Louis Albert Banks.

T. De Witt Talmage : his life and work online

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THE WORLD WAS HIS AUDIENCE"



T. DeWitt Talmage

His Life and Work

BIOGRAPHICAL EDITION



EDITED BY

REV. LOUIS ALBERT BANKS, D.D.

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

BENJAMIN J. FERNIE, A.M., and GEORGE H. SANDISON, Ph.D.,

Associate Editors of THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
WITH INTRODUCTION BY HIS SON

Rev. Frank DeWitt Talmage, D.D.

Contains Dr. Talmage's Life History and the Picturesque Story of his Career
and his Travels. Also Many Tributes Paid to the World's Greatest
Preacher by the World's Master Minds



WITH NUMEROUS EXCLUSIVE ILLUSTRATIONS



" The American people, irrespective of denominational differences, have a pride in the ability and
public services of Dr. Talmage. His influence for good, in the direction of public sentiment, extends far
beyond his own church and his own congregation ; it is felt all over our country, and even beyond the
seas." WM. McKINLEY.



THE ONLY AUTHORIZED EDITION










:ze J - -









THE UEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

733948 A

ASTOR, LENOX AND

T1LDEN FOUNDATIONS

n 1034 L



Copyright, 1902, By O. W. Binkerd.

Entered at Stationers' Haee,

London, England.



Ale Rights Reserved.



Printed and Bound by

The John C. Winston Co.

Philadelphia









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INTRODUCTION

BY

R.ev. Frank DeWitt Talm©Lge. D.D.

HEX a great man dies, the pens of many writers are immediately
dipped into the ink-wells to write his biography. The publishing
houses oil their presses and push through their copies. The
market is filled with the different productions. Most of these
biographies will be advertised by literary pirates. A publishing
house will sharpen its scissors, paste together a mass of facts
which have been cut from the daily newspapers, join together the connecting
links with statements sometimes true, oftener false. The public is then sup-
posed to come and trade at its stand. Hardly were my father's lips closed in
death when the daily newspapers had announcements from at least six different
publishing house that a life of T. De Witt Talmagc was about to be published.
Agents were wanted to sell the same

Some of Doctor Talmage's nearest friends came together and decided to
send forth a book as a message of love, which would state the true facts in
reference to his life: a book which the readers of Doctor Talmage's sermons
could understand and appreciate. The result of that undertaking will be
found within the covers of this volume.

A TASK OF LOVE

Asked to write an introduction to this biographical edition, T comply
gladly. The editors of this book have known my father intimately and two
of them have been identified with him for many years, as editorial associates,

^ on The Christian Herald. They not only worked with but they loved my father.

^ Nothing has gone into this book except the material they personally have fur-

z^ nished or passed upon. Theirs has been a task of love.
©

CM ITT

CC

©



INTRODUCTION

The public and private life of a great man can never be entirely separated.
If we love to read the sermons which Doctor Talmage preached, we also want
to peep into the study where they were written. We want to see the farm-
house where once played the boy who afterwards became the greatest preacher
of his day. We want to find out the characteristics which made his wonderful
career possible. All these facts can be found upon the written pages of this
volume.

The first two chapters are to me of especial interest. A plain, genealogical
table may not mean much to some, but to others it implies everything. Oliver
Wendell Holmes once said that the preparations for the ultimate success of
every child ought to begin at least one hundred years before it was born.
Such a preparation is found in my father's life. His mind and body were not
the result of a mere haphazard chance. He came from good stock. There
was royal blood in his veins. Not the blood of a petty king or queen, whose
only claim to earthly fame was due to the fact that they once wore a royal
crown ; but all his ancestors were true, godly men and women, who were the
sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. There is no more beautiful
filial testimony in literature than that which Dr. Talmage gives here in
reference to his consecrated father and mother. No parents can open the first
leaves of this book without realizing that their lives must be perpetuated, for
better or for worse, in the lives of their children.

PREACHING TO THE WHOLE WORLD

One of the most helpful results of this book is the proof that God hath
made of one blood all peoples who dwell upon the face of the earth. The
human heart is the same everywhere. In the palace, we find the tear glittering
upon the eyelid, as surely as we hear the sob in the poor man's hut. Without
any doubt, the great work of my father's life was the weekly publication of his
printed sermons. Those sermons were eagerly read by the rich and the poor
alike. The steamer carried them across the sea. They were found in the
miner's cabin as well as in the merchant's home. As a result of this weekly
publication, when my father started upon his travels, we find him known and
welcomed everywhere. This book opens for us the door by which we can
enter the throne-room and find out that princes and princesses live the same
kind of a family life as do we. As the book leads us everywhere in Dr. Tal-
mage's travels, it also tells us that the plain minister of the Gospel can have

IV



INTRODUCTION

the world for an audience, because the human heart is the same everywhere —
the same sinful, sorrowing, aching, dying heart.

This book teaches how much a man may accomplish if he will only change
his line of work — only vary his daily occupations. Air. Gladstone was once
asked how he could accomplish so much and yet live. lie answered his ques-
tioner in Yankee fashion, by asking him another question: 'Do you know
why the stage horses, traveling a certain road, near London, die much sooner
than horses traveling another kind of road? Because the first road is a per-
fectly level road. The stage horses there are compelled to use the same set
of muscles and therefore they soon wear out." ( >ne day Mr. Gladstone was
delivering an address in Parliament; the next, he was presiding at a Cabinet
meeting; the next, translating Homer; the next, writing a magazine article upon
some theological discussion: the next, with ax, he was felling the huge oak at
Hawarden. Change of occupation brings into play a new set of physical and
mental muscles. Stand for awhile and it rests you to sit. Be seated for awhile
and it relieves you to lie down. Rest in bed for awhile and it invigorates you
to walk. Recreation does not necessarily imply the opportunity to loaf. Rest
can often come from change of work. This book proves that Dr. Talmage
was one of the busiest men that ever lived. It also shows him in many different
occupations. He never lived in a routine. One day we find him in the pulpit :
the next, as an editor; the next, as raising money for famine-struck India;
the next, on a journey to Russia, to distribute breadstuff's which had been
raised by The Christian Herald for starving peasants; the next, as a lecturer;
the next, as an evangelist. The musical instrument of his life had a thousand
strings instead of one string. All the different notes which were sounded by
him blend into a harmony of sweetest music.

AN INDISPENSABLE BOOK

This book ought to be placed upon the library shelf of everv theological
student in the land. It may be an impossibility to change the habits of an old
minister. It is possible for this book to mould the theological student's life
into years of future usefulness. From the first word of the first line on the
first page, to the last word of the last line on the last page, it emphasizes the
truth that the great lesson of Dr. Talmage's life was to preach his beliefs and
not his doubts. Tt is a very easy matter to become a skeptic ; scientific mys-
teries as well as theological mysteries are piled around everv one as high as

v



INTRODUCTION

the Himalayas. It does not take a very large finger, placed on the eyelid, to
shut out the light of the sun. It does not take many sermons, revelling in
doubts, to destroy the spiritual belief of any congregation. I fear there is
too much infidelity lurking behind the modern pulpits. The worst enemies of
Jesus Christ are not those found without, but those who are entrenched within
the four walls of the church edifices. This book rings true. It portrays Dr.
Talmage as a believer ; it proves him to be a student of the Bible, it opens his
study door to find him with the " Word of God " in his hand which he is not
afraid to accept in its entirety.

THE MINISTERIAL "DEAD-LINE"

This book ought to be also welcomed by the great church, because it
shows that an aged minister's last days can be his most useful days. Church
congregations have their fads, as well as individuals. There is a fashion to-day
of talking about the " dead-line " in the Christian ministry. Some congrega-
tions claim that when a minister has passed the fiftieth mile-stone, he has passed
the "dead-line" of his usefulness, and ought to retire. Some congregations place
the "dead-line" at even a younger age. All over the land, we find that there
is a tendency, almost amounting to a fashion, for the few to prefer a youthful,
untried preacher in the pulpit, instead of a matured man. My father's life
proves that such a theory may be wrong ; and if a minister does his duty, and
ceases not to be a close and diligent student, the theory is wrong.

My father's influence was cumulative. He did not spring into sight
suddenly as a meteor. His life influence was like the rising sun. His twilight
was even more glorious than his mid-noon. His mind was always reaching out
to investigate new fields of knowledge. The arrow of death felled him when
he was preaching in the far-off capital of Mexico. Hundreds of his sermons
have been published and are preserved for the reader in permanent form. This
biography is the only book which has been written up to date, by men who
were conversant with the inner thoughts and writings of Dr. Talmage's life.



-J-\^~^L ^v^t^~- /




VI



TABLE OF CONTENTS



DR. TALMAGES ANCESTRY

A special commission — Filling a need of the times — The humble home-
stead — Saxon ancestry — Puritans in exile — Two brothers founders of the
family — Settlement in New Jersey— A revival episode — A grandmother's
prayers— Peniel in a barn — A ministerial angel — Dr. Talmage's tribute
to his aunt — The almond tree in blossom — A lifelong struggle A typical
American life — Christianity in politics — A pious mother's influence — The
hands of benediction l 7~Z°



BOYHOOD REMINISCENCES

Love of country life — The old homestead — A group of notable sons and
daughters — The missionary son — A test of consecration — Distinguished
service in China — A valued pastor in the home field — The cosl of send-
ing a boy to college — Home economies vividly portrayed — The youngesl
member of the family — The old cradle — Farm pets — The last day in the
old home 31 -45

MAKING A START

Leaving college — Youthful honors and ambitions— Deciding for Christ —
Preaching in the woods — The furnishing of the parsonage — A surprised
pastor — Emancipation from manuscript in the pulpit— Gaslights that
were acci >mm< >dating — I lis serm< mic mi >de 1.6-5]



BUILDING A FOUNDATION

Pastorates at Belleville, Syracuse and Philadelphia — A flattering call — The
fragrant weed — A temptation overcome — Crowing in fame a - a preacher
— His style of delivery — Eloquenl w ith every inch of hi- body — Tin- secret
of his popularity — A unique style of pulpit oratory — A temperance
lesson — The wreck of a soul — Plow he nailed a slander from hi- Phila-
delphia pulpit 5 2 "6°

VII



TABLE OF CONTEXTS

THE BROOKLYN PASTORATE

An unexpected call from seventeen persons — The first Tabernacle — Attack and
vindication — City mission work — Preaching to the world through a
syndicate — Dr. Klopsch's influence on Dr. Talmage's career — A tour
through " underground New York " — Fire and rehabilitation — The
' Rainbow '' Sermon — His steady growth in fame and usefulness — A
talk on sermonic preparation — His three lessons in elocution 61-72

THE MIDNIGHT EXPLORATION

Dr. Talmage's graphic story of his descent into the Inferno of social vice
and what he saw there — A terribly realistic picture of the sins of modern
society — His police escort — The start — Coarseness of vice — Country
boys led astray — A timely warning — A woman's face — The brink of an
abyss — Wealth}- sinners — A typical den — Rottenness of society — Who
are responsible ? 73-84

THE EXPLORATION CONTINUED

The returned Magdalen — A visit to the purlieus of death — Escaping the
snare — Debris of ruined homes — " If the good people only knew ! " —
Horrors of the tenements — A night of sorrow — New revelations — " Is
that Talmage ? " — An everyday tragedy — The lure of the tempter — The
illusion dispelled — The two angels — In a den of thieves — Blackmailers
and social outcasts — The cities to be redeemed 85"9^

DR. TALMAGE'S PHILOSOPHY

He was wise as well as eloquent — His views on personal influence, dress,
debt, an aim in life, borrowing trouble, business methods, parental
duties and kindred topics — Forging a chain of slavery — Business a
school — The gnat and the camel — Evils of extravagance — Educational
cramming — Home discipline — A plea for the children — "Remember
your blessings." ,• 99 _I ! 4

A SACRED PILGRIMAGE

Dr. Talmage's autobiographical story of his journeyings in Palestine, Syria,
Egypt and other Oriental lands — A remarkable and delightful narrative
told in the form of a diary — The journey from New York to Jerusalem —
The start — In St. Paul's country — Preaching on Mars' Hill — A meeting
with royalty — First glimpse of Egypt — Tracing Christ's footsteps —
Through the Land of Goshen — Arrival at Joppa — On to Jerusalem.. . 1 15-136

VIII



TABLE ( >!•' CONTENTS

IN THE HOLY CITY

Holding a service on Mount Calvary — The great temple — Gethsemane —
Where the ravens tVd Elijah — A Jordan baptism — Bethlehem visited
— The tomb of Joseph — At the Good Samaritan ln:i — Where Christ
walked — lacoh's Well — The vine pots of Cana — A sad procession- < >n
Lake Galilee — The Mount of Transfiguration — An ( Oriental blizzard-
Damascus, Beyrout and home i.v" '74

DR. TALMAGE ON PATRIOTISM

His memorable address at Arlington Heights, on Decoration Day, in 1873 —
A splendid tribute to the fallen heroes of the Civil War — The Army of
the Dead — Flowers for the heroes — Missing graves — The heroines of the
war — " Tell the children " — An invocation to peace 175-183

HIS VIEWS ON GREAT PUBLIC QUESTIONS

Presidential assassination — Anarchy — Victoria's reign — Abraham Lincoln —
Easv divorce — Marriage a specnlation— Gambling — The liquor ques-
tion — High license — Impure literature — Labor and capital and the
Christian solution of the problem 184-198

IN RUSSIA'S ROYAL PALACES

A memorable journey across Europe on "A Mission of Bread " — Dr. Klopsch
his companion — The good ship " Leo's " relief cargo for Russia's famine
sufferers — Reception at St. Petersburg- -Unloading the relief cargo — A
presentation incident — Enthusiasm of the Russian people — One hundred
carloads of food — The Americans summoned to the Royal Palace — Pre-
sented to Czarewitch Nicholas — Dr. Talmage and Czar Alexander III. —
The Emperor's "Arrow Line" — What famine means — Saving 125.000
lives — Russia's friendship for the United States [99-224

THE SILVER JUBILEE

An unprecedented tribute to the great preacher — The glor) of the Tabernacle
— A memorable assemblage addressed by many eminent divines — Con-
gratulations from distinguished persons at home and abroad on Dr.
Talmage's remarkable pastorate — The secret of living on sunshine —
Hard work, but happy years— Second day of the Jubilee— Honored by
North and South — Governor McKinley's tribute— A remarkable closing
scene 225-244

"RED WINGS"

The destruction of the last and most beautiful Tabernacle- "A mystery to ln-
revealed only in Eternity "—Dr. Talmage's deadly peril — Many narrow-
escapes — Sympathy of press and public— Dr. Talmage's cheerful mes-
sage — The preacher begins his globe-girdling tour 245-250

IX



TABLE OF CONTEXTS

A GOSPEL TOUR OF THE GLOBE

Preaching to great audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, India and
Great Britain — Luncheon with President Dole, of Hawaii — Invited to
speak in Honolulu — A strange cosmopolitan audience — A delightful
Australian experience — Preaching in " Ceylon's Isle " through interpret-
ers — A sermon under a " punkah" in Calcutta — Addressing vast audi-
ences in Great Britain — The wide world's welcome to the great American
divine 25 1 -274

CALLED TO WASHINGTON

Pastor of the " Church of the Presidents " — A notable opening sermon — Dr.
Talmage's huge daily mail — An influential ministry — His Washington
home — Calls from many quarters — Retirement from the Washington
pastorate — The resignation tendered to Presbytery — Tributes from Dr.
Talmage's fellow-pastors 275-289

LATER SOJOURNS IN EUROPE

In the Scottish Capital — Florence Nightingale visited — A delightful inter-
view with the famous " Lady of the Lamp " — Gladstone's home visited —
Preaching in Sweden — " The Land of the Midnight Sun " — Uses of
darkness — A strange Fourth of July — In beautiful Paris — Glories of
the great Exposition — Kaiser Wilhelm's Capital — "Augusta, pack the
trunks ! " — A visit to Vienna — Dr. Talmage's second journev to Russia
— Welcomed by Czar Nicholas — America's gift remembered — Meets
the Dowager Empress — Mrs. Talmage's impressions of the tour. .... 290-317

HIS CLOSING MINISTRY

The last Southern journey — Addressing great audiences in Richmond, Ma-
con, Charleston and New Orleans — The last sermon he ever preached
on his native soil — Enthusiasm of the New Orleans press — A pen pic-
ture of Talmage as he appeared to Southern- eyes — A memorable
welcome in Louisiana's capital city 3 l &~337

THE LAST OF EARTH

Dr. Talmage, prostrated in Mexico, returns to Washington to die — The sick
man watched by a nation — The closing scenes in the great preacher's
career — Passing away surrounded by his family — Tokens of sympathy —
Lying amid the flowers — His funeral in Washington — A memorable
gathering — A wreath from President Roosevelt — Addresses of Rev.
Drs. Easton, Hamlin, Demarest and Van Dyke — Taken to Brooklyn in
the McKinley funeral car — The interment in Greenwood — Rev. Dr.

Suydam's beautiful funeral address at the grave . 338-360

x



TABLE OF C( >NTENTS

THE WORLDS TRIBUTE

A great Talmage memorial meeting in Brooklyn — A monster audieno
reverent and sympathetic — Addresses h\ Rev. Drs. Carson, Deman
Cadman, Farrar and Oakes, and by Era I). Sankey — Testimonials from
distinguished men in America and Europe read to the audience — Ad-
mirals, generals, statesmen, authors and divines unite in glowing eulogies
of the dead — The great preacher's genius extolled and the far-reaching
influence of his life-work recognized — Mis Christian Herald ass dates'
tribute 361- 583

RECOLLECTIONS OF DR. TALMAGE

Personal reminiscences of the great preacher — Student days — His early
ministry — Familiar with the Bible — I lis favorite studies — Or. Talmage
in war times — hater years — "Sending a message to Heaven" — Mis
joyful anticipations of the future life — A prophetic imitation 384-393

THE LESSON OF DR. TALMAGES LIFE

His early career, as revealing the man and prophesying the work he accom-
plished — Divinely called to his peculiar work — 1 1 i s friendship a rare
pleasure — His marvelous first sermon — Waking the sleepers — Rebuking
a slander — His wonderful abilities and how he used them for God's
glory and the betterment of mankind 304-403

CHARACTERISTIC ANECDOTES

An interrupted sermon — Startling his audience— Talmage and McKinley —
Where Patti was second choice — Angels of the needle — Why he quitted
the law — An elusive sermon — Talmage and Greeley — The infidel hook —
"I feel like a morning star" — Washington anecdotes — A box of cigars
— Macmillan's test of orthodoxy, etc., etc 404-415

DR. TALMAGE IN LITERATURE

A prolific author, he wrote many books and all were successful - Some of the
most famous among them — Mis career in the lecture field— His editorial
salutatory — Writing as an editor — A pen picture of the man — Tribute
to Phillips Brooks — Mis views on journalism — The mission of news-
papers 4 1 7-4-' i

DR. TALMAGES WIT AND HUMOR

Ministers' diet — Fashionable choirs — The massacre of church music — A
recipe for poor preaching — The "coughing brigade "—Swallowing a fly
— A wedding in the clouds — Stay where you're happy — City fools in
the country — The ill-natured man — My first and only ghosl — Putting
up the stove — Chills and fever vindicated 427-44T



TABLE OF CONTENTS

A CLUSTER OF GEMS

Voices of Nature — The spirit of the flowers — Recognition in heaven — The
bells of Moscow — Chariots of cloud — Compensation in Heaven — The
consummation- — Celestial music — Cling to the old Bible — Funeral of the
Flowers — The fading leaf — The glories of Yellownstone — Our National
resources — The final haven — The costliest song on earth — A glorious
vacation — Characteristic utterances 443-462

DR. TALMAGES INFLUENCE ON HIS TIMES

His sermons in rural districts — Used in pastorless churches — In farmhouses
and barns — A means of grace in needy places — What Dr. Talmage stood
for — A champion of the Bible — Insisted on the whole Book — Faithful to
the old Gospel — Defence of morality and the home — An eloquent advocate
of temperance — Business morality — Fervent patriotism — His glorious op-
timism — The effect of his ministry on the world 463-467

DR. TALMAGES LOVE OF COUNTRY

His views on our National blessings — Comparisons between foreign coun-
tries and our own — The best land for the worker — European burdens —
Our thrifty nation — Plenty of elbow room — Our vast resources — Our
full cup of blessings — Reasons for thankfulness as a nation 468-476

A FILIAL TRIBUTE

Memorial sermon by the Rev. Frank De Witt Talmage, D.D., son of the Dis-
tinguished preacher, delivered in the Jefferson Park Presbyterian
Church, Chicago, April 20, 1902 — His father's personality — Novel ser-
monic methods — Constantly in harness — His daily life his best sermon —
The parting scene 477-488

THE LAST SERMON HE EVER WROTE

A paean of jubilee and thanksgiving for all the blessings of a long and
godly life — An autobiograph page of Dr. Talmage's manuscript from
last sermon he ever wrote 489-497



Xli



ILLUSTRATIONS

Academy of Music, New York, Great Gospel Meetings at 186

Arlington, A Great Military Funeral at 17 \

Arlington, Tomb of the Unknown Dead [82

Australian Miners, Dr. Talmage and His Son Frank Among the . . . .262

Banks, Rev. Louis A 239

ISedouin of Lake Galilee 163

Bedouin of the Desert 163

Bethlehem, Pilgrims on the March to 39

Bethlehem, The Silver Star of the Nativity 149

Boundbrook, N. J., The First Reformed Church 32

Broadmoor Casino and Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs . . . .19]

Budapest, The Parliament Houses at 299

Burial Spot, Arrival of the Casket at the .' 357

Cadman, Rev. S. I' 231

Calvary, Mount [39

Capernaum. Ruins of the City of ... . 37

Carson, D.D., Rev. Dr. . 363

Carson, Rev. Dr 363

Casket from the Talmage Home, Removing the . . . 341

Casket in Position, Placing the 358

Casket into the Church, Taking the Violet-covered ........ 347

Catacomhs at Rome, A Chamber in the 64

Central Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn 37' 1

Charleston, Cotton Palace ^jj

Church of the Covenant, Interior of the 353



Online LibraryLouis Albert BanksT. De Witt Talmage : his life and work → online text (page 1 of 43)