In connection with the passing of the world's great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, many instances of his great labors are brought to mind. The kingdom of heaven receives into its membership many who are humble in life, of limited faculties, but it also has a place for men destined to take their places in the world's history. To this class belonged Mr. Moody.
Moody was a product of the Christian church. That he was incidentally a product of the Congregational church is of little moment. It is, however, a significant fact that he was a product of the Christian church.
The story is told of a young man who left a country home to enter a wholesale shoe house in New York city. Every Sabbath morning he was seen in the balcony of the church, over which Dr. Kirk was at that time pastor. His head was often times bowed in sleep when the sermon closed, but one day he awoke in time to hear the closing words. "For His sake, Amen." He went away thinking, and as a result of that thought the world had Dwight L. Moody, whose earthly ministry closed last Friday. He was a product of the Christian church and the finest example of the possibilities of consecrated labor.
If "minister" means "a man set apart," if it means one who has passed through some educational institution, then Moody was not a minister. But if you go back to the first use by the church of the word then you will find that he was a minister.
His services stirred both worlds. Across the water he shook the church into a new life, and in this country his work resulted in the redemption of myriad souls. We are told that as the result of his consecrated labors we have had the greatest Christian work this world has ever seen. Compare him with the greatest pulpit orators, men prominent in all denominations, and Dwight L. Moody towers a little above them all.
What was the secret of his power? In the first place, Moody was a most profoundly educated man. He was never in a college, never entered the halls of a divinity school, never even had an academy education, yet he was an educated man. He had the power to think upon large themes and he was a student of the Bible. The man who will study this book forty years will become an educated man. I would not under-estimate the learning of schools. Go to school, go to college just as much as you can, but let me remind you if you are studying this book you are getting a university education.
Mr. Moody was a man of splendid poise. An evangelist necessarily has a tendency toward undue emotionalism; to attract the public by working upon their emotions. Moody balanced the emotional side by the educational side, in establishing the schools at Northfield.
Evangelists are apt to go to extremes, to have some peculiar hobby, some different doctrine. Moody was surrounded by a lot of religious cranks, men who held peculiar views in abnormal proportions. Through it all he never lost his poise.
Another temptation of the evangelist is narrowness. Into his life comes unconsciously this spirit of narrowness. Yet Dwight L. Moody was as broad a man as the country held. George Adams Smith, the great liberal thinker of Scotland, was invited by Mr. Moody to speak at Northfield. At once a great hue and cry arose and some of the leading evangelists of the country went to him and protested. Moody took time to pray over the matter and finally decided that Smith should come. Moody's broadness was based on character.
He was a man who depended utterly on God. When asked when he was born he answered: "I was born in the flesh in 1837, but I was born in the spirit in 1851."
Moody never had that smirk of boundless self conceit. He once said: "I am thoroughly tired of the man who is so good he can save himself.''
Nobody knows how much money Moody collected, but he gathered an immense amount. It has been estimated as high as $10,000,000. He had a chance to be a wealthy man, yet he died poor. He lived what he preached. He called upon men to sacrifice, to live the life that Jesus lived.
Out in the little white farm house in the Berkshire hills, amid all the beauty and grandeur of nature his life fluttered out and the angels came and took his soul to the heaven above. That was the end of Dwight L. Moody.—Rev. R. W. McLaughlin, Kalamazoo, Mich.
We are accustomed to think of Paul as great, and so he was. I venture to believe that there are tens of hundreds all around us that are easily his equals — men, therefore, that would be just as mighty in their apostleship if they had the same measure of God's spirit upon them, had allowed themselves to be made as divine as he—men who would be able to give an equal impulse to the progress of Christian civilization.
The world has lost very much such a man in the person of Mr. Moody. We hear a good deal said at present about his exceptional tact, and about his phenomenal good sense and other striking features that are supposed to have been part of his original endowment. As for his native abilities, the story, I believe, still remains uncontradicted that when he first applied for church membership it was proposed to receive him on probation simply, as he appeared insufficiently intelligent to appreciate the meaning of the step he was taking.—Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst, New York.
The death of Mr. Moody attracts the attention of the Christian world. Though not an old man, his vast influence for good had continued for half a century, reaching into every English-speaking country.
To have seen and heard a really great man for a single time is a permanent gain to every young person; and such opportunity should be sought at the cost of trouble and expense if need be.
It was my good fortune to have been somewhat familiar with Mr. Moody's work during his earlier years. Most young and middle-aged people now think of Mr. Moody as an evangelist only, as that work has, during the past twenty-five or thirty years, largely overshadowed his earlier efforts. His prior activities that attracted attention were in the Sunday-schools and Young Men's Christian Associations. Little is now said of these, but I am not sure that they were not more far-reaching in results than even his noted evangelistic work in later years. They set in motion a new set of workers and new methods, the results from which are now difficult to fully appreciate. When Mr. Moody first went to Chicago, Sunday-schools were largely composed of children of church-going people, conducted in a formal manner not especially inviting to children. There had not been much of the "going out into the byways and hedges and compelling the wayward to come in," done at that time. His great Sundayschool, gathered almost exclusively from the worst city element, including young and old, attracted attention the country over. Then followed great gatherings of children from the churchless classes, like that at Akron, Ohio, built up by the late great manufacturer, Lewis Miller, so long the president of the Chautauqua Assembly, and in Philadelphia by John Wanamaker, the noted merchant and recent Postmaster-General, and others of national renown, manned by the best lay talent from every calling. The evangelical modern mission Sunday-schools, if not commencing with, was given a wonderful forwarding impetus by Mr. Moody's early work. For years he was the leading and inspiring spirit in the great Sunday-school assemblages of the land.
His vivifying influence on the few Y. M. C. A. Associations then struggling along under the prejudices of conservative churches and many good men, was even more marked. His desire to help young men living sinful lives seemed unbounded. He had been there himself. I have often heard him give his experiences before conversion, speaking of himself as a "miserable wharf rat on the docks of Boston. '' He seemed confident that every young man in like condition could be reached and reclaimed if Christians cared to make the effort. He developed a wonderful faculty of doing this himself and inspiring others to attempt it. He found the Y. M. C. A. the most efficient means for accomplishing the desired object. Under his influence the organization in Chicago became a great power. He had a faculty of getting moneyed persons interested in his projects. Such men as Marshall Field supported his work liberally, not only with their money, but by their influence as prominent business men. His efficiency in organizing these associations was soon recognized, and he was in demand all over the country. He was the life and directing power in all their great meetings. As representative of one of the more active associations in Ohio, I had opportunity to note his seemingly unconscious leadership during several years, in both state and national conventions, which aroused great admiration for the man. When I first commenced hearing him, he was but an indifferent speaker, so far as ordinary eloquence goes; but his earnestness was so transparently genuine that he was always listened to by all classes with great interest. The entire absence of any semblance to cant, his good sense and evident honesty of purpose were conspicuous in all his addresses.
His tact in managing difficult or delicate business never failed him. I remember what promised to be a most painful incident at an international convention being held in Portland, Me. It was at a morning business session, but the great hall was crowded. Delegates were present from nearly ever state, and several from England and Canada. Discussing some matters that brought opinions sharply differing, unguarded, harsh words from some of the hotheaded delegates threatened a disgraceful scene. Mr. Moody quickly and without occasioning any dissent, secured immediate adjournment, and called a prayer meeting for delegates only in a smaller room. It was soon filled, and the meeting opened, as I now remember it, with one of the most impressive prayers I have ever heard. Men who a few moments before faced each other with sullen looks and angry words followed in the service, and at the next session, the unfortunate business was disposed of in the best of feeling.
His eloquence and power as a speaker improved rapidly, and the desire to hear him was remarkable. At the state and national meetings of the Y. M. C. A. whenever he was announced for an address, however large the hall, provision was always made for one or two overflow meetings. It mattered not how distinguished speakers were provided, for these supplemental audiences, they always insisted on remaining till Mr. Moody appeared and spoke to them, after the principal meeting adjourned.
He spoke without notes, and with such readiness and ease that the common notion was that he neither made nor needed any special preparation. I had occasion to know that at least at that time this was a mistake. Whatever the character of the audience he expected to meet, he made the most careful and laborious preparation time would allow.
Personally, he was a plain, cheerful, easily approached, kindly-hearted man. Though commencing without position or special training, he did well an important part of the world's most important work of the last half of the nineteenth century. J. H. Reed, Riverside, Cal.
A great man has fallen—not a great scholar or thinker; not a great writer or theologian—but still a great man. Mr. Moody was great in his influence over men; great in the work he accomplished; great in that power which lives and shapes other lives which come after. He has made his mark upon the nineteenth century as but few men have done. His influence in all directions has been healthy, pure and always on the right side. The effect of his preaching upon preachers has been inspiring and helpful There were those who criticised him, but when his critics heard his glowing words, so full of the divine love, they could but acknowledge his sincerity and also his power. There are some lessons which the Christian churches should learn from the life work of Mr. Moody.
He has shown what a layman without great learning can do to advance Christianity. Mr. Moody had great administrative ability. He might have become a C. P. Huntington or a John Wanamaker in the business world. He chose to use his ability in doing God's work directly. In work for young men, in founding schools where those without money could secure an education, and in training workers for Christian service he has accomplished much.
He has made the fact plain that the gospel of Christ, preached simply and earnestly, will command a hearing and will transform the lives of those who accept it. He did not defend Christianity; he preached it. He did not prop up the cross of Christ lest it should fall; he pointed men to it and to Him who died upon it. With absolute faith in the teachings of the Bible, it was his mission to present a living Savior to dying men. He believed that in preaching there should be less art and more heart. Mr. Moody was a man of tender heart and of great faith in God, and these gave him great power w*th men.
"Servant of God, well done.
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy."
—Rev. E. A. Woods, First Baptist Church, San Francisco, Cal.
Whin death comes, as a rule, it is like an arrow pass lg through the air, which soon closes upon it, and all is tranquil again. But when such a great life and ornament of the church as the late Mr. Moody was, is quenched, such an event somewhat resembles the apocalyptic vial poured into that element named and which changed its temperature and produced fearful commotions.
Well do I remember how his visits to England were looked for by the churches with prayerful expectancy, and how his ministrations there stirred up the religious life of the whole country, and resulted in a glorious spiritual harvest. I shall never forget the pleasure it gave me while living in South Africa, when 1 read the reports of the wonderful work which the Lord was doing through His honored servant in this country. Often was my soul refreshed in the midst of the depressing influences of an African life, when I read some of his sweet evangelical utterances. He was a great personality, and a mighty religious force. His labors created an epoch in church life. There was but one Mr. Moody, though there are hosts of feeble imitators; as in England there was but one Mr. Spurgeon, though there were many who aped him.
No one can estimate the amount of good that was accomplished by that one man, whose death is sincerely mourned by English-speaking people to-day, throughout the world. He was no fiery recluse trying to preach the people into a new crusade; but like a mild and earnest seer, while he moved about among the people, he bore about with him a reverent consciousness that he dealt with the majesty of man, and by the magnetic force of spiritual life, drew around him all grades and conditions of human life, which he directed with marvelous power and clearness of thought and simplicity of language, to the only refuge for guilty men.
Thank God for the life and labors of Mr. Moody. —Rev. James Hughes, Scranton, Pa.
I was converted through Mr. Moody's preaching, fourteen years ago, at Chicago. He was preaching at the Chicago Avenue Church, known as "Moody's church." I was an infidel prior to hearing Mr. Moody, and used to swear by Bob Ingersoll, who was my patron saint. I dropped in on Mr. Moody one evening, just out of curiosity, knowing that he was preaching at this church. It was the first time I had heard him, and I was impressed from the start. I went there to study the speaker and the philosophy of what he said, as I always did when I heard an evangelist. That night he preached the first sermon on "The Love of God" that I had ever heard—and I was forty-four years old. The thing that took hold of me was the man's intense earnestness. His subject was "The Prodigal Son." He dwelt on the wonderful love of a father, and I got hungry to learn of that kind of love, and as a result of what I heard that night, I went away and was converted a few days afterward.
At that time I was living at Liberty, in this State, owned a fine farm and had everything on it that comfort required. I immediately sold my farm— threw it away, in fact—did not stop to get a bargain out of it, and went to preaching.
I got out a new book, about a month ago, on the Lord's Prayer, which I have dedicated to Mr. Moody.—Mr. Brown, Editor Ram's Horn.
What are the secrets of Mr. Moody's power and success? I answer: First, an overwhelming passion to serve Jesus Christ and redeem human souls. Second his teachableness. While a preacher and teacher, he was always in the attitude of a learner. Third, modesty and humility. He shrank from being the subject of flattery or even commendation. Once he said: "Strike me rather than praise me." Fourth, practical common sense. He always fished in the pools where the fish were. His greatest power consisted in his ability successfully to set others at work. His commendation of a worker, "She sees things to do," applied emphatically to
Copyright, 1900, by Robt. O. Law.
THE EMPTY CHAIR.
Mr. Moody-alway3 occupied this Chair in the pulpit at the Chicago Avenue Church when preaching there.
Mr. Moody. Fifth, his entire consecration. The story of his great yearning and waiting for months for the power of the Holy Ghost was one of the most fascinating of the confidential communications which he made in the Northfield gathering of Christian workers. He had power with God, and so had power with mankind beyond any other Christian leader of his time.
His death-bed scene was a touching and fitting close of his noble life. Knowing he was about to depart he gave tender and thoughtful counsel to his wife and children with reference to the continuance and development of the departments of Christian work which he had begun. As he grew weaker, and his vital forces ebbed, he suddenly exclaimed joyously: "I see earth receding; heaven is opening; God is calling me!" And this vigorous, aggressive, successful herald of Christianity was gone from earth to heaven. Shall we not yearn more than . ever before, to so live that we, too, may see the earth receding, heaven opening, and hear God calling us to greater service and reward?—Rev. Dr. Howard H. Russell, M. E. Church, Delaware, O.
While Henry Ward Beecher preached for many years to the largest congregation in America (about 5,000), and Charles Haddon Spurgeon addressed the largest in Great Britain (about 6,000), yet Dwight Lyman Moody has spoken to a much larger number of people in his wandering evangelistic work than either of the other distinguished divines, and perhaps to a larger number of persons than any other speaker of this or any other generation.
His scholarship and oratorical ability have been questioned, but there can be no doubt that he possessed a wonderful and magical power. At his last appearance in Los Angeles the capacity of Hazzard's pavilion was not only tested to the utmost, but the doors had to be closed against the throng that could not be accommodated. It has been so everywhere. The very last sermon he preached was listened to by 15,000 people in Kansas City.
But, while Mr. Moody was not a polished orator, he possessed a faculty for condensing the substance .of doctrines into pointed paragraphs and striking apothegms, and was decidedly fertile in apt and homely illustrations drawn from the common occurrences of life. He had an inexhaustible fund of anecdote and personal experience which, being related with detailed particularity, seemed very real, but so far as their verity was concerned, they often partook more of the nature of parable than fact. But the great Master has set the precedent, and doubtless Mr. Moody felt justified in embellishing the facts when he could thus make more effective use of his material.
Mr. Moody held a series of meetings in Boston two years ago. Great audiences filled Tremont Temple throughout his stay. His methods, intellectual, spectacular, and musical, were studied to ascertain the secret of his drawing power. Both secular and religious press analyzed and criticised his work. While the pews were crowded, cultured Boston listened coldly if not cynically. While the people appreciated his wit, eloquence, and home thrusts, they were unemotional, and at last the preacher became exasperated, and indulged in some vigorous remarks that seemed to have a local flavor, and did have the effect of arousing their slow susceptibilities.
After enlarging upon the sins of church members, Mr. Moody asked: "Why are your prayer-meetings so dead that you can hardly breathe in them? It is because of those things, my friends. If there is a man or woman here who has his property rented for anything disreputable, you have got to get out of it, or the curse of God will fall upon you. When you do a thing of that kind you are sure to have trouble in your families—your son or your daughter going wrong." At this point, the reporters state, there were such obvious signs of dissent or dislike in the audience that Mr. Moody was forced to notice them. "I dare say," he said, "that this kind of a talk throws a coldness over the meeting, but you have got to have a little coldness before you get warmed up. What we want is the revival of righteousness or nothing.''
Proceeding, he said: "There is a class of church members who labor under the delusion that if they are worldly Christians they are going to make the most of both worlds. That is a terrible delusion."
The following passage is almost Emersonian:
"Let us have done looking at obstacles; is there anything too hard for God? Think of this world. Think of the great mountains, its rivers, its inhabitants. Yet it is only a little ball thrown from the hand of Jehovah!"
Speaking of respectable people, and he lookedstraight into the faces of the well-dressed men and women in front of him, he exclaimed: "I suppose if you had gone to Sodom a week before its destruction, they would have told you that Lot was one of
the most influential men in the city—perhaps had the best turnout, and owned some of the best corner lots. A good many men, no doubt, thought that Lot was long-headed. You hear a man called longheaded and the best business man in Boston—and his family is going to ruin. He is long-headed, isn't he? The Lord pity him."
The Boston Transcript, reviewing the work of the evangelist, commented as follows: "The truth is, Mr. Moody is an intensely practical man. He preaches against sin—not as an abstract thing, but as something concrete, here, on the spot. He treats Christianity, not as a collection of beautiful aphorisms, but as affording a standard and a rule of everyday life. Therefore, it is that Tremont Temple hears him coldly."
Though Mr. Moody did not of late years dwell upon the pangs and anguish of the lost, as was his wont in the earlier period of his work, when he was known as a revivalist rather than as an evangelist, yet to the very last he was sturdily orthodox. A few months ago he was in Denver, and preached as usual to crowded houses. Vehemently defending the church dogmas, he said: "Take atonement: I'd leave my Bible right here—wouldn't take it home with me if I didn't know it was full of atonement. Take justification: Martin Luther found justification in the Bible, and he roused the world. Take the prophecies and follow them out. There are two hundred prophecies in the Bible, every one of which has been fulfilled or is in the state of being fulfilled now. There has never been anything done in this world that hasn't been prophesied in the Bible."
"Christ will take the burden of your care and sorrow as well as of your sin. Christ can bear them all. A good many people think he takes sin alone. Did you ever think how many volumes it would take to hold the account of the sorrows of the people here? A horse could not haul the record away. Every heart here has a sorrow, and many a man could get up and tell you a story to make you cry.
"The fact is God made our hearts too big for this world, and you can roll the whole earth into them and yet they are empty. This world is too small to satisfy our hearts."
"One day a young lawyer sought the kingdom of God and found it, and when he went home that night, he said: 'Wife, I'm going to serve the God of heaven. I'm going to confess Jesus Christ, and I want to have a family altar, so to-night we'll gather all the children and the servants into the diningroom and we'll have prayers there.' And the wife said: 'Well, that's all right, John, but you are not used to praying, and you know we are going to have some lawyers to tea to-night, and you might make a mistake before them. Hadn't you better wait and have a little service in the kitchen after the company's gone?"
"'No, wife,' said the young man, 'this is the first time I've asked Christ into my house, and I guess I'll take Him into the best room.'
"And he did it. He got out his Bible and he read it, and he got down on his knees and prayed like a man, and I tell you that man was a hero."
Mr. Moody had a wonderful faculty for getting money, whether it was a simple collection to meet current expenses, or some large subscriptions to carry on the work of his schools at Northfield and Chicago. In the early part of 1898 he sent notice that his schools needed money, and before his personal appeals were all distributed, he received a donation of $100,000 from a single person whose name was withheld. In an address delivered in one of the educational halls, he alluded to a neighboring hill as "Temptation Point." When, after the address, he was asked why he called the hill by that name, "Oh," he replied, "I thought some one might be tempted to erect a chapel for us on that point.'' The hint was taken, and the chapel was built.
It is a fact, however, and cannot be denied, that Mr. Moody sometimes showed a partiality for capitalists—when they responded liberally to his demands for funds. A large donation seemed to offset a multitude of imperfections in a donor's life and character. And having come into personal contact with some of the great millionaires, and having been treated with genial courtesy by them, he not only hesitated to criticise their questionable business methods, but has been known to go out of his way to apologize for them and their unsavory transactions. Yet this statement is not made to detract ungenerously from the fame of the great preacher. It simply shows that he, like all the rest of us, had .a great deal of human nature.
Mr. Moody was president of "The Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions of the Chicago Evangelization Society.'' From that headquarters he wrote the following characterstic fund-soliciting letter to a friend in California. This letter is in the possession of the writer, and is dated September 15, 1893, the year of the Chicago World's Fair:
"For several months I have been in Chicago conducting a World's Fair evangelistic campaign. The work has had God's richest blessing and has gone far beyond my expectation.
"Some of the most prominent ministers, evangelists and workers in the world are assisting me in this work. During the time remaining in September and October, I desire to push the battle to the gates. I want to make a personal appeal to your young people to-assist me.
"The cost of hiring halls, theatres, advertising, etc., is very large, and, -on account of the hard times, it is difficult to get money from the ordinary sources. Will you please see what the young people in your organization can do by personal collection, or personal subscriptions, and send to us as soon as possible?
"The need is great and the opportunity one of a lifetime—to spread the gospel to the corners of the earth."
We may be sure this appeal was not in vain. As a matter of fact, this and like appeals sent to other localities were responded to with surprising liberality.
Mr. Moody was fond of a joke, but did not always get the best of his victim. He started out in life aS a drummer, and during Lincoln's administration was traveling through southern Illinois, when, as the train drew up to a station, he spoke to a man passing the car window, and asked if he knew that Lincoln was on the train. The man showed great interest and said: "No; is he?" "I think not, answered Moody, "I only asked if you knew that he was." The man said nothing, but presently returned and remarked that the little town had been experiencing considerable excitement. "What's the matter?" asked Mr. Moody. "The authorities wouldn't let some folks bury a woman," was the reply. "What was the reason for refusing?" Moody asked. "She wasn't dead," was the laconic reply.
Talking to his class of girls one day against the practice of card-playing, theater-going and dancing, one young lady asked if he could not modify his statements and permit dancing among family friends, as the exercise tended to add grace to one's figure. Mr. Moody replied: "My dear girl, I would a thousand times rather have you get more grace in your heart and less in your heels."
Moody recognized the power of the press. He once remarked: "I believe that the press and the pulpit are the two great agencies to purify the world.'' But he had no exalted opinion of certain metropolitan papers of which he once remarked: "I don't believe that the newspapers of Sodom and Gomorrah (if they had any) were guilty of worse things in their worst days. If a minister bored a hole in a man's head who had been reading that stuff, he could not inject a serious thought of eternal things.''
Undoubtedly much of the phenomenal success attending the evangelistic efforts of Mr. Moody was due to the association with hirrfof the hymn-singing Ira D. Sankey. The newspapers heralded the coming, not of Mr. Moody, the preacher, but of Moody and Sankey, the evangelists, and Mr. Sankey's part in the service was an important part of the program.
Indeed, the music, both solo and congregational, was to many persons the most attractive feature of the Moody and Sankey meetings. When one's emotions are stirred by grand old hymns, sung with unction by an immense audience, sweet and cherished memories of earlier years throng the mind, which are calculated to awaken whatever is solemn and reverent in one's nature. The average person is then peculiarly receptive to religious influences. —Wm. H. Knight, in Los Angeles Herald.
These post-graduates of theological knowledge were suspicious and jealous of this man, Christ, who, without the commonly accepted mental culture, sprang among them and at once showed them that He was their Master. But he had not been trained in the orthodox fashion. He had not been through the regularly prescribed curriculum. He had no collegiate diploma. And to this day men are shy of anyone who dashes into any line of work and shows himself a master, unless he has received that training that the world contends a man must have to gain success.
The world was shy of Moody at first, and the theologians especially, but he deservedly stood in the first rank of Christ's descendants, and the world has long since so greeted him.
In all kinds of people there are common, generic attributes that produce a democratic level, and on this level we find believers and unbelievers. All of both classes agree as to Moody's greatness and usefulness. Collegians, educators, politicians, the common people, join unanimously in proclaiming him great. What made him great, pre-eminent among his fellows?
God gave Moody the necessary physical virility and build for greatness. He was given wonderful mental clearness, large "rationality," another name for common sense. Those so endowed often go off at a tangent, into some vagary, and become and are properly termed cranks. Not so with Moody. No particular school or church could claim him, yet all claimed him. All said he was orthodox.
He had marvelous sagacity and tact. He read men quickly and accurately. He was a blunt man; had no time to exchange compliments. His will power was supreme. Like St. Paul, he was a divine egotist. Christ's will was behind him.
His moral qualities were always noted for their sincerity and genuineness. He was a teacher and liver of righteousness. He was a learned man, not of the cloistered class. His school was real life, and from this he secured the deepest form of education. Books were not his source of learning. A great man precedes the great book, for without the great man there can be no great book.
One book, however, he knew to the highest degree of perfection—the Bible. All his technical knowledge was drawn from this. It was his stock in trade. This book, with human life, as it practically exists, he knew from lid to lid. He had a Shakespearean power of knowing and telling of men.
Spiritually, Moody possessed a superlative faith— glad, free, spontaneous. He was never haunted by any questionings as to the inspiration of the Bible. Christ's divinity, the reality of the cross or the future meeting of his Master. His was a conquering faith. His heart was purity itself, and consecrated beyond man's knowledge.
Moody with Sankey was the force that drove back the tide of agnosticism which some years ago seemed to be about to overwhelm England. He was another Wesley, Wakefield, Luther. And all this great power was because Christ lived in Moody. His belief in Christ was not a mere intellectual, casual belief. He really lived in Christ and Christ in him. Moody belonged to Christ. He was captured, mastered by Him and was his bond slave. He was eaten up with ambition, surpassing that of Alexander, but Moody's ambition was the saving of souls for Christ.
Moody has gone to the unseen, but let us rejoice for his life and that now he is at rest, a victor of victors in life's battle. Be not discouraged; the mold for great men is never broken, and God will raise up another such leader who will win still greater victories for the cause of righteousness.— Rev. J. Kinsey Smith, Louisville, Ky.
So pre-eminently Christ-like was this great worker for the Lord and his fellow-men, that out of many times that I have heard him speak I could not discover a trace of sectarianism. He was first of all a Christian, then a Methodist. He was essentially a religious teacher, and not a theological exponent, and measured by the Christ standard, 'By their fruits ye shall know them,' he did a work great and marvelous. The life of Moody was not consecrated to the attacking of the beliefs of others or the defending of his own personal theology, but the inspiring of men and women with the hope of a sweeter and better life here and hereafter.
He seemed to have a power to encourage the despairing and to inspire the hopeless ones. He seemed to be a living reservoir of faith, hope and inspiration, which he could impart to those about him. For who can doubt that the soul filled with hope can impart hope to others, or that the bravehearted can inspire the weak or down-hearted ones?
The burden of this great man's preaching was to make men and women good, pure and Christ-like. To show them the loving plan of God in human life and destiny, which they all had the power to defeat or realize by their own lives and actions, the key note of his preaching was so often sounded in that favorite text,'' Be not deceived. God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap."
Mr. Moody never tried to frighten men into the kingdom of God but he rather plead with them and persuaded them, holding before them a vision of the love of God in the parable of the prodigal son, and the tenderness of Christ towards the Magdalen, and His sympathy for the weak and sinful. He preached powerfully to men's hearts and consciences, but seldom to their fears and never to their superstitions. To him, there was no mystery in rel1gion save the mystery there is in the transformation of a hard, selfish, sinful soul into a soul gentle, sweet, unselfish and Christ-like. He had a great conviction that his Bible and his Christ could transform and save the world, and this glowing conviction especially displayed itself when he went to Henry Ward Beecher and earnestly pleaded with him to join with him in evangelistic work. "Other men," said he, "can carry on a pastorate; leave your pulpit and join with me; together we will sweep the country for Christ." We can not now estimate what would have been accomplished had these two great apostles of the religion of faith, hope and love joined together, at that time, in such a powerful itinerancy.
The religious soul feels the loss of this great soul and vast religious power, for we never listened to his voice without feeling that the Spirit of God was back of it! The Christ life of the man beamed in his eyes and throbbed in his pleading voice. He did not pretend to be a scholar in the higher sense of the word. He was a man of the people and the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man was the cornerstone of his convictions. He once declared that "that the man who talks from a deep thought basis may get the twentieth man, but I am after the other nineteenth men."
Perhaps the greatest evangelistic work that was ever done in the world's history was when Ira Sankey sang and Mr. Moody preached all over England, Scotland and this country. Thousands of people were often led to determine upon a better life in a single city. Many a poor, burdened soul— downcast and discouraged—heard his ringing words, "Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee," felt the power of the Holy Spirit and went away happy and hopeful. The power of such a life no pen can ever describe nor imagination put into language. Though dead, he still lives, not only in the more Christ-like thought he has scattered broadcast and the thousands of lives he has started heavenward, but in the great schools he founded for boys and girls at Northfield, Mass. Prof. Drummond once wrote that "Scotland would not be to-day what it is had it missed the year of Moody and Sankey!" Such a great soul has left this life to be hailed, and welcomed into God's spiritual kingdom.—Rev. Von Herrlichs, Kansas City, Mo.
I have nothing but good to say of Mr. Moody. Of late years he was growing rapidly in the right direction. The tolerance which he recently evinced towards the higher criticism and his friendship for men like Prof. Henry Drummond and George Adam Smith, showed him to be a man of broader sympathies than one would suspect from his earlier record. His devotion to education and his recognition of its necessity were clear indications of a growth in the man himself. It would be rash in any man to suspect Mr. Moody's entire sincerity, and as an expounder of the spiritual sense of the Scriptures he had few, if any, equals. As an evangelist, he had no equal whatever. Mr. Moody had the almost unerring instinct of a great commander of men. I sat one night during Mr. Moody's hippodrome campaign in New York in the audience at the aftermeeting. After a time I observed him beckoning in my direction and I looked about to see whom he had in mind. I concluded after a moment that he was beckoning to me, so I stepped up to him and found that he desired that I should speak to a certain flaxen-haired German-looking man in another part of the audience. I did as he requested, and it appeared that it was a wise bringing together of two men, for the man seemed to me to want to hear precisely what I had to say. There could have been no explanation of the choice of me for that service, except a wise intuition on the part of the great preacher from the sight of the two faces before him, that I was the man for that particular part of the service. I have heard of many instances of this display of Mr. Moody's clear intuition and his ability to adapt particular means to specific ends. His judgment was nearly without fault in such cases. While Mr. Moody was of a theological school to _ which I do not belong, and while I often felt compelled to criticise some of his methods, I have always had the profoundest respect for him as an honest, earnest and remarkably efficient preacher of the gospel of Christ. He was a great organizer and would have made as equally a great field general as a leader of the forces of the church.—Rev. Judson Titsworth, Milwaukee, Wis.