Here are the definitions of some unfamiliar (to me) terms.
antediluvian Person who lived before the Biblical Flood. Very old or old-fashioned.
cavil Raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault unnecessarily.
Chromo (chromolithograph) Colored print
livery (clothing) Distinctive uniform.
tares Weedy plants of the genus Vicia, especially the common vetch. Several weedy plants that grow in grain fields.
[End Transcriber's Notes]
MOODY'S ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
RELATED IN HIS REVIVAL WORK BY THE GREAT EVANGELIST DWIGHT L. MOODY.
FULLY ILLUSTRATED FROM GUSTAVE DORE
REVISED EDITION. EDITED BY REV. J. B. McClure.
CHICAGO: Rhodes & McClure Publishing Co. 1899
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1896 by the Rhodes & McClure Publishing Company, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. All Rights Reserved.
The breathless interest given to Mr. Moody's anecdotes while being related by him before his immense audiences, and their wonderful power upon the human heart, suggested to the compiler this volume, and led him to believe and trust that, properly classified and arranged in book form, they would still carry to the general reader a measure of their original potency for good. The best anecdotes have been selected and carefully compiled under appropriate headings, alphabetically arranged, making the many stories easily available for the private reader and public teacher. Mr. Moody's idiom has been strictly preserved. He tells the story. "Gold" will be found scattered through the volume, which includes Mr. Moody's terse declarations of many precious and timely truths.
The compiler acknowledges the benefit received from the extended reports of the Tabernacle meetings given in the Daily press of Chicago, also the Hippodrome services reported in the New York papers, and the volume of Addresses revised by Mr. Moody. With the earnest prayer that God's blessing may accompany the reading of these stories that have blessed so many thousands as they fell from the lips of the great Evangelist, this volume is dedicated to the public by the compiler, J. B. McClure Chicago, Ill.
We retain in this, all that was in former editions and give forty pages additional of new anecdotes, properly classified, taken from the revival work in Boston and elsewhere. We also give engravings of Messrs. Moody, Sankey, Whittle, and the late lamented P. P. Bliss, the four evangelists who have so long and industriously labored together, and whose names conjoined, are household words throughout the land. The hearty reception already given by the public to this book justifies these improvements, which are gladly made, and which lead the compiler to hope that in this form the volume may prove yet more interesting and effective for good.
The engraving of Mr. Moody is from a copyrighted photograph by Gentile, used by permission. That of Mr. Whittle is by the same artist.
J. B. Mc.
REVISED EDITION 1896
This edition includes additional anecdotes and many handsome and appropriate illustrations.
Over one million copies of this book have been sold since the first issue. No single volume in the history of literature on the American continent has met with such a sale, and probably the only approximate comparison in the world is that of "Pilgrim's Progress."
Both of these volumes, it should be noted, derive their merited power and success from the vital truths of the Holy Scriptures which they so aptly illustrate. May Heaven's blessing follow.
J. B. McClure Chicago, Ill.
DWIGHT L. MOODY
Self-made, and conscious of the absolute truthfulness of every Bible declaration, Dwight Lyman Moody is today, perhaps, the most independent and powerful of living evangelists. Man, rather than books, and God, rather than man, have been his study, and made his life intensely individual, and one which has constantly increased in good works. In his thirty-five years labor for Christ, from his mission class of fourteen scholars in a Chicago saloon, down to the ten thousand listening souls in the Halls of Europe and Tabernacles of America, he has been the same faithful, persevering, original, and pungent D. L. Moody, with an unshaken faith in God, and a burning desire for the conversion of souls. At home Mr. Moody is cheerful and happy; in the social circle he is genial and companionable; in the pulpit he is Truth on fire. His native town is Northfield, Mass., where he was born February 5th, 1837. He is therefore now, (1896), fifty-nine years old.
IRA D. SANKEY.
Ira David Sankey, known throughout the world as the companion of Mr. Moody, was born in Edenburg, Pa., August 28, 1840. His musical talents were early developed. Political glee clubs at first monopolized his genius, but after his conversion in 1857, the Sunday School and Church opened wider fields, in which he has since labored with increasing usefulness. In June, 1870, at a Christian Convention in Indianapolis, after a morning service, where Mr. Sankey led the singing, he met, for the first time, Mr. Moody. "Where do you live! Are you married? What business are you in?" at once inquired the Evangelist; "I want you." "What for?" "To help me in my work in Chicago." "I cannot leave my business," replied the now astonished singer. "You must," said Moody. "I have been looking for you for the last eight years." And thus was Mr. Sankey "called" to be the companion and helper of the great Evangelist. They have been laboring together, for about a score of years.
D. W. WHITTLE.
For many years D. W. Whittle has been engaged in evangelistic work, giving it all his time, talents and energy. His first effort in connection with Mr. Bliss, who afterwards became his companion in the cause, was made over twenty years ago in a small town near Chicago. It was on this occasion that he told the story, "Hold the Fort," which the "Singing Evangelist" has rendered immortal. He is in the prime of life, and earnestly devoted to the Master's cause. His discourses are concise and clear, abounding with Scripture quotations, and, like those of Mr. Moody, interspersed with pointed anecdotes and illustrations. His preaching has been signally blessed wherever he has been called to labor.
P. P. BLISS
Philip Paul Bliss, the "Sweet Singer," was born in Clearfield County, Pa., in 1837. It was not until after he had reached the period of manhood that he "felt the stirrings of his musical gift." And then, under the inspiration of his wife, he entered upon the study of musical science, and laid the basis of his immortal "hymns," now sung around the world. In 1864 he removed to Chicago, where his musical talent and Christian character soon placed him in charge of the choir and Sunday School of the First Congregational Church, and where he made the acquaintance of D. W. Whittle, with whom, for the last five years of his life he labored in the great Gospel work. Deep spirituality and persuasiveness pervade all of Mr. Bliss' musical compositions. It is doubtful if the world ever heard sweeter hymns. Had he lived longer we should have heard more, but God, who raised him up for the work, called him:
For those who sleep, And those who weep, Above the portals narrow The mansions rise Beyond the skies— We're going home to-morrow.
A Blind Man Preaches to 3,000,000 People A Boy's Mistake—A Sad Reconciliation A Business Man Confessing Christ A Child at Its Mother's Grave A Child Looking for its Lost Mother A Child's Prayer Answered A Child Visits Abraham Lincoln and Saves the Life of a Condemned Soldier A Commercial Traveler A Day of Decision A Defaulter's Confession A Distiller Interrogates Moody A Dream A Dying Infidel's Confession A Father's Love for his Boy A Father's Love Trampled under Foot A Father's Mistake Affection Affliction A Good Excuse A Heavy Draw on Alexander the Great A Little Boy Converts his Mother A Little Boy's Experience A Little Child Converts an Infidel All Right or All Wrong A London Doctor Saved after Fifty Years of Prayer A Long Ladder Tumbles to the Ground Always Happy A Man Drinks up a Farm A Man who Would not Speak to his Wife A Mother Dies that her Boy May Live A Mother's Mistake An Emperor Sets Forty Million Slaves Free Angry at First—Saved at Last An Infidel who would not Talk Infidelity before his Daughter An Irishman Leaps into the Life-boat A Remarkable Case A Rich Father Visits his Dying Prodigal Son in a Garret and Forgives him Arthur P. Oxley! Your Mother Wishes to See You A Rumseller's Son Blows his Brains Out A Sad and Singular Story Assurance A Story Moody Never Will Forget A Voice from the Tomb A Wife's Faith A Zealous Young Lady
Believe Bible Study Black-Balled by Man—Saved by Christ Blind Broken Hearts By the Wayside
Calling the Roll of Heaven Cast Out but Rescued Child Stories Christian Work Christian Zeal Christ Saves Condemned to be Shot Confessing Christ Conversion
Decision Deliverance "Deluged With Blood" Dr. Arnott's Dog "Rover"
E "Emma. This is Papa's Friend" Engaging Rooms Ahead Excused at Last Excuses
Faith Faith More Powerful than Gunpowder "Father, Father, Come This Way" Five Million Dollars Forgiveness Forty-one Little Sermons Four-score and Five "Free"
George H. Stewart Visits a Doomed Criminal Get the Key to Job Gold (Appears in many pages) Governor Pollock and the Condemned Criminal Grace
Heaven "He Will Not Rest" "Hold the Fort, for I am Coming" How a Citizen Became a Soldier How a Little Study Upset the Plans of a few Prominent Infidels How a Young Irishman Opened Moody's Eyes How Christ Expounded It "How Funny You Talk" How Moody's Faith Saved an Infidel How Moody's Mother Forgave her Prodigal Son How Moody Treated the Committees How Moody was Blessed—Mark your Bible How Moody was Encouraged How Three Sunday-School Children Met their Fate
I Am not All Right I Am not One of the Elect I Am Trusting Jesus—A Young Lady's Trust. I Can't Feel "I Don't Know" "If I Knew" I Have Intellectual Difficulties "I Know" Infidel Books Infidelity Intemperance It's Better Higher Up "It Will Kill Her"
Jesus "Wants them All to Come" Johnny, Cling Close to the Rock Jumping into Father's Arms
Lady Ann Erkskine and Rowland Hill "Let the Lower Lights be Burning" Liberty Liberty Now and Forever Little Folks Little Jimmy Little Moody Love Love, not the Rattan, Conquers Little Moody Love's Triumph in John Wannamaker's Sunday-School
M Madness and Death Money Blind Moody and his Little Willie Moody and the Dying Soldier Moody and the Infidel Moody and the Judge Moody Asks a Few Questions Moody a Young Convert Moody in a Billiard Hall—A Remarkable Story Moody in a California Sunday-School Moody in Prison Moody on Duty—How he Loves his Mother Moody Puts a Man in his Prophets Room Moody Visits Prang's Chromo Establishment Moody with Gen. Grant's Army In Richmond Moody's Declaration Moody's First Impulse in Converting Souls Moody's First Sermon on Grace Moody's Little Emma Moody's Mistake Mothers Are Looking down from Heaven "More to Follow" Mr. Morehouse's Illustration Mrs. Moody Teaching her Child
Napoleon and the Conscript Napoleon and the Private Never to see its Mother Note What Jesus Says
Obedience O, Edward Old Sambo and his Massa One Book at a Time One Word Out of Libby Prison
Parental Peter's Confession Praise Prayer Prayer Answered Pull for the Shore "Pull for the Shore, Sailor"
Rational Belief Reaping Reaping the Whirlwind Removing the Difficulties Reuben Johnson Pardoned
Sad Ending of a Life that Might Have Been Otherwise Sad Lack of Zeal Safe In the Ark Sambo and the Infidel Judge Satan's Match Saved "Saved" Saved and Saving Snapping the Chains Song Stories Sowing the Tares Spurgeon and the Little Orphan Spurgeon's Parable Stubborn Little Sammy Sudden Conversion (See Conversion)
Taking the Prince at his Word Ten Years in a Sick Bed—yet Praising God Terribly in Earnest That is the Price of my Soul "That is Your Fault" The Arrows of Conviction The Artist and the Beggar The Bible The Blind Beggar The Blood The Cross and Crown The Cruel Mother—Hypothetical The Czar and the Soldier The Demoniac The Drunken Father and his Praying Child The Dying Boy The Dying Child The Eleventh Commandment The Faithful Aged Woman The Faithful London Lady The Faithful Missionary The Family that Hooted at Moody The Fettered Bird Freed The Finest Looking Little Boy Mr. Moody Ever Saw The Horse that was Established The "I am's," "I will's," Etc. The Invitation The King's Pardon The Little Child and the Big Book The Little Tow-headed Norwegian The Loving Father The Missing Stone The Moody and Sankey Humbug The Most Hopeless Man in New York now a Sunday-school Superintendent The Orphan's Prayer The Place of Safety The Praying Cripple The Praying Mother The Prodigal Son The Repentent Father The Reporter's Story The Rich Man Poor The Scotch "Draw the Bible" on False Doctrine The Scotch Lassie The Scotch Lassie and Dr. Chalmers The Sinner's Prayer Heard The Skeptical Lady ? The Sleep of Death The Stolen Boy—A Mother's Love The Two Fathers The Way of the Transgressor is Hard The Young Convert The Young French Nobleman and the Doctor Those Hypocrites "Three Cheers" True Love Trust Two Young Men
Very Hard, yet Very Easy Very Orthodox
"We Will Never Surrender" What a Woman Did What Moody saw in a Chamber of Horror Wisdom Word Pictures Why Did he not Take his Wife along? "Won by a Smile"
"You Know me, Moody" Young Moody, Penniless in Boston, is Warned by his Sister to "Beware of Pick-pockets"
D. L. MOODY'S Anecdotes and Illustrations.
Love, not the Rattan, Conquers Little Moody.
I remember when a boy, I used to go to a certain school in New England, where we had a quick-tempered master, who always kept a rattan. It was, "If you don't do this, and don't do that, I'll punish you." I remember many a time of this rattan being laid upon my back. I think I can almost feel it now. He used to rule that school by the law. But after a while there was somebody who began to get up a movement in favor of controlling the school by love. A great many said you can never do that with those unruly boys, but after some talk it was at last decided to try it. I remember how we thought of the good time we would have that winter when the rattan would be out of the school. We thought we would then have all the fun we wanted. I remember who the teacher was—it was a lady—and she opened the school with prayer. We hadn't seen it done before and we were impressed, especially when she prayed that she might have grace and strength to rule the school with love. Well, the school went on for several weeks and we saw no rattan, but at last the rules were broken, and I think I was the first boy to break them. She told me to wait till after school and then she would see me. I thought the rattan was coming out sure, and stretched myself up in warlike attitude. After school, however, I didn't see the rattan, but she sat down by me and told me how she loved me, and how she had prayed to be able to rule that school by love, and concluded by saying, "I want to ask you one favor—that is; if you love me, try and be a good boy;" and I never gave her trouble again. She just put me under grace. And that is what the Lord does. God is love, and He wants us all to love Him.
One day when I was in Brooklyn, I saw a young man going along the street without any arms. A friend who was with me, pointed him out, and told me his story. When the war broke out he felt it to be his duty to enlist and go to the front. He was engaged to be married, and while in the army letters passed frequently between him and his intended wife. After the battle of the Wilderness the young lady looked anxiously for the accustomed letter. For a little while no letter was received. At last one came in a strange hand. She opened it with trembling fingers, and read these words: "We have fought a terrible battle. I have been wounded so awfully that I shall never be able to support you. A friend writes this for me. I love you more tenderly than ever, but I release you from your promise. I will not ask you to join your life with the maimed life of mine:" That letter was never answered. The next train that left, the young lady was on it. She went to the hospital. She found out the number of his cot, and she went down the aisle, between the long rows of the wounded men. At last she saw the number, and, hurrying to his side, she threw her arms around his neck and said: "I'll not desert you. I'll take care of you." He did not resist her love. They were married, and there is no happier couple than this one. We are dependent on one another. Christ says, "I'll take care of you. I'll take you to this bosom of mine." That young man could have spurned her love; he could, but he didn't. Surely you can be saved if you will accept the Saviour's love. If God loves us, my friends, He loves us unto the end. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
How a Young Irishman Opened Moody's Eyes.
I want to tell you how I got my eyes open to the truth that God loves the sinner. When I went over to Europe I was preaching in Dublin, when a young fellow came up to the platform and said to me that he wanted to come to America and preach. He had a boyish appearance; did not seem to be over seventeen years old. I measured him all over, and he repeated his request, and asked me when I was going back. I told him I didn't know; probably I should not have told him if I had known. I thought he was too young and inexperienced to be able to preach. In course of time I sailed for America, and hadn't been here long before I got a letter from him, dated New York, saying that he had arrived there. I wrote him a note and thought I would hear no more about him, but soon I got another letter from him, saying that he was coming soon to Chicago, and would like to preach. I sent him another letter, telling him if he came to call upon me, and closed with a few common-place remarks. I thought that would settle him, and I would hear no more from him. But in a very few days after he made his appearance. I didn't know what to do with him. I was just going off to Iowa, and I went to a friend and said: "I have got a young Irishman—I thought he was an Irishman, because I met him in Ireland—and he wants to preach. Let him preach at the meetings—try him, and if he fails, I will take him off your hands when I come home." When I got home—I remember it was on Saturday morning—I said to my wife: "Did that young man preach at the meetings?" "Yes." "How did they like him?" "They liked him very much," she replied: "He preaches a little different from you; he preaches that God loves sinners." I had been preaching that God hated sinners; that he had been standing behind the sinners with a double-bladed sword, ready to cut the heads of the sinners off. So I concluded if he preached different from me, I would not like him. My prejudice was up. Well, I went down to the meeting that night, and saw them coming in with their Bibles with them. I thought it was curious. It was something strange to see the people coming in with Bibles, and listen to the flutter of the leaves. The young man gave out his text, saying: "Let us turn to the third chapter of John, and sixteenth verse: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'" He didn't divide up the text at all. He, went from Genesis to Revelation, giving proof that God loved the sinner, and before he got through two or three of my sermons were spoiled. I have never preached them since.
The following day—Sunday—there was an immense crowd flocking into the hall, and he said, "Let us turn to the third chapter of John, sixteenth verse: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life;'" and he preached the fourth sermon from this verse. He just seemed to take the whole text and throw it at them, to prove that God loved the sinner, and that for six thousand years he had been trying to convince the world of this. I thought I had never heard a better sermon in my life. It seemed to be new revelation to all. Ah, I notice there are some of you here who remember those times; remember those nights. I got a new idea of the blessed Bible. On Monday night I went down and the young man said, "Turn to the third chapter of John, sixteenth verse;" and he seemed to preach better than ever. Proof after proof was quoted from Scripture to show how God loved us. I thought sure he had exhausted that text, but on Tuesday he took his Bible in his hand and said: "Turn to the third chapter of John, sixteenth verse,'" and he preached the sixth sermon from that verse. He just seemed to climb over his subject, while he proved that there was nothing on earth like the love of Christ, and he said "If I can only convince men of His love, if I can but bring them to believe this text; the whole world will be saved." On Thursday he selected the same text, John iii., 16, and at the conclusion of the sermon he said: "I have been trying to tell you for seven nights now, how Christ loves you, but I cannot do it. If I could borrow Jacob's ladder and climb up to heaven, and could see Gabriel there and ask him to tell me how much God loves me, he would only say, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish; but have everlasting life." How a man can go out of this tabernacle after hearing this text, saying, "God does not love me," is a mystery to me.
Love's Triumph in John Wannamaker's Sunday School.
Mr. John Wannamaker, superintendent of probably one of the largest Sunday schools in the world, had a theory that he would never put a boy out of his school for bad conduct. He argued if a boy misbehaved himself, it was through bad training at home, and that if he put him out of the school no one would take care of him. Well, this theory was put to the test one day. A teacher came to him and said, "I've got a boy in my class that must be taken out; he breaks the rules continually, he swears and uses obscene language, and I cannot do anything with him." Mr. Wannamaker did not care about putting the boy out, so he sent the teacher back to his class. But he came again and said that unless the boy was taken from his class, he must leave it. Well, he left, and a second teacher was appointed. The second teacher came with the same story, and met with the same reply from Mr. Wannamaker. And he resigned. A third teacher was appointed, and he came with the same story as the others. Mr. Wannamaker then thought he would be compelled to turn the boy out at last. One day a few teachers were standing about, and Mr. Wannamaker said: "I will bring this boy up and read his name out in the school, and publicly excommunicate him." Well, a young lady came up and said to him: "I am not doing what I might for Christ, let me have the boy; I will try and save him." But Mr. Wannamaker said: "If these young men cannot do it, you will not." But she begged to have him, and Mr. Wannamaker consented.
She was a wealthy young lady, surrounded with all the luxuries of life. The boy went to her class, and for several Sundays he behaved himself and broke no rule. But one Sunday he broke one; and, in reply to something she said, spit in her face. She took out her pocket- handkerchief and wiped her face, but she said nothing. Well, she thought upon a plan, and she said to him; "John,"—we will call him John,—"John, come home with me." "No," says he, "I won't; I won't be seen on the streets with you." She was fearful of losing him altogether if he went out of the school that day, and she said to him, "Will you let me walk home with you?" "No; I won't," said he, "I won't be seen on the street with you." Then she thought upon another plan. She thought on the "Old Curiosity Shop," and she said, "I won't be at home tomorrow or Tuesday, but if you will come round to the front door on Wednesday morning there will be a little bundle for you." "I don't want it; you may keep your own bundle." She went home, but made the bundle up. She thought that curiosity might make him come.
Wednesday morning arrived and he had got over his mad fit, and thought he would just like to see what was in that bundle. The little fellow knocked at the door, which was opened, and he told his story. She said: "Yes; here is the bundle." The boy opened it and found a vest and a coat and other clothing, and a little note written by the young lady, which read something like this:
"DEAR JOHNNIE:—Ever since you have been in my class I have prayed for you every morning and evening, that you might be a good boy and I want you to stop in my class. Do not leave me."
The next morning, before she was up, the servant came to her and said there was a little boy below who wished to see her. She dressed hastily, and went downstairs, and found Johnnie on the sofa weeping. She put her arms around his neck, and he said to her, "My dear teacher, I have not had any peace since I got this note from you. I want you to forgive me." "Won't you let me pray for you to come to Jesus?" replied the teacher. And she went down on her knees and prayed. And now Mr. Wananamaker says that boy is the best boy in his Sunday-school. And so it was love that broke that boy's heart.
A Child Visits Abraham Lincoln, and Saves the Life of a Condemned Soldier.
During the war I remember a young man, not twenty, who was court-martialed down in the front and sentenced to be shot; The story was this: The young fellow had enlisted. He was not obliged to, but he went off with another young man. They were what we would, call "chums." One night this companion was ordered out on picket duty, and he asked the young man to go for him. The next night he was ordered out himself; and having been awake two nights, and not being used to it, fell asleep at his post, and for the offense he was tried and sentenced to death. It was right after the order issued by the President that no interference would be allowed in cases of this kind. This sort of thing had become too frequent, and it must be stopped. When the news reached the father and mother in Vermont it nearly broke their hearts. The thought that their son should be shot was too great for them. They had no hope that he would be saved by anything they could do. But they had a little daughter who had read the life of Abraham Lincoln, and knew how he had loved his own children, and she said: "If Abraham Lincoln knew how my father and mother loved my brother he wouldn't let mm he shot." That little girl thought this matter over and made up her mind to see the President. She went to the White House, and the sentinel, when he saw her imploring looks, passed her in, and when she came to the door and told the private secretary that she wanted to see the President, he could not refuse her. She came into the chamber and found Abraham Lincoln surrounded by his generals and counselors, and when he saw the little country girl he asked her what she wanted. The little maid told her plain, simple story—how her brother, whom her father and mother loved very dearly, had been sentenced to be shot; how they were mourning for him, and if he was to die in that way it would break their hearts. The President's heart was touched with compassion, and he immediately sent a dispatch canceling the sentence and giving the boy a parole so that he could come home and see that father and mother. I just tell you this to show you how Abraham Lincoln's heart was moved by compassion for the sorrow of that father and mother, and if he showed so much do you think the Son of God will not have compassion upon you, sinner, if you only take that crushed, bruised heart to him?
There is no class of people exempt from broken hearts. The rich and the poor suffer alike. There was a time when I used to visit the poor that I thought all the broken hearts were to be found among them, but within the last few years I have found there are as many broken hearts among the learned as the unlearned, the cultured as the uncultured, the rich as the poor. If you could but go up one of our avenues and down another and reach the hearts of the people; and get them to tell their whole story, you would be astonished at the wonderful history of every family. I remember a few years ago I had been out of the city for some weeks. When I returned I started out to make some calls. The first place I went to I found a mother; her eyes were red with weeping. I tried to find out what was troubling her, and she reluctantly opened her heart and told me all. She said: "Last night my only boy came home about midnight, drunk. I didn't know that he was addicted to drunkenness, but this morning I found out that he had been drinking for weeks, and," she continued, "I would rather have seen him laid in the grave than have have had him brought home in the condition I saw him in last night." I tried to comfort her as best I could when she told me her sad story. When I went away from that house I didn't want to go into any other house where there was family trouble. The very next house I went to, however, where some of the children who attended my Sunday school resided, I found that death had been there and laid his hand on one of them. The mother spoke to me of her afflictions, and brought to me the playthings and the little shoes of the child, and the tears trickled down that mother's cheeks as she related to me her sorrow. I got out as soon as possible, and hoped I would see no more family trouble that day.
The next visit I made was to a home where I found a wife with a bitter story. Her husband had been neglecting her for a long time; "and now," she said, "he has left me, and I don't know where he has gone. Winter is coming on, and I don't know what is going to become of my family." I tried to comfort her, and prayed with her, and endeavored to get her to lay all her sorrows on Christ. The next home I entered I found a woman crushed and broken-hearted. She told me her boy had forsaken her, and she had no idea where he had gone. That afternoon I made five calls, and in every home I found a broken heart. Everyone had a sad tale to tell, and if you visited every house in Chicago you would find the truth in the saying that "there is a skeleton in every house." I suppose while I am talking you are thinking of the great sorrow in your own bosom. I do not know anything about you, but if I were to come around to everyone of you, and you were to tell me the truth I would hear a tale of sorrow. The very last man I spoke to last night was a young mercantile man who told me his load of sorrow had been so great that many times during the last few weeks he had gone down to the lake and had been tempted to plunge in and end his existence. His burden seemed too much for him. Think of the broken hearts in Chicago tonight! They could be numbered by hundreds—yea, thousands. All over this city are broken hearts.
If all the sorrow represented in this great city were written in a book, this building couldn't hold that book, and you couldn't read it in a long lifetime. This earth is not a stranger to tears, neither is the present the only time when they could be found in abundance. From Adam's days to ours tears have been shed, and a wail has been going up to heaven from the broken-hearted. And I say it again, it is a mystery to me how all those broken hearts can keep away from Him who has come to heal them.
"That is Your Fault."
I remember a mother coming to me and saying, "It is easy enough for you to speak in that way; if you had the burden that I've got, you couldn't cast it on the Lord." "Why, is your burden so great that Christ can't carry it?" I asked. "No; it isn't too great for Him to carry; but I can't put it on Him." "That is your fault," I replied; and I find a great many people with burdens who, rather than just come to Him with them, strap them tighter on their backs and go away struggling under their load. I asked her the nature of her trouble, and she told me. "I have an only boy who is a wanderer on the face of the earth. I don't know where he is. If I only knew where he was I would go around the world to find him. You don't know how I love that boy. This sorrow is killing me." "Why can't you take him to Christ? You can reach Him at the throne, even though he be at the uttermost part of the world. Go tell God all about your trouble, and he will take away his sin, and not only that, but if you never see him on earth, God can give you faith that you will see your boy in heaven." And then I told her of a mother who lived down in the southern part of Indiana. Some years ago her boy came up to this city. He was a moralist. My friends, a man has to have more than morality to lean upon in this great city. He hadn't been here long before he was led astray. A neighbor happened to come up here and found him one night in the streets drunk.
When that neighbor went home, at first he thought he wouldn't say anything about it to the boy's father, but afterward he thought it was his duty to tell him. So in a crowd in the street of their little town he just took the father aside, and told him what he had seen in Chicago. It was a terrible blow. When the children had been put to bed that night he said to his wife, "Wife, I have bad news. I have heard from Chicago today." The mother dropped her work in an instant and said: "Tell me what it is." "Well, our son has been seen on the streets of Chicago, drunk." Neither of them slept that night, but they took their burden to Christ, and about daylight the mother said: "I don't know how, I don't know when or where, but God has given me faith to believe that our son will be saved and will never come to a drunkard's grave."
One week after, that boy left Chicago. He couldn't tell why—an unseen power seemed to lead him to his mother's home, and the first thing he said on coming over the threshold was, "Mother, I have come home to ask you to pray for me;" and soon after he came back to Chicago a bright and shining light. If you have a burden like this, fathers, mothers, bring it to Him and cast it on Him, and He, the Great Physician, will heal your broken hearts.
"It will Kill Her."
I was thinking to-day of the difference between those who knew Christ when trouble comes upon them and those who knew Him not. I know several members of families who are just stumbling into their graves over trouble. I know two widows in Chicago who are weeping and mourning over the death of their husbands, and their grief is just taking them to their graves. Instead of bringing their burdens to Christ, they mourn day and night, and the result will be that in a few weeks or years at most their sorrow will take them to their graves when they ought to take it all to the Great Physician. Three years ago a father took his wife and family on board that ill-fated French steamer. They were going to Europe, and when out on the ocean another vessel ran into her and she went down. That mother when I was preaching in Chicago used to bring her two children to the meetings every night. It was one of the most beautiful sights I ever looked on, to see how those little children used to sit and listen, and to see the tears trickling down their cheeks when the Saviour was preached. It seemed as if nobody else in that meeting drank in the truth as eagerly as those little ones.
One-night when an invitation had been extended to all to go into the inquiry room, one of these little children said: "Mamma, why can't I go in too?" The mother allowed them to come into the room, and some friend spoke to them, and to all appearances they seemed to understand the plan of salvation as well as their elders. When that memorable night came that mother went down and came up without her two children. Upon reading the news I said: "It will kill her," and I quitted my post in Edinburgh—the only time I left my post on the other side—and went down to Liverpool to try and comfort her. But when I got there I found that the Son of God had been there before me, and instead of me comforting her, she comforted me. She told me she could not think of those children as being in the sea; it seemed as if Christ had permitted her to take those children on that vessel only that they might be wafted to Him, and had saved her life only that she might come back and work a little longer for Him. When she got up the other day at a mothers' meeting in Farwell Hall, and told her story, I thought I would tell the mothers of it the first chance I got.
So if any of you have had some great affliction, if any of you have lost a loving father, mother, brother, husband, or wife, come to Christ, because God has sent Him to heal the broken-hearted.
"Father, Father, Come This Way."
I remember a number of years ago I went out of Chicago to try to preach. I went down to a little town where was being held a Sunday-school convention. I was a perfect stranger in the place, and when I arrived a man stepped up to me and asked me if my name was Moody. I told him it was, and he invited me to his house. When I got there he said he had to go to the convention, and asked me to excuse his wife, as she, not having a servant, had to attend to her household duties. He put me into the parlor, and told me to amuse myself as best I could till he came back. I sat there, but the room was dark and I could not read, and I got tired. So I thought I would try and get the children and play with them. I listened for some sound of childhood in the house, but could not hear a single evidence of the presence of little ones. When my friend came back I said: "Haven't you any children?" "Yes," he replied, "'I have one, but she's in Heaven, and I am glad she is there, Moody." "Are you glad that your child's dead?" I inquired.
He went on to tell me how he had worshiped that child; how his whole life had been bound up in her to the neglect of his Saviour. One day he had come home and found her dying. Upon her death he accused God of being unjust. He saw some of his neighbors with their children around them. Why hadn't He taken some of them away? He was rebellious. After he came home from her funeral he said: "All at once I thought I heard, her little voice calling me, but the truth came to my heart that she was gone. Then I thought I heard her feet upon the stairs; but I knew she was lying in the grave. The thought of her loss almost made me mad. I threw myself on my bed and wept bitterly. I fell asleep, and while I slept I had a dream, but it almost seemed to me like a vision.
"I thought I was going over a barren field, and I came to a river so dark and chill-looking that, I was going to turn away, when all at once I saw on the opposite bank the most beautiful sight I ever looked at. I thought death and sorrow could never enter into that lovely region. Then I began to see beings all so happy looking, and among them I saw my little child. She waved her little angel hand to me and cried, 'Father, Father, come this way.' I thought, her voice sounded much sweeter than it did on earth. In my dream I thought I went to the water and tried to cross it, but found it deep and the current so rapid that I thought if I entered it would carry me away from her forever. I tried to find a boatman to take me over, but couldn't, and I walked up and down the river trying to find a crossing, and still she cried: 'Come this way.' All at once I heard a voice come rolling down, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.' The voice awoke me from my sleep,' and I knew it was my Saviour calling me, and pointing the way for me to reach my darling child.
"I am now superintendent of a Sunday-school; I have made many converts; my wife has been converted, and we will, through Jesus as the way, see one day our child."
The Place of Safety.
My friends, there is one spot on earth where the fear or Death, of Sin, and of Judgment, need never trouble us, the only safe spot on earth where the sinner can stand—Calvary. Out in our western country, in the autumn, when men go hunting, and there has not been rain for many months, sometimes the prairie grass catches fire. Sometimes, when the wind is strong, the flames maybe seen rolling along, twenty feet high, destroying man and beast in their onward rush. When the frontiersmen see what is coming, what do they do to escape? They know they cannot run as fast as that fire can run. Not the fleetest horse can escape it. They just take a match and light the grass around them. The flames sweep onwards; they take their stand in the burnt district and are safe. They hear the flames roar as they come along; they see death bearing down upon them with resistless fury, but they do not fear. They do not even tremble as the ocean of flame surges around them, for over the place where they stand the fire has already past and there is no danger. There is nothing for fire to burn. And there is one spot all earth that God has swept over. Eighteen hundred years ago the storm burst on Calvary; the Son of God took it into his own bosom, and now, if we take our stand by the Cross, we are safe for time and eternity.
— Christ never preached any funeral sermons.
— His is a loving, tender hand, full of sympathy and compassion.
— Take your stand on the Rock of Ages. Let death, let the judgment come: the victory is Christ's and yours through Him.
— The only man who ever suffered before Christ was that servant who had his ear cut off. But most likely in a moment afterward he had it on, and very likely it was a better ear than ever, because whatever the Lord does He does it well No man ever lost his life with Him.
— A great many people wonder why it was that Christ did not come at once to Martha and Mary, whom He loved, whenever He heard of their affliction. It was to try them, and it is the same with His dealings toward us. If He seems not to come to us in our afflictions, it is only to test us.
— When the Spirit came to Moses, the plagues came upon Egypt, and he had power to destroy men's lives; when the Spirit came upon Elijah, fire came down from heaven; when the Spirit came upon Gideon, no man could stand before him; and when it came upon Joshua, he moved around the city of Jericho and the whole city fell into his, hands; but when the Spirit came upon the Son of Man, He gave His life; He healed the broken-hearted.
— No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been; you may be low in your thoughts, words, and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. He will speak comforting words to you; not treat you coldly or spurn you, as perhaps those of earth would, but will speak tender words, and words of love and affection and kindness. Just come at once. He is a faithful friend—a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Napoleon and the Private.
It is said of Napoleon that while he was reviewing his army one day, his horse became frightened at something, and the Emperor lost his rein, and the horse went away at full speed, and the Emperor's life was in danger. He could not get hold of the rein, and a private in the ranks saw it, and sprang out of the ranks towards the horse, and was successful in getting hold of the horse's head at the peril of his own life. The Emperor was very much pleased. Touching his hat, he said to him, "I make you Captain of my Guard." The soldier didn't take his gun, and walk up there. He threw it away, stepped out of the ranks of the soldiers, and went up to where the body-guard stood. The captain of the body-guard ordered him back into the ranks, but he said "No! I won't go!" "Why not?" "Because I am Captain of the Guard." "You Captain of the Guard?" "Yes;" replied the soldier. "Who said it?" and the man, pointing to the Emperor; said, "He said it." That was enough. Nothing more could be said. He took the Emperor at his word. My friends, if God says anything, let us take Him at His word. "He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Don't you believe it? Don't you believe you have got everlasting life? It can be the privilege of every child of God to believe and then know that you have got it.
"Five Million Dollars."
One thing I know—I cannot speak for others, but can speak for myself; I cannot read other minds and other hearts; I cannot read the Bible and lay hold for others; but I can read for myself, and take God at his word. The great trouble is that people take everything in general, and do not take it to themselves. Suppose a man should say to me, "Moody, there was a man in Europe who died last week, and left five million dollars to a certain individual." "Well," I say, "I don't doubt that; it's rather a common thing to happen," and I don't think anything more about it. But suppose he says, "But he left the money to you." Then I pay attention; I say, "To me?" "Yes, he left it to you." I become suddenly interested. I want to know all about it. So we are apt to think Christ died for sinners; He died for everybody, and for nobody in particular. But when the truth comes to me that eternal life is mine, and all the glories of Heaven are mine, I begin to be interested. I say, "Where is the chapter and verse where it says I can be saved?" If I put myself among sinners, I take the place of the sinner, then it is that salvation is mine and I am sure of it for time and eternity.
Engaging Rooms Ahead.
Mr. Sankey and myself—going about and preaching the gospel, is nothing new. You will find them away back eighteen hundred years ago, going off two by two, like Brothers Bliss and Whittle, and Brothers Needham and Stebbins, to different towns and villages. They had gone out, and there had been great revivals in all the cities, towns, and villages they had entered. Everywhere they had met with the greatest success. Even the very devils were subject to them. Disease had fled before them. When they met a lame man they said to him, "You don't want to be lame any longer," and he walked. When they met a blind man they but told him to open his eyes, and behold, he could see. And they came to Christ and rejoiced over their great success, and He just said to them, "I will give you something to rejoice over. Rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Now there are a great many people who do not believe in such an assurance as this, "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." How are you going to rejoice if your names are not written there? While speaking about this some time ago, a man told me we were preaching a very ridiculous doctrine when we preached this doctrine of assurance. I ask you in all candor what are you going to do with this assurance if we don't preach it? It is stated that our names are written there; blotted out of the Book of Death and transferred to the Book of Life.
I remember while in Europe I was traveling with a friend—she is in this hall to-night. On one occasion we were journeying from London to Liverpool, and the question was put as to where we would stop. We said we would go to the "Northwestern," at Lime street, as that was the Hotel where Americans generally stopped at. When we got there the house was full and they could not let us in. Every room was engaged. But this friend said, "I am going to stay here. I engaged a room ahead. I sent a telegram on." My friends, that is just what the Christians are doing—sending their names in ahead. They are sending a message up saying: "Lord Jesus, I want one of those mansions You are preparing; I want to be there." That's what they are doing.
Every man and woman who wants one, if you have not already got one, had better make up your mind. Send your names up now. I would rather a thousand times have my name written in the Lamb's Book than have all the wealth of the world rolling at my feet.
"He Will Not Rest."
Suppose a man is going to Cincinnati, and he gets on the cars, but he feels uneasy lest, the train will take him to St. Louis instead of his destination. He will not rest till he knows he is on the right road, and the idea that we are on the road to eternity as fast as time can take us, and do not know our destination, is contrary to Scripture. If we want peace we must know it, and we can know it; it is the Word of God. Look What Peter says: "We know we have an incorruptible dwelling." Then in Paul's epistle to the Colossians, i., 12, "Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet"—hath made us, not going to—"to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who hath delivered us"—not going to deliver us, but He hath delivered us: this is an assurance—"from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."
A person came to me some time ago and said: "Mr. Moody, I wish you would give me a book that preaches assurance, and that tells the children of God it is their privilege to know they are accepted." I said, "Here is a book; it is very orthodox. It was written by John, the most intimate friend of Jesus while He was on earth. The man who laid his head upon His bosom." Turn to John and see what he says in the 5th chapter, "For in them ye think ye have eternal life."
"I Don't Know."
There is no doubt about assurance in the Word of God. A person said to me some time ago: "I think it is great presumption for a person to say she is saved." I asked her if she was saved. "I belong to a church," she sobbed. "But are you saved?" "I believe it would be presumption in me to say that I was saved." "Well I think it is a greater presumption for anyone to say: 'I don't know if I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ because it is written, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.'" It is clearly stated that we have assurance.
"If I Knew."
Many think that assurance is not to be had while traveling through this world—they must wait till they get before the terrible judgment seat to know whether they are accepted or not. And I find some ministers preach this precious doctrine from their pulpits. I heard of a minister who, while on his way to the burial of a man, began to talk upon the subject of assurance. "Why," said he, "if I knew for a certainty that I was saved the carriage couldn't hold me. I would have to jump out with joy." A man should be convinced that he has the gospel, before he preaches it to anyone else. Why, a man need not try to pull a man out of the river if he is in it himself. A man need not try to lift a man out of a pit if he is there too. No man can preach salvation till he knows he is saved.
The man of God who has fixed his feet on the rock of salvation can say with certainty, "I know." If you have not got assurance and want it, just believe God's Word. If you go down South and ask those three million colored people how they think they are free, they won't talk about their feelings; they just believe that Abraham Lincoln made them free. They believe the proclamation, and so we must believe the proclamation God has made in the Bible. "One thing thou teachest," that is salvation.
A great many people say, "Mr. Moody, I would like to know whether I am a Christian or not. I would like to know if I am saved." The longer I live the more I am convinced that it is one of the greatest privileges of a child of God to know—to be able to say, "I am saved." The idea of walking through life without knowing this until we get to the great white throne is exploded. If the Bible don't teach assurance it don't teach justification by faith; if it don't teach assurance it don't teach redemption. The doctrine of assurance is as clear as any doctrine in the Bible.
How many people in the Tabernacle when I ask them if they are Christians, say, "Well, I hope so,"—in a sort of a hesitating way. Another class say, "I am trying to be." This is a queer kind of testimony, my friends. I notice no man is willing to go into the inquiry room till he has got a step beyond that. That class of Christians don't amount to much. The real Christian puts it, "I believe; I believe that my Redeemer liveth; I believe that if this building of flesh were destroyed, I have a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." No hoping and trusting with them. It is, "I know." Hope is assured to the Christian. It is a sure hope; it isn't a doubting hope. Suppose a man asked me if my name was Moody, and I said, "Well, I hope so," wouldn't it sound rather strange? "I hope it is;" or, "I'm trying to be Moody." Now, if a man asks you if you are a Christian, you ought to be able to give a reason.
— There cannot be any peace where there is uncertainty.
— There is no knowledge like that of a man who knows he is saved, who can look up and see his "title clear to mansions in the skies."
— I believe hundreds of Christian people are being deceived by Satan, now on this point, that they have not got the assurance of salvation just because they are not willing to take God at His word.
— "But," a man said to me, "no one has come back, and we don't know what is in the future. It is all dark, and how can we be sure?" Thank God! Christ came down from heaven, and I would rather have Him coming as he does right from the bosom of the Father, than anyone else. We can rely on what Christ says, and He says, "He that believeth on Me shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Not that we are going to have it when we die, but right here to-day.
— Now, I find a great many people who want some evidence that they have accepted the Son of God. My friends, if you want any evidence, take God's word for it. You can't find better evidence than that. You know that when the Angel Gabriel came down and told Zachariah he should have a son he wanted a further token than the angel's word. He asked Gabriel for it and he answered, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Lord." He had never been doubted, and he thundered out this to Zachariah. But he wanted a further token, and Gabriel said, "You shall have a token: you shall be dumb till your son shall be given you."
Moody and the Dying Soldier.
After the battle of Pittsburgh Landing and Murfreesboro' I was in a hospital at Murfreesboro'. And one night after midnight, I was woke up and told that there was a man in one of the wards who wanted to see me. I went to him and he called me "chaplain!"—I wasn't a chaplain—and he said he wanted me to help him die. And I said, "I'd take you right up in my arms and carry you into the kingdom of God if I could; but, I can't do it; I can't help you to die." And he said, "Who can?" I said: "The Lord Jesus Christ can—He came for that purpose." He shook his head and said, "He can't save me; I have sinned all my life." And I said, "But He came to save sinners." I thought of his mother in the North, and I knew that she was anxious that he should die right, and I thought I'd stay with him. I prayed two or three times, and repeated all the promises I could, and I knew that in a few hours he would be gone. I said I wanted to read him a conversation that Christ had with a man who was anxious about his soul. I turned to the third chapter of John. His eyes were riveted on me, and when I came to the 14th and 15th verses, he caught up the words, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life." He stopped me and said, "Is that there?" I said "Yes," and he asked me to read it again, and I did so. He leaned his elbows on the cot and clasped his hands together and said, "That's good; won't you read it again."
I read it the third time, and then went on with the rest of the chapter. When I finished, his eyes were closed, his hands were folded, and there was a smile on his face. Oh! how it was lit up! What a change had come over it! I saw hits lips quivering, and I leaned over him and heard, in a faint whisper; "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life." He opened his eyes and said, "That's enough; don't read any more." He lingered a few hours and then pillowed his head on those two verses, and then went up in one of Christ's chariots and took his seat in the Kingdom of God.
You may spurn God's remedy and perish; but I tell you God don't want you to perish. He says, "As I live I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?"
A Child at its Mother's Grave.
I remember seeing a story some time ago in print. It has been in the papers, but it will not hurt us to hear it again. A family in a Southern city were stricken down with yellow fever. It was raging there, and there were very stringent sanitary rules. The moment anybody died, a cart went around and took the coffin away. The father was taken sick and died and was buried, and the mother was at last stricken down. The neighbors were afraid of the plague, and none dared go into the house. The mother had a little son and was anxious about her boy, and afraid he would be neglected when she was called away, so she called the little fellow to her bedside, and said, "My boy, I am going to leave you, but Jesus will come to you when I am gone." The mother died, the cart came along and she was laid in the grave. The neighbors would have liked to take the boy, but were afraid of the pestilence. He wandered about and finally started up to the place where they had laid his mother and sat down on the grave, and wept himself to sleep. Next morning he awoke and realized his position—alone and hungry. A stranger came along and seeing the little fellow sitting on the ground, asked him what he was waiting for. The boy remembered what his mother had told him, and answered, "I am waiting for Jesus," and told him the whole story. The man's heart was touched, tears trickled down his cheeks and he said, "Jesus has sent me," to which the boy replied, "You have been a good while coming, sir." He was provided for. So it is with us. To wait for results, we must have courage and patience and God will help us.
"You Know Me, Moody."
Well, let me illustrate it then, and perhaps you will be able to understand it. Suppose I am dying with consumption; which I inherited from my father or mother. I did not get it by any fault of my own, by any neglect of my health; I inherited it, let us suppose. Well, I go to my physician, and to the best physicians, and they all give me up. They say I am incurable; I must die; I have not thirty days to live. Well, a friend happens to come along and looks at me and says: "Moody, you have got the consumption." "I know it very well; I don't want any one to tell me that." "But," he says, "There is a remedy—a remedy, I tell you. Let me have your attention. I want to call your attention to it. I tell you there is a remedy." "But sir, I don't believe it. I have tried the leading physicians in this country and in Europe, and they tell me there is no hope." "But you know me, Moody; you have known me for years." "Yes, sir." "Do you think, then, I would tell you a falsehood?" "No." "Well, ten years ago I was far gone. I was given up by the physicians to die, but I took this medicine and it cured me, I am perfectly well—look at me;" I say that it is a very strange case. "Yes, it may be strange, but it is a fact. That medicine cured me; take this medicine and it will cure you. Although it has cost me a great deal, it shall not cost you anything. Although the salvation of Jesus Christ is as free as the air, it cost God the richest jewel of heaven. He had to give his only Son; give all He had; He had only one Son, and He gave Him. Do not make light of it, then, I beg of you." "Well" I say, "I would like to believe you, but this is contrary to my reason." Hearing this, my friend goes away and brings another friend to me and he testifies to the same thing. He again goes away when I do not yet believe, and brings in another, and another; and another, and they all testify to the same thing. They say they were as bad as myself; and they took the same medicine that has been offered to me, and it cured them. He then hands me the medicine. I dash it to the ground; I do not believe in its saving power: I die. The reason is, then, that I spurned the remedy.
So it will not be because Adam fell, but that you spurn the remedy offered to you to save you. You will have darkness rather than light. How, then, shall ye escape if ye neglect so great salvation? There is no hope for you if you neglect the remedy.
Once there were a couple of men arranging a balloon ascension. They thought they had two ropes fastened to the car, but one of them only was fastened, and they unfastened that one rope, and the balloon started to go up. One of the men seized hold of the car, and the other seized hold of the rope. Up went the balloon, and the man who seized hold of the car went up with it, and was lost. The man who laid hold of the rope was just as sincere as the man who laid hold of the car. There was just as much reason to say that the man who laid hold of that would be saved because he was sincere as the man who believed in a lie because he is sincere in his belief. I like a man to be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him. Once I asked a man what he believed, and he said he believed what his church believed. I asked him what his church believed, and he said he supposed his church believed what he did; and that was all I could get out of him. And so men believe what other people believe and what their church believes, without really knowing what their church and other people do believe.
— God is truth.
— What grounds have we for not believing God?
"How Funny You Talk."
No book in the world has been so misjudged as the Bible. Men judge it without reading it. Or perhaps they read a bit here and a bit there, and then close it saying, "It is so dark and mysterious!" You take a book, now-a-days, and read it. Some one asks you what you think about it. "Well," you say, "I have only read it through once, not very carefully, and I should not like to give an opinion." Yet people take up God's book, read a few pages, and condemn the whole of it. Of all the skeptics and infidels I have ever met speaking against the Bible, I have never met one who read it through. There may be such men, but I have never met them. It is simply an excuse. There is no man living who will stand up before God and say that kept him out of the kingdom. It is the devil's work trying to make us believe it is not true, and that it is dark and mysterious. The only way to overcome the great enemy of souls is by the written Word of God. He knows that, and so tries to make men disbelieve it. As soon as a man is a true believer in the Word of God, he is a conqueror over Satan. Young man! the Bible is true. What have these infidels to give you in its place? What has made England but the open Bible? Every nation that exalteth the Word of God is exalted, and every nation that casteth it down is cast down. Oh, let us cling close to the Bible. Of course, we shall not understand it all at once. But men are not to condemn it on that account. Suppose I should send my little boy, five years old, to school tomorrow morning, and when he came home in the afternoon, say to him, "Willie, can you read? can you write? can you spell? Do you understand all about Algebra, Geometry; Hebrew, Latin, and Greek?" "Why, papa," the little fellow would say, "hew funny you talk. I have been all day trying to learn the A B C!" Well; suppose I should reply, "If you have not finished your education, you need not go any more." What would you say? Why, you would say, I had gone mad. There would he just as much reason in that, as in the way that people talk about the Bible. My friends, the men who have studied the Bible for fifty years—the wise men and the scholars, the great theologians—have never got down to the depths of it yet. There are truths there that the Church of God has been searching out for the last eighteen hundred years, but no man has fathomed the depths of that ever-living stream.
"How Christ Expounded It."
You will find Christ, after He had risen, again speaking about the Old Testament prophets: "And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scripture the things concerning Himself." Concerning Himself. Don't that settle the question? I tell you I am convinced in my mind that the Old Testament is as true as the New. "And He began at Moses and all the prophets." Mark that, "all the prophets." Then in the forty-fourth verse: "And He said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scripture."
The Scotch "Draw the Bible" on False Doctrine.
There is no place I have ever been in where people so thoroughly understand their Bibles as in Scotland. Why, little boys could quote Scripture and take me up on a text. They have the whole nation just educated, as it were, with the Word of God. Infidelity cannot come there. A man got up in Glasgow, at a corner, and began to preach universal salvation. "Oh, sir," said an old woman, "that will never save the like of me." She had heard enough preaching to know that it would never save her. If a man comes among them with any false doctrine, these Scotchmen instantly draw their Bibles on him. I had to keep my eyes open and be careful what I said there. They knew their Bibles a good deal better than I did. And so if the preachers could get the people to read the Word of God more carefully, and note what they heard, there would not be so much infidelity among us.
Moody and the Infidel.
An infidel had come the other day, to one of our meetings, and when I talked with him, he replied that he didn't believe one-twelfth part of the Bible, but I kept on quoting Scripture, feeling that if the man didn't believe, God could do what He chose with His word, and make it quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. The man kept saying that he did not believe what the Bible said, and I kept on quoting passage after passage of Scripture, and the man, who, two hours before, had entered the hall an infidel, went out of it a converted man, and a short time after his conversion he left the City for Boston, a Christian, to join his family in Europe. Before this gentleman went away, I asked him if he believed the Bible, and his reply was: "From back to back, every word of it."
"Deluged with Blood."
A good many years ago there was a convention held in France, and those who held it wanted to get the country to deny a God, to burn the Bible, wanted to say that men passed away like a dog and a dumb animal. What was the result! Not long since, that country was filled with blood. Did you ever think what would take place if we could vote the Bible and the ministers of the gospel and God out from among the people? My friends, the country would be deluged with blood. Your life and mine would not be safe in this City to-night. We could not walk through these streets with safety. We don't know how much we owe God and the influence of His gospel among even ungodly men.
— There are over two hundred passages in the Old Testament which prophesied about Christ, and every one of them has come true.
— God didn't give the world two different Bibles; they are one, and must be believed from back to back, from Genesis to Revelations, or not at all.
— I haven't found the first man who ever read the Bible from back to back carefully who remained an infidel. My friends, the Bible of our mothers and fathers is true.
— The Word of God may be darkened to the natural man, but the way of Salvation is written so plain, that the little child six years old can understand it if she will.
— Set more and more store by the Bible. Then troubles in your Christian life will pass away like a morning cloud. You will feed and live on the Word of God, and it will become the joy of your soul.
— There are dark and mysterious things in the Bible now, but when you begin to trust Christ your eyes will be opened and the Bible will be a new book to you. It will become the Book of books to you.
— I notice if a man goes to cut up the Bible and comes to you with one truth and says, "I don't believe this, and I don't believe that,"—I notice when he begins to doubt portions of the Word Of God he soon doubts it all.
— If you will show me a Bible Christian living on the Word of God, I will show you a joyful man. He is mounting up all the time. He has got new truths that lift him up over every obstacle, and he mounts over difficulties higher and higher, like a man I once heard of who had a bag of gas fastened on either side, and if he just touched the ground with his foot, over a wall or a hedge he would go; and so these truths make us so light that we bound over every obstacle.
How Moody was Blessed—"Mark Your Bible."
I want to tell you how I was blessed a few years ago, upon hearing a discourse upon the thirtieth chapter of Proverbs. The speaker said the children of God were like four things. The first thing was: "The ants are a people not strong," and he went on to compare the children of God to ants. He said the people of God were like, ants. They pay no attention to the things of the present, but go on steadily preparing for the future. The next thing he compared them to was the conies. "The conies are but a feeble folk." It is a very weak little thing. "Well," said I, "I wouldn't like to be as a coney." But he went on to say that it built upon a rock. The children of God were very weak, but they laid their foundation upon a rock. "Well," said I, "I will be like a coney and build my hopes upon a rock." Like the Irishman who said he trembled himself, but the rock upon which his house was built never did. The next thing the speaker compared them to was a locust. I didn't think much of locusts; and I thought I wouldn't care about being like one. But he went on to read, "They have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands." There were the Congregationalist, the Presbyterian, the Methodist bands going forth without a king, but by and by our King will come back again, and these bands will fly to Him. "Well, I will be like a locust; my King is away," I thought. The next comparison was a spider. I didn't like this at all, but he said if we went into a gilded palace filled with luxury, we might see a spider holding on to something, oblivious to all the luxury below. It was laying hold of the things above. "Well," said I, "I would like to be a spider." I heard this a good many years ago, and I just put the speaker's name to it, and it makes a sermon. But take your Bibles and mark them. Don't think of wearing them out. It is a rare thing to find a man wearing his Bible out now-a-days—and Bibles are cheap, too. You are living in a land where they are plenty. Study them and mark them, and don't be afraid of wearing them.
Moody Visits Prang's Chromo Establishment.
When I went to Boston, I went into Mr. Prang's chromo establishment. I wanted to know how the work was done. He took me to a stone several feet square, where he took the first impression, but when he took the paper off the stone I could see no sign of a man's face there. "Wait a little," he said. He took me to another stone, but when the paper was lifted I couldn't see any impression yet. He took me up, up to eight, nine, ten stones, and then I could see just the faintest outlines of a man's face. He went on till he got up to about the twentieth stone, and I could see the impression of a face, but he said it was not very correct yet. Well, he went on till he got up, I think, to the twenty-eighth stone, and a perfect face appeared, and it looked as if all it had to do was to speak and it would be human. If you read a chapter of the Bible and don't see anything in it, read it a second time, and if you cannot see anything in it read it a third time. Dig deep. Read it again and again, and even if you have to read it twenty-eight times do so, and you will see the Man Christ Jesus, for He is in every page of the Word.
Get the Key to Job.
An Englishman asked me some time ago, "Do you know much about Job?" "Well, I know a little," I replied. "If you've got the key of Job, you've got the key to the whole Bible." "What?" I replied, "I thought it was a poetical book." "Well," said he, "I will just divide Job into seven heads. The first is the perfect man—untried; and that is Adam and Eve before they fell. The second head is tried by adversity—Adam after the fall. The third is the wisdom of the world—the three friends who came to try to help Job out of his difficulties. They had no power to help him at all." He could stand his scolding wife, but he could not stand them. The fourth head takes the form of the Mediator, and in the fifth head God speaks at last. He heard him before by the ear, but he hears Him now by the soul, and he fell down flat upon his face. A good many men in Chicago are like Job. They think they are mighty good men, but the moment they hear the voice of God they know they are sinners, they are in the dust. There isn't much talk about their goodness then. Here he was with his face down. Job learned his lesson. That was the sixth head, and in these heads were the burdens of Adam's sin. The seventh head was when God showed him His face. Well, I learned the key to the Bible. I cannot tell how this helped me. I told it to another man, and he asked me if I ever thought how he got his property back and his sheep back. He gave Job double what he had and gave him ten children besides, so that he should have ten in heaven besides his ten on earth.
One Book at a time.
I have found it a good plan to take up one book at a time. It is a good deal better to study one book at a time than to run through the Bible. If we study one book and get its key, it will, perhaps, open up others. Take up the book of Genesis, and you will find eight beginnings; or, in other words, you pick up the key of several books. The gospel was written that man might believe on Jesus Christ, and every chapter speaks of Him. Now, take the book of Genesis; it says it is the book of beginnings. That is the key; then the book of Exodus—it is the book of redemption; that is the key word of the whole. Take up the book of Leviticus, and we find that it is the book of sacrifices. And so on through all the different books; you will find each one with a key. Another thing: We must study it unbiased. A great many people believe certain things. They believe in certain creeds and doctrines, and they run through the book to get Scripture in accordance with them. If a man is a Calvinistic man he wants to find something in accordance with his doctrine. But if we go to seek truth the Spirit of God will come. Don't seek it in the blue light of Presbyterianism, in the red light of Methodism; or in the light of Episcopalianism, but study it in the light of Calvary.
Note what Jesus Says.
Some people say to me, "Moody, you don't believe in the flood. All the scientific men tell us it is absurd." Let them tell us. Jesus tells us of it, and I would rather take the word of Jesus than that of any other one. I haven't got much respect for those men who dig down for stones with shovels, in order to take away the word of God. Men don't believe in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we have it sealed in the New Testament. "As, it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah." They don't believe in Lot's wife, but He says, "Remember Lot's wife." So there is not a thing that men to-day cavil at but the Son of God indorses. They don't believe, in the swallowing of Jonah. They say it is impossible that a whale could swallow Jonah—its throat is too small. They forget that the whale was prepared for Jonah; as the colored woman said, "Why, God could prepare a man to swallow a whale, let alone a whale to swallow a man."
I remember I took up the word "love," and turned to the Scriptures and studied it, and got so that I felt I loved everybody, I got full of it. When I went on the street, I felt as if I loved everybody I saw. It ran out of my fingers. Suppose you take up the subject of love and study it up. You will get so full of it that all you have got to do is to open your lips and a flood of the love of God flows upon the meeting. If you go into a court you will find a lawyer pleading a case. He gets everything bearing upon one point, heaped up so as to carry his argument with all the force he can, in order to convince the jury. Now it seems to me a man should do the same in talking to an audience; just think that he has a jury before him, and he wants to convict a sinner. If it is love, get all you can upon the subject and talk love, love.
The "I Ams," "I Wills," Etc.
A favorite way to study the Bible with me, is first to take up one expression, and run through the different places where they are found. Take the "I ams" of John; "I am the bread of life;" "I am the water of life;" "I am the way, the truth, and the life;" "I am the resurrection;" "I am all, and in all." God gives to His children a blank; and on it they can write whatever they most want and He will fill the bill. And then the promises. A Scotchman found out thirty one thousand distinct promises in the Word of God. There is not a despondent soul but God has a promise just to suit him.
— The best truths are got by digging deep for them.
— When we know our Bible, then it is that God can use us.
— When we find a man meditating on the words of God, my friends, that man is full of boldness and is successful.
— When a man is filled with the Word of God you cannot keep him still. If man has got the Word, he must speak or die.
— Let us have one day exclusively to study and read the Word of God. If we can't take time during the week, we will have Sunday uninterrupted.
— Now, as old Dr. Bonner, of Glasgow, said, "The Lord didn't tell Joshua how to use the sword, but He told him how he should meditate on the Lord day and night, and then he would have good success."
— One thing I have noticed in studying the Word of God, and that is, when a man is filled with the Spirit he deals largely with the Word of God, whereas the man who is filled with his own ideas refers rarely to the Word of God. He gets along without it, and you seldom see it mentioned in his discourses.
A Mother's Mistake.
While I was attending a meeting in a certain city sometime ago a lady came to me and said: "I want you to go home with me; I have something to say to you." When we reached her home, there were some friends there; After they had retired, she put her arms on the table, and tears began to come into her eyes, but with an effort she repressed her emotion. After a struggle she went on to say that she was going to tell me something which she had never told any other living person. I should not tell it now; but she has gone to another world. She said she had a son in Chicago, and she was very anxious about him. When he was young he got interested in religion at the rooms of the young Men's Christian Association. He used to go out in the street and circulate tracts. He was her only son, and she was very ambitious that he should make a name in the world, and wanted him to get into the very highest circles. Oh, what a mistake people make about these highest circles. Society is false; it is a sham. She was deceived like a good many more votaries of fashion and hunters after wealth at the present time. She thought it was beneath her son to go down and associate with those young men who hadn't much money. She tried to get him away from them, but they had more influence than she had, and, finally, to break his whole association, she packed him off to a boarding-school. He went soon to Yale College, and she supposed he got into one of those miserable secret societies there that have ruined so many young men; and the next thing she heard was that the boy had gone astray.
She began to write letters urging him to come into the Kingdom of God, but she heard that he tore the letters up without reading them. She went to him to try and regain whatever influence she possessed over him, but her efforts were useless, and she came home with a broken heart. He left New Haven, and for two years they heard nothing of him. At last they heard he was in Chicago, and his father found him and gave him $30,000 to start in business. They thought it would change him, but it didn't. They asked me when I went back to Chicago to try and use my influence with him. I got a friend to invite him to his house one night, where I intended to meet him, but he heard I was to be there, and did not come near, like a good many other young men, who seem to be afraid of me. I tried many times to reach him, but could not. While I was traveling one day on the New Haven Railroad, I bought a New York paper, and in it I saw a dispatch saying he had been drowned in Lake Michigan. His father came on to find his body, and, after considerable searching, they discovered it. All his clothes and his body were covered with sand. The body was taken home to that broken-hearted mother. She said "If I thought he was in heaven I would have peace." Her disobedience of God's law came back upon her.
So, my friends, if you have a boy impressed with the gospel, help him to come to Christ. Bring him in the arms of your faith, and He will unite you closer to him.
"Pull for the Shore."
Look at that man in a boat on Niagara River. He is only about a mile from the rapids. A man on the bank shouts to him, "Young man, young man, the rapids are not far away; you'd better pull for the shore." "You attend to your own business; I will take care of myself," he replies. Like a great many people here, and ministers, too, they don't want any evangelist here—don't want any help, however great the danger ahead. On he goes; sitting coolly in his boat. Now he has got a little nearer, and a man from the bank of the river sees his danger, and shouts: "Stranger, you'd better pull for the shore; if you go further, you'll be lost. You can be saved now if you pull in." "Mind your business, and you'll have enough to do; I'll take care of myself." Like a good many men, they are asleep to the danger that's hanging over them while they are in the current. And I say, drinking young man, don't you think you are standing still. You are in the current, and if you don't pull for a rock of safety you will go over the precipice. On he goes. I can see him in the boat laughing at the danger. A man on the bank is looking at him, and he lifts up his voice and cries, "Stranger, stranger, pull for the shore; if you don't you'll lose your life;" and the young man laughs at him—mocks him. That is the way with hundreds in Chicago. If you go to them and point out their danger, they will jest and joke at you. By and by he says: "I think I hear the rapids—yes, I hear them roar;" and he seizes his oars and pulls with all his strength, but the current is too great, and nearer and nearer he is drawn on to that abyss, until he gives one unearthly scream, and over he goes. Ah, my friends, this is the case with hundreds in this city. They are in the current of riches of pleasure, of drink, that will take them to the whirlpool.