BY H. W. THOMAS, D. D.,
Pastor of People's Church, Chicago.
DWIGHT L. MOODY would have been a
marked man in almost any field of active
affairs, and simply because of his large natural abilities. That he was great as an evangelist was owing mainly to his special adaptation to that form of work; his glad and entire consecration to it, and his wonderful power to use others, to marshal and control forces to inspire minds and hearts with his own purpose and earnestness.
Brother Moody understood well the power of numbers, of large assemblies, and the value of sympathetic emotion. Hence he did not go forth alone to gather and reach the outside world, as did Wesley; but sought and secured the united action of the preachers, the members and choirs of the evangelical churches, and this he could do sincerely because he saw nothing vital in the lines that differentiated the denominations, and felt that their coming together would be helpful to each; that the common life of all would be quickened and enlarged.
No one, perhaps, has done so much to lessen the lines of separation, and so much to unite all in the great law and life of love. Had he sought to found a new denomination, this united action would not have been possible, for the movement would naturally have been looked upon as competitive. Brother Moody did not wish to found another denomination; he thought there were too many already; but he did, and wisely, too, look to the perpetuation of his own spirit and work in one central church and through the educational power of training schools, and in this was successful through his singular ability to reach men of large means, and to bring other workers into the field.
There will not be another Moody; as there will not be another Beecher, Simpson or Philips Brooks; it is not Nature's God's way of working. Brother Moody filled a needed place in his time; other minds and hearts will come forth for the needs of new conditions.
We all loved and honored Brother Moody, and pray that his inspiration, his consecration, his great love for man and God, may be caught up and carried forward to bless a world.
H. W. THOMAS.