Chapter IX



Mr. Moody was an exceedingly heavy eater. He was not capricious, by any means, as to the quality of his food, although he appreciated good cooking as well as anyone who had traveled as much as he. Quantity was what he wanted, and it made no difference how heavy a meal he ate, it never seemed to bother him in the least .

One of the things which contributed to his endurance was the fact that he never got nervous, although many times he appeared to do so. He could lie down after a heavy meal, or at the close of a very exhausting meeting, and sleep the sleep of a child. It did not seem to make any difference whether at home, on a railway train, in a boarding-house, or a hotel, he appeared to sleep as well in one place as in the other.

He was a bitter opponent of the church fair, and other forms of amusement and entertainment. He thought that a man could get enough pleasure in walking, driving, conversing with people, or playing with children. These were the sole amusements in which he indulged, if amusements they might be called.

His memory was remarkable. He seldom forgot a face, and could usually tell on the spur of the moment where he had met some acquaintance years before. Many times he would remember the minute details of the meeting, and recall incidents that the acquaintance had forgotten. The distinguishing traits of his memory, however, were centered on the Bible. He could quote passage after passage, chapter after chapter. He seemed to know the book by heart, and was seldom at fault in telling one where to find certain passages. It has been said that he never forgot an anecdote. He was an expert at handling every interesting phase of life which came under his notice. He never tired his auditors with useless explanatory words. He usually left something of the anecdote for their imagination. He had the happy faculty for selecting anecdotes to adorn his text, and to fix a particular point which he wished to impress upon the minds of his auditors. When one listened to his sermons, he was reminded of that peculiar trait in the character of Lincoln, which has been so strongly brought out by the historians.

Mr. Moody was a great admirer of Lincoln, and in the latter part of i860 or early in 1861, Mr. Lincoln visited Chicago, and was importuned by .Mr. Moody to visit his North Side Sunday-school. Mr. Lincoln complied with his request. The Sundayschool building was crowded when Mr. Lincoln arrived, and he was greeted with cheers by the scholars. Mr. Moody insisted that Mr. Lincoln should talk to his boys. Mr. Lincoln wanted to know what he should talk about. Mr. Moody said: "Anything you like." Whereupon the President proceeded to instill in the minds of his youthful auditors that the greatest gifts of a nation—that the

Copyright, 19W. by Rj'H. O. Lm.


The man who accompanied Mr. Moody for twenty-five years, and was intimately associated with him in his best work.

greatest honors which could be bestowed upon man —were open to any American boy, who had ambition, and who would lead a proper course in life. He referred incidentally to the great struggle which was then coming on between the North and South, and tried to impress upon their minds a reverence for the flag and for their country.

Mr. Moody was quite an admirer of Garibaldi, the great Italian statesman, and while he did not agree with him in all things, yet he did admire his enthusiasm. He said he never saw his name in the newspapers or in a book but he read what was said about him. He said he could not help but admire a man whose advocacy of the cause of freedom was stronger than his desire for his own comfort.

Mr. Moody could not sing a single note and could hardly distinguish one tune from another. He was a firm believer in music, however, in religious work, as has been shown in several instances in this book, and especially in Mr. Moody's eulogy of Mr. Bliss.

Mr. Moody was a great believer in advertising. He thought it should be done judiciously. He said one time that if business men conducted their business in the same manner as churches, they would fail inside of six months. He «ould not see the idea of having millions of dollars locked up in church edifices and furnishings, which were closed six days in the week. He said he could conceive of no greater waste of capital. He said that almost the only notice you could find on some churches was that of the undertaker. He thought there should be bulletin boards on every church.

Mr. Moody was a firm believer in the idea that people would instantly know each other in heaven. He said on one occasion that he did not think when he got there that he would have any trouble in recognizing Paul or John or Elisha.

He expressed himself as being opposed to the theater for various reasons, but among the principal ones was that they had no regard for the Sabbath; that it was a place where fallen women frequented and that in the building or near by could always be found a saloon. That he did not think it was elevating to associate in that connection with this kind of people, and for that reason he believed that one's time could be better employed elsewhere.

In speaking of Sunday newspapers, he said that one of his friends one time made an analysis of the Sunday papers of New York. This friend had been advised that all of the Sunday newspapers published sermons and that the character of the other matter was such as might be safely taken into the home and was considered very elevating and entertaining. This friend found that a large per cent of the matter was sporting, murders, suicides, divorces, fashions, political, and foreign news, aggregating something like nine hundred columns, and that the religious news amounted to only three and a quarter columns. •

First impressions of the great evangelist were disappointing. He was neither of commanding height nor striking form. He was the appearance of the substantial, prosperous business man of the world; nor was the effect more marked after he began to speak. His voice, while strong and pleasant, had none of the magnificent qualities possessed by Henry Ward Beecher. He had no polish of rhetoric, nor elements of diction, and yet the people went in crowds to hear him, and were turned from the doors at every meeting. Some no doubt came to hear him through curiosity, others were drawn because of the interest in the work he represented, but the real secret lay undoubtedly in the man himself. He was tremendously in earnest. Rough in speech he might be, but he impressed you with the sense that he believed every word that he said, that he considered his ideas of transcendent importance. He told plain truths and did not mince his words in the telling. He talked face to face with his audiences. He had no new Gospel. Disciples of newer methods of scriptural interpretation urged their views upon him, but he said that he had no time to investigate such things. He did not talk about the terrors of hell. He gave warnings of the consequences of evil deeds, encouraging to repentance.

His success from the beginning of his work in getting such money as he needed for the purpose of benevolence has been amazing. He understood the secret of reaching the pockets of men of wealth. 'Last of all the beggar died also,' is the epitaph which he laughingly said should be inscribed upon his tombstone.

He died a poor man. Vast sums had been given him by people whose hearts were warmed by him into new life, but he accepted nothing for his own use. Princely royalties received from the sale of the popular Moody and Sankey Hymn-books have all been used in the support of his public work. Not a penny had been expended upon himself. There isn't a good photograph of him in existence. He would not permit them to be taken, lest some should accuse him of using the proceeds-of their sales for private gain. He was careful to avoid every appearance of questionableness. He inspired absolute confidence in the integrity of his manhood.

A writer, in describing the meetings at the Hippodrome, New York, which stood on the ground where the Madison Square Garden now stands, in 1876, says of Mr. Moody:

"He is a man of another and different class from Mr. Sankey. Tall, stalwart, squarely, massively built. At first the physique and general appearance of the man seem heavy. The head is attached to the body by a short neck. The forehead is rather broad than high. The nose is not classical, nor are the eyes large or lustrous, but the whole man is illustrative of strength and thoroughness and seems to have untold source of will and determination to draw upon. Mr. Moody's features have been somewhat etherealized in the engravings, and none we have yet seen resemble him. The head recalls slightly the Socratic lineaments, and Socrates had not a classical face. There is nothing ascetic in Mr. Moody's appearance, for it is blunt and hardy. He wears a long, flowing beard, and a heavy moustache, which partly hide any emotional expressions. His voice has its peculiarities. Naturally it must have been what teachers of declamation call 'an impossible voice,' but by dint of training it accomplishes its purpose admirably. It can be heard anywhere in the largest hall. If there is no grace in Mr. Moody, there is no awkwardness, the gestures are sober. He never thumps nor bangs nor forges out the text on imaginary anvils."

When John Wesley felt with grief that Whitfield was drawing souls from his church, the grand old man said: "Do men gather from his amorous way of praying to Christ or that luscious way of preaching his righteousness in real holiness?"

Mr. Moody's manner is heartless. It is not always that he is at the highest point of tension. There are lots of shadows in his preaching. The accumulative power which puts him in close connection with the thousands, and which imbues them with the hold feeling, is not always foreseen, and for that very reason is all the more impressive. It may be that the first text chosen by him, which as a scriptural trellis his tree is to grow on, is too scant and restrictive. Incidentally he supplements this text with new ones, and the inspiration comes. Then suddenly issues forth a new growth, which bears both its flowers and fruits.

Rev. H. W. Webb-Peploe, D. D., Vicar of St. Paul's, Onslow Square and Prebendary, and St. Paul's Cathedral, London, in writing to a religious journal in August, 1896, of the great Evangelist, said: "Mr. Moody's work whether at home or abroad has been up-reared upon three foundations, which if anything can make a human work indestructible will certainly guarantee the after results of his toil.

"First: Every stone has been laid upon the solid basis of prayer; God's grace, God's gardens and God's glory have been sought without ceasing, and before another step has been taken, whether at Northfield or Chicago, it has been made as certain as prayer, and its wonderful answers can make it, that the faith of the Almighty was upon the undertaking. Let those who will scoff at the power of prayer, Dwight L. Moody and his work are magnificent testimonies to all who have the humility and the will to be convinced that God is, indeed, a prayer-answering God, and that they who put their trust in him shall never lack for wisdom or for supplies. The first power in Northfield is the power of prayer.

"Second: Upon every soul with whom Mr. Moody has had to deal, he has unceasingly and with courageous determination impressed his simple scriptural capacity, which tells of the infinite love of God, of the perfect atonement wrought for sin, of the death of Lord Jesus Christ, of the absolute knowledge of the new birth by the Spirit, and of the wondrous power of that Holy Spirit to sanctify all who receive him into their souls.

"There is no uncertainty about Dwight L. Moody's evangelism, and while Mr. Sankey and others should be never forgotten, but honored and rejoiced over as God's power and song, and while multitudes hold to the sweet singer a debt of infinite gratitude, it is quite certain that the rock upon which all the educational and evangelistic results of these brethren have been based, is that solid rock of the atonement or gospel of substitution so freely announced by Mr. Moody and his co-workers, whether as preachers or singers of the gospel.

'' But not only has the divine aid been sought and the divine council been declared at every step of Mr. Moody's work, but we must if we would learn the real secret of its success, notice that.

"Third: The Divine Being has in everything and at all times been acknowledged as the author or giver of all good gifts, wisdom and money, power and success. 'The Lord for whose glory every step must be taken, and as the Master to whose guidance every detail must be submitted.'"

At Northfield no man is allowed to glory in men. The work is the Lord's. He must rule at all points and receive the full honor for all that succeeds. Mr. Moody would be the first to acknowledge that he owes an incalculable debt to his mother and to his wife, who have so long been the blessing home spirits of his life. In Mr. Moody's children the father has living monuments of his wisdom and power in the home. And yet not for one moment either in Northfield or Chicago is any ruler acknowledged or spoken of but Jehovah. These are the secrets or grounds of the success which God has so generously given to his servant.

Mr. James H. Whiton, in August, 1896, said of Mr. Moody: "Mr. Moody ranks as high in the qualities of insight, prominence and energy, which make great administrators of business, as in those who make a successful evangelist. And these he gave a splendid administration in the organizing, financing and direction of the six months' evangelistic campaign in Chicago during the World's Fair, and yet no man ever had a more humble estimate of himself. If he can get others to speak, he prefers to listen. He values the printed page also, and has been busy with his pen in producing quite a library of books or documents, some two dozen in all, some of which have been sold far above 100,000 copies. What General Booth's books are to his army, these are for the masses Mr. Moody has inspired. Some of them have been translated into Swedish, German and Danish-Norwegian. Nor are they allowed to wait for buyers. He has organized a colportage association to spread the sale of these and similar books. The profits support the workers in their work. One book in the list is especially characteristic of the man, the Northfield edition of Bagster's Bible, especially prepared according to Mr. Moody's suggestion, for the use of his students.

Rev. W. C. Gannett, in an address before the Free Religious Society of Providence, R. I., in 1877, said of Mr. Moody:

"I think the way to look at Moody and his work is somewhat in this wise: Here is a great religious phenomenon. We study the phases of history in religion. We watch in the lands of the present the Indian with his totems, the Buddhist at his shrine, the Mohammedan on his praying-carpet in the desert, the Roman Catholic before his ribboned and jeweled Virgin, the Presbyterian with his Sunday face—it is a family history. They are all our ancestors or cousins. But here is something wondrous in religious happenings in our day and in our midst. We need not travel far in time or in space to watch it. Two men have been going through the capitals of the highest English-speaking civilization. Wherever they come, the crowd gathers before their lips, and light hearts grow heavy and then light again with a new kind of joy, and many a selfish life grows earnest for the time, at least, and many a drunkard gives up drinking and struggles as he never struggled yet before he falls again.

"In Boston, twice or thrice a day, four and five and six thousand people fill a vast building to hear them. What go they out to see? A man big-bodied, short-necked, heavy-faced, harsh-voiced, of no culture, such as colleges and books supply, poor in grammar, poorer in pronunciation, and poverty is not the word to describe his lack of grace in manner. But here is the fact—six thousand people, men and women, old and young, life-tired and life-jubilant people, come twice a day to hear him. The educated ministers, their usual teachers, are his servants. He says to this man 'Speak,' and he speaketh; to that man 'Pray,' and he prayeth. Here is something not to be ignored or pooh-poohed away. Can it be explained?

'' The man strikes straight for your conscience, and he deals with certain universal forms about the conscience. Not all men carry ideas, not all men carry feelings which can be moved by a word said to them in common; but every man who goes to the Tabernacle carries a conscience, and knows what Moody means when he says straightforwardly: 'You are a sinner; you need cure; you feel mighty little power to cure yourself; there is a power that can cure you; lay hold of it—here it is, and be well.' And Mr. Moody cannot philosophize about this matter—sin; he hardly tries to—is the last man to succeed if he tried. Neither can his audience philosophize about it. But that inability helps, not hinders, the effect. That saves time, and keeps the aim to the target. There is a clear track between his lips and your conscience. He knows what he is talking about, and you know, too, be the doctrine what it may.

"Another secret is an open secret. He preaches in pictures and stories. A sermon of his is a cabinet of anecdotes, is a little picture gallery. He states his point in a few words, and then, instead of moralizing over it, he says: 'I remember a man in Glasgow,' and everybody listens to find out about that Glasgow man. And when he is through with him, the Chicago man is ready, and when he is dismissed, you have Mr. Moody's point vividly etched on your mind ready to be carried away in memory. His anecdotes are anecdotes of the conscience, gathered in his long experiences, most of them moulded by truth into telling shapes. Not all, however. Some of them are very wooden yet, and sometimes they act like boomerangs, and lay the teaching flat. But he can take a little Bible incident, and fill in and fill in with details, until you have a special correspondent's photograph instead of two or three Bible verses. And this, till there is too much of it, is fascinating, and many people can stand a great deal of it . It is Sunday-school talk, and we all like to be treated as children in this way. In the best bred Temple as well as in the rough and ready Tabernacle the anecdote is often the liveliest part of the sermon. If I should begin right here, 'I remember a man,' you would all look up, and I should have you as long as I held on to him. Now, Mr. Moody never lets him go beyond arm's length, and as a consequence, everything he says is personalized, living, dramatic, easy to understand, hard to forget.

"Is not that self-surrender the supreme necessity of here and now, if you have never made it? And is it not 'new birth' when made? And is it not an interior act that does precede all outward deeds? And in that inward struggle between the higher and the lower self, that wrestle between a conscience and the lawful right, that knowledge that now and here it must be settled. If you go off from that moment of clear conviction without the self-surrender to the Highest, goes not your soul towards suicide? And when, by the surrender you get upon God's side, feel you not as if His entire Almightiness were pledged to give you strength henceforth as his co-worker? These are only facts that you and I ought to be able to recognize under any symbol. The poor drunkard, the light-living woman, the selfish husband, the thieving merchant, the restlesshearted boy or girl, know what he means. They know very well that his'Come to Jesus,'whatever else it means, means consecration to a new and better life, that to believe in Him, to accept Him, means a turning about—conversion.

"They are not utter fools. It is not a pantomime of private theatricals—it is a conscience wrestling with the living God. And shall we laugh or cavil at the symbol? You do not laugh at the idea of consecration to the highest right you know? No, your heart leaps and aches at the thought, your cheeks flush with the yearning to do that heroism, your tongue has no ha! ha! for that; but that is what your Evangelical neighbor called 'Coming to Jesus.' Are you going to call it cant? His symbol serves him as yours serves you. Honor your own in honoring his. Do I idealize Mr. Moody and his converts by these words? They do not consciously mean anything so intensely moral as this—I hear some one protest. The consecration that you make centrally in the 'Come to Jesus' may be these, indeed, but it is the incentive rather than the central thing. The central thing with them is not character, but salvation, that imputed righteousness that buys off their punishment for sin, that indulgence element of which the Roman Catholic indulgence is only a lower form. I doubt not that it is so with some, and that with still more—with very many, although they fully mean a find of consecration, and only sing—

'Till to Jesus' work you cling,
Doing is a deadly thing.'

That streets tend to make them feel that doing is a comparatively indifferent thing, after they cling to Him; in short, that the 'symbol' like idols everywhere, often gets the worship away from the inner moral meaning. Without abatement of this kind, I frankly own is exaggeration in the way I have put the matter. But I believe that truer estimate of a movement like the revival is gotten by making an abatement from this way and looking at it, rather than by approaching it in the opposite spirit and with a little pity to abate our scorn. It is very easy to pick out many a bit from Mr. Moody's talk that seems to contradict all this. 'The Greatest Sin of the world is unbelief.' 'If I read my Bible right there is no hope out of Christ,' and so on. But these are to be interpreted by his prevailing method, not that by these.

"That he confounds his symbol with his substance utterly, that the two are one to him—is that any reason why we should make the same mistake? And he would laugh about all this talk about symbols, nor understand a word of it. But get him to tell you what he means by 'belief and 'out of Christ,' and in two minutes you will probably find him deep in the morality, spite of himself, or rather, because of himself, for that is what his Christology is in his heart of hearts.

"Can I not be large-natured enough and trust my nature enough to entertain them all in my own soul, and say to each with infinite sincerity, Brother? The man or the party who does this most heartily and fully is thereby fitted best to make his own light shine. The only excuse for warning another man to give up his thoughts and take on ours is our belief that ours will bless him more—excuse, indeed, to furnish missions and enthusiasm. The most of us are so eagerly unselfish in our proselyting that we call hard names and feel bitter against him if he does not accept our friendly offer. Let us rather fall back on our unity with him, make our own light shine the better and wait.

"Best of all methods to recommend an unpopular faith to acceptance is being brave in thought, yet broad in sympathies. Not visibly brave and invisibly broad, as some are apt to be. Not visibly broad and invisibly brave, like certain other friends, but brave, so that men will say 'He is a radical'; broad, so that men shall add: 'He is reverent,' and by being so religious in actual life that, as far as one is known, men and women shall be confronted by a living proof that what they may call 'infidelity' is at least fidelity to high morality and widely active unselfishness. Live up to the motto,' Freedom with Fellowship in Religion,' and then within some humble sphere, we cannot help being its missionary, for as we go our whole bearing will preach it—it, the Freedom with the Fellowship."