THE LIFE &
|Chapter 29 - Memorial Services|
The Great Meeting in New York - Impressive Addresses - Estimates of Mr. Moody by Dr. Greer, Mr. John R. Mott, Mr. Cutting, Dr. Buckley, and Others who Knew and Loved Him.
The announcement of the death of
Mr. Moody was a shock to many thousands. Numerous telegrams of condolence which
were sent to the bereaved family from all the quarters of the world expressed
but faintly the sense of loss which affected not only those who had known him
personally, but also a great following of those who had known him only through
his work. Hundreds of memorial services were held. The great meeting in New
York, on Monday afternoon, January 8, 1900, brought out so much of interest
in regard to Mr. Moody and in regard to the sentiment entertained toward him
on all sides that I believe an account of the services worthy of permanent record
in this place.
THE GREAT MEETING IN NEW YORK
At the hour appointed for the opening of the services, Mr. Win. E. Dodge, the presiding officer, announced a favorite hymn of Mr. Moody's, "In the Cross of Christ I Glory." After the singing, the Rev. Dr. A. T. Pierson read a number of selections from the Bible, being those verses of which Mr. Moody was especially fond. The Rev. John Balcolm Shaw then led in prayer.
Dr. David H. Greer then spoke. He said:
"In the history of the Church of Christ very few have touched so many hearts and influenced so many lives as the dear friend we come to remember and to thank God for to-day.
"I am sure it is no exaggeration so say the if all those whom he has led to a better life were to be gathered together, a half-dozen halls of this size would not hold them. In the tender services held at Northfield last week, Mr. Moody's pastor said, that they were not gathered to mourn a defeat but to rejoice in a victory. So to-day there is not the note of sadness in our gathering nor a funeral gloom. We are gathered together this afternoon only to thank God with all our hearts for so fruitful and successful a life, and to pray that that influence which he exercised while here among us, shall continue. He is not dead, he has gone to the better life above, and he lives 'with us to-day and will live on, by his example and by the inspiration that came from his words and his life.
HIS CONVERSION LIKE THAT OF ST PAUL
"When Mr. Moody became a Christian man it was like the conversion of St. Paul, - clear, decisive, and full. When the blessed message came to him, that God had offered pardon and peace and life here and eternal, he accepted it in all its fullness, and he wondered with great astonishment that anyone could turn away from such a message and such an offer, and he longed to bring men to accept it and believe in it. From the very beginning his theology was very simple. His creed was: 'God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall have eternal life.' And this message he repeated with all his courage and manliness and strength through all his life, and so earnestly that it told wherever he carried it.
"Mr. Moody's early work was a very simple one. He had very few opportunities of education. At that time he had no gift of utterance, but he found fellowship and help in the Young Men's Christian Association, and he commenced his work among a few poor children in Chicago when he was a mere clerk there. I remember nearly forty years ago going with him one Sunday morning to that poor little school across the river, and I caught sight then of the peculiar character of the man, his directness, manliness, and hence his great influence upon those children and upon their parents.
"There were two early influences that directed his life more than any others. One was the companionship and help that came to him from the brotherhood of the Young Men's Christian Association. All his life he acknowledged that as having formed part of his character, and all his life he was a warm friend of the Associations and aided them in every way. But the stronger and greater influence was his beginning to study the English Bible. He had the idea that a great many other good men have that, if God wanted him to do work and speak for Him, God would put words in his mouth. In his earliest efforts his talks were repetitions of each other, and without much effect. A kind, earnest Christian man who influenced him very much talked with him and urged him that, if he wanted to do God's work, he must fit himself in the best way for such service and prepare himself to do his Master's work. He urged him, therefore, as the best means for so fitting himself, to study the Bible. Mr. Moody paid heed to the advice; he shut himself up for a long time and devoted himself to a thorough and intense study of the Bible. From this study he acquired two qualities, which in later years added much to his power: first that clear-cut, plain, simple, Anglo-Saxon of the King James version, which gave him such immense power over people everywhere; second, he acquired from his study of the Bible an arsenal of promise and warning, which he used through all his life with magnificent power and effect. There was something wonderful about his simple directness. To you, my friends, who are here this afternoon, I could give you, by the hour, instances of the keen way he went to a point. I remember when I first met him in Chicago he went to call on one occasion on a leading merchant and most influential man in that city, and when he went out he turned to him and said: 'If you were only a Christian man, what a grand influence you would have in this great city!' That man has been a communicant of the Church for years, and he was Moody's best friend for many years afterward. There was a manliness about Moody, a hatred of cant and mere religious form. He had the most intense and superb enthusiasm of any man I ever knew, tempered by strong human common sense. He had a wonderful intuitive knowledge of men.
"We all know very much of his wonderful successes as a preacher, but those who knew him best and were closest to him know that the great power of his life was in personal conversation with men. The greatest sermon I ever heard from Mr. Moody was one night when we were coming along Madison Avenue at half-past twelve o'clock, going home from one of those great meetings in Madison Square. We had been kept there by those who insisted upon getting advice from Mr. Moody, and, as we were moving along, a gentleman came up from behind and said, 'Mr. Moody, how shall I accept Christ and change my life?' He turned in the moonlight, and standing there on the corner he said a few sharply-cut, kindly words, and he put the truth so earnestly to that man that there was no getting away from it, and the man's heart was changed from that clay.
I was privileged to be with him at those great meetings at the Haymarket, London, and what struck me and surprised me most was the number of educated and cultivated people who came there - the large number of literary people who came there to hear Mr. Moody. The great majority of them did not believe in religion, and they came to hear and enjoy his clean-cut English phraseology. His work at Cambridge and Oxford and in the universities was simply wonderful. When he went to Oxford and Cambridge they determined to run him out of the town; they did not want that kind of a man there, and before they knew him and had heard him they were utterly opposed to his methods. But his courage and his straightforwardness conquered them, and the number of young men, not only in those universities but over all the world, whose lives have been influenced for the better by Mr. Moody's work we will never know until we get into another and better world. His schools at Northfleld are models of organization and thoughtfulness. I trust that they will be carried on as a memorial to him.
"What touched me more than anything else in Mr. Moody's character was his extreme modesty about himself. He was the most masterful man I ever knew; when it came to the guidance and instruction of others, he was like a general, managing his army; but when it came to himself he was a most modest man. I was privileged to be in the house with him during all the time of those great meetings at Madison Square. I never heard him appreciate himself once; you would never have known he had anything to do with those meetings; time after time he said to his friends: 'My only wonder is that God can use so feeble an instrument as I, to do his work.' His views became broader as he grew older, and his prejudices, of which he had many in his early life, were thrown off. I have heard him say, 'I am ashamed of myself; you know I have always talked about the extravagance and worldliness of the women in New York; it has been the theme of many of my talks in many places, but I have been here now several days; I have been on the East Side and on the West Side; I have been where the schools are which these women are conducting, and I want to say that I have never known so much self-sacrifice and devotion as is shown by these women, and I am ashamed of what I have said.' I have heard him say, You know that I have had great prejudice against the Roman Catholic Church, but I am ashamed of it; I have had some opportunity of noting lately that among the churches where Christ is preached there is none where He is preached so simply and where His cross is held up as it is in the Catholic churches.' I mention these incidents simply to show how he had thrown off his earlier prejudices."
The next speaker was to have been
the Hon. John Wanamaker, but illness prevented his attendance, and at his request
Mr. Sankey was asked to take his place. After leading the hymn, "Saved
by Grace," Mr. Sankey gave the audience an account of the funeral services
at Northfield and the incidents attending that ceremony.
MR. JOHN R. MOTT'S ADDRESS
Mr. John R. Mott, the next speaker, one of the leading Christian Association workers in the world said
"Among some people the impression exists that Mr. Moody did not exert a great and marked influence upon thinking young men and women. This is a great mistake; there is no class over which Mr. Moody exerted a greater and more helpful or more continuous influence than over the students of this and other countries. He was one of the main factors of that great spiritual awakening at Princeton in 1876 and 1877, resulting in the conversion of 100 young men, and marked the impulse of the movement that led to the Christian Association among the colleges of this country and Canada. When the suggestion was made that an actual conference of college men should be held, it was the influence, co-operation, and leadership of Mr. Moody that made it a fact, and the gathering at Mount Hermon in 1886, which has since convened from year to year, has extended from Northfield to other parts of the country; until now we have some 1,200 young men from the universities and colleges meeting together every year in the United States and Canada, and nearly 1,000 college women, while the movement has spread from this country into Great Britain, Switzerland, France, Germany, Australasia, even into China and Japan, and year by year the inter-collegiate gatherings are held for the training of young men and young women for leadership in the work of Christ.
Possibly no greater influence has gone out from Mr. Moody's life than that of these conferences. Be it understood that these are conferences, not of the rank and file of the students, but of the young men and women selected by the other students to become leaders in the organized work of Christ in the colleges and universities. Yale will send this year fifty, or one hundred, young men to be leaders in the committees and Christian societies; Harvard will send a large delegation, and Princeton will send hardly less than forty. Bryn Mawr and other young women's schools will send their full delegations to take their part as leaders in the work of Christ. The Student's Volunteer Mission movement had its origin in these meetings, and under the leadership of Mr. Moody. God used Mr. Moody for the purpose, and he seemed to generate the atmosphere which created this Divine movement as projected into foreign fields. The great increase in our Bible classes from 2,000 to 12,000 within a comparatively short time is traceable directly to these annual conferences under Mr. Moody's leadership. There is no sign which is attended with greater promise to the Church of God than this one.
"By his services to students, has the work of evangelism been most advanced. The greatest revivals ever known at Oxford and Cambridge were led by Moody. The most notable awakening at the University of Virginia was during the work of Mr. Moody. The last work among students which he performed, the last work of this description, was at the Yale revival, where twenty or thirty young men acknowledged their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Who can measure what he accomplished! Henry Drummond worked among students, and we might add twenty other names; and many of these men to-day are having access to lives and hearts of college men in this and other countries for the reason of Mr. Moody's lasting influence upon them.
"You ask me what is the secret of this influence of his among thinking young men and young women. I find it more especially in his matchless knowledge of the human heart. After that it seems to me that his most marked influence was in his wonderful honesty. If he didn't know a thing he said, 'I don't know.' That gave him the intelligent confidence of the students. Then again his freedom from cant or professionalism gave them additional confidence in him. I have known students to go to his meetings in a critical frame of mind with the purpose of analyzing his methods; I have seen them subdued, almost without exception, by his matchless sympathy and heart power. He appealed to the heroic and self-sacrificing in young men, and then there was over all this and through it all that without which his results and work would be unexplainable, the fact of his abounding fidelity and spiritual life, due to the fact that he was a God-possessed man. I find in these the secret of his great success.
"It was most proper and fitting that his body should be placed at rest on Roundtop; that one spot in all the wide world most gloriously and sacredly associated with his teachings and the influences of his life-work.
"His going from us leaves a great gap; but I am reminded of the words of Henry Drummond on the death of a friend, when he wrote to a classmate: 'We must close up the ranks and work hard.'
The Chairman introduced the Rev.
Dr. Theodore Cuyler as one of Mr. Moody's earliest friends and co-laborers.
Dr. Cuyler said: "The most unique and extraordinary Gospel preacher that
America has produced in this century has gone up to his resplendent crown. It
was accorded to our Moody to meet and influence more men and women than any
other man in modern times. Spurgeon, in his fearless way, spoke once a week,
but Moody spoke seven times a week - to 40,000 or 50,000 souls in a week. Our
dear brother was more endeared to us because he was such a thorough typical
American. He had tasted of the soil, and smelt of the New England fields.
DR. CUYLER COMPARES MOODY AND LINCOLN
"If I were called on to name the two most typical Americans of the century-men who have risen from obscurity to worldwide renown - the one a brilliant statesman and the other a model preacher - I should not hesitate to name Abraham Lincoln and Dwight L. Moody. When a nation's life is to be preserved and its liberties maintained, Almighty God calls a poor boy from the log cabin in Kentucky; cradles him in the school of hardship and gives him the Great West for his only university, and then annoints him to lead us through a sea of blood to th& Canaan of freedom. In like manner God called the humble farmer boy from the banks of the Connecticut, gave him as his education only one book - the book which schooled him with the spirit of Jesus Christ - and then sent him out as a herald of salvation. Lincoln and Moody were alike in the gift of a remarkable common sense. Neither one of them ever committed a serious mistake. They were alike in being masters of simple, strong, Anglo-Saxon speech, the language of the Bible and of Bunyan, the language of the plain people. Lincoln's heart gushed out in sympathy to all sorts and conditions of men and made him the best loved man in American history. Moody's big loving heart, fired with a love of Jesus Christ, made him a master of human emotions, touching the fount of tears in thousands of hearts, and often bringing weeping multitudes before his pulpit. Finally, Lincoln, the liberator, went up to his martyred crown, holding the shattered manacles in his hand. Moody, the liberator, the liberator of immortal souls, fell the other day as a martyr from overwhelming work - went to be greeted at the gates of glory by the thousands he had led from the cross to the crown.
"Ere I take my seat, let me say what may not be known to all of you. On the Sabbath before our brother started for Kansas City he delivered his last sermon in New York in yonder Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. In that discourse, as if already the preliminary shadow was falling, he uttered this wonderful sentence: 'You may read in the papers that Moody is dead! It will not be so! God has given me the gift of life everlasting'
"Thank God, Moody is alive! Moody lives! His spirit is to-day in this hall where he lifted up Jesus. I hear that trumpet voice calling on the pastors and churches of New York to seek the seat of prayer, the baptism of fire, that shall kindle this city and set, perhaps, the nation aflame.
"One other message and I am done. Our beloved brother who has just left us said: 'Five and twenty years ago, in my native village of Northfield, I planted two Christian schools for the training of boys and maidens in Christian living and consecration as teachers and missionaries of Jesus Christ. I bequeath as my legacy those training schools for Jesus to the churches of America, and I only ask, I only ask that visitors to the beautiful native village where I shall slumber on consecrated ground, when they go there shall not be pained by the melancholy sight of the ruins of these schools, but rather that they shall be rejoiced by seeing them as two glorious lighthouses of the Lord beaming out truth and kindness over the world.' My beloved brother, the answer of the Churches of God in America will be: 'We will! We will! We will perpetuate those training schools of Jesus as a splendid, magnificent, fervent memorial of our beloved Dwight Lyman Moody'"
MR. R. F. CUTTING'S REMARKS
The next speaker was Mr. Robert Fulton Cutting. He said: "It is a good many years since I last saw Mr. Moody, in his own home, surrounded by his family, and I have been a great deal richer man since I had that experience. I do not know any man who touched me more than he did. He lacked many of those elements of eloquence which go to make up a great public speaker. He did not have much of poetic fire, glowing rhetoric, or elocutionary cadence, but his manner was so direct, so straightforward, so honest, that he seemed to speak to everything human in his audience - everything that was righteous. He seemed to know mankind as very few people do. And he came to this knowledge not by exhaustive analysis, not by psychological formulae, but he seemed to be able to see into a man's heart because of the transparency of his own nature; because he was so unconsciously honest, so perfectly frank, so courteous, that men and women showed to him what they would not show to others, because they could not hide it from him. He knew mankind, he knew what human life was, and the brilliancy of his own work shone through and through them.
"I was especially impressed at the Northfield conference by one incident. Mr. Moody had been speaking at one of the meetings, and had gone to one of the rooms. Mr. Sankey, who will probably remember the incident, gave out as one of the hymns - one, I think, that belongs to the old Gospel Hymn Book No. 2, - 'I feel like singing all the time.' 'I only give that hymn out because Mr. Moody has left the room', he said. 'He won't let me sing 'that hymn; he does not believe in singing all the time.' So it was that Mr. Moody knew perfectly well that the men or women whose lives were made up of uninterrupted singing knew very little of the gravity of human life, and was waiting for experiences which would temporarily chill them. He gained access to the hearts of men and women because he dealt with them in a common-sense way. That is the way he completely disarmed all criticism. No man who has played so large a part on the stage of our religious history was so far above criticism as was Mr. Moody. He knew only one doctrine - that 'God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.' He knew only one heretic in the world, and that was the unconverted man or woman. Every man with the love of God in his heart was at home with him. In the midst of all his successes, what a wonderful testimony it was to that man's greatness that he never seemed to have any perception of himself. Like the great master, Michael Angelo, he always so arranged the lights in his life that his own shadow should not fall upon his work. He did not know himself. He knew his field; he knew his God; but he did not know himself, - because he forgot himself when he first made up his mind what his life work was to be. That was the source of his power.
"We are going now to lay our little tributes upon his tomb. If he is gone out of our natural life, he has not gone out of our eternal memories. What he has done for us in making us richer, we will endeavor, in our way, to do for others also."
The Rev. Dr. David J. Burrell, of the Marble Collegiate Church, was the next speaker. His words were:
"A goad man has gone and we cannot be sorry. We cannot repeat the liturgy of death, 'Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble; he cometh up as a flower and is cut down.' We are saying, 'Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all His benefits.' It was a wonderful death, was it not? 'Earth is receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling.' Was he thinking of the poet's words
"'The world recedes; it disappears;
Heaven opens on mine eyes; mine ears
With sounds seraphic ring?
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave where is thy victory,
O death, where is thy sting?'
"It should have been a wonderful death, for it was a wonderful life that went before it. As I have been sitting here, the words that Dr. Pierson read out of Moody's book have been hammering at my heart, 'One thing I do; one thing I do.' This was the dominating power in Mr. Moody's life, an absolute singleness of purpose. He looked into the face of Jesus Christ, who came into the world to do one thing; and, following the Master's text, he said, 'This one thing I also do.'
"I met Mr. Moody when I was a Theological student, thirty-one years ago, in Chicago. I roomed in Farwell Hall, in which Mr. Moody preached, and his apartments were on the floor below me. The Hall took fire one morning, and burned slowly but surely through the forenoon. I busied myself in removing personal effects and otherwise, until at last, driven out, I found myself coatless and hatless in the street. A cordon had formed around in front, but there stood Mr. Moody with a bundle of handbills under his arms; he called me, saying, 'Take these and distribute them.' I looked at the bill. It read, 'Our Beautiful House is Burned: The Noon-day Meeting will be held at the Clark Street Methodist Church.' I asked, 'Where are your wife and children? 'He replied, 'I saw them safe.' 'And your personal effects?' 'O, never mind them,' he said, 'Our meeting must go on.' This was the spirit of the man, 'One thing I do.'
"We cannot better perpetuate his memory than by copying his enthusiasm. I mean to build him a monument, please God, in my ministerial life, by devoting myself most earnestly to the Master's work. I believe I shall love the Bible better, because he loved it so; I believe I shall honor the Holy Ghost more, because he honored Him so; I believe I shall look more affectionately upon the Face so marred, yet so divinely beautiful, because he loved it so. My brethren in the service of Christ, if we revere the memory of this man, let us do the one great thing with more earnestness than ever.
"Time worketh; Let me work too
Time undoeth; Let me do
Busy as time my work I'll ply
Till I rest in the rest of Eternity.
Sin worketh; Let me work too
Sin undoeth; Let me do
Busy as sin my work I'll ply
Till I rest in the rest of Eternity
Death worketh; Let me work too I
Death undoeth; Let me do
Busy as death my work I'll ply
Till I rest in the rest of Eternity.'"
DR. DIXON'S ELOQUENT TRIBUTE
The Rev. A. C. Dixon, who for years had been close to Mr. Moody, was the next speaker. He said:
"There was no need that D. L. Moody should ever perform a miracle. He was a miracle. Miracle is God at work; and God Almighty worked through Dwight L. Moody, who showed to the world, as it seems to me no other man has shown in this generation, the difference between influence and power. He began without influence; he became influential through power. He did not magnify the influences of power and of money and of organization, education and position; but his trust was in God, and the power of Moody's life was God Himself at work. Jesus was not a man of influence; He made Himself of no reputation but of power. Paul and Silas did not have enough influence to keep out of jail, but they had power enough after they were in jail to shake the doors open and walk out; and Moody was gifted with the power that could shake the doors open. I always felt when I left Moody, not like praising Moody, but like praising God. It seemed to me that I could feel and see the throbbing of God, of God's love, God's sympathy, God's great-heartedness, as I came in contact with this wonderful man. He incarnated those words: 'God is able; God is powerful, all powerful.' And God did mighty works through Moody because of his belief. He enabled God - I speak it reverently. Omnipotence stood helpless because of unbelief; but God worked through Moody because he believed. I saw some time ago a great steam engine, throbbing with power, but it could do nothing because a bolt was broken and the power was cut off. Moody furnished the bolt; he linked himself with Almighty God, and God worked through him because he trusted in His word and in His Spirit and in His Son.
"The life work of our friend was so simple. He had a heart that took him into the great assemblies, into the great cities, the great countries and the great world, making not only a sphere but an atmosphere for Jesus. We speak of the modesty and humility of Moody; and the philosophy of his humility, I am impressed, was this: He always stood in the presence of some great undertaking, some wonderful unfinished work of God, and the work before him was so big that he could hardly see Moody; he could simply see the work to be done and the God that could do it, and he felt honored in being the instrument of God in its execution. Brethren, he always considered himself as the mere instrument of God, and he never thought to take any of the glory of his work to himself. I am afraid that many of us are too well satisfied we get puffed up with vanity and pride, with the little bit that we have done; we have not undertaken enough for God. Moody fought for evangelization of the cities and of the world, and if God will lift us unto his feet and just let us see Him as Moody saw Him, we shall be humiliated, expecting a blessing from Him.
"I believe in the educational work established by Mr. Moody. God prosper the schools! May God lead some of the millionaires to lay millions upon that altar, and do it quickly, the more quickly the better for the glory of God. But education with Mr. Moody was the result of evangelism, and not evangelism the result of education. Education was an incident of his life, and education was established through his evangelism; and my prayer is that Moody may be projected into the future, and that those schools may be supported by evangelism. Not only by wealthy men giving their millions, but by pastors praying for them, do I hope that this two-fold work of Moody's will be continued until we shall meet him in glory.
"'Within the next twelve months,' if Moody were standing on this platform, I believe he would say, 'Within the next twelve months we shall preach the Gospel to every creature in Greater New York.' Let that be the watch-word for 1900! The politicians can reach all the voters in three months, and I believe that Christian people can reach every sinner in Greater New York within the next twelve months. We can bring the Gospel to the people in the home and on the street - the Word of God Himself - and the work of the Church will make God wake them up. Let us bring the Gospel to the people everywhere - in the homes, in the churches, in the theatres, on the streets. If we are to perpetuate Moody's work, it will be by taking Christ into the homes and the hearts of the people.
"Remember the Word of God to Joshua, the man who was to meet danger: 'Be strong and of good courage;' and it needs courage to meet swords and bullets. Remember God's words to Solomon, the man who was to meet difficulties in building the temple: 'Be strong and of good courage;' and it takes a finer fiber of courage to meet obstacles than to meet bullets, it takes more real bravery to overcome the obstacles that beset the Christian's path than to climb San Juan Hill or storm Manila or Santiago; it takes more than courage to meet the obstacles and labor of carrying the Gospel to the millions. Moody never faltered under difficulty, because he believed his God was equal to any emergency. Listen to these words of God, 'Moses, my servant, is dead; arise therefore and pass over Jordan.'
"God help us to carry on the work that he laid down and do it in the strength of his Almighty God!"
THE CHARACTERIZATION BY DR. BUCKLEY
The Rev. Dr. J. M. Buckley then spoke as follows:
"We go to the Bible for sublime passages, and those who understand the great book go to it for strange passages. The strangest memorial note in all literature is to be found in the Bible concerning a certain king who reigned in Israel eight years, and the epitaph proposed for him is this, 'and he departed without being desired.'
"What a contrast between such a career and that which has called us here! Our friend died when he was most desired; desired to maintain those wondrous Bible Conferences; desired as a nucleus of undenominational activity; desired to sustain those educational institutions which he had founded; desired to raise up more workers imbued with his spirit; desired to dart to and fro through the country to awaken communities, to snap the chains of conventionalism, to elicit and evoke the tremendous latent forces of the Church, and to unite Christians in the only way in which they can ever be united; - by a firm and unswerving belief in the fundamental principles of the Gospel he developed, and in active, soul-saving, consecrated labor. At this hour D. L. Moody was called away.
"To attend a meeting of this sort sometimes produces singular effects. Persons are heated by the Scriptures, and by their own rhetoric, until at last one would think it a jubilation, and from a great memorial meeting in this city a gentleman retired saying, 'I was sad when I went there, but I don't know now that it makes any great difference.' According to these speeches, God is going to take care of His own work. The fact is the New Testament never teaches that we should not be sad. On the contrary, when Epaphroditus was sick, St. Paul wrote to the Philippians and told them that Epaphroditus longed after them because they had heard that he had been sick. And the Apostle said, 'indeed he was sick, nigh unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.' The real feeling is midway between jubilation and the sorrow of the world that worketh death. It is a great loss; to human eyes it is a dreadful and in a certain aspect of the case an irreparable loss.
"How are we going to prove that any preacher has the Spirit of God? Will oratorical preaching, will pathetic preaching, will persuasive preaching demonstrate that he has the Spirit? Is the power of discerning spirits left in the Church? Did not some of the most famous evangelists the world ever saw fall into the very depths of iniquity and sin? Did not the author of that wondrous hymn, 'Come, ye sinners, poor and needy', spend twelve years in the most dreadful depth of depravity, and go mourning all his days after he emerged from it? Have we not in our day known men absolutely to renounce the doctrines they held when they were most prosperous as evangelists, and confess with brazen face that in the very midst of their greatest efforts and success they did not believe what they were supposed to believe? How then shall a man prove that he has the Spirit of God? He must prove it by a long career, by a spotless reputation, by meeting men face to face as well as upon the rostrum, and by the men who have slept with him and traveled with him, and prayed with him, and suffered in evil report as well as in good report. These men must stand up, and be able to declare in the face of God, and in the presence of men, that this man all through this period lived as he professed, prayed as he professed, preached as he professed, denied himself as he professed. And then, if God gives such a wondrous death to that man as this, we have evidence probable and conclusive that he was a man of God.
"But, my brethren, you cannot undertake to show that D. L. Moody did just what any other man could do, if he only had enough of the Spirit, Could God do as much by Peter in the same way that He could with Paul? What kind of a speech would Peter have made at Mars Hill to the Epicureans and the Stoics? He would, perhaps unconsciously, unless a special miracle had been wrought, have gotten himself into very great difficulty. He did it on several occasions, and had not learned better until the threshold of the crucifixion, when he smote off an ear in the excess of ill-regulated zeal. The fact in the case is that God by nature endowed Mr. Moody in an astonishing manner with regard to his mere body. There was a man in Connecticut who loved and adored Mr. Moody, and he invariably amused himself in this way, sitting in the cars. 'When Mr. Moody came in he would say, Do you know him? That is Huntington, the greatest railroad man in this country.' Never did he hear one word of question from the men who had never seen Huntington. At other times he would suggest he was a Western judge. In every case every man seemed to think it exactly right. They saw that tremendous head, monster chest, prompt, intense, direct action, a man obviously born to command. This same man invariably told people afterward before they left him, for he was a Christian, 'No, that is not Mr. Huntington; it is Mr. Moody; and their curiosity was greatly excited. But D. L. Moody never reminded any other man of another man, in the ordinary sense of the term. All the humility of Mr. Moody was before God. He never was humble in his dealings with Mr. Sankey. He never was humble in his dealings with any man that he undertook to deal with. If ever there was a man self-confident under God, D. L. Moody was the man.
"Physically many men reminded other men of Mr. Moody. That undefinable personality that will not show in a photograph, and cannot be painted in oil, was in Mr. Moody, and it went out of his eyes, and out of his head. He came up to me one day in a parlor car, and struck me on the shoulder and said, 'You look about the same as you did when,' - and he mentioned a long period of time that need not be repeated here. A man came up and said, 'Who was that?' Said I, 'That is D. L. Moody.' 'I thought,' said the stranger, 'it was Henry Wilson,' and there was a very great physical resemblance between the Vice-President and Mr. Moody.
"Then this man had what is seldom found in men inclined to corpulence, - immense activity. He was more active than the average man of medium size.
"He could improve, and that was one of his glories. Two hundred years from now the extreme higher critics will be trying to prove that there were two Moodys, and they will do it by getting up the language word by word, and sentence by sentence, that Mr. Moody used when he began in Chicago. They will make a parallel of that with the highly improved style of his later years. Some persons say Mr. Moody was not a cultivated orator. Note that passage quoted by Drummond, observe that when in London he described the ascension of Elijah several parliamentary orators arose to their feet and looked in the air after the ascending prophet. Take his sublime eulogy of Joseph of Arimathea, delivered in this house less than a year ago. Not far from yonder box sat a bishop noted for sound judgment, and he said, 'That is a piece of work any man might be proud of.'
"Nearly twenty-five years ago the gentleman who presides to-day sat on the platform in the Hippodrome. A very strange scene took place in the City of New York. We have read the Arabian Nights' entertainment, we remember that a certain Caliph used to go about in disguise, and marvelous are the extraordinary tales told of him. But at that time New York beheld an emperor, an emperor of a great territory, which is to be in the future one of the greatest empires of the world, unless it remains permanently republican. I refer to Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil. He went on the platform and took the seat vacated by Mr. Dodge and sat there. Two-thirds of the audience knew who he was, but the man of the occasion was Mr. Moody, and he was preaching then and there. What did he do? Did he exhibit that fawning and obsequious bow that many persons do when the President appears, or even a Secretary of State? Mr. Moody never referred to Dom Pedro, but he introduced into the midst of his discourse these words: 'What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? An emperor cannot buy Heaven, but he can have it as a free gift,' and after he said that he paused, and Dom Pedro bowed his assent, 'and afterwards remarked to the gentleman who wrote the account, 'That is a man to be heard and to be believed.'
"Mr. Moody was a personality. That personality is now invisible. It will disappear. You and I will remember him, and those who have seen him will remember him, but we belong to a vanishing generation. Who can go through Westminster Abbey without a guide-book, and know much about a great many that are there? Very few. The personality of Mr. Moody will be totally forgotten, as has been the personality to a large extent of Jacob Knapp, and of Charles G. Finney, and a great many others; to the present generation they are but names. There is but one way to prevent the personality of Moody from entirely disappearing. It is by the perpetuation of those schools, and the maintenance of their spirit. God forbid that those schools should ever follow in the Wake of Harvard Divinity School and of some others! Mr. Moody had his prejudices, but I heard him declare that he would fellowship with everybody who believed himself a sinner and trusted in Christ. 'But,' said he, 'God being my helper, I never will fellowship a man who denies the Deity of my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, or sneers at His atonement.'
"There was a man who spent his life in traducing the Bible, in caricaturing the ministry, in making audiences as large as this, laugh at our holy faith. That man boasted that he would have his stenographer with him when he died, that none could misrepresent his last words. He had a painless death. He never had to meet the king of terrors. No man whispered in his ear, 'You are about to die. Does your faith sustain you?' He died and left the most deplorable scene of inconsolable grief that the world ever saw. Our Moody was told that he must die. What then? O, the blessing of the manner of his death to the Church! God showed, I believe, in a peculiar way for the Church and for him that 'Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.' There is something worse in this world than agnosticism, something worse than blank infidelity. It is the practical effects of a belief that we cannot be sure of the future. There are some hopeless words from 'In a Persian Garden', that I heard sung with sweeter voices than are often heard in the sanctuary, at a private entertainment, and at the close a young lady was heard to say, 'Well, perhaps that is all there is to it.'
"There were those in the time of Paul who said, 'Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die.' Ah, if there were no life afterward I too would drink anything that would make me oblivious of my doom! But listen! listen! listen! 'I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead which due in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.'
"Farewell, beloved brother! Farewell, stalwart friend! Farewell, all men's friend! We shall see thee at last, but not in the flesh; for didst thou not thyself say, 'My body to the dust, my soul to the God who gave it.'"
At the conclusion of Dr. Buckley's remarks, Mr. Sankey sang a memorial hymn, written by him for the occasion, the whole assemblage joining in the chorus. The ceremonies were then closed with the benediction by the Rev. J. Balcolm Shaw.
Back to Table of Contents