Edgar Johnson Goodspeed.

A full history of the wonderful career of Moody and Sankey in Great Britain ... online

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to conversion. And what shall I more say ? for the time would
fail me to tell of all the blessed fruits, already apparent, of the
extraordinary efforts of these dear men of God. Suffice it to
say, in a sentence, that all classes of the community— old and
young, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, ministers and
laymen, masters and servants, teachers and scholars — have
received a large blessing from the religious services conducted
by the American brethren, and are deeply sensible, I trust, of
the mighty debt of gratitude under which they have been iaid.
The Lord bless them, and make them blessings, wherever they
go!

The closing week has been the most joyful of all. The tide
of blessing, which has been steadily rising, has this week reached
its flood; the earnestness of the preacher and the eagerness
of the people have seemed alike to intensify, and the uncon-
verted have been called to take refuge in Christ with a vehemence



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THE HARVEST IN ENGLAND. 151

of entreaty which has exerted a mighty influence on the assem-
blies. During these five weeks God has answered the prayers
of many years, and we cannot but feel that what has been going
on in the city has made Manchester peculiarly interesting to the
dwellers in heaven.

At nine on Wednesday evening, about 2,000 men reassembled
in the hall, to hear what Mr. Moody had to say on the subject of
the Young Men's Christian Association. Mr. Herbert Spencer
occupied the chair, and gave a brief address, intimating that it
was in contemplation to buy the Museum for the Young Men's
Christian Association, for ^30,000. Mr. Moody delivered an
inspiriting address, in which he enlarged on the spiritual advan-
tages of the Association, and urged the straining of every effort
to reach the young men of Manchester, and to secure the build-
ing in question for the Association. A collection toward the
object, made at the close, realized $9,000, $5,000 of which was
given, I believe, by the chairman. This amount, with what has
been received before, including $2,500 given last week by Mr. J.
Stuart, makes a total, at present received or promised, of $40,000.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Moody addressed a crowded meet-
ing in the Higher Broughton Presbyterian Church, and then came
on to the noon prayer-meeting in the Oxford Hall, where he read
and commented on the earlier part of the 103d Psalm. He said
he had to bless the Lord for what He had done for him. It had
been the best year of his life. He had been more used by God
than in all the seventeen preceding years. He did not know of
one sermon he had delivered that had not been blessed to the
conviction or conversion of some souls. It was a delightful
meeting. Every word uttered was set to the tune of " Bless the
Lord, O my soul 1 " When one minister rose to say, " I have to
praise God for the conversion of the brother of dear friends of
mine, who have prayed for him twenty-five years ; for the con-
version of the sister and of the servant of another friend ; for the
salvation of three persons in my own congregation, for the dis-
pelling of the doubts of a young man who had traveled 150 miles
to these meetings — all which blessings have been given in the



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152 MOODY AND SAN KEY IN GREAT BRITAIN.

course of the present week "; when another minister rose to say
he had never met with so much scriptural teaching concerning
the way of salvation, and the clear direction of inquirers to Jesus,
as in Mr. Moody's addresses ; and another to say that the last
ten days had been the happiest of his life — that he had derived
an inspiration, had discovered how to preach Christ, had enjoyct
sweeter communion with Jesus, and felt like a man whose chains
were broken — they only uttered what many could have endorsed
«s a description of the blessings they themselves bad received



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CHAPTER XVII.
Times of Blessing in Sheffield.

This dty of a quarter of a million is noted for its workers in
iron and steeL Hearts hard as adamant were now to be assailed
by sermon and song, and God honored the men who honored
His gracious truth. At nine in the evening of December 31,
1874, the evangelists first appeared before a Sheffield audience,
and for two weeks the power of God was manifested through them
in the most delightful manner.

The work opened here most auspiciously ; the two meetings
held on New Year's eve were crowded, and the impressions pro-
duced were most solemn.

The first meeting was held in the Temperance Hall at nine
o'clock. Mr. Sankey sang a new hymn written by Dr. H. Bonar
expressly for him, "Rejoice, and be glad I the Redeemer has
come."

The impression produced by his singing was very striking;
those who had been merely curious or altogether indifferent
seemed attracted, and earnest attention and even, in some cases,
silent weeping, took the place of carelessness. The watch-night
service was particularly solemn. The Albert Hall, where it was
held, was crowded, many having stood before the doors an hour
before they were opened, in order to make sure of admittance.

Messrs. Moody and Sankey were accompanied on to the plat-
form by a large number of ministers of all denominations. The
vicar offered up a fervent prayer for the Divine blessing on the
work in Sheffield.

1 S3



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154 MOODY AND SANKEY UT GREAT BRITAIN.

One most interesting feature in this service was Mr. Sankey'a
singing of "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." It might be the nov-
elty of his style, or the associations naturally arising at the near
approach of the new year, but I certainly have never seen such
an effect produced. I have heard him in all the towns they have
visited in Scotland, and also in Manchester ; but I never heard
him sing so pathetically, more especially in the last stanzas :

" Too late ! too late ! will be the cry,
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by."

Mr. Moody spoke from Luke xix. 10, "For the Son of man is
come to seek and to save that which was lost" As illustrating
this verse, he graphically narrated the two stories immediately
preceding his text, that of the opening of the eyes of blind Bar-
timeus, and the conversion of Zaccheus. It was only a re-telling
of the stories, but given in that way peculiarly Mr. Moody's own,
making his listeners part and parcel of the story, as if the whole
thing were enacted just in the Targate, and Jesus were just pass-
ing the hall-doors. He connected the two stories by throwing
out the thought that as Bartimeus was on his way home to tell
his wife, Zaccheus met him. "Why, isn't that the poor blind
beggar? it's like him ; but it can't be he, for his eyes are open."

"Yes, it is I."

"What has made your eyes open ? "

"Jesus of Nazareth did it."

"Where is He ? I must see Him." .

" He's just on the road to Jericho."

Away Zaccheus runs ; and because he is a little man, he gets
up a tree, to see well. Jesus stops, looks up, calls him, "Zac-
cheus, come down." This was one instance of sudden conver-
sion. Some don't believe in sudden conversion ; but here Zac-
cheus was not converted when he went up the tree, yet he came
down a converted man. We are told he received Jesus gladly.
From these incidents, he proved how willing, how eager Christ
is to save all. What have we to do? Nothing, blessed be God I
If we had, we would never do it Only accept What had Zao-
cheus to do ? Only come down, only obey.



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TIMES OF BLESSING IN SHEFFIELD. 155

He concluded by drawing the attention of the audience to the
feet that the old year was fast dying — only a few minutes —and
what if the new year should come and find us where we were —
lost 1 Oh, let each of us take it, the offer is here ; will you have
it ? Salvation — ay, even before this year is closed you may be
saved.- As there are only a few minutes of this year remaining,
let us finish the old and begin the new on our knees.

The whole audience then sank on their knees, and the new
year found them bent in silent prayer. Mr. Moody asked that
those who were unsaved might stand up, that they might be
prayed for. For a time none were willing to do so, but on Mr.
Moody's asking a second time " if there were none in the hall
wishing salvation," a few stood up, and the Christians were asked
to pray for them.

Just then the bells began to ring in the new year, and the Rev.
IL Green engaged in prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost
on the town of Sheffield, and most particularly on the special
meetings to be held. Mr. Moody also engaged in prayer. This
was one of the most solemn scenes I have ever been privileged
to witness. While the audience were bent in prayer the most
intense stillness prevailed, broken only by an occasional sob.
After singing the Doxology, the meeting separated.

The streets were made lively after the meeting with vigorous
singing of hymns, as bands of Christians wended their way home.

Sunday was a day of blessing for Sheffield. The meetings were
attended with most blessed results.

The morning meeting for Christian workers was not, perhaps,
so well attended in point of numbers as might have been expected,
but the Christians who had come out at this early hour were right-
down hearty workers. As Mr. Moody said, " He would rather
have a moderately small meeting of such earnest Christians than
have it packed with thousands of careless people."

At the afternoon meeting, the Albert Hall was densely packed
half an hour before the time ; the lower Albert Hall was thrown
open for the overflow, but even then many had to go away disap-
pointed.



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Ij6 MOODY AND SAN KEY IN GREAT BRITAIN.

Mr. Moody addressed this large gathering from Rom. ii. 23:
"For there is no difference."

Many were evidently struck to the heart; some whom we
beard scoffing at the commencement, were in tears at the conclu-
sion of his address.

When Mr. Sankey followed by singing " Free from the law, O
happy condition 1 " it seemed to produce a deep impression.

The Sunday evening meeting was glorious. The hall was
again densely packed. Mr. Sankey sang his solo, " There were
ninety and nine." Mr. Moody then gave his address on "Re-
generation," from the words, " Ye must be born again." The
result of the whole proceedings in Sheffield since the coming of
our dear brethren must be considered highly satisfactory, and as
affording great cause for thankfulness.

Mr. Moody spoke no less than four times on Friday, on each
occasion with much power, and with signs following. It need
scarcely be added that Mr. Sankey's solos, including such favor-
ites as " Only an armor-bearer," " Dare to be a Daniel," " Whiter
than snow," etc, deepened the influences produced by Mr.
Moody's impassioned discourses. Indeed, it is made more and
more manifest that the special gifts of each evangelist have been
most happily wedded together for the common purpose they have
in view.

At the closing service in the evening there was no diminution
either in the attendance or the interest It was chiefly intended
for the young converts, who were admitted by ticket, and crowded
a large part of the area of the Albert Hall. Both the galleries
were also crammed long before the hour of commencing. It was
a glorious and inspiring sight to look on such a vast sea of human
faces, all lit up with eager expectation, and all assembled to hear
the simple story of the Saviour's grace and power. The scene
was more impressive still when, at the appointed hour, Mr.
Moody and Mr. Sankey having quietly crossed the front of the
platform, and taken their seats, the whole assembly rose and
joined in singing the hymn,

" Ring the bells of heaven, there is joy to-day,
For a soul returning from the wild."



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TIMES OF BLESSING IN SHEFFIELD. 157

And afterward, in that jubilant old hymn that used to be sung at
revival meetings fifteen years ago, and is ever fresh and new :

"O happy day! that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God;
Wei may this glowing heart rejoice,
Aiii tell its raptures all abroad."

After Mr. Sankey had sung "Whiter than snow," Mr. Moody
spoke with his accustomed pungency, simplicity, and power,
chiefly addressing the young converts. Surely they will never be
able to forget his words of affectionate encouragement and cau-
tion, as he pointed out the dangers that would inevitably come to
them in their Christian life, and the unfailing source of strength
amidst them all. Then came his parting words, evidently painful
alike to speaker and hearers. " I have learned to love you," said
Mr. Moody ; and the earnest gaze and tearful eyes before him
testified, more loudly than words, how his love was reciprocated,
and his labors and counsels prized. I was forcibly reminded of
the scene of Paul's farewell meeting with the elders at Miletum.
I verily believe that many hundreds of young converts would, one
and all, have fallen on Mr. Moody's neck, and kissed him, sorrow-
ing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see
his face no more. One little fellow, at the close of the meeting,
came to me in great distress when he found that Mr. Moody had
left without having given him a shake of his hand.

Before the meeting was dismissed, Mr. Sankey sang a parting
hymn to the tenderly pathetic tune of " Home, sweet home," and
the vast crowd lingered long in the hall where Christ had won so
many sons and daughters within the past two weeks.

The work among the young men has been taking root during
the week. It has been a " Happy New Year " for Sheffield, and
the faith of the Lord's people prompts them to hope that " still
there's more to follow."

Upward of eighty — clergymen of all the evangelical denomina-
tions in the town, and the other members of the committee — met
Messrs. Moody and Sankey at breakfast in the Imperial Hotel,
on Saturday morning, to bid them farewell. Reporters were ex*



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153 MOODY AND SANKEY IN GREAT BRITAIN.

eluded, but I understand that the unanimous expression of the
company was one of gratitude to the evangelists for their untiring
and successful labors in Sheffield, and for the spirit of cordial co-
operation among the various divisions of the Church that their
visit had so blessedly generated. Practical as he always is, Mr.
Moody used the occasion to urge upon the committee the neces-
sity of rearing a central and suitable building in the town, where
all those interested in the continued success of the work could
meet on neutral ground, and carry on the meetings.

In summing up the results, and giving general impressions of
the value of these special services, the following account may be
found useful :

The crowded meetings, thrice repeated every day, attended by
persons who set aside engagements, alike of business, work, and
pleasure, have been accompanied with much power from above.
Sheffield is usually considered as a population difficult to arouse,
sturdy, independent, unimpressionable ; like the metal in which
we work in these parts, true, but hard as steel. Yet the place
has been thoroughly aroused, and proof to demonstration given
that God is able to work here, as in Jerusalem of old, and as in
other towns of England now ; thus greatly- encouraging Christian
ministers and laborers to look with faith for greater things. All
the meetings have been pervaded by a sense of God's nearness j
believers have been filled with fresh joy, and fired with new zeal ;
the anxious have found soul-rest; the careless have been aroused.
In fact, we have had at once a revival and an awakening — a re-
vival touching the hearts of God's people, and an awakening
spreading among the thoughtless. The influence reached its
height on the last night of Mr. Moody's presence in the town,
when he addressed specially the converts, who were present in
goodly numbers, together with a vast crowd of Christian workers.
His words seemed to have a thrilling power among us all. When
he closed by saying that he did not like "farewell/' and "good-
bye" was almost as bad; he would therefore just say "good-
night," and meet us in the morning (pointing to the skies), I
think the whole audience deeply felt how much our beloved



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TIMES OF BLESSING IN SHEFFIELD. 159

brother had endeared himself to us. And when Mr. Sankey fol-
lowed directly with his touching farewell hymn, so appropriate to
such an occasion, and so specially addressing every class of
hearers, many were the eyes that were bathed in tears. Had it
been possible, we would not have parted with our brethren. But
may the Lord go with them in other places, confirming their word
with signs and wonders, as He has done here 1

The verdict of almost all Christian people upon this movement
is, that it is the work of God. I am convinced that such an esti-
mate is just, on many grounds.

i. The movement was an answer to prayer. Though we had
not waited on the Lord so long as Christians in some other towns
have done, a weekly united prayer-meeting had been maintained
for nearly a year previously. Many of God's people were also
quietly sighing and crying for the abominations of the city, and
hungering and thirsting for spiritual blessing. One feature in the
prayers previously offered was very noticeable. While all were
preparing heartily to welcome Messrs. Moody and Sankey, there
was a thorough recognition in the supplications that not they,
but their God, must open the flood-gates of grace. The Spirit
was honored ; and we have had the answer.

2. Remarkable unity prevailed. At least in its outward mani-
festation this was realized, when ministers of the Established
Church and those of the Free Churches sat together on the same
platform, and followed each other in prayer. The force of exhor-
tation, backed by the united sympathy and supplications of the
whole Christian Church, is multiplied tenfold. Doubtless Chris-
tian union is of God. When will it genuinely prevail ? Is not
the attainment of it worth the surrender of the causes of division ?

3. The movement had a growing power. Its influence at first
was not to be compared with what it became in its progress. In-
deed, the feeling of myself and of others with whom I have con-
versed was at first one of disappointment Both Mr. Moody's
speakirg and Mr. Sanke/s singing seemed to fall short of what
we had expected ; but it was not long before the impressiveness
of both made itself felt to all To my mind this is a true test of



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l6o MOODY ANP SANKEY IN GREAT BRITAIN.

excellence. A picture, a piece of music, a landscape — do they
grow upon you by repetition ? The work of these evangelists has
grown upon us. I apprehend it would have been the other way,
had it not been of God.

4. The stillness was remarkable. The noise and confusion
favorable to revivals which are the work of man was altogether
absent. The quiet, favorable to the descent and operations of
the Holy Ghost, was marked. A man of my acquaintance once
observed that " anybody could get up a revival, if he only made
enough noise." There was nothing of that kind here. Indeed,
I noticed that if any brother threw a needless physical exertion
into his entreaties, Mr. Moody would be sure to say, " Let us
have a few minutes' silent prayer ; " and this was mostly followed
by the subduing strains of Mr. Sankey's harmonium and voice.
A solemn quiet reigned at all times, and even Mr. Moody's hu-
morous sayings did not destroy the solemnity of it A work done
under conditions such as these, so different from those which
have prevailed in some "revivals," commends itself to me as the
work of God. There are many things that I might touch on ; but
only one thing more will I mention.

5. The work is evidently one of faith. This quality is very
observable in Mr. Moody. He has faith — not a proud self confi-
dence engendered by success, but a humble reliance upon God
and fearless expectation of blessing.

Letter of Mr. Moody to the Young Converts.

A meeting of converts was held on the evening of January 19,
presided over by the Rev. R. Staunton.

During the proceedings the chairman read the following letter :

"Birmingham, Jan. 19, 1875.

" My dear Friends : Mr. Sankey and I would have been very

glad to have seen you all once more to-night, but God has given

us work in another corner of His vineyard, and we can only join

you in well-wishes. I am very glad now to have this opportunity



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TIMES OF BLESSING IN SHEFFIELD. l6l

of fulfilling my promise to send you a short message. There are
many things I should like to say if I had the time, but I fear 1
must confine myself to one or two very plain words. Ever since
we left Sheffield, every one of us will have changed a little. Some
will be merrier, and some will be gloomier. Some will be fuller
of God's love, and some may even feel a little emptier ; others,
again, may not have got over the period of wonder, and still find
themselves asking : ' And can it really all be true ? Is it not just
some strange dream ? Is it really possible that God loves us,
and that we are really saved for evermore ? ' And this is my only
one reply to these very common and rational questions : We are
changed, but Christ is not Oh, if He were different, it would be a
very, very serious thing. And if we are changed and are fright-
ened about it, we must find out at once if He is changed too. If
it is only we who are different, it does not matter much, because
salvation does not depend upon us, but upon Him. And the
Bible tells us all about it in one little golden sentence, which we
must all ask God to burn into our hearts, and then we shall never
be troubled any more about our feelings. In Hebrews xiii. 8,
He says, 'Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and fo?
ever.' Yes 1 the same ; no matter how changed we are, no mat
ter how dull, how joyless, He is just as He was yesterday, just
as He was the night when we got our first glimpse of His dying
love for us.

" Oh, dear friends, let us keep looking to Him, and as we look,
God will give us the longing to be more and more like Him.
Perhaps some of you already feel that longing, and you don't
know what it is I Perhaps you think it is very hard to have this
craving after a better heart and a holier life. But Christ says it
is ' blessed.' It is not hard ; it is not a misfortune ; it is not a
sign that the health of the soul is gone. No ; appetite is not the
symptom of disease, but of health. And the Master Himself has
told us that it is blessed to be hungry and thirsty after Him.
And some of you may be mourning over your empty hearts, for
little lore is there ; how little faith, how little zeal for the Mas-
ter's service 1 Well, it is not hardship to feel like that If it be



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l6a MOODY AND SANKEY IN GREAT BRITAIN.

real, it is not sad to be that way, only don't mourn over it
Christ says it is ' blessed ' — blessed to be poor in spirit ; and the
poorer, and weaker, and humbler we feel, the more room is thero
for Him to perfect strength in our weakness. ' My grace is suffi-
cient for thee ; my strength is made perfect in weakness ; * # *
for when I am weak, then am I strong/ And now, dear friends,
before closing, let me ask you all to do something for Christ,
something this very week. I cannot tell you what to do ; but
God will if you ask Him. He has something for everybody to
do ; and let us be earnest in doing our best for Him, and let us
do it soon. Death will be upon us when our work will be but
begun, and ' the night cometh when no man can work.' And for
every one of you, that God may bless you, and keep you, and
cause the light of His face to shine upon you, and enable you to
grow in the knowledge and likeness of His only begotten Son, is
the earnest and humble prayer of your affectionate friend,

"D. L. Moody."



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CHAPTER XVm.
"The Toy shop of the World " Welcomes Them.

Birmingham, with its 400,000 people, the constituency of
John Bright, the English reformer, now looks up to God for a
shower of grace upon the seed-sowing of the evangelists who
began there January 17, and closed on the 29th.

Never before in Birmingham have any preachers drawn such
vast numbers of people as these brethren are doing at this time.
Thousands are flocking daily to hear them from the districts
around. The whole community seems stirred up. That which
seems to be uppermost in men's minds, is the present marvelous
gatherings that are daily taking place. There is no lack of



Online LibraryEdgar Johnson GoodspeedA full history of the wonderful career of Moody and Sankey in Great Britain ... → online text (page 13 of 64)