THE LIFE &
NUMEROUS invitations have come to
me recently, to write concerning the life and work of D. L. Moody, all of which
were the publishers of this volume for several declined. I have, however, accepted
the invitation of reasons.
First. Because they have made it possible for me in so doing to make a generous contribution to some benevolent or educational work, which I may select, my hope being that I might in this way contribute to the work for which Mr. Moody gave his life.
Second. Because very many friends have urged upon me the so doing; they presented it to me as a call to duty as well as a privilege, they told me it was a golden opportunity to speak of.his life to many people who might not read the particulars of it elsewhere, and I was convinced that a subscription book would reach thousands of homes, which might not otherwise be influenced. They told me that my work as an evangelist made it fitting that I should write of him, who was known as the greatest evangelist of the generation.
Third. I write because I loved him, and I felt that I might in this way pay tribute to the most consistent Christian man I have ever known. I am confident that there has not been in these latter days a man who was more truly filled with the Holy Ghost than he.
In view of all this my contract was made with the publishers and it was made before I knew what other books might be written, but even then I was assured by those who knew that my book had a field of its own, and could not be considered as in competition with any other for I would write from an entirely different standpoint.
This book is sent forth with the prayer that God may make it a blessing to its readers everywhere. It is my purpose, in using such facts as I may legitimately claim, to present Mr. Moody, not only in his early life, and tell the story of his conversion, but to present him as a public character, as a man of God, as a Prince among evangelists, and give to my readers such a view of him as may not be found in other books. He was a man of great faith in God, and of mighty power in life and in prayer; he was a devout student of the Bible, he was a great preacher, and he moved men as it has been given few men to do. He reached more people during his lifetime than any other man, possibly in the world's history. He was, in the judgement of a distinguished Scotch Christian, the greatest educator of his day. He had a victorious life, and a triumphant death. It is the purpose of this book to give a review of all this, in as personal and practical a way as possible.
Letters have been written me by many of his old friends, giving me even a better knowledge of him than my more than twenty years' acquaintance could afford.
So I write with pleasure, and thanking God that it is my privilege. He was the best friend I have ever known, and whether I think of him as a preacher, and a great leader of men, or just as a humble follower of God, in his home as I frequently saw him, he was the most thoroughly consecrated man, and the most Christ-like of any one I have ever known. Among those who rise up to call him blessed, I thank God I stand.
New York, January, 1900.
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