Chapter XV



Mr. Moody's Bible was a spectacle indeed, marked, underscored, much of it defaced with hieroglyphics, ragged with incessant use, but only one of many. He was always wearing out bibles or filling their margins and passing them on. It was a treasure, indeed, for many to get hold of these and one was welcome if they would give as much as they would take.

Great interleaved Bibles are now in circulation, to which he had contributed many of his gleanings from the stores of observation and research, but he expected them to come back with additions from those who had had the loan. And he was quick to lay hold of any fresh point or striking illustration to incorporate in the address which he was always engaged in preparing, re-modeling or adding to. His process of sermon manufacture was very original. There was something automatic about it . The basis for each sermon was a big envelope, labeled Repentance, Faith, Peter, Zaccheus, the Elder Son; into this envelope he put clippings from papers, extracts from books, illustrations and. incidents, scraps of all kinds, which were more or less connected with the subject. When this process had continued for some time, he went through the mass of accumulation, rejecting some, laying hold of some, fitting it into a connecting whole. Of this he took a few jottings in a large hand to the pulpit or platform. The process of looking through the envelope was constantly repeated so the points that had been overlooked were brought to his mind, fresh illustrations introduced and the entire subject was entered anew in all its lights. This secured freshness of delivery, and preserved him from the monotony of perpetual repetition.


Betsey Holton Moody, the mother of the great evangelist, died at her home in Northfield, January 26, 1896, aged ninety-one years. She left to mourn her loss four sons and three daughters.

Mr. Moody made an address at her funeral and it was the more remarkable, because he told not only of her love and patience, but also of her stern discipline. "She was so loving a mother," he said, "that when we were away we were always glad to get back. But I never shall forget her old-fashioned whippings. I believe in them to-day." He also spoke of her way of making all her boys go to church. He was strongly of the impression that the teachings which he imbibed in those early days, in a great measure, influenced his subsequent life.

Mr. Moody's mother was buried in a large plat of ground contiguous to the cemetery. It was always kept beautifully filled in with flowers placed there by a young man at the special instigation of Mr. Moody. Mr. Moody, in the summer after her death,

when standing by her grave with her friends, said: "She made home so pleasant. I thought so much of my mother and cannot say half enough. The dear face, there was no sweeter face on earth. Fifty years I have been coming back and was always glad to get back. When I got within fifty miles of home I always grew restless and walked up and down the car. It seemed as if the train would never get to Northfield. For sixty-eight years she lived on that hill, and when I came back after dark I always looked to see the light of my mother's window. It was because she made our home so happy that she started me thinking. how to make homes happy for others, and when God took mother he gave me these little children. Here is one century that is passed. And here is the century that's coming," and with this he beckoned for the little babes and other children who were on hand in their mother's arms, and they were brought into the circle and dedicated to God in united prayers.

MOODY MEETS MISS WILLARD. Miss Frances E. Willard, the celebrated temperance advocate, was identified with Mr. Moody in several of his meetings. Miss Willard said that she » would never forget a stormy Sabbath day early in 1877 when through a blinding snow 9,000 women gathered at the Tabernacle in Chicago to hear a sermon especially for them, from what she termed the most successful evangelistic of the Christian era. It was then she and Mr. Moody met for the first time and he asked her to lead the meeting in prayer. She said she never beheld a more impressive scene.

At the close of the meeting in January of that year Mr. Moody sent for Miss Willard to come to his hotel, and he asked her to accompany him to Boston and help in the women's meeting there. She said she would be glad to do so, but that she wanted to consult her mother about it. He asked her what her means of support were and she told him that her expenses were paid- by the W. C. T. U. while she worked for them, but that if she should devote her time to revival meetings even that source of income would cease. Mr. Moody suggested that they pray for light; this they did and the interview ended. Her mother liked the plan and early in February she took up her work in Boston and devoted considerable time each morning to the study of the Bible.

One day as Miss Willard was about to open her new meeting in the Burkley Street Church, Mr. Moody came rushing up the steps and said that he had heard that she had been talking temperance all around the suburbs. He asked her why she did this and stated that he wanted her attention to the Boston meeting. She replied that she had no money and that it was necessary that she should go out and earn some. Moody seemed perplexed and wanted to know whether he had given her nothing. # She replied that he had not. He then wanted to know if certain people had not paid her way from Chicago and sent her money for traveling expenses. She said that they had not. Moody said that he guessed that they had forgotten it and rushed away. That night when she was going to a meeting he thrust a generous check in her hand.

Miss Willard continued throughout the Boston meeting, and then devoted herself to other wont.