Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]

Church and the world was more mixed up about. Some people told bim that they were converted when they were baptized as babies, while others said they were Christians because they went to church regularly ; but let bim tell then that Satan went to church and chapel. There was nobody who went so regularly as he ; he went to pick up the seed when it was sown by the preacher; he was in church before the congregation, and was the last to leave. If going to church or chapel regularly was their only hope of eternal life, it was a most miserable one. Ict them neither itot upon the ordinances of the Church, although these were very well in their way if they were converted, but they must be converted first. He went on to enforce that, though they might not be able to understand the philosophy of the birth of the Spirit, it was none the less a fact; and that they should not wait to understand the matter before they accepted Christ as their Saviour, and were converted.



At one of the Dublin services Mr. Moody said he had good news for them. If there were men or women there who were not Chris. tians he wanted to tell them what he had not read in the Bible before

was converted, and that was that God was love. For six thousand years the devil had been trying to make mankind believe that God bated them. The moment a ma felt that God was love he could come to Christ. One time they built a church in Chicago, and caused the words “God is Love" to be displayed in illuminated letters within it. A wicked man came in, saw the words, and then went out, and after going down two or three blocks came back and stayed for the bermon; and after he bad heard it be surrendered his soul to God. There was a vast difference between human and divine love. God loved all, and did not wish the death of any. Judas betrayed Christ for

money, and Peter denied him with an oath ; but the Redeemer spoke kindly of them. How differently would men bave resented such treatment. No love was so strong as that of a mother. Nothing in the wide world could separate a true mother from her child. But God's love was much stronger than a mother, for His love was unchangeable-unending-everlasting. A great many people expressed love in words, but did not show it in deeds. It was not so

[ocr errors]


with God. He (Mr. Moody) was once a hard-hearted man; but what broke his heart was the conviction of God's love for man. After the last French war the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris was imprisoned. His cell had a window shaped like a cross, and with a pencil he wrote upon the arms of the cross that they denoted the height, the length, the breadth, and the depth of God's love. That man knew something of what God's love was. That they were afflicted was no proof that God did not love them. If God were not angry at sin He would not be holy. If an earthly father had a son who had lied, swore, did wicked things, and endangered the lives of others by his temper, bis father in disgust might say, " I don't care." But God could not say that, because He loved the sinner while le bated sin. He (Mr. Moody) had a daughter whose temper often led her to speak quickly to her mother and ber brothers. One morning when she had spoken very much in this way he would not give ber a kiss as usual before she went to school. She went away, and he looked through the window and saw her sobbing as she walked down the street. When she came home she was reconciled to him, and he never loved her so much as he did then. “ All things work together for good to them that love God." Let a man get great honours, wealth and possessions, and then when he could lord it over other men he was apt to begin to patronize God. The men for whom God did most were generally the men that thought least of Him. But a little prosperity, a little trouble, a little adversity, succeeding each other often worked for good. Afflictions might not be understood now, but they would be made plain hereafter. When the dark waves of persecution, trouble, and affliction came upon them it was all right. God loved the sinner. Christ died for the ungodly. Instead of trying to make out that they were not bad, let them confess that they were, and then they would get the poor sinners' title to heaven. During the Cuban civil war of 1867 an Englishman who got amongst them was tried as a spy, convicted, and condemned to be shot. The American and the English ministers remonstrated with the Cuban authorities, pointing out that he was cent, but in vain. The time for the execution was fixed. The man's grave was dug. He was brought out, and the muskets of the soldiers were pointed at him, when the English and American ministers galloped up on horses ; both dismounted, and wrapping the flags of their nations round the prisoner, shouted to the Cuban soldiers, “ Fire on our flags if you

dare !"


They did not fire. So Satan could not dare to injure them if the banner of God's love (Song of Solomon) was wrapped around them. God help that vast assembly. Let them receive the love of God into their bearts that day, and they would afterwards look back on it as the happiest of their existence.


At a meeting at the Metropolitan Hall, Dublin, Mr. Moody took for his text Isaiah 10.-"Ho, every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money ; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that wbich is not bread ? and

labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good : and let your soul delight in its fatness." Here they had mention of water, bread, milk, and wine. Without water there could be no life. Bread gave strength; milk growth; and they could have no joy or power unless they drank the heavenly wine. The invitation was universal. It was given to all who thirsted for the water of life. They all thirsted for worldly pleasures and happiness; but such things never had and never could satisfy the thirst of their souls. The fact was, that the world was thirsting for Christ, but the world did not know it. The devil deceived and blinded them; but they were thirsting for the water of life, nevertheless. In Exodus xvii., verse 6th, it was written :-“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou sbalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” The rock was Christ, the water the Holy Ghost. All through Scripture the word was used in the same sense. Even now in the towns of Egypt, those who cried water through the streets said, “ Water the gift of God.” London was full of fountains ; but on one occasion a gentleman could not draw water from one, but a little boot-black came up, and showed him how to do it. If that had been the water of life, would not that boot-black have been worth more to him than bishop, priest, or Pope ? What they wanted was some one to tell them the way of life. If they were lost, would it not be better to have a child of five years old who could tell them the way, than a man of seventy years old who could tell them nothing about it? So they should not disregard the speech of young converts. God wanted to pour the water of life upon every one that thirsted. He remembered being on board a steamer in which poor soldiers, wounded in the war, were being borne along the Tennessee River. They cried for water, but the water of the river was impure, and it made them sick. He heard one say, “Oh, for a draught of water from my father's well.” He prayed that might be the cry of every sinner.



Speaking at one of the Birmingham meetings, Mr. Moody said he wished to draw attention to the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Commencing at the 12th verse, he went on to read of the man who was "full of leprosy" going to Christ, and begging to be made clean. He read a few verses slowly, in a monotonous voice, and then paused to make a few comments. In a second or two, however, he proceeded, until he had finished the story of the man stricken with the palsy, who was let through the roof into the room in which Christ was teaching the multitude. Then he closed his book sharply, and said he would make a few remarks on what he had read. Firstly, he called attention to the fact that other persons were in the presence of Cbrist than the sufferers who wished to be healed-Pbarisees and doctors of the law-who went there, not to be cured of any disease, but simply to reason. The truth was, those men wanted to know what that stranger was doing at Capernaum and the neighbourhood. There were a good many men now who liked to go and talk and reason about things ; and, in saying this, Mr. Moody threw a shade of sarcasm into his tone. He soon changed, however, and particularly directed his hearers to observe that the man with the leprosy went straight to Jesus, without waiting to talk to any one, or to ask any one to assist him. Such conduct he commended; he advised all to go straight to the fountain head, and present their petitions. They must sbow faith, he said; and as the result, in his quaint Yankee style, he added that their cheque would always be cashed at sight with the pure gold of heaven. With some irony, he continued, that there were plenty of people who did not believe in instant conversion ~that it could be done all at once. To such he would hold up the


example of the man with the leprosy, who was immediately cleansed. Leaving this part of the subject, Mr. Moody went on to allude to the palsied man who was let through the roof of the house. This was evidently a subject on wbich he felt quite at home, for be gave his wayward fancy full scope. As on Sunday morning, he provoked smiles on every face by the quaintness of the language in which - he indulged. His most commonplace remarks on this subject were funnily expressed. Having depicted the grief that the palsied man would feel when he discovered that he was unable to get into the room where the Saviour was on account of the crush, he described the man as seeking friends to help him in bis troubles. The man wanted four friends, and he finally succeeded in getting them. Pausing a moment in his story, and casting an eager and searching glance round the hall, he told his hearers that they had no idea what three or four people could do. Then he drew an amusing picture of a sinful man called on by a person anxious for the welfare of his soul. The sinner took no notice of the inquirer, but when a few hours afterwards another person called with a similar objcct he began to wonder what was the matter. Assuming a look of bewilderment, Mr. Moody impersonated the importuned man. “I can't understand this. I never was anxious about my own soul, and here's two men been asking after it.” The acting, and the drawling American tone of wonderment, were irresistible, and the audience tittered. So Mr. Moody improved the subject, and sketched the sinner sitting down to tea when a third person called with the invariable inquiry about his soul. • This beat all he had ever heard of.” And before he got to bed still another man called.

With a dry contortion of the face, and a 'cute look, said Mr. Moody, “That man wouldn't get much sleep that night—that would thoroughly awaken him." And then he expressed the belief that there was not a sceptic in Birmingham who could not be overcome by similar means. A few other words of serious advice, and Mr. Moody again gave rein to bis whimsical fancies. Telling the story of the palsied man, in an extravagantly comical style, the effect being enhanced by the shrugs and grimaces he made, he succeeded in provoking the laughter of all his liearers. There were the four men, wondering how they could get their palsied fellow creature before the Saviour.

“ No getting in at the door," so other means must be tried. The remainder of the story had better be told in Mr. Moody's own words. They went

« НазадПродовжити »