Sowing and Reaping


"One soweth and another reapeth." John 4: 87.

Mr Moody alluded to a feeling which some of the young converts entertained toward ministers and churches which prompted them to adverse criticism, and proceeded to say: I have yery little sympathy with these men who talk about the coldness of the ohurches. It is well enough for men who are hard at work in the church to talk about it. I contend that the best institution under heaven is the church. I have always been a member of the ohurch; and if ever I get out of it, I will have to be put out. Christ died to redeem the church; and every man who is true to Christ ought to support it. Did you ever think what this city would be, if not for the church? There would not be a man's life safe in the city. The ohurch is the place where God meets and blesses his people. And to the young converts I would say, that the ministry of your ohurches have been sowing these many years. How many of you have had religious training? A few nights ago I asked those who had, to rise; and nineteen out of every twenty present rose. Of course, it is a pleasure to reap; but he that soweth and he that reapeth are the same in the sight of God. We would all rather have the reaping than the sowing. Let us not go on complaining because these ministers have not had all the reaping. With regard to this work it may be that fifty people have had a hand in it. Perhaps first a mother, and then a Sabbath-school teacher, and then different ministers sowed the seed. Another thing I have noticed, that no man who has any standing in the church has ever come to want. People talk of the ohurch not being benevolent; but I say they take care of their poor. It is the people whom the church has not reached that come to want. Some of you say you cannot afford to join the church—that you cannot afford to pay 110 a year for a pew. If you give up your cigars, »nd go less to the theatre, you will find it quite easy to do it. Let. it be distinctly understood, my advice is, join some church at once.J Go there, not for getting anything by it, but to do good. Go there, not to get your heart warmed, but go with your heart already •warmed. Get some church home where you will get sympathy, and friends to take an interest in you; and let me tell you, you cannot find any truer, better friends than you will find among the ministers; the great majority of them are working for God and souls, and not for themselves. So, my advice is, just unite with the church, and then go to work. A good place for you to go to work is in the Sab

bath-school; and if you cannot find a class or scholars, go down into the lanes and alleys, and get them. The first day I went out in Chicago, I got eighteen; and for the first time found I had a talent, and could do something. It was not long before the building could not hold all that were brought.

If you do this, it will be the cause of great blessing to your own soul. He that watereth, himself will be watered. My experience is, where young converts have gone to work they have grown in grace. Some think they have got to wait to be qualified; put it if not of the Spirit of Christ to be absorbing all the time—it is get and give. Now, suppose all the young converts go to work; suppose they go right away and gather up the little waifs, and take an interest in them—you have got to win them to yourself before you lead them to Christ—what a great work may be done. Little children very often make the best missionaries. Many a time have I seen one bring a father and a mother to the Sabbath-school. I don't believe in going about it for six weeks or six months. A good many, in a time of religious interest like this, are willing to take a hand, and say they will have another good time next year. What we want is this heart work which will continue day after day, and year after year. Just to encourage some of you, I will state my experience of a boy's meeting.

A mother lived in our district. As she lay dying of consumption, she sent for me; and when I came to see her, she said: "Mr. Moody, you know my husband, the father of my children, is dead, and my second husband don't get along very well with my eldest boy. When I am dead and gone I don't know what will become of my little boy. If you don't take an interest in him, I am afraid he will be lost. She made me promise that I would look after her boy. While she was sick, and after she died, the boy was nearly all the time on the streets. After she was buried two or three weeks, I missed the little boy from the Sunday-school. I asked if any one in the school knew where he was, to let me know. A day or two after, a boy came into the store where I was employed, and said he found out the little boy was a bell-boy in such a hotel—naming it, I went down to the hotel to look after him, and brought him out with me, and got him into a room alone with me, in the Young Men's Christian association. I told him of the promise I made to his mother, and of her anxiety about him; but he sat there unmoved. At last, I told him about the Savior's love; then the tears trickled down his cheeks; his heart was touched, and we got down to pray together. Then I said to him; "I want you to make this a subject of prayer; don't give it up until you settle the question.'' That was the 3d of July. He tried to get a chance to pray alone, but he could not, so he went up five stories to the flat roof. There, about midnight, he cried to God for a new heart, while the bells were ringing, and the cannons booming. Next morning, the Fourth of July, he came and told me how God had met him on the top of that hotel. The first thing he asked was, what he should do for the Savior. He started a meeting, and had about twelve boys; he got his Bible and read a few verses for them, and told them what Christ had done for him. A little German boy got up and said, "Why not Jesus do the same for him." The result was that a hundred and twenty-five boys belonged to that meeting. The blessing it gave me was something wonderful. I turned my back upon business and became a different man; and the Lord has blessed me ever since. There is not a church in New York that would not hail such members. By the help of such converts, our churches would become healthy, vigorous and built up. I knew, years ago, a young man who was converted in our church. I gave him two little children to teach, and inside of twelve months he had seventy-five gathered off the streets. To-day, there is more interest in that class than any in America. Every year some of its members join the church. That young man goes to the houses, visits the parents, and gets them into the church.

I would advise you, if the schools are already full, to get halls and gather these little children in. Just commence now; and instead of this •work stopping, it will be only commenced. Look for fruit immediately. Sometimes you will have it,- and sometimes God will make you wait. Then, let me give you one word about taking part in the prayer-meetings. A good many of them would be enlivened if you just took a part. Some men think they have no ability. A young convert told me he could speak very well at a railway meeting. If a man can talk well at a railway meeting, he can talk at a prayer-meeting. A good many are not welcomed because they talk too long. When you do talk, be sure that you say something. Have your Bible with you; or, if you have been converted, stand up and give thanks. I don't want you to stop there, however. Don't live on yoor own experience. You want to grow on in grace. Bring new things out of the Bible. Tell how God has blessed you, in such a portion of Scripture. I have known a great many to labor with at least one individual each day. I heard Mr. John Wanamaker, of Philadelphia, say that he would at least talk to one young man every day, about his soul. That would be three hundred and sixtyfive labored with in the year. Are there not hundreds of young converts who could do that? Dear friends, God can use every one of us. One of the greatest mistakes we make is, when men are converted we get them into the church, but we don't teach them the luxury of working. Teach them how to work; that will take them out of the world quicker than anything else. We won't then have to be lecturing the church about this thing and that. The Lord will give them something better.