Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Chapter X

CHAPTER X.

THEIR ENGLISH VISIT.

After the Chicago fire, Mr. Moody received what he termed a "call from on High" to visit England. So, in 1873, accompanied by Mr. Sankey and their respective families, they arrived in Liverpool. Mr. Moody had previously received two invitations from London clergymen to come and hold meetings in that city, and it was with this in view that he made the trip. On his arrival in England, what was his surprise to learn that both ministers were dead. The evangelists had taken but a small amount of money with them, and they were consequently about stranded. Mr. Moody's financial genii, however, came to his aid, and he at once issued an edition of song books, which brought them in sufficient money to pay their expenses, and became a wonderful success from the start, many thousands of copies being sold and much revenue being derived therefrom. Mr. Moody remembered that he had had some correspondence with a minister at York. He wrote to that gentleman of his arrival in London, and of his disappointment in not finding the two friends he had come to see, and suggested that it might be well to start the meetings at York. The York minister replied that he did not think the time propitious for a revival, but this did not prevent Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey from going there.

Their reception was not the most cordial. Their methods of advertising were so new and different from what the conservative English church people had been used to, that they were looked upon with suspicion. They advertised their meetings in the daily press, and placed large posters on the dead walls.

At the first prayer-meeting, held on Sunday morning in a small room of the Association building, only four persons were present; and Mr. Moody has characterized that as the best service he ever attended. The clergy looked coldly on the evangelists as intruders, and most of the churches were closed to them. They labored on bravely against these discouragements for a month, and were comforted by seeing above two hundred converts to Christ. Their work at Sunderland began on Sunday, July 27th, at the invitation of a Baptist pastor. The ministers still held aloof, and even the Young Men's Christian Association eyed them suspiciously for a week before offering the hand of fellowship. But the meetings steadily waxed larger.

The evangelists were invited to Newcastle-on-theTyne by the chief ministers of that town, and were heartily sustained by the leaders of the congregations. And now Mr. Moody confessed his hope. "We are on the eve of a great revival which may cover Great Britain, and perhaps make itself felt in America. And why may not the fire burn as long as I live? When this revival spirit dies, may I die with it." His prophetic words met an immediate fulfillment. All the meetings were thronged with attentive listeners, and as many as thirty-four services were held in a single week. A noonday prayer meeting was organized, while special efforts were made to reach the factory hands and business men. An all-day meeting was held on September ioth, wherein seventeen hundred participated. One hour was spent in Bible reading, another on the promises, and the last in an examination of what the Scriptures teach concerning Heaven. The town was wonderfully awakened, and every night sinners were drawn to the uplifted Savior. thinkers. He declared his utter disbelief in the value of prayer, and defied Mr. Moody to test its power on him. The evangelist accepted the challenge in faith, and remembered him continually in his petitions till he heard of his finding Christ, months afterward. An imprescive watch-meeting was held on the last night of the year 1873, and a special blessing was besought for the British people. The week of prayer, from the 4th to the nth of January, 1874, was observed throughout all Scotland, as a season of united prayer for invoking the Lord to visit the nation, and the entire world in mercy. The most remarkable feature of this revival has been described as "the presence and the power of the Holy Ghost, the solemn awe, the prayerful, believing, expectant spirit, the anxious inquiry of unsaved souls, and the longing of believers to grow more like Christ—their hungering and thirsting after holiness." Similar characteristics have marked the advent of these yoke-fellows in every community. This mission in Edinburgh, which lasted till the 21st of January, 1874, resulted in adding three thousand to the city churches.

Edinburgh was prepared for the manifestation of a signal blessing by a series of union prayer-meetings held in October and November, which softened and unified the hearts of Christians of various names. Hence it was that the evangelists were welcomed in such a spirit of sympathy that captious criticism was unthought of. The ministry of song was an unheard-of innovation. Yet the rooted aversion of the Scottish people to the singing of aught but psalms, gave way quickly to the evident testimony of the Spirit to the spirituality of his messages and the tenderness of his voice. On the first day, Sunday, November 23d, the Music Hall was thronged with two thousand auditors, and many more were excluded. Five hundred met at noon on Monday for prayer, and that attendance was soon doubled. Meetings for inquirers was held after each service. Three hundred in the first week confessed their sins had been forgiven. Their ages ranged from seventy-five to eleven. Students and soldiers, poor and rich, the backsliding, intemperate, and skeptical, were all represented. The largest halls were found to be too small to accommodate the eager audiences. A striking case of conversion was that of a notorious infidel, the chairman of a club of free

Copyright, 1000, by Root. O. Law.

MR. MOODY'S CHARACTERISTIC ATTITUDE. This was a favorite gesture of Mr. Moody when making a telling scriptural point.

At Dundee, meetings were held in the open air, at which from ten to sixteen thousand were present. Four hundred converts attended the meeting for praise and instruction. The city of Glasgow was reached on Sunday, February 8th. The first audience consisted of three thousand Sunday-school teachers; the prayer-meeting opened with half that number. The Crystal Palace, which held above five thousand, was always crowded, though admission could only be had by ticket. To meet the emergency, special meetings were organized for young men and young women, inquirers, workingmen, and the intemperate. Seventeen thousand signatures to the pledge were secured here. So the work of awakening went on for three months, steadily increasing in power. On the last Sunday afternoon, a great audience of some twenty or thirty thousand gathered in the Palace garden, and hung on the words of Mr. Moody, as he spoke from the seat of a carriage. More than three thousand united to the city congregations, the large proportion of whom were under twenty-five. Short visits were then made to Paisley, Greenock and Gourock. In the summer a tour was taken through the Highlands, for the sowing of the seed of the Word. Meetings were held in the open air at Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness, and elsewhere; and many souls were won. In Ireland, the common people heard the preacher gladly. The good work began at Belfast, on Sunday, September 6, 1874. To reach as many as possible, separate sessions were had for women and for men, for professing Christians, for the unconverted, and for inquirers, for young men and for boys. Huge gatherings were also addressed in the Botanic Gardens, a space of six acres being filled with attentive hearers. On Monday, September 27th, a remarkable meeting of eight hours for inquirers was held, wherein above two hundred young men came unto Jesus and took His yoke upon them. And when the young converts were collected into a farewell meeting, tickets for 2,150 were granted to such applicants.

Dublin, five-sixths of whose inhabitants were not Protestant, awoke into a newness of religious life on the advent of the evangelists. From the 25th of October to the 29th of November, the whole city was stirred in a wonderful way. The great Exhi bition Palace contained audiences in the evenings and on Sundays of from twelve to fifteen thousand. At the prayer-meetings and Bible readings, the number often exceeded two thousand. Many Roman Catholics were attentive listeners, and parish priests as well. The stillness of these vast assemblies was very marked. Truly the Lord was faithful in answering the prayer Mr. Moody continually off ered in private: "O God, keep the people still, hold the meeting in Thy hand.'' These labors ended with a three-days' convention, at which eight hundred ministers attended, from all parts of Ireland. Above two thousand young converts confessed their new-born faith.

Manchester for eight months had besought a bless, ing on its people; and these preparatory services were closed with a Communion in which two thousand Christians united. The month of December was devoted here to evangelistic work. In spite of the wintry weather, the halls were crowded, and overflow meetings had to be organized. Here, as elsewhere, the large proportion of men in attendance was noticeable. The city was mapped out into districts, and the duty of distributing cards at every dwelling was assigned to a large corps of volunteers. On one side of these was printed the hymn "Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By;" and on the other, a short address by Mr. Moody, his text being Revelations iii., :2o. The efforts of the Young Men's Christian Association to purchase a suitable building met with a cordial indorsement, and a fourth of the entire amount needed was obtained at the first public meeting.

In Sheffield, the scheme of house-to-house visitation had to be abandoned in order to secure the cooperation of the clergy of the Church of England. The opening meeting was held on New Year's eve, and the address in that watch-night service was upon Work. The great congregation, in response to Mr. Moody's request, finished the old year and began the new on their knees. For a fortnight the dwellers in this industrial town collected in such numbers as to pack the halls and the sidewalks about them, so that the evangelist had frequently to speak in the open air. The work at Birmingham, "the toy-shop of the world," was also limited for lack of time. The spacious Town Hall was crowded on January 17, 1875; and for the other gatherings, even Bingley Hall, which held twelve thousand, proved too small. Another Christian convention was held, at which above a thousand ministers attended. Sixteen hundred converts received tickets to the special meeting for counsel. After pausing a week for a vacation, these lay apostles began their ministry of a month at Liverpool on February 7th. Victoria Hall, a wooden structure, able to shelter eleven thousand, was expressly erected for their reception. It was crowded at all the night services, while an average of six thousand attended the Bible lectures and noon meetings for prayer. These three services were held every day except Saturday, when these devoted laborers took the rest which their overtaxed energies so imperatively demanded. The house-to-house visitation was resumed here, and efforts were made to have a personal talk with the non-churchgoers. The corner-stone for the new hall of the Y. M. C. A. was laid, and a convention held for two days, which was largely attended by ministers and laymen.

Four months were devoted to evangelizing the gigantic metropolis of London. Four centers were selected for preaching. Agricultural Hall, at Islington, North London, could seat 14,000 and give standing room for 6,000 more; Bow Road Hall, in the extreme east had 10,000 sittings; the Royal Opera House in the west end was in the aristocratic quarter of Westminster; and Victoria Theater, in the south, was used until Camberwell Hall was completed in June. This gospel campaign—the mightiest ever undertaken by any evangelist—was preceded by a course of union prayer-meetings for five months, that the Lord might prepare the way for a glorious manifestation of His power by purging* the hearts of His own followers. A private conference was also held in advance with fifteen hundred of the city clergy, in order to explain the usual plan of procedure, and remove any misapprehensions that might exist. The whole city was parceled out for canvassing, and countless bands of yoke-fellows were sent out to leave at every dwelling the tract drawn up by Mr. Moody, and to tender an invitation to the services. Among these laborers was an old woman aged eighty-five years, who fulfilled her duties faithfully, and met everywhere words of kindness. This wonderful mission was opened on Tuesday evening, the 9th of March, at Islington. For a time the services were met with mockery and ribald speeches without, by disorderly men and women. But these demonstrations soon subsided, as the real piety of the speakers became evident. Fully 80,000 attended the services of the first three days, and 45,000 heard the three addresses on the Sunday following. At the Royal Opera House, the nobility and gentry of England were directly reached by Bible readings, and members of the royal family were frequently present. The last gospel meeting was greater than any preceding, and a great number arose to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. The final meeting of thanksgiving was held at Mildmay Park Conference Hall, on July 12th. Seven hundred ministers were present to say farewell to the evangelist, whom they were so loth to see depart. Dr. A. Bonar testified that the work of increase was still going on in Glasgow, with at least 7,000 members already added to its churches. Other ministers bore witness to the abundant fruit of the revival. Then, after silent prayer, the two evangelists hastily withdrew, not daring to expose themselves to the ordeal of parting with so many dear associates. They had held 285 meetings in London; these were attended by fully 2,500,000 people; the expenses were $140,000. These companions came together at the final meetings in Liverpool. They sailed homeward on the 6th of August, attended by many loving prayers, and arrived in New York on the 14th.

It was during their first meetings in England, that a rumor was circulated throughout the British Isles, that Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey were frauds of the rankest order, and that they had no standing whatever in America, and particularly in Chicago, from whence they hailed. Mr. Moody did not pay much attention to this at first, but it began to be so widely circulated that it appeared as if the consequences might be serious. So he cabled to his friends in America, and the ministers of Chicago endorsed him in the following resolutions:

"We, the undersigned pastors of the city-of Chicago, learning that the Christian character of D. L. Moody has been attacked, for the purpose of destroying his influence as an evangelist in Scotland, hereby certify that his labors in the Young Men's Christian Association, and as an evangelist in this city and elsewhere, according to the best information we can get, have been evangelical and Christian in the highest sense of those terms; and we do not hesitate to commend him as an earnest Christian worker, worthy of the confidence of our Scotch and English brethren, with whom he is now laboring; believing that the Master will be honored by them in so receiving him among them as a co-laborer in the vineyard of the Lord."

While holding meetings in Liverpool, an immense audience was assembled one evening, which was being addressed by the Rev. Chas. Garrett, a Methodist minister of that city. Mr. Garrett, in his remarks, deplored the fact that there was no place in Liverpool or any of the large English cities, where workmen could find recreation without spending their time in the saloons and drinking places. He thought that it would be a splendid scheme if some plan could be devised whereby the workmen could be looked after. This gave Mr. Moody an idea, and he was seen in a hurried whispered consultation with a number of the gentlemen who occupied the stage. Mr. Qarrett finished his remarks while Mr. Moody was still whispering. Mr. Moody requested him to continue for ten minutes. Mr. Garrett continued, and at the close of his remarks, Mr. Moody announced that he had just formed the British Workmen Company—limited — with a capital of $50,000. That Lord So-and-So—indicating one of the gentlemen on the stage—had subscribed a thousand pounds; Lord So-and-So, another stage occupant, another thousand pounds, and so on, until forty thousand pounds had been subscribed inside of ten minutes. Mr. Moody then announced that Mr. Garrett would take charge of the fund and proceed to the erection of coffee houses, as outlined in his address, and also suggested that Mr. Garrett raise the balance necessary to make up the total capital. Mr. Garrett protested that the rules of his church would not permit him to remain longer in Liverpool, he having finished the three years' term of his pastorate. Mr. Moody told him, he would fix that, and he did. The coffee houses were established in Liverpool and spread to all of the large cities of England. They paid, in dividends, to the stockholders, 25 per cent for many years, and never less than 10 per cent. In this connection it may be well to state that Mr. Garrett, who remained at the head of the institution for many years, was the first minister of the Methodist Church in England who was ever allowed to remain in one place longer than the stipulated three years.

In speaking once of the incidents of his European visit, Mr. Moody told the following story:

"I went to London in 1872 just to spend three or four months, and one night I spoke in a prayermeeting. I went into a Congregational church, and I preached with an unusual power. There didn't seem to be anything out of the regular line in the MR. MOODY ON A MORNING DRIVE.

in the habit of rising early and, while at Northfield, usually took an early morning drive over the settlement

and farms.

service. In fact, I was a little disappointed. I didn't seem to have much liberty there. That evening, at 6.30, I preached to men. There seemed to be a great power. It seemed as if the building was filled with the glory of God, and I asked for an expression when I got through. They rose by the hundreds. I said, 'They don't know what this means;' so I thought I would put another test. I just asked them to step back into the chapel—all those that wanted to become Christians, but no one else. They flocked into the chapel by the hundreds. I was in great perplexity. I couldn't understand what it meant. I went down to Dublin the next day, and on Tuesday morning I got a dispatch saying, 'Come to London at once and help us.' I didn't know what to make of it, but I hastened back to London and labored there ten days, and there were four hundred names recorded at that time. For months I could not understand what it meant, but by-and-by I found out."