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THE author of this book was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. 
His education was received at the Bradley Polytechnic Insti- 
tute, William Jewell College, and in postgraduate courses 
Leland Stanford University and the University of Southern 
California. Grand Island College gave him the divinity 
doctorate in 1929. From 1919 to 1924 he was pastor of the 
First Baptist Church of Riverside, California; from 1924 to 
1931, of the First Church of Phoanix, Arizona; since the 
latter year he has been with the Hamilton Square Baptist 
Church, San Francisco. Doctor Day began his literary career 
when a high school student as a reporter for the Terre Haute 
Gazette, and in the years since he has continuously written 
for publication. His " Beside the Golden Gate " column in 
The Baptist attracted much attention and was widely quoted. 
In 1934, Doctor Day's biography of Spurgeon, with the title 
The Shadow of the Broad Brim, was issued from The Judson 


"And the angel of Jehovah appeared in a flame of fire out of 
the midst of a hush " (Exodus) . 

" I do not know anything America needs more today than men 
and women on fire with the fire of heaven: not great men, but 
true honest persons God can use " (D. L. M.) . 


The Life Story of Dwight Lyman Moody 
Commoner of Northfield 


Author of " The Shadow of the Broad Brim " 






Copyright, 1936, by 

Published August, 1936 



! 1330165 


Miriam Elim Washburne 

Who Intrusted Me 

With the Washburne Collection 



James Washington Graves 
Who Illustrated Both 

This Book and 
"The Shadow of the Broad Brim" 

Book Jacket by Charles Hermon Dean, Jr. 





(SUMMER OF 1935) 












VI. WESTWARD, Ho ! 67 




(MARCH, I860) 











(NOVEMBER, 1871) 





DEON 155 



















(APRIL 15-25, 1892) 


(MAY 1 OCTOBER 31, 1893) 


(DECEMBER 22, 1899) 



"Bush Aglow " 

(Book Jacket and Frontispiece) 

Puritan Two-Wheeler and Oxen 21 

The Grandmothers 22 

Berkshire Madonna 32 

The Birthplace 46 

(Per Elizabeth Clapp Moody) 

Presumption at Seventeen 56 

Chicago of the Fifties 66 

Mr. Shoe Salesman 76 

Christiana 86 

Pilgrim and the Man with the Melodeon 154 

The Houses of Pilgrim's Trowel 250 

The Commoner of Northfield 276 

Winter View of Birthplace 322 


I find that men (as high as trees) will write 

Allegory-wise, yet no man doth them slight 

For writing thus ; then so will I ! 

Would'st thou remember 

From New Year's day to the last of December? 

Then read my fancies, they will stick like burs. 

Would'st thou see 

A man i' th' clouds, and hear him speak to thee? 

Would'st know just how he runs and runs 

Till he unto the Gate of Glory comes? 

Would'st thou be in a dream and yet not sleep? 

Would'st thou in a moment laugh and weep? 

O, then come hither, 

And lay my book, thy head and heart together. 

John Bunyan, "Pilgrim's Progress." 

Now this is to be the Chronicle of a servant of the King, 
whose life and labors are set forth in this short, simple word, 


Sketch Book. 


Now it came to pass that an horror of great dark- 
ness fell upon me. For, seeing the Bride of Christ 
having ashes in place of beauty, I had boasted, My 
prowess shall rescue her! Then I found out what 
the Book meaneth where it saith, The Lord hath not 
pleasure in the legs of a man. 

While I did much grieve over this state of affairs, 
the report kept coming of a rude, unlettered one 
who turned the world upside down for his Lord. 
So Deborah and I went scouting wherever he had 
been, always asking, How did he do it? And, lo! 
a serviceable annal grew in my Sketch Book. 

* * * 

Centuries ago, ship-loads of King Arthur's Yeo- 
men moved into the wilderness of the Connecticut 
Valley and sturdily set up the pleasing village of 
Northfield in an Indian place called Squakeag. The 
person of whom I am to write was born in the line 
of these yeomen, and his mother was a Berkshire 
Madonna. The Young King, by way of setting forth 
His rule not by might nor by power, swiftly over- 
took this heavy country fellow upon his leaving 
home, placed in his hand that of a lovely Christiana, 
encouraged him to wield Evangel's sword, and then 
touched him with Fire. 

Our Pilgrim was then joined by a young com- 
panion, armed with no greater weapon than a melo- 
deon! Together they set out upon a quest to King 


Arthur's Land. They seemed most humble in per- 
son. But lo! in a few days the world perceived 
anew the ancient miracle of the Angel of the Lord 
appearing in a flame of fire out of the midst of the 
bush ; and it turned aside to see the great sight. 

Behold, it maketh a fair tale to mark how the 
Holy One gave unto Pilgrim the engines of war; 
a Scroll upon which he did continuously look ; Hon- 
est Arrows for his quiver; a Sword for his right 
hand, a Trowel for his left; and An Inquisition of 
Grace, whereby Stricken Sinners were transmuted 
into Steadfast Saints. By reason of the heavenly in 
him so constantly advancing, he was compassed 
about by a Cloud of Witnesses. Toward the end of 
his journey, he copied Pentecostal Strategy and 
thereby did his greatest works. It seemed a sad 
loss for the world when his King led him at last 
through the Gates of Glory. But my eyes have 
often opened their fountains at the reading of little 
messages I'm sure he left for such as me : 

" The days of our Lord's power shall come again ! 
Lo, to this end He doth require, more than anything 
in the world, men and women on fire with the Fire 
of Heaven ; not great men, but true, honest persons 
He can use ! " 


(SUMMER OF 1935) 


I will therefore draw back the veil, and show my much 
honored friend in his most secret recesses, that the world 
may see what those springs were, from which issued that 
clear, permanent, and living stream of wisdom, piety and 
virtue, which so apparently ran through all that part of his 
life which was open to public observation. Phillip Dodd- 
ridge, "Life of Col. James Gardiner." 


(SUMMER OF 1935) 

Here is an item deserving a fixed place in the 
Litany of Gratitude: 

For that refreshing which comes to Man-Soul, from a 
centennial re-study of Christian Great Hearts Good Lord, 
we thank Thee! 

In ordinary times, Biography's life-giving waters 
remain like treasures of snow, locked on the lofty 
shelves of libraries. A few hardy ones only, climb 
high and drink, and live. But, let a hundredth anni- 
versary draw nigh ! Lo, the dramatic facts of Some 
Ancient Valiant rush with vernal power over human 
thinking. Centennial psychology is surely one of 
God's attending angels through whom He is glori- 

The one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of 
Dwight Lyman Moody will come like springs in the 
desert for an age like this. That far-off Sunday 
morning, February 5, 1837, was marked by a New 
England blizzard, roaring across the treeless pas- 
turelands bordering Northfield, Massachusetts. A 
lonely house, brutally pioneer, newly built and un- 
painted, lifted its clapboard siding to shield a young 
mother, bringing back her sixth child from the 
Valley of Anguish. A few days later, when a thin 
winter's sun lighted the snowy New England wilder- 
ness, she wrote in her Bible : 



Was born Feb. 5, 1837. Sunday. 

That very Bible, lying for months on my study- 
table here Beside the Golden Gate, has allowed me 
to company with angels. Over and over, as I rev- 
erently touched it, romantic movements flooded the 
imagination. I have watched one of history's re- 
freshing incredibles a lowly lad rise to a world 
figure; an exploit of such transforming conse- 
quence, that, as it were a type, the very impover- 
ished pastureland around his birthplace changed to 
the forested glory of the Northfield Seminary Cam- 
pus; and the barren nob of a hill just behind the 
house became to Christian pilgrims that Sylvan Zion 
called Round Top. 1 

But the first studies in this Life of Moody proved 
a disagreeable experience. For long time, weaving 
the pattern of The Shadow of the Broad Brim, I 
lived with Charles Haddon Spurgeon. To go 
abruptly from Spurgeon to Moody seemed like 
passing from Sierra Glory to Nebraska prairie. The 
plain, almost monotonous endowment of Moody, over 
against the genius of Spurgeon, made me despair of 
ever finding an adequate biographer's enthusiasm. 
Then suddenly came eyes to see that for those of us 
who must go through life as Poor Ordinaries, the 
story of the Commoner of Northfield has even 
higher value than that of the Heir of the Puritans. 

1 Adoniram Judson Gordon, August, 1893 : " I was here at North- 
field Seminary when, the first building stood alone; and this field 
where we now stand was a rough and stony pasture." 


Here, in the life of Moody is a divine apologetic, 
putting hope into our one-talent lives by proving 
endowment and advantage to be, in God's sight, 
small as the dust of the balance; that my uttermost 
for His Highest must never be an inventory of 
genius, but a program of consecration ; that Faith's 
greatest romance in every age is a fresh proving 

The world has yet to see what God will do with and for 
and through and in and. by the man who is fully and wholly 
consecrated to Him. 

Such a thesis finds an ideal exhibit in D. L. Moody. 
It will be to thousands of others, as it has been to 
me, sweet surgery to abide for hours, reproved and 
ashamed, before his White Consecration ; to become 
convinced that our beleagured age stands in need, 
not so much of ten-talent men as God-conquered 

But such a thesis has curious power to play sub- 
conscious pranks, as, for instance, a sustained de- 
preciation of Moody by way of building a case. That 
would be unfair. Moody, stands before us today as 
ruggedly winsome as his Berkshire Hills. But, after 
honest appraisal, there yet remains a baffling chasm 
between what he was and what he did; a chasm 
which may be bridged by one word only God ! 

Let me respectfully present a biographer's cre- 
dentials. Long search has put upon my shelves a 
practically complete bibliography, all the way from 
Daniels' excellent volume of 1875, Torrey's fire- 
brand, Jessie McKinnon's spiritual portrait, to Erd- 


man's simple classic an even one hundred refer- 
ences. 2 

By purchase, loan, and gift, these source ma- 
terials have come together, a very large collection. 
Eye witnesses also have greatly aided me, such as: 
Minnie Holton Callendar, the grand old woman of 
the Holton Homestead ; William Norton ; Dr. James 
Martin Gray; Dr. H. A. Ironside; Dr. Charles G. 
Trumbull; Mr. Samuel E. Walker of Northfield; 
Dr. Curtis Lee Laws ; Mrs. Norman Perkins Wood, 
widow of D. L.'s beloved physician; and a host of 

Then Deborah and I went forth on a wide quest in 
the summer of 1935, driving through thousands of 
miles in a shining new chariot from Detroit. We 
slept by deliberate choice on mountain slopes, brook 
sides, river meadows, just to be near where Moody 
had been, and to see the birds, the trees and the 
verdant New England hills he loved. We walked the 
summer-heated streets of great cities, following as 
best we could where he lived, and labored and 
prayed. The staffs of great institutions, as the 
Chicago Historical Society, gave their personal at- 
tention in the exacting search for accurate detail. 
Nor do we wish to forget the profit derived from 
hours spent in the old Northfield Cemetery, literally 
feeling out on ancient, leaning, black headstones de- 
tail to be had nowhere else. 

S W. H. Daniels, D. L. Moody and, His Work; R. A. Torrey, WJvy 
God Used D. L. Moody; Mrs. Peter McKinnon, Recollections of D. L. 
Moody; Charles Rosenbury Erdman, D. L. Moody, His Message For 


But the author's summum bonum is the Wash- 
burne Collection, an amazing treasury of relics of 
D. L. Moody, patiently gathered by his youngest 
sister, Mrs. Franklin Bryant Washburne (Elizabeth 
Clapp Moody) through a period of more than sixty 
years. I am deeply indebted to Miss Miriam Elim 
Washburne, daughter of Mrs. Washburne, of Racine, 
Wisconsin, who loaned this collection to me as a trust 
during the period of research. Indeed, it should be 
said that I conceived the writing of Bush Aglow as 
a companion biography to The Shadow of the 
Broad Brim, then abandoned the idea owing to the 
closely guarded copyright materials on Moody's life. 
After the project was dropped, Miss Washburne 
made possible its resumption, indeed urged it, by 
putting at my disposal the entire collection. This 
unexpected good fortune not only made quotation 
from other source material unnecessary, but brought 
such a flood of new light as to give this book the 
quality of an entirely fresh interpretation, even to 
the illustrations, selected from a great collection of 
unpublished daguerreotypes, pictures, etc. 

Mrs. Washburne, widow of Dr. Franklin Bryant 
Washburne, was "the last member of the Moody 
family." She died in Racine, July 14, 1925, at the 
age of eighty-four. Singularly did she resemble her 
famous brother! The same vitality she taught a 
Sunday school class in the First Presbyterian Church 
of Racine until the year of her death. She held 
toward D. L. the hero worship of a younger sister. 
She gathered and retained "every precious frag- 
ment," making numerous notations on sheets of 


paper, the backs of old photographs, etc., that have 
the highest historical value. 3 

In Elizabeth Moody Washburne's collection are 
values too numerous for complete inventory : scores 
of hitherto unpublished pictures ; D. L.'s own letters 
running from boyhood days in Boston to sundown 
in Northfield; many of the letters of his mother, 
Betsey; and of his wife, Emma Charlotte Moody; 
most of the very mortgages, releases, deeds that in 
themselves could tell the pitiful struggle of the 
widow of Northfield; her last will and testament; 
the Masonic apron and contract for deed to pew 
number thirteen, belonging to D. L.'s father; D. L.'s 
army pass; bits of linen woven by Betsey's own 
hand, and articles of furniture belonging to her 
pewter cups, Colonial chairs, china, spinet desk. 

But the two jewels in this trust are: the little 
book, Hymns and Prayers, from which Betsey read 
to her bereaved family ; and her Bible, the famous 
Mother's Bible in which she entered in her own hand 
the record of her family of nine ; and in which she 
filed clippings of poetry, household remedies and 
spiritual comment. We exhibited some of these 
relics Sunday night, July 26, 1935, to hundreds of 
people in Moody Memorial Church. 

* * * 

I cannot forbear a brief account of the most 
dramatic experience in the search for biographical 

8 Permit a brief notation lipon this Washburne family. Doctor and 
Mrs. Washburne had several children, including Miss Miriam. One 
was Franklin Bryant, Junior, who lives in Florida. He has a son, 
Franklin Bryant Washburne, who lives in Hollywood ! And I am 
indebted to the latter, whom many will remember in " Rupert of 
Hentzau," for valuable help. 


data. The Fleet Chariot, which bore Deborah and 
myself, racing southward out of Quebec, descended 
the Atlantic slopes of the Maine mountains, pressed 
on through Augusta, Portland, "down to Dover," 
and finally into Keene, New Hampshire. We were 
at last in the borders of the Moody country, through 
the coveted Canadian approach. A few miles more 
and we would come to Northfield, Massachusetts. If 
only we could make it before dark! Late afternoon, 
June glory was upon the tumbling Ashuelot River 
as we flew along its bordering concrete ribbon. 
Hinsdale; a left turn south; into the Connecticut 
Valley, and, in seven miles, the gates of Northfield 

Swiftly we turned in, as twilight settled down; 
parked the auto, and climbed the gentle slopes of 
Round Top. Our eyes looked out over the very coun- 
try, where in a true sense, Dwight Lyman Moody 
lived and moved and had his being. Within a few 
steps below the little hilltop was the house in which 
he was born; and almost adjoining, to the west, 
the homestead where he lived the last quarter of a 
century of his life. Southward in the soft evening 
lights lay Northfield with its long tree-lined main 
street ; westward, the crest line of the Berkshires ; 
eastward, the apparently continuous ridge of the 
Holyokes. And it seemed fitting, indeed, that on 
the little crown of Round Top, beneath the shadow 
of the trees, were two simple headstones, " compan- 
ions in rest." One bore the name, " Dwight Lyman 
Moody, 1837-1899"; the other, "Emma C. Revell, 
wife of Dwight Lyman Moody, 1843-1903." Lo, we 


shall never be ashamed to admit that a tearful 
silence of prayer fell upon us. 

From that time to this, my heart has lingered on 
Round Top, looking out upon the whole of Pilgrim's 
life from its gentle eminence. Though my little 
study is Beside the Golden Gate, yet in a mystic 
sense, I shall Write upon Round Top. 

5J 5| J5 

As I inscribe the foreword, many months of re- 
search are ended, and the real task starts. The 
candles of Christmas are beginning to shed their soft 
glow over the world. Thanks be unto Him who 
enabled us to go scouting! I rejoice to find in my 
heart a writer's urge, a curious warmth which I 
fancied had passed away forever when The Shadow 
of the Broad Brim was completed. There is a sweet 
assurance that, if He will provide guidance in the 
writing of subsequent chapters, this book will serve 
to prove that God's chosen instrument is "My 
human best, filled with the Holy Spirit " ; that to- 
day's broken world, to quote D. L. himself, needs 
nothing more than 

Men and women on fire with the Fire of heaven; not great 
men, but true honest persons God can use. 

R. E. D. 

DECEMBER 5, 1935. 


(From the Great Removal of 1635 to the marriage of 
Edwin and Betsey Moody, 1828) 

I have a most cheerful hope that the narrative I am now 
to write will, under the divine blessing, be a means of 
spreading what of all things in the world every benevolent 
heart will most desire to spread, a warm and lively sense of 
religion. Nor do I fear to tell the world that it is the design 
of my writing these memoirs, to spread this glorious and 
blessed enthusiasm, which I know to be the anticipation of 
heaven, as well as the most certain way to it. Phillip 
Doddridge, "Life of Col. James Gardiner." 



It is a rewarding approach, in viewing the life of 
the Commoner of Northfield, to stand upon Round 
Top, as it were, look out over the Connecticut Valley, 
and envision the six generations of Puritan ances- 
tors from whom, through both father and mother, 
" he derived his pedigree." Let imagination pass in 
review those Broad Brimmers who for over two 
hundred years before Moody was born pioneered 
along the Connecticut River, figured prominently 
in every important enterprise, and were among 
those who laid the foundations of Northfield itself. 

Aye, carry back thy ken more than three hun- 
dred years from 1937, and see D. L/s ancestors, 
John Moody and William Houlton, arriving in 
America within twelve months of each other. Then 
trace their two family lines until, on January 3, 
1828, they were bound together in the marriage of 
Edwin Moody and Betsey Holton. And it is well, 
also, to remember that Edwin and Betsey conveyed 
to D. L. what they had also received, blood relation- 
ships to other Puritan lines the Edwards, Shat- 
tuck, Cox, Deming, Kellog, Alexander families. Let 
us trace these two tribes of Puritan forebears. 

* * * 

In 1633, Moody's paternal great-great-grand- 
father's great-grandfather, John Moody, of Bury, 



St. Edmunds, England, arrived in " Roxbury " (an- 
cient Boston suburb) in the fortieth year of his age. 
Behind him lay a fairly picturesque ancestry. His 
own great-grandfather Edmund was knighted in 
1540 for saving the life of Henry VIII. . . With John 
Moody came Sara Cox, his wife, in the thirty-sev- 
enth year of her life. They were a childless couple. 
Four times in England she bore a child unto John, 
and each time they wept over a tiny coffin. 

But the gift of God was soon to come to them 
again and for the last time. Hooker and Stone, 
pioneer American real-estate boomers, promoted " a 
fertile section up the Connecticut River " with such 
California technique that in 1635 came " the Great 
Removal." Sixty men, women, and children left 
the Bay colony, going toward the Connecticut Val- 
ley with their cows, horses, and swine, bound for 
Hartford, " where they arrived after a tedious and 
difficult journey." And among the adventurers of 
the Great Removal were John and Sara Moody 
" she being great with child ! " In Sara and John's 
pioneer Hartford cabin, 1636, was born Samuel, who 
grew up in the village and married Sarah Deming 
in 1658, both being twenty-two. The " pull of the 
upper valley " drew Samuel and Sarah, in 1660, to 
Hadley, Massachusetts, thirty-three miles north. 

Now Samuel and Sarah begat six children, three 
girls and three boys, one of whom was Ebenezer, 

And Ebenezer and Editha Owen begat nine chil- 
dren, four girls and five boys, one of whom was 
Joseph, 1720. 


And Joseph and Sara Kellog begat eight chil- 
dren, two girls and six boys, one of whom was Noah, 


And Noah and Susannah begat ten children, five 
girls and five boys, one of whom was "Isaiah of 

And Isaiah and Phila Alexander begat nine chil- 
dren, four girls and five boys, one of whom was 
Edwin, 1800, father of Dwight Lyman Moody. 


In 1634, one year after John Moody put out from 
Liverpool, the good ship Francis sailed for the New 
World. In her passenger list was a young chap, in 
his twenty-second year, William Houlton, of Suffolk, 
Ipswich. Undoubtedly he was a somebody, right 
down to the finer way in which he wore his buckles. 
Was he not an original proprietor of Mark Twain's 
town, and later of Northampton? And didn't he 
turn out to be a sort of pioneer Massachusetts con- 
gressman, in that he was for five years a represen- 
tative on the General Court? So far as the church 
was concerned, behold, he was " Deacon Houlton, a 
goodly man ! " It makes a fine picture to see him, 
as a member of the Second Settlement Committee, 
strutting like a senator, amidst the burned ruins of 
Squakeag (Northfield) , pointing out where the new 
lines should run. 

In 1640, William set up his home with Mary, a 
Puritan lass as blue-blooded as himself. And she 
begat eight children, five girls and three boys, one 
of whom was John, 1652. 


And John and Abigail Day begat six children, two 
girls and four boys, one of whom was William, " a 
weaver," 1679. 

And William and Abigail Edwards begat five chil- 
dren, two girls and three boys, one of whom was 
William (II) 1709, "who laid out Northfield by 
appointment of the General Court." 

And William (II) and Azubah begat eight chil- 
dren, six girls and two boys, one of whom was 
Lemuel, 1749, " a very worthy and valuable man." 

And Lemuel and Lydia Shattuck begat six chil- 
dren, one girl and five boys, one of whom was Luther 
" Holton," 1777 (note change of spelling) . 

And Luther and Betsey Hodges begat thirteen ( !) 
children, nine boys and four girls, one of whom was 
Betsey Holton, February 5, 1805, mother of Dwight 
Lyman Moody. 

*p ! I* 

It seems a pity that I must leave these family 
trees, worked out in full detail, after hours of pains- 
taking research in New England. But the norms 
of modern biography, keyed to a high-speed psy- 
chology, demand that " two hundred feet of the film 
be cut right here." 

These bare outlines, however, show the Moody 
and Holton families in the northern emigrations up 
the Connecticut Valley two centuries of Indian 
perils, slow-moving herds and creaking, ox-drawn 

The two families " tied in " the first tune on Octo- 
ber 16, 1825, when Simeon P. Moody, cousin of 



Edwin, was married to Fanny, one of "the four 
lovely Holton girls " who lived on the English grant 
right north of where Mount Hermon School is lo- 
cated. 1 Edwin Moody became interested in Fanny's 
younger sister, Betsey. Their ferry-boat courtship 
ended in marriage, January 3, 1828. 

One has a better understanding of the relentless 
energy of Dwight Lyman Moody his courage, his 
bluntness, his lack of poetic fancy, his sterling hon- 
esty when he envisions the two hundred years of 
plain, home-loving, hard-working, upright "New 
England Vinegar Faces." One gets a clearer view 
of that shrewd, frugal, homely, hard-bitten thing 
called "Yankee" the hybrid arising from Char- 
nock's exacting Puritan theology crossed with the 
even more exacting conditions of a savage new 

1 See Fanny's picture, in group of four sisters, page 32. 

Puritan Two-Wheeler 
and Oxen 


And John and Abigail Day begat six children, two 
girls and four boys, one of whom was William, " a 
weaver," 1679. 

And William and Abigail Edwards begat five chil- 
dren, two girls and three boys, one of whom was 
William (II) 1709, "who laid out Northfield by 
appointment of the General Court." 

And William (II) and Azubah begat eight chil- 
dren, six girls and two boys, one of whom was 
Lemuel, 1749, " a very worthy and valuable man." 

And Lemuel and Lydia Shattuck begat six chil- 
dren, one girl and five boys, one of whom was Luther 
" Holton," 1777 (note change of spelling) . 

And Luther and Betsey Hodges begat thirteen ( !) 
children, nine boys and four girls, one of whom was 
Betsey Holton, February 5, 1805, mother of Dwight 
Lyman Moody. 

*P P n 

It seems a pity that I must leave these family 
trees, worked out in full detail, after hours of pains- 
taking research in New England. But the norms 
of modern biography, keyed to a high-speed psy- 
chology, demand that " two hundred feet of the film 
be cut right here." 

These bare outlines, however, show the Moody 
and Holton families in the northern emigrations up 
the Connecticut Valley two centuries of Indian 
perils, slow-moving herds and creaking, ox-drawn 

The two families " tied in " the first time on Octo- 
ber 16, 1825, when Simeon P. Moody, cousin of 



Edwin, was married to Fanny, one of "the four 
lovely Holton girls " who lived on the English grant 
right north of where Mount Hermon School is lo- 
cated. 1 Edwin Moody became interested in Fanny's 
younger sister, Betsey. Their ferry-boat courtship 
ended in marriage, January 3, 1828. 

One has a better understanding of the relentless 
energy of Dwight Lyman Moody his courage, his 
bluntness, his lack of poetic fancy, his sterling hon- 
esty when he envisions the two hundred years of 
plain, home-loving, hard-working, upright "New 
England Vinegar Faces." One gets a clearer view 
of that shrewd, frugal, homely, hard-bitten thing 
called "Yankee" the hybrid arising from Char- 
nock's exacting Puritan theology crossed with the 
even more exacting conditions of a savage new 

1 See Fauny's picture, in group of four sisters, page 32. 

Puritan Two-Wheeler 
and Oxen 





Betsey Hodges 
Born 1781, died 1845 
Married Luther 
Holton, 1801 

(Photographed from oil- 
painting in Holton Home- 
stead, Northfield, through 
courtesy of Mrs. Minnie 
Holton Callendar) 

Phila Alexander 
Born 1781, died 1869 
Married Isaiah 
Moody, 1799 

(Washburne Collection) 




(Northfield, from Gookin's visit, 1669, to the 
Commoner's Centennial, 1937) 

The history of Northfield is a rewarding study. No wonder 
Temple and Sheldon felt it was much worth while to under- 
stand " how civilized life was set up here, and how it finally 
displaced savage life." But it was her First Son, D. L. M., 
like the Mayos of Rochester, who set this Yankee village on 
such a hill that it could not be hid. The last census of 
American cities still ignores this Massachusetts Bethlehem; 
it is too little to be counted among the thousands of Judah. 
Yet out of it came a Willing Amasiah, who so greatly mag- 
nified his Ruler in Israel that thousands have followed thither 
to worship Him. Sketch Book. 


Four young Puritan surveyors rode horseback 
down Miller's River toward the Connecticut Valley, 
on a spring morning in 1669, Captains Daniel 
Gookin, Thomas Prentice, Richard Beers, and Pri- 
vate Daniel Henchman. Making short work of a 
General Court Commission to lay out the new plan- 
tation which eventually became Worcester, they had 
two weeks to spare. Why not see what lay beyond 
in the northern wilderness? Why not? 

When they reached the Connecticut River, they 
turned north and followed its tumbling course. It 
was the first time white man's eyes had looked upon 
the place. Decidedly it was "Indian Country." 
Blackened forest trunks rose up everywhere, the 
wreckage of the annual, fall fires, set to keep the 
country open for hunters. Only swamps and ravines 
had escaped the holocausts. Bluifs along the river, 
having adjacent brooks, were occupied by villages 
of shabby, smoking wigwams. Captain Gookin said, 
" This land lieth not in its primeval condition. The 
whole face showeth marks of savage occupancy, not 
improvement but devastation." 

After cautious riding through the morning, they 
came to a part of the valley that " verily looked as 
heaven to us." What was its name? " Squakeag," 
grunted the Red Men. At least, that's how it 
sounded. Captain Gookin spelled it " Suckquakeag," 





and explained it meant " a place where one speared 
salmon." He also explained that " Connecticut " 
meant, "Quinneh" long (river), "tuk" (with 
waves) . Not bad for this attractive four-hundred- 
mile stream rising in New Hampshire highlands and 
ending at the Atlantic, a bit east of the Yale Bowl ! 
The land-hungry Puritans wanted Squakeag with all 
their hearts. Would the Indians sell it? Maybe, 
maybe! Captain Gookin's report to the governor 
had a postscript on it to the effect that a certain 
meadow land named " Suckquakeag " was a fair site 
for a village. And thus, the earliest beginnings of 
Northfield. The next year, 1670, acting on the re- 
port these four made to the governor, four other 
young men rode into Squakeag and found the In- 
dians "eager to sell." Their eagerness arose from 
fear of a tribe of warlike neighbors ; and they cov- 
eted protection from the white man's "smoking 


In 1673, following the total purchases of 13,560 
acres, sixteen families moved into this paradise of 
Northern Massachusetts. The exacting norms of 
biography again put a stop to the narrative, and I 
leave it with a sigh. But, there's gold in those quills 
for one who writes the story of the next thirty 
years: "the bold push of the Puritan pioneers," 
who snatched Squakeag from "its wide circle of 

The redemption of Squakeag was certainly not a 
perfumed amity. Three times it had to be colonized. 
The rude stockade and log huts built in 1673 were 
burned by gaggling savages in 1675. In wild fury 


Richard Beers, one of the four who first saw Squa- 
keag, rode to the defense, and a marker, somewhat 
Weed grown, beside the Northfield Main Street 
shows the traditional spot where friends found his 
mutilated body. 

Seven years later, 1682, pioneer zeal flared afresh. 
By 1684 the village streets were resurveyed, and in 
1685 twenty families arrived. It was on the second 
settlement committee that we find the name of 
Moody 's forebear, William Houlton (I) . But the sec- 
ond settlement also, was short-lived. Red savages, 
instigated by the wily French Catholics of Quebec, 
stole down from the Canadian north. Peril quite 
up to the best western tradition settled down on the 
pioneers : " We came to a captive hung to a limb of 
a tree by a chain hooked in his jaw." So terrible 
did their onslaught become that a horseman rushed 
into Northfield, June 25, 1690, with this order from 
the County Court : " Get your corn and livestock to 
Springfield within six to eight days." Yelling sav- 
ages, dancing in the lurid fires of burning buildings 
on the night of July 1, 1690, marked the failure of 
the second settlement. 

For twenty years thereafter "the land lay with 
the savages." Then peace between warring mother 
countries in Europe abated for a time the duplicity 
of French Canadians. In the spring of 1714, cara- 
vans of two-wheelers and cattle moved back toward 
Squakeag. Around the night-fires beside the Con- 
necticut arose the voices of men, women, and chil- 
dren singing the "0 Suzannah" substitute of the 
Puritans : 


The hosts of God encamp around 

The dwellings of the just; 
Protection He affords to all 

Who make His name their trust! 

But the General Court order upon which the men 
of 1714 colonized used the word "Northfield." 
Squakeag had changed its name! From now on 
" Northfield," because northernmost of Colonial set- 
tlements ; a spear-head to be held against the Cana- 
dian approach for the next thirty-five years. In this 
third settlement appears the name of William Hoi- 
ton (II), Moody's great-great grandfather, as the 
"surveyor" who laid out the town upon General 
Court order. 

The century following 1714 must, for our pur- 
pose, be swiftly sketched. While there was no 
longer danger of abandoning the village, yet during 
the first thirty-four years, to August 2, 1748, the 
villagers lived in constant peril of Indian snipers, 
influenced by merciless French Canadians. The 
period is replete with tragedies such as this, re- 
corded in Pastor Doolittle's fascinating document: 

Aug. 11, 1746. "A small party of Indians 
came to Northfield, shot upon Benjamin Wright 
a young man as he was riding after cows to bring 
them out of the woods; but his Horse brought 
him into town and he died the following night. 


From 1748 to 1800 came the period of peaceful 
occupation. The settlers profited by fading Indian 

1 Temple and Sheldon, History of Northfleld. 


traditions, learning from them how to make good 
old New England maple-sugar, and refraining from 
planting corn " until white oak-leaves grow big as 
squirrel paws." They erected their water-power 
trip-hammers, sythe factories, castor- and linseed- 
oil mills, rigging "water engines" for sash and 
blind factories. The social news of that day had a 
quaint flavor : 

"Seth Lyman (remember that name) who 
lives on the Second Brook has a daughter ... so 
adept as to spin two threads at once, one with 
each hand, on the water-power spinning-wheel 
set up by her father." 

The religious life was nominally Unitarian: but 
that word had none of the connotations of the pres- 
ent day. 

The differences between the early New England 
Unitarian Churches and the Orthodox centered upon 
points of speculative theology. "Could God condemn 
a great part of the human race for his own good 
pleasure? Would a soul be lost because it was un- 
willing to be damned if God in His secret will so 
ordained?" No! said the Unitarian. Yes! thun- 
dered the Orthodox. Otherwise, Unitarian churches, 
in that early day, affirmed an inspired Bible and 
Jesus as the Saviour, with just enough of " a fatal 
angle of divergence" to finally put Ichabod over 
their church doors. 

The first de facto pastor of the Northfield Church 
was Rev. Benjamin Doolittle, 


" who died Jany Ye 9 
1784 in the 54 year 
of his age and 30th 
year of his ministry " 

The old, black head-marker in the cemetery with 
its dim inscription hints that he came to grief with 
his flock by being "well skilled in two important 
arts, both of preacher and physician," but that 
" Now he enjoys a sweet repose and when the just 
to life shall rise, Among the first he'll mount the 

The great awakening of 1733 powerfully moved 
upon Northfield. In fact, Jonathan Edwards him- 
self held a revival in the little village, which " shook 
the mountains clear up to Canada." He deposited 
in the minds of Moody's forebears a heritage of 
sound thinking that eventually came to the boy as 
a part of the very atmosphere of the town. Some- 
thing of the peculiar composure which faith gave 
these early heroes and heroines is sensed in the 
inscription upon the headstone, in the Northfield 
Cemetery, of a blood-relative of Moody's, Abigail 
Alexander, who died at the age of twenty-five: 

" Friends and physicians could not save 
This mortal body from the grave, 
Nor can the grave contain it here 
When Christ commands it to appear." 

As nearly as we can estimate, William Holton 
(III) received from the King of England, in the 
year 1715, the grant of a parcel of land, a little 
south of Northfield, on the west side of the Connec- 


ticut and just north of Mount Hermon School. Here 
he strung his slate-fence posts many of which are 
alive to this day and here he began his quaint 
Yankee House-Barn (All hooked up together. 
Great in winter when one desires a basket of wood ; 
but in summer, run for the fly-swatter !) . And here 
the decidedly aristocratic Holtons struck root, flour- 
ishing with Eooseveltian families for two centuries. 
The property has continued in the Holton family 
on that ancient grant to this very year, 1936. One 
day in July, 1935, Mrs. Minnie Holton Callendar, 
"the last of the residentees," permitted me to 
carry the great oil-painting of her grandmother, 
Betsey Hodges, out into the sunlight to be photo- 
graphed for reproduction in this book. There she 
is, Moody's maternal grandmother, looking for the 
world like a Puritan Mona Lisa ! 

In the summer of 1796 a devil-may-care chap, 
twenty-three years old, rode into Northiield from 
Hadley. Being a brick-mason, he was attracted by 
a report of much activity in his trade ; and his whole 
fortune was " the horse he rode, and his kit of tools 
in a bag." 2 Here come the Moodys ! for that brick- 
mason was Isaiah, grandfather of D. L.! Within 
three years, 1799, this vigorous knight of the trowel 
had wooed and won Phila, of the patrician Alexan- 
ders. Wasn't she of the blue-bloods who dated clear 
back to George Alexander, one of the four young 
fellows who rode up the Connecticut in 1670 and 
found the Indians eager to sell? And didn't she 

8 Temple and Sheldon, page 499. 


have a mind of her own? And didn't Isaiah come 
to be known as her husband 1 ? And can't one make 
his own guess of all this from her picture? There 
she is, Moody's paternal grandmother, looking for 
the world like good Yankee Tenacity. Look at them 
both ! They certainly had something to pass on to 
posterity ! And we're quite sure D. L. got his share. 
So we hang up a rough, early-day tapestry of the 
tiny but lovely village of Northfield. It never was 
large 415 in 1765; 1,641 in 1875; and 1,950 in 
1936. But from the Holton Homestead appeared 
the Berkshire Madonna ; and from the home of the 
itinerant brick-mason a son, Edwin. From the 
union of Edwin and Betsey, poignantly sweet in 
genuine love and deep distress, there was born in 
the fulness of time a humble post-Puritan lad, set 
to exhibit in a transforming measure the light of 
the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ. 


(Three pictures, from the Washburne Collection) 

Martha Holton Allen 

Betsey Holton Moody 

(At age of 65) 

Fannie Holton Moody 
Mary Holton Farrell 


' First and only time they icere toyctJicr after 

Isaiuli (first from left in front row) ran away 

fro in li o m c." Elizabeth Moody Washburne 

(fifth from left, top row) 

(Key to this picture on following page) 

Betsey Holton Moody 

(At age of 84) 


have a mind of her own? And didn't Isaiah come 
to be known as her husband? And can't one make 
his own guess of all this from her picture? There 
she is, Moody's paternal grandmother, looking for 
the world like good Yankee Tenacity. Look at them 
both! They certainly had something to pass on to 
posterity ! And we're quite sure D. L. got his share. 
So we hang up a rough, early-day tapestry of the 
tiny but lovely village of Northfield. It never was 
large 415 in 1765; 1,641 in 1875; and 1,950 in 
1936. But from the Holton Homestead appeared 
the Berkshire Madonna ; and from the home of the 
itinerant brick-mason a son, Edwin. From the 
union of Edwin and Betsey, poignantly sweet in 
genuine love and deep distress, there was born in 
the fulness of time a humble post-Puritan lad, set 
to exhibit in a transforming measure the light of 
the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ. 


(Seated, left to right) : Isaiah, 1828-1916; Mother Moody, 1805- 
1896; George F., 1833-1905. 

(Standing, left to right) : Edwin, 1834-1907; Cornelia (Walker), 
1830-1910; Samuel, 1841-1876; D. L., 1837-1899; Elizabeth Clapp 
(Washburne), 1841-1925; Luther, 1835-1890; Warren, 1841-1896. 



(February 5, 1805 January 26, 1896) 

" If I can control myself I would like to say a few words. 
It's a great honor to be the son of such a mother. I have 
traveled a good deal but I never saw one who had such tact. 
She so bound her children to her that it was a great calamity 
to have to leave home. The first year after my father died 
she wept herself to sleep every night. Yet she was always 
bright and cheerful in the presence of her children. Her sor- 
rows drove her to Him. . . I would wake up and hear her 
praying, sometimes weeping. I cannot say half enough. That 
dear face! No sweeter on earth! Fifty years I was always 
glad to come home. When I got within fifty miles of home, 
I always grew restless and walked up and down the car. . . 
I was so glad I got back in time to be recognized. I said 
* Mother, do you know me? ' She said ' I guess I do.' I 
like that word, that Yankee word 'guess'! Here is her 
Bible; everything came from it! Widow Moody 's light 
burned on that hill fifty four years. God bless you, mother; 
we love you still. Good-bye for a little while, mother! " 
D. L. at his mother's funeral from Waskburne Collection. 



Betsey Holton Moody was born, 1805, on the same 
day of the month as her eminent son, February 5. 
His life was so profoundly shaped by his mother 
that her life is sketched in this separate chapter. 
After considerable inquiry in Northfield, we finally 
located the house in which she was born. It is the 
old Holton Homestead, mentioned in the previous 
chapter. The present generation of Northfielders 
seems to be losing that community cunning whereby 
a stranger is intrigued through a ready answer to 
his, What meaneth these stones? If the Homestead 
were in the land of All Year Boosters, the tires of 
hurrying motor-cars would be squealing day and 
night; squealing as tourists, upon the sight of a 
neon sign, " Birth Place of D. L. Moody's Mother," 
would come to a quick stop. Maybe it's better as 
it is. 

If you want to visit this house as part of your 
centennial pilgrimage, you'll find it just opposite 
Mount Hermon School, on the north side of the 
Greenfield Highway. A few rods after one leaves 
the bridge over the Connecticut River and ascends 
the grade, there it is, in the delectable Berkshire 
Mountains. Don't forget those are the Berkshire 
Mountains! We were neatly warned by a budding 
geologist putting in a service-station summer not to 



call them " the Green Mountains as these locals do. 
It was the Berkshire Range, swinging southward on 
a wide sweep into North Adams and finally into New 
York State." For good measure this college lad 
added, " Those mountains over there (east side of 
Connecticut) are the Holyokes, not ' Northfields ' as 
the locals say." Having raised the issue, we safely 
walk out with Pilate while the truth is being de- 

The old Homestead, some portions of which were 
begun by William Holton in 1715, proved a biog- 
rapher's mother lode. There was, for instance, that 
twelve-by-fifteen-inch wall scroll, headed in a Spen- 
cerian hand, "Life How Short; Eternity How 
Long! " and subscribed by "Eldad White, January 
15, 1829." The body of the little document had full 
answers about the thirteen children of D. L.'s grand- 
parents, Luther and Betsey (Hodges) Holton, that 
even Temple and Sheldon omitted. 

Here, in this Mellow Colonial, came the third child 
of Betsey Hodges and Luther Holton Betsey, Feb- 
ruary 5, 1805. One can see a mile or so southward, 
from the room in which she was born, the impressive 
buildings of Mount Hermon School. It is substance 
for the tissue of dreams to think how a son of this 
country girl was literally to transform the landscape 
around the ancient Homestead. 

Four of these thirteen children were girls. Their 
picture, reproduced here from the Washburne Col- 
lection, is a study of four women well filled with 
years; but their abiding grace, even in age, bears 
out every tradition as to the loveliness of their girl- 


hood. The old spinning-wheel in the parlor (still 
there) tells something of Betsey's youth, when young 
ladies were trained in "the polite arts." An early 
writer described her as "a skillful spinner and 
weaver, able to copy all neighborhood patterns, and 
make some of her own." Deborah has from the 
Washburne Collection a precious square of finest 
linen woven by Betsey. What a mercy of God, that 
solid home training, when one recalls the widow of 
Northfield with nine to clothe and feed ! 

Very early records lift up four interesting facts : 
her father Luther believed in old-time evangelism: 
she had bright and merry ways : her training in the 
little red schoolhouse entirely ceased in her thir- 
teenth year: and for the next ten years she was 
occupied in the practical duties of a home " where 
there was always a baby." "Such a background 
assured habits of industry, self -sacrifice and econ- 
omy." In her twenty-first year came Edwin Moody, 
his ferry-boat courtship, and their marriage in her 
twenty-third year. 

Put together the scattered bits that the past offers 
concerning her young husband. In form and size, 
his celebrated son resembled him ; but here the like- 
ness almost ceases. Edwin was a free-handed, care- 
less, popular, lovable fellow: a brick-mason as was 
his father. It is cautiously admitted that " he tip- 
pled slightly " ! The Washburne Collection has in 
it Edwin's Masonic apron and vellum certificate, 
showing -his admission to the Third Degree in the 
Harmony Lodge of Northfield, March 22, 1826. This 
sheepskin has on it one of his three or four extant 


signatures. Another document is a contract for a 
deed to pew thirteen in the Northfield Church, to be 
conveyed " to Edwin Moody, Bricklayer, for $131.00, 
payable $11.79 annually." Instalments are marked 
paid for about five years only. And another docu- 
ment underwrites insurance in the sum of $700.00 
to Edwin Moody, Yeoman. 

After their marriage, Edwin and Betsey moved 
into the honeymoon-house built by Cousin Simeon 
Moody, just at the northern edge of Northfield. 
This building is another example of "a New England 
process house." Today, it is brave in white paint, 
and a dignified plate announces it as "The Birth- 
place " to the thousands of pilgrims traveling with 
the decades. But when Edwin bought the place, in 
1828, the house sat unpainted in a treeless pasture- 
land at the base of a little bald knob (Round Top). 
Its water supply came down in an aqueduct from 
the mountains. A road passed in front, choking- 
dusty from sheep hoofs in the summer, and a sea of 
mud in the spring when the thaws began. 

Two days each year Edwin journeyed to Boston 
over the stage-coach country, to trade his farm crops 
and Betsey's loom work. Remember, the railroads 
had not yet entered. The first train of the Central 
Vermont, with its pioneer New England equipment, 
did not puff into Northfield until April 15, 1849. 1 

On the first Boston trip after marriage he saw a 
newly printed Bible. Never mind the high price; 
he wanted it for her! And she, receiving it as a 

1 Letter from K. G-. Gardner, Chief Engineer, Central Vermont, Jan- 
uary 18, 1936. 


fragrant gift of love, wrote into the family pages 
the records of her loved ones. That Bible is the 
jewel of the Washburne Collection. Edwin's im- 
providence came to a climax in a foolish gesture of 
friendship whereby stifling indebtedness fell upon 
the homestead. All the papers of filing and the 
pitiful redemptions worked out in later years by the 
widow are in the Collection ; as are also the pictures 
of the hard-bitten mugs of Mr. and Mrs. Scrooge, 
who held the mortgages ! 

Let no man, however, fancy that this marriage 
was aught than one of abiding love. Despite poor 
Edwin's basic weaknesses, Betsey's heart never lost 
its love-song for him. There is that pathetic little 
loop of black hair in the Collection, of which Miss 
Miriam Washburne writes: "When Betsey's sev- 
enth child, Warren, was born, she felt so miserable 
she feared for her life. So she clipped a tiny piece 
from her raven tresses and braided it for Edwin to 
wear near his heart, after she. . ." 

But it was to turn out far otherwise. Three years 
later, May 28, 1841, Edwin, laying stone, was seized 
with a pain from overexertion ..." went home . . . 
staggered to the bed, knelt in a posture of prayer, 
and death took him before we really knew he was 
seriously ill." One month later, June 24, the twins, 
Elizabeth and Samuel, were born. Elizabeth subse- 
quently wrote a tiny notation, which I found in the 
Collection, " I never remember mother's hair any 
other way than white; it turned quickly and com- 
pletely after father died." 

Canadian winter never roared down on Northfield 


with greater bitterness than did the disaster of 
Edwin's death upon the home of the widow, with 
the seven children, and two tiny babes. In the long 
summer that followed the burden became almost in- 
tolerable to her. The neighbors said, "Give up 
some of your children, at least." One night after 
the children were asleep, she prayed, wept softly, 
then picked up the Bible Edwin had given her. For 
a long time she wept over it with bowed head. Then 
she dried her eyes and " opened it at random." 

Who can doubt but that angelic hands directed 
her eyes to see Jeremiah 49 : 11 : " Leave thy father- 
less children, I will preserve them alive ; and let thy 
widows trust in me." The old Bible today shows 
around the passage the trembling pencil marks of 
the young widow. It was as if Edwin held counsel 
with her. " Oh, God," she sobbed, " I know that thou 
hast given these children to me and that thou wilt 
be a Father to them if I will do a mother's part." 
Here we find the bidings of her power; as C. I. 
Scofield said, " Thus, in the circle of these hills, God 
brought our sister to this greatness." 

There is no need for a detailed account of the 
pathetic years of struggle following, or of the 
widow's heroism, when sometimes she even worked 
out in Northfield homes. We submit as a sample of 
the trying years the crisis of 1854. At that time 
Mr. and Mrs. Scrooge, who held Edwin's mortgage 
notes, foreclosed upon " all moveables and took even 
the wood in the shed." The dear little old gentle- 
woman of the Holton Homestead, Mrs. Callendar, 
will tell you, if you desire, the beautiful story of how 


her father Cyrus, Betsey's brother, promptly deliv- 
ered to the beleaguered widow what D. L. thought 
was "the largest load of wood he ever saw in his 

But the stricken home fashioned quickly into a 
university of the highest order. Betsey regimented 
poverty like a general. Through grace abounding 
she kept her fatherless group together; sent them 
to school ; by her loom magic caused them to appear 
on the Lord's day in Pastor Oliver Capen Everett's 
church decently clothed, and therefore in their right 
minds. (Sound psychology in that ancient Scrip- 
ture!) If quarrels came in the home, "I prayed, 
and when I came back, they would all be good chil- 
dren again." 

There was another very dark passage when 
Isaiah, reckless son with a scarred face, ran away to 
sea, June 2, 1844, vanishing for twelve weary years. 
But Betsey kept the mother's light burning; hoping, 
praying. On winter nights, she sat with her eight 
children about the fireplace. She repeated to them 
the endearing twice-told tales about the dead father : 
how he looked; how she loved him ; how he was good 
to everybody; how he was kind to a friend and 
thereby the home was mortgaged. D. L. remem- 
bered in after years that if one of them chanced to 
speak of missing brother she always sobbed, "while 
we whispered ' good night ' and stole away to bed." 
And he had no more touching proof of Christ's love 
for sinners than in telling how Isaiah, returning 
home years later, was forgiven by his mother " be- 
fore he asked for it." 


The religion of Betsey's youth and early widow- 
hood was nominally Unitarian. The content of her 
early belief seems chiefly to have been a simple trust 
in God, and a deep loyalty for Puritan ethics. When 
the tempests broke over her home, she called unto 
Him out of the depths, and walked with Him by 
faith. She had deep devotional instincts, " reading 
to her children summer evenings under the great 
sugar maples from the little book 2 of sacred 
poetry ! " But in her early widowhood she knew 
very little of those great Christian doctrines of 
faith upon which Puritan homes majored: no 
one had ever taught her, and in consequence, 
she, having need to learn, could not teach them 
to her children. Of this D. L. once spoke with 
pathos to Spurgeon: "You have the advantage of 
hearing these matters from your youth up, while I 
must laboriously seek them out." Her pastor, O. C. 
Everett, however, deserves high recognition. He 
began his work in the Northfield Unitarian Church 
as a very young man, a few weeks after Moody was 
born, and served until "he was dismissed, Novem- 
ber 26, 1848." This faithful shepherd might well 
have been the study for Barrie's Little Minister. 
Precious was his care for the widow and her bairns. 

I* *P "t* 

But, when one of her own bairns decided to be- 
come a preacher, she disapproved. In fact she 
"would never consent to hear Moody preach until 

2 " From this book my mother used' to read morning and night with 
her family of nine children gathered about her." (Note by Elizabeth 
Moody copied from the little volume.) 


after he came to renown." 3 The very first time she 
ever listened to him was in the Northfield Congrega- 
tional Church, August, 1876. D. L. was now world 
famous. The family, just about to drive down to 
the church was startled to hear her say, "I don't 
suppose there would be room for me in the wagon 
this morning? " 4 

D. L. was surprised and deeply moved upon seeing 
his mother in the congregation. When those who 
wished prayer were asked to stand up, she arose 
with others. B. F. Jacobs said, " Moody was 
overcome. He turned to me and said, 'You pray, 
Jacobs, I can't/ " The inner story of her spiritual 
history, almost buried in yesterday's documents, 
shows that she had been led little by little into the 
deep things of the Word. Increasingly she sensed 
the low ceilings in her ancestral church. Her raised 
hand, bringing a rush of tears to D. L., was the evi- 
dence of her final decision to come into the full lib- 
erty of the gospel, and a mother's deep joy in her 
son. Farwell said, " She then became a member of 
the Congregational Church." But, it does not ap- 
pear reasonable that she was converted at that time ! 

As age came upon her, she like her son, grew 
heavenward ; " rising in spiritual power to a place 
among the historic mothers, the mothers of the Wes- 
leys and of Augustine." Her letters in the Wash- 
burne Collection are documents of the Victorious 

B Ed Kimball quoted in the Chicago Tribune, 1900. 
4 John Farwell, Early Recollections of D. L. Moody. 


Life. Here is a quotation from one written in 
beautiful script, at eighty-six; 

" I do all my housework, except combing my 
hair. I have made butter all the winter and fall. 
You need not scold. I sometimes get pretty tired, 
but I soon get rested ! The good Lord gives me 
strength from day to day! " 

Other fragments show that she became a wide 
and careful reader of world events. There are many 
sheets of paper with outlines of texts which prove 
that she did very fair exegesis herself. Moody's 
love for her deepened to adoration. No wonder! 
He saw plainly that his great fame never pleased 
her half as much as the integrity of his life. More 
and more, notable Christians of the world were held 
in amazement by her Christian character; a charm 
exerted equally over the boys and girls of the North- 
field Schools. 

In 1889, Moody built for her the famous Octagon 
Room on the northwest side of the birthplace. There 
she could look out upon a magnificent view of the 
Connecticut River, and the northern mountains she 
loved so well. 

Then came a day just before Christmas, 1895. 
The mysterious sense of death was upon her. Well, 
it was all right. Wasn't her work through? And 
hadn't God blessed her in all things in those ninety 
years? She wrote in a clear hand some closing lines 
of a last letter : " I often think how good the Lord 
has been to me all through my journey in tfiis life. . . 
He has given me such good children. . ." 


She stopped to wipe a tear from her aged eyes. 
Yes, God had been good to her. Out from, the win- 
dow of her west-facing room lay a wide-spread pano- 
rama of snow-bound New England glory; some- 
thing like that far-off day when little Dwight cried 
beside her. On the horizon line to the north stood 
Brattleboro Mountain, purple and patched with 
white. There were the forests upon which she had 
looked ever since Edwin brought her there sixty- 
eight years ago. The last rays of setting sun glared 
up like molten bronze from the icy curves of the 
river. Out from her papers she drew the little love 
knot. . . Dear God how many were the years since 
she prepared it for Edwin ! The aged lips moved 
even sensible people sometimes speak to their be- 
loved dead " Oh, Edwin, if you only knew, how 
glad you'd be to see the children our God hath 

given us ! " 

* * * 

On Friday, January 24, 1896, she took to her bed. 
D. L. hastened back from a great meeting for the 
precious closing moments. He dropped beside her 
bed and sobbed, "Mother! Mother! do you know 
me? " And her calm voice replied, " Well, I guess 
I do! " 

On Sunday morning, January 26, she " made the 
good entrance "... It was poetic justice that her 
simple casket was escorted to the Northfield Church 
by four hundred young women from the Seminary, 
and a column of young men from Mount Hermon. 

Her grave lies in a f enced-off section of the an- 


cient cemetery down by the Vermont Central depot; 
right on the edge of a little, tree-clad bluff dropping 
down to the Great Meadow of the Connecticut. 
Edwin lies beside her, his stone bearing that pre- 
cious text from Jeremiah 49 : 11, which seemed to 
her in the first lonely days of widowhood to be both 
his voice and God's. And on her own, the simple 
grandeur of Mark 14 : 8, " She hath done what she 

It moved us unto "tender thanksgiving," upon 
looking across the Connecticut River from her grave- 
side, to behold the Berkshire Mountains, where she 
was born. And in plain sight, as if in testimony 
to her Christian motherhood, the castled beauty of 
Mount Hermon School. 


(Washburne Collection) 

With the exception of the young maples, the above picture 
shows the birthplace as it looked when D. L. was horn, 
1837. This drawing was made by Elizabeth Moody Wash- 
burne, about 1352, she being then 12. The house was orig- 
inally built by Simeon Moody, 1823 ; purchased by Edwin 
(D. L,.'s father), 1828 ; title now held by the trustees of the 
Northfield Schools. It is a shrine of American evangelical 
faith. For a view as it is today, see page 322. 



(February 5, 1837, to February 5, 1854) 

The village interval of Moody's boyhood, though brief, was 
sufficient to give him a heart storage from which he was, to 
the end of his days, bringing forth treasures. There were 
the haunting glories of the Northfield heath; there were the 
homely and vital experiences of farm life, that became little 
vignettes for ruggedly setting forth eternal truth. But the 
chief good was the abiding power of the widowed mother's 
sterling character, and the crystal purity of his love for her. 
Pictures filled his memory: he could see her at the old spin- 
ning-wheel, or absorbed in the Mother's Bible; or he could 
hear her night-sobbed prayers as Nor'easters moaned over 
Round Top. These memories were employed by a Divine 
One to soften him like fire, and they ended by making pre- 
cious to him every one of her own ethical ideals. So it is 
always with a Good Mother! Though he rose to such giant 
stature that he was described as putting one hand on 
England, one on America and moving both nations toward 
the Throne, yet in his heart he was always her boy, esteeming 
it a privilege angels might covet to soften the asperities of 
her early days with heaped up comforts for her latter. 
Sketch Book. 



" Dwight L. Ryther Moody was born 
Feb. 5th 1837. Sunday" 

Thus Betsey Holton Moody recorded in the Moth- 
er's Bible the birth of her sixth child. Fragments in 
the Washburne Collection explain why the name 
"Dwight L." (Lyman), was chosen. A mortgage 
clearance of 1850 describes the Lyman place as lying 
east and adjacent to the Moody farm ; a stray sen- 
tence refers to " Dwight Lyman's having been kind 
to Betsey." Behind all this lay an interfamily 
friendship dating back to the Great Removal. And 
the explanation is completed when one reads an 
incision upon a leaning slate, in the old cemetery 
down by the depot: 

" Josiah Dwight Lyman. Born Feb. 27, 
1780. Died Jan. 5, 1869 Ae88" 

But " Ryther," the portion quickly discarded and 
practically unknown today, here was a quod libet 
that came out like a slow negative. But, it came out ! 
And it makes a good story. Lt. David Ryther, a 
stout, old, British army man, came to America on the 
square-rigger Lion, and met there a young friend 
whom he knew first in England, Isaiah Moody. 
They became fellow emigres in Hooker and Stone's 



"Great Removal to Hartford," 1636. Lt. Ryther 
married Martha Shattuck, who bore him eleven chil- 
dren, five girls and six boys, several of whom settled 
in Bernardston. That's the village a few miles 
southwest of Northfield where, in going to Green- 
field, one turns left at the traffic beacon. ("You 
cahn't miss it," they tell you when you ask direc- 
tions. And by the way, if you ever tour New 
England, you'll hear in your dreams, "Bear right; 
or left; traffic beacon; you cahn't miss it!" And 
then you do miss it!) 

Dr. Gideon Ryther was a Bernardston descendant. 
Edwin Moody (D. L.'s father) did stonework for 
him. Now these fruitful and multiplying New 
Englanders, "hard pressed for handles," often 
named their babies after neighbors ; and the neigh- 
bors, thus honored, usually "came through with a 
lamb for the baby." So if Doctor Ryther overlooked 
a pleasant tradition, could the Moodys be reproached 
for dropping " Ryther "? 


Deborah and I set ourselves to see, as thoroughly 
as we could, the world in which Dwight Lyman 
Moody spent his boyhood. To this end We entered 
and retraveled Massachusetts by the Canadian ap- 
proaches. Well worth while it was to behold the 
Connecticut River, before it runs softly at North- 
field, go hurrying through narrow canons whose tali 
were dusky with balsam, pine, and spruce. We 
drew infinitely closer to Moody as we became fa- 
miliar with the haunting beauty of New England 


a memory-wall picture whose composition is dark- 
forested mountain sides, rolling hills and sunny 
meadows, where, scattered like gems, are the sweet 
sincerities of Colonial houses. One just can't help 
dreaming when he gazes upon those comely vales 
through which successively passed fire-careless Red 
Men, buckled Puritans, red-coated Britishers, and 
stolid Yankee farmers. And today those same syl- 
van beauties are possessed by a new race, moving 
in flashing chariots on ribbon-smooth highways, 
highways that run ever and anon beside blue waters, 
smart with white sails and snapping with the ma- 
chine-gun rattle of aquaplanes. New England ! No 
wonder he loved it! And we'll fervently say for 
ourselves, " You cahn't miss it! " 

When Moody was a boy, many relics of Indian 
occupation remained: old mounds, underground 
granaries, and stone ax-heads, which an active lad 
could find. But the natural world was widely differ- 
ent from the wreckage the pioneers beheld. The 
eyes of young Moody looked upon companies of 
young trees hopefully moving into the meadows, and 
upon the hillsides, clouds of rock maple, soft maple, 
walnut, butternut, hickory-nut, with ever and anon 
the coral beauty of blooming laurel. One can't help 
loving Northfield, all the way from the Great 
Meadow, lying along the Connecticut, " the village's 
ancient granary and storehouse," to the circling 

Lift up your eyes to these mountains ! Westward 
in the Berkshires are the crowns of Pisgah, Grass 
Hill and Pond Mountain (at whose base is the wide 


White Lily Pond) ; eastward, in the seemingly con- 
tinuous range line of the Holyokes, are the finger- 
tips of Little Hemlock, Grace, Stonebridge, Strat- 
ton and Brush Mountains. " Surely," said Deborah 
as we cruised for hours along forgotten wagon roads, 
" this was a boy's world ! " 

Yea, verily and it was, all the way from the com- 
pany of streams that come laughing down toward 
the Connecticut to the flowers and birds of the field. 
We quitted the inns, and deliberately slept out, just 
to be near the places and objects he loved. There 
were the west side brooks Broad, Cold, and Ben- 
netts; and on the east Saw Mill, Cranberry, and 
Pauchaug. And there were his feathered friends: 
cat-birds with gossipy miauws; bobolinks wearing 
creamy epauletts; jay-birds; swallows; and fussy 
chickadees, upside down, eating their seed luncheons. 
And the flowers columbine, wake-robin, dark vi- 
olets on trinity leaves! "Lo!" said Deborah, "it 
is a boy's world ! " 

No wonder Northfield became to Moody the Land 
of Heart's Desire ; and no wonder he returned from 
every wide apostolate to the glad serenity of his boy- 
hood scenes! Here's a letter dated London, May 

" My dear Ed Your buteful Pht of Nelley Gray 
and colt was handed me yesterday & it is just 
splendid She looks proud of her colt I am just 
longing to get home as Spring comes on I get 
homesick . . . Write me another good farme 
letter " 


It was all to him as the well by the gate, whether 
it was the season when the Connecticut flowed in 
the leafy month of June, or winter, with its frosty 
breath, sleigh-bells, and leafless rock maples stand- 
ing deep in the snow. To really see Northfield 
brings a sense of mystic fellowship with Moody as 

no other experience. 

* * * 

But the loom patterns of this chapter have no 
tracings for the twice-told tales of his boyhood 
captious lecture announcements, rail-fence dramas, 
ferry-boat prayers, cats-in-coffins, or squirrels-in- 
lunch-pails. Our interest hangs on how a head- 
strong boy, gifted to be sure with certain homespun 
graces, came nearly falling short, and certainly 
would have but for the young King who overtook 
him. The greatest centennial profit will reach us 
by observing how a compactly built, vigorous young 
Berkshire rustic became headstrong, reckless, mal- 
content; first in skip-jack pranks, and last in con- 
scientious labor; and then to see how by Effectual 
Grace he came to himself. " When I was a boy, I 
hoed corn so poorly, that when I left off I had to take 
a stick and mark the place so I could tell next morn- 
ing where I had stopped the night before." The 
Northfield pastor, Mr. Everett, saw the boy's peril- 
ous bias with a heavy heart. Once, to help if he 
could, he took D. L. into his own home "to do er- 
rands and go to school." But it didn't last long. 
" The dominie's patience was sorely tried." 

It is not necessary to overlook the lad's simple 


excellencies, the fine devotion toward his mother and 
his kinsfolk, the unquestioned moral fineness that 
marked him. In the little book " Hymns and Pray- 
ers for Children" (Washburne Collection), Eliza- 
beth's handwriting on the fly-leaf informs us, " The 
verses marked were taught me when three years old 
by my brother D. L. M." (Then eight.) Nor can 
we dismiss as insignificant his shrewdness as ob- 
served in adolescent " swapping." There are some 
great institutions in this year, 1936, owing much to 
this Yankee cunning. 

But, by the time our subject was sixteen he had 
become another Presumption, proudly considering 
himself " a good tub sitting on its own bottom." Ac- 
tually, mournfully deficient ! Ignorant ! The minis- 
try of the little red schoolhouse on the Squakeag 
was defeated so far as he was concerned. He went 
through about half a dozen terms, "but very little 
ever went through him ! " Spiritually, dark ! His 
training in spiritual truth was almost negligible. 
Here was a boy, soon to leave home, who " detested 
Sunday ; I resented my mother compelling me after 
I had worked in the field all week to go to church 
and hear a sermon I couldn't understand." He had 
come to avoid books, slight his work, and excel in 
buffoon jokes. 

In his sixteenth year spiritual misery became 
acute; nothing would do except getting away from 
Northfield. His first attempt was short-lived. The 
printing outfit down in Clinton couldn't tolerate his 
blunders in mailing addresses, and, to use a blunt 
term, " fired him." One blustery March afternoon, 


in 1853, he and Ed were cutting logs on Stonebridge 
Mountain. For some time his solid body had been 
rapidly bitting an ax against a tree bole, like Gideon 
with his flail. Suddenly he threw the ax down and 
blurted out, "I'm sick and tired of this! I'm not 
going to stay around here any longer. I'm going 
off to get some other work." 

He didn't " get off " right away, however. Spring 
shifted into summer, into fall, and Thanksgiving 
Day of 1853 arrived. Samuel Socrates Holton and 
his brother Lemuel, " prominent shoe-dealers," came 
up from Boston to spend the day with their sister, 
Betsey Moody, and her family. Both brothers had 
helped Betsey financially during some of the bitter 
crisis-years after Edwin died. Samuel, now thirty- 
six, was accompanied by his second wife, Typhenia 
Clapp. Something about the miserable Dwight 
wakened in her a sympathy and affection that were 
later to have a large part in Moody's conversion. 
During the Thanksgiving dinner she couldn't keep 
her eyes off his flushed, downcast face. 

She was not surprised, therefore, when D. L. sud- 
denly said to her husband, " Uncle, I want to come 
to Boston, and have a place in your shoe-store. Will 
you take me?" Uncle Samuel looked across the 
table to Betsey, "Shall I take him?" Brother 
George, twenty-one, yelled, " No ! he'll soon want to 
run your store ! " D. L.'s brown eyes ran quickly 
around the circle. Amusement, consternation, or 
contempt were on all the faces save one. The glance 
of his young Aunt Typhenia revealed a sympathy 
that warmed his heart. He wouldn't forget it. 


The fall of 1853 moved on in utter distaste to him. 
Rebellious at heart, he entered a peculiarly acute 
period of rowdy school conduct in January, 1854. 
Suddenly he was seized with remorse, and for the 
first time in his life began really to apply himself to 
his studies. 

But it was too late! In a few days more home 
ties were to be broken and school days ended for- 
I ever. For the rest of his life, our Jacob was to have 
; a limp from shabby education. And his native rude- 
ness, for so long time uncurbed and unchecked, fast- 
ened upon him and continued for many years, leav- 
ing behind, to his own deep grief, a trail of wounded 
feelings. George Pentecost was speaking of this 
trait, that, like his deficient education, struck its 
roots into his Presumptuous Years: "Poor old 
Moody: we all love him, but some of us don't like 

On his seventeenth birthday, February 5, 1854 
(according to an item in the Collection, apparently 
authentic), he permanently broke home ties, and 
started out for himself. And he was unmistakably 
headed toward the City of Destruction. 


(Washburne Collection) 

(Notation on back of 
photo : " Taken by F. D. 
II o p k i n s, photographist 
(sic), 51 Washington St., 
near Hanover, Boston ") 

D. L. at age of 17 

Mount Vernon 
Church, Boston 

Where D. L. united after 

be was "overtaken" 

through Edward Kimball 




" I can truly say, and in saying it I magnify the infinite 
grace of God as bestowed upon him, that I have seen few 
persons whose minds were spiritually darker than was his 
when he came into my Sunday school class; and I think the 
committee of the Mount Vernon Church seldom met an 
applicant for membership more unlikely ever to become a 
Christian of clear and decided views of gospel truth, still 
less to fill any extended sphere of public usefulness." Letter 
of Edward Kimball to Nason and Beale. 



When the odd little train of the Central Vermont 
stopped at Northfield that winter's morning of 1854, 
D. L., just seventeen, decked out in his best, was 
ready to climb aboard. " It seemed mighty good to 
a man" (so his adolescent letters affirm), to be 
striking off for himself. Of course he regretted his 
mother's objections. Brother Ed pressed a five- 
dollar bill into his hand. Well, Ed wasn't so hard- 
hearted after all. Tearful farewells ; the shrill little 
blast of the locomotive-whistle and he was gone. 
A day's chugging over the landscape of Massachu- 
setts' winter wonderland then Boston. 

* * * 

Well, first off, he'd show his Uncle Samuel some- 
thing! He'd drop into his shoe-store simply as a 
casual visitor who happened to know Samuel's sister 
in the country. A large boil on his neck gave his 
head a ludicrous forward tilt over the left shoulder ; 
that didn't click so well in the act. From Uncle 
Samuel's he went over to Uncle Lemuel's, where he 
"lived a fortinet" (his own spelling). He began 
the week vigorously "looking about for a situa- 
tion"; he ended it sensing failure. The last two 
days he " had that awful feeling that no one wanted 
me. I have never had it since and never want it 



Noting the boy's depression, Lemuel said, " Why 
not ask your Uncle Samuel for a place?" "He 
ought to ask me," said. the lad. His pride was wilt- 
ing. " But I'll go see." . . Samuel looked sharply at 
the embarrassed boy. Twenty years ago he himself 
had come to Boston at seventeen, and that twenty 
years had caused him to see many young fellows go 
to pieces through lack of discipline. D. L. therefore 
should know the forge, the hammer, and the file. 
Yes, he would give D. L. a place; but there were 
conditions. He must board where he was told, keep 
off the streets at night, avoid questionable places of 
amusement, and regularly attend the Mount Vernon 
Church. Would Dwight agree? Yes! A thousand 
times, Yes! 

His first boarding-place was Deacon Levi Bowers, 
on Allen Street. Later, Uncle Samuel designated 
Mrs. David Beal's, 5 Eaton Street. (While here he 
had the " boy-in-cap " picture taken which graces 
this chapter.) From there he moved into quarters 
directly over the shoe-store at 43 Court Street, just 
a step from Faneuil Hall. 

The edifice of Mount Vernon Church, " an excel- 
lent and exact Congregational body," was on an 
inside lot in down-town Boston (then 150,000), a 
building in very good Greek design. Dr. Edwin N. 
Kirk was pastor, "a magnificent chap, physically, 
mentally, spiritually : he preached plain, loving ser- 
mons, and won the boy's wholesome respect." Six- 
teen years after D. L. began attending the Mount 
Vernon Church, Doctor Kirk, "grown venerable," 
visited Samuel Holton, now in midlife, at his im- 


pressive suburban residence in Winchester. With 
a catch in his voice, the minister said: "I'm just 
back from Chicago. There is that young Moody we 
thought did not know enough to be in our church, 
exerting a greater influence for Christ than any 
man in the West. I'm ashamed of myself." 

Before we proceed with the narrative of D. L.'s 
conversion, it is worth while to observe a little of 
his Boston life. On the whole, he turned out to be 
a pretty good clerk; and it was a very interesting 
experience to live with the large company of young 
men in the quarters over the store. There is one 
letter in the Washburne Collection, written on fools- 
cap paper, that I have regarded with more interest 
than any other relic, save the Mother's Bible. It is 
written in ink; the first page with painful effort, 
letters shaded ; the last three pages break down into 
a mad scrawl. Spelling and punctuation are care- 
fully retained: 

BOSTON June 5 1854 

(He begins by explaining why he hasn't writ- 
ten) ... so much goin on here for the last for- 
tinet ... I was happy to here from home every 
weak, but you ned not think that I am homesick 
. . . the time goes by lik a whirl wind how do the 
things look have you had any pears yet Where I 
bord thare is over 50 now and lots of them about 
my age There never was so much excitement in 
this city be for Friday in the world The city 
was hung in Black and thare was a coffen hung 


out the cabbin of liberty I got up in the secont 
story . . . They took him (a negro) out about 2*/2 
& such a groaning and hising you never herd 
I was all burnt up with the son The poleus 
(police) came up to the store and told us to come 
down but we was up so he could not reach us ... 
The negro looked around when they led him off 
... I am getin prety ragged about this time but 
I shall not be so hard up long but 50 Dlrs dont 
got but a little ways in sporting a man I go to 
meating at Mount Vernon Orthedx I dont know 
how it is spelt . . . Tell William Alexander not to 
hire before he sees me for if I don't get a place 
in Dearsfield I shall want to go to wok for him 
(Evidently not sure of " his place " with Uncle 
Samuel) ... If I send you some shoes I dont spose 
thay will fit becaus Calvin (a fellow clerk) sent 
home 3 times bef or he could fit his mother and 
then he did not fit hur(!) Mother now dont 
think I cant read your writing I en read it a good 
deal better than you can mine I can read you as 
well as print (Rather! his mother's hand was 
unusually fine; his own remained to the end, a 
dreadful scrawl) I have bin 5 minits wrighting 
this and have not got half don but if you can read 
it you can do better than I can Dwight (Yea, 
verily and anyone does well to read it.) 

* * * 

We now reach the subject in which this chapter 
has chief interest, the story of Young Presumption's 
Being Overtaken, which, as Edward Kimball as- 


serted, "magnifies the infinite grace of God as 
bestowed upon him." Once again we must take into 
account Samuel's wife, Typhenia Clapp Holton. 
(Remember the Thanksgiving dinner?) A photo- 
graph in the Washburne Collection shows that the 
fine oval face of this young woman was unmistak- 
ably spiritual; framed in jet-black hair, center 
parted, closely brushed. She was the second of the 
Clapp sisters married by her husband Samuel (he 
married three, Elizabeth, Typhenia and Georgi- 
anna) . In the winter of 1857, a few months after 
D. L. left for Chicago, she came to the Gates of 

But she was one of the Young King's first servants 
in helping overtake the rebellious boy. Hers was a 
radiant faith, and to her the lad opened wide his 
confidence : 

" I like the pastor ; and Mr. Kimball ; but these 
rich and pious folks at Mount Vernon make me, sick 
and tired." (Delightful to find this pet phrase of 
D. L/s. He was "sick and tired" of something 
or other all his life.) 

" Never mind, Dwight, the Church is the Bride of 

" But the young folks are so lofty and proud. Is 
that Christianity?" 

" Lad, we are to fight the fight of faith. Do you 
love the Church?" 

"Well, I guess I do!" 

" Then forget the rest! " 

When the wounds of the Lord came upon Moody's 
heart, she knew that in him there was beginning an 


effectual work of Grace. He poured out his heart to 
her. So, she led him into the Interpreter's House. 
Later, after conversion, when the fire of testimony 
" got in his bones," and he grieved over his limping 
speech, Typhenia said to him : 

"Do you love Christ?" 

"Well, I guess I do!" 

"Then don't worry, lad, over how you talk; just 
try to tell the people what He has done for your 
soul, and He'll do the rest." 

It's a joy to bring this rare young woman out of 
the shadows that the years have cast. She was to 
Moody just what Mary King was to Spurgeon. 

When Moody, acting upon Uncle Samuel's condi- 
tions, entered the Mount Vernon Sunday school, 
Superintendent Palmer assigned him to a class of 
boys taught by Mr.^Edward Kimball. Kimball sub- 
sequently became kriTwn^ir" the champion church 
debt raiser of the United States." Most of his life 
was spent in church work. Moody appeared des- 
perately needy to Kimball. Not until after a full 
year did he begin to feel "the burden of the Lord " 
for the boy. On the morning of April 21, 1855, he 
went down to the Holton store determined to speak 
to D. L. about his soul. " I made a dash for it to 
have it over at once." D. L. was in the back of the 
building wrapping up shoes. He looked small 
enough, with his one hundred and thirty-five 
pounds, mass of black hair overdue at the barber- 
shop, full lips, heavy eyebrows, and dreamful brown 


eyes ; quick, vigorous motions like a Maricopa quail. 
Kimball put his hand on his shoulder and made, as 
he thought, " a weak appeal." Years later he said, 
"I never could remember just what I did say: 
something about Christ and His love ; that was all." 
But the heart of the future prince of God lingered 
a thousand times on that sweet moment. " I can 
feel his hand yet!" Marvelous the way of the 
Spirit. The " limping words " of Kimball were 
blessed and the angels in heaven rejoiced that 
morning. Shortly after Kimball left the store, noon 
bells began to ring in the spring world of Boston. 
D. L. walked the streets " as in a dream." A thou- 
sand times in future years he relived that strange 
ecstasy of one who has just become a new creature 
in Christ Jesus : 

" I went out of doors and I fell in love with the 
bright sun shining over the earth. I never loved 
the sun before. And when I heard the birds sing- 
ing their sweet song on the Boston Common, I 
fell in love with the birds. I was in love with all 

We omit here the transcription of the church rec- 
ords of Mount Vernon, reflecting the official misgiv- 
ings as to Moody's conversion, and the consequent 
full year of delay in granting him membership. Lo, 
do not nearly, all the lives reproduce this in full, just 
as meticulous Joseph Cook originally made the copy? 
The high drama for which we have eyes is that of 
a lad " revised by the King " stopping in the office 


of Kimball a few weeks after his receipt into church- 
membership, tearfully to tell his spiritual benefactor 
" Good-bye ! " He had a grievance of some sort and 
he wanted to get away from Boston. "I'm going 
West. Uncle Sam doesn't want me to, so the quicker 
I get out of his way, the better. I'm starting this 
morning ! " 

During the succeeding years, Moody's rising fame 
made Kimball often thank God that he had not been 
disobedient to the heavenly vision. Just suppose 
that he had not spoken to the Northfield boy on that 
morning in April ! 


(Courtesy Chicago Historical Society) 

The Old Court House and the Chamber of Commerce 

The Chamber of Commerce, the building in full-view, center of picture, 
formerly the First Baptist Church, where Moody met Emma Charlotte Revell, 
and where they were married. See first paragraph of Chapter VIII 


(September, 1856 February, 1860) 

The swift-falling, haphazard strokes that shaped the New 
West are curiously typical of Moody in the period of the 
following fifteen years. He was born again ; very true. But 
he had yet to learn how great is the distance separating be- 
tween the new birth and the Anointing with Power. He had 
a zeal for service; but it was deficient in Integrating Wis- 
dom. No one is to be condemned for being in Moody's first 
spiritual frame. But anyone who remains there is a subject 
of tears. Moody saw it clearly after November, 1871. He 
then, deeply humbled, understood that a realtor's high pres- 
sure activity had to be replaced by Softer Walking Some- 
thing Better. At first it was all touch and go with him. 
" Numbers were everything; and if numbers sagged, he was 
blue." Christianity had to have RUSH in it; Faith was a 
thing to be opened very early in the morning with an office 
key, and closed with a letter for the late mail. But in 1871, 
a much chastened man looked on those furious years and 
said, " I wouldn't go back for anything." Sketch Book. 


(September, 1856 February, 1860) 

The morning of September 13, 1856, marked the 
beginning of one of those halcyon fall days of Ohio 
and Indiana. An odd little locomotive, gay with red 
paint, polished brass, and Falstaffian flue, snorted 
through compact timber-lands. Here and there ap- 
peared clearings enclosed by rail fences, split from 
priceless black walnut. And there were plenty of 
stumps to be grubbed. Everybody waved at the 
train. Why not? It had been in operation only four 
years, and its shrill little whistle said as plainly as 
anything, " Civilization's coming." 

The little thirty-foot coaches swayed perilously on 
the thirty-pound rails as the engine roared along at 
thirty miles. It was a new day, a new world, and a 
new deal! (We started talking that way very 
early.) Most of the passengers were grimy and 
dog-weary. Whale-oil lamps and tin wash-basins 
and no soft Pullman berths made travel serious 

But that boy! Didn't he ever get tired? Back 
and forth, back and forth, rear platform, crowded 
aisles! In heaven's name, it made everyone weary 
just to watch his tireless energies. The only ones 
who apparently approved at all were the two dear 
old Christian women who got on the same train 
with him in Boston. The boy felt that the world 
was moving west, and so was he ! The long line of 
P 69 


Conestoga wagons was still to be seen from the small 
windows of the coach, heading toward the sunset, 
toward " Chicago ! " 

Ah, but that was a magic word ! The mill-race of 
settlers running through the primitive land had put 
one hundred and fifty thousand residents into the 
Garden City ahead of the boy. He was surely glad 
to be another. No wonder Brother Luther liked the 
West and had written such letters about it. And 
besides, he, Dwight, was through with Boston, 
"fairly drove out of it: his path crossed and his 
hopes blasted." 

Night had fallen when the little train rumbled 
into the Chicago station, over the long trestle on 
Lake Michigan. So this was Chicago! Well, it 
looked good even by gaslight. The streets were laid 
out straight and broad "not cowtrails, like some 

In the next few weeks, the fast-stepping young- 
ster decided there were more dwelling-houses than 
he ever saw, scattered over four times the space of 
Boston. There were dirty streets, plank sidewalks 
on five different levels in every block, and plenty 
of mud; Lake Michigan's level was almost as high 
as Wabash Avenue. Pretty good thing though; 
made it easy for fellows delivering drinking water 
in those odd barrels lashed on two-wheeled carts. 
(Don't laugh ! They get it a little further out now, 
and bring it in glass bottles or cast-iron pipes.) But 
it was "healthy"; he quickly fattened up to one 
hundred and fifty (with a hundred to go) . 

The streets were alive with traffic horse-cars, 


single seaters with spanking horses; high-hatted 
young gents accompanying young ladies in high- 
waisted black skirts, bulky as circus tents. Hardly 
a gray head any place! (Gray heads all stayed in 
Boston.) Droves of young men ! And in the Lake 
there were covies of sailing freighters and pencil- 
stacked side-wheelers. But there were also droves 
of desperate little ragamuffins living near drains 
" where rats came out to die." 

In a few days he had a job in Wiswall's boot-and- 
shoe store down on Lake Street. The letters of in- 
troduction " worked." His very bluff and hearty style, 
which first gave Wiswall much misgiving, turned 
out a real asset. In the next two years, rough cus- 
tomers liked him so well that " We had a rule * Turn 
them over to Moody/ " Wiswall soon promoted him 
to the jobbing department, a place that took him all 
over young Chicago. What an eye for business he 
had ! Wiswall said, years later, " How well I re- 
member the boy ! Anxious to lay up money! Exact 
and economical! Just as zealous as a salesman, as 
he was later a religious worker." 

At first he found a boarding-place to his liking with 
a Mrs. Phelps on North Michigan Avenue. Then he 
moved into the shoe-store where several other young 
fellows slept. (Chicago's primitive night-watchman 
system.) Those Shoe Store Nights became the orig- 
inal Chicago Forum where the youngsters had fiery 
debates on nearly everything in politics and religion. 
Most of them became lifelong friends, and some of 
them would have made Who's Who had that Crimson 
Egotism been published earlier: Ed Isham, Norman 


Williams, Levi Leiter, (Gen.) G. W. Smith, (Gen.) 
J. L. Thompson, Benj. B. Page and William H. 
Seward ! 

In the spring of 1858, the twenty-one-year-old boy 
" now fattened to one hundred and sixty " got a 
real job, Commercial Traveler for C. N. Henderson. 
His travels took him at once, by all manner of trans- 
portation steamboat, rig, horseback and train all 
over the Middle West Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, 
Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois. Letters in this period 
bear interesting references to the wild country, on 
which he saw " prairie fires, wolves, deers and 
prairie chickens thick as grasshoppers in August." 
On January 6, 1859, after less than a year in his 
new position, Henderson died ; and a singular trib- 
ute was paid to the stripling just come of age, in 
that the estate of several hundred thousand dollars 
was turned over to him as administrator. Imme- 
diately, he entered the employment of Buell, Hill and 
Granger, but in a year he left them, as we shall see, 
for the greater firm of Christ and Church. 

* * * 

It is very interesting to observe how his commer- 
cial labors were supplemented by the service implied 
by his new life in Christ Jesus. He carried his 
church letter with him from Boston, in the striped 
carpet-bag. During October, 1856, he joined Plym- 
outh Congregational Church, Rev. J. E. Roy, pastor. 
In November, his go-getter spirit led him to rent four 
pews, and to fill them with men and boys. Then he 
began to testify and lead in prayer. This didn't 


go- so well. His Puritan habit of " shooting adja- 
cent evil-doers while praying," was very discon- 

The temperature was a little low in Plymouth, 
therefore he sought new outlets. He found one in a 
group of young fellows in the First Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. These boys had a " Mission Band " 
which made the rounds of saloons, hotels, and cheap 
lodging-houses, distributing tracts. In this capac- 
ity, March, 1857, he met J. B. Stillson, of Rochester, 
a witnessing layman, building the custom-house 
week-days, and on Sundays distributing tracts and 
holding meetings along the river. 

One day in his shoe- jobbing tours, he saw a little 
Sunday school room on Chicago Avenue and Wells 
Street (just one block from the spot now occupied 
by the great herd of buildings called the Moody Bible 
Institute). The next Sunday he visited the school. 
I forgot the heat of a blistering July day in 1935, 
dreaming of the sheer romance of this boy asking 
for a class, and getting the reply that there were 
"twelve teachers and sixteen pupils, but, he could 
have any new scholars he brought in ! " Then to see 
him the following Sunday report with eighteen bare- 
headed, barefooted, ragged, and dirty urchins, every 
one of them, as he explained, " with a soul to save." 
" He turned this class over to another to teach, and 
continued drumming up attendance until the school 
filled to overflowing." (Letter of Mrs. Moody, Wash- 
burne Collection). 

While he himself never spoke to these boys about 
their souls "that was the work of the elders, I 


thought " it did determine his life. He wanted to 
get nearer where that sort lived. Well, there were 
plenty in Chicago's early Cicero the rookeries in 
a shore section called " The Sands." In the blister- 
ing summer of 1858, he got together a class that he 
himself decided to teach; and met them for their 
first sessions on a drift-log beside Lake Michigan. 
And here we have the beginnings of the Moody 
Memorial Church ! 1 

By September, the class was too big for a log, so 
he rented an empty building, corner of Illinois and 
Dearborn, once a saloon, but then too tumble-down 
even for that. It was fairly scandalous the way the 
thing grew. D. L. purchased a pinto pony, from 
a stranded cow person, and used it to promote at- 
tendance. It was a sight in those days to see him 
astride the pony while its back was filled, fore and 
aft, with ragamuffins like an Austin crowded with 
sophomores. J. B. Stillson liked the school so well 
that he centered his work there. 

And it kept growing. Mayor Haines gave him 
permission in November to take over, on Sundays, 
the North Market Hall, whose lower floor was a 
sort of free market, and whose upper floor was used 
week-nights for "the Devil's Revival" (a dance). 
He kept the saloon for prayer-meetings, and trans- 
ferred his howling mob to the upper-floor dance- 
hall. There being no seats, they went Oriental, and 

1 There has been controversy as to whether the Beach Log Class was 
preliminary to the class in the Wells Street Mission which he turned 
over to another ; or, to the saloon building mission. G. T. B. Davis' 
evidence decides it for me : " Behind the great building on North 
Avenue and Clarke Street was the group of boys on a log, with their 
spiritual Mark Hopkins." 


sat on the floor. That's how the merchant prince, 
John Farwell, first saw them, and then bought the 
seats. When he went back the following Sunday to 
see how it looked, the noisy mob " whooped it up, 
and elected him superintendent by acclamation! " 

"Crazy Moody" that was his new name 
flamed with growing enthusiasm. He and Stillson 
scoured " The Sands " for recruits. Within a year 
(1859) the attendance averaged six hundred, di- 
vided into eighty classes, one of which was taught 
by Emma. Then it jumped to a thousand, and some- 
times fifteen hundred. Trudeau was the sweet 
singer. Somebody said of this roaring outfit: 
"Moody is the constitution, Stillson and Trudeau 
the by-laws." Its fame spread all over the Middle 
West; a curiosity, rivaling the stock-yards. And 
great business men like Col. C. G. Hammond at- 
tended " just to keep their hearts warm." 

And it's hard to think that this mission work was 
merely a side-line, while Moody was still " working 
for a living over at Henderson's "; and good enough 
to draw several thousand a year for it. Moody's 
Mission went like a mill-race for six years in its 
two buildings, and then well, that's another story. 


On a hot July day in 1935, Deborah and I stood 
looking at the depressing, dilapidated prison on the 
corner of Dearborn and Illinois, standing where the 
North Market Hall once stood. Suddenly the roar of 
modern Chicago seemed to die away, and we were 
back in the days agone. 


It was Thanksgiving night in the old saloon build- 
ing. There were no gas-fixtures ; just half a dozen 
candles " and the darkness had the best of it." We 
envisioned a group of shabby children gathered 
about him, while Moody sat with a candle in one 
hand, a Bible in the other and a child on his knee. 
Then he asked each one, " What are you thankful 
for? " It brings tears to one's eyes, and we're sure 
the angels rejoiced, as we seemed to hear over the 
years the shout of those "little ones of Christ," 

"There's nothin' we're so thankful for as you, 
Mr. Moody!" 


(Washburne Collection) 

Age twenty-five, when he removed his Bible school to 
North Market Mission, 1857 



(March, 1860) 

"I didn't know what this (personal work with members 
of a girls' class) was going to cost me. I was disqualified for 
business; it had become distasteful to me. I had got a 
taste of another world, and cared no more for making money. 
For some days after, the greatest struggle of my life took 
place. Should I give up business and give myself wholly to 
Christian work, or should I not? God helped me to decide 
aright, and I have never regretted my choice. O, the luxury 
of leading some one out of the darkness of this world into 
the glorious light and liberty of the gospel ! " D. L. M. as 
quoted by the "Chicago Times Herald." 


(March, 1860) 

The blurred image which readers carry away 
from most of Moody's Lives is due to the fact that 
the writers considered his years to have had a uni- 
form texture and quality. These biographers evi- 
dently imagined Moody's story could be filled in like 
a Mahomet's Bone Chest: something done now, 
lying next to something done twenty years later, 
which technique, to quote the careful imagery of 
Victor Hugo, resulted in structures exceedingly like 
"a feather on a pig's tail." A unique fact which 
grows upon critical analysis, is that Moody's life is 
a set of sharply defined endyses, each zone being of 
widely different quality, with a Dives gulf between. 
Slighting these phases has resulted, for instance, in 
making physical violence a part of Moody's perma- 
nent disposition, by citing the story of his man- 
handling roughneck hecklers in 1865. Such a thing 
could not happen after The Fire of 1871. Moody's 
life is like a series of Guided stones, built atop each 
other, and significant only when one refrains from 
getting the coarse concrete at the base mingled with 
the better granites just above. Naturally we would 
be surprised if the bush of the desert did not con- 
stantly change its very texture, a bit at a time, in 
response to the Abiding Fire. 



The period of 1856 to 1859 is marked by two great 
passions which warred within him the merchant 
and the missionary. It is fascinating to watch how 
the Salesman got covered up and finally lost forever 
in the rising tide of his evangelical fervor. He 
wanted to be rich ; make lots of money. Of course ! 
All his energies must be flanked in that direction. 
But his new heart in Christ Jesus had something to 
say about that. Surely, it was as honey in the comb 
to work in his mission to bring others to Christ. 
And it was the highest romance to be a business man 
part of the time, then to borrow Evangel's sword for 
a weekly flourishing. So he became a divided man, 
living a double life. And it should be said that he 
lived dangerously in both areas. 

During the week, the boy covered, with seven- 
league boots, the raw territory of the ten Mid-West- 
ern States. Sales resistance was to him a lovely big 
hurdle to overleap. But on Saturdays, he put away 
his sample cases, and buckled on Evangel's sword. 
He just had to get back to Chicago! There was his 
beloved Mission; and there was Emma! . . To 
analyze how much was mission and how much was 
Emma, requires more wisdom than any of us, who 
have walked along the Same Dear Road, have ever 
received. One week in each month, his company 
allowed return fare on traveling expenses ; the other 
Sundays were arranged on passes secured by Charles 
G. Hammond, Superintendent of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington and Quincy. But on Mondays D. L. changed 
his guise and "rattled back" (remember some of 
those old railroads, like the T. H. and P.?) to sell a 


Hoosier frontiersman a bill of goods. This double 
life was great business ! 

But one day, as the old C. B. and Q. lurched south 
out of Galesburg, he found his heart was dying 
toward business. The missionary had overtopped 
the merchant. The Jekyll-Hyde shift had come to 
dreadful gear-clashing. Now that was serious. He 
was making money. The last eight months he set 
himself ahead $5000. He now had a total of ^SOOO. 1 

The little English girl, Emma Charlotte Revell, in 
whom his interest was growing, had a curious atti- 
tude when he mentioned the problem to her: 
"Money isn't everything. What does He want you 
to do ? " For nearly half a year his heart became 
a battle-ground ; especially in the bumpy hours when 
he rode the pioneer trains out of Chicago Mondays ; 
back Saturdays. For a man in that frame only a 
crisis could bring a conclusion. And the King Him- 
self sent the crisis ! 

Moody's own account of it is the best narrative 
at this point. 2 

" I had never lost sight of Jesus Christ since 
the first day I met Him in the store at Boston, 
but for years I really believed that I could not 
work for God. No one had ever asked me to do 
anything. When I went to Chicago, I hired four 
pews in a church, and used to go out on the street 

1 Statements here in hopeless variance, all the way from five to fif- 
teen thousand dollars. Farwell says twelve thousand. Washburne 
fragments make me conclude eight. 

2 Prom a treasured, yellowed copy of the Chicago Timjss-Herald, 
Washburne Collection. 


and pick up young men and fill these pews. I 
never spoke to those young men about their 
souls ; that was the work of the elders, I thought. 
After working for some time like that, I started 
a mission Sabbath-school. I thought numbers 
were everything, so I worked for numbers. When 
the attendance ran below one thousand, it 
troubled me ; and when it ran to twelve or fifteen 
hundred, I was elated. Still none were con- 
verted; there was no harvest. 

" Then God opened my eyes. There was a class 
of young ladies in the school who were without 
exception the most frivolous set of girls I ever 
met. One Sunday the teacher was ill, and I took 
that class. They laughed in my face, and I felt 
like opening the door and telling them all to get 
out and never come back. 

" That week the teacher of the class came into 
the store where I worked. He was pale, and 
looked very ill. ' What is the trouble? ' I asked. 
'I have had another hemorrhage of my lungs. 
The doctor says I cannot live on Lake Michigan, 
so I am going to New York State. I suppose I 
am going home to die/ He seemed greatly 
troubled, and when I asked the reason, he re- 
plied, * Well, I have never led any of my class to 
Christ. I really believe I have done the girls 
more harm than good/ I had never heard any- 
one talk like that before, and it set me thinking. 
After awhile I said : ' Suppose you go and tell 
them how you feel. I will go with you in a car- 
riage, if you want to go/ 



He consented, and we started out together. 
It was one of the best journeys I ever had on 
earth. We went to the house of one of the girls, 
called for her, and the teacher talked to her about 
her soul. There was no laughing then! Tears 
stood in her eyes before long. After he had ex- 
plained the way of life, he suggested that we have 
prayer. He asked me to pray. True, I had 
never done such a thing in my life as to pray God 
to convert a young lady there and then. But we 
prayed, and God answered our prayer. 

" We went to other houses. He would go up 
stairs, and be all out of breath, and he would tell 
the girls what he had come for. It wasn't long 
before they broke down and sought salvation. 
When his strength gave out, I took him back to 
his lodgings. The next day we went out again. 
At the end of ten days he' came to the store with 
his face literally shining. ' Mr. Moody/ he said, 
' the last one of my class has yielded herself to 
Christ/ I tell you we had a time of rejoicing. 

" He had to leave the next night, so I called 
the class together that night for a prayer-meet- 
ing, and there God kindled a fire in my soul that 
has never gone out. The height of my ambition 
had been to be a successful merchant, and if I 
had known that meeting was going to take that 
ambition out of me, I might not have gone. 

"But how many times I have thanked God 
since for that meeting! The dying teacher sat 
in the midst of his class and talked with them, 
and read the fourteenth chapter of John. We 


tried to sing ' Blest Be the Tie that Binds/ after 
which we knelt down to pray. I was just rising 
from my knees when one of the class began to 
pray for her dying teacher. Another prayed, and 
another, and before we rose the whole class had 
prayed! As I went out I said to myself, ' God, 
let me die rather than lose the blessing I have 
received tonight ! ' 

" The next evening I went to the depot to say 
good-bye to that teacher. Just before the train 
started, one of the class came, and before long, 
without any prearrangement, they were all there. 
What a meeting that was ! We tried to sing, but 
we broke down. The last we saw of that dying 
teacher, he was standing on the rear car, his 
finger pointing upward, telling us to meet him in 

Right here, behold a repetition of the Fascinated 
Young Man running to the Master, kneeling and sob- 
bing "What must I do?" But in this case, when 
the Master said, " Leave all ! " we are not called upon 
to view a sorrowful figure declining on account of 
possessions ! 

By this time (1860) , Emma Revell had graduated 
from high school and was, at barely seventeen, a 
grammar school teacher. D. L.'s many Saturday 
returns to Chicago had made some very important 
changes. For one thing, they were engaged! To 
use the words of Emma's friend, Susannah Spur- 
geon, " loving looks, and tender tones and clasping 
hands gave way to verbal expression." But what a 


strange fiancee she was! She seemed to be tact- 
fully pulling him to decide against business. Didn't 
she understand? Didn't she know it would mean 
poverty? What strange creatures these daughters 
of Eve are, anyway ! 

And on an early spring Saturday in 1860, as the 
old C. B. & Q. clicked back toward Chicago, " God 
helped me to decide aright ! " After he had told her, 
he waited with anxiety for the quiet smile that came 
to her young face, a sign upon which he hung like a 
child for the next thirty-nine years. It was enough. 
Emma approved. What else mattered. He rushed 
over to B. F. Jacobs' establishment fairly shouting: 

" I have decided to give God all my time ! " 

" How are you going to live? " 

" Well, God will provide for me if He wishes 
me to keep on; and I shall keep on until I am 
obliged to stop ! " 

His hire in the first year he committed himself to 
Evangel's sword was less than $300. But, the only 
stop his Lord ever commanded him to make was 
thirty-nine years later, when encircling angels came 
to bring him to the Gates of Glory. 



(Washburne Collection) 

Emma (nineteen) D. L. (twenty-five) 

Married August 28, 1SG2 

Emma Charlotte Revell 

Born July 5, 1843 ; Died October 10, 1003 

At twenty-five with her 

At thirty-six when she became 
a resident of Northfield 


(Washburne Collection) 

Emma (nineteen) D. L. (twenty-five' 

Married August: 'js. isi;^ 

Emma Charlotte Revell 

I'.ui'ii .Inly ."">. IS-l:!; Jiird Ortulier In. T.iu.", 

At twenty-five with her 

At thirty-six when she became 
a resident of Nortlifield 




(July 5, 1843 October 10, 1903) 


If one's heart is tender, he cannot help being deeply moved 1 

at the sorrow of Bunyan's Pilgrim. When Charity asked || 

him, " Why did you not bring your wife along with you? " 
he broke down and sobbed, " Oh, how willingly would I have 
done it, but she was averse to my going on pilgrimage! " 

Moody never knew that heartbreak! For God gave him 
Emma Charlotte Eevell! The little village paper of North- 
field, dated October 17, 1903, carried a short obituary which 
puts the case in powerful simplicity: 

" She found the greatest joy in the circle of her home and 
family, yet when duty called her to the responsibilities of 
social life, her natural grace and culture were admired by 
everybody. . . She made her home the best place on earth for 
her family. . . Everyone understood her wise counsel and 
support was one of the secrets of D. L. Moody's success." 

And the closing sentence of that little article has an inter- 
pretative value, Dantesque in power "Her flower-covered 
bier was borne to Eound Top and her body placed beside that 
of her husband." 

Why not? That's exactly where she was from first to 
last, beside her husband! Sketch Book. 



(July 5, 1843 October 10, 1903) 

The staff of the Chicago Historical Society fur- 
nished along with other valued data for this book, 
the picture facing page 66, which helps imagination 
restore the down-town Chicago of Moody's arrival. 
Note the water-carts, " hoss-cars," gigs, rigs, hoop- 
skirts and " tails." Here we are, right on Washing- 
ton and La Salle Streets. The large building on the 
left, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the City Hall, famous 
throughout the new West. Today, the bastile gran- 
ite of the new City Hall stands on the same lot. Now, 
attention please! The building in picture center is 
the Chamber of Commerce ; but it was the edifice of 
the First Baptist Church. 

After purchasing it for sixty thousand dollars in 
1862, the Chamber of Commerce razed the twin cor- 
ner towers, and changed the Baptist Meeting-house 
into a "Temple of Talk," where early boosters 
waxed eloquent over " Half a Century of Progress." 
The same site is today occupied by the Babel-high 
structure of the Foreman State National Bank 

It helps a bit, to get such a flash back on the March 
of Tune, for it was in front of that middle center 
building, on Sunday, September 16, 1856, while it 
was still the First Baptist Church, that young Moody 



stopped, went in and was conquered. An early 
morning rain had deluged the streets, followed by 
autumn sunshine. After the boy sat down, and dur- 
ing the opening exercises of the Sunday school, it 
wasn't long before he saw a girl. She had all that 
unspoiled sweetness of thirteen, which made the 
poet pray, " God keep her so young, so lovely, so 
fine ! " It must be confessed that several times be- 
fore service-end there was that " embarrassing, yet 
delightful collision of eyes." And the girl, of course, 
was Emma Charlotte Revell. 

* * * 

Reverently, this chapter aims to enter the shad- 
ows which a century has dropped about this woman, 
knowing that human appraisals have never done her 
justice, hoping that Centennial year will put her 
where she belongs among the Historic Wives of 
the Faith. Only the Recording Angel knows how 
completely the regimentation of that raw explosive 
called D. L. M. was due to the quiet spirituality, 
calm common sense, and fine British restraint of 
Emma Charlotte Revell. But even as it was with 
her friend Susannah Spurgeon, her age dismissed 
her with a paragraph. 

John Foster's impatience with historians, all of 
whom gave only cheese-paring and candle-end data 
upon King Alfred's Life, is matched by my own 
pucker against every one of Moody 's biographers. 
Foster's indictment nicely sums up the case of Mrs. 
Dwight L. Moody versus the Guild of Cacoethes 
Scribendi: "One is indignant at them for having 


given so meager an outline. Their short imperfect 
relations and descriptions are like ruins of a once 
majestic temple, where are seen only such vestiges 
of the foundations as to show the magnitude of the 

Amazed at this literary silence, Deborah and I 
counted upon finding adequate details in the public 
records of Northfield. Alas! Only a little column 
in the Press of October 17, 1903 ! Then said Deb- 
orah, " Just wait till we get to Chicago." But the 
yellowed files of the Lake City groaned, and brought 
forth only a mouse-article twenty-seven lines long, 
including the heads. 

However, Mrs. D. L. Moody's letters and comments 
in the Washburne Collection, like a few broken col- 
umns, intimate to the imagination the beauty and 
richness of her life and labors. Her father, Fleming 
H. Revell, left England and emigrated to Chicago in 
1849, because, to be frank about it, he heard there 
was good going on Lake Michigan in the building 
of side-wheelers and wind-jammers. And he was 
somewhat in the way of being a ship-builder himself. 
(You know the deprecatory, shyly coughing manner 
in which Britons speak of themselves.) Mr. 
Charles Revell Holden, Chicago, writes me Septem- 
ber, 1935: 

"My grandfather (Fleming Revell) died ten 
years before I was born. I recall a typical por- 
trait of a typical English gentleman. My grand- 
mother (Emma's mother) lived to be over eighty 
years of age, and was a fine lovable character." 


This vignette outline enables us to see these Spur- 
geon-Baptist Revells, as they arrived in Pinafore 
Chicago, with their three young daughters. Anna 
and Sara were eight and four respectively ; Emma, 
six, was born July 5, 1843. Winsome little misses 
every one of them, as anybody with half an eye can 
see from their pictures. 

Follow on a line or so. On December 11, 1849, a 
son was born in Chicago, Fleming H. (II). At 
twenty this son launched his ship on a sea of prin- 
ter's ink, publishing first an " itsy bitsy " religious 
pulp, Everybody's Paper, adding after the Big Fire 
Words of Life, Sunday School Illustrator, etc. The 
first book he printed was Mackey's Grace and Truth. 
Just as Passmore and Alabaster were "made" by 
Spurgeon, Revell saw his airy little business jump 
to gianthood when his famous brother-in-law, D. L. 
Moody, rubbed the lamp with the Colportage 
Library. Today, the grandson, Fleming H. Revell 
(III) has a nice little office on a nice little street 
called Fifth Avenue, New York City. 

All of which may help explain the patrician fine- 
ness of the thirteen-year-old Emma Charlotte, in 
whom the nineteen-year-old Moody found himself 
" spiirlos versenkt " ! What an adorable little lady 
she was, with her dark eyes, clean-cut features, 
British refinement, and best of all, ardent passion 
to lead others to her young King! They saw each 
other that day but they were not formally intro- 
duced until the following May. (Can you recall the 
lovely suspense of those delicate formalities which 
this sad age has lost?) 


By the time she was fifteen, D. L.'s mission was 
a lusty creature packed full of embryonic gangsters. 
Is it hard to understand why she "went over and 
took a class " ? Not very. At no other point is the 
Unreasonable Grace of God more to be observed 
than when He brought this adorable young lady into 
Moody's life. More and more the boy and the girl 
found love's sweet reasons for being together, until 
one day the twenty-three-year-old shoe salesman 
said a certain something to the seventeen-year-old 
girl, which every man who finds his woman knows 
perfectly well. And she, slipping her slender hand 
into his, whispered Ruth's avowal : 

" Where thou goest I will go, 
Where thou lodgest, I will lodge! " 

The following Sunday she blushed when her rough- 
cut lad announced in the mission, 

" I've just become engaged to Miss Emma Revell, 
and please don't count on me to see the girls home 
from meeting any more ! " 

There's a letter in the Washburne Collection 
under date of August 23, 1862, that sounds like a 
lover's hallelujah. It is headed, " Him that trusteth 
in me shall not be confounded " (!) and it runs : 

" DEAR SAMUEL : By the time you get this, I 
shall be married and away on my wedding 
tower! " (Italics mine.) 

They were married in the First Baptist Church, 
August 28, 1862, by Dr. W. W. Everts, pastor. The 


bride's dark hair was partly caught up in a coil at 
the back of her head, the remainder falling over her 
shoulders right and left in clusters of curls. A per- 
forated pearl clasp joined her white lace collar ends, 
matching white lace epaulettes over a snug, black 
velveteen bodice, completed by an ankle-length skirt 
of the same material " a little lady whose slender- 
ness made her seem quite tall." And the groom! 
Ah my friends, remember, he was a sort of a 
preacher, now. So, who can have the heart to speak 
unkindly of the solid-black Prince Albert, matching 
the black, string tie, black side-burns and hair? 
And why can't Love's Young Dream permit a man 
at least once in his life to pose with a hand on his 
hip, and the other on a table-borne Bible? Dear me, 
if we're normal people, our laughter cannot help 
being sweetened with tears ! 

Thus began another of those transforming homes, 
wherein the wife was well-content to mother her 
largest boy, her husband, and to abide, unobserved, 
in the shadow of his labors. A hundred times I've 
said to people who ought to have known, " Tell me 
about Mrs. Moody." And just as often, like sainted 
Doctor Gray, they've acted confused and finally said, 
" Well she was very quiet! " She deliberately hid 
herself. But I've run so many transit-lines across 
her character that she has become as real to me as 
her husband. Her modesty was copied from An- 
other, but as for her real self this age must know 
that here was " One of the notable women to whom 
the nations come ! " As I have grieved over not find- 


ing Spurgeon's " Little Black Book," so do I regret 
that Emma Charlotte RevelPs diary is locked away. . . 

Happily, though, there are enough dots on the 
page to connect by a proper line and thus draw out 
a vital picture. The sum total of her influence over 
the Commoner of Northfield was exceeded by that 
of but One Other. John Bunyan described his 
heroine as delaying to join the Progress ; but here 
was a Christiana who thrust her Pilgrim forth, and 
then, walked by his side clear to the gates of glory ! 

After the wedding, they moved into their first 
house, " Poverty Cottage," at Dearborn and Indiana. 
(What honest man's eyes can be dry at the memory 
of this sweet discipline?) Just to see her, uncom- 
plainingly walking through the first desert years of 
young married life is to think of Jeremiah 2:2: 

"I remember thee, . . the love of thine es- 
pousals, when thou wentest after me ... in a land 
that was not sown." 

At first she was proud but alarmed by her husband's 
intense activities. Then she mastered the dextrous 
art which she applied the rest of her life. " She has 
been at his side as it were a brake upon this impetu- 
ous man, and held him back and guarded him all 
through these years " (Ira D. Sankey) . 

Three times she made the Woman's Pilgrimage of 
Pain, and came back holding tiny little hands 
Emma (Mrs. A. P. Fitt), 1864; William Revell, 
1869 ; and Paul, 1879. Her mother-love captivated 
Jessie McKinnon : " Often during meetings (in 


England) she remained at home with her children 
(Emma and Will) and it was beautiful to see her 
devotion." Yes, and it was beautiful when she, 
teaching them daily to pray, would say, " my little 
dears, you belong body and soul to Christ! " 

In those early days she continued to work in her 
husband's mission. There is that engaging story 
of a distressed visitor who saw " an altogether-too- 
young girl " teaching a class of men in the gallery ; 
and whose complaints were finally quieted by D. L/s 
telling him, "Well, she's my wife!" In the quiet- 
ness of her home she often talked to D. L. about 
England, its beauty, but chiefly of the mighty men 
of the Book who lived there. Finally, in 1867, five 
years after they were married, D. L. made an abrupt 
announcement to his Sunday school, an announce- 
ment combining business and pleasure: His wife 
had asthma ; a doctor said an ocean trip might cure 
her ; and therefore they were going to England that 
Week. (And page Ripley it did, cure her.) 

The Washburne Collection shows by little frag- 
ments that she was throughout life his constant 
companion almost everywhere he went, even to the 
front in the Civil War : 

MAR. 10, 1864 

You will see by this date that I am on my way 
agane to Gen Grants army. My wife is with me 
(Italics mine) she will have to hurry back home 
for the child (Emma) is not with us. 


Together they visited the shrines of faith in Europe. 
There is a letter in her own dainty hand which says 
they went to the quaint old home of John Knox 
where she and " D. L. both rested in an old chair 
belonging to him." Other letters give charming 
little cameos of herself and D. L. at teas, relig- 
ious gatherings, pleasure drives, tete-a-tetes with 
Europe's great men, ten days at the Paris Exposi- 
tion. . . 

In the later sixties, the young couple got along a 
little better financially. Their joy was full on New 
Year's Day, 1871. A friend of D. L. had just built 
a row of new Chicago houses, fire-fodder of sardine 
uniformity. One was set aside, rent-free, for the 
Moodys. Other friends of the mission had furnished 
it Brussels carpets, great bookcase with glass 
doors, circular-burner kerosene-lamp with a Man- 
darin-white glass shade, and on one wall a heroic- 
sized oil-painting of D. L. On that New Year's Day, 
the three Moodys (little Emma just seven) were 
picked up by a carriage. They found the new house 
full of friends laughing over something or other. 
Then Doctor Patterson pompously presented the 
young couple with a key, a lease to the house, and 
all it contained, as a gift. D. L., confused, gave the 
key to Emma. Hand-in-hand they went through the 
rooms. D. L. tried to make a speech, broke down, 
and Emma had to finish it for him. Within a few 
months, October 8, 1871, the line of fire-fodder 
houses went up like tinder in the Great Holocaust. 
About the only thing Emma showed any anxiety 
about saving was the oil-painting of D. L. 


" D. L." as the focal center of her life, crops out 
continually in her letters " D. L. D. L. D. L. ! " 

GLASGOW, APRIL 19, 1882 


. . . You will be glad to know that D. L. though 
working hard is very well. . . He has been very 
much blessed in Glascow. . . He is now preaching 
in a very poor district in Glascow. . . It makes my 
heart ache to see the wretchedness there, and it is 
most of it caused by drink. . . People in North- 
field hardly imagine such wretchedness. . . Fannie 
and Emma have gone to the seacoast to get a 
breath of fresh air ; and they will get it, pretty 
direct from the north pole! Dr. Blaikie has a 
summer residence right on the shore! . . Last 
Saturday, D. L. and I went with a gentleman to 
... an immense castle on the Clyde, with most 
beautiful grounds . . . furnished beautifully . . . 
marble statues and paintings ... we are driving 
to some lovely Scotch lakes. . . 

The affection between her husband and Spurgeon 
was reflected in the love between herself and Su- 
sannah Spurgeon. When the Heir of the Puritans 
died, Mrs. Spurgeon sent to the Moodys in North- 
field, a priceless book (I'd give every volume in my 
library to own it) , the Bible in which Spurgeon had 
noted down, as he preached them, each theme prop- 
erly enmargined and dated, his 3,517 sermons. In 


1884, Mrs. Moody and her daughter, then a young 
lady of twenty, spent the winter in Mentone. Spur- 
geon was there ; Susannah had become the helpless 
invalid in Westwood. Emma's heart went out to- 
ward the sorrowing Puritan; was not D. L. his 
Jonathan? And one day when Spurgeon wept over 
his stricken loved one, Emma turned her lovely eyes 
toward the great preacher and whispered, "Through 
fire and water I have brought thee into a large 

* * 

The flying years became laden with rich argosies 
of memory for the Moodys. The current of his love 
toward her deepened, becoming as he drew near 
sixty, a more exalted thing than even the adoration 
his heart accorded the little lady of Chicago so many 
years agone. And why not ? Her love for him never 
made her a mere unthinking echo of a great man, 
but always spoke out in British independence, 
shearing away many rough spots, and heaven knows 
he had plenty. There was, for instance, the time 
when Moody was still " a hook-up preacher " (one 
who hooks together a quantity of material he likes, 
and then to give it a religious semblance, tacks a 
text to it) . When D. L. asked her how she liked 
the preaching of Henry Moorhouse, she replied, 
"Very, very much. He's so different from you. 
He backs up everything he says with the Bible! " 

In the Inquiry Room, she was superb. Moody 
often said, " She can bring a man to Christ when 
I cannot touch him " ; and he handed the hard cases 


over to her. Ramshorn (E. P.) Brown was one of 
her many trophies. The fact that Moody Church 
has always had a baptistry in it was due, not to 
A. C. Dixon, as the good dominie imagined, but to 
Moody's wife who never gave over her Baptist con- 

She handled the larger part of D. L.'s correspon- 
dence; was his constant adviser. But she knew 
just where to stop, never crossing that mystic boun- 
dary where Mrs. True Helpmeet becomes Madame 
Married Interference. When questions came which 
Moody should settle on his own Guidance, she re- 
plied to his excited " What shall I do? " with, " You 
decide, and tell me and I'll write." Jessie McKin- 
non, brilliant young wife of a British steamship 
magnate, was awed by Emma's " humility, her great 
nobility of character, her sincerity and transpar- 
ency. I am convinced that a great deal of Mr. 
Moody's usefulness is owing to her." 

When the Moodys became permanent residents of 
Northfield, in 1876, D. L.'s cup of joy ran over, and 
the children shared his enthusiasm. But as for 
Emma, well, the night silence of a country village 
made even the crickets sound like Squakeags come 
back for a war-dance; and that distressing small- 
town talk you know, "Alexander's cat has kit- 
tens" or "Mercy Mudge trimmed over that old 
black leghorn" it just didn't appeal to a woman 
with a city background. There were many lone- 
some hours for her in this New England Nazareth 
when she longed for the uproar of young Chicago's 
giant forces. 


But her aff ections slowly rooted more deeply into 
New England than in the soil of Cook County. The 
sweet harmony of Northfield years flowed like a 
glorious river until that dark day in December, 1899. 
Life then suddenly lost its savor. Little did friends 
know that when they put him on Round Top they 
buried her heart, too. 

One day, a few months after D. L.'s home-going, 
conscious that the shadows of her own final sick- 
ness were falling, she stood, ending a visit with the 
beloved physician and his wife, those last lonely 
moments of tarrying at their veranda door. To look 
upon her one would say, " She's the same royal per- 
son save that the dreams in her eyes have turned 
to memories." Tears just would come as she gazed 
westward over the Great Meadow beside the river. 
How precious D. L. had been to her! No wonder 
sister Sara said to the reporters, "They were so 
poor when they were married! But they were so 
happy! And that happiness continued throughout 
their lives." 

Yes, she loved England with its December roses, 
and Chicago of radiant morning memories; but, 
after all, this quiet paradise on the Connecticut was 
the best. Maybe, because he loved it ; and her heart 
always played such queer tricks of loving what he 
loved. She became strangely silent. Doctor Wood 
and his wife understood, and were silent with her. 

Her lonely heart was listening to a dying man 

calling his departed grandchildren, " Dwight! Irene! 

I see the children's faces!" She listened more 

closely for memory to repeat certain sweet words 



that she had lingered over every day during those 
lonely two years, the last words he ever said be- 
fore he shouted his praise in the presence of the 
King : 

" Emma, you've been a good wife to me ! " He 
had said just that. Dear God, what lovelier thing 
did a man ever say to a woman ! 

It was to her a welcome moment on October 10, 
1903, when she closed her eyes to the autumn gold 
of New England, and opened them to the gold of the 
City Four-Square. Doctor Wood and his five help- 
ers, H. M. Moore, H. W. Pope, S. E. Bridgeman, 
Deacon Barker, and H. H. Proctor, placed her body 
beside her husband's on Round Top. Yea, verily, 
and that's where she belongs, now, and on Resur- 
rection morn. 

* * * 

I have desired to carve yet another text upon her 
stone, the poignantly sweet words of the Shunam- 

" I dwell among my people ! " 


(March, 1860 October, 1871) 

We now regard the bewildering interval in Pilgrim's life 
when his labors savor of animal heat. Apollos is eloquent, 
mighty and diligent; but he knows only the baptism of John. 
His bold speaking has a Delphic sound to everybody save 
Aquila and Priscilla. This is the same amazing interlude 
when the contemporary prophet cherishes his Circular Club, 
is a Bright Eyed Boy for the Chamber of Commerce, liber- 
ally quotes the poetry of JStna St. Hoi Polloi, and pants 
over wide orbits to declare his soul on a warless world. If 
this fitful fever is cured by Divine Prescription, he repents 
of it all just as he repented of his sins. If the violence of 
fire (Hebrews 11:34) is quenched by natural decline, our 
Peppy Prodigy cools down to a Gray Gibeonite, hewing wood 
and drawing water. 

Such, by the large, was Moody in the decade 1860-1870. 
What Marathon exhibitions! What breath-taking activi- 
ties! Of course there was much to admire, and much good 
came of it. But, he was not yet The Burning Bush whom 
the world turned aside to see. Sketch Book. 

(March, 1860 October, 1871) 

The labors of Moody in his twenties have a Paul 
Bunyan flavor. After days of research one watches 
the record of this Hercules become oppressively 
bulky, and then wonders : How can it all be packed 
into a Life? These remarkable conversions, whole- 
sale philanthropies, battle-front dramas and seven- 
league-convention travels? Well, that's just what 
should not be done. Spiritual Horatio Algers have 
in the past led us astray by attempting it. To such 
writers the Moody of the sixties was a faultless 
Galahad whose every move is to be studied, moralized 
upon, and imitated. Just to read their books is to 
feel beaten with rods into admitting that faith is 
after all merely another word for furious pottering. 

This is precisely where Gamaliel Bradford got all 
at sea in his Irritated Biography. Offended by the 
wild, driving haste of Moody, he concluded "The 
hurried man " of this period to be Moody, clear to 
the end of the picture ; this man who had no time to 
read or even to think ; this man who rushed through 
life making felonious assaults upon total strangers 
with his rude challenge "Are you a Christian?" 1 
The author of " Damaged Souls " was overwhelmed 
because he seems never so much as to have heard 

1 The annals of the sixties offer copious proof that this " rudeness " 
was honored, however. Many men, writhing as they at first thought, in 
indignation, found later the arrows of God, not young Moody, had 
wounded them. 



of the fathomless difference between a Christian 
" born again " only, and the same Christian after 
Jehovah has made him a Polished Shaft. The dif- 
ference one may see between Impulsive Simon, who 
cut off policemen's ears, and Dynamic Peter, whose 
reins were in the hands of God. If one does not 
sense the question, " On which side of Whitsunday 
was Moody then living?" he of course must write 
as a man with a measuring-line. 

This period is filled with stories of life-changing 
that belong to the literature of power; the records 
of men, enchained of soul by all forms of sin, from 
gutter bestiality to sleek, moral rebellion, suddenly 
moved upon by the Spirit and made new creatures 
in Christ Jesus. But the motif of this Life forces 
us to shelve these stirring anecdotes with sincere 
regret. The highest blessing for any young heart, 
anxious for His dear sake to receive power in this 
age, will be to watch attentively how the Long-Suf- 
fering Potter took the violent clay called D. L. 
and disciplined it into a humble vessel fit to receive 

" This Treasure." 

* * * 

About 1860 Major D. W. Whittle had a distinct 
impression that Moody was a little off, "the news- 
papers were full of jokes about him, and folks called 
him Crazy Moody." The first time Whittle ever saw 
him, he was riding a small pony, trousers in his 
boot-legs, cap on his head, a short stocky figure. A 
little later he went ministerial, even returning to 
Northfield, in 1862, for a visit, dressed in a Prince 


Albert, his bearing marked by lofty meekness of a 
very young clergyman. By 1870 he was no longer 
stocky, just (as prosaic tailors say) a short stout. 
And since Spurgeon, to whom he Was a Jonathan, 
had a full beard, Moody had one also. A contem- 
porary gives this little cameo : " I never saw such 
high pressure; he made me think of those breath- 
ing steamboats on the Mississippi that must go fast 
or burst : a keen, dark-eyed man with a shrill voice, 
and a thorough earnestness." Moody himself, while 
regarding these years as exhibiting "zeal with 
knowledge," often added, " But there is much more 
hope for a man in that condition than for that man 
who has knowledge without zeal." 


The Civil War roared down on America in April, 
1861. A mobilization center, Camp Douglas, was 
located in the quail-hunters' paradise south of Chi- 
cago (just about where the University of Chicago 
now stands) . As the first regiment of soldiers was 
arriving, D. L. and the Y. M. C. A. Devotional Com- 
mittee, of which he was chairman, were on the 
grounds pitching a big tent for an evening prayer- 
service. This was followed by a chapel financed and 
built by Moody. During the war over 1,500 gospel 
services were held in Camp Douglas. " Moody was 
ubiquitous; hastening from one barracks to an- 
other, day and night, week-days and Sundays ; pray- 
ing, exhorting, conversing with men about their 
souls, reveling in the abundant work and swift suc- 
cess the war brought within his reach." 


The famous Christian Commission, a sort of com- 
bination Red Cross and Y. M. C. A., was set up with 
George H. Stuart, of Philadelphia, General Chair- 
man. Many of Moody's letters in the Washburne 
Collection are written on this stationery, which 
prints his name on prominent committees. In this 
connection he went ten times to the war front ; four 
years of back and forth; on battle-fields just after 
or during engagements Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh, 
Fort Donelson, Murfreesboro preaching to great 
crowds, visiting the wounded, working among the 
soldiers. When the Confederacy crashed, he was 
among the first to enter Richmond, " ministering to 
friend and foe alike." All of these experiences were 
later to have high value. He could always hear, 
"the dying groans of the men and their call for 
water; and it made him think of the sufferings of 
Another." And, as he told these stories to assem- 
bled thousands, their sobs bore proof that they, too, 

heard and thought. 

* * * 

We hasten to affirm that an adequate concept of 
Moody demands a steel-engraving page, picturing 
his Y. M. C. A. activities. Like a steel-engraving, 
this aspect must be concisely drawn, a true picture 
in quick, short lines. All burdensome minutiae must 
be rigidly rubbed out to relieve the eye of confusing 
detail. There is no better place to discuss Moody 
and the Association than right here, and then have 
done with it. Therefore, this mosaic chip draws 
color from beyond the limits of the chapter. 


On one hand, the Association did " more in devel- 
oping him for service than any other." 2 On the 
other, Moody did more for the Association than it 
did for him. From the solid edifice in San Fran- 
cisco to the buildings in Boston, from Cheviot Hills 
to John O'Groat's in Britain's Tight Little Islands, 
there are scores of units immeasurably indebted to 

It is very hard to examine the Association of to- 
day, and find the reasons for Moody's enthusiasm. 
One could not do this unless he looked over the " Y " 
magazines of fifty years ago, such as The Watchman. 
At once he finds that in Moody's day, the Y. M. C. A. 
had "the ancient fire by which whole shoals of 
martyrs once did burn." Then, it was Bible study, 
personal evangelism, Bible conference, testimony 
meetings, Bible exposition, street-preaching. To- 
day, the Association, with its Athenian buildings, 
is doing just what Moody feared, "carrying dead 
men " (unconverted workers) . A guarded breadth 
has replaced Bible enthusiasm ; its leaders seem con- 
tent in rushing youth around and around, out of the 
gym and into the night-school, out of the pool and 
into the ridotto. If one seeks a real aid today in 
providing valuable spiritual training for youth-soul, 
he must look elsewhere. 

The Association had its origin in a little London 
back room where some clerks, George Williams, 
leader, held prayer-meetings, and finally, June 6, 
1844, took the name, " London Young Men's Chris- 

3 W. R. Moody quotes Ms father in the revised biography, Macmillan, 


tian Association." Washburne Collection letters 
show Moody enjoying reading-hours in a Boston 
branch as early as 1854. The revival of 1857 
washed the "Y" into Chicago. It ran well for a 
while, then languished, being captured by old men. 

Then came Moody with a bang, bang! As Chair- 
man of the Association Relief Committee, in 1858, 
he rode his pinto in the visitation of 554 families 
during the year. He practically took over the noon 
prayer-meeting of the early sixties, and made it 
electric with bold attacks on "professors who tip- 
pled, used tobacco, Went to the theatre, played bil- 
liards and other loaferish games. Should Chris- 
tians be silent about such matters? No! a thousand 
times, No ! " The prayer-meeting, overcrowded at 
once, had to be moved to a large, back room in the 
Methodist Church Block. By 1865 he was ines- 
capable, so they made him president. 

The Methodist Hall was now too small, so he or- 
ganized a stock company " to build a large and hand- 
some hall." John Farwell, at Moody's suggestion, 
gave the lot (in the Loop) on which his home stood, 
as a building site. The $100,000 edifice with its 
3,000-seat auditorium was dedicated September 29, 
1867. In his address, Moody said, "When I see 
young men by the thousands going in the way of 
death, I feel like falling at the feet of Jesus with 
prayer and tears to come and save them. This 
(building) is His answer. I have faith that a mighty 
influence will go out from us that shall help bring 
the whole world to God." 


In January, 1868, "the glorious building 
burned " ! 

Before the ruins stopped smoking the Chicago 
Trio, Moody, Farwell, and B. T. Jacobs began a 
campaign to build another edifice. Farwell Hall 
number two became "a towering religious center, 
with a soul in sympathy with every Godly work, and 
a mother of revivals." The noon prayer-meetings, 
preceded by D. L.'s own hour in the closet under the 
stairs, became Pentecostal. 

And Farwell the second burned in October, 1871. 

We understand by this glance into yesterday why 
Moody constantly linked the momentum of his re- 
vivals here and in England to pull Associations out 
of debt and erect new buildings. There was open 
vision in those days. 

SJ5 SjJ SjC 

Another " side line " of the decade was his activity 
in general Sunday school conventions. Prior to the 
war, he gained some degree of publicity through a 
program collapse in Princeton, Illinois, March, 1861. 
The " distinguished speakers " failed to arrive too 
much blizzard. In despair the committee turned to 
Moody and E. W. Hawley (a young dry-goods mer- 
chant) to pinch-hit. The pair arrived in Princeton 
too late to go to bed and too early to sit up. Shiver- 
ing with the combined cold of zero weather and 
program-fright, they spent the night in intercession. 
The next day they scrapped the brain-trust pro- 
gram, and "went in for meetings with an inquiry 


room." A lusty revival broke out all over Bureau 


Right after the war, Moody said to Farwell and 
Jacobs, " The war's ended. Let's give our strength 
to Sunday school work." The second Illinois State 
Association was announced to begin the first Tues- 
day in March, 1864, in Springfield. Moody and Rev. 
J. F. Harwood, the "pastor of Moody Mission" 
(really associate to D. L.) went down to the Capital 
City the Friday night preceding " to see if a conven- 
tion could be made something beside a parade. Was 
it wrong to have a pre-convention to this end? No ! 
a thousand times, No ! " By the time the delegates 
arrived Moody had again " stolen the picture," and 
the town was in a revival. The delegates returned 
home, not to report mildly on the scientific peda- 
gogic, but to " Bring them in from the folds of sin ! " 

From this point on, Moody was not to be ignored ; 
to be eyed at first suspiciously by his brethren, then 
received into power. The record of these activities 
in the next seven years sound like a full-time secre- 
tary's work. Repeated gatherings all the way from 
Du Quoin to Quincy: "the progress of these two 
brethren (Moody and William Reynolds of Peoria) 
was a sort of triumphal procession ; large numbers 
of people accompanying them in wagon and on 
horseback; open-air meetings, tent meetings, field 
meetings, street meetings." Time fails to speak of 
Decatur, Danville, Cairo, and Boston where he 
stopped the mouths of program lions, and obtained 
a good report through faith. 

S* *! F 


It is a relief to find we are about finished with 
these records of exalted monotony "great meet- 
ings, great labors." One area more the embryo 
church of which he was lay pastor, the work his soul 
really loved. 

It was during his heavy side-lines incident to war 
activities that he set about the task of building an 
edifice better suited to the needs of his school than 
the North Market Hall and the old saloon. In 1863, 
a lot was secured on Illinois Street, between Wells 
and La Salle Streets, and a new building, the Illinois 
Street Church, was completed in November at a cost 
of $20,000. "A two-story gable-end edifice, main 
front door in the middle, spindling corner spires, 
tiny Colonial tower on the comb, with an Ameri- 
can flag." 

At first the converts were urged to unite with 
"regular orthodox churches." Then the growth 
was so rapid that organization became imperative. 
A denominational council was called: each repre- 
sentative wanted Moody to organize in the form of 
his own denomination. Moody ended by making it 
nominally Congregational, though totally indepen- 
dent of even that body. It adopted rigidly orthodox 
"Articles of Faith " upon such items as the Trinity, 
the Scripture, the Fall of Man, the Person, Work, 
Death and Resurrection of Christ. Also a conven- 
tional set-up of officers. 3 And in this building the 
vigorous four hundred kept open shop, night and 
day, until October, 1871. The portrayal of his 
divine fury, the purpose of this chapter, is best 

3 See Daniels D. L. Moody, Chapter VIII. 


accomplished by quoting, in his own words and spell- 
ing, certain of his letters from the Washburne Col- 
lection : 

" Jany 13 1862 Dear Brother The happiest 
howers I have ever spent on earth are in Sun- 
day School Samuel get a class of wicked boys 
find some very bad boys & get them to Sunday 
School & then ask God to give you wisdom and 
Instruct them in the way of Eternal Life." (He 
had been married only a few months when this 
letter was written. The " happiest hours " there- 
fore, were largely the ones when, still single, he 
had no income, was obliged to give up his lodg- 
ing house, sleep on association benches, and live 
on cheese and crackers.) 

Hudson R bet N Y & Albany, July 17, 1862 
My Dear Bro Samuel I have wondered if you 
have done as I am ancious to have you do in 
regard to connecting your self with Sunday 
School. . . Samuel you don't know how much 
you mite be able to do if you will only trye." 

" Chicago April 11, 1863 Dear Bro Samuel The 
school is nearly 2 as large as it was when you 
was hear. . . What is to hender you from having 
a Sunday School in the school house. . . God will 
help you do it. . . Start one and love the children 
and they will gather round you. . . Enclosed you 
will find a card which every child in my Sunday 
School has one & when he comes I punch out a 
number & with that card I can tell how regular 


he comes through the Qurter." (The tiny green 
card lies on my desk : a sacred bit of pasteboard.) 

" Chicago Oct 28, 1863 Dear Bro & Mother My 
new building (the Illinois Street Chapel) is do- 
ing first rate. I think they will have the roof 
on this Week" (This building, the "Illinois 
Street Chapel," soon to become a full-fledged 
church, was erected at a cost of $20,000.00 col- 
lected by D. L. himself!) 

" Chicago Jany 22 186 '4 Dear Bro Samuel You 
and Lizzie ought to unite yourself with some 
church it belongs to the Lord "Jesus" Only 
think of the number fallen into the grave and 
nothing done to reach them go seek them and 
build up the Sunday School and get Eliza Lyman 
to take hold with you. My hart bleeds for my 
natave town." 

" Chicago June 9, 1865 I hope I may be kept 
humble ! " (And it was in this interval that Her- 
cules made extra flourishes such as making two 
hundred calls in one day one and a half minutes 
to each : a feat of flesh-work not to be admired 

or imitated.) 

* * * 

A general picture of his hurried life is drawn by 
himself in another priceless letter: 

" Chicago Jan 13 1862 

Dear Bro What am I doing this winter ... I 
am agent for the City Relief Society that takes 


care of the poor. . . I have some 500 or 800 people 
dependent on me for their daily food. . . I keep a 
Sadall horse to ride around with & then I Keepe 
a nother horse & man to waite on the folks as 
they come to my office I make my head quarters 
in the roomes of the Y. M. C. A. I have just 
raised money enough to erect a chappell for the 
soldiers at the camp 3 miles from the city I hold 
a meeting down there every day & 2 in the city. 
So you see I have 3 meetings to attend to every 
day besides calling on the sick & that is not all 
I have to go into the country about every wek to 
buy wood & provisions . . . also coal wheat meal 
& corn then I have to go hold meetings like 36 
miles just to one prayer meeting at Elgin I am 
also raising money to buy Him books for the Sol- 
diers I am one of the Army Commity & we hold 
meetings once a week . . . and then distribute 
books to the diferunt Companys. . . I do not 
ansur 1 letter out of 10 that I get It is 11 to 12 
every night when I retire and am up in the 
morning at light. Wish you would come in some- 
time about 1 to 3 o'clock my office hours & see the 
people waiting / do not get 5 minutes a, day to 
study so I have to talk just as it Jiappens" 

(Italics mine) 

* * * 

Ah, here is the small black spot that spread and 
got him in the end, " not five minutes a day . . so 
I have to talk just as it happens " ! It was inevi- 
table that a man, though in the service of God, who 


let his life go to this point, should eventually sense 
futility. It began to darken his soul by 1866. 
Something was wrong ! He now faced that spiritual 
crisis involving an entire revolution in character, 
which a writer sets forth in the phrase, 

" They made me keeper of the vineyards ; 
But mine own vineyard have I not kept." 


(March, 1860 October, 1871) 

Now Pilgrim came to such a frame that he was always ill 
at ease. He looked into the gloom of his soul and was amazed 
to find that his unrest arose from the performance of the 
very work for which he so stoutly affirmed his love. Thus he 
came to a deep sense of shame. Then one day he found in 
the message sent out week by week, by the man who lived 
beneath The Shadow of the Broad Brim, a clear discernment 
of his whole trouble: "I am bound to say, if Christ's ser- 
vant be not in the power of the Spirit, then His works become 
bondage, and he feels forced to do them." 

Forthwith Pilgrim began to pray, " Oh God ! give me 
the Holy Spirit! ""Sketch Book. 


(March, 1860 October, 1871) 

It is a dreadful experience to become an Ahimaaz, 
running without a commission ; to have a well-mean- 
ing heart and an impoverished soul. To feel the 
hand of God lying heavily upon the spirit that 
dreadful period in which Mr. Ordinary Christian 
must writhe in anguish until Christ be formed 
within. By the year 182^ the consciousness of some- 
thing wrong blackened his whole outlook. To meet 
the unidentified malady he plunged into the chasm 
Santayana described, " Redoubling one's efforts 
when he's losing his vision." More furious he be- 
came, and more unhappy. Emma viewed his misery 
with unveiled eyes ; she knew what the real trouble 
was. Therefore, she plied a woman's sweet ministry 
of talk: they might go to England for a visit; there 
were such giants of God's word there; it would be 
a great blessing to D. L. ; the Plymouth Brethren 
in Chicago had gotten their priceless secrets from 
Spirit-filled English Christians. There were other 
men in England like C. H. Mclntosh and J. N. Darby 
whose books had so blessed him. . . 

Here we find the real reason for the first English 
visit, March to July, 1867. There seemed to have 
been no extensive planning, just that abrupt an- 
nouncement that an ocean-trip might help his loved 
companion. But the deepest motivation was his 



anxiety to cure his own spiritual asthma (not 
Emma's) , by contact with British men of the Book. 

The sum total result of this trip was transforming, 
but it was not transfiguring. 

For one thing, he was permitted to hear the young 
man preach who, next to Christ, had been his ideal 
for ten years Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon 
was then thirty-three, Moody thirty. 

" The very first place to which he went in Lon- 
don was Metropolitan Tabernacle. He was sur- 
prised one had to have a ticket to get in, but he 
got in just the same. He had read every thing 
Spurgeon ever wrote. He sat weeping during the 
service and his eyes just feasted on Spurgeon. 
While he (Moody) remained in England in 1867, 
he followed Spurgeon everywhere. When he got 
home, people asked him if he had been to see 
this or that Cathedral ; he had to say, ' No/ but 
he could tell them all about Mr. Spurgeon! He 
just couldn't keep back the tears when he thought 
of it. He would like to buy the seat in the high 
gallery where he was first seated, and take it 
back to America with him. It was Bethel to 
him, and he went home a better man." 1 

But, that wasn't enough! 

He also made a close study of that miracle of faith, 
George Miiller, and from that time on Miiller's Auto- 
biography became Moody's Pilgrim's Progress. 

1 Moody's speech at Spurgeon's Jubilee, 1884. Quoted from Spur- 
peon's AutolriograpJiy, Judson Press. 


But, that wasn't enough! 

During this first visit also he met in Dublin the 
" puny, fragile, provincial and rude-speeched young 
Harry Moorhouse," 2 who followed Moody back to 
Chicago and became God's instrument for changing 
Moody's whole concept of preaching. After Moor- 
house's brief and spectacular ministry in Chicago in 
1867, Moody had no need of further proof that a 
Christian must first know precisely what the Bible 
says, before he is at all competent to explain what it 
teaches! Of which, this book has more to say in 
Chapter XVI. 

But, that wasn't enough! 

Moody was only theoretically convinced. It's 
labor unto blood to do real scriptural preaching! 
Old Man Inertia got Moody after Moorhouse left, 
and he went on with his saw-dust homiletics. It is 
true that when he returned to Chicago in 1867 every- 
body could see a change ; but, it wasn't the change. 
Just before he sailed for home in July, 1867, he 
followed George Stuart's advice and attended the 
General Assembly in Edinburgh, " and it did me a 
world of good." 3 

But, all of these things together were not enough! 

* * * 

In early 1869, the unhappy young Apollos found 
Aquila and Priscilla in his own congregation, 4 " two 
elderly, Free Methodist women in frail health," Mrs. 

2 John Macpherson, Henry Moorhouse, the English Evangelist. 

8 New York Tribune, "Glad Tidings" (Report Hippodrome Meetings, 

4 This date is definitely fixed by Jessie McKinnon. 


Cook and Mrs. Snow. During the noon prayer- 
meetings in Farwell Hall, they made him nervous 
just the way they looked at him. He knew he was 
deficient somewhere; and he knew they knew it, 

The sum of their estimate of him came out in 
several flying conversations at the end of the meet- 
ings : " They were praying for him. They saw he 
wasn't in the will of God ; not filled With the Spirit; 
they were praying for him! " Just as if he were 
a sinner ! Why, that got completely under his skin. 
" He who had the largest congregation in Chicago ; 
and there were so many conversions! Could any- 
body be doing more for God than he? No! a thou- 
sand times, No ! " But his spirit found no help in 
this auto-bromide. He miserably knew something 
was wrong. He was belligerent toward those dread- 
ful women when they were present ; and miserably 
lonely when they didn't come. 

By 1871, everything seemed to be moving on with 
much encouragement. That new associate with the 
golden voice, Ira D. Sankey, whom he had found at 
the Indianapolis Y. M. C. A. Convention of 1870, 
was just packing them in at the new church building 
on Illinois Street. And no pastor could be surer of 
the love of his people there was that magnificent 
new home which they had presented to Emma and 
himself. And there was his wonderful, new Far- 
well Hall which had become a Chamber of Commerce 
talking point. 


Nevertheless, a mauling depression seized his soul. 
His little prayer-closet where he spent the time each 
day from 11.00 to 11.40 a. m. just before the great 
noon service, became a place of tears "Oh God 
what's wrong with me?" 

In April, 1871, the wooden coach train of the Over- 
land Union Southern Pacific curved its way east- 
bound through the Western deserts. Moody had 
secretly rejoiced in this opportunity to get away 
from his burden in Chicago, accompanying John H. 
Vincent and the singer, Phillip Phillips, to the Cali- 
fornia State Sunday School Convention. But he 
hadn't escaped. He suddenly felt " terribly alone." 
Summer was coming on, and he hated to face his task 
in Chicago. His congregations had shown signs of 
falling away. Then, in long hours on the pioneer 
transcontinental, he felt his soul drop into the deep- 
est pit awaiting flesh workers ; " The gospel would 
not draw by itself. He'd have to resort to some 
kind of sacred concerts, or get some one to lecture 
to get his crowds back again." 5 His like-minded 
brethren in 1936 are the over-wrought chaps who 
spend miserable hours in "the religious services" 
they arrange, where the gospel is supplemented by 
Hollywood films; and then go home thanking God 
it's over for another week. 

He became so agitated that he could no longer sit 
with Vincent and Phillips. On the little open, rear 
coach platform, he felt a deep sense of shame. His 

B Verbatim quotation, Washburne Collection. 


compromise thinking was like a dog returning to its 
vomit. The gospel wasn't weak. He knew better 
than that after consorting with Spurgeon and Mtiller 
and Moorhouse. . . " Oh God have mercy ! There is 
something wrong with me! In His dear Name, 
correct me! I'd rather die than go on this way." 
He covered his face, and Spring deserts slipped by 



(November, 1871) 

" I do not know of anything that America needs more today 
than men and women on fire with the fire of heaven; and 
I have yet to find a man or woman on fire with the Spirit of 
God that is a failure. I believe it is utterly impossible. They 
are never discouraged or disheartened. They rise higher and 
higher and it grows better and better all the while. My 
dear friends, if you haven't this illumination, make up your 
mind you are going to have it. Pray " God, illuminate me 
with Thy Holy Spirit! " D. L. Short Talks, Colportage 
Library, page 100. 

"I was in the church ten years before I knew anything 
especially about the Holy Spirit. When I heard a man in a 
noon meeting say that the Spirit was a person, I thought 
he was gone daft. It is dreadful to see the powerless efforts 
of men trying to do a spiritual work without spiritual power. 
. . . Men are turned against the gospel by workers without 
the energy and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. . . And, the Holy 
Spirit coming upon men with power is distinct and separate 
from conversion. I would rather go to breaking stones in 
the road than to go into Christian work without the anointing 
of the Holy Spirit." Hartzler, Moody in Chicago. 


(November, 1871) 

The preeminent blessing of a centennial study of 
Moody is reserved for all earnest hearts, troubled 
over a fruitless Christian life, that are praying, " Oh 
God, illuminate me. How may I find the hidings of 
power? " Here is a divine apologetic, proving that 
the most vigorous Christian falls miserably short, 
" if his labors are not in the Spirit." Had Moody 
died in his thirty-fourth year, on the train journey, 
his story would present no values worth toiling to 
observe. Let the Holy One be our Nathan, bluntly 
telling us as we grieve over the miserable Mara- 
thon Dominie of Illinois Street, " Thou art the 
man ! " And then, when we watch him, utterly 
crushed, painfully tearing down lifetime habits of 
human thinking, substituting Written Wisdom, come 
on a sudden to an amazing gate that opened right 
into Third Heaven, let each burdened one weep with 
joy, " This may be my life story, too ! " It cannot 
be otherwise than that a host of us, who in this 
age have surrendered to a cellophane ministry, deli- 
cately questing anywhere or everywhere for truth 
save in God's Revelation will suddenly receive the 
Fire that brings music at midnight, opens prison 
doors, and turns a hirdy-girdy age upside down. 



Many a man has gone down into his Arabia with 
God during the hours of a long train journey. After 
a while, on that early Golden State Limited, Moody's 
tears gave way to solid introspection. The past three 
years rose up for review like Scrooge's ghosts. He 
remembered young Moorhouse saying to him in 
1867, " You are sailing on the wrong tack. If you 
will change your course, and learn to preach God's 
words instead of your own, He will make you a 
great power." Then he saw himself immediately 
tumble into the Brea Pits of Scholastic Psychology 
a hot haste to explain what the Bible teaches before 
dyeing his soul with what it says. Providentially the 
course of reading which a learned Chicago friend 
had suggested, together with the list of books, had 
been lost. 

He could hear Moorhouse's rejoinder as to a course 
of reading, " You need only one Book for the study of 
the Bible ! " Then he remembered his own nettled 
answer, " Moorhouse, you must have studied many 
books to come by your knowledge of the Bible"; 
and, Moorhouse's baffling reply, " I am a man of one 
Book. If a text of Scripture troubles me, I ask an- 
other text to explain it; if this will not answer 
I carry it straight to the Lord." Then he wept again, 
on the train platform, as he recalled his poignantly 
sweet joy when Moorhouse gave a private demon- 
stration of "Bible Reading" for sixty people in 
Moody's home. 

The Spirit gave him no rest. He saw he had been 
ambitious, not preaching for Christ, really ; he " was 
preaching for ambition ; he found everything in his 


heart that ought not to be there." He remembered 
with new understanding what an old man had said 
to him away back in Boston, in 1857, after Moody 
had spoken in Sunday school, "Young man, when 
you speak again, honor the Holy Ghost." He saw 
also that after Moorhouse left Chicago, he didn't 
follow the new light, but took a course of reading. 
And when he preached, he did as the Sons of Impo- 
tence have always done. He didn't honor the Holy 
Spirit; he took a text and departed from it! As a 
minister charged before God and the Lord Jesus 
Christ to preach the Word, he had clung to maxim 
preaching and had never tried the Word. 

Then in the desert loneliness of that hour, he 
made a great decision : When he got back to Chicago, 
he'd launch out on Bible preaching, however much 
he'd stumble. A large part of a morning had passed 
when he, with smoke-blackened features, rejoined 
Vincent and Phillips. But a strange little song was 
in his heart. They laughed at his grimy face and 
said, "You must have enjoyed it!" And he cryp- 
tically rejoined, " It was wonderful ! " 

* * * 

This new decision was much confirmed when he 
observed the powerful effect of William Morley 
Punchon's sermon on Daniel, delivered in Farwell 
Hall in May, even if it was " in awful orotund." He 
began to study the Bible on his knees. A breath 
from the Hills of Myrrh immediately came into his 
sermons. Strangely, he utterly stopped urging peo- 
ple to begin the Christian life by finding something 


to do for Christ; he now said, " Let Christ do some- 
thing for you! Something for nothing!" At the 
close of a June service, one of the Dreadful Women 
put her hand lightly on his arm. Ordinarily, he 
wouldn't have stood for that. People couldn't paw 
over him ! Especially, women ! But he waited with 
trembling heart ; and she said, " Lad, Jehovah is 
dealing with thee ! " 

He just couldn't keep back the tears. After all, 
these Dreadful Women had so much of the gentle- 
ness of Christ. His pride went smashing down. 
" Oh," he stammered, " Won't you please come to my 
house and talk to me? " Then followed a visit, the 
first of several, in which Ananias did mighty Paul 

These mothers in Israel were all love and gentle- 
ness. They knew he was sincere. They knew he was 
unselfish. They loved him for it. But, that wasn't 
enough. He was still far from Eye-Guidance; his 
will was still carnal. "And at no place is man's un- 
Illumined will more dangerous than when it serves 
the altar." They prayed for him. He was humbled 
to the dust. After they left, he came back into the 
parlor, and covered his face with his hands. Then 
he felt Emma's sweet touch on his shoulder and 
heard her say, " Dearest, they're right! " 

The superhot summer of 1871 blazed down in 
June. Well, he wouldn't worry about congregations ; 
he'd just put God to the test, and though he did a 
poor job of it, he'd preach the Word. At first he 
sensed his dreadful ignorance. Then, he made the 
rewarding committal of giving even his ignorance 


to Christ. He began a series on Bible characters; 
Abraham, and Moses, and Daniel, and Paul, and 
Samuel, and David, and John, one after another. 
(See Colportage Library.) 

With chastened heart, he observed how the Word 
was honored. New life flooded the Illinois Street 
Church. Sankey was like an angel. Even swelter- 
ing August didn't abate the attendance. In a spirit 
of rejoicing he began, in September, a new series of 
sermons on the life of Christ. More than three 
thousand people jammed Far well Hall Sunday night, 
October 8. Power was there! Ten people raised 
hands for prayer before final exhortation began. 
Sankey was singing, 

" Today the Saviour calls : 

For refuge fly; 
The storm of justice falls, 
And death is nigh," 

Suddenly, there was a wild alarm of fire, followed 
by the noise of fire-engines rushing past the hall; 
the tolling of bells, with ever and anon the deep 
sullen tones of the great city bell in the steeple of 
the old court-house close at hand. It was a general 
alarm ! Sankey's voice was drowned out ; the audi- 
ence became restless and alarmed, and Moody 
abruptly closed the meeting for which he never 
forgave himself. 

The Moodys and the Sankeys went out a back 
stairway of Farwell Hall, and for a while watched 
the reflection of the roaring fire half a mile west. 1 

1 Sankey's remarkable account in My Ufe. 


Moody said, " This means ruin to Chicago." In a 
few minutes the Sankeys went over the river to 
where the fire was raging, and the Moodys went to 
their home on the north side. And they did not 
meet again until nearly Christmas ! 

It is pointless here to review the great Chicago 
fire that raged from Sunday night, October 8, to 
Wednesday, October 11. . . To envision the flames, 
fanned by a southwest wind, gripping whole blocks 
of frame buildings, . . the flying embers at night, . . 
the steady spread toward city center, . . the explosion 
of dynamite as General Sheridan blew down build- 
ings to form fire barriers, . . the white faced terror 
of the homeless people, . . the fire-glow seen for 
hundreds of miles over the prairie and lake. . . 

The next time you are in Chicago, go to the Chi- 
cago Historical Society, and operate their dramatic 
little diorama; see for yourself. When the fire 
burned out, 2,100 acres were burned over, 17,450 
buildings were destroyed, running to a property 
damage of one hundred and ninety-two millions ; two 
hundred and fifty people were killed, and one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand made homeless. 2 And among 
other tragic heaps, were the smoking ruins of 
Moody's new home, the new church building on Illi- 
nois Street, and the new Farwell Hall. 

This was surely a year of heavy chastening to him. 
But it left him in a curious frame of mind. Some- 
how his trust in God had so deepened that he counted 

2 Statistics, Courtesy Chicago Historical Society. 


it all joy. He never was so unhappy about himself; 
and never so rapturously satisfied with his Saviour. 
So, he would trust God! He could sincerely tell 
people after the fire that "he had much more left 
than he had lost." 3 Now what was to be done? Be- 
ing criticized for a too generous distribution of help 
among the refugees, he decided to take his family 
east for a time, at least; and to find some sort of 
work there. At any rate, he could be raising funds 
to build a new, temporary church building. 

* * * 

In Brooklyn he visited a little mission chapel re- 
cently dedicated, a part of Theodore Cuyler's out- 
station work. The clean smell of new wood, paint, 
carpets, brought a rush of tears as he remembered 
his own beloved buildings. " It seemed full of heaven. 
If only he could hold a meeting there." The remark 
was repeated to Doctor Cuyler, and an instant invita- 
tion resulted. 

But, it was again the old Moody who preached, the 
sawdust topic-taker! Why did he take that sterile 
course, especially after what he had learned ? Maybe 
it was because the devil had saved a few "pet ser- 
mons" out of the holocaust. Formerly they were 
always sure-fire ; now, he saw they were ashes. The 
congregations swiftly dropped to eighteen. There 
was another woman in the meetings with the same 
terrible meekness of the Chicago pair. He trembled 
one night at service-end when she said : 

'Pleasure and Profit in BWle Study, p. 96. 


"We have plenty of preaching in Brooklyn; 
but if you will tell us something about the Bible 
it will be blessed to us." 

He wept in his room to think what a fool he had 
been, always letting his eyes run toward the pagan 
hills for help, forgetting his help should come from 
the Lord. " God forgive him ! and help him " to 
" go simple again." The next afternoon, it was not 
an early sermonic peacock that he preened for a 
restrutting, but a simple Bible reading. The ravish- 
ingly sweet Fires of God at once came down, envelop- 
ing not only the little mission, but sweeping right up 
into Cuyler's home church. So mighty a visitation 
was it, that a church in Philadelphia invited him to 
hold meetings there. When he arrived in Philadel- 
phia the idea of using old, sure-fire sermons was 
repugnant. He had a heart for nothing now but 
the glory of the Word. 

A strangely changed Moody walked down a New 
York street one night in November. He had never 
been drunk with wine in his life. But now, he knew 
the exultation which Satan's counterfeit imitated. 
Every time he stepped, one foot said " glory " and 
the other responded "hallelujah." Suddenly he 
sobbed, " Oh God, why don't you compel me to walk 
close to Thee, always? Deliver me from myself! 
Take absolute sway! Give me Thy Holy Spirit!" 

And suddenly the little red room called his heart 
was filled as with a mighty rushing wind. . . He 


couldn't bear the rapture of it. . . He had to be alone. 
... He knew a friend near-by who had a room where 
he could find refuge in this storm. . . There were 
hours following, of which it was unlawful to speak, 
and he seldom did. But, a triple battery of reporters 
caught him one day in New York, four years later, as 
he spoke to several thousand ministers and lay- 
men, and it is my good fortune to have had their 
report put into my hands.* 

" He felt constrained against all his habits to 
communicate a personal experience. The fruits 
of his preaching had been small and few. In 
distress he walked the streets of the great city 
by night ' Oh God, anoint me with Thy Spirit ! ' 
. . God heard him . . . and gave him right on the 
street what he had begged for. . . Words could 
not express the Influence upon him. . . He had 
been trying to pump water out of a well that 
seemed dry. . . He pumped with all his might and 
little water came. . . Then God had made his 
soul like an Artesian well that could never fail of 
water. . . He knew now what a Lovely Someone 
meant when He said, ' But the water that I shall 
give him shall be in him a well of water springing 
up into everlasting life! ' " 

* * * 

George H. Stuart and John Wanamaker seemed 
mysteriously led to put into Moody's hands $3,000, 
just enough to go ahead and build a temporary struc- 

* Copy furnished through kindness of O. C. Colton, La Mesa, Calif. 


ture on the lot the brethren back in Chicago had 
secured, corner of Wells and Ontario Streets. Act- 
ing on his telegraphic orders, they built the North 
Side Tabernacle, where the church was to worship 
in a desert of ashes for three years. 

The edifice was a rambling, barnlike structure, one 
hundred and nine feet long, seventy-five wide, built 
of rough-sawn timbers and boards, lined with heavy 
paper to keep out the cold ; it's tar and gravel flat- 
top being supported with lines of beams and posts, 
"like a stable." Much of the work was done by 
people who lived in wretched hovels and holes in the 
sidewalk. And since the King had provided a new 
Moody, He also provided a new Sankey ; a changed 
musician who arose somehow out of the mystery of 
Chicago's ashes. When the building was completed, 
the people wired their pastor to come home for 
the dedication. 

Moody looked over the vast crowd in the rambling 
building on the evening of December 24, 1871. 
Where in the world did they come from? More than 
a thousand children, accompanied by their parents ! 
Many sobbed with joy as he " opened the Book." He 
suddenly became aware that directly in front of 
him were those two Dreadful no! No! a thou- 
sand times, No ! those two Angels of Light! It just 
seemed that made his joy complete, that they were 
there ! 

Heaven had certainly touched earth during that 
two hours dedication. He stood, after service, meet- 
ing friends. And here at last were those two Won- 
derful Women. There was such an expression in 



their faces as they looked at him that he " wanted 
to fall at the feet of Jesus in thanksgiving." And 
now they are saying something to him words 
sweeter to hear as coming from them than from 
anyone else in all the world : 

"And after the fire a Still Small Voice! Now, 
walk softly, Lad, all the days of thy life ! Jeho- 
vah hath dealt with thee! " 



(December, 1871 June, 1873) 

If the Most Excellent Theophilus of Centennial Year is 
determined to know experimentally, the certainty of those 
things recorded in the Romance of Faith, he is again admon- 
ished to regard the Sequence of Heaven. No reason appears 
for expecting any change in the lovely processional of blade, 
ear and, after that, full corn in the ear. The more carefully 
we regard how Moody's life was caused to grow heavenward 
" from above," (anothen) ; and the more accurately our 
understanding becomes closely traced (parakolouthekoti) , the 
more importance we attach to the very order of events. 

There are only a few lines on this Shadow Page. To every 
Don Quixote, who zealously scans horizons for the Wind 
Mills of Hair Splitting, well, he can quickly upset this little 
chap, and ride on. But, today's Chieftains of Judah, pray- 
ing to be made as a pan of fire among wood, will find that 
those who make a discriminating study of the order of 
Moody's unfolding, shall have their reward. Sketch Book. 



(December, 1871 June, 1873) 

For many years, the Varley slogan has been the 
major premise for conclusions that have simply 
failed to work : 

" Consecrate yourselves perfectly to God, and 
then you shall have power. Look at Moody! 
One time when he was young he heard somebody 
say that, 'It has yet to be seen, etc., etc/ He 
decided to be that man himself, and see what he 

Thousands have earnestly tried it, suffered muddy 
frustration, and then with Artaban have signed off 
with, " This quest is not for me ! " 

As a matter of simple chronology, Moody's life 
reveals that first he received power, and afterward, 
exhibited consecration ! It is neither historically nor 
scripturally true that, " Whenever there is abandon- 
ment to the will of God, there is an enduement of 
the power of God." But the reverse is divinely 
accurate, " Whenever there is an enduement of the 
power of God, then there is abandonment to the will 
of God." Not important? Well, it is singular that 
an Ancient Record insists with Cosmic Fire that it is 
first, Power, then witnessing ; not, witnessing, then 
power (Acts 1:8). 



The Varley slogan came into Moody's life com- 
paratively late, in July, 1872. He was then over 
thirty-five ! And, it came after that New York No- 
vember night! 

JjC SjC 5JC 

Moody and Sankey lived in the draughty North 
Side Tabernacle during the winter of 1871-1872. 
"They were as poor as the people around them," 
but they were so filled with hope and happiness that, 
though poor, they were able to make many rich, 
having nothing but possessing all things. 

The building was kept warm day and night ; wave 
after wave of revival swept the people ; " almost a 
continual service for months together, crowds weep- 
ing over sin one day, shouting over pardon the next ; 
dispirited men and women seemed to absorb Moody's 
overflowing gladness." Relief activities of colossal 
proportions went on day after day, but always under 
this dominant ideal, "What is the use of keeping 
these poor people's bodies a little longer out of the 
grave and not trying to keep their souls out of 
hell? " (D. L.'s own statement.) 

How the glory of God came down upon the rude 
wooden building ! It was the one bright spot in the 
shadowed lives of men, women, and children, who 
walked for miles through the snowy ruins, just to 
see and to hear Moody and Sankey and Emma Dryer ! 
Just at this point, the top-grace enduement of 1 Peter 
4 : 8 came upon the Church in full power : "Above 
all things being fervent in your love among your- 
selves ! " 


Jf one misses the love note in the Chicago Moody 
institutions, he will remain baffled by their perennial 
vitality. One desperately cold day in the winter of 
1933, I made my way through a blizzard to the 
Moody Church, and would have had no surprise to 
see a half -empty auditorium. But when I opened 
the door, thousands were already seated ; thousands 
whose spirits were moving in a world of ever-bloom- 
ing flowers, while winter snarled outside. . . One 
disgustingly hot July morning, 1935, I went to the 
Bible Institute. The vigorous hundreds in that big 
bee-hive seemed to have no particular annoyance at 
the muggy temperatures that make westerners hum, 
" California, Here I Come ! " They had forgotten 
that May and June were torn off the calendar. And 
the underlying reason for this perennial vitality is 
that, beginning with a Kern River onsweep in the 
sixties, their " love for the brethren " has expanded 
into an ocean. 

Moody's first vision of " the greatest thing in the 
world" came to him during the Moorhouse meet- 
ings in 1867. (Remember Drummond got this from 
Moody; he didn't give it to him.) For .a solid week, 
Moorhouse preached upon John 3 : 16. Moody said : 

" I never knew up to that time that God loved 
us so much. This heart of mine began to thaw 
out; I could not keep back the tears. I just 
drank it in. So did the crowded congregation. I 
tell you there is one thing that draws above 
everything else in the world and that is love." 


He saw then, in 1867, for the first time, the secret 
of a winsome church : 

" The churches would soon be filled if outsiders 
could find that people in them loved them when 
they came. This draws sinners ! We must win 
them to us first, then we can win them to Christ. 
We must get the people to love us, and then turn 
them over to Christ." 

But it is one thing to know that love is the con- 
quering weapon ; quite another to secure it. Moor- 
house blessed Moody still further by showing him 
that love comes from first finding out exactly what 
the Bible says, not what it teaches. 

" I took up that word ' Love/ and I do not know 
how many weeks I spent in studying the passages 
in which it occurs, till at last I coidd not help 
loving people! (Italics mine.) I had been feed- 
ing on Love so long that I was anxious to do 
everybody good I came in contact with." * 

" I got full of it. It ran out my fingers. You 
take up the subject of love in the Bible! 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 out upon the meeting. There is no use try- 
ing to do church work without love. A doctor, a 
lawyer, may do good work without love, but 
God's work cannot be done without love." 

1 D. Li. M., Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study. 


This had all the romance of new-world discovery 
for Moody ; and his church was greatly blessed. But 
he did not feel apostolic love come over his church 
until after his own accolade. 

" How could he? One couldn't have the fullest 
fruits of the Spirit without first fully having the 
Spirit. And the very first fruit of the Spirit was 
love. Therefore, let every Christian make up 
his mind he's going to have the Spirit. Pray 
' Oh God, give me the Spirit.' After he had re- 
ceived the Spirit he went to preaching again. He 
had no new truth to present, yet hundreds were 
converted. Church love waxed into a June glory." 

In 1872, Moody issued an appeal for funds to build 
a permanent edifice; the North Side Tabernacle 
could no longer be endured. By October, the lot, 
corner of Chicago Avenue and La Salle Street, was 
purchased, and the work of constructing the edifice 
of the Chicago Avenue Church begun. 

Records show that about five hundred thousand 
Sunday school children furnished their mites in re- 
sponse to the slogan, " five cents a brick." The build- 
ing, seating 2,000, was of brick and stone, " in dread- 
ful Gothic." (You may see it in the Moody Bible 
Institute picture, page 250, lower left-hand corner) . 
The depression of 1872-1873, and the strict carrying 
out of Moody's rule " No debt ; no further than the 
funds ! " caused the construction to " halt at the 
second floor, and be roofed over." On July 16, 1873, 
when D. L. was in his English revival, the one story 


was dedicated free of debt, total cost of building and 
land being $89,000. In 1876, it was entirely finished 
by hymn-book royalties, and continued as a flaming 
center of evangelism, until in 1915, its vigorous 
daughter, the Moody Bible Institute, took it over en- 
tirely, and the church moved to a new location, at 
North Avenue, Clarke and La Salle Streets. There 
they erected a temporary wooden tabernacle, seating 
five thousand. The history of the institution, now 
renamed "The Moody Memorial Church," is re- 
sumed in Chapter XX. 

In 1872, Moody felt guided to make his second 
English visit. This short trip, from late June to 
September "Without Emma, Sankey being in 
charge of the Tabernacle" was the culminating 
factor in preparing him for the world-wide revival 
movement. Three great things came of it : A spirit- 
filled man received enlightenment as to the boundless 
possibilities of complete surrender; "he saw En- 
gland was ready," and a certain few in England saw 
that " Moody was ready for it." 

His chief purpose in this second visit was to 
further increase his Bible knowledge, which he 
hoped to do in the Dublin Mildmay Conference. " He 
had no intention to teach; he went as a learner." 
But on his way to the conference, he consented to 
supply the pulpit of John Lessey, in North London. 
This was the occasion of the much-told story, " No 
particular interest in the morning; power of God at 
night ; Moody's return in a few days ; a mighty re- 


vival; four hundred converted; discovery that an 
invalid, elderly lady had prayed the revival down ! " 
Now, in no way is the power of intercessory prayer 
deprecated when we say, that story has been dis- 
tressingly " wrested." Just as if that dear old Chris- 
tian lady were responsible for the revival! Moody 
himself never said so. Look it up. He did regard 
it as illustrating the value of prayer. But, the real 
reason for that revival was that D. L. Moody was 
now 1 the "Burning Bush"; his humble, human 
nature so filled with Fire that the world was begin- 
ning to turn aside to see. Only one more work of 
grace remained to be done upon him, of which we are 
now about to speak. Then, the candle being Flame- 
tipped, God set it in a stick appropriate to its power. 

Arriving in Dublin, Moody joined for three days 
with the Plymouth Brethren in the Mildmay Confer- 
ence, the chief session being held in Merrion Hall. 
He, and others, were entertained on the estate of 
Henry Bewley, a sturdy old Calvinist, and "the 
pocket-book of the Dublin Tract Society." 

One of Bewley's guests was Henry Varley. 

It is due to Varley, just as it is due to Ira David 
Sankey, that we bring him out of the shadows, and 
know him better. Two years Moody's senior, he 
was born in 1835. His mother was a woman of un- 
usual culture, a seminary president. But Varley, 
owing to her early death, missed formal education. 
At twelve he joined a Baptist Church, "received 
a work of grace at fifteen," and at nineteen (1854) 
went to Australia as a " Gospel-preaching gold-dig- 
ger." Returned to England in 1857. (Yes, it was 


the lovely girl who became Mrs. Varley.) He pur- 
chased a large meat business (hence " Butcher Var- 
ley ") and as a. side-line engaged in lay preaching. 

So powerfully did God witness to him that while 
still a big-scale business man, he built a many-gal- 
leried church which up to 1900 was called the West 
London Tabernacle, St. James. There he served as 
a "pastor" for twenty years. He was always a 
welcome speaker in Spurgeon's church. He and 
Henry Moorhouse were "inseparable." He left a 
trail of evangelism all over the world, making ten 
trips to Australia, three to America, two to Canada, 
and side apostolates into South Africa, India, Siam. 
Ah, there were giants in those days! 

During the Dublin conference, the guests of good 
old Henry Bewley gathered early one morning in 
a large haymow " for a season of special prayer, con- 
fession and renewed consecration." Grattan Guiness 
and Henry Varley were present. (Remember, Var- 
ley was then in full stride, thirty-seven years old.) 
In a quiet way, and in deep humility, at a hushed in- 
terval in this haymow conference, Varley said (and 
he spoke out of his own living experience) , 


This chance remark greatly moved Moody; one 
can sense how profoundly, in remembering that 
Moody looked Varley up in June, 1873, (right after 


he returned to England, at the beginning of the 
Great Awakening) and said, " Oh, brother ! those 
were the words of the Lord through your lips to 
my soul ! " 

When he returned to London two days later to 
preach in Lessey's church, he slipped into Spurgeon's 
Tabernacle and went to the same high gallery seat 
he occupied in 1867. Heaven again " came down on 
his soul." Spurgeon looked like an angel to him. 
While he listened to Spurgeon he could hear young 
Varley's statement over and over: 

" ' The world had yet to see ! with and for and 
through and in ! A man ! ' Varley meant any 
man! Varley didn't say he had to be educated, 
or brilliant, or anything else! Just, a, man! 
Well, by the Holy Spirit in him, he'd be one of 
those men. And then suddenly, in that high 
gallery, he saw something he'd never realized 
before, it was not Mr. Spurgeon, after all, who 
was doing that work : it was God. And if God 
could use Mr. Spurgeon, why should He not use 
the rest of us, and why should we not all just lay 
ourselves at the Master's feet, and say to Him, 
' Send me! use me! * " 2 

People in the balcony that day noted a stocky 
young fellow who wept a great deal ; but who stoutly 
insisted it was not a matter of sin or penitence; 
it was Third Heaven glory. He had just found some- 

a The above narrative is not semi-fiction, but is in Moody's own words. 
See Autobiography, Spurgeon, Judson Prtess, Vol. IV, pages 246-248. 


thing out, something very wonderful to him. And 
he was so happy, he just couldn't help himself. 

* # * 

He proceeded with the meeting at Lessey's church. 
As the power of God came down, he prayed, " Dear 
Master, don't you think / could be used to stir En- 
gland for Thee? " Almost instantly an answer came 
to this prayer. Good old Henry Bewley, Rev. Wil- 
liam Pennyfather, rector of St. Judes, Mildmay 
Park, London, and Mr. Cuthbert Bainbridge, of 
New-Castle-on-Tyne, formally invited him to hold 
meetings in England: 

" They felt the power of God was on Mr. Moody, 
and a blessing would come to England if he would 
go back to Chicago, fix up his work, and return 
at once for a series of meetings. They would 
guarantee the salary of any helper he might 
bring. And they would advance necessary travel- 
ing expenses. Would Mr. Moody do it? " 

" Would Mr. Moody do it ! " He couldn't think of 
anything he desired so much to do. How slowly the 
vessel returned toward New York! He wanted to 
tell Emma the good news! And Sankey! They 
would all go to England ! Immediately! Together! 
And that was that! 

(Note to the Gentle Reader: The dramatic 
sequence is suspended at this point, and resumed in 
Chapter XV. The next two chapters, which consti- 



I tute a vignette biography of Sankey, are in reality a 

I parallel account. It will be found helpful, in think- 

| ing of the great revival beginning 1873, to be ac- 

quainted with Sankey's contribution, and to orien- 
tate it to the resumption of the narrative, which 
begins again in the chapter, "The World Turns 


(Washburne Collection) 


as they appeared at the beginning of the Great Revival, 1873 


Born August 28, 1840 ; Died August 13, 1908 

" But now bring me a minstrel. And it 
came to pass when the minstrel played, that 
the hand of the Lord came upon him." 
2 Kings 3 : 15. 



(August 28, 1840 June, 1873) 

" It is a mistake to regard the sermon as the only impor- 
tant thing or even the main thing. There is often more 
gospel in gospel hymns than in the sermon. Song carries 
the gospel into many hearts the sermon does not reach." 
D. L. M. 

" Mr. Moody treats spiritual themes in a business-like way. 
. . . Hence the songs of Sankey, marked by a certain tender- 
ness, come in to complement what is wanting in the speaker, 
a fitting union of the two that makes the whole complete." A 
Philadelphia newspaper editorial. 

" Men untouched by anything Mr. Moody says, break down 
under the song-question, ' What Will the Harvest Be? ' They 
go into the inquiry rooms. . . Song-words of Mr. Sankey, made 
sharp by the Spirit, account for his power." An 1874 issue 
of " The Moravian." 

"I'm glad to be only an armor-bearer for my beloved 
friend D. L. 

" ' Only an armor-bearer, now in the field, guarding a 
shining helmet, sword and shield, waiting to hear the thrilling 
battle-cry. Eeady then to answer, Master, here am I ! Surely 
my Captain may depend on me, though but an armor-bearer 
I may be.' " Sankey applies Bliss' song to his own life. 


(August 28, 1840 June, 1873) 

There is a mountain in Northern California whose 
summit, observed from surrounding valleys, appears 
to be a purple unity, thrust up against a blue sky. 
But a great surprise awaits all who follow the rough 
trail to the top. There in the high silence they 
find what seemed to have been a single peak is really 
four one larger, three lesser. We never forget this 
experience as in after years we look up toward St. 

Nor is it otherwise with D. L. Moody. Centennial 
thinking is enriched when it considers that an im- 
portant part of the Commoner's figure, uplifted on 
the sky-line of the past century, is the contributing 
excellencies of three others Betsey Holton, Emma 
Charlotte Revell, and Ira David Sankey. This man 
with a baby organ is much too important to be scat- 
tered through the chapters, as others of the compass- 
ing cloud. He deserves the recognition of a separate 
treatment, even as The Berkshire Madonna, and 
The Faithful Christiana. Especially, since he, too, 
sets forth the prodigy of a bush, aglow with the Fire 
of God. 

Before the flair for " re-thinking " entirely passes, 
there is one area where it could be highly profitable 
the field of church music. If one has that healing 
sincerity which admits that the contemporary church 
has let go, and if he is possessed of the set face to 



find how she may take hold again, let him go in 
for a long meditation in the desert upon that entire 
subject. And the Life of Sankey would prove a 
suggestive hand-book for pointing up that medita- 

Almost at once, a candid judgment on the whole 
subject of church music forces us to admit that put- 
ting the premium upon technical excellence has been 
the casting away of the shield of Saul which has 
made Gilboa dry and rainless. Lovely indeed is 
Music when she has the heart of a handmaid ; but 
when she is suffered to become a mistress, alas! 
Evangel drops to the level of an intimidated consort. 
We face in Sankey an anomaly which, to use a figure 
recently popular with the intelligentsia, " ought to 
stab us wide awake." Precisely as God exhibited 
His contempt for mere academic excellence by means 
of the Fiery Apostolate of unlettered Moody, so He 
likewise confirmed His canon " Not by might," when 
He made untrained Sankey the voice of One crying 
in the wilderness. 

Now in the things we are saying, the chief point 
is this : the glory of Christian music is that moving 
of the Spirit upon the poet who writes, the composer 
who finds the melody, and the performer who sings, 
and sings with the understanding also. (This goes 
for the accompanist, too. His quality lies not simply 
in cunning playing, but in that the Lord is with 
him. 1 Samuel 16 : 18.) Church music simply fails 
to register in the zone of power, unless it has Wit- 
ness. Herein was an annoying fact that certain 
musical experts faced in Sankey's day. They bought 


his music in reams, but were baffled to find that 
" though sung by the best voices to the most artistic 
accompaniment, it just wouldn't sound as it did in 
the meetings." 

What a mass of testimony there is to set forth the 
convictions of careful witnesses upon the value of 
Spiritital songs ! David esteemed them the secret of 
a fruitful earth. (Psalm 67:5, 6.) Luther thus 
spoke of the Reformation: "Next to theology, I 
give the highest honor to music." Make a careful 
study of Wesley's influence, and one perceives that 
thousands who cared but little for his preaching 
were attracted by his stirring new songs. Singular ! 
When religion is vital, music is, also. When faith 
declines, the music likewise becomes intolerable, " a 
ceremonial racket." I have had much glee over a 
pastel nuance recorded in Matthew 9 : 23, "And when 
Jesus came into the ruler's house and saw the min- 
strels and the people making a noise!" Moody, 
who couldn't sing a note, had a cunning discern- 
ment: " I will not have songs that have no doctrine 
in them; nor singers without the Holy Spirit." 

* * * 

Sankey's unique views and rules of church music 
make a capital foil for regarding his whole career. 
People who might esteem Sankey to be " just another 
musician," more temperamental than tempered, 
should know that he moved upon lines of solid com- 
mon sense quite up to those of his chief. I venture to 
present his views under the form of an Associated 


Press Radio Interview. Of course such an interview 
never took place. But it could have. Every state- 
ment herein assigned to Sankey is in his own words 
and sentiment, as garnered from the dusty memo- 
rabilia of yesterday. 

" Mr. Sankey, how much of this great awaken- 
ing is due to the music? " 

" Now that question is difficult for me to answer. 
Mr. Moody, of course, moves in the power of God, 
and the music is able to come to what it is, be- 
cause he is what he is. But, I want to be par- 
doned in saying that ministers do not make as 
much of music as they could. Singing has been 
an important part of worship in all ages. It 
should be prayed for as much as the preaching." 

"Why do you use that little melodeon in 
churches where they have big pipe-organs?" 

"I have always admired the large, noble in- 
strument. It has an important place. But, in 
congregational singing, it drowns out the voices, 
and people just sit and listen without singing. 
The little organ gives the singers the key-note 
only. A capella is the noblest type of singing. 
Mr. Spurgeon does not suffer any kind of an 
instrument, and you should hear them sing in 

" We have heard you do not want non-Chris- 
tians in your choirs, however good their voices." 


" That's correct. The choirs in churches should 
consist of Christians and be directed by a Chris- 
tian musician. And further, I don't feel any one 
is competent to lead church music who isn't suf- 
ficiently interested in God's work to attend Sun- 
day School, and prayer-meetings. If such lead- 
ers are suffered, they never exercise a marked 
influence on the choir for good. The power of 
God is as necessary in singing as in preaching. 
Choir practices should begin and end with 

" We note you rule out all choir specials that 
go under the heading of 'classical music/ 

"Well, they have but little religion in them. 
They draw attention to the skill of the performer. 
Old familiar hymns and tunes should be used, and 
even now and then a Sunday School song, so that 
the children will feel a part has been made for 

"What weakness do you see in conventional 
church music? " 

"Well, the end of church music is to lead 
sinners to Jesus, to quicken devotion, and to 
glorify God. ' Conventional music ' is performed 
by singers who think of glorifying themselves. 
They have but little sympathy for the minister; 
they rattle leaves of books, or show listless in- 
attention ; they sing expressly for musical effect, 
and nothing more, except the pay they expect 
to receive." 


" Choirs have been called ' storm centers ' of 
the church. Why? " 

" Well, they do not need to be. Four-fifths of 
the traditional trouble is because of ungodly peo- 
ple in choirs." 

" You do not seem to have ' a man with a little 
stick' leading the choir. Why?" 

"The flourishing is distracting. When we 
come to worship God the less display, the better. 
Whatever stick-flourishing is done should be done 
in practice." 

" Your choirs are always marked by fine pro- 
priety. Is that accidental ? " 

"Not entirely. We talk it over in rehearsals 
and pray about it. Deportment of singers should 
be in keeping with the house of God. Choir con- 
duct has much to do with the success of preach- 
ing. Whispering, talking out loud, writing notes, 
passing books, heads down reading something, 
and the like, distract terribly. Such deportment 
grieves the children of God. Furthermore when 
a person sings in the choir, he ought to stay 
there, not get up and go out, even to sit in the 

" How about young people and children in the 

" By all means. They sing more heartily than 
any one else. Have children's choirs." 


"Thank you, Mr. Sankey. We'll broadcast 
that down to the Moody Centennial in 1937. 
They'll like it, we're sure." 

* * * 

Ira David Sankey was born on a farm near Edens- 
burg, Pennsylvania, August 28, 1840. His musical 
training was entirely that of " The Log Fire Con- 
servatory," where in the evening this family of 
Quaker State Methodists " joyfully sang the songs 
of Zion to a little parlor organ." You know the kind 
a breast-high, black walnut box, fronted by jig-cut, 
wood-scroll facings ; music-rack covered with green 
baize ; black ebony stops, with circular ivory name- 
plates ; and pedals overlayed with red Brussels carpet. 

He was converted at twelve in the little country 
church. When he was seventeen, the family moved 
to New Castle. At once he took an active part in 
the " city church " choir leader, class leader, Sun- 
day School Superintendent. Then, Y. M. C. A. 
" president." During his term of enlistment in the 
Civil War, he organized " musical soldiers for camp 
prayer-meetings." After his term expired, he re- 
turned to New Castle, and resumed his church duties 
with greater zeal than ever. He married a young 
lady in his choir, Fannie V. Edwards, September 9, 
1863. The stern norms of biography forbid any 
further notice of Miss Edwards than to say, she was 
altogether worthy of Emma Charlotte Revell. Three 
children were born to them, two in America, prior to 
the Great Awakening, and one in Scotland during 
that period. 


After the war, Sankey was given a post in the 
Internal Revenue Department, where he served for 
ten years, "at fifteen hundred per," until Moody 
changed his plans. But these ten years were 
strategic to his future. Because of his golden voice, 
he came to an interstate popularity, "learning by 
what he did, and remembering what he learned." 

In June, 1870, he was a delegate to the Interna- 
tional Y. M. C. A. convention, Indianapolis. He at- 
tended a six a. m. prayer-service because "Young 
Moody of Chicago was announced as the leader and 
he was most curious to see him." D. L. plainly 
showed annoyance during the meeting over the dull, 
stupid singing. Rev. Robert McMillan, seated next 
to Sankey, nudged him and said, " Get up and sing 
something ! " Sankey arose, and without accompani- 
ment began, 

" There is a fountain filled with blood, 
Drawn from Imnianuel's veins ! " 

Moody looked at him startled, and then dropped 
his eyes into the familiar prayer-pose which millions, 
in years following, saw him take whenever Sankey 
sang. After meeting, Moody held Sankey's hand 
and with machine-gun rapidity, asked him about his 
private life ; then with Moody abruptness told him : 
" I've been looking for you seven years : you'll have 
to give up your Civil Service: come to Chicago: 
you sing : I'll talk." The whole account reads today 
like a captivating story of brutal psychology. Sankey 
went to Chicago " to look it over for a week." And 
at the end of the fifth day " sent his commission to 


the Secretary of the Treasury!" Lo, in youth's 
divine folly, he, a family man, was dropping a meal 
ticket to begin a new life for which he had no formal 
training. But, he was ready. And D. L. had guar- 
anteed him twelve hundred a year! 

Ten months later, April, 1871, he left his family 
behind, and began with Moody in Chicago. In 
September, 1871, Fannie Sankey with her baby, took 
up residence in the Lake City. In October, the red 
terror of fire seemingly upset their devoted plans. 
Like the Moodys they lost everything yet kept all ! 
Within four days, they were back in New Castle, the 
future very uncertain. In November no man has yet 
revealed aught save the date Sankey received his 
own Accolade. By January, 1872, he and Moody 
were again united, and began their "Apostolate of 
Ashes." The chronicle of the blessings Sankey's 
voice brought to the stricken homes is a chapter 
in the Romance of Faith. When Moody went on 
his second English visit in the summer of 1872, 
Sankey was left in charge of the Church, assisted 
by Major Whittle, Richard Thain, and Fleming H. 
Revell (II). 

He warmed to Moody's plan that both families 
should go to England for an evangelistic campaign, 
" all expenses paid." But the dreary months of utter 
silence following, when no word was heard from the 
English Committee, was disheartening. Phillip 
Phillips approached him in May, 1873, with " golden 
inducements," to break with Moody and go on a con- 
cert tour of California. But Sankey was impelled to 
remain with Moody by reason of a glorious experi- 



ence that came to him as he was " singing a song of 
Jesus to a child, dying in a shack among those 

dreadful ruins." 

* * * 

On June 7, 1873, the two stout young gentlemen 
sailed away to England to begin their special meet- 
ings. Sankey's two children were left behind with 
their grandparents; his loved Fannie went with 
him; and her fingers were busy with baby things. 

His professional equipment was a Bagster's Bible, 
and "A seed plot," the name he gave to his musical 
scrap-book in which he had pasted his favorite songs 
for ten years. Conspicuous in his luggage was a 
comical little melodeon, which the disapproving 
Scotchmen called "A deiPs kist o' whustles." Yes, 
it had to be put right on deck where every one could 
see it. 

Let's have a look at this singer; the Washburne 
photos help. He was heavy, a trifle taller than 
Moody, but much ahead of him in personal grace. 
Both of them had brown eyes and brown beards. 
England was soon to find that besides his voice, 
Sankey had power as life changer; his thirty-three 
years of blameless life helped here. Gypsy Smith 
frequently narrates, with tears, how " young Sankey 
put his hand on my head, when I was a boy in Epping 
Forest and said, 'May the Lord make a preacher 
of you, my boy.' " 

But that golden voice! Ah, here the yellowed 
records of yesterday grasp for adjectives. 


"A strange quality that melted audiences into 
tears: every tone touched the heart. A voice 
so gentle it was never offensive. . . Yet so pene- 
trating that an avowed atheist, sitting on his 
front porch, fuming because his family had gone 
to the Moody-Sankey meetings, heard Sankey 
in the Northfield Church a mile away singing the 
Ninety and Nine, and was converted ! . . A hush 
came over the listening thousands as if they had 
been brushed by angels' wings. . . When he 
finished singing the death-like silence was broken 
by sobs and leaf rattling like a storm . . . just one 
way to describe it, when he sang, he became 
transparent, and Jesus stood just behind him . . . 
hundreds would silently gather below his open 
hotel window just to hear him practice! . . he 
always selected his songs by Guidance ... he 
seemed to paint pictures in music . . . and what 
he sang mysteriously clinched what Moody 


* * * 

It seemed incredible that this odd pair, evangelist 
and singer, was in three months to walk into the 
very center of British attention. Canny Dr. John 
Kelman, pastor in Edinburgh suburb, Leith, at- 
tended the Newcastle-on-Tyne meeting incognito. 
(" He wore an old soft white hat instead of his high 
silk topper.") As a result, Moody and Sankey were 
invited to Edinburg. Both of the young men had 
serious misgivings. The former feared, " What can 
such as I do among those Scotch divines?" The 


latter knew his little organ was nefast to Scotch 
Christians. For three hundred years organs were 
forbidden in the churches. Andrew Bonar, anxious 
to be conciliatory, assured the fretting Presbyterians 
that the organ " was a very little one." 

And Sankey feared also concerning his " human 
hymns." Moody " tactfully " tried to clear the way 
by admonishing the Scotchmen, " Don't forget, 
brethren, that the Psalms were written under the 
Old Dispensation ! " Herein, however, lay the di- 
vine corrective. It was inevitable that Psalms should 
eventually give way to hymns. Christians really 
wanted the Living Christ of the New Testament, 
rather than His shadow in the Old. 

With such apprehensions, there was nought for 
them to do but to walk into their Scottish mission by 
faith, and faith alone. Lo, it stirs one's heart to be- 
hold them, utterly unconscious that the approval of 
heaven was just about to fall. 


(July, 1873 August 13, 1908) 

" I do not know how we shall stand the first day in heaven. 
Do you not think we shall break down in the songs from over 
delight? I once gave out the hymn, 

' There is a land of pure delight 
Where saints immortal dwell/ 

An aged man standing in front of the pulpit sang heartily 
the first verse, and then sat down weeping. I said to him 
afterwards, 'Father Linton, what made you cry over that 
hymn? ' He said, ' I could not stand it, the joys that are 
coming! ' " Talmadge. 

But first century preaching and first century music must 
reappear together. If the sermons, anemic because Blood- 
less, are made to consort with true gospel singing, there is 
an incongruity sadly limiting the hymns, and they appear 
cheap. If a fervid herald of evangelical truth is supported 
by Coue Choirs you know, " Let us hasten! Let us hasten! 
Let us hasten to the tomb ! " . . Well, then the music sounds 
stupid. But when in the grace of God they arrive already 
paired, ah, then one senses what good old Richard Baxter 
felt, " I had the liveliest foretaste of heaven on earth; 
and I could almost wish that our voices were loud enough 
to reach through the world, and to heaven itself ! " Sketch 


(July, 1873 August 13, 1908) 

The party arrived in Edinburg during a stretch 
of dismal Scotch weather. The first service was 
scheduled for Sunday, November 23, 1873. And 
tragically, in such a dilemma, Sankey had to " go it 
alone " Moody had a severe cold. 

An hour before the service started, the building 
was packed. Sankey said : " I tell you it was a trying 
time; Moody absent; there I was alone, with my 
' human hymns ' and ' kist o* whustles ' ! " But be- 
fore the service was finished "the intense silence 
over the big crowd, and the suspiciously moist eyes, 
proved that Scotland might receive these musical 
innovations if they came in the Spirit." When in 
closing Sankey fearfully suggested that they join 
him in the chorus of Bliss' "Hold the Fort," it 
sounded like the clans a'gangin' to war ! 

At the second meeting Moody had to " go it alone." 
The " kist o* whustles " got badly messed up when 
a Jehu expressman turned his cart over while round- 
ing a corner, and dumped the thing upon the cobbles. 

In the third meeting both Moody and Sankey were 
able to take part. Dr. Horatius Bonar, particularly 
feared by Sankey, sat close to the melodeon. Sankey 
prayed, " Oh God, help me ! " and began to play with 
no small fear. But the glory of the Lord imme- 
diately filled the tabernacle and so abode for two 
hours. At the end, Sankey again asked God to bless 



him, ran his fingers over the little keyboard and 

Once for all, oh, sinner receive it! 
Once for all, oh, brother believe it! 
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall, 
Christ hath redeemed us once for all. 

Doctor Bonar moved rapidly over to Sankey, 
seized his hand, and, " Mon, Mon ! but ye did sing the 
gospel tonight! " 

From there on Bonny Scotland opened her heart 
to the American cousins and they let the little 
organ in, too. In three months the whole nation was 
singing on the streets, in the shipyards, on the 
trains, in the market-places. In a few months more 
the churches of all Christendom took up the refrains. 
By 1876, the angels were listening to an interna- 
tional choir. 

" It was easy and blessed and natural, then, (to 
use a cherished phrase of my friend from Dallas) 
to do Christian work." Joyful singing arose out of 
faithful preaching; and heart-doors were opened 
to the ministers' messages by the glory of spiritual 
music. One couldn't tell for the life of him which 
depended on the other, 

Sie fragen es nicht, 
Sie wissen im Herzen 
Dass die beide 
Fur einander sind ! 1 

America was already familiar with the Sankey 
songs when the Brooklyn revival began, October 

1 They don't even question ; they know in their hearts that the two 
of them are each for the other. 


24, 1875. Some feared this would dull the interest. 
Did it? "No! a thousand times, No!" America 
vied with Great Britain, so that, go where you would, 
from Frosty Calais to Sunny San Diego, city men, 
farm-hands, and cowboys were singing, 

Dare to be a Daniel, 

Dare to stand alone, 
Dare to have a purpose firm, 

And dare to make it known! 

And now after sixty years there is a mystic release 
whenever these songs are sung in the churches. Try 
them out. Lo, one quickly finds that they have that 
beaten oil whereby the lamp doth burn continually. 
Sometimes the sweet singers of Zion come singly; 
sometimes they appear in constellations like stars. 
Such was the case in the day of Moody and Sankey, 
the latter half of the nineteenth century. Whoso- 
ever takes it upon himself to provide another book 
for the Moody Centennial, under such a title as The 
Songs of a World Awakening, will surely do good- 
ness unto Israel. The minstrels and their music, too 
numerous for more than a swift inventory, could 
therein be studied in detail; such names as Mc- 
Granahan, Sweeney, Root, Towner, Stout, Kirkpat- 
rick, Main, Stebbins, Excell, Doane time fails me. 
Let us regard briefly some of these men and their 
music. A fair number of songs, composed prior to 
1873, had been pasted in Sankey's scrap-book before 
he sailed for England. Others, appearing from time 
to time, were added. This gave him a growing reper- 
toire, the music upon which he depended. In the 


early part of this period, up to the year 1880, a tidy 
little group of the dependables were of Sankey's own 
composition. It was not until he began in Scotland, 
in 1873, that he attempted hymn composition, but 
after that he composed the music to Miss Clephane's 
" The Ninety and Nine," and " Beneath the Cross of 
Jesus " ; 2 the melody for the anonymous poem " Go 
Bury Thy Sorrow " ; Stites' " Trusting Jesus that Is 
All"; duff's "I Am Praying for You"; Havergal's 
"Light After Darkness"; and Cushing's "O, Safe 
to the Rock!" 

Sankey's music to Miss Elizabeth C. Clephane's 
"The Ninety and Nine" was composed under the 
most dramatic of circumstances. This young Scot- 
land woman's life, marked by deep suffering, was 
followed by her death at the age of thirty-nine, in 
1869 five years before Sankey sang her into immor- 
tality. On May 20, 1874, Sankey and Moody were 
in the Glasgow railway station, waiting for a train 
to Edinburg, where they were to hold a three-days 
series of meetings, beginning May 21. Sankey 
bought a penny newspaper. Among the advertise- 
ments he found Miss Clephane's poem " The Ninety- 
and Nine," composed in 1868. He clipped it, pasted 
it into the Seed Plot, and read it to Moody, who was 
unimpressed. Two days later, at noon, Moody was 
speaking in the Free Assembly Hall upon " The Good 
Shepherd." Bonar followed Moody. When Bonar 
finished, Moody said, " Sankey, have you an appro- 
priate solo ? " 

2 This tune must not be confused with the more familiar one by 


Guidance came powerfully upon Sankey to " sing 
the clipping." Yet, to do that meant stark impro- 
vising ; there was no music. " He lifted his heart 
in prayer, opened the Seed Plot to the clipping, and 
began in A Flat." 

There were ninety and nine that safely lay 

In the shelter of the fold, 
But one was out on the hills away, 

Far off from the gates of gold. 

The first verse went well. He wondered if he could 
repeat the melody on the second. He did, note for 
note. And it has not been changed to this day ! The 
great sigh that went up from the vast audience, and 
the sobs of thousands, bore testimony that Zion had 
a new song. 

In later years, Sankey produced a stack of melo- 
dies. Gospel Hymns Nos. I to VI, print the astonish- 
ing number of nearly eighty most of which miss 
immortality by a wide margin. But in this later 
group are the well-known tunes for Bonar's "A Shel- 
ter in the Time of Storm," Cooper's "While the 
Days Are Going By," and Annie Herbert's "When 
the Mists Have Rolled Away." 

Some of the other songs highly valuable to Sankey 
were Whittle and McGranahan's five-star produc- 
tions, "I Know Whom I Have Believed," "There 
Shall Be Showers of Blessing," " I Shall Be Satis- 
fied." In this connection we note another by Major 
Daniel Webster Whittle (El Nathan) written in Chi- 
cago during the Columbian Exposition, 1893, his 
daughter May Whittle (Mrs. W. R. Moody) supply- 


ing the melody, the unusually sweet song, " Moment 
By Moment." 

By 1880 Sankey had added to his collection, Geo. 
C. Stebbin's music for Edmeston's " Saviour Breathe 
an Evening Blessing," Alexander's "There Is a 
Green Hill Far Away," Morgan's " Fully Trusting," 
and the anonymous " I've Found a Friend." 

Gospel Hymns Consolidated, grouping Gospel 
Hymns and Sacred Songs (Sankey's first book, 
1873) , and Gospel Hymns No. 2 by Sankey and Bliss, 
and Gospel Hymns Nos. 3 and 4 by Sankey, Mc- 
Granahan and Stebbins, print the following "sure 
fires " ; Atkinson and Main's " We Shall Meet Be- 
yond the River," Gushing and Root's " Ring the Bells 
of Heaven " and " When He Cometh," Lowry's dis- 
tinctive music for Watts' " We're Marching to Zion," 
"Where Is My Boy Tonight?" and "Shall We 
Gather at the River?" For the last two named, 
Lowry composed both words and music. 

But " The Mighty Man " in Sankey's repertoire 
was Paul Phillip Bliss. The centennial of his birth 
will arrive July 9, 1938. A considerable amount of 
attention has recently been given and properly 
to the music of Stephen Collins Foster. It is un- 
thinkable that Bliss should fail to have equal atten- 
tion in 1938. Where Foster's music is sung by thou- 
sands, Bliss' is sung by tens of thousands. He was 
in every way " a bright and shining light." Moody's 
decision to have a singer of his own came to him 
while listening to Bliss' rich voice in Farwell Hall in 
1869. The royalties on Gospel Hymns and Sacred 
Songs, which Bliss and Sankey issued in 1875, ran 


to $60,000; and they gave it away! Moody said, 
"Bliss, you ought to keep $5,000." Bliss replied, 
"Not one cent! it all belongs to God I" On Decem- 
ber 29, 1876, this talented young musician and his 
equally talented wife, Lucy J. Young, both under 
forty, were killed in a railway wreck at Ashtabula, 

But he left a heritage of church music which is 
immortal; and which was the very foundation of 
Sankey's great career. Just think of these songs 
coming from one man, words and music. "Almost 
Persuaded " ; " Dare to Be a Daniel " ; " Free from 
the Law"; " Hallelujah, He Is Risen "; "Hold the 
Fort"; "Hallelujah, What a Saviour"; "Jesus 
Loves Even Me " ; " Let the Lower Lights Be Burn- 
ing" ; " More Holiness Give Me " ; " Only an Armor 
Bearer"; " Pull for the Shore "; " Roll On, Billow 
of Fire"; "Whosoever Will" and "The Light of 
the World Is Jesus." 

In addition to this partial list, McGranahan wrote 
the music for Bliss' " That Will Be Heaven for Me," 
and Bliss wrote the music for Hearn's "Waiting 
and Watching," Oakley's " What Shall the Harvest 
Be," and the anonymous " Go Bury Thy Sorrow." 
His fame is as secure as that of the composer of 
"My Old Kentucky Home." 

After a few weeks of the English Revival, 
Sankey's music became so popular that he was beset 
with the difficulties arising from loaning his scrap- 
book and not getting it back in time for meeting. 


Partially to solve the difficulty, he tried to get the 
publishers of Phillip Phillips' Hallowed Hymns to 
make a supplement of Sankey's collection. This 
they refused to do. " Mr. Phillips was away on his 
concert tour in California." D. L. took the matter 
in hand. Sankey cut twenty-five pieces from his 
scrap-book, rolled them up, and wrote thereon, 
Sacred Songs and Solos Sung by Ira D. Sankey at the 
Meetings of Mr. Moody of Chicago. 

Moody went off to London to get a printer. For 
several hours he heard various Britishers say, 
" Sorry old chap ; but I cawn't, you know." Finally 
" a printer in a cellar " stated, " I'll do it, but I must 
have the money in advance." It took every cent 
Moody and Sankey had. But the first edition sold 
out in a few hours; and from then on the presses 
rolled day and night, "building the schools in 
Northfield, and the edifices of the Chicago institu- 

G. T. B. Davis, a careful authority, states that in 
1900 the royalties on one of the later song-books, 
Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs, reached a million 
and a quarter dollars, " one of the best paying liter- 
ary properties in the world." Moody and Sankey 
retained the royalties for personal use until January 
1, 1875 ; the amounts received up to that time were 
more than sufficient for all their needs. One is con- 
vinced that this sum was adequate, when he learns 
that the royalties to September, 1885, were $357,- 
338.64. After January 1, 1875, the money was 
"received by a committee and applied to religious 
purposes in the United States." The committee of 


trustees for distributing this money was W. E. 
Dodge, George Stuart, and J. V. Farwell. 

What a publisher's romance these song-books 
made! The circulation in the various editions ran 
into millions of copies, and the royalties were " in- 
credibly large." Compare this with the most recent 
figures upon the business of book printing in Amer- 
ica. 3 Here, for instance, is that small group of 
writers known as 

"the best sellers, whose books, usually fiction, 
mount to 50,000 once in a blue moon to 100,000 
copies. In 1934, there were exactly fifteen 
authors whose books sold 500,000 copies or more 
in America. Only sixty-five titles have sold 
500,000 or more in America since 1875." 

But, we understand how thoroughly the church 
began to sing, when we remember that the Moody 
and Sankey hymnals went into the millions. Sankey 
used his part of the royalties, which were his own 
property by every right, in a magnificent way, to 
help Moody's great institutions ; and in addition, he 
had some projects of his own, as for instance a 
$40,000 Y. M. C. A. building, and a lot for his be- 
loved church, in the old home-town. 

* * * 

For a quarter of a century this pair of lowly, 
spirit-filled men moved upon the hearts of the mil- 
lions of people in their audiences. Then came to 

8 Quotation from Edward Week's engaging book, This Trade of Writ- 
ing, Little, Brown and Company, 1935. 


Sankey the heavy sorrow of that day in December, 
1899, when his chief, whom he loved with such 
singleness of heart, lay fallen in Israel. From then 
on he was a broken man. In 1903, as a result (ac- 
cording to his own estimate) of services of " Sacred 
Song and Story " in thirty cities and towns in Great 
Britain, " my health broken down . . . and," he adds 
with infinite pathos, " / lost my eyesight." 

Five heavy years dragged on for the blind singer 
in his Brooklyn home. A ray of light came to his 
shadowed life one Sunday afternoon in the spring 
of 1907 when Dr. F. B. Meyer paid him a visit. 
Meyer held Sankey's hand and wept silently as he 
gazed into the wistful face and blind eyes. They 
talked over the golden days agone, when D. L. was 
with them. . . As Meyer rose to go he led Sankey 
over to the little melodeon and whispered, "Sing 
again, Beloved." 

The shrunken fingers touched the yellowed keys; 
the old voice warmed slowly into something like its 
ancient beauty. And Meyer sobbed like a child when 
the faithful words filled the room : 

There'll be no dark valley 
When Jesus comes 1 

* * * 

On a heated day of middle August, 1908, a little 
group tearfully waited in the home of the dying man. 
Once again he was in Scotland, practising, the win- 
dow open, with the throngs outside. . . He was just 
doing his best to sing for his chief, but, somehow 


he couldn't find the place. . . He must find a song. . . 
Ah, here it is : 

" Only an Armor-bearer! " 

Well, that was fitting. He was just that to D. L. 
and glad to be. . . Circling angels bore him home to 
glory. Now he had his eyes again . . . but it was so 
strange . . . the thousands gone before who had been 
won in the meetings were acclaiming him, just as if 
he had led them to Christ. . . They ought to know 
better ; it was D. L. . . And in the midst of his sweet 
confusion he stood before a throne and beheld One 
he had been anxious all these years to see, Face to 
Face! And he heard the Lamb of God speaking to 

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You 
esteemed yourself only an armor-bearer ! But all 
service ranks the same with me. Receive that 
glory immortal and the bright crown of which 
thy lips so often sang ! " 





Undoubtedly York was settled on its lees when Moody 
and Sankey arrived. This town of fifty thousand had sittings 
for seventy-five thousand in its more than forty churches and 
chapels! But, the inhabitants, by the large, were so well 
educated religiously, so decent, and so dead! And now, 
come Moody and Sankey to change it!! "What could the 
citizens of York want of uncultivated revivalists, who had 
never been ordained or even licensed to preach! " Sketch 

" When God wants to move a mountain, He does not take 
a bar of iron, but He takes a little worm. The fact is, we 
have got too much strength. We are not weak enough. It 
is not our strength that we want. One drop of God's strength 
is worth more than all the world. Some one said, * I cannot 
be anything more than a farthing rushlight.' Well, be that! 
that is enough! " D. L. M. opening sermon, Hippodrome 
Meetings, New York, 1876. 


| (1873-1879) 

I The good news D. L. brought back to Chicago in 

I September, 1872 the invitations to hold English 

| meetings came just in time. Sankey was on the 

I point of going to California on a concert tour with 

I Phillip Phillips, but he and his wife reconsidered 

| and decided to go to England with the Moodys. 

1 Everything was all settled, save the arrival of the 

I necessary traveling expenses from the English 

J friends. Someone said to Moody, " You've just been 

'I to England. Why go back so soon?" And he 

I replied, " To win ten thousand souls for Christ ! " 

| But the promised fare did not come. Month after 

.1 month of stony silence, until September, 1872, 

I shifted to May, 1873. Moody then felt God Wanted 

J him and Sankey to get to England any way they 

| could. So he retrieved four hundred and fifty dollars 

| he had invested. Not quite half enough, but they 

I would " get going and see how it turned out." On 

I June 4, 1873, they boarded the train for New York, 

| still lacking steamship passage. But before the train 

| pulled out of the station, John Farwell put his per- 

| sonal check for five hundred dollars into Moody's 

hand, " You may need it when you get to England." 
Moody grinned to himself. " Yes, indeed ! I'll need 
to get to England." Nine hundred and fifty dollars 
was just enough. 



On June 7, 1873, the dapper little City of Paris 
put out from New York for Liverpool. There is a 
deck picture in the Washburne Collection worth a 
hearty smile two plump ministerial young gentle- 
men, in a going-away pose, their ruddy, almost En- 
glish faces covered to the cheek bones with dark 
beards and moustaches. One feels like urging young 
Mr. Moody (now thirty-six) to enjoy himself while 
he is able. He was a notoriously poor sailor ; " got 
sick when he bought his ticket." Almost immediately 
after clearing the harbor, he disappeared to his 
cabin for the rest of the trip. Sankey said, " He did 
so for good and sufficient reasons." 

The ship landed at Liverpool June 17. Immedi- 
ately they found out why the English brethren never 
sent the expense money. A letter placed in Moody's 
hand stated that Pennyfather and Bainbridge were 
both dead. Later, they found Bewley, too, had died. 
Sankey was completely dismayed. " It was anything 
but cheerful. Here we were in a strange country, 
without an invitation, no committee and mighty 
little cash." 

Moody held the bad-news letter in his hand and 
said, "If the Lord opens a door, we'll go through. 
If not, we'll go back to America." He then tried 
to park the letter in a bulky mass already in his coat 
pocket. It didn't fit well, so he took the entire jumble 
out for rearrangement. Right on top lay a letter 
he " had neglected to open in New York." He read 
it and said immediately, " We'll stay. Here's a partly 
open door." 


" Partly open," was divinely accurate. The letter 
came from George Bennett, " Honorary Secretary " 
of the Y. M. C. A. at York. By way of making a 
living, Mr. Bennett had a small apothecary's shop, 
with quarters above and " no lift." 

The letter was a vague proposal that if Mr. Moody 
should come that way sometime, he might preach 
a few days. Moody wired Bennett, " I'm ready to be- 
gin." Bennett replied. " Religion at low ebb here. 
Will take a month to get ready." Moody answered, 
" I'll be in York tonight! " 

The Moodys and Sankeys separated to meet in 
York, the Sankeys going to the home of Henry 
Moorhouse ; the Moodys to the home of Emma's Lon- 
don sister. When Sankey arrived in York three days 
later, he found Mr. Bennett at work in his little shop, 
" completely bowled over ... he didn't expect them 
so soon . . . everybody was away at the beach ... no 
time at all to try meetings." Sankey said, " Where's 
Moody?" And with a gesture of despair, Bennett 
pointed his thumb at the ceiling just above him. 
Moody had already arrived. 

Sankey wrote in his autobiography that Moody 
didn't show the slightest sign of anxiety. "After 
talking over the situation awhile, he asked Mr. Ben- 
nett to secure permission to use an Independent 
Chapel." Moody hustled off to see the pastor ; ar- 
rangements were made, and on Thursday evening, 
June 22, 1873, the services began. " Less than fifty 
present! they took their seats as far away from 
the pulpit as possible! They wouldn't sing; they 
didn't take to the little organ, or the Yankee tunes." 


And thus began the greatest revival since Pente- 

The next day Moody launched noon prayer-ser- 
vices and Bible meetings in "a small upper room 
(over the drug-store) reached through a gloomy 
hall." Six people present. Seven days later an En- 
glish dominie, with the finely cut features of a young 
Isaiah, arose and testified : " What Mr. Moody says 
about the Holy Spirit for service is true. I have 
been preaching for years, toiling hard, beating the 
air; no power. For two past days I've been away 
closeted with my Master. I've prayed, ' Oh God, give 
me the Holy Spirit.' . . Well, my Lord has had the 
victory over me, and I have made a full surrender." 
And that youngster later became known as the 
author of Israel, a Prince with God F. B. Meyer. 

Young Meyer opened his Baptist Chapel for 
Moody's services and instantly, to Sankey's pro- 
found amazement, the great revival began. " The 
Lord smote the rock in the desert of doubt and un- 
belief at York and hundreds filled the inquiry room." 
From these small beginnings the splendor of God 
abode until the attendance reached twenty thousand 
in Agricultural Hall two years later. 

It requires inflexible determination to discard my 
thoroughgoing notes upon the great meetings in 
England and America during the next six years. 
What a vast chronicle it is ! Really, it is an almost 
intolerable burden to spend the weary hours read- 
ing, reading, reading those hundreds of pages ; the 
exalted monotony of it all; Moody preaching the 
same sermons, in almost the same order, to congre- 



I gations alike in vastness and spiritual reactions ; the 

| ten thousand events in the lives of individuals which 

< show the redemptive power of the gospel. It makes 

| an evangelical Froissart's Chronicle which most men 

warmly praise to escape reading. 

', Well, we discard these Bollandic records, not in 

deprecation of Moody's labors, but in a humble copy- 
ing of The Writer, who, mindful of our frailty, cut 
down the super-world library detail of the King's 
labor into Four Readable Narratives. The deepest 
purpose of this book is to observe the hand of God 
transforming the worm Jacob into a new, sharp 
threshing-instrument, having teeth. One feels sure 
that the Holy One desires our attention chiefly upon 
the hour of transition, not upon volumes which would 
be necessary to record, after the transition, how he 
threshed the mountains, beating them small, esteem- 
ing the hills but chaff. Every line therefore, un- 
necessary to this purpose, is to be rubbed out. 


The great revival in England continued for 
slightly more than two years, from the landing of 
the Moody party, June 17, 1873, to their return to 
New York on the S. S. Spain, August 4, 1875. It 
was a triumphal march. 

York, Sunderland, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Edinburg, 
where they began on a dismal night with an overflow 
house, and so continued until " almost every Chris- 
tian household had been blessed with one or more 
conversions." (Horatius Bonar.) 

Glasgow, where three thousand joined the 


churches and seventeen thousand signed the pledge ; 
Perth, Aberdeen, Tain, Huntley, where he spoke to 
fifteen thousand in the open air. 

Rothesay ; Belfast, " where he spoke to six acres 
of Irishmen " ; Londonderry ; Dublin, where Catho- 
lic priests attending in a body said, " Sure, and if it's 
a little longer they're staying, St. Patrick will be 
supplanted by a Yankee." 

Manchester; Sheffield; Birmingham; Liverpool, 
where they built the first temporary tabernacle 
eleven thousand capacity! 

London with four revival centers, and a total 
attendance of 2,330,000 ! 

The crowds in all these meetings were overwhelm- 
ing. Jessie McKinnon describes them: 

" One gets accustomed to crowds. What at one 
time excited feelings of surprise is now taken 
as a matter of course. But the spectacle itself is 
just the same, full of moral grandeur, and at 
most times felt with an intensity and earnestness 
too much for one to carry, and to be cast on God 
whose work it is." 

Some one else described how the crowds got to 
the meetings, in a day before autos : 

"Vehicles were not easily to be had on Sun- 
day, so nearly all came on foot, gentle and 
simple, young and old, blind and lame. Many a 
time the Great Western Road had been blackened 
for an hour and a half with this living stream ; 


one night when twenty thousand were present, 
this stream flowed three hours." 

The expenses of the party for the entire English 
visit were met by royalties upon the hymn-books 
sold in Scotland and Ireland up to January 1, 1875. 
We are glad to take the mystery out of this question. 
Some idea as to the adequacy of this fund will be 
gained by noting that in the six months after Janu- 
ary 1 the royalties, which were no longer kept for 
personal use, amounted to $27,092. 

* * 

The Moodys landed in New York August 14, 1875, 
and rushed to Northfield, August 16. He and Emma 
had come to some important conclusions en route. 
It was plain that his Chicago days were over; 
his was now a world mission. Northfield, "the 
most beautiful village in the world," would be an 
ideal home center. He would always be as a father 
to the beloved Chicago Church, but now it must be 
placed entirely in other hands. 

Arriving in Northfield, the now world-famous 
evangelist was phlegmatically received. Ed met him 
at the depot, then drove the family up to the birth- 
place in an old rickety buggy. During the lovely 
Northfield summer of 1875, he began his annual 
summer practice of reading the Bible through, " to 
tune the instrument." One day " he abruptly pur- 
chased twelve acres and a house just beside the 
Birthplace," at thirty-five hundred dollars, largely 
because "his mother's chickens were annoying the 


neighbor." His original idea was to keep " a chicken 
run " and sell the rest. But he found " he liked it 
mighty well." So he kept it. . . And the world today, 
passing by the lofty screening lilac hedges, says, 
" That's Moody's home! " Of which a bit more, in 
the intimate Chapter XXII, "He Groweth Much 


* * * 

On October 24, 1875, he began an American Apos- 
tolate, extending over a period of about four years, 
quite up to the high level of the English campaign. 
And once again we exclude from the pages of this 
volume the extensive notes in the Sketch Book, as 
not being necessary to the aim in mind. But, it will 
repay any one who takes the time to read the de- 
tails for himself. We trace, therefore, the larger 
outline only. 

The itinerary included Brooklyn (which dates the 
beginning of the Great Awakening of 1876) ; Phila- 
delphia (held in a vast, old freight depot, belonging 
to John Wanamaker and set in order for the meet- 
ings by him ; such a rain-deluge the opening night, 
that over the banks went the Schuylkill and nine 
thousand present!) ; New York (total attendance a 
million and a half; three thousand joined the 
churches) ; Augusta; Chicago (where the old home 
town waived the rule of no honor to the native 
prophet) ; Boston (these meetings caused young 
A. J. Gordon to find himself, just as it happened to 
his friend, F. B. Meyer in York) ; St. Louis (where 
things happened to C. I. Scofield!). 


The meetings in the foregoing larger cities were 
followed by similar triumphs in smaller places dur- 
ing 1877-1878: Burlington, Montpelier, Concord, 
Manchester, Providence, Springfield (Mass.), Hart- 
ford, New Haven. In October, 1878, he began in 
Baltimore, and preached for months in various 
churches, (here, during meetings on April 11, 1879, 
Paul Dwight Moody was born) . 

These " Mighty Six Years " in England and Amer- 
ica bring us up to the summer of 1879, when D. L. 
began an entirely new phase of his career, symbol- 
ized by the employment of his father's trowel in lay- 
ing the corner-stone of the first building, Northfield 
Seminary. The dramatic sequence is again set aside 
at the close of this chapter, in order to analyze cer- 
tain dramatic phases of Moody's evangelical tech- 
nique ; and it is resumed in Chapter XX, " Pilgrim 

Takes Up a Trowel." 

* * * 

This broad-brush sketch of "The Mighty Six" 
leaves out of composition the amazing personnel of 
men and women who worked with him scholars, no- 
bility, statesmen, labor leaders, ministers, merchants, 
artists, people who rallied about Moody " to hold up 
his hands." Imperfect amends are made in Chap- 
ter XXIII, titled "And Is Compassed About By a 
Cloud of Witnesses." 

And the bitter contempt, studied opposition, each 
of which ended in futility, is left out of composition 
entirely. This was one romantic chapter I feared 
to submit to my overburdened Judson Pressmen 
" Pilgrim Meets Apollyon, And Goes Off With the 


Field ! " Yea, verily, and there are half a dozen 
other orphaned chapters ! 

By 1876 the world awoke to the fact that a new 
volume was being added to The Romance of the 
Church. And it rubbed its eyes in bewilderment 
as it observed that the two dominating figures were 
certainly not of the mighty, or cultured, or highly 
talented. Yet seldom since Pentecost and certainly 
not since Wesley and Whitefield did such a phenome- 
non appear. Every movement Moody and Sankey 
made, every word uttered, was read to the ends of 
the earth. By the mystery of Godliness in them, 
they lifted the weight of stagnant and dead re- 
ligion in America and England, negativing for a 
period of almost thirty years the effective spread of 
"the small black plague spot of German Paralysis 
called Destructive Criticism." Of course, to use the 
dainty words of Scotch Jimmie Barrie, " It got us in 
the end ! " But these two fought it back until almost 

How did they doit? How did they do it? Moody 
and Sankey, growing humbler with every increment 
of world power, knew the answers to both questions. 
In the beginning of the meetings in the New York 
Hippodrome, February 7, 1876, Moody answered; 
answered in terms of the Burning Bush : 

" God hath chosen the weak things of the world to 
confound the mighty, that no flesh should glory 
in His presence. Let us take our place in the 
dust, and give God the glory! When God deliv- 
ered Egypt, He didn't send an army. We would 


have sent an army, or an orator! But God sent 
a man, who had been in the deserts forty years, 
and had an impediment in his speech. It is 
weakness that God wants! Nothing is small 
when God handles it. God wants us to ask great 
things of Him. Pray, ' Oh, God, give me the 
Holy Spirit!'" 





There is real consolation in Moody's life for those of us 
who at the beginning did neither choose the right way nor 
walk therein. Like Bunyan's Pilgrim, and ourselves! he 
thought so much of what he heard from men, that his 
Scroll fell from his bosom, and for some time he missed it 
not. And lo! it was a healing ministry to him, as it is to 
usl to come thereby to a great distress; thus to fall on his 
knees, to ask God's forgiveness for his foolish fact, and to go 
back, and to look for it. 

Yea, it was a great day for him when like Israel he was 
made to tread those steps thrice over which he needed not to 
have trod but once. And it was a greater day when, weeping, 
he espied his Scroll, which he with trembling and haste 
snatched up ... put in his bosom! . . gave thanks to God . . . 
with joy and tears betook himself again to his journey. But, 
oh, how nimbly now did he go up the rest of the hill! And 
whensoever thereafter, he had need of refreshment, or of 
inspiration, or of Wisdom, he did continually look at his 
Scroll. Sketch Book. 


We commonly dismiss that morning freshness of 
natural leaders with a word, originality. But, actu- 
ally, what is it? Whence comes it? What made it? 
If we can recover the rapt astonishment of a little 
child, which receives kingdoms, we suddenly dis- 
cover that originality is simply getting back to 
origins ; not the creation thereof. Whosoever, there- 
fore, sets his heart to possess this pearl of great 
price, will school himself to pass by what a thou- 
sand and one have said about a subject, and will fill 
himself full of the thing where it started. 

And at no point does this discipline bear such 
golden sheaves as when applied to the Bible. But, 
alas, at no point have we been such chronic hamar- 
tites ! Aye ! what infatuation is this that leads us, 
who wish to be Christ's under-teachers, to treat the 
Bible as if it wtere a spiritual Roget, to be used as a 
now-and-then reference, not as a book for reading? 
Merci ! it has well-nigh done for us, yielding a con- 
temporary leadership, cold as a glacial night. Where 
have we been looking to miss the dramatic way in 
which a man fires up, when he snuffs out his two- 
penny tapers from the Candle of the Month Club, 
and turns to the Light of the Word ! Here we have 
the explanation of the annoying vitality of Bible In- 
stitutes (cross yourselves, gentlemen, as at the name 
of the devil!), while "Standard Schools" remain 
safe, obedient, polite and sterile. 



Sure, and Some One has set forth Moody as a wit- 
ness unto this contention. There was a wide time 
when he used texts as cotton cords upon which to 
string his pretty glass beads, even as you and I. 
But when he came to himself, he saw his Father's 
hired servants had full hampers, while he and his 
dependents went hungry. So he arose and returned, 
not without hard going; returned, to that estab- 
lished policy of making the Bagster his vade mecum. 
He stocked his soul with the purple and fine linen 
thereof. He came to admire the Writings so deeply, 
that he invited every statement he made to seek a 
garment from Solomon's Wardrobe. Suddenly this 
common man had about him a strange light. The 
world marveled : " He's original ! " Little did it 
dream where he was getting his cedar beams, his 
rafters of fir, and his odor of myrrh. You see, the 
world doesn't read Canticles. And the few right- 
dividers who heard him, and knew, admired him yet 
the more for his wisdom ! 

Henry (Harry) Moorhouse must be credited, 
under God, for thrusting Moody toward Bible great- 
ness. This puny Lancashire lad lived less than forty 
years ; burned himself to a cinder. Born in Ardwich, 
in 1840, he was hell-bent-on-high by the time he was 
twenty; a cocky little bantam-weight prizefighter, 
battling equally vs. men and alcohol. At nineteen 
he was done for. One night, in an excess of re- 
morse, he stood in a dark hall toying with a loaded 
pistol. Some one was holding a little meeting over- 


head, door open ; he heard a voice reading the Prodi- 
gal Son, and the mystery of conviction covered his 
poor soul. Just the Word ! And a few weeks later, 
a faithful fireman in a Manchester warehouse base- 
ment brought him to light with Romans 10 : 9, 10. 
Just the Word! 

He at once began to witness with just the Word 
in the mission rooms. No one " cared enough about 
the little runt " to suggest a course of study. So he 
kept to just the Word ; soaked it up ; flavored him- 
self therewith to the fingertips. Within four years, 
he was a bright and shining light. Men from every 
strata, burly colliers or brainy courtiers, sat spell- 
bound before him. In 1879 his health crumbled. 
Physicians told him, " You must stop your heart! " 
"How long will I live if I stop?" "Probably 
eighteen months." "And if I keep on? " " Perhaps 
nine months." "Very well, I'll take the nine 
months, and preach Christ as long as I can." On 
December 25, 1880, he spent his first Christmas in 
heaven, after twenty years of incredibly fruitful 
ministry in the Word, intercessory prayer, and life 

When he met Moody in England in 1867, he " loved 
him at once, but saw he was deficient in the Word." 
He proposed returning with Moody to America, but 
D. L. " gave him the slip," and sailed without him. 
Nevertheless, he trailed him back to Chicago on 
practically the next boat. He frankly told D. L., 
"You're on the wrong tack"; then proved it by 
some spectacular meetings in Moody's church. 
Moody had that same savage annoyance that the rest 


of us feel when we collide with men of that type; 
but Moody had the grace to snap out of it. 

Snapping out of it, however, did not achieve a 
faultless obedience to his heavenly vision. It was a 
blood-struggle for him to acquire in perpetuity the 
mental frame enjoined in, " To the Law and to the 
Testimony." It meant patient, ceaseless, determined 
struggle. Some one said, " How can I learn to use 
the Bible that way? " He said, "Arouse yourself to 
it! Plead with God; He'll assuredly help you." 

He found immediately that to effect a cure, he 
must begin first and foremost with a resolution to 
master just what the Bible says. He must abandon 
his hot haste to read a text, and then tell what it 
taught. This showed him at once that he had a 
Dives poverty in knowing what the Bible actually 
said. Then he awoke to the startling truth that no 
man can possibly tell what the Bible teaches until 
he has a lawyer's accuracy in quoting exactly what it 
says reels of it ; pages of it ! And his heart smote 
him to think of the farcical character of his preach- 
ing, when he had a vast amount to say about a text, 
which to save his life he couldn't accurately quote. 
(Ever note the calamity which descends when a 
modern Apollos traps himself into trying to quote a 
text in the middle of his sermon?) 

This excellent insistence upon " what does it say, 
never mind what you think it teaches," brought cer- 
tain remarkable attitudes. He would repeatedly say, 
"Tell us your experience in Bible language." If 
some one attempted to state a religious teaching, he 
would promptly ask, " Have you God's Word for it? " 


He saw, furthermore, that the handling of the 
Word to which he aspired meant the rigid, stern 
employment of one personal copy. 

"I have carried one Bible with me a great 
many years. It is worth a great deal to me, 
and I will tell you why : because I have so many 
passages marked in it." 

This old Bible wore out entirely. An interleaved 
was purchased somewhere in the eighties, the old 
markings copied, additional ones added, and from 
the interleaved, in 1895, the Fleming H. Revells 
issued the widely circulated Notes from My Bible. 
Mel Trotter owns that Bible now, presented to him 
by Paul Dwight Moody. Trotter writes me, March 
28, 1936, 

" It is very dear to me ! But it is getting so worn 
I am not carrying it any more. I expect to give 
it to Moody Bible Institute. . . I think that is 
the place for it." 

What a fine fog we of this day have gotten our- 
selves into by acting the part of homiletical hum- 
ming-birds, darting from one translation to another, 
ignorant of all of them! Well, until we know the 
Book in one version, we'd do well to dispense with 
the rest. Out the windows with all of them, from 
the George Ade Vernaculars to the Short Fuzzy 
Kants (Mayhem editions). And the commentaries 
with them, until we're ready to use them ; and have 
learned how. 


Moody's innocence of these numerous versions, 
that now fly up at us from our shelves like mos- 
quitoes, left him no choice but the King James. So he 
girded his loins to master just what the King James 
said. This meant arising at four a. m. for two hours 
of Bible reading. "I have reason for believing," 
said Torrey, "that Moody rose thus early to the 
close of his life. He would say, * If I am going to 
get in any Bible study, I have got to get up before 
the rest of the folks get up/ " And when he studied 
the Bible, he studied the Bible. "I pour over the 
pages, not through the specs of some learned com- 
mentator, but with my own eyes." 

He felt also that the large bulk of his Bible read- 
ing should be in that consecutive decent form 
accorded to any other type of literature. "What 
would you know of your boy's letter if you were 
to read the superscription on Monday, signature 
Friday, and a little in the middle three months 

Then, he was equally convinced that one should 
make much of topical study. " If I were going into 
a court of justice, I should get every witness to 
testify to the one point on which I wanted to con- 
vince the jury. So it should be with the scriptures." 
" I took up that word ' Love/ and I do not know how 
many weeks I spent in studying the passages in 
which it occurs, till at last I could not help loving 
people. It just flowed out my fingertips." " I got 
to thinking of the compassion of Christ. So I took 
the Bible and began to read it over to find out what it 
said on that subject. At last the thought of His in- 


finite compassion overpowered me, and I could only 
lie on the floor of my study, with my face in the open 
Bible and cry like a child ! " 

To the foregoing methods he added an annual, in- 
tensive reading. "I get tired toward the end of 
July, and I go away to the mountains. I take the 
Bible with me. (Try it next summer on your vaca- 
tion.) I read it through and I feel as if I had never 
seen the book before, it seems so new, so rich, so 
varied, the truth flashing from a thousand unex- 
pected and undiscovered points with a light above 
the sun. That summer reading is what I call tuning 
the instrument." 

The results of such reference to origins were 
transforming. Gradually he gave up any and all de- 
pendence upon human exhortations and anecdotes as 
a means of awakening sinners. He continued to use 
his effective stories, but, always to make a Bible 
passage clearer. He gave " Bible readings " as high 
prominence as he gave preaching services. He came 
" to believe in the Bible from back to back." It was 
the source of faith: "I used to think I should 
close my Bible and pray for faith : but I came to see 
it was in studying the Word of God, ' Faith cometh 
by hearing, and, hearing by the Word of God.' " 
Did a man wish to attract crowds? Well, get back 
to the Bible ! " Don't you think God knows how to 
interest people? " It was the final court of author- 
ity: "Do you know what I do when any man 
preaches against the doctrines I preach? . . I go to 


the Bible ... if I am right, I give them more of the 
same kind." 

The mighty torrent of his love for the Book is to 
be seen in his first present to his first grandchild, 
Baby Irene, born August 20, 1895, died August 22, 
1899. A part of the tender little inscription runs, 
" The Bible for the last forty years has been the 
dearest thing on earth to me, . ." 

** *P 

Small wonder that his preaching had that fresh 
April wonder of first century thinking. Small won- 
der that men of highest mental endowment followed 
him respectfully; he possessed that refinement 
which comes only from the Mighty Hammer and the 

Excellent Fire. 

* * * 

In the nineties, he became aware that the church 
was losing her radiance. He knew where the trouble 
lay her leaders were repudiating the Bible. And 
men like Lyman Abbott, himself a repudiator, fore- 
saw also just what was going to happen : 

"Evolution has revolutionized our conception 
of the origin of sin and the nature of the Bible. 
I do not believe in the infallibility of the book 
with Mr. Moody. . . But if we of liberal faith 
hope to retain the attractive power of the church, 
we can do it only by holding fast the great spir- 
itual facts (!) ... if we fail, men will desert our 
ministry for Romanism or Anglicanism ... or in 
despair men will desert us altogether, and live a 


wholly material life alternating between unsatis- 
fied desire and sated self -content." (Abbott, edi- 
torial in Outlook, 1900.) 

We behold the followers of Lyman Abbott, today, 
almost alone in their Pewish Wailing Places, having 
failed either " to hold fast the great spiritual facts," 
or " to dramatize what they had left ! " 

But Moody so much disliked " to draw circles that 
left men out," that he held to some of these leaders 
against his own misgivings. Of such was Henry 
Drummond. The inclusion of Drummond, and others 
of his kind, like George Adam Smith, on Moody's 
programs, was a stumbling-block to many. When 
the storm of criticism began to arise, Moody tried 
to justify Drummond in the statement, "I have 
never heard or read anything by Drummond with 
which I did not heartily agree though I wish he 
would speak more often of the atonement." Drum- 
mond declined longer to appear on Moody's programs 
'When the 1893 Chicago campaign was arranged. 
" It was the first time Drummond failed me." But 
Drummond's good judgment kept him from expos- 
ing Moody to further attacks. For it was only 
Moody's lack of information "never read any- 
thing " that kept Drummond in his favor. 

Drummond was one of the vanguard of men, 
amiable, attractive, to whom no one could deny the 
name Christian, who nevertheless helped write 
"Ichabod" over Twentieth Century Zion. A. Ray 
Petty 1 accurately describes his kind as " Religious 

* Today's Jesus, Judson Press. 


leaders proud to be altar boys to the priests of 
science . . . exhibiting a pathetic, if not humiliating 
manner of pouncing on every friendly statement 
science makes about faith." 

The servility into which Drummond fell can best 
be observed in his own words. 2 

"Theology now proceeds by asking Science 
what it demands, and then borrows its instru- 
ments. I name two the Scientific Method and 
the Doctrine of Evolution . . . that this doctrine 
is proved yet no one will assent . . . yet, we can- 
not be too grateful to Science for this splendid 
hypothesis ( !) which fills a gap in the beginnings 
of our religion ... by science evolution is the 
method of creation . -. . likewise science expects 
revelation (the Bible) to be an evolution ... it is 
important to assure science this same difficulty 
has been felt with equal keenness by theology . . . 
so we ... of the scientific method ... no more 
pledge ourselves to the interpretation of the Bible 
of a thousand years ago than does Science the 
interpretation of Pythagoras. Evolution has 
given us a clearer Bible. . . The difficulties (of 
reconciling many things in the Bible with our 
ideas of a holy God) arise from old-fashioned, or 
unscientific views . . . when by new view-points 
these difficulties are seen to be rudiments of truth 
spoken in strange ways to attract and teach chil- 
dren (!). . . 

2 George Adam Smith, The Life of Henry Drummond. 


"Christianity knows it can approve itself to 
Science, but has been taken by surprise and there- 
fore begs time. It will honestly look up its cre- 
dentials and adjust itself! " (all italics mine) . 

There would be no justification in calling to mind 
this compromising page from Yesterday, unless it 
were used as an Egyptian stone. No man ever loved 
Moody more than did the gentle, devout, high-minded 
little Scotch professor. So long as time shall last, 
his The Greatest Thing in the World will be a high 
peak on the sky-line of devotional literature. But 
his Stultified Zone wherein Faith fawns over stuffed 
hypotheses from a Darwinian Museum and Credulity 
prefers the gourd-rattling of Lamarkian Medicine 
Men to the Voice of God let us resolve to keep 
silence until the distemper has passed ! Remember, 
it was the Chief Bad Man who advised, " I'll have 
some Binomic Pulp ask the Dominie to write a Re- 
ligious Article then I've got him ! " 

George Adam Smith rewarded Moody's open- 
handed hospitality with a sophomore's compliment: 
"Much of Moody's teaching repels a whole side 
of the church . . . diminishes his authority with 
thinking men and women . . . yet his great personal- 
ity" etc., etc. 

These pages out of yesterday ought to help us 
reaffirm without compromise a Supernatural Reve- 
lation. We are to be men well aware that science 
and faith are in different realms. We need not fear 
science, nor attack it, nor court its favor. And 


we are not to care a tinker's hemstitch over " dimin- 
ishing our authority with thinking men and women." 
Moody's words on the Bible at this point are as 
timely as if uttered to a moribund church over this 
afternoon's national hook-up : 

" Thirty years ago people did not question the 
gospel. They believed that the Lord Jesus Christ, 
by dying on the cross, had done something for 
them. . . And my work was to bring them to a 
decision to do what they already knew they ought 
to do. 

But all is different now. 

The question-mark is raised everywhere. There 
is need for teachers who shall begin at the begin- 
ning and show the people what the gospel is. 



Now Pilgrim, constantly abiding in the Word, was given 
to see that the Gospel is withal a very simple matter, set up 
about two great Facts, " For I delivered unto you first of 
all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our 
sins, according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, 
and that He rose again the third day according to the scrip- 
tures." To be sure, a worthy setting forth of these caused 
him to labor as if he were building a universe. But he was 
also spared from polishing peach seeds; bestowing breadless 
labor on such topics as " Flowers in Foot Steps," or, " The 
Secret of Popularity." 

And he perceived salvation came to a man when he was 
right as to the Cross and as to the Eesurrection, " Believe 
in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, [and] 
thou shalt be saved." But he also saw that the very simplicity 
of saving faith constituted the mystery of Godliness, so clear 
that a child could grasp it, yet so deep as to go beyond 
man's best thinking. Sketch Book. 


Moody's surrender to the Word, "attendance to 
reading and wholly giving himself thereto," resulted 
in a profiting that appeared to all. Lo, it is amazing 
to note with how little he began and how great he 
thereby became. He best took heed unto himself 
by taking heed to the Teaching; and he waxed 
rich in the great convictions which a man practically 
holds. These convictions went far deeper than his 
mere argumentative area ; they were treasures which 
he laid to heart, giving him assurance as to his 
arrival in the favor of God, and setting forth how 
he got there. They were sanctions upon which he 
confidently built his life, making him insensible to 
hardship, and creatively determining everything 
else. If he spoke as it were the Oracles of God, it 
was simply because his whole being had taken root 
upon the Truth as it is in Jesus. 

One cannot read far into the extensive records of 
his doctrinal views, without noting that his theology 
was organized about two great facts Christ died 
for our salvation, and rose for our justification. 
Everything else was subordinate. 

He had a host of convictions, " in which he con- 
tinued"; but all of them save Substitution and 
Resurrection were satellite. And he never suffered 
servants to dress like the prince. 

Among the lesser lights were his views upon John 

Barleycorn. Thousands were influenced by his dra- 

P 213 


matic temperance dialogs, his strictures upon a so- 
cial order that suffered alcohol to be commercialized. 
But he never let the Dry Camel nose him out of 
Evangel's Tent. Francis E. Willard said, " There's 
not sufficient temperance spirit in your meetings." 
D. L. replied, " If men are thoroughly regenerated, 
there's no use of the multitudinous measures you're 
advocating ! " "After all, the only hope is that the 
Son of God has come to destroy man's appetite for 
drink." (D. L. M.) 

He put a high value upon Christian education, 
and became a great figure as an educator. But he 
had an abrupt way of scrapping programs, when 
they began to savor of the Brain Trust, and substi- 
tuting revivals. 

How warm was his espousal of personal holiness ! 
A Christian was in poor business at a theater ; cards 
and the like were loaferish games; tippling was 
devilish. But he refused to use works as a gage for 
salvation; nay, "by grace are ye saved through 
faith ; ... it is the gift of God." Could a man be a 
Christian and smoke? Oh, yes. But naturally, he'd 
be a dirty Christian. 

He had a very practical committal to social action, 
all the way from vast relief programs to "a quiet 
little visit to the City Hall, whereupon the abuse was 
stopped." But he had scant patience with Mr. Talka- 
tive Social Gospel, who lingered long in conference, 
making blue-prints for a New World, spinning sub- 
tleties that differentiated between individual relief 
and social adjustment. He heard the Resolutioneers 
in his day beginning to charge that the " old theology 


viewed suffering with indifference ; it so emphasized 
soul salvation as to obscure social responsibility." 
He smiled while they fumed ; finished his sermon on 
" Saved By Grace " ; then went out and did what the 
Committee Boys were talking about. 

He found much comfort in the hope of Christ's 
coming. To him, the Lord's return was imminent, 
visible, bodily and personal. " Christ returneth " 
was the only way to Millennial glory. This spared 
him from the Dreadful Let-Downs of Boot-Strap 
Theologians, who majored on that catchy American- 
ism Making the world a better place to live in! 
" I look upon the world as a wrecked vessel, its ruin 
coming nearer and nearer. God has given me a life 
boat and said to me, ' Moody, save all you can.' " But 
his eschatology didn't cut the nerve-center of per- 
sonal work, nor prevent him from building great 
institutions ; neither did it set him to making time- 
tables, nor identifying contemporary Mussolinis as 

the anti-Christ. 

* * * 

Take time to read carefully Moody's doctrinal 
utterances. Analyze and classify each statement. 
Make a graph embodying the whole of it ; and that 
graph can be presented in the form of a hemi- 
spheric map, with the Atonement as the northern 
axis, and the Resurrection as the southern. The 
whole of his thinking revolved about these two poles. 

Moody's sermon on the resurrection 1 is one of 

1 Number 24, Golportage Library. The reading of the twenty-one dis- 
tinctively Moody books of this series is well worth, while. Order them, 
all at once for your centennial reading. 


the few places where he talks at length upon that 
subject. Everywhere else the influence of the doc- 
trine is observed in scattered sentences. But we 
plainly see that it was a bearing for his theology. 
"I never in my life saw a happy Christian who 
had doubts about the resurrection. Jesus arose from 
the dead ! . . they had breakfast with Him. . . What 
a meal that was ! How could they have been deceived 
about its being His real, identical body? Show me 
any one who does not believe that Christ has risen, 
and that the bodies of believers are to rise also, and 
I will show you a man who has very little comfort 
in his religion." 

The salvation power of Christ was not yet com- 
pleted in a Christian; his body was still carnal. 
Therefore, look out! The old Adam, our mortal 
body, was an enemy to our redeemed spirit. Some 
day, at Christ's coming, the body, too, was to be 
redeemed ; but until then, it was invaluable to know 
that a Christian had two natures; this knowledge 
kept him from doubting his salvation, and kept him 
fighting for practical holiness. 

* * * 

But, Moody lived chiefly in the northern hemi- 
sphere, " Christ died for us." In the early days of 
the British revival, he responded to some who 
wanted to know his views, that they were already in 
print: "the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah." When 
in January, 1875, the revival was at its peak, he 
closed a Bible reading in Birmingham, on "The 
Blood of Christ," with these words : " If you wish 


to know the secret of our success for the last two 
years, it is this : we have stood fair and square on 
the Bible doctrine of Substitution. Oh ! that is what 
is needed by a dying world, Substitution! If you 
take that out of the Bible, you can take the Bible 
along with you. The scarlet thread is unbroken from 
Genesis to Revelation." 

Later he cried, " When I give up preaching Substi- 
tution, I shall go to farming, for I know not what 
else to preach." A Boston paper, surprised at, his 
" creedal atavism " thus editorialized : " There is 
no longer any doubt as to Moody's doctrine. He is 
an out-and-out believer in the ruined state of man, 
and in pardon, through faith, in the substitution of 
the blood of Christ for broken law. Evangelical re- 
ligion never presented a bolder front! " The death 
and the resurrection together, enabled him " to wor- 
ship Jesus as God." 

To him. every great truth had its origin and mean- 
ing in the Atonement. Men could never be sons 
of God save by the cross. " I want to say emphati- 
cally I have no sympathy with the doctrine of uni- 
versal brotherhood and universal Fatherhood. A 
man must be born into the household of faith by the 
Spirit, through Christ, before he becomes my 
brother, or a son of God." 

Salvation was always and only the gift of God 
through faith in Christ crucified. When a man by 
faith accepted Substitution, " though like the cruci- 
fied thief he could not lift hand or foot to help him- 
self, yet Jesus would throw him a passport to 
Paradise." His redemption would be instant; " vile 


as hell one minute, saved the next"; "saved like 
Zaccheus, between the branches and the ground." 
This blood salvation had a wonderful effect upon 
men's characters: "they rarely remain subjects of 
charity, but rise at once to comfort and respecta- 
bility." It was utterly impossible to make a man 
better by any other means : he must be born again 
by faith in Christ. And the greatest sin was not 
^ adultery, murder, or the like. It was rejection of 
T:he Cross, to be answered by eternal judgment; a 
subject upon which he could not speak without tears. 
The ministry of the Spirit was a theme so attrac- 
tive to Moody that hardly any sermon or address 
fails to bring it in. But the ministry of the Spirit 
had its headquarters in the Atonement. " I believe 
that if the Spirit had not come to men, the story 
of the life and death of Jesus would have died out." 
The Holy Spirit was the power in the gospel. " We 
cannot convict men of sin by any amount of logic, 
eloquence or human power. Conviction is the work 
of the Spirit only. I verily believe that if the 
mighty Angel Gabriel, who stands in the presence 
of God, were to come down from heaven, every 
hair blazing with the glory of that upper world, he 
could not convert a single sinner. Only the Spirit 
can do that." And He does it by " convicting the 
world of sin because they believe not " on the Cross. 
Furthermore, if a Christian desires a deeper work 
of the Spirit, he must proclaim Christ crucified, " not 
himself, his notions, his theories and all that." 
When the Holy Spirit infills a Christian, " he is full 
of hope and cheer; ready for any work, and will 


not shirk the hard places." While he believed with 
all his heart that the infilling of the Holy Spirit was 
"something additional to conversion," yet he re- 
pudiated the idea that one such experience was a 
finality. "A great many think because they have 
been filled once, they are going to be full for all time 
after; but, 0, my friends, we are leaky vessels, and 
have to be kept right under the fountain all the time 
in order to keep full. Some one asked a minister 
(no doubt D. L. himself) if he had ever received a 
second blessing since he was converted. 'What do 
you mean?' was the reply. 'I have received ten 
thousand since the first/ " (1876 Hippodrome Meet- 
ings.) "Let's pray for another; we need a fresh 
baptism, a fresh power, a fresh supply of grace, 
every time we take up a new task, go from one place 
to another." (Prayer-For-Power Service, Boston, 

The Spirit " was worth more than all the world to 
a Christian : He lights up the words that lie cold and 
still on the pages of the Bible, and makes them 
live and speak and work in us." If Christians did 
not have the Spirit, their "efforts were graceless, 
powerless : men were turned against the gospel." 

But Christians must always remember that the 
Spirit is unwilling to testify through them unless, 
like the Spirit, they were glorifying Christ and His 

Ah, everything for Moody centered in the Atone- 
ment. He was fully committed to continue in it, 
for in so doing he could save himself and them that 
heard him. No other way! As far as he was con- 


cerned, Substitution was the touchstone of evangel- 
ical fellowship: 

" I will fellowship with any man who believes 
himself a sinner and trusts in Christ; but God 
being my helper, I will never fellowship a man 
that denies the deity of my God and Saviour, 
Jesus Christ, or sneers at His atonement." 



Now for a long time Pilgrim fell miserably short of being 
a mighty hunter before Jehovah by reason of a foolish fact, 
he continually shot flimsy arrows from the Tower of the 
Flock. Well did he know that Zion's storehouse had the 
finest materials; yet he by habit fashioned scrannel reeds 
for shafts, goose quills for barbs, and peacock feathers for 
tail-guides. Of course, it was rarely that any of the Lord's 
wounded were found after he fired his double dozen; but 
instead of setting a match to his humdrum missies, he care- 
fully gathered them up for a reshooting. 

Even after he came to himself, he found it desperately 
hard to overcome old custom. For long time, try as he would, 
he wrought just as the fletchers and bowyers of his day, and 
fashioned instruments sadly mixed; mayhap a Fiery Point 
at the tip, but a peacock feather on the tail piece. But his 
humiliation ended in the year that he bundled all his short- 
comings, laid them before the King, and began crying, " O 
Lord! give me Thy Holy Spirit! " On a sudden he found 
blessed release; found that he had no further taste for aught 
save goods of the Arsenal. Then did his rejoicing spirit 
confess two wonders; that, though his new arrows were 
simple, compared with the old, yet when he put one of 
them on the string, the Holy One sent it right home! 
Sketch Book. 



The pearl of great price in centennial thinking 
upon Moody's sermons is to be found in noting how, 
for long time, his preaching was powerless, and 
why ; how tedious he found it to correct his short- 
comings; and how impossibles were done when at 
last his message qualified. His sermons, like him- 
self, had no more attraction than the millions of 
other wild acacias on the Sinaitic slopes, until the 
Word, which is like fire, got into the midst of them. 
This chapter requires, therefore, that every homi- 
letic phase of Moody's ministry fall into rigid sub- 
ordination to the foregoing thesis. 

Of course it is rewarding to observe the foot-hills 
as we press to the summit, and this shall be swiftly 

One of these captivating scenes on the way is a 
study of his progress as a public speaker. He seems 
always to have had the forensic instinct. "When 
Dwight was a little boy, he was fond of going into 
the garret and trying to make a speech all alone " 
(his mother to Richard C. Morse) . G. T. B. Davis 
affirms that the first sermon was forced upon him: 
" The pulpit supply in North Market Hall failed to 
appear." When he began preaching, he couldn't 
remember his points very well ; he " wanted to speak 
to intelligent people . . . they didn't like to hear me 



... so I began with children ( !)." He started with 
"crude mannerisms and much circumlocution." 
But he steadily " developed myself in cottage prayer- 
meetings, where I had the best hours of my life." 

Gradually his ability to speak with telegraphic 
brevity increased, and his crudities vanished. Quiet 
power supplanted "March bluster." A histrionic 
presentation, compelling and unobjectionable, de- 
veloped, until he was at the head of the list of con- 
temporary, public speakers. In the Washburne Col- 
lection, there is an envelope addressed by D. L. to 
his brother Edwin, postmarked San Francisco, 
March 28, 1899. Within, there is a full-page clip- 
ping of the San Francisco Examiner showing Moody 
in four dramatic poses, and making a frank admis- 
sion that he had unrivalled power as a natural, 
master dramatist. 

These dramatic aspects of Moody in his heyday 
are well worth a quick survey. There he stands, a 
heavy, blunt fellow; superficially, one thinks there 
is no grace in look or action, until he has listened 
twenty minutes. We hear his words rushing from 
his bearded face like a torrent; often two hundred 
and thirty per minute; so fast it took four New 
York reporters in relay to " get him." Short stac- 
cato sentences ; imperfect pronunciation. Spurgeon 
said, " the only man I ever knew who said ' Meso- 
potamia ' in one syllable." We are aware of many 
" aints " and " have gots," but he is going so fast on 
something worth saying that we haven't time to 
worry. We are aware, too, of phrases oft repeated : 
he was always "sick and tired" of something or 


other; some Christian virtue was "more than all 
the world " ; and if it were a question of tolerating 
an impossible, his left hand went up " No ! a thou- 
times, No ! " Like his mother the most positive 
affirmation was made through the good Yankee 
phrase, " Well I guess I do." Yet there was some- 
thing precious about these pet expletives to the thou- 
sands who loved him. 

Jessie McKinnon narrated the story of a group of 
Scotch Christians walking together along the ocean, 
talking of the days when D. L. was preaching in 
Scotland. " Wasn't Christ near us? " " Could any- 
one ever forget?" Henry Drummond abruptly 
lifted his left hand and shouted, " No ! a thousand 
times, No ! " And the party laughed then wept. 

It seems he hardly starts to preach until he 
says, " Sankey, sing something." Really though, the 
watch says he has spoken thirty to forty minutes. 
He profoundly believed in brevity; he laughingly 
pictured a dominie preaching so long everybody left 
him, and then defended his length by saying, "It 
was a shame to stop while anybody was listening! " 
On rare occasions he spoke for an hour : but people 
didn't realize it. In Liverpool, " by some means the 
gas could not be lit, the fading twilight deepening 
into darkness made a scene intensely solemn; his 
earnest words awed the great multitude." 

We observe, in passing, he had that captivating 
grace of "the unwitting shining countenance"; 
within a few moments love shines through, and our 
defences go down! ("If I can't stir up their love 


with mine, I don't get hold of them; if I do I never 

We quickly pardon the husky, high key of his voice 
and the way he strains it. Yet we are awed to ob- 
serve that fifteen thousand can hear him perfectly 
out of doors, as in Huntley, England ... six acres of 
Irishmen get every word in Belfast ... a vast multi- 
tude hangs spellbound at Rothesey; (spellbound on 
the Esplanade, "while twilight deepens into dark- 
ness, and the stars and lamps are reflected in the 
quiet waters ") . We observe that voice can be ravish- 
ingly tender ; he knew without being told that tones 
make all the difference between wounding and heal- 
ing. And it could sound like the trumpet of doom. 
But we forget even his voice, as we wonderingly 
begin to hear within it the voice of Another. Yet 
fascinating as all that is, we have not reached the 
chief concern of this chapter. 

* * * 

We are surprised to discover that he has less than 
one hundred " choice spears." Actually there were 
about four hundred big manila envelopes, but less 
than a hundred were dearly beloved. These he re- 
peated so often he ceased to care about repetition. 
And we are amazed to see the crowds follow him 
from one point to the other, twice or three times a 
day, to hear him repeat. With Jessie McKinnon, 
when we listen repeatedly to the same sermon, we 
feel the power as keenly as ever " though of neces- 
sity the newness has passed." And when we try to 
track down this perennial vitality, we get the re- 


warding discovery that he travailed again in pain 
until each repeated sermon was reborn in prayer. 

The records of yesterday put blue ribbons on 
the following of his arrows: "Where Art Thou?" 
" Lifting Up the Son of Man," and " The Compassion 
of Our Lord." George Pentecost's choices were, 
" God Is Love," and " Sowing and Reaping." These 
to him represented, at the best, the two aspects of 
Moody's messages to sinners. My own favorites of 
which I seem never to tire are, "Heaven," and 
"The Holy Spirit." In the former he spoke of a 
higher world to thousands who pass "the greater 
part of their time dreaming of this." In the latter 
he yet speaketh, urging upon Christian workers that 
it is not by might . . . nor by power . . . "but by 
my Spirit saith Jehovah of hosts." 

Now all these, while very captivating, are merely 

scenes by the way. 

* * * 

We linger again, en route, to see how he built 
his sermons. Look ! he carries note-books in his hip 
pocket ! Every now and then he makes entries in a 
script that taxed even himself to read. (I know. I 
have read pages of his writing.) These notes were 
his lawful plunder; the things he begged, borrowed 
and kept. "I heard you preach from a text, and 
I went home and preached the same sermon to my 
people." When a great student of the Word came 
along, he "pumped him" (D. L/s own idiom). 
" Give me something out of your heart : your best 
thought today : tell me something about Christ ! " 


Sometimes this got him into deep waters as when 
he tried to appropriate Drummond. 1 

Mostly his first drafts were written out, prac- 
tised in the hay-loft of his big Northfield barn, and 
first preached in Northfield. The writing was hur- 
ried ; had no hammer marks on it. As he developed 
a sermon he used Cruden's Concordance, a topical 
text-book, and of course " read what Mr. Spurgeon 
had to say on the text." Then a big yellow manila 
envelope housed the first draft, and became a hopper 
into which he dropped clippings, notes and what- 
nots as the years went by. When a sermon was to 
be repeated he registered the date and place (plenty 
of such notations!), and then selected those mate- 
rials from the supercharged envelope as most ap- 
pealed to him at the time. 

But remember, all the foregoing is purely secon- 
dary in this chapter ! 


We observe also, in passing, that his language is 
plain Anglo-Saxon, simple as his Franklin County 
hills, fiery with moral passion, impatient of com- 
plicated thoughts that lifted their heads above the 
level of common sense, making of him a Yankee 
Cobett, Bishop of Barns and Fields. The brooks of 
Spurgeon's boyhood sang and rippled through his 
three thousand sermons, but Moody was too much 
rushed with emergent things to tell us how lovely 
were the flowering laurels on Little Hemlock, or how 
alluring the river looked from the Great Meadow. 

1 See Sowing and Reaping, page 13. 


Yet if he had no time to tell us about the organ 
tones of wood thrushes, he did discover practical 
lessons in milking cows regularly, and in cutting 
away apple-tree suckers. If he was silent about the 
purple patches shifting on Brattleboro's snows, he 
had plenty to say about poor corn-hoeing resem- 
bling inattentive Scripture reading (" one had to 
set a mark to tell where he left off ") or the folly of 
pumping water for the cows without priming the 
pump. " It was easy to tell boarders from members 
of the family, when they sat down to dinner " good 
wholesome Yankee wit unvexed with the subtleties 
of Sidney Smith. 

Still, mimbile dictu, these commonplaces got your 
emotion all stirred up. You could hear God weeping 
over the Prodigal, as he told the story of Betsey's 
tears when run-away Isaiah came home again to 
Northfield. Your own soul trembled as he tolled the 
year-count of the church-bell for funeral services. 
You were melted like wax under his war stories; 
your heart cried with joy at a fresh view of Cal- 
vary's cross when he told of the back-firing he saw 
in early Illinois days, as men strove to escape the 
red ruin of prairie fires " Calvary is the one safe 
place to abide : God's wrath has already burned over 

Yes, you were moved to tears ; he wanted you to 
be: "I tell stories to make the heart tender, and 
while it's tender, I sink the truth in! " Somebody 
said " he wasn't logical." Perhaps not, but his emo- 
tional sequence made logic look like a country cousin. 
And his contagious certainty that in Christ "the 


future is everything, the past nothing," made one 
glad to lose a schoolmarm's sensitiveness as to mere 

Anyone reading Moody's sermons today, even in 
the Colportage Library, is at a loss to understand 
how they had such power. Remember, you are not 
really reading his sermons: you are following a 
revision, edited by his friends. Get a contemporary 
newspaper report, such as the New York Tribune's; 
where his " aints " and " taints " and " have gots " 
are faithfully set down; also the reaction of the 
crowds. Lo, you feel the revival starting afresh 
right in the privacy of your library. And another 
reason for disappointment in his printed sermons, 
Moody's preaching was chiefly his personality 

Bush Aglow! 

* * * 

But it is time we regard the summum bonum. 
There is always peril living with the incidental. 
Thereby men who desire to imitate Moody settle on 
casual, rather than causal singularities. Just as 
they did in the case of John A. Broadus, who talked 
through his nose, or Charles R. Brown, who preaches 
with his thumbs in his pants' pockets. 

* * * 

Definitely, in 1871, a mysterious Quality lighted 
up Moody's personality: "he was transfigured be- 
fore them." In no item was this whiteness of light 
more palpable than in his preaching. Other words 
cannot set forth in a phrase the reason for this 


auroral quality save those in The Thesaurus of 
Heaven he began making full proof of his ministry 
by preaching the Word! 

Now any inference whatever that Mr. Average 
Clergymen does not preach the Word touches his 
sciatic nerve. "Doesn't he spend hours on the 
works of Bible scholars? and doesn't he ransack 
libraries for sermonic filigree? Absurd! " Yet the 
stubborn fact remains that Bible preaching is 
mournfully scarce. The reasons? 

Well, large platoons of preachers have retreated 
to Maxim Preaching. This makes dominies " amiable 
sophomores on a quest for truth." The "great 
thoughts " they glean from wide reading keep their 
souls in a sort of hectic spiritual flush. Their ser- 
mons are structures, to which a text is superficially 
attached " Folks are accustomed to it, you know." 
References to the text are in eif ect mild surprises 
that men living prior to V-eights had such discern- 
ment ! " This old writer practically said the thing 
that I am saying; or at least it was nearly like it." 

But Maxim Preaching is a thousand leagues from 
preaching the Word. It is a queer combination of 
attractive vagueness and pungency; "a statement 
of obviously practicable commonplaces in a manner 
not objectionably vigorous." It aims to start men 
putting things over with a bang, without worrying 
them with a sense of restraint. Maxim clergymen 
are almost sure to burn up before they give any light ; 
they are, to quote another delightful maximeer, 
Bugs Bear, "Boobs in the woods, not sure where 
they are going, but blithesomely on their way." 


Of course, Moody's early failure was not of that 
origin. Happily, he didn't know enough. His de- 
fects, reflected by another innumerable company, lay 
just here : Though he loved the Bible, " believed in it 
from back to back," yet, in sermonizing, he took a 
text, then promptly began fishing his own experi- 
ence and consciousness for subject-matter. Which 
in the long last is a more intimate form of Maxim 


* * * 

No attempt should be made to give a definition of 
" preaching the Word," unless we use the Word it- 
self. Therein we are given to understand that men 
who preach the Word impress others at once that 
" the Word is very close to them, in their hearts 
and in their mouths, that is the Word which they 
preach." To such the sum of wisdom is simply 
and only "the Word of Christ, richly indwelling." 
They search the Testament in all things, enduring 
the charge of f ogydom by people who turn their ears 
away from Bible statement. They know full well 
that intervals will come, again and again, when 
humanity, afflicted with itching ears, will be irri- 
tated by sound doctrine, heaping to themselves teach- 
ers after their own lusts, turning their ears from the 
Truth to fables ! Nevertheless Word preachers are 
ready to endure such afflictions ; the celestial creden- 
tials for their evangelism are not to be had from 
Monthly Maximeers; they find their sanctions in 
" The Law and the Testimony." 



Moody faced the critical problem of becoming a 
genuine preacher of the Word. He quickly saw that 
it is one thing to believe the Bible, quite another 
to use it exclusively for framing material. Then 
his dismay arose, to find that human resolution failed 
to help him make the changes. He saw that a min- 
ister's sermonic nature must be born again, even as 
his soul. That even he, D. L. M., who had the first 
fruits of the Spirit, had spent weary months groan- 
ing within himself trying to reform his technique, 
when his real need was the redemption of his homi- 
letical nature. 

And, finally, that all this was just as much a 
charism as regeneration! 

Following that New York November night in 
1871, he had no further need to strive after being 
a Bible preacher: there was a far more elemental 
concern of which Bible preaching was simply a by- 
product. His chief objective now was to walk in 
the Spirit: thereupon his sermons automatically 
held to the Word. 

He then discovered that he did not need to throw 
away his precious personal experiences ; they were 
now sanctified by the Word. But he noted that 
these secular manikins no longer posed as princes; 
they were humble servants. He filled his quiver with 
" newly baptized arrows." And he noted with chas- 
tened joy that his shafts, after they became Pauline, 
slew their tens of thousands ; while in their Saulic 
condition they had simply an impotent fury. 


His sermons now glowed with the power of the 
Burning Bush. Full-orbed truths of God, falling in 
quick succession from his lips with telling power, 
attracted millions of hearers, drawn from every 
walk of life : not the humble alone but equally those 
from the highest ranks. Jessie McKinnon speaks 
for the latter : 

"His preaching stirs my soul to its depths, 
touches every worthy spring of action, grati- 
tude to God, love and sympathy towards man, 
and everything in my nature between these two 

Toward the end of his life it lay heavily on his 
heart to admonish the ministry to "preach the 
Word ! " On the twenty-seventh day of March, 1899, 
more than twenty-five hundred people filled the old 
First Congregational Church of San Francisco. 
Moody's deep concern over tomorrow's Zion kept 
breaking through. Once he censured the laity for 
" believing all that might come from the lips of an 
eloquent pulpiteer, without referring to the Word to 
see if it was God's message or only the fancy of an 
unregenerate mind." 

Then he turned appealingly to the scores of North- 
ern California ministers : " Don't be deceived. The 
coming preacher will be the one who takes the Word 
of God and makes it plain to the people. That man 
will have a hearing ! The Bible and the Cross have 
power to draw, but a moral essay, never ! Fm sick 
and tired of their essay-preaching. Will Bible 
preaching ever fail? No, a thousand times, No! 


Highly cultured people ask me in surprise if there are 
those who really believe the Bible Well, I guess so! 
If the minister who stands in the pulpit from week to 
week is full of the Bible and the Holy Ghost, people 
will be sitting in the aisles and crowding every avail- 
able space, just as they are in this building today ! " 2 

We turn to another San Francisco episode. It is 
the year 1881. The clerk of an ornate hotel on 
Market Street handed Moody a letter from England, 
just as he was to be driven in a cab to the old pavilion 
(hard by the site of the present City Hall) . Janu- 
ary rains had fallen for several days in a steady 
downpour ; but the meetings had not suffered in the 
least. Everybody attended, from the Battered of 
the Barbary Coast to the young giants shaping Cali- 
fornia's new institutions. 

Moody opened the letter ; then turned on his heel, 
and hurried back to his room. Like Joseph, he 
wanted where to weep. His dear friend Harry Moor- 
house had died at thirty-nine, just before Christmas ! 
He walked over to the window, gazed upon the solid 
ranks of people moving from all directions toward 
the pavilion. Then he laughed, in his tears, as 
memory brought back certain words; words the 
Valorous Little Stephen had said to him long, long 

"Moody, you're sailing on the wrong tack! If 
you will change your course, and learn to preach 
God's words instead of your own, He will inaJke 
you a great power! " 

3 The Examiner, San Francisco, 3/28/1899, Washburne Collection. 




Let no sincere Christian lightly pass over that certain 
engine of war which Pilgrim unfailingly employed in his final 
assault on man-soul. Having watched the walls fall through 
Faith's shouting, he esteemed it folly to move hastily away, 
thus leaving the Stricken Citizens of Vanity Fair to unfruit- 
ful confusion. Lo, he then marched straight into his con- 
quest, promptly set up, without so much as an hour's delay, 
an Inquisition of Grace. Thereby, he and his fellow soldiers, 
with love in their hearts and light in their faces, did strictly 
inquire of each traitor, separately and with unhurried 
patience, for what reason he had fallen into rebellion against 
the King. Then each separate one had the reconciling mes- 
sage taught him, in the form best suited to his need and 
state of mind, " God is all love, and has Himself atoned for 
our wicked rebellion through His anguish on the Tree." And 
when the heart of the trembling sinner came to that " will- 
ingness of the day of His power," Pilgrim established a 
mighty garrison in it from the Word of the King. And 
thus, thereby, the rebellious ones never again fell into de- 
fiance, nor did they ever cease to love the King. Sketch Book. 


There is a crowning event in the experience of a 
seeking sinner which, like the seal on a deed, estab- 
lishes him in the grace of God, in all perpetuity. The 
New Testament calls it, " purpose of heart to cleave 
unto the Lord " (Acts 11 : 23) . The context saves us 
from esteeming this " purpose of heart " to be mere 
human resolution toward divine loyalty; plainly, it 
is an utter casting of self upon Sufficient Grace. 
Rarely does this establishment take place during a 
preaching-service. Public meetings seldom do more 
than reduce a sinner's defences, and bring him to 
penitence. It is absolutely necessary after he comes 
into this frame to take him aside from the crowd for 
specialized care. 

It is tragically uncertain that any man, being only 
awakened, can enter the rest of faith, unless there is 
" some man to guide him." It is Heaven's highest 
strategy, while the burden is still upon the sinner, 
to have a Spirit-filled Phillip come up, sit with 
him, open his mouth, and beginning at the point 
of awakened interest, preach unto him Jesus (Acts 

This kind of work is positively like creating life. 
Therefore it demands that Phillip shall strive toward 
the highest skill and wisdom, and be thoroughly 
under Guidance. He is the agent through whom 
Stricken Sinner is transmuted into Sturdy Saint. 



The church of today has fallen into a fatal assump- 
tion begotten either of ignorance or indolence, or 
both namely, that a man who "lifts his hand or 
comes forward" is therefore established in grace. 
Thus our fellowships today are filled with people 
who " lack assurance " ; we failed them in a crisis 
hour, and they retaliate by constantly failing the 
church in her crises hours. Once again we must 
return to this permanent attitude: to be sure that 
men savingly know Jesus, every inquirer must have 
a personal interview, unhurried and Guided. " Now 
when the congregation was broken up, many of the 
Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Bar- 
nabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to 
continue in the grace of God! " (Acts 13 : 43) . 

Call it by whatever name you may, Moody's In- 
quiry Room must be reestablished. And whatever 
name it may receive, the general specifications re- 
main the same : 

It functions immediately after a gospel service: 
the workers, Spirit-led, deal unhurriedly with 
individuals; deal with them from the Word of 
God; wait, watch, secretly pray, patiently ma- 
neuver until Saving Faith arrives. 

To use Moody's own words, " Continue patiently 
with one soul until it is on the Rock, till it sees 
the truth as God gives it. . . The other night I saw 
workers waiting a minute or two with one and then 
going on to another. Wait patiently! Ply them 
with God's Word; and think, oh! think, what it is 


to win a soul for Christ, and don't grudge the time 
spent on one person ! " 

Moody regarded the Inquiry Room as the polished 
shaft in his evangelical quiver. The swelling rec- 
ords of his days and nights of evangelism fairly 
bristle with references to the Inquiry Room. But 
we've almost lost our knowledge of it. That shelf in 
the church library made to hold such books is prac- 
tically empty. There is a dust print showing where 
a little treatise once stood Moody and Whittle, In- 
quiry Meetings but I've failed to find a single copy, 
after world advertising. Incredible, that all the 
Moody writers have passed over his Inquisition of 
Grace with mere casual reference! All save one; 
and he, the most poorly equipped to undertake it. 

The Inquiry Room must not be confused with 
Moody's " evangelical conviction." The latter was a 
permanent conviction that all Christian labor should 
have but one end in view, the salvation of the lost. 
To this he was committed from the beginning. As 
early as February, 1862, he emphatically stated, in 
the conference of a Christian relief committee 
aboard a steamer bound for the battlefield of Fort 
Donelson: "The very first business in every case 
is to find out if the sick or dying man is a child of 
God. If so, it is not necessary to spend much time on 
him ; other organizations exist to look after his phys- 
ical needs. If the man is not a Christian he is to be 
pointed at once to the Saviour." 

Robert Collyer, pastor of a Chicago Unitarian 


church, was nettled : " The first thing to do for these 
poor fellows is to administer whiskey, brandy, or 
milk punch. Brace up their nerves ! What ! are we 
to talk to our dying heroes, who have gone forth to 
save our flag, about thieves on the cross ? " 

Which sally was good for a big round of applause. 
But as it was quieting down, Moody gave the coup 
de gr&ce with a crisp statement : " I thank God I 
have never got patriotism mixed up with piety! " 

This gospel immediacy runs straight through his 
utterances to the end : " His ultimate aim was to put 
soul-saving into every effort." " In this he was con- 
firmed by war experience, where he was obliged to 
urge his hearers to accept immediate salvation." 
" He never would forgive himself that the night of 
the Chicago fire he slurred over the invitation, told 
them to think it over a week: it was such a dread- 
ful lesson, brooding over those people who never 
came together again." " Even the relief of the poor 
was not so much for body comfort as soul salvation." 


But the Inquiry Room was something entirely 
over and above gospel immediacy. It was one thing 
to urge acceptance of Christ in every service ; it was 
a totally different thing to take men roused by such 
appeals, one by one, and see that " they got on the 
ark." The gospel appeal made a man ready to take 
salvation ; the gospel clinic showed him how to do it 
and made sure that he did ! It was pure folly to 
permit any delay between roused interest and effec- 
tual treatment : " Don't say, ' If any are concerned 


I will be glad to see them Friday night/ Deal with 
them that night, before the devil snatches away the 
seed." Permanent results were reserved to the after- 
meetings : " No use trying to make a lasting effect 
upon masses of people ; put every effort on the indi- 
vidual. I knew a stupid minister who said that if 
anyone might be interested, the session would meet 
him. Might as well have asked him to go before a 
justice of the peace! If you want to get to an 
awakened soul, make it easy for him to see you 


* * * 

Historically, the first influence that led Moody to 
set up the Inquiry Room was a statement made to 
him, while still a boy, by his old grandfather, Luther 
Holton : x "In my day there was a great revival and 
every one came to the anxious bench, and were talked 
to; but now they don't do so, and I don't believe it 
is the work of God." In 1859 he began developing 
the Inquiry Room in his general Sunday school work. 
He quickly abandoned the Anxious Bench form; 
public conditions were too distracting ; pressure too 
high. The awakened ones were taken to separate 
rooms to secure maximum privacy. By 1868 his 
method was highly advanced and a permanent 
climax of his Chicago church work. By 1873 the 
technique was so fully developed that according to 
Ian Maclaren its operation in the Edinburg meetings 
was "the infirmary in which Drummond learned 
Spiritual Diagnosis." 

1 Statement reported by the New York Tribune, 1876. 


The psychological and spiritual principle that un- 
dergirded the Inquiry Room was brilliantly stated 
by Henry C. Mabie, at one time corresponding secre- 
tary of the American Baptist Foreign Mission So- 
ciety. 2 When Mabie was a young student in Chicago 
he was profoundly influenced by Moody. Moody's 
ideals, sowed in the boy's heart, came to a full 
harvest during a spiritual crisis in 1884, " reshaping 
his whole career." Through the technique of the 
Inquiry Room, Mabie came to know and to practise 
the priceless truth that, 

"Effective faith involves a decisive act of the 
will to some present measure of spiritual light. 
This will-act, more than theoretic belief in truth 
as a system of intellectual proportions, is the 
chief element in * belief of the heart unto right- 
eousness.' And the highest work we can ever 
do for another soul is to afford incentive to imme- 
diately treat the measure of truth it already 
knows as a reality, and so to act upon it." 


Let us view Moody's Inquiry Room in its chief 
aspects. Generally, it "straightway" followed a 
gospel service. (Though sometimes, without a gospel 
service, people came in response to advertisements; 
and sometimes interest became so deep that it ran 
two full days a week.) A large room was prepared 
for use immediately following the sermon, together 
with as many side rooms as possible. (" Prepared " 

2 Read his Method in Soul-Winninff ; a classic. 


meant heated, ventilated, set in order.) Generally, 
the workers came in first; were admonished; then 
Moody said, " Now distribute yourselves ; I am go- 
ing to call in the inquirers." The inquirers entered, 
commonly two hundred, sometimes a thousand. It 
should be said that Moody desired to get people into 
his Inquisition of Grace in any state of mind : " It's 
a place for sowing seed as well as gathering grain." 

Moody then spoke to the inquirers, en masse, 
tenderly, pointedly, briefly; spoke with fluent 
scriptural accuracy upon such topics as " receive," 
" believe," " trust," " take," so simply a child could 
understand. He then attempted to sift them into 
groups: the deeply anxious; those lacking assur- 
ance ; and so on. Thereafter, they broke up for pri- 
vate interview, preferably in private rooms ; if not, 
in quiet groups in the big room. 

"One at a time" was the rule; never violated 
unless they were thronged ; " one at a time was sen- 
sible: there was a right remedy for each: a good 
doctor didn't give cod-liver oil for all complaints." 
This scientific investigation of the individual brought 
to Drummond much amazement; he saw that hun- 
dreds of church-members were lacking in assurance, 
tragically deficient in practical knowledge as to the 
new birth. Jessie McKinnon mentioned "the sur- 
prise of sitting beside an inquirer whom we had 
surely thought to be a Christian already." You see 
these unhappy members had been taken for granted, 
their deepest need ignored when they "joined the 

Moody insisted that workers in the Inquiry Room 


must strive for thorough equipment; be approved in 
character ; certain of their own salvation. 

" We won't have them if their records are not 
clean ; difficult to enforce, but I've done it many a 
time ; if a man isn't right, I go to him, and insist 
he straighten out his life before we want him; 
if he gets angry that settles it, shows he is not 
right: but if he breaks down, that's different! " 

" Workers must be skillful in discernment ; able 
to perceive at once different classes and deal ac- 
cordingly. Some inquirers lack assurance ; some 
are backsliders; some shackled by gross sins; 
some need to have props, as moral excellence, 
knocked out ; some with excuses ; cranks, spirit- 
ualists, infidels and smart Alecs; some under 
conviction; some can be brought under convic- 

"Hear closely the difficulties of each; plead 
with the Spirit for just the right word. In every 
case always use your Bible ; don't trust to mem- 
ory; make the person read for himself. And 
don't argue! Get him at last on his knees : you 
may need to talk two hours: but don't get Mm 
on his knees until he is ready! " 3 

D. L., Emma, and Sankey were the most skillful 
of all life-changers. It is well to study them in ac- 
tion. Their interest at once was riveted to the in- 
quirers : " If notable strangers were introduced to 

8 Quotations in this chapter a mosaic from a hundred books ; too 
many for detailed reference. 


Moody at the end of the meetings, he brushed con- 
ventional courtesies aside and darted off in a moment 
to awakened souls." They were marked by a " habit- 
ual, powerful realization of the value of a soul." " It 
was beautiful to see them keep themselves out of 
sight, pointing to Jesus only." 

And the Bible was their chief dependence. 

" They seemed to pass over themselves as in- 
struments, and with the open Bible, to fix on the 
truths of God, and the power of the Spirit." 
" Moody speaks to inquirers with an open Bible 
in his hands, fixing them down to the Word of 
God, and anchoring their souls on the Living 
Rock." . . "A man cannot be convicted by any 
means save The Holy Spirit working through the 
Word: he may know he's a great sinner, but the 
Holy Spirit must bring conviction." " They kept 
at a case an hour, or two, or three ! . . talking the 
inquirers out of self and into Christ." 

"And, it was almost invariably in the end, a 
portion of God's Word, either with or without ex- 
planation that brought them into the light! " 


Time fails to furnish an inventory of the " estab- 
lished " souls who came into the Kingdom by way of 
the Inquisition of Grace ; thousands like Studd. Im- 
possible to tabulate the energy devoted by workers 
in Moody's day. Some statistician says that Moody 
himself prayed with seventy-five thousand. No won- 
der the church took hold, and " there were giants." 


We must set it up again. Pay the full price of 
becoming Evangelical Psychographers. Know that 
the church cannot be stocked anew with robust 
Christians until we do ! This is the only way to pro- 
duce Christians knowing whom they have believed, 
and thereby serving their generation by the will of 
God. This type of emphasis can never be outmoded. 
It is effort bringing forth fruit a hundredfold ; and 
yielding joy ahead of any other Christian activity. 
Baxter said, it was like " eating angel's bread to 
hear the cry of conviction, then to see the joy of 
reconciliation." Never mind if our inert age objects. 
They did in Moody's day. A heckling Scotch dominie 
shouted, " I dinna believe in disturbing holy impres- 
sions ! Ye don't sow seed, then dig it up to see if it 
has sprouted ! " To which Moody replied, amid a 
storm of applause, "Perhaps not: but the farmers 
all harrow it in after it's sowed! " We must set it up 
anew if we are to meet the crisis of the age through 
God's uniform method of dealing with nations, a 
great awakening. We must seek that grace which 
Jessie McKinnon set forth in a notable description 
of Moody : 

" Dear hard worker ! and all for the love of 
souls! What Christian could look unmoved on 
him going on thus, night after night, watching at 
every turn, looking after every one, with con- 
stant demands on him ... in nerve and patience, 
quiet, calm, unperturbed ! How could we help lov- 
ing him ! Once while waiting I had the chance of 
seeing (and how I was touched by it !) his tender- 


ness of heart and manner towards the anxious. 
I did not see her face (the one with whom he 
was dealing) but his was towards me. How full 
of ea/rnest tender compassion! his whole face and 
attitude were full of beseechings, as an ambas- 
sador of Christ. 

"Happy undignified work! What an honor 
and I can never be thankful enough that I was 
allowed to have a share in it! " 


Auditorium, Moody Memorial Church, 
Chicago, Illinois 

(Courtesy Henry Allan Ironside, Pastor) 

Membership, 1936, 3,986. Capacity, 4,040 

The Moody Bible Institute, 
Chicago, Illinois 

(Courtesy Will H. Houghton, 
President.) Thirty-eight build- 
ings ; towers of radio station 
WMBI, several miles away, 
" foreshortened " into picture 

Enrolment, 1936 : Day School, 

806 ; Evening School, 952 ; 

Correspondence School, 9,700. 

Total. 1936 11,458 

Northfield Seminary, Northfield, 

Enrolment, 1936, 548 

Mount Hermon School for Boys, 
Northfield, Massachusetts 

Enrolment, 1936, 583 


Auditorium, Moody Memorial Church. 
Chicago. Illinois 

(Courtesy Henry . \lhin Ironside. I'iistori 

.Membership, 1 !.):'.(.;. :'>.USO. Oipucity, -1,0-10 

The Moody Bible Institute, 
Chicago. Illinois 

(('diirli'sy Will 11. Iloii.uhinii. 
I'i'fsidcnr. i r riiirty-i'i;ilil Imilil- 
in.^s : lowers of nnlio slulion 
W.MI'.I. scvi-rjil iniU's iiwjiy. 
" rorcshorliMic'd " into p 

Kiirolnii'iif. 1 '.)"><!: l);iy School. 
soi; ; School. !i.~)i! ; 
( 'orrcspondcncc School. 11.700. 

Tut MI. I'.I::G i i.-.~is 

Northfieltl Seminary. Nortlifield, 

KiH'olim-nt, 10:;c>. 548 

Mount Hermon School for Boy- 
Northfieltl, Massachusetts 

Kiirolincnr, 1930, -~i.s:; 




Now, Pilgrim rose up each morning, a great while before 
day, that he might keep trysts with his King. Lo, he felt 
deep need to do this: for if he came to such a pother in 
caring for the King's Business, that no time remained to 
gaze upon the King's Face, the joy of his salvation did fade 
away. Moreover, these trysts did bring him another large 
blessing: Thereby he was able to discern just when the 
King desired him to go into the Next Towns. (Mark 1: 35-38.) 

During these hours apart, the Lord did open his mind 
to see that the Interpreter's House must be put in charge of 
Mr. Great Heart, rather than Mr. Great Head. It was 
naught but high treason to set the souls of the Young Ke- 
deemed under the tutelage of men who did neither know nor 
believe that the beginning of Wisdom was the fear of Jeho- 
vah. He perceived, therefore, that the Next Towns his Lord 
desired him to occupy were Commonschool and Jordansemi- 

So he took his father's trowel and built three great houses, 
one for young damsels; one for young yeomen, and one for 
young prophets. And he saw it was good; a way was opened 
for an army of yeomen and prophets, having Head Knowl- 
edge mated to Heart Wisdom. 

Now he bound together the foundation walls of each of 
these three houses with a Book, a Precious Corner Stone. 
And he prayed no man might ever in folly assay to remove it; 
for if they did, ! Sketch Book. 



When Zion begins to " multiply a thousandfold " 
she immediately faces up to the necessity of estab- 
lishing her own institutions of education. She un- 
derstands that though mental culture is somewhat 
neutral it does make a difference of east-west width 
as to what sort of man sits in the professor's chair. 
It is entirely irrelevant to compare the mere teaching 
skill of Professor Arrant Doubter and Professor 
Humble Believer. Either may do equally well, from 
Home Economics to Astral Dynamics. But the criti- 
cal influences that shape the life of Mr. Young Stu- 
dent arise far more from the evangelical quality of 
the teacher's life than from the technical excellence 
of his pedagogy. Inescapable correlates of this truth 
run clear down to the thesis, " It is far better to pro- 
vide the Sons and Daughters of Zion with an ad- 
mittedly inferior training under men of faith than 
a brilliant superficiality under unbelievers." 

Here we observe the grim necessity that forced 
Moody to become an educator. During the British 
revival, when he sensed an awakening church, he 
also discerned the folly of turning over the Lord's 
children to the Lord's enemies. The primary mo- 
tivation behind his establishment of the vast Moo"dy 
Institutions was a keen insight into this truth. A 
mere humanitarian desire to put culture within the 



reach of handicapped youth did not interest him at 
all, as we see in his Northfield Seminary apologetic : 

"You know, the Lord laid it upon my heart 
to organize a school for young women in the 
humbler walks of life to get a Christian educa- 
tion ... I hope it may be a power in bringing 
souls to Christ," 

and at Mount Hermon: 

"It undertakes to furnish for earnest Chris- 
tian young men opportunities to secure a better 
preparation . . . men diligent in spirit, serving 
the Lord." 

And he saw to it that a Bible was placed in the 
corner-stone of every major building. 

His mind was practically made up when he re- 
turned to America, August 14, 1875, convinced by 
what Charles Haddon Spurgeon had shown him, and 
confirmed by the founding of the " Calico College " 
(Wellesley) of his friend, Henry F. Durant, in 1875. 
His plans matured during the mighty revivals in 
American cities during the three years 1876-1878. 
Within four years of his return to America, he was 
laying the corner-stone of the first edifice of the 
giant Moody system of today. 

There was a circumstance of highest dramatic in- 
terest in the laying of that first corner-stone, spring 
of 1879. A crowd was gathered about the founda- 


tions of the building-to-be, in the hundred-acre plot 
just above Northfield recently acquired by Moody 
" bare sandy hillocks, useless even for pastureland." 
Moody wielded a battered old trowel, whose hickory 
handle was checked from end to end, while on the 
trestle board, ignored, lay a new silver trowel. 

The old trowel had been the property of his father 
and grandfather before him. Mrs. Elizabeth Moody 
Washburne told her daughter Miriam Elim the story, 
" a thousand times " : " The heartless couple Mr. and 
Mrs. Scrooge came up to the Homestead in the sum- 
mer of 1844 to foreclose on the note given by the 
dead father. They took practically every movable 
thing; but there was one thing they didn't get; 
the children hid their father's masonic tools under a 
board in the attic. Here, like Manna in the Ark they 
remained until " until that day when D. L., now a 
man of forty-two, entering a new area of life, went 
into the attic, knelt in prayer, then moved the secret 
panel and grasped his father's trowel. From now 
on he was to serve God as evangelist and builder. 
"With one of his hands he wrought on the wall, 
and with the other held a sword." What an appro- 
priate thing to take up his own father's trowel just 
where death had struck it from his grasp on that 
far-away afternoon ! 

Sankey, though unaware of the above story, sup- 
plies the finishing detail : " Mr. Moody was laying 
the corner-stone . . . his friends had secured a silver 
trowel . . . but he refused to use it ... in the garret 
he had gotten his father's old trowel with which he 
had earned bread for his family. . . ' You may keep 


the silver trowel/ he said, * this one is good enough 


* * * 

Moody's assumption of the trowel, however, really 
began with the institution dearest to his heart, the 
nurturing mother of all the rest, the institution in 
which his membership continued until his death, the 
Moody Memorial Church. His building activities 
in connection with the church rested, in 1876, upon 
the dedication of the edifice at Chicago Avenue and 
La Salle Street. But the very momentum of his 
ideals, enlisting the labors of thousands of others, 
is to be observed in the church's history since his 

The Chicago Avenue Church building was taken 
over by the vigorous child of the church, the Moody 
Bible Institute, in 1915. The church then rented a 
lot at North Avenue, Clarke and La Salle Streets, 
erected a five-thousand-capacity, barn-like taber- 
nacle, at an expense of $23,000; then in 1917 pur- 
chased the lot for $265,000. In the week of Novem- 
ber 8, 1925, the present simple, age-abiding structure 
was dedicated: a million-dollar building of which 
all Christendom may be proud. 

It is an edifice impressive in every detail. The 
vast auditorium, "made to hear in and to see in," 
has four thousand forty seats, not one of which is 
vexed by pillar, columns or obstruction. The spacious 
Bible school suite provides for twenty-five hundred 
pupils. The architects influenced by certain Ro- 
manesque, Italian churches, and also by St. Sophia 


in Constantinople dreamed out an edifice appar- 
ently made for the people. And sure enough the 
people attend. Go and see for yourself any Sunday 
from bitter February to burning August. 

What a mighty church it is ! Of its 3,986 mem- 
bers, 1 one hundred and twelve are in world-wide 
missionary service, sixty of whom are supported en- 
tirely by the church, at a yearly cost of forty thou- 
sand dollars. The Bible school has an enrolment of 

Great in every particular, in lay evangelism, youth 
movements, city missions ; in its pastoral succession 
J. H. Harwood, W. J. Erdman, C. N. Morton, 
George C. Needham, Charles A. Blanchard, Charles 
F. Goss, F. B. Hyde, R. A. Torrey, A. C. Dixon, E. Y. 
Wooley, Paul Rader, P. W. Philpott and H. A. Iron- 
side. And greatest of all in its fire of perennial 

But it faces centennial year with a burdensome 
debt of $250,000, due to unfortunate circumstances 
beyond its control. Chicago enforced an eighteen- 
foot widening of La Salle Street which ran up the 
costs of adjustment in the sum of $239,000. This, to- 
gether with depression and pledge-shrinkage, sad- 
dled upon the church the debt just mentioned. 

No more appropriate gesture of love for Moody, 
for Moody's most beloved institution, and Moody's 
Lord, could be made by the hundreds of thousands 
of interested people throughout the world than fully 
to release this burden. Let a flood of subscriptions 

* Statistics as of January 1, 1936, furnished by Charles Augustin 
Porter, Associate Pastor. 


come in from all over the world ! So small a sum as 
one dollar will bring to the donor a centennial certifi- 
cate. One of these certificates, signed by Pastor 
H. A. Ironside, is framed and hanging in my study 
Beside the Golden Gate ; a cherished possession. 

* * * 

It is a far cry from November 1, 1879, when 
Moody, impatient of delay, launched the Northfield 
Seminary in his own home, to the strength of the 
present institution. The school began with twenty- 
five girls, on a barren pasture ; today there are five 
hundred and forty-eight, on a campus of Cambridge 
beauty. After fifty-six years a herd of noble edifices 
and sturdy young trees are patterned out on the 
hills. Some of the buildings were financed by hymn- 
book royalties ; at least one " sung up by Sankey " ; 
others, the gifts of friends Gould Hall, Kenarden 
Hall, Russell Sage Memorial Chapel, Palmer Hall, 
Margaret Olivia Hall, Talcott Library, the Audito- 
rium, East Hall. There's another great rambling 
multi-story frame building, The Northfield Inn, just 
south of the campus, on its own Del Monte grounds. 
It has a significant history. Moody erected the 
original unit so as to entertain "likely" visitors 

(likely to have money for the Northfield Seminary!) . 

Satellite to the Seminary are other enterprises 

launched by Moody : the Northfield Bible Conference 

(first call issued in 1880) , where many of the world's 
greatest Christians have been heard in summer as- 
semblies; the Missionary Conference; the College 
Students' Conference ; the Girls' Conference ; every 


one of which was launched to insure the indoctrina- 
tion of men and women in training for Christian 

And as a Bethel-center of it all, Round Top, that 
winsome little hill that has changed in the years 
from a barren knob to a forested knoll, beneath the 
shade of which lie the graves of two Revered Ones. 

* * * 

Mount Hermon, the school for boys, followed 
quickly on the heels of Northfield Seminary. 
Through the generous twenty-five-thousand-dollar 
gift of Hiram Camp, New Haven clock manufac- 
turer, the school opened May 1, 1881. Two farms 
were purchased, making a tract of two hundred and 
seventy-five acres on the west bank of the Con- 
necticut, four miles south of Northfield just across 
the old turnpike from Mother Moody's birthplace. 
The first classes were held in the overhauled farm 
buildings ; but exactly like Northfield Seminary, the 
following years have witnessed the addition of noble 
edifices, financed by hymn-book royalties and friends. 
The campus is of another type of beauty, a rugged 
grandeur quite up to California's Mendocino. The 
school began with one student ; today there are five 
hundred and eighty-three. 2 

The two units are now jointly administered as the 
Northfield Schools, and as such constitute the largest 
private secondary school in the United States. Both, 

* Statistics of the Northfield Schools, furnished by Samuel B. Walker, 
of Northfield, nephew of D>. I*, M. ; and Ethel Gladwin, Alumnae Office 


from inception, have insisted on student participa- 
tion in farm and home duties, and have been kept 
within reach of thousands by low fees. The total 
number of students to date, in both units, has been 
26,229 (Northfield Seminary 11,076; Mount Her- 
mon, 15,153). Many of these students have come 
to world fame ; thousands are the salt of the earth 
as mothers, wives, fathers, husbands citizens. 
Deeply impressive is it to look in on the high type of 
business administration, and to note how every boy 
and girl is followed throughout life. This very 
week I had a letter from Northfield asking about a 
former student. She is a Mother in Israel now; 
trained, consecrated, and at the age of seventy-four 
teaching a class of girls in my San Francisco church. 
She was one of Moody's first five students Mrs. 
Clara White Alder. 

The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago does not 
occupy a sylvan campus, nor does it have ornate 
edifices. A first glance at the thirty-eight brick 
buildings, herded together in the area of a city block, 
is disappointing, especially if it's the dead o'summer. 
But go into the concrete desert, even with Chicago's 
sultry July sun glaring down, and you are gripped 
by the seven-league tempo of life, the laughter of 
hastening groups of youth, the summer cadence of 
pianos through open windows, the shuffling of hun- 
dreds of feet over wooden floors, the bursts of gospel 
music. Six buildings of the thirty-eight will rise in 
your estimate the Original Building, the Audito- 


rium (old Chicago Avenue Church edifice) , Woman's 
Building, Men's Dormitory, Publication Building, 
and the Office Annex, where sainted Doctor Gray, at 
the age of eighty-four, kept office hours until Sep- 
tember 21, 1935. And they will tell you of a great 
new Administration Building now in prospect. Con- 
templating this rush of energy, we feel like saying, 
with the discoverer of the Amazon's mouth, " This 
river drains a continent ! " Behind it lie fifty years 
of Titanic activity, in a word, half a century of devo- 
tion to one Book. In that period it has centered, for 
a student's interval, the lives of tens of thousands of 
men and women. For sheer, spectacular gianthood, 
the Bible Institute is the Mt. Everest of the Moody 
Institutions and, for that matter, unique in the his- 
tory of Christianity. 

One quickly forgets the dismal bricks and becomes 
fascinated with the Talus stride whether he ap- 
proves of it or not. As one who loves each Moody 
institution, who esteems them a most impressive 
achievement of Christian faith, I risk a storm of 
argument in stating : The Bible Institute incarnates 
more fully than any of the others, Moody's unique 
personality, dynamic power, great purposes, and, 
deathless devotion to the Book. 

It is the best of institutions it is the worst of 
institutions. It is the best of institutions to thou- 
sands who have found grace in the classrooms, under 
fervid instructors ; to thousands who have received 
life eternal through its evangels ; and to thousands 
who by reason of the literature flooding from its 
presses see in it a power for faith in the last days. 


It is the worst of institutions to thousands who 
esteem it a perilous educational shortcut; to thou- 
sands who deprecate excess evangelical warmth; 
and to thousands who, at odds with the doctrine of 
an inspired Bible, are offended by the Institute's 
" Bibliolatry." 

It is difficult exactly to classify the Institute. Cer- 
tainly it is not a theological seminary ; and certainly 
the work is of too high a grade to be dismissed as 
a mere "Bible institute." Perhaps the cleverest 
half-truth discrimination is this that we heard in 
Chicago last summer: "Men go to seminaries in 
order to get a church ; they come to Moody in order 
to keep it." 

Do not forget that the development of Moody Bible 
Institute is a mosaic, the separate units representing 
the lives and labors of a host of Great Hearts. And 
the inlaying which began under the personality of 
Moody, while he lived, continued under his ideals 
after his death. The devotion of Emeline E. Dryer, 
Reuben Archer Torrey, James Martin Gray, and a 
host of equally dedicated men and women, consti- 
tutes the Alpha-Omega design laid down by "the 
Apt to Teach." The humble background against 
which the loveliness of the pattern is exhibited was 
provided by the self-effacement of a legion of willing 
Amaziahs, like Mrs. Cyrus H. McCormick, John V. 
Farwell and Henry P. Crowell. 

Evidently the Institute considers its birthday to be 
February, 1886. At that time it was resolved to 
regiment an already vigorous movement under the 
name, " The Chicago Evangelization Society." But 


we must not lose sight of the heroic pioneering of 
Emeline E. Dryer, years before 1886. Her heart 
and mind were captured as early as 1872 by the fiery 
convictions of her young lay pastor, D. L. M. He 
was certain that neither Chicago nor America, nor 
the world, could be roused for God unless thousands 
of common people were trained and sent out "to 
preach the Word." Could he be silent in this matter, 
or give it up ? No ! a thousand times, No ! 

In 1882 she resigned her office as dean of women 
at the Illinois State Normal College in order to de- 
vote her full time to Moody's scheme of training 
evangelical workers. For fourteen years prior to 
1886 she headed up Bible teaching among women, 
training of Bible readers and city missionaries, first 
" in the ashes " around the North Side Tabernacle, 
and finally in the Chicago Avenue Church. 

This "indomitable little lady" made a trip to 
New York in February, 1876, while Moody was in 
the Hippodrome meetings, to urge upon him the 
securing of buildings wherein Bible workers could 
live while they were being trained. Her heart was 
set on several " brick dumps " adjacent to the Chi- 
cago Avenue Church (little did she dream she was 
about to force the church off that corner !) . In Octo- 
ber, 1876, Moody, while holding meetings in the Chi- 
cago Tabernacle, approved, and the buildings were 
rented. The movement at once exhibited "an an- 
noying vitality " ; all over Chicago it spread in tents, 
churches, empty buildings. By the year 1885, the 
"amorphus thing" was clamoring for organiza- 
tion. Moody, en route to a southern revival, con- 


ferred with the aggressive leaders, and said in 
effect, " No organization until you have $250,000 in 
cash! " And in six months they had it. . 

On January 22, 1886, Moody delivered his historic 
address in the Chicago Avenue Church on " City 
Evangelization": "I believe we have got to have 
' gap men,' men who are trained to fill the gap be- 
tween the common people and the ministers. We 
are to raise up men and women who will be willing 
to lay their lives alongside of the laboring." This 
was followed by the formal decision, in February, 
1886, to organize " The Chicago Evangelization So- 

In February, 1887, the name was changed to " The 
Bible Work Institute." Its " annoying vitality " be- 
came more marked. The annual Institute for Bible 
Study, usually held in May, was set for April, 1889, 
so as " to get Moody in attendance." At that time 
he capitulated to the idea of a Bible Institute in Chi- 
cago, and arranged the purchase of the lots ad- 
joining the church. Three buildings were used as 
women's dormitories; the erection of one for men 
was begun. 

Moody immediately (to use an appropriate west- 
ern state expression) " rode herd " on a brilliant 
young Yale dominie, who had done post-graduate 
work in Leipzig and Erlangen, Reuben Archer Tor- 
rey. Before Torrey had time to think, he was " roped 
up"; and on September 26, 1889, "The Chicago 
Bible Institute " formally began, with him as super- 

For sixteen months preliminary financing was a 


staggering difficulty. But the receipt of generous 
gifts, such as $10,000 from the Scotch Robert Dollar, 
Peter McKinnon, caused Moody to write McKinnon, 
" I feel as if now, should I be called away, the work 
will go on. . . I will always look on 1890 as the year 
I reached the top of the hill and you helped me get 

By the tune of Moody's death, the physical equip- 
ment was worth nearly $400,000. Under the leader- 
ship of James Martin Gray, 1904-1935, the institu- 
tion added building after building, until today there 
are thirty-eight, with a total value of $5,000,000. 
On November 1, 1934, the vigorous young Southern 
Baptist, with a Yankee background, Will H. Hough- 
ton, was called from the Calvary Baptist Church of 
New York to succeed Doctor Gray just in time to 
plan the semi-centennial celebration of February, 
1936. And now, with forty persons on the faculty 
and a little regiment of Bible teachers and evangel- 
ists in the Extension Department, there is more an- 
noying vitality than ever ! 3 

Statistics incident to the centennial observance 
are staggering. They show that to August 31, 1936, 
19,785 have enrolled as resident day students ; 17,219 
as evening students; 83,257 as Correspondence 
School students; 9,469 in the Radio School of the 
Bible; making the incredible sum total of 129,730. 
The Correspondence School now enrolls 9,700. 

3 Bible Institute statistics, brought up to date, are edited by the 
author from letters and personal interviews with James Martin Gray, 
Will H. Houghton, Clarence H. Benson, William Norton, and Harold 
J-i. Lundquist. Valued help has also been received from Wilbur Moore- 
head Smith, Editor of Peloulet's Notes. 


Satellite to the Institute is a group of enter- 
prises, such as Radio Station WMBI ; the Bible Insti- 
tute Colportage Association, and its department, the 
Moody Missionary Book Funds ; the Great Commis- 
sion Prayer League; and the Evangelical Teacher 
Training Association. In addition to this, there is 
the All Bible Graded Series, not officially connected 
with the Institute, but produced under Dr. Clarence 
H. Benson and a group of workers, who are either 
of the faculty or graduates of the Christian Educa- 
tion Course. 

All these enterprises are bewilderingly vast. The 
Colportage Association has published library books 
in sixty-seven titles and six languages, totaling 
eleven million copies ; one million hymn-books ; and 
thirty-five million tracts. It employs five hundred 
part-time colporters. The Book Fund has "a 
national network" to take the gospel to the neg- 
lected prisoners, pioneers, lumberjacks, navy gobs, 
mountaineers, orphans, army men and "Alphabetic 


* * * 

Some Christian institutions of education exhibit a 
melancholy bias toward a steady decline from their 
original evangelical warmth, and an increasing em- 
phasis upon mere intellectual excellence. But the 
process is so thoroughly subconscious that our Cul- 
tural Samsons warmly affirm primitive virtues, and 
set themselves to carry off Gaza's Gates, tragically 
unaware that God has departed from them. The 
mere name " Moody " cannot permanently guarantee 


a single unit of the Moody suite, whether Institute 
or Seminary. Already there are omens that demand 
rethinking. Moody dreamed of a regimentation of 
his several institutions, which today has practically 
disappeared. He desired, as cap-sheaf function, that 
his schools should work together in preparing young 
people for world evangelization: 

" I want to take young persons at the age of 
sixteen to twenty, to Northfield, and give them a 
good English training, and when they prove 
themselves worthy, to send them to Chicago. And 
there they go on studying the Bible and working, 
and as fast as they can prove themselves good 
workmen, send them out to all lands. I am in 
hopes I will send out a thousand a year. What 
the nation wants is not BIG men, but small men, 
little in their own sight! Nobodies! and then 
God will use them! " * 

* Source material, Washburne Collection. 



Now Christiana was sorely troubled when she and Pilgrim 
started on their Progress, by reason of the strange fire in 
which Pilgrim moved. She perceived naught stood between 
him and destruction save youth's dwindling vigors. Then 
her eyes beheld a mystery. There came a day in which the 
human in him died out, and a Fire from on high flooded his 
being. Now, instead of diminishing his labors, he greatly 
added to them. Not only did he continue to wield Evangel's 
sword with his right hand, but he took up a trowel in his left, 
and powerfully wrought on Zion walls. Lo, while his ex- 
ploits were greater than ever, yet he himself seemed always, 
now, at rest! 

One day as they did walk together beside a Blue Sea of 
Syria, he told her of an aged man who formerly had much 
annoyed him. 

" This aged person said to me, * Young man, honor thou the 
Holy Ghost or thou shalt break down ! ' And I was angry. 
But he was right! My heart was troubled and I prayed: 
prayed, until there came the night when Third Heaven 
found me. . . Since then my soul has known the mystery 
of Moses' bush which burned with Fire, but was not con- 

"My dear, you know I was an older man before I was 
thirty, than I've ever been since! " Sketch Book. 



Love's labor of writing this book comes to an end 
with the world at Spring. It seems that a very great 
time has passed since the work began in early De- 
cember. But I have eaten angels' bread and stood in 
the presence of the King. Regretfully, I am begin- 
ning to file away forever, so far as I am concerned 
the bulky research notations ; regretfully, because 
this book has not woven half the skeins available. 
Such vivid colors, such fascinating detail! All of 
which must be denied a place because it does not 
step right along in developing the theme. 

There is, for instance, my Biographical Year- 
Table, taking into account almost every month of 
Moody's life, which alone would outsize this volume. 
But a casual review of this Year-Table brings one 
face to face with a perennial mystery : " How can a 
man, years on end, increase his labors, carry a uni- 
verse on his shoulder as he did? How can one do it 
without breaking down? Yea, how can he do it, and 
yet always seem at rest? " 

Looking over the Year-Table, one notes where 
the Furious Thirties are succeeded by the Quieter 
Forties and Fifties. But, the tempo never slackens ; 
the " Christian output " increases. Now this book is 
concerned with making an inventory of Moody's in- 
creasingly large exploits only in so far as this fasci- 
nating theme is served, namely : 



When the Fire of God indwells our humble 
humanity, we have power to move with April 
freshness amidst boundless responsibilities: it 
is not work which destroys us : but work in the 

The Broad Brim Gentlemen whom Spurgeon loved 
laughed at the fears of the Lord's servants who 
esteemed themselves apt to perish from overwork: 
" Something's amiss, good friends ! There's naught 
so restorative and health-giving as labor in the 
Lord! " 

Just read down that complicated Year-Table, re- 
cording Moody's busy life. Note how, at the age of 
forty-two, he added to his sword a trowel, " building 
on the wall with one of his hands and with the other 
holding a weapon " (Nehemiah 4 : 17, 18) . And see 
that his health actually prospered under it. Ah, that 
is to get a vision of God's grace which he desires 
to give every one of his servants, the economy of 
which he setteth forth in a Flaming Bush, brilliant 
enough to light a desert, and yet not wasting away ! 
"And the bitsh was not consumed! " 

Moody's unf retted endurance is a mystery to men 
who have not read the third chapter of Exodus 
" with the understanding." Some tried to explain it 
on the ground that he could sleep instantly and 
soundly. They noted his practice of " forty winks." 
On railway trains, in horse-drawn vehicles, yea, 
even when a boresome person talked to him, he could 
"get away a few moments, then come right back 
fresh as a lark." Over and over he dozed off ten 


minutes before preaching ; was awakened at the pre- 
cise time, and began talking to the great multitude 
as with the dew of his youth. But, let no man for- 
get, there is a wide difference between slumber, and 
the sleep which the Lord doth give his beloved. 

The Year-Table shows that there was hardly a 
city of importance in America which Moody did not 
visit. In addition, two more revivals in England. 
And in the midst of it all a personal interest in his 
Chicago and Northfield institutions. Here is a brief 
sampling of these activities : 

1879. Many weeks of meetings in various churches 
of Baltimore ; meeting in Cleveland and the 
setting up of his schools. 

1880. Great meetings in St. Louis and San Fran- 
cisco and his schools and summer assem- 

1881-1884. Second English revival, in the midst of 
which he made a trip to America to inspect 
his institutions. 

1885-1890. Revivals all over the South: New Or- 
leans, Houston, Richmond, etc.; in Canada; 
in Eastern United States and his institu- 
tions, to which was added the Bible Institute. 

1891. Third and last great English revival and 
the financing of his growing schools. 

1893. The Columbian Exposition Evangelistic Pro- 
gram, incredibly complicated and his schools. 

1894. Eleven revivals, in such cities as Washington, 
Toronto, Birmingham, Scranton and, of 
course, his schools. 


1895. Meetings in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, 
Worcester, etc. and his schools. 

1897. Meetings in Cincinnati, Chicago, Winnipeg, 
etc. and his schools. 

1898. Head of Y. M. C. A. Subcommittee on Evan- 
gelism, Spanish-American War. (At that 
juncture he crisply told the leadership that 
his work was "evangelism, not providing 
writing-paper!") Also meetings in Jersey 
City, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Denver, etc. and 
his schools. 

1899. Meetings in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, 
Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, 
Kansas City his schools and, the Gates of 


* * * 

Statistics of these meetings are bewildering. 
Someone asked, " How many souls have been saved 
under your preaching? " He said, " I'm glad I don't 
have to keep Gabriel's books." One writer affirms 
that he preached to over one hundred million people. 
A careful estimate on the basis of my Year-Table 
reveals that he spent almost ten thousand days and 
nights in meetings ; a stupendous total, which, if put 
together, would make a continuous revival over 
twenty-five years long. 

Last summer, in the quiet lobby of the Northfield 
Inn, we visited with one who went repeatedly to 
Northfield when Moody was alive. Of course he 
dreamed of those great Bible Conferences when, after 
the sessions, " We didn't stop to discuss the speakers 


or their messages; we went off into the woods to 
pray." It was well worth while in those days to 
get D. L. talking about how God sustains his ser- 
vants in impossible labors by means of Divine Fire : 
" I once met a minister in London whose health be- 
came so poor he could only preach once a week. . . 
He got freshly anointed. . . Told me now he preached 
eight sermons a week . . . and he never had been so 


* * # 

No attempt is made to relieve the impression that 
this chapter ends abruptly. Why keep the shuttles 
moving any longer on the little tapestry? We just 
put a finishing border on it by suggesting that men 
in the Will of God do not break down under His 
pressures ; they know and live and labor and rest in 
the mystery of " My grace is sufficient, 



" He Groweth Much Heavenward " 

Dwight Lyman Moody at Fifty-five and the Main Street of Northfield 

1 My Human Best, 
Filled with the Holy Spirit." 


" He Groweth Much Heavenward " 

Dwight Lyman Moody at Fifty-five anil the Main Street of Northfield 

' My Human Best, 
Filled with the Holy Spirit." 



"His style is the same, but quieter. . . There has been 
a mellowing power at work, not all of nature. . . He is the 
same but quieter, the same, but one feels he has grown much 
heavenward. . . The human in him has lessened in power and 
the heavenly has greatly advanced. . . Self, little seen before, 
is now far away, and out of ken." Jessie McKinnon.. 


There is a point at which the writing of biography 
ceases to be laborious and becomes a winging rap- 
ture of full creative flight. If the subject be a 
man of Olympian endowments, one must guard 
against the flight lapsing into a stunting solo. This 
came perilously near happening in writing of 
Charles Haddon Spurgeon. So fully was I enamored 
of that multisided personality that the sane move- 
ment of strong emotion under sure control was at 
the point of breaking down into galloping panegyric. 
Deliverance arose from a spiritual experience, the 
like of which one never fully discusses . . . the saving 
check came as the aggrieved man of the broad brim 
seemed to be pleading, "Don't praise me, praise 

Well, the rapture of flight in writing of Moody 
has never arisen from admiration of his genius. It 
is said respectfully, and in so saying Infinite Grace 
is magnified, Moody was essentially commonplace. 
For this, I thank God. No wonder my heart has 
found in the Commoner of Northfield a more power- 
ful encouragement than in the Heir of the Puritans. 
It has come as a song in the night to find in D. L. 
sure proof that the loftiest achievement is merely 
"my human best, filled with the Holy Spirit." 

Thus this midbook portrait is concerned in ex- 
hibiting Moody in his loftiest attainment, namely, 



his so living that those who looked fixedly upon him 
saw no man, but Jesus only. 

Mrs. Jessie McKinnon discerned in Moody the 
outworking of that process whereby men come to 
be no longer themselves, but Christ that liveth in 
them. And she stated in a woman's limpid prose : 

" Mr. Moody is among us again (October, 1881) , 
and we are right glad to have him. He is the 
same simple, straightforward man we knew him 
to be in former years . . . the same, but quieter. 
We think he is quieter altogether probably the 
difference that eight years naturally makes in a 
man ... so it strikes one at first, but we are not 
long beside him till we find there has been a mel- 
lowing power at work, not all of nature. He is 
the same, but quieter, the same but one feels he 
has grown much heavenward . . . the human 
in him has lessened in power, and the heavenly 
has greatly advanced . . . self, little seen before, is 
now far away and out of ken. . ." 

I never look at the picture of mature Moody, 
mounted upon his beloved Northfield Main Street, 
without Mrs. McKinnon's words repeating in mem- 
ory, " The same, but quieter ; the same, but he has 
grown much heavenward." His human best, filled 
with the Holy Spirit! 

That human best of his, composite of many homely 
graces and a few Yankee irritants, summed up to a 
total every honest man respected and almost every 
one loved. Physically he was like Spurgeon, "re- 


markably compact," weighing on an average of two 
hundred and eighty pounds. Dependable data upon 
his height show him to have been about five foot 
seven and a half. Some one during his thirties de- 
scribed his face as exhibiting " a gospel eye, and a 
law jaw covered with a brown beard." The picture 
that graces this chapter shows a white beard cover- 
ing a jaw which, also, has given way to the gospel. 

Strange, how little of precise detail his friends 
retained. I asked many, "What color were his 
eyes?" Dr. James M. Gray, embarrassed, finally 
said to me, " Well, well, sometimes I think they were 
gray, sometimes brown." Actually they were brown ; 
" a soft brown, able to sparkle with fun, burn with 
intensity, and melt with love and emotion." While 
we are about it, we might as well finish this quota- 
tion from Jessie McKinnon: "Altogether he made 
one think of a very decided, business-like person ; not 
polished in manner or style ; simple, unaffected and 
lovable ; having the most matter-of-fact reasons for 
doing the most unusual things." 

It is a well worth while for this generation, hav- 
ing never seen Moody in the flesh, to push back the 
calendar forty years and reset the scene so as to 
visit him in his home. That was the chief reason 
why Deborah and I journeyed to Northfield. 

Very well. Come along. Back to the gay nineties, 
with their ham sleeves and Gibson hats. If you 
should make Northfield the goal of a Centennial 
Pilgrimage, talk to the old-timers about Moody, the 
dear Mothers-In-Israel and their venerable hus- 


bands. They will fill your heart with homely ap- 
praisals that the Cacoethes Scribendi overlooked. 
So we visited many who live off the hard highways 
on their dear, forgotten roads ; talked to them upon 
that subject of which they never seem to weary, 
"Mr. Moody." That's the way they say it, "Mr. 
Moody " ; just as if his chief function had been that 
of a well-beloved farm neighbor. We link together a 
few of these homespun tributes, and put them upon 
the lips of one old Yankee lay figure. We'll just let 
him talk for all his Northfield friends. 

So, we ask him (we're walking on Main Street) , 
" Where does Mr. Moody live? " 

"Right up the north end of Main Street, 
through East Northfield ; big white house on the 
right ; you cawn't miss it ; but I'll go with you." 
(Glad he's going; we always have missed it 
when these New Englanders assure us we 
"cawn't.") " Is he home today? Surely! saw 
him about an hour ago driving Harry (the old 
sorrel) and the single seater . . . headed south 
like a streak toward Mount Hermon, nodding to 
everybody as he passed . . . drives like blazes all 
the time; loves it; goes back and forth to the 
Boys' School every day; takes Emma, his wife, 
out for a little drive at night. He surely likes 
children, and they like him . . . He's a good 

(So we start walking up the sylvan Main 
Street. Frankly it looks quite up to California. 
What more could one say?) 


" Does he like it here? Well, I guess he does! 
Mr. Moody doesn't care at all for big cities . . . 
doesn't like the ocean shore either ; hear he gets 
seasick easily. . . Does he understand farming? 
Say, he knows so much about stock, and chickens 
and doves, he just doesn't seem like a preacher at 
all ... he's smart, too; always has his wits 
about him for everything . . . he's brimful of 
fun; I had to laugh the other day at what he 
said about geese; said he liked to have some 
around ; they made things lively ! 

" He's a great fellow ! You'd think with every- 
body in the world running after him, he'd be 
stuck-up. Well, he isn't! . . just as humble as a 
child; thinks God won't use him if he gets the 
least bit conceited; this makes him do queer 
things; he pushes everyone else ahead in his 
Northfield programs, and tries to keep in the 
background ; he seems to think we'd rather hear 
some outsider than him! It's gotten so we pass 
resolutions that we hear Mr. Moody at the next 
meeting; then he sets the tune for 6 a. m.! 
Thinks no one will be there; but it's the biggest 
crowd they have ! . . he won't let anybody flatter 
him . . . says right out, ' Strike me rather than 
praise me ! ' 

" Oh, he's blunt all right. Gets lots of folks 
down on him, until they know him better. They 
find out after while his heart's all right; never 
speaks an unkind word of anyone, and won't 

let anyone else do it in his presence Unitarian 

blacksmith here used to hate him . . . but Mr. 


Moody didn't pay any attention to it ... just kept 
on bringing Harry and Nellie Gray in to be shod. 
. . Now, that blacksmith loves him. Folks come 
to see he's wholesome; if he's wrong, he'll say 
so ... I've seen him get right off the platform 
and go down and ask a man's forgiveness. . . 
Little fellow could never do that! 

" Is he bossy? Sure ! A man can't build three 
great schools with a thousand students, and have 
great city revivals without knowing what he 
wants, and pushing folks aside who get in his 
way ... he lets anybody know where to head 
in. . . Tells 'em right out ' Do as you're told ! ' 
But say, there's one person who pays no attention 
to that, Emma ! He ends up by doing what she 
thinks best. She's mighty quiet, so he reads 
her mind most of the time. Oh, they're a fine 
couple ! 

"Say, you ought to hear Mr. Moody try to 
sing ! Cawn't carry a tune in a basket ! One time, 
when the choir was singing, first four lines were 
a bass solo ... he speaks right up, ' What's the 
matter? don't the girls know the tune? ' 


" Well, here we are at the house . . . nice lawn. 
. . That donkey pulling the mower, Mr. Moody 
says, is a Jew he comes from Palestine : there- 
fore, he won't let him work on Saturday. . . That 
shaggy, fat dog? Belongs to Mr. Moody . . . just 
waiting for him to get back ... he won't let him 
ride in the cart anymore; fell out once, which 


didn't do him any good ... so he hangs around 
and whines till Mr. Moody gets back. 

" Homey place, isn't it? Wide front porch . . . 
green blinds . . . cost Mr. Moody thirty-five hun- 
dred dollars back in '75 ... pretty much run 
down, but he sure overhauled it ... did lots of the 
work himself . . . sure beats all how nimble he is 
for a fat man. . . 

" Big parlor . . . big living room good farm 
kitchen . . . they keep plenty in that big cooler ; 
nothing wrong with Mr. Moody's appetite : you 
ought to see how hearty he eats . . . they always 
keep lots of ice, too; he doesn't care for tea or 
coif ee, but he sure goes after ice water . . . lots of 
us think he drinks too much of it ... come on up 
these zigzag stairs. 

"Here's his study . . . big room; three big 
windows ; big fireplace, mother's picture over it 
. . . fine view of the valley, isn't it? You see, 
two of these walls are covered with books ; mostly 
preacher's tools; see here, he's got everything 
Spurgeon ever wrote ! . . Yes, big table in center 
is where he studies ; there are his favorite books 
the Bible and Muller's Life of Trust; . . look up 
here at four o'clock in the morning and you'll see 
his coal-oil lamp burning; sticks to coal-oil lamps 
right through the house . . . not a lazy bone in 
his body . . . fine fellow! 

" The dog's barking, he must be coming . . . yes, 
there he is, driving like the wind . . . you say he 
looks rather funny? Say, when he's dressed in 
those yellow tweeds, and with that black vel- 


veteen coat, his folks tell him he looks like a big 
bumble bee! . . But you ought to see him in rainy 
weather; wears rubber boots right into the 
chapel; split up the back so he can get his legs 
in. . . 

" No, he doesn't dress that way out in meet- 
ings . . . pretty fussy about the fit of his dark 
Cutaway and Ascot tie ... thinks these hide his 
size. . . 

" He hates expensive things for himself. Al- 
ways goes to the less expensive hotels. . . He 
could be a rich man today, bm^he gives every- 
thing away. A woman gave Tai&tPjL thousand-dol- 
lar diamond because her son wasl^ed. He sold 
it and put the money right into a^jk, M. C. A. 
building. Does that way all the time!' 1 

"Here he comes . . . watch out, he's always 
playing jokes, full of fun . . . but mind you don't 
play any jokes on him! And say, never call him 
'Reverend/ He hates it. Never would be or- 
dained . . . says Spurgeon was always plain 
' Mister ' and that's good enough for him. He's a 

great fellow ! " 

* * * 

Ah, my friend, if you can go up to Northfield 
before the old-timers have vanished, you will get 
divine heartburn to hear them talk of " Mr. Moody," 
just as if he died yesterday! They don't make a 
paragon of him ; they just love him. They tell you 

1 Charles R. Erdman states that Moody thoughtfully provided for 
his wife, but died with only $500 in bank assets. 


in so many words that he was what he was just 
because he was good, harmless and undefiled. 

SjS j! 5j! 

After these men and women of yesterday's world 
had talked to us thus for several days, we went into 
the big auditorium on the Northfield Campus. 
Memory and imagination, which give roses in De- 
cember, caused him to appear seated once again on 
the big platform; bent head, looking at the floor, 
while Sankey sang. A young English girl (Helen 
McKay) watched that pose for months, then wrote, 
" I see he is asking for Guidance at every step ; and 
he gets it." Another said : "After I'm with him a 
while, it's Christ I think of, not Moody. He's such 
a plain person ; but I soon forget that, too." 

There you have it his human best, filled with the 
Holy Spirit! That was all there was to him. But 
that was enough. We catch this priceless secret in 
his cheery laugh when R. W. Dale in the beginning 
said, " I see no real relation between you and what 
you have done." " Oh, Doctor Dale, I'd feel very 
sorry if you did." But Dale and his colleagues didn't 
say such things twenty years later. There was a 
subtle change in the man ; he was the same but 
the same, only he had grown, much heavenward. 
The human in him had lessened in power. Self was 
now far away and out of ken. Somehow one couldn't 
be with him half an hour without becoming con- 
scious of Another! 



What small values accrue from a man's superficial creden- 
tials, his academic, social and political chits! Especially 
in Christian leadership. There, nothing much matters save 
that Evangel becomes humble clay for the Exceeding Trea- 
sure; and when he does, he is accepted-on-sight. So long as 
time lasts, the Glowing bush will never cease to be the attrac- 
tion that captures the eyes of the world. Men like Moses 
warm their hands and fire their hearts by means of such 
instruments ; but more important, they borrow power through 
which their own Egyptian deliverances are effected. 

But, if Evangel fails of the Accolade of Heaven, the Spen- 
cerian niceties of his Latin vellums impress no one, save 
himself. The multitudes from commercial Galilee, aristo- 
cratic Decapolis, scholarly Jerusalem, sterling Judea and 
cosmopolitan trans-Jordania, did not begin following even the 
Beloved Carpenter, until after He was led up of the Spirit! 
Sketch Book. 



There is no doubt that the Commoner of Northfield 
wielded a first-line world leadership in the latter half 
of the nineteenth century. This was no ordinary cir- 
cumstance when we remember that it was an era of 
unusual significance ; and furthermore, that it was a 
time of great religious leaders, such as Maurice and 
Martineau, Manning and Newman, Brooks and Bush- 
nell, Beecher and Drummond, Channing and Clark, 
Robertson and Fairburn, Parker and Spurgeon. In 
the midst of these mountain men, Moody suffered no 
loss of visibility. He could not be hid. 

Dale was frankly perplexed about it; to him 
Moody was not the kind of leader he was expect- 
ing, nor did he see anything in him that explained 
his power. Of course, Moses could likewise have 
easily been puzzled over the Sinaitic miracle, had he 
eyes for only the bush. At the beginning of this 
research, I started to compile a "Moody's Who's 
Who": the men who were attracted to him, and 
who upheld his hands. Today the roster is so vast, 
it must be handled with a severe eclecticism that 
deals not so much with men as with principles. 

There was one group, already giants when Moody 
attracted attention, who gave him their hearts and 
were profited by his spirit. Though they had but 
little to learn from him, they were willing to follow 



his leadership and become his coworkers. Such were 
John Kelman, (Bishop) J. H. Vincent, William Mor- 
ley Punchon, Henry G. Weston, the two Bonars, 
Alexander Duff, Thomas Guthrie. 

There was another group, of about his own age, 
who though head and shoulders above him as schol- 
ars, received life's most significant impulse from his 
illumined personality. Of such were Henry Drum- 
mond, J. E. Studd and Theodore Cuyler. Typical of 
this group were the saintly F. B. Meyer, who came 
to his own deeper experience through Moody, and 
Henry C. Mabie, who derived from Moody his tre- 
mendous approach to the subject of faith through 
the surrendered will. 

And still another group. There were hundreds 
of prominent business men, so impressed with his 
merit and high purpose as to give him not only great 
money sums, but their own active service, such as 
Richard C. Morse, J. B. Stillson, John Wanamaker, 
Cyrus McCormick, Sam Sloan, Morris K. Jessup, 
R. K. Remington, W. E. Dodge, John V. Farwell, 
C. F. Jacobs, Peter McKinnon, H. N. F. Mar- 
shall, George H. Stuart, William Reynolds, Edlsham, 
S. A. Kean. Every one of the f orenamed exhibits a 
romance of friendship worthy of chapter-length 

The story of Charles G. Hammond x is typical. 
Hammond, who died in the vice-presidency of the 
Pullman Company in 1884, was an outstanding 
Christian executive. He first met Moody in 1858, 

1 Letter of Carl Nyguist, Secretary-Treasurer, Chicago, Rock Island 
and Pacific, March 7, 1936. 


shortly after he was made head of the Chicago, 
Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He became so at- 
tached to Moody that, in his own estimate, he had 
to " warm his heart and clear his brain by a weekly 
contact with D. L." All through his career, as head 
of the Union Pacific, then of the Pullman Company, 
his heart followed Moody in every move he made. 

An entirely different stratum is represented by cer- 
tain underprivileged boys in Moody's Bible School, 
who became laymen of high distinction. Typical of 
this group is the romance of a ragamuffin who 
climbed up to the station of Postmaster of Chicago. 
And then there were certain men of " the criminal 
class " who, finding Christ through Moody's gospel, 
were made finer than fine gold. Where is there a 
more remarkable narrative than that of Valen- 
tine Burke of St. Louis? This "stir-bird" saw a 
newspaper report of one of Moody's sermons under 
the title "How the Jailor of Phillipi Was Caught," 
and thought it referred to the jailer of Phillipi, 
Illinois whom he hated. And when he found out 
the article was nothing but a preacher's sermon, 
he, in an insane rage, jumped up and down on it in 
his cell. But it was too late! Valentine Burke had 
been "caught" by the oft-repeated expression, 
" believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved ! " When he had been released, officers of 
the law slow to believe at first had it proven to 
them that Burke was a changed man, finally to be 
trusted in every possible way. 

There was another group of powerful Christian 
leaders, his close friends, who felt somehow D. L. 


was a mystic center of power for his age. Of such 
were Henry Clay Trumbull, D. W. Whittle, C. I. 
Scofield, Arthur T. Pierson, George F. Pentecost, 
John B. Gough, Brownlow North, L. W. Munhall. 
These in turn were followed by a new race of work- 
ers, much younger than Moody, who held him in the 
same esteem, such as A. C. Dixon, W. J. Erdman, 
G. Campbell Morgan, J. Wilbur Chapman, John Mc- 
Neill, George C. Needham. Strong Christian workers 
arose from Moody's meetings as if by magic, such 
as James Morrison, sailor evangelist ; George Sims ; 
Charles M. Morton, the naming associate of Henry 
Ward Beecher; and the powerful pastor-evangelist 
J. Wilbur Chapman, who in his senior college year 
had his world turned upside down by Moody. 

Almost limitless was the influence that Moody as 
an older man exerted on young collegians. There 
was John R. Mott, whose life found a new center of 
gravity through hearing Moody, during student days 
at Cornell. Moody could well put one hand on 
Fletcher Sims Brockman and say to the Y. M> C. A., 
" I gave you this great leader " ; and the other on 
Adoniram Judson Gordon and exclaim to the Bap- 
tists, " He found himself under my ministry." He 
could point to John Kenneth Mackenzie and say to 
Chinese Medical Missions, " He is my boy ! " In 
Philadelphia today is that Lake Forrest graduate, 
George Thompson Brown Davis, promoter of world- 
wide revivals, who so fell under the sway of Moody 
that his whole life was colored, and at the age of 
twenty-six (in 1899) wrote one of the outstand- 
ing biographies of Moody. And Melvin E. Trotter, 


Saint of the Slums, whose soul was fired through 
living in Moody's room in Northfield and pouring 
for several years over Moody's manuscripts : " What 
inspiration they were to me! all in his own hand- 
writing, many misspelled words . . . but, I loved 
them so very much ! " 2 

More fascinating still is it to see how talented, 
self-sufficient youngsters were melted like wax in 
Moody's presence, and were glad to fit into his pro- 
gram. Of such was that young Irishman A. P. Fitt, 
law and medical student of Limerick and Dublin. 
When Moody said, "I want you to hitch on with 
me," Fitt promptly "hitched." He became an in- 
valuable worker in Chicago and Northfield, married 
Moody's only daughter, and was undoubtedly the 
John of Moody's heart. He colabored with Paul 
Dwight Moody, D. L.'s son, now president of Mid- 
dlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, in writing 
that popular Shorter Life of D. L. Moody. Mr. Fitt 
is today associated with the Westminster Choir 
School of Princeton, New Jersey. Then there was 
the excellent young woman, Evelyn Hall, glad to give 
herself to carry out D. L.'s ideals of a school " having 
evangelical fervor, with no scholastic abridgement." 
She served until 1911, a period of twenty-eight 
years, as preceptress of the Northfield Seminary. 
There was, too, the brilliant Emile Dryer, forerunner 
of Bible Institute, of whom we have already spoken. 

It was a great race of men whom Moody selected 
and attached to his institutions. We close this chap- 
ter by mentioning two of them as typical of the 

3 Letter of Mel Trotter to author, March, 1936. 


entire group. There was Reuben Archer Torrey who 
first met D. L. in 1878, at the close of his senior year 
in Yale. " He was a revelation to me, changing my 
entire conception of the Christian ministry, shaping 
my whole future." And when Moody said to Torrey, 
"Hitch on," the brilliant, exacting scholar poured 
the best years of his life into the Bible Institute and 
the Moody Memorial Church. 

And there was James Martin Gray, young Church 
of England clergyman, who was proud to put his 
deep spirituality, rare scholarship and splendid 
executive abilities behind Moody's scheme of things, 
until he outdid Moody himself. His was an apos- 
tolic succession that ran for thirty years, until God 
called him into rest, September, 1935. 

Time fails us to say more. Yet there is still an- 
other group of men who were too young to know 
Moody very well, but were moved as on the tide of 
the sea just by hearing him, or who never saw 
him at all, but have been transformed by sensing the 
after-glow of his ministry. Of such is Henry Allan 
Ironside, present pastor of the Moody Memorial 
Church. In the quiet of his study last July he told 
me with deep emotion his own life story. He was 
a western boy. Moody held meetings in Los Angeles, 
in a building where the Temple Baptist Church now 
stands. It was a temporary affair, with great wooden 
trusses. One truss was almost directly over Moody. 
Young Ironside, then about twelve, crawled out on 
that truss night after night, away above the crowd, 
to " see and hear D. L. from that lofty perch, right 


over him." It was Bethel for Ironside. On that 
high beam, he wept and prayed, " Oh dear God, 
please let me be a preacher, and preach to crowds 
just as Mr. Moody does." How mysterious the 
providence of the King. There is Ironside today in 
JVIoody's pulpit, wearing Moody's mantle. And 
wearing it with uncommon grace, be it said. 

The curious thing that happened to men when they 
heard Moody preach was what Moses sensed when 
he regarded the burning bush. They seemed to dis- 
tinguish in Moody's voice the voice of God commis- 
sioning them : " Come thou, therefore. I will send 
thee to Pharaoh, and I will be with thee ! " 


(April 15-25, 1892) 

Now the citizens of a Proud City by the Lake did plan a 
Fair, so that millions of people, from every nation under 
heaven, might be allured to come. Then did Pilgrim have a 
great vision: that of flashing Redemption's bright light into 
the faces of these visiting multitudes. One night, as his 
own feet pressed the streets of the earthly Jerusalem, he saw 
the full glory of this Apostolic Strategy, and pledged him- 
self, body and soul, to copy it. Alas ! he soon foreswore this 
dream; a learned person filled him with misgivings as to 
the welfare of his body. But the Holy One promptly brought 
him into such perils of the deep that he cried, " Oh Lord! do 
but spare me, and I shall not be disobedient, cost what it 
may." Sketch Book. 

(April 15-25, 1892) 

This chapter and the next deal with the conception 
and performance of the greatest evangelical enter- 
prise in Moody's career, The World's Columbian Ex- 
position Revival, 1893. Since this was the climax 
of his ministry, regimenting his institutions and his 
life experience, it is made the climax and conclusion 
of this book. 

As early as 1887, leading Chicago citizens began to 
plan for a four hundredth anniversary of the dis- 
covery of America. Almost immediately Moody 
dreamed of a bold frontal attack on these multitudes 
with the gospel. During his third English revival, 1 
1891-1892, he enlisted a group of prominent British 
Christians as prospective evangelists, and his emo- 
tional confirmation on the whole scheme came to a 
climax during his brief visit to Jerusalem. This 
" heavenly vision " came nearly failing, from disobe- 
dience, as we shall see; but it was gloriously per- 
formed in the six months from May 1 to October 31, 
1893. Taken together, this entire suite of events, 
practically overlooked by every writer save H. B. 
Hartzler, 2 is the most dramatic story of Moody's life. 

Strangely, the possibilities of the proposed Chicago 
Fair made Moody think of Pentecost, the first great 

1 First revival, 1873-1875 ; second, 1882-1884 ; brief trip to the 
ttoited States, summer of 1883 ; third, 1891-1892 ; brief trip to Pales- 
tine, April, 1892. 

2 Hartzler, Moody in Chicago. 



evangelical offensive ever launched. For days, cara- 
vans had verged upon Jerusalem, until the popula- 
tion doubled great human tides of decent people, 
and a backwash of vicious ones (just the way it 
would be in saloon-ridden Chicago). Now these 
multitudes, whether good or bad, were dramatically 
open to impressions; that's why they were there. 
How appropriate, that through God's Guidance the 
early church should assault them with the most sen- 
sational thing in the world the gospel. 

Pentecost's greatest result, save the coming of 
the Spirit, was that these visiting hordes went home 
and reported, not upon the bazaars, but upon the 
Glad Tidings of Redemption and Release. Through 
this strategy of Pentecost the New Force invaded 
the nations, " in widening circles, rolling out from 
Jerusalem." By the grace of God, he'd copy the 
thing in Chicago. If other believers in other ages 
struck when "curiosity-bent masses went up to Jeru- 
salem," should Christians of this age be inert? No! 
a thousand times, No ! Such a program had limitless 
possibilities. To set up a Chicago plan would be a 
worthy copying of New Testament evangelism, 
which flashed the eternal glory of God's truth into 
the faces of thoughtless multitudes. But, he plainly 
saw such a program meant colossal purpose, colossal 
plans, colossal power. Did he wish to pay the price? 
Well, he " guessed " he did. 

In the midst of the third English revival an inter- 
val came in which he felt justified in accepting a 
standing invitation from Peter and Jessie McKinnon 
that he and his family visit Palestine as their guests. 


The party of six Mr. and Mrs. McKinnon, Helen 
McKay (Mrs. McKinnon's sister), Mr. and Mrs. 
Moody and Paul (aged thirteen) met in Rome, 
April 6, 1892. They arrived in Jaffa on Good 
Friday, April 15, via Naples, Port Said, and a side 
trip through the Suez Canal. Then for ten days 
they rejoiced in the "sacred scenes of Palestine." 
They reshipped from Jaffa, April 25, returning via 
Cairo, the Pyramids, Florence, and Switzerland. At 
Basle the party broke up, the McKinnons continuing 
in their private yacht to the Fjords of Norway, the 
Moodys returning to London. 

Men who love Moody cannot help feeling gratitude 
toward the McKinnons. They were of Scotland's 
best; cultured, wealthy, humble, devout. Peter Mc- 
Kinnon was head of a great steamship company. 
The McKinnons first met Mr. and Mrs. Moody when 
they were " newly weds," during the Scotch revival 
of 1873. From then on they were devoted friends, 
showering him with every comfort; putting at his 
disposal their big white yacht, the Oriental; giving 
large sums to his institutions. Jessie McKinnon had 
the gift of writing Elysian prose. Her book Recol- 
lections of D. L. Moody, printed for private circula- 
tion, is beyond doubt his finest spiritual interpreta- 

The limits of this volume make extensive quota- 
tions of her dainty narrative impossible. We append 
a few which portray D. L/s reactions to the scenic 
glories which he beheld on his trip to Palestine : 

" The Appian Way, with its miles of tombs and 
towers, and dear Mr. Moody walking alone part of 


the way, that he might go on foot by the same gate 
through which Paul had entered as a prisoner." 

" The Bay of Naples in the westerning sun ; Mont 
Vesuvius, cloud atop ; the Isle of Capri with its blue 
grotto guarding the Bar. Mr. Moody looked at 
everything, his large mind and quick eyes taking at 
a glance the bearings which had cost us much labor 
of reference." 

" The ship came to Kantara, where the Suez Canal 
cuts through the ancient route from Syria to Egypt. 
We sat up till two o'clock that we might see the place 
in passing. Mr. Moody was deeply moved as he 
thought of Joseph taking Mary and the Young Child 
that way. The effect of the electric lights at the bow 
and stern of the vessel was quite magical ; the won- 
derful glow of colors on both sides; the dull sand 
of the banks made irridescent in the brilliant deck 

We quote certain details of the visit to Jerusalem : 

"I write now in the closing days of 1899, 
shadowed that we see Mr. Moody's face no more. 
I gather up the scattered fragments of memory 
that lie around our visit to the Holy Land, when 
we trod together the streets of earthly Jerusalem. 
Good Friday, April 15, 1872, was a beautiful day. 
It was arranged that we should have a service on 
ship-deck. The sandy plains of Joppa came in 
sight at 11.30 in the morning. At four o'clock 
we were driving past luxuriant orange groves 
between great cactus hedges. At Bab-el-Wady 


we rested our horses. We entered Jerusalem in 
brilliant moonlight. We were really in the Holy 
City, the height of our desires realized with 
Mr. Moody! 

"Easter Sunday, April 17, was a lovely 
morning. We waited on the Mount of Olives. 
The sun rose at 5.45 over the dark hills of Moab. 
Mr. Moody was very quiet, gazing at everything 
with sympathetic spirit. ' Emma/ he said to his 
beloved wife, ' can you realize we are on the spot 
where the Lord Jesus was crucified? Let us sit 
here and read of the resurrection morning/ As 
we walked back, the morning sun made the 
scarlet poppies among the loose lime stones 
doubly brilliant. Mr. Moody said, with deep feel- 
ing, * The path seems streaked with blood.' He 
preached that day on the skull-shaped hill outside 
the city walls. ' Oh/ he cried to those who at- 
tended, * accept this Saviour ! You, young man ! 
and you, little boy ! ' " 

On the night following Easter, D. L. went alone 
into the streets of Jerusalem. The Pascal moon 
flooded the narrow lanes with golden light. It 
seemed as if a Lovely One walked beside him, and 
spoke to his heart. He envisioned the teeming mul- 
titudes during Pentecost forsaking the bazaars to 
hear from the lips of Peter the mightier sensation 
of Forgiveness, Resurrection Proof and Life Eter- 
nal. For a long time he walked, his heart burning 
within him. Greater multitudes would soon be 
gathering in Chicago. Finally he sobbed, "Dear 


Lord, it seems as if I'm reading the Bible for the 
first time ; it has made everything so different, read- 
ing it here. I see what Thou dost wish of me in 
Chicago. And, by Thy Grace, I'll do it! " 

* * * 

But, the high vision collapsed a few days later 
due to some very trying circumstances. In the first 
place, the death of Spurgeon, January 31, 1892, had 
weighed upon his heart. But when he supplied the 
pulpit of Metropolitan Tabernacle for two weeks in 
November, the full sense of his loss staggered him. 
He and Emma felt so sorry for Susannah ; she buried 
her heart with her husband. One night in the Spur- 
geon home at Westwood Susannah tearfully gave 
Moody her husband's Bible, the one in which he 
marked down his hundreds of sermons, just as they 
were preached. "Take it," she said, "it's Tir- 
shatha's own Bible. I'm sure he'd want you to 
have it." Moody's eyes were blinded with tears. 
When he got back to his room in London, he sud- 
denly felt very old : just as if life were about over. 
Spurgeon gone! How empty the world seemed! 

Within a day or so, he felt premonitions of his 
own physical overstrain. Friends insisted that he 
consult a physician. The great specialist was almost 
discourteously frank ; he insisted that " D. L. would 
have to slow down; his heart was badly affected; 
he was now fifty-five ; he had been a fool to work so 
hard ; if he expected to live, he must walk softly." 
Thus, during the closing days of the London meet- 
ings Moody sorrowfully decided to give up his plan 


for the Chicago Exposition Revival. If he were 
only twenty years younger ! But God's work would 
not suffer ; there would always be fresh workers as 
the old ones wore out. 

?J ! SjS 

On Sunday, November 23, the McKinnons took him 
and his son William, in their private tender, to the 
German Liner Spree, lying oif Southampton. Tear- 
ful farewells; then in a few moments the big ship 
with her seven hundred fifty passengers sailed out 
ostensibly for New York, but in reality to hold a 
Rendezvous with Disaster ! 

Before the ship had gone eleven hundred knots 3 
the main crank-shaft snapped asunder with a sound 
like a cannon, making a great break in the hull. For 
forty-eight hours the vessel drifted, in a sinking con- 
dition, finally starting " to sink by the head." When 
hope was about gone, the S. S. Huron, from Quebec, 
miraculously appeared, transhipped the passengers, 
and dragged the water-logged Spree back into 
Queenstown, Ireland. Five days later, D. L. and his 
son sailed again, in the S. S. Etruria, arriving in New 
York December 2, 1892. On the night of December 
5, when he arrived in Northfield, " innumerable 
lights were blazing in every town window as a token 
of joy that D. L. was rescued from the jaws of 

There was a dramatic incident in this shipwreck 
not generally known. We quote Moody's account: 

8 From Gen. O. 0. Howard's account, The Christian Herald, January 
24, 1900. 


On that dark night, the first night of the acci- 
dent, he remembered how in response to the 
word of the London doctor, he had started 
home with the thought that Tie would not work 
quite so hard; he would drop the Fair plan. 
"Then came the crash- ... no one on earth 
knows what I passed through in those hours . . . 
my loved ones ! my schools ! Then I prayed ' Oh, 
God, if you will spare my life and bring me back 
to America, I will go back to Chicago and this 
world's fair, and preach the Gospel with all the 
power you give me.' " 

Thus he once again committed himself to Pen- 
tecostal Strategy: was "saved by peril" from 
disobedience to the heavenly vision ! And as soon 
as he gave over to doing God's will, angels came 
and ministered unto him. " I went to the very 
gates of heaven during the next forty eight hours 
on that sinking ship. And God permitted me to 
come back and preach Christ, a little longer! " 


(May 1-October 31, 1893) 

The immediate foreground of this Pacific Seaboard Parish 
has made an ideal cloister in which to dream of that man 
sent from God whose name was Moody! Typical of the 
vast motions of modern civilization, are two great bridges in 
building; one over the Golden Gate, the other flung like a 
scroll from the hand of God, across San Francisco Bay. 
Man-spiders, working day and night, have been spinning long 
cables between steel towers, whose bases are awash in blue 
salt water, and whose summits soar above the city like El 
Capitans. Just now, great masses of assembled steel roadway, 
sullen red from the priming coats, are being up-swung from 
ocean barges to the lofty cables just as if they were match 
boxes! And they're planning a Bridge Exposition in 1939! 

It fills the heart with a queer mixture of patriotism, and 
apprehension. What of tomorrow? How may that Vision 
come again without which the people perish? It is an out- 
working of Grace, that we being troubled find our eyes held 
watching, considering the days of old and the years of ancient 
time. "Has the Lord cast off? Will He be favorable no 
more? Hath He forgotten to be gracious? " Just to gaze 
fixedly upon Moody's humble, Guided life, remembering the 
years of the right hand of the Most High, is to bring faith's 
laughter upon all such misgivings, " These are my infir- 
mities! Our God doth continue to do wonders! His right 
arm is still sufficient for His people, the sons of Jacob and 
Joseph! " Let us dare meet our own day with Pentecostal 
Strategy! Sketch Book. 

(May 1-October 31, 1893) 

During the closing days of his last British cam- 
paign, 1891-1892, he preached in more than one hun- 
dred places, averaging three to four times a day. He 
constantly referred to the work he proposed to do in 
Chicago, and pleaded for the support of united 

In the spring of 1892, after returning to America, 
he gathered the students and teachers of Northfield 
and Mount Hermon at six in the morning, " to seek 
the anointing of the Holy Spirit." * 

" If you think anything of me, if you love me," he 
said with choking voice and tear-filled eyes, " pray 
for me that God may anoint me for the work in 
Chicago. I want to be filled with the Spirit, that I 
may preach the Gospel as never before. We want to 
see the salvation of God as never before." 

Thus he, began the copying of apostolic strategy 
with emphasis upon prayer; prayer for the Holy 
Spirit. If prayer groups may be likened unto fiery 
altars, then the earth must have appeared as a 
starry heaven; men all over the globe began daily 
to intercede for D. L. Not only so, but during the 
Fair special days were set aside for humiliation and 
prayer. At these times " the prayers uttered aloud 

1 Henry B. Hartzler, Moody in Chicago. A most valuable book, and 
the chief source of material in. this chapter. Hartzler was at one 
time (1890-1895) instructor at Mount Hermon; later pastor in Penn- 
sylvania; deceased, 19*05. 



in English, Swedish, German and other tongues 
sounded like Pentecost indeed." 

D. L. arrived in Chicago to begin the great enter- 
prise May 3, 1892. He had already conceived it as 
a vast and complicated scheme of daily meetings, all 
over the city; using every type of meeting-place, 
church edifices, empty store buildings, theaters, five 
large tents, gospel wagons. Likewise, he had al- 
ready lined up powerful Christian speakers in En- 
gland and America. "This is why I have asked 
these brethren to come amongst us. They have been 
greatly used of God. That's just what we want right 
here in Chicago." 

There were twenty-four great American ministers 
of the stamp of P. S. Henson, James H. Brookes 
and W. G. Moorhead : twenty-five famous American 
evangelists, as D. W. Whittle, Merton Smith, and 
L. W. Munhall ; a company of " anointed minstrels " 
like unto H. H. McGranahan, Geo. C. Stebbins (of 
course Ira D. Sankey) ; college leaders, teachers of 
whom C. A. Blanchard of Wheaton was a type ; out- 
standing Christian leaders, such as Robert E. Speer, 
Henry Clay Trumbull ; and an army of witnessing 
laymen, such as John G. Woolley, Stephen Merritt, 
Major-General 0. 0. Howard. Nearly forty Great 
Hearts came from Europe to help; we mention as 
types John J. Paton, John McNeill, Henry Varley, 
Thomas Spurgeon (C. H.'s son), Theodore Monod 
of Paris. And hundreds of " lesser lights," devoted 
laymen, pastors, musicians. 

The chief sector of his army of invasion, however, 
was the fellowship Chicago Avenue Church and the 


lusty young Bible Institute. Especially the latter: 
" They were a capable, ready, willing body, always 
at command of the leader, whether for speech, song, 
prayer or to serve tables." He afterwards made a 
statement as to how well disciplined his army was : 
" If there was any part of the city where we needed 
to throw a detachment, we had them at our com- 
mand. If we had only six hours' notice, we could 
send fifty men over to that part of the city and 
placard and ticket a whole neighborhood and fill 
a building." 

There was a curious circumstance in the World's 
Fair Gospel Campaign: Moody was never, in any 
meeting of Chicago ministers or laymen, appointed 
or asked to head up the work! He was so obvious 
that such a formality was unnecessary. His years of 
specialized training, world-wide acquaintance with 
great men, universal love and confidence, unique and 
powerful local organizations, made his leadership so 
obvious that no one ever thought of passing a reso- 

Let's have a look at the Chicago of 1893. It had 
nearly two million inhabitants. (Naturally the 
Chamber said two and a half.) It had grown metro- 
politan; was not dismayed to say it had "fewer 
churchgoers in proportion than any American City." 
There were the same Vanity Fair, upholstered- 
portly-lady aspects about it as in 1934 The Century 
of Progress. And the same tawdry things for visi- 
tors to see burlesque (strip variety), speakeasies, 
booze joints, night clubs, gambling palaces behind 
steel doors, gangsters, ward politicians, hop heads, 


yen hockers, male pansies, and street ladies a very 
naughty, Big Bad Babylon, wearing its fancy ex- 
position as Top Hat and Tails. It appeared to be a 
hopeless quest to get any hearing for Faith in such a 

Midway Plaisance. 

* * * 

But remember, the approach Moody dreamed 
was to be Pentecostal Strategy! Basically, there 
were certain hard-headed Yankee factors in this 
strategy. The advertising, for instance, outspeared 
Wrigley. " You need not think," said D. L., " that 
we are going to get audiences for the asking. I 
know the district well, and I know that the working 
men don't get to bed till one or two a. m., and they 
are not coming to an eleven o'clock meeting without 
some pressure. If we want an audience, we'll have 
to go out and get it, and that means work." The 
one great subject of the Exposition meetings was 
constantly kept before the public at an average cost 
of over five hundred dollars per day ads in news- 
papers, street cars, bill-boards; ticket passers, cir- 
culars, posters. (One firm printed half a million 

The strategy included proper places of meeting. 
The chief center was Haymarket Theater, seating 
three thousand, on West Madison Street. Here, Sun- 
day morning services were held throughout the Fair, 
Moody preaching each Sunday, save two. Old Hay- 
market became as well known throughout the world 
as The White City, itself. In addition to this theater, 
seven others were used; also Central Music Hall 


and the Grand Opera House; in addition, Turner, 
Pullman, Columbian, and four other halls; more- 
over six large auditoriums; all Chicago and Engle- 
wood Y. M. C. A.'s ; and the edifices of twelve Pres- 
byterian, eight Congregational, nine Baptist, thir- 
teen Methodist, and thirteen smaller denominational 
buildings. These together with tents, etc., made a 
grand total of over eighty meeting places, as many 
as seventy being used in one day ! 

The financing of this giant enterprise was a 
miracle of faith. Moody always felt sure that where 
God guides, He provides. Sometimes the situation 
became critical ; but was always relieved at the right 
moment. One day, in Northfield, saintly A. J. 
Gordon felt guided to take up an offering " to help 
Brother Moody." The ten thousand dollars raised 
came just in time to prevent disaster. D. L. wrote, 
"I cannot tell how grateful I am to those who 
raised it. But, I recognize it, not as coming from 
them, but from the Lord." 

The strategy was Pentecostal in its provision for 
keeping the workers up to a lofty personal level. 
Moody insisted that concurrent with the public evan- 
gelistic services, there should be meetings for deep- 
ening the spiritual lives of the workers. "Ah (he 
said) we cannot lead others nearer to Christ than we 
are living ourselves, and there is no use working 
unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We want 
to get down "i our faces and humble ourselves at His 
feet. Let Him search us and try our thoughts, and 
see if there be any wicked way in us. If we do 


these things then our preaching will be with power, 
and our work will bear a precious harvest of souls." 
And there was the strategy of Pentecost in the 
theology of the meetings. D. L. saw to that ! " Let's 
not spend time splitting hairs in theology and wran- 
gling about creeds. Let's go to work and save lost 
souls. Our Gospel is the only hope of the drunkard, 
the gambler, the harlot, the lost on the streets of 
Chicago. Oh, let us go and save them! I would 
rather save one soul from death than have a monu- 
ment of gold reaching from my grave to the 
heavens ! " 

The big offensive moved off the first Sunday morn- 
ing in May at Haymarket Theater. It was S. R. 0. 
from floor to ceiling ! and seventy-five to eighty per 
cent, were men ! D. L. preached on " Herod and 
John," murderer and martyr. Over two hundred 
followed him to an inquiry room which was a city 
block away. 

The siege guns the other eighty meeting-places 
started firing Sunday night. Within four weeks 
the currents of revival were running with torrential 
power. Thirty to forty thousand attended on an 
average each Sunday, other thousands during week 
nights. Sometimes the attendance was even greater : 
the last Sunday in August, 51,000 ; Sunday, Septem- 
ber 17 62,000; the second Sunday in October, 
71,000! Critics began to say, "Big crowds, sure! 
But they're not reaching the visitors." Moody 
promptly made a public test in Haymarket. Of 


three thousand present, twenty-eight hundred were 
visitors ! And the critics had no more to say. 

There were circumstances so dramatic that they 
now form pages in the Romance of Evangelism. 

The Campaign for instance " beat a circus ! " 
Forepaugh's Mammoth Circus, with a tent seating 
ten thousand, with room for ten thousand more in 
the arena, announced performances for two Sun- 
days in June. Moody secured the tent for religious 
meetings for Sunday mornings. The management 
laughed at him. But the tent was jammed full the 
first service. The circus crowd in the afternoon was 
so small that further Sunday performances were 
abandoned ! 

On the second Sunday morning, it was so hot, 
with the sun beating on the canvas, " it seemed as if 
we all might die." Eighteen thousand people stood 
beneath the blistering heat, "sweat rolling down 
their faces, listening to a voice." " D. L. seemed 
like an angel of God as he spoke in the midst of the 
ocean of faces on the rickety center platform. The 
mob roar hushed ; it forgot the heat ; the silence be- 
came intense; Pentecost came down, and hundreds 
were saved ! " 

The Campaign "Beat the Labor Day Celebra- 
tion"! Central Music Hall had been engaged for 
a daily, two-hour noon meeting, beginning on Labor 
Day! The streets were filled with blaring bands 
and pressing multitudes. Workers went into the big 
hall with misgivings. But they were mistaken. For 


two hours the power of God came down on a building 
packed full, and each day following it was filled, 
"the foaming waves of worldly traffic beating 
against walls within which a host of worshippers 
waited upon the Lord." 

And as he said, when he arrived upon the ground, 
" We shall beat the World's Fair." On the great day 
of the Exposition, Chicago Day Fire Anniversary 
even the theaters dared not open, assuming every- 
body would be at the White City. But D. L. hired the 
Central Music Hall, five miles down-town from the 
Fair Grounds, for a continuous meeting from 9 a. m. 
until 6 p. m. It was continuously jammed. Torrey 
said, " If I hadn't climbed in a back window, they 
would have lost their speaker ! " 

And "beat the Fair" they did, it had to close 
Sundays for want of attendance ! 

But the most dramatic circumstances of the Chi- 
cago Campaign were the blessed meetings held 
every night, when the "tired co-workers gathered 
together from the scores of meeting-places to confer 
with Moody in his room at the Bible Institute." Like 
a general, he shaped his maneuvers for the next day, 
" catechising the workers, breathing confidence into 
them, taking advantage of unusual opportunities, 
correcting defects, hearing reports of victory, yea, 
and of reverses, also ! Men looked back upon those 
late hours, lasting sometimes beyond midnight, as the 
Holy of Holies. They reached Moody's room ' tired 
to the bone ' ; they went out ' with strength renewed 
as the eagles.' " 

* * 


We venture to report upon the details of a certain 
service, to exhibit the power-secrets for those who 
would like to copy in after years ; it is fairly typical : 

This meeting began with a " build up " song ser- 
vice of twenty minutes, that " roused and kindled 
all hearts." The items in the " build up " section 
were: Four songs by the congregation, led by a 
powerful chorus choir, accompanied by instruments ; 
two female solos (congregation joining on one 
chorus) ; three songs by three quartettes, two male, 
one female ; one hymn by a great male choir ; three 
short prayers intermingled. 

" The service had an upward movement like the 
swell of a wave," . . minds and hearts were opened 
to the Word. The entire service ran seventy-five 
minutes, embracing ten songs, five prayers, D. L.'s 
earnest words on the Bible, " full of fire and energy," 
concluding remarks by A. B. Simpson, " that fell like 
dew upon the hearts of the audience," and the invi- 
tation, exhortation, Amen ! " and no man felt it to 
be longer than thirty-five minutes ! " Somebody said, 
" Church services ought to move like a Radio City 
broadcast." Of course they should! But the Con- 
necticut Crooner, in his palmiest days, never put 
over "a program of matched parts" equal to the 
swift, fiery, soul-stirring movement of the services 
in the World's Fair Gospel Campaign. 

Moody's entire offensive assumed that the gospel 
witnessed to by the Holy Spirit was the most sensa- 
tional thing in the world ! " Oh my friends," he said 
a score of times, "the right way to conquer the 
world's attraction is not by violence, not by law, not 


by threatening, but by a big enough counter attrac- 
tion. Something Better ! " 

A typical example of his confidence in the gospel 
as " Something Better " flashed forth in his remarks 
upon renting the vast Tattersall's Hall, capacity 
15,000, "We've got something better than Buffalo 
Bill, and we must have a bigger audience." And he 

And he knew also that there was nothing of the 
" Something Better " in the New Theology. He 
laughingly told about the big blare made over the 
" Congress of Religions, . . rental of Columbus Hall, 
. . visions of thousands in attendance, . . then when 
the Big Hour came, the curtains were drawn aside 
and the committee faced an audience of sixteen 
women and two men! " 

No man can estimate the influences of the World's 
Fair Gospel Campaign. We forebear giving the wild 
statistical guesses; they are not up to reality. Of 
course there were thousands of conversions. But, 
Moody felt something else happened more important 

" Christians came to Chicago from all over the 
world . . . many received the baptism of the 
Holy Spirit . . . others were stimulated . . . and 
fires of revival have been kindled everywhere." 

* * * 

It was long past midnight, the early morning of 
November 1, 1893. The great Fair had passed into 
history. Moody remained alone in his room after 


the workers had departed from their last confer- 
ence. The weariness that comes when a task is over 
covered him like a cloud. Yet, there was a song in 
his heart ! He felt as if his Lord was saying " Well 
done ! " to him. To him! who was so unworthy, so 
deficient. He sobbed aloud, and fell upon his knees 
beside his bed, " Oh, my Dear Lord, after these won- 
drous days, I'm so grateful Thou didst not let me 
disobey the heavenly vision! I thank Thee for the 
shipwreck! The old gospel has lost nothing of its 
power! And it never will! Dear Lord, I can say 
tonight with Simeon, ' Now lettest Thou Thy servant 
depart in peace for mine eyes have seen Thy Glory ! ' " 


(Washburne Collection. Taken, February 5, 1920) 

The heavy days of December passed over the stricken man. 
With tired eyes, he looked out toward the strangely trans- 
formed house where he was born, and where his mother had 
died. What wonders God had wrought since it stood un- 
painted in a barren pastureland. Today, calmly amidst the 
giant maples, it rested as a cherished shrine on the south 
line of the Seminary Campus. Somehow, the house sym- 
bolized just what had taken place in his own life a humble 
vessel infilled with beauty and honor. His human best, 
filled with the Holy Spirit. And he understood, through 
Witness borne to his heart, that the King considered it to 
be sufficient. 




(December 22, 1899) 

"In this period he had a dream, which, though he had 
no turn at all for taking notice of dreams, yet made a very 
strong impression upon his mind. He imagined that he saw 
his blessed Redeemer, on earth, and that he was following 
Him through a Large Field, following Him whom his soul 
loved, till he came up to the gate of a burying place, when 
turning about He smiled upon him in such a manner as filled 
his soul with the most ravishing joy, and on after reflection 
animated his faith in believing that whatever storms and 
darkness he might meet in the way, at the hour of death 
his glorious Redeemer would lift up upon him the light of 
His life-giving countenance." Philip Doddridge, The Life of 
Col. James Gardiner. 

(December 22, 1899) 

When Moody walked out into the streets of Chi- 
cago on the morning of November 1, 1893, leaves of 
hammered bronze from the boulevard trees raced 
along the sidewalks, driven by a chilly blast from 
Lake Michigan. An overture of winter! And he 
never did care much for winter. It made one think. 
He always " pushed the calendar " in the fall, looking 
forward to the arrival of December 21. That was a 
high day with him: "The back bone of winter is 
broken!" His family would reply, "But, father, 
winter has just started! " " Yes, I know: I know. 
But the days are getting longer and spring will 
soon be here ! " 

It was a far cry, he thought, as he walked along, 
back to that remote September day nearly thirty 
years ago, when he " a green lad " had arrived in 
Chicago. How the city had grown ! La Salle Street 
was " stretching out toward Wisconsin," and thou- 
sands of new homes were being erected in the shore- 
bordering Woodlands. Yes, the city has grown al- 
most beyond belief a curious constriction seized his 
throat. Yes, and so had he! The Lovely One who 
lived in his heart had so vastly transformed him, 
and honored him! Dear Lord, how romantic these 
years had been! It just made him want to weep 
and pray to have seen it proven in his own life that 
all God needs is one's humble human best, filled with 
the Holy Spirit! 

W 325 


The morning mail brought a sheaf of interesting 
letters; invitations running ahead for months, yea 
years ; invitations of cities united in their desire to 
have him hold meetings. How long could this con- 
tinue? Well, not long! Men couldn't ordinarily 
reach threescore and ten who'd lived as dangerously 
as he. And he was now nearly fifty-seven! But, 
he'd go as far and as fast as he could, and as long as 
his King wished. 

* * * 

The months went by swifter than the leaves of 
that Autumn day in 1893. In the fall of 1899, he 
suddenly felt '* a poignant premonition " ; no better 
words can be found for it than these, it was the hom- 
ing instinct of the soul ! 

Well, what difference did it make ? He had fought 
a good fight; kept the faith ; and so many loved ones 
were gone. " Dear Drummond ! how he missed him ; 
it just didn't seem possible he would never see him 
again on earth ! " But the heaviest loss was the 
home-going of his little grandchildren. Dwight, 
his namesake, who lived but " one little year," be- 
fore the angels took him that November day a year 
ago! And Irene, his first grandchild had followed 
her little brother just three months ago; and she 
only four years old! "That little child had the 
sweetest voice he ever heard on earth." 

Dear God, he suddenly felt himself to be such an 
one as D. L. the aged ; life lay definitely in the past. 
He hoped his Redeemer would forgive him ; he was 


just an old man, lonesome for some precious things 
that were now Over There. 

* * * 

The Kansas City meeting was to begin about 
middle November. Well, he'd do his best. Should 
he allow his own lonely heart to interfere with his 
King's business ? No ! a thousand times, No ! But 
the lonely heart had something to say about that I 
On the Sunday he started for the western city, he 
spoke in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 
New York; spoke in a way that brought tears to 
hundreds of eyes: "You may read in the papers 
that Moody is dead. It will not be so! God has 
given me the gift of life everlasting." 

The Pennsylvania Limited stopped at Philadel- 
phia. His heart was troubled over the strange de- 
cadence of spiritual warmth in the American church. 
To the merchant prince awaiting him in the station 
he said, "When the revival spirit dies may I die 

with it." 

* * * 

The train rushed westward toward Kansas City. 
Winter was again making ready to seize the world, 
and he didn't care much for winter. The yellow and 
crimson glories of the trees beside the Wabash ; the 
golden pumpkins and the russet corn shocks made 
him sob a seemingly irrelevant prayer. " Oh God, 
stir the cities of America again!" But, it wasn't 
irrelevant. He didn't like winter. His soul was so 


made that it rejoiced in spring, whether over the 
fields of nature or in the Church of God ! 

The Kansas City meeting in the mammoth Con- 
vention Hall had not gone on three days, until he 
knew his body was breaking. Too bad! One can't 
lightly give over audiences of fifteen thousand ! 

Then came Thursday night, November 16. Only 
five days out on a great campaign, and here he was 
obliged to give it up. But he'd do his best that last 
service. Wonderful, how God made his voice so 
strong, with him so sick ! Well, he'd use it for the 
King ; make men ashamed of their " Excuses " for 
refusing His loving invitations. . . Yes, thank God, 
there were hundreds confessing Him. 

The time had come to close the service. He leaned 
far out toward the vast multitudes and gave his 
farewell as he had given it hundreds of times in 
passing years. With finger uplifted, (pointing to 
the heavens, as did his beloved friend Spurgeon) he 
spoke again, and for the last time, his resurrection 
benediction, " Good night ! And I'll see you in the 

morning! " 

* * * 

The hearts of thousands followed the train which 
bore him back to Northfield, with as much solicitude 
as the engineer, who began the journey at Kansas 
City. 1 That engineer had found Christ under 
Moody's preaching! Friends carried him from the 
train to the Homestead of Northfield ; placed him in 

*I was a high school boy at that time. Well do I remember the 
heart-felt interest of the people of my Indiana home-town. 


the bedroom from which his weary eyes could gaze 
upon the valley scenes he loved. 

The heavy days of December passed over the 
stricken man. With tired eyes, he looked out toward 
the strangely transformed house where he was born, 
and where his mother had died. What wonders God 
had wrought since it stood unpainted in a barren 
pastureland. Today, calmly amidst the giant maples, 
it rested as a cherished shrine on the south line of 
the Seminary Campus. Somehow, the house sym- 
bolized just what had taken place in his own life 
a humble vessel, infilled with beauty and honor. His 
human best, filled with the Holy Spirit! And he 
understood, through Witness borne to his heart, that 
the King considered it to be sufficient. 

Folks were so good to him! He and the beloved 
physician, Dr. Norman Perkins Wood, talked of days 
agone. Both of them laughed over the remote day 
in 1888, when the young doctor and his young wife 
arrived in the village to hang out their shingle. 
Some one had suggested, " Doc, get on the good side 
of Moody, or he'll run you out of town." And the 
young doctor replied with spirit, " Like to see him do 
it!" They both laughed again when they remem- 
bered how this dramatic introduction grew into one 
of life's sweetest friendships. 

But the young doctor lost all power to laugh, 
when his love-vigil was broken at two a. m. on the 
morning of December twenty-first . . . D. L. was call- 
ing for him. The trained eyes of the physician saw 
the stigmata of death. . . 


Loved ones with the dying man heard him say in 
a clear voice, " If this is death, there is no valley. 
This is glorious. I have been within the gates, and 
I saw the children! Earth is receding; Heaven ap- 
proaching! God is calling me!" 2 

Then his eyes turned toward Emma she who 
had, next to Christ, been dearest of all to him and 
he whispered the words that sang in her bereaved 
heart the four lonely remaining years " You have 
been a good wife to me ! " 

Then some one, whose handwriting we now know, 
wrote in that panel of the Mother's Bible headed 
" Deaths," 

" Dwight L. Moody, Friday at twelve noon, De- 
cember 22nd, 1899. Aged 62 yrs., 10 months, 

17 days." 

* * * 

Sankey arrived in the Northfield Hotel Christmas 
night, the day before the funeral. 

"The saddest evening I ever spent ... we 
talked of him who had been our joy in days gone 
by, and every now and then we would look to- 
ward the door of the hotel almost expecting to 
see him rush through the door ... a great win- 
ter's storm blew down from the north . . . we 
waited for the morning, wondering if the storm 

- The last words as quoted by the Review of Reviews, February, 1900, 
which are most likely historically accurate. 


would break. And it did! No fairer day ever 
broke upon those beautiful hills than the day 'we 
buried our loved one. . . After all the addresses 
had been made, we carried him through the cold, 
frozen street, past the very door where his 
mother had lived and where he was born. . . We 
bore him to beautiful Round Top." . . 

To beautiful Round Top ! Lo, in the soft shadow 
of that June evening, in 1935, Deborah and I felt 
how appropriate that he and Emma should rest 
there. Waiting! Waiting! . . rest, just where he 
said he'd like to be when his Lord returned ! Ours 
could never be the sorrow of aged F. B. Meyer who 
sobbed as he recalled the golden days of his yester- 
day, " Oh God, my world is so much thinner ! Spur- 
geon is gone! Moody is gone! The voices are 


* * * 

No, we couldn't quite know that sorrow. But we 
could know the same joy which young Moody felt as 
he listened to young Spurgeon. "If God can use 
Spurgeon, he can use me ! " With what excellence 
doth the ministry of the Commoner of Northfield 
prove unto us the boundless possibilities of one's 
humble, human best, filled with the Holy Spirit! 

Bush Aglow! 

* * * 

Spring glory is upon my western world as this 
long task is finished. Heavy as it has been, I would, 


in view of the blessings derived, do it again, were 
it ten times as heavy! Spring's in my heart, too! 
I have eaten angels' bread, sung in the presence of 
God! Any pessimism aifecting His power to deal 
with this world, hard beset though it be, seems cheap 
and unworthy. Our God can always bring an awak- 
ening interval ! And to do this, He asks for nought 
else save humble servants, like unto D. L., who wait; 
wait, watch and pray until the Heavenly Father 
fills their human best with the Holy Spirit! 

Strangely, it seems as if certain questions keep 
rising up, insisting upon an answer; questions 
which must be answered by myself before this book 
concludes it may be, friend reader, you can hear 
them, too! 

"Does not the Word seem precious to you, now 
that you've seen how God honors it, and honors His 
servants who are loyal to it? " 

My laughing heart replies, "More than all the 

" Does not Jesus appear worthy, worthy of your 
human best, since you've found how D. L. loved 
Him? Do you love Him, too? 

I just want to shout, " Well, I guess I do!" 

"But, do you consider your human best is 

I don't try to answer that; my soul cries, " Oh, 
God ! give me Thy Holy Spirit! " 


And one last question, "What do you think of 
gospel preaching now ? Do you feel it can ever fail ? 
Do you want to preach anything else? " 

My whole being joins in repeating a phrase, which 
! I'm sure is caught up by the angels of God, 








Bush aglow . . . 


cy TO c... 


ST .^ 


' ' 344- 

* ^ ' " ft ) -'