keep the critics' hands off—the children love them. That is how the Bible gets hold of them. Biography, which makes so large a part of the word, and modern biography, are inexhaustible stores of food for child piety. Stories of martyrs and of missionaries, and little stories of Christian
children, and stories illustrating all the phases of gospel truth, are the natural food of the young. The common sneer against Sunday school story-books seems to me a curl of the lip of ignorance. Why do not such forbid Mr. Moody to use anecdotes? Because "without a parable spake He not unto them." Above all, the story of Jesus—it runs from Genesis to Revelation. A mother returning from communion told her curious children the story of the Last Supper. She illustrated on the sofa how they sat, and how John lay in the bosom of the dear Savior. One little fellow looked up with face all aglow, "Mamma, I should like to have beenJohnny! The story, through his imagination, entered his heart and kindled there Iotc for Christ.
Remember that imagination deals only with what is already in the memory. While you are talking the child's imagination is building up the picture as well as it can with what stores it already has. So our words must be simple, child-words all of them.
I once told the Sunday school about David and Goliath, how the lad slew him with a pebble. My little girl's memory had not that word, so she took the one most like it, and told her mother that David slew Goliath, wonderful thing, with a bubble! It takes study and pains to speak clearly to the child imagination. Buy and read to yourself some one-syllable books. Write out a sermon or Sunday school lesson now and then in short words. Most of the inattention of children is caused, I believe, by our long words, meaning nothing to them, and shunting their minds from the track of our thought.
Remember that the child-imagination builds ideals easily. Life's aims are largely directed by these. Hence children need sowing and planting rather than weeding and pruning. Their imaginations apprehend things positively, not negatively; kindle and glow when a holy life is pictured, but shrink timid and discouragedlv under cold rebuke. Continual fault-finding discourages them. Nagging and scolding are fatal to child-growth. What a sad picture that is in George Combe's autobiography, where he tells how all his childhood he pined and hungered for that approving, encouraging word which never came. A smile, a kind word, a caress are gentle dew and rain upon the fallow soil of the child-nature. Tell the little ones more about that Savior who will forgive the penitent child seventy times seven times in a dav. Tell them about the prodigal's Father. Lead them to Him. Have hope for them, and give them the hopefulness. We are saved by faith. There is no danger of a child having too much faith. Why, by rebukes and discouragement, fill it with doubts and fears?
Child-memory has two characteristics—readiness to acquire and readiness to forget. Hence it should be stored with golden word* and thoughts, and they should be often reviewed. A child once taught is not taught forever. After driving we must clinch. I am afraid that we make a great blunder in filling these bright, hungry, but slippery, little memories with a thousand non-essential things, instead of taking more pains to drive home the great truths. Better a few essential truths about God and the Bible and the soul, clearly understood, and made a part of the child's being by reiteration, illustration, explanation and example, than a thousand nonessentials left unexplained in the memory, and which the youth or man may have to give up with shock after shock to his faith. This may be somewhat hard upon denominationalism. It will be good for the child and for Christianity. I would therefore stock the memory with the sweetest and richest and strongest things of the Bible, clearly understood, and fixed there. I would make him love the word of God above his necessary food, and I would leave him to become wiser than all his teachers in minor and disputed matters by his more mature study.
Children are intensely logical. They have that sort of logic •which Sir William Hamilton said that Dr. Guthrie had in his sermons—where there is but one step between the premise and the conclusion—the strongest and the best logic it is, Sir William Hamilton said. This should teach us several things.
The child must be brought to a decision for Christ. Drifting in uncertainty is illogical, and the child knows it. "Are you a Christian? Will you be one now and henceforth?" These questions require immediate pressing. This is not exactly "early conversion, for the child may be already a child of God, and need no conversion; but it does need clear, definite choice of Christ in any case. The logic of the child-mind tends to follow out the choice in a growing Christian life.
And the practical logic of child-nature demands that its ideals be made very simple and every-day. Every talk at the mother's knee about Jesus, every Sunday school lesson needs to be made practical. The infant class teacher told the story of the cross and asked, "What will you do for Jesus?" A poor little girl, who was hardly used, and whose weary little bare feet were often reluctant to go where they were bidden, said, "I'll run his arrants." Can't you imagine how that lesson was made practical for her and the rest? We often find it hard for ourselves to make the connection between the boiler and the engine, as Phillips Brooks says, between our warm love and our practical living; we must help the little folks to do this.
Child-logic keenly comprehends the logic of a life. I was once in a reform club meeting, and listened with interest, as all did, until a neighbor drew a half-emptied whisky bottle from the speaker's pocket. Logic was against him, and his words did not count after that. Who can express the importance of the teacher's own piety? Of the parents'and Christian brothers' and sisters' home life? If we talk much about business and pleasure and our neighbors, and little about spiritual things, the child-logic will value them accordingly. If we have our bov give a penny to the heathen, and five cents for candy or fruit, will he not value the gospel and the fruit or candy accordingly? I am persuaded that the small gifts of mature Christians are to be charged in part to the training of their tender years. Children do not readily believe that one is a hypocrite. They sooner place the hypocrite's valuation upon the gospel. The merciless and stern logic of our child demands a holy life of us.
Individuality naturally comes last. "Train up a child in the way he should go—according to his way"—is the Hebrew. We can't make Christians as we do spools and buttons. We have got to know each child and suit our approaches to his needs. I remember how one little boy was urged by his teacher again and again to be converted. Poor little chap, he was loving Jesus and trying to serve Him. He needed encouragement, faith, hope. The exhortations made him feel that something was wrong he knew not what. So he gave the whole thing up in despair, and •waited fifteen years for the Lord to convert him. The teacher urged the wrong boy. Soul-medicine must be given intelligently. And remember that children change like that little green shoot of the spring, which is tall and budding in a few months. Your boy of six months ago is not the boy of to-day. While there are many things which may be said to all children, yet there are others which must be fitted to each child's present heart. A quick, intelligent, loving, familiar sympathy with the little pne's inner life is essential to success. Close that door to your child's nature by harshness and unreasonableness, and you will never enter that inner life more. We must be children with the children, and win, at any cost of scLtpleasing authority and government, the inner citadel of the heart. And so we get back again to what we started with—the affections. Love first and last.
And who is sufficient for these things? You thought when your first-born came that all the difficulty would be in understand ing that heart! No. Each new child is a new problem requiring a new solution. O hard and heavy task! I felt what Mr. Moody said Tuesday afternoon, "Ministers do not know how to talk to mothers; it needs a mother to do it." That is true. I wish a mother were in my place to-day. I wish my mother could speak to you to-day. But I rest my faith and hope on Him who loved the little ones; so that they came to His arms and sung His hosannata. He loves my little ones, too, my Sunday-school class. I will seek for guidance from that Spirit who was on Him, without measure. He is freely given to those who ask Him.
Mr. Sankey then addressed the convention on the topic:
"HOW MAY MUSIC BE BEST USED AND CONTROLLED IN PROMOTING WORSHIP AND SPREADING THE GOSPEL?"
This is a broad question, covering a good deal of ground. I will not attempt to cover all the ground, but I will make a few statements, the result of years of experience in trying to teach the gospel in song. About thirteen years ago I left my home in Pennsylvania to attend a convention of the Young Men's Christian Association held at Indianapolis. I had been engaged in Christian work for many years, and had been leading a service of praise in my own town. I was sent by the Association to attend the convention at Indianapolis. I remember one morning, at the early hour of six o'clock, a prayer meeting was announced, to be held in the Baptist Church there, to be conducted by my friend who presides at this meeting. My delegation promised to be there. Getting up early, we went there and found the room crowded. The meeting was going on, and an old gentleman, a godly man, was leading the singing. He was singing some of the very old hymns with very old tunes, and the congregation of young men were not singing as they might. I remember a Rev. Mr. McMullen was sitting by me, and during a prayer, he asked me at the conclusion to sing one of the gospel hymns.
I did not like to interfere, but he said it was a young men's meeting, and the young men were not taking the interest they would if the music were such as they could and would sing. I started one of the hymns I knew they were all accustomed to singing. We sang, "There is a fountain filled with blood." I remember how the young men there took hold of that hymn and such a volume as rose upon the air. That morning was the first time I ever met our brother here. We met in that prayer meeting, and have been together almost ever since. I remember that twelve vears ago I came to this city at his invitation, and the dav I arrived we •went to visit a number of poor families on the North Side. We went into these poor homes, among the sick and the dying, and Mr. Moody would pray with the people and ask me to sing a hymn. The hearts of these people were touched and they were bound to Christ, I believe that the work of that day will tell in eternity. I believe God blessed that day's work. Then in the winter after the fire we worked among these poor people and God
blessed our efforts. I believe He blessed these gospel hymns, and gave them a power that they never had before.
When we were in Glasgow a poor mother came up to me and said, "I want to tell you about my little Mary. She was struck by the gospel hymns, and especially by the one. 'Safe in the arms of Jesus.' The child loved the hymn and was always singing it. Six months ago little Mary sickened and died, but just before she died she said, 'Mother, raise me up, and get my hymn-book, and find No. 12.' That was her favorite, and she sang it through, and as I laid her down again she said, 'Mother, I am going now to be with Jesus. Please lay my little hymn-book in the coffin on my breast open at that page.'"
And so little Mary died singing "Safe in the arms of Jesus," and was laid away with that hymn in her grave. There are so many of these little incidents that I have no question that God has blessed these hymns, and they have been a blessing to the people.
Very much depends upon the minister of the gospel in the singing in church, as to whether it shall prove effective or not. I feel the importance of this, that the church should take charge of the music and couduct it, and not let the choir take it and do as they please. I find that there are two parties in the church often, and there is a difference of opinion as to conducting the services. I think, though, all services should be conducted by the minister. When the leaders have not good voices to lead, the church should take charge and appoint those who will. I find that with very little leading the people will sing well, and think that has been pretty well demonstrated here to-day. There should be a good supply of books in the pews. I agree with what Mr. Jacobs said this morning about Bibles in the churches, but I also want plenty of hymn-books. It is hard for the people to worship God without hymn-books. The churches, many of them, most of them, have too large and too expensive books. If they would have smaller books and larger collections of them, so that there would be books for all strangers who come in, it would result in better singing.
Another point is regarding the organ. It should be in front, near the pulpit. I would have the singers in front also. I should have as many in the choir as possible, but they should all be Christian singers to lead in the songs of praise. [Applause].
When we went to England we made a point of this. We sent word to the places where we were to hold meetings that we wanted Christian choirs. You know whether God blessed that work. God was with the singers. I have noticed that so far as we have departed from that rule we have not had the good results. We have had excellent singing from choirs, but while the song was
grand there was not that spiritual power manifest when we had Christians in the choir.
As to the organ-playing, I believe in teaching the sons and daughters to play. I have a son learning to play church music, and I would rather have been a good player on the organ than a finished pianist. If we had several in the Church who could play the organ and be ready to take the organist's place, we might not have so much trouble with him. It would have a good effect to say to him once in a while that his place could be supplied if he did not like to play the music the church wanted. If I could not get a Christian choir, I believe I should go back to the old form in Scotland and have a precentor—have a man stand up before the congregation and invite the people to sing. That kind of singing will get the congregation to singing better. Then there is solo singing. I would use it sparely, but I would use it. If I had one who had a voice and heart to sing I should let him or her sing, but it must be from the heart. I believe David sung solos ; but I never sung a solo in my life to worship God. I have sung little songs that had a story which I wished to give to the people.
Mr. Sankey then told the story of meeting an old Scotchman on board a steamer when crossing to Europe, and when they sang some of the gospel hymns, he thought it was a sin to worship God •with songs composed by human beings. He wanted the psalms sung. When that man heard the "Ninety and Nine" sung he wept like a child and wanted the whole collection, and invited the singer to visit him and sing them to his family. That man's prejudices were broken down by a simple story in song. There was solo singing, congregational singing, artistic singing, and evangelical singing. In regard to the last, he believed in explaining the hymns and getting the people to thoroughly understand them before letting them sing. Mr. Spurgeon always talked over his hymns until the people were fired with them and and all aglow with enthusiasm to sing.
I think that if some ministers would make more of music It would be better. Mr. Moody makes a good deal of singing; but I think we might have more of it. If you give it to children you will get their help. And so in regard to the matter of singing; if you take hold of it you can make it a power. -It will be a power if you seek to make it so. But I would not like to have it frittered away. I think the church ought to manage it—have charge of it.
Now, are there any questions you would like to ask? If so, I will try my best to answer them.
The following questions and answers were then asked and given?
"What do you think of interludes?"
I would have a very simple interlude; possibly the concluding strain of a hymn, perhaps the concluding strain of the hymn you have just been singing; but you may have an improvised interlude just to give the singers a rest. I do not like the instruments. The melody is broken thereby. It is like a break in a prayer meeting when nobody comes up to pray. The value of the inte rlude is that the instrument keeps up the tune in which you have been singing. I think there can be no objection to that. But the interlude that is interjected sometimes between the verses, that have nothing in them in the spirit of the singing, I think is all wrong. I was quite interested once in a church where I was with my family. After the services a little boy said to his mother: "Mamma, the tune that that lady played to was the tune that was played in Barnum's procession." It really was that tune. It was a popular tune, and the lady played it as we went out. Even the little boy, with his quick ear, recognized it."
"How about the case of cornets and other musical instruments in connection with the organ?"
That question was asked me in private by a minister on the platform. I said, "yes;" that there could be no objection to their introduction if it was done by a body of Christian young men—distinctively Christian men. If they were such I would like them to use them, if they wished. They had them or similar instruments in oid times—organs and cymbals and timbrels. I don't see if we have them why we should not use them and have the best music we can; though I don't think I would have them used in regular church services. But in evangelical services, I would use them, and use them in a Christian manner."
"Would you go out of church collections for hymns?"
No sir; I think there are plenty of beautiful hymns in our church collections.
"What do you think of the introduction of classical music?"
I will tell you in regard to that. At one place in England where we had four services a day, being tired, I went out and went to a cathedral in the city, as it was said that at a certain time every day, four o'clock, there was a beautiful singing services-classic music—by the best singers in England. It was true. I went there, supposing that I would hardly be able to get in, though it was a very large cathedral. There were about fifty singers, and I believe I never heard sweeter singing or more beautiful music. I sat down and looked around for the congregation, but I saw none. Soon I was lulled to a sense of sweet, melodious music. Again I looked around to see how many had arrived and were listening to the music. Just fourteen—a service that had cost several hundred dollars for that afternoon alone; only fourteen persons to enjoy that splendid music.
"Don't you think that circus songs can be converted into church music?"
No. I don't think I would go out and get the circus tunes.
"What if the circus tunes become circumcised?" asked a humorous minister.
Mr. Sankey, answering: "Perhaps it might do them good."
"Do you think it right to pay singers for their services?"
I have no objection to those who devote their lives to singing being paid. The laborer is worthy of his hire. But I think you can find enough singers in the congregation who will do it for nothing; but the leader should be paid.
Answers were then given as follows to questions put:
I would have a choir and I would have more of its singing in the church before the preaching commences. If you did this you would get more practice and the result also would be larger congregations. I think the tendency is to have too monotonous forms in singing. We have had the same hymns sung here in half a dozen different forms. I do not know, however, that I would have that in regular services."
"What do you think about music after services are closed?"
I would not have any playing after benediction is pronounced. Mr. Spurgeon, when he closes his addresses, raises his hand and pronounces the benediction, and they go away filled with the truth and talking about it. They do not have the music to dispel the service from their minds. I liked the method very much. They •went away filled with his service. I don't like the singing to come in to drive away the gospel. I don't like the church to become a singing-school.
At this point some " unsankeymonious" infidel in the audience called out:
"Will you please sing us ;99 ' to break this monotony."
Mr. Sankey good naturedly responded:
Yes, after I get through. I would advise the Sabbath school to use such hymns as can be used in the church; and I would have a children's hymn too. I think I would have a special hymn for them. I would also have such hymns in the Sunday school as would induce them to read good gospel truth. In the evening services I would have gospel hymns sung, though using the regular hymn book in the morning services.
"What do you think of singing in parts?"
I would have lead the whole four parts. In Germany, where they have the best congregational singing in the world, they all sing the same part. I think it is nice for the quartet to sing alone; then the congregation sing a portion. What can be objected to it? I think breaking up the monotony by going from one part to congregational singing is not a bad thing.
"Why cannot we have a singing union of Sunday school scholars in Chicago as well as they have in London?"
There is no reason why we cannot; but I think the project of Mr. Moody for a training school for Bible readers, colporteurs, home missionaries, etc., would, perhaps, be the best. I think this training school should have one department for training people how to take charge of singing in the Sunday school. It is easy to criticise a singer who conducts Sunday school exercises, but where can they get trained men? They are prepared in regular colleges or otherwise for singing in concerts, but there is no place where Christian singers can be taught their duties. I hope we will have a branch of this sort. [Applause.]
Mr. Sankey having taken, as he thought, sufficient time in the fruitful process of answering these pertinent questions on church music, Mr. James McGranahan was introduced and continued the subject. Propounding the topical question.
Mr. McGranahan said: First (negatively), it cannot be best used and controlled in promoting worship by those who are not worshipers. "God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." It cannot be best used and controlled for spreading the gospel by those who do not believe and receive ihe gospel; by those who have not tasted and seen that the Lord is good; who have not quenched their own thirst by drinking of the water of life; who have not received Christ, and with Him the gift of eternal life.
By education and culture a Pharisee may frame what to human ear may seem a beautiful, well-rounded prayer, and yet be like the one who stood in the temple, and prayed thus with himself ; -'God, I thank Thee, I am not as other men. I fast, I give of all I possess." It is the I, I, I, I, I, five times in a single breath: he has no need of the Spirit to help his infirmities; he is praying ''with himself," while the poor Publican, you remember, could not so much as lift up his eyes, for he was not praying "with himself," but to God, and as he prayed with the spirit "God be merciful to me, a sinner," we are told he "went down to his house justified."
And just so may it be with the singer; by his art he may sing the precious truths of the gospel with such careful expression and studied effect that to human ear. there is, perhaps, nothing more to desire, and yet if he has never bowed to the truth he sings, God knows it is all art and not heart, and like the praying of the Pharisee, it is more with himself than with the spirit of God.
Come with me into the studio of the sculptor; see that piece of statuary—beautiful, true to nature—faithfully fashioned in every feature to "human form divine," as a work of art, it is a triumph, but as a thing of life, it is cold and inanimate as the quarry from whence it was taken. It is nothing more than was Adam before God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Life-like as it may seem, who would send it to Washington to represent them in Congress, or the Senate Chamber, or. if they did, would the President mistake it for a Senator—he might give it a place in his Cabinet—but it would be among his geological specimens, and not his counselors.
Come, now, into one of our well-ordered (?) fashionable churches. It is the morning service, and the exercises have just commenced. What a grand organ; brilliant organist, and the choir superb, soprano so clear, alto so rich, tenor so tender, bass so deep, and the music so delightful! Nothing better outside of the concertroom or behind the footlights. Isn't it fine? Well, suppose it is; so is the statuary in the studio.
But how about the worship? Do they believe what they sing? Are they Christians? They do not even profess to be. They sing because they love to sing, or, perhaps, they regard the church as a harmless, respectable sort of institution, and kindly favor it with their patronage, or, as a mere matter of business, sing because they are paid for it. But, in the light of God's word, can the music under such circumstances be regarded as in any degree calculated to promote the worship of God or the spread of the gospel. As well might we expect a graven image to render acceptable service to the President at Washington as the singer who is still dead in trespasses and sins, not having been "born again," to render acceptable worship to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
When the sculptor, with his chisel, can put the breath of life into his marble statue and make it a living soul to fitly represent a living people, then perhaps the singer who is spiritually dead may hope to breathe into his song spiritual life and power such as shall promote the worship of God and the spread of the gospel.
But the sculptor does not claim life for his statue, but only a likeness to life—an imitation of that which has life—a specimen of his workmanship in the art of sculpture. And can more be claimed for the music of the sanctuary when thus produced by those who are, in the language of the Scripture, "dead in trespasses and sin ?r
Would it not be in entire conformity with the truth sometimes, if the minister, instead of saying, "Let us continue the worship of God by singing to His praise," a certain psalm or hymn, if he should put it in some such way as this: "We will now suspend the worship of God for a short time and listen to some music from the choir, who will kindly give us a devotional selection in imitation of the worship of God, that which has real musical merit, and will at the same time show off the voices to good advantage, that the congregation may see that they are getting what they subscribed for, viz., good music!"
"But," says one, "do you object to good music in church services?" I answer, "far from it." Let us have music fitting and appropriate and the best of its kind;but when it is the mere rendering of good music for its own sake, a musical performance of whatever merit, call it by its right name—an entertainment, a concert, anything you deem proper—but do not miscall it worship. To ex
Eect .spiritual power or blessing from such a service of song would e like expecting a well-drilled army to defend our city against the invasion of a mighty enemy without either bullet or ball. If noise and smoke were all that were necessary, then powder and blank cartridges might be sufficient; but since it is not the thunder of the guns that does the execution but the shot and shell through them, so it is not the voices nor the music, but the spirit of God through them, that carries conviction with the truth that is sung. That music has power is not called in question. Who has listened to the strains of the old masters and not felt it? What can be more impressive, at least to the musician's ear, than the wonderful harmonies that Handel has used in some of his grand oratorio choruses. For instance, the closing of "All We Like Sheep," where the harmonies breathe forth so impressively the sad but life-giving message, "And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." It seems to me no one can listen to it and not be moved; and yet if they have no interest in the divine message it bears, but are simply moved by "the concord of sweet sounds," its power is as fleeting as the passing clouds and its effect vanishes as the morning dew before the summer sun. He listens and weeps and goes on as before in his selfish pursuit of pleasure and sin, regardless of God and the Savior He hath given.
I remember on a certain occasion a musical director of some distinction, in speaking of the power of music apart from and independent of words, made reference to the "Hallelujah Chorus" in this way: "The choir begins with 'Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah;' and then sings 'Hallelujah, hallelujah,' after which they proceed to sing Hallelujah, hallelujah,' etc., nothing but hallelujah, while the music keeps building up higher and grander at every repetition of the word." Now, at first thought, and perhaps to many a mind, it may have seemed like a meaningless jingle of syllables thrown in merely to accommodate the music, but when we take into account the meaning of this word "Hallelujah"—"Praise Jehovah," then we have the sequel to its multiplied repetitions. It is hallelujah, hallelujah, page after page, with music among the grandest that has ever been written. And what is all this "hallelujah" about, the closing pages reveal it, "For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth." We shall comprehend it better when His kingdom has come, when He shall have appeared, when we shall be like Him and see Him as He is. It was the mighty power of this inspired message finding fit utterance through the music, that brought that royal audience to its feet on the occasion of its first rehearsal, and ever since in every land, it is the custom.for the audience, Christian and infidel, to reverently stand during the singing of the "Hallelujah Chorus."
Music as a performance is one thing, and its use in divine worship is another. Its power in worship is only manifest when it has its proper place and relation to the worshipers, and becomes a simple medium through which is poured forth, from rjearts that know the "joy of salvation" praise, prayer or adoration to Him whose they are; or a means of expressing or enforcing the truths of the psalm or hymn; and thus, if you please, it is simply an emphatic way of preaching.
What speech is to the intellect song is to the heart.
The minister in the pulpit reads the psalm or hymn, and so far as the power of speech may go he brings out the truth thereof. Then the worshipers, with the voice of united song, take it up as the language of their own hearts, and pour forth their praises to Him who alone is worthy. And as the Spirit, according to His promise, guides into the truth and fills each heart with a sense of its reality, then is made manifest the power and blessing of the "service of song."
2. That the service of song may be effective we must, as in I. Corinthians, xiv., 7, "Sing with the understanding." "Even things without life-giving sound, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piper or harper?" If these things without life are to be clearly intelligible how much more should living human voices be understood. Paul says, "Let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret;" and just so in singing. If the choir sing in an unknown tongue let them have an interpreter, but if they sing in their own vernacular let them so sing that there shall be no need of one.
Again he says (I Cor. xiv., 14), "If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth but my understanding is unfruitful." Illustrations of this are not uncommon in the prayer-meeting where some one in a distant part of the room undertakes to lead in a tone too feeble to be intelligible to those around him. While he may be praying with the spirit, he is become a barbarian to those who would join with him. Again (i5th verse), "I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing (in the same way) with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also."
In my native town lives an old man now, who is always in his pew on the Sabbath, and no matter what the tune—new or old, high or low. loud or soft, he is always ready with his part, for it is always the same, and no matter whether there be scores or hundreds—like the bass note of an organ when the key sticks—it may always be heard. While, no doubt, his spirit sings, his understanding can hardly be said to be fruitful, at least so far as others are concerned. Paul plainly means that if we have voices, and the use of our powers, we are responsible for using them to the edification of others. And as we see how God is using the singing of the gospel in these days to reach men's hearts, it ought to stimulate us to a more general education in this direction, until the ability to read the music would be as common as to read the hymns. Why not?
3. To sing with the understanding I must be clear on two points: First, is what I sing true? and second, am I true in singing it? First, is what I sing true? Perhaps one of the greatest hindrances to power in the "service of song" lies in the fact that in the vast number of hymns that have been written, some have found their way into use (more or less) that are simply the production of human wisdom or fancy, and when brought under the light of God's word are found to be but chaff. They may be good sentiment and have poetic flow, but if they do not contain the everlasting truth of God's word, power or blessing can not flow from them. It is the Spirit's office to take of the things that are Christ's and show them unto us; but if there be nothing of His in it, what has the spirit to do? We have no promise of blessing on that which stands only in the wisdom of man, apart from the wisdom of God, for man's wisdom is foolishness in His sight. As it is written, " He that hath a dream, let him tell his dream, but he chat hath my word, let him speak it faithfully; for what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord." If we want power we must not sing dreams, but the pure wheat of the gospel, according to the word of God!
Second, if what I sing is true, am I true in singing it? It is not enough to sing the truth, but we must stand where we can make it the sincere language of our own hearts. Not long since I overheard a friend of mine ask a man—a church member—the question, "Are you saved?" To which he calmly replied: "It is a very solemn thing, sir, for any man this side of the grave to say he is saved." "Yes," said my friend, "It would be a solemn thing for any man to say he had a thousand dollars in his pocket if he did not have; but if he did have it would quite alter the case." And yet from childhood, I doubt not, this canny Scotchman had been singing.
"The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green, he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
"Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me,
And God's house forevermore
My dwelling place shail be."
And what precious truth this is, and with what power and blessing it comes to the trusting child of God. But suppose you just ask this man the question- "Is it true that the Lord is your shepherd? Is it true that God's house is to be your dwelling-place forevermore?" I think I hear him answer, "It is a solemn thing, sir, for any man this side the grave to say that." And so.it is, if he do not say it truthfully, and though he may sing it with the voice of a Brignoli, a Sims Reeves, a Whitney, aye, or angel from heaven, if he be not true in singing it, it can have no power except it be to condemn. How, then, can we expect blessing to flow from those who, when thus singing, are changing the precious truth into a lie upon their lips?
But says one, what shall we do? Must we stop singing?"
In the first place, if the truth condemns, be honest, accept the situation and turn to God by an earnest, unconditional surrender to 'His Son as your Savior, for "There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Tesus-" And then, being on the side of truth, when you sing it will not only bring blessing to your own soul, but to those who hear. I remember an instance of a lady in Dundee, Scotland, that will illustrate. We were all singing the hymn:
"I've found a friend, O, such a friend,
He loved me ere I knew Him.
He drew me with the cords of love.
And thus he bound me to Him.
And n>iiii,i my heart still closely twine
Those ties, which naught can sever,
For I am His and He is mine.
Forever and forever."
And as she sung along, the thought stole over ner that she was dishonest in singing such utterances; that although she knew about Jesus she never had accepted Him as her Savior and friend, and that the language of her own lips condemned her, and right there she accepted the situation that she was «ondemned and that Jesus was the only friend that could help her, and before leaving the room that night she did surrender to him and became one of the most successful and earnest workers in the inquiry meetings. Then she could sing "I've found a friend," and be true in singing it. And so, fellow-singer, I would say to thee, don't stop singing, but "Go thou and do likewise;" surrender to Christ; accept Him as your Savior and Redeemer and then on redemption ground you can sing with the Psalmist, and be true in singing:
"He took me from a fearful pit
And from the miry clay.
And on a rock he set my feet.
.Establishing my way.
"He put a new song in my mouth,
Our God to magnify."
I know of nothing so well calculated to promote the worship of God as to get this new song in the heart:
"He put a new song in my mouth.
Our God to magnify." ^
And the result will be that
"Many shall see it and shall fear.
And on the Lord rely."
To have the new song in the heart is to be a new creature in Christ Jesus. Then old things pass away. All things become new. A lady once read a book recommended by a friend, but was somewhat disappointed in finding it less interesting than she anticipated; but later she made the acquaintance of its author. She admired him. She grew to love him, and he won her heart. On returning to the book again she was amazed at her former stupidity in failing to discover the beauty and charm that now seemed to glitter upon every page. It was a new book to her. It was written by the one who had won her heart. So, the simple gospel song that was once so uninteresting, so meager, and almost empty, becomes a new thing, full of sweetness and charm when we wake up to the discovery that it tells the story of His love, who laid down His life that He might win us to Himself; that He might make us His bride. I never listen to the grand oratorios of the old masters but I am seized with a desire to wield such harmonies for the glory of my Master, for the "new song" in the heart is so grandly sublime, and my poor pen so feeble and inadequate. And then I think, perhaps if I could do so, it would defeat the very object of my desire and only lead the hearer to exclaim, "Oh, what music!" instead of, "Oh, what a Savior!"
We are told of a great painter who once undertook to represent the scene of Jesus with His disoples as they were assembled around the supper-table for the last time. He had summoned all his powers as an artist to depict the heavenly visage of the divine and central One. The work was completed; a group of admiring friends were gazing on the picture. One of them called attention to the exquisite beauty of the cups and vessels on the table, when to their astonishment the artist with one sweep of his brush blotted them out of the picture. The form of the Savior was to be the focal point—the central figure, and anything that would interfere with that idea was out of, proportion, and a blemish so serious that it could not be tolerated; and so it is with the "new song," Jesus is the focal point, the central figure, and the music that recognizes this and keeps Him there, is the music that will best promote the worship of God and the spread of the gospel. And the music that does not put the truth in the foreground, but by its beauty, its excellence, its grandeur or its anything else, takes the central place for itself, if we are true to our Master as the painter was to his art, in the name of the Master what shall we do with it?
When Mr. McGranahan had finished his paper, which was well received by the audience. Mr. Moody remarked that the Question Drawer had been omitted from the programme that the subject of church music might be the better ventilated. Having requested the singing of two hymns, one, "Jesus Shall Reign," to the grand music of "The Watch on the Rhine," and the other, "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?"
Mr. Moody himself had something tb say on the important topic still presented to the brethren for further discussion. He said that he knew it was a delicate subject, but that he thought the time had come to speak out. He wfendcred that a man, such as Mr. Morton on the previous day had mentioned, could know any fear and trembling before getting up to address an audience. For his own part Mr. Moody never had a feeling of this kind for such a reason, but when it came to hearing back of him one of those high-toned choirs singing an unknown tune, then came a time when he was really embarrassed. He had once occupied a pulpit when he gave out a hymn that he felt sure they couldn't set a strange tune to; they surely wouldn't find something new for "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," but they did.
In Boston not long since Mr. Moody was attending one of its most prominent churches, only to be distressed throughout the entire service by seeing the organist, when he desisted from his performance, take up a Sunday newspaper, and read to within five minutes of the close of the sermon. By such conduct and spirit a minister was fettered in his work. Wasn't it time to speak out, exclaimed Mr. Moody. There might be one in every twenty-five or fifty who wanted the music that he abominated, but the congregations, as a whole, wanted something they could understand, and their numbers were diminishing because they couldn't get it. If anybody advocated the use of that kind of a choir that embarrassed him let him speak out. Some one on the platform suggesting that perhaps there might be more profit in reading a newspaper than in listening to some preachers, Mr. Moody warmly retorted that he didn't think a Christian man ought to read Sunday newspapers. An old man in the audience spoke up and asked if one couldn't ride in the horsecai-s on Sunday. "No, tersely rejoined Mr. Moody: "you don't want to take their Sunday away from somebody else.
Mr. Moody also seemed to hold strong views on the propriety of Sunday railroad travelling.
Shortly he called upon Major Whittle, for the soul of both of them was in this subject, and the latter advanced and said that he would as soon have an unconverted preacher to preach as an unconverted singer to sing. He held that it must be abominable in the sight of God. He strengthened his assertion by affirming that whenever there came a revival in the church the singing was always on the part of the people and God blessed the work. What power, he reminded his hearers, had there been in Mr. Bliss, with whom he went forth to preach Christ, when he sat down by the organ and sang God's truth Major Whittle had sat in Spurgeon's vast tabernacle, where 5,000 people united in praising God, and there he had felt himself nearer Heaven than in any other place on earth.
But the day was drawing to its close. So Mr. Moody, doubtless with his soul refreshed by the timely words of his clerical lieutenants, asked the singing by Mr. Sankey of the dear old "Ninety and Nine." ,
Mr. Sankey complied. But first, as is much his wont, he spoke a few words of earnest prayer that help might be his when soon he should sing the song across the waters, in the land where it was written. Then asking that there might be loyalty in the hearts of all who sang in the service of Christ, this big, tender man of simple song, probably for the last time in Chicago for many a day, sang, amid the silence that moves by its silence, the verses of the touching gospel hymn,
'There were ninety and nine that safety lay
In the shelter of the fold."
Rev. Dr. Henson, of the First Baptist Church, rose, after the singing, and said: *
I do not believe in a pulpit performance and I do not believe in a choir performance in a church. There are plenty of places to perform in without going into the house of God. A church is not for performances, but for work; and I believe that the minister is responsible for the character of these services of song, and not the choir. I believe if a minister cannot control the character of the singing in his church, and keep it in Christian hands and in Christian ways, he is not fit for a minister, and had better abdicate. [Laughter and applause.] I believe ministers are consecrated for the regulation of the services of God's house, and that the singing is a part of that service. I remember going once to New York, to preach for a church that had no pastor. Before I went the leader
of the music in the church sent me a note saying that I need not bother myself about the selection of music for the service I was to conduct. I sent him word that if he would come down to see me I would adapt my sermon to his music. And he came down—in more senses than one. [Laughter.] I have heard here soloists that lifted me up to the very throne of God. I have heard a quartet that made my soul respond to the soul of the music. I believe in such music as that. [Applause.]
Dr. Herrick Johnson then rose and said:
And yet there is a word to be said about that. I know a preacher who did not know the difference between an opera tune and "Old Hundred." [Laughter.] No doubt this charge of the singing in a church ought to be in somebody's hands who has intelligence in the matter, and who will see that it shall be made such a part of the worship as it ought to be in a Christian church; just as much a part of the service as the prayer—and a song is a prayer when properly voiced, as it is in many of our homes. I believe in a quartet choir, and in a trained choir, and I believe in time we shall have them all over the country as we have them here in Chicago. I hope we shall always have true church singing—singing from the heart; music that makes melody in our hearts and souls. Now, in reference to what we shall sing! We want hymn-books that may be used by all. Songs should be sensible, and they should not be unscriptural. I have seen songs in song books that were neither sensible nor Scriptural—songs that express a state of quiescence simply, with no activity, no high service for God, and we ought not to be set to singing those.
The exercises of the afternoon were concluded by Dr. Kennard, •who pronounced the benediction.
It is no use piling up adjectives in reference to the crowd that tried to get into Farwell Hall this last night to get a last glimpse of Mr. Moody and hear the last words that that great leader of the people should utter before he should leave Chicago. It will give one some idea of the jam that took place to say that many people did not leave the hall, and at 6 o'clock there were i,oob people on the sidewalk waiting patiently until the policemen at the door should say they might pass into the hall. No sooner were the doors opened than the hall was filled in every part, and the people packed in a manner that would have disgusted sardines. Even the stairways were crowded, although there was no more hope of hearing a word said in the hall above than there was getting into that hall. The speakers who came late had to be lifted over the crowd that choked up the entrance. As for the members of the press who found themselves detailed to report the meeting, after their experience in passing through that crowd no one would wonder that thev could pass through key-holes after secrets. It would in theory be easier to pass through the eye of a needle than gain admission to the hall through the crowd last night.
As the people were there and must remain it was concluded to open the meeting nearly an hour earlier than announced, ;:ncl at 7:10 o'clock Mr. Moody appeared and announced a hymn, which was sung with enthusiasm. Mr. Morehead made the opening prayer, and Dr. Goodwin followed him in a stirring speech, urging that the people consecrate themselves to the work. He spoke of his recent sojourn in California, and the work he had undertaken since his return. He believed that every man should present himself for such work as the Lord would have him to do.
Mr. William Reynolds, of Peoria, followed Dr. Goodwin, and after a prayer by the Rev. Mr. Williams, Professor Morehead and Mr. Lattimer made short speeches.
Dr. Hatfield took the stand to perpetuate the spirit of the evening. He said that the three days past had been days of special interest, red-letter days in the lives of the many present. It all reminded him of a scene described in the holy book, the scene of the transfiguration, when Peter said, "Let us make three tabernacles." He would have all stay there permanently. .So, continued the speaker, would the people who had attended the expiring convention look back and wish that they might continue to dwell together. Yet it might be that all had lingered long enough in the place of transfiguration, so let the people go forth into the field and take up the work.
The speaker kindly and wisely bade no one be unhappy that he or she could not do just what, or in the very way, that some one else did, something for the cause. For each there was a mission. The great thing was to be found honest and faithful in work. For fidelity of service were the rewards at the last day meted out. Some one had said (Johnson, thought the speaker), that if two of the chiefest angels in all heaven were to descend to earth, one to be a prime minister of a State and the other to sweep the streets of its capital, with* them there would be known no difference in vocation, whether this was the office of minister and the other that of scavenger.
To these servants of God-there was no precedence. The sweeping of a room might, in the very nature of the action, be made divine. To glorify God as did the great sun was a grand tiling, but it was no mean thing to be as the little star that shone in the firmament above. The mighty ocean was grand, but the little brook had its place as well. There were no small things in God's cause.
The speaker bade his hearers when they departed to their homes to go with stout, brave, Christian hearts. Much had Dr. Hatfield and all heard about testimony, but the former had in his mind an instance of testimony that was the most affecting he had ever heard. And this testimony was the testimony of a poor deaf and dumb girl who, at a camp meeting, in the sight of all, testified mutely, with her simple gestures, that her heart was God's. Very much like a camp meeting, resumed the speaker, was the convention, though, he jocosely added to the amusement of many, all the brethren could not appreciate the fact. Dr. Hatfield continued in saying that he had noticed' that at times of revival, men who had been impressed and yet turned away, were in a worse condition than before; and this seemed to be in recognition of a mental law that truth not acted upon became a curse. If good resolutions were to be their own end, then those who had come and made them had been better off to have remained away.
He charged his hearers to see that their resolutions were followed up, that they might not be like men looking into a glass and then going away to forget what manner of men they were. Revealing in himself the liberal, undenominational spirit that seemed to pervade the whole convention, Dr. Hatfield declared that if he and his associated brethren proved themselves bigoted and narrow-spirited after all that had passed^ they would all desire to be tumbled neck and heels out of the fraternity. Pleasantly confessing that the barriers seemed so thoroughly burned away that he couldn't distinguish the Methodist brethren from the others, this man of God, of hard sense and hardihood, with all his heart, quoted Bunyan, who puts into the mouth of some one in his Christian narrative the remark that Mr. Prejudice had fallen and broken his leg, but that it would have been better if he had broken his neck.
Mr. Moody then called on Mr. J. S. Smithson.