Edgar Johnson Goodspeed.

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

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opportunity for the Christian to put in a word for the Master, for
wherever you go, whether in the counting-house, shop, refresh-
ment-room, train, omnibus, and even as you walk along the
street, the one topic is the doings of these wonderful men of God.
If you want to get a seat at their meetings, you must be there fully
one hour before the time, and a stranger entering the town must
be struck with the determination of those who daily seek these

Every day this week hundreds have been turned away from
the noon-day meetings held in the Town Hall. Meetings are
now being held in Carr's Lane Chapel every afternoon at three
o'clock, and here again it is necessary to be there some time before
the service commences. In fact, yesterday I was there at two
o clock, and die body of the chapel was then filled. It is estimated
that three thousand people are in this building every afternoon.


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To convey to the mind of the reader the sight which presents
itself on entering Bingley Hall is impossible. Sloping down
from the galleries which run round the building, other galleries
have been erected, and the whole building, from the speaker's
platform, looks like one vast amphitheatre. The crimson cloth
which drapes the galleries adds to the general effect, and makes
the hall look very comfortable. The immense sea of faces is
singularly impressive, especially when from 12,000 to 15,000
people are listening eagerly to catch the words that fall from the
speaker's lips.

The question may be asked, What effect is this movement hav-
ing upon the people in general ? I reply, Good every way. The
stirring addresses given by Mr. Moody to Christians from the
very first morning, are bearing fruit. They are beginning to look
about, and realize that thousands around them are living without
Christ. Many Christians have spoken to me of the fresh energy
with which they have been stimulated, through attending the
meetings. As for those who nightly throng Bingley Hall, the
best test of the work I can give is, that whereas at first the 'after-
meetings were held in a neighboring church, the anxious ones
have now become so numerous, that they are obliged to remain
in the hall, while earnest Christian workers, with Bible in hand,
pass from one to another, and open to inquirers the way of life.

All this proves to us the great power of God, and what He can
do by two men who give themselves wholly up to Him. The work
" is marvelous in our eyes," but it is not less marvelous that their
physical strength does not give way under their unceasing labors.
While Mr. Sankey is greatly gifted with power to use his voice in
singing the Gospel, Mr. Moody has a way of marvelously picturing,
in the most vivid manner, Bible truths. From the humorous he
can come down to the pathetic, and so move his hearers to tears,
and withal there is a " holy boldness " which is seldom to be met
with in the preachers of the present day.

The Morning News says : " Never before in the history of Bir-
mingham, I believe, have two men drawn such large numbers of
people together as Messrs. Moody and Sankey have done, time


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after time, during the whole of last week and yesterday. The
Town Hall, Carr's Lane Chapel, and Bingley Hall, have been
entirely filled at most of their meetings, uncomfortably crowded
at some, and all but full at one or two others. Since commencing
their labors here, they have held twenty-two services, namely,
four in Carr's Lane Chapel, six in the Town Hall, and twelve in
Bingley Hall. No doubt in many cases the same persons pre-
sented themselves at the meetings again and again ; but it is
probable that the audiences were, for the most part, different on
each occasion. At the four meetings in Carr's Lane Chapel
some 12,000, at the six in the Town Hall about 24,000, and at the
twelve in Bingley Hall at least 120,000 persons must have been
present, making a total of 156,000 men, women, and children, to
whom, during the last eight days, they have preached and sung
the Gospel. Nor does the interest in the men and their work
as yet know any abatement, it being likely that the services to be
held this week will be as numerously attended as those of last week."

Amidst all the cavil of unbelief, and other opponents, thou-
sands can testify, day by day, to the reality and power, widely
spreading and deepening blessing upon their souls. Sinners
have been converted to God, and believers edified. Whole con-
gregations, both in churches and chapels, have felt its animating
power. The clergy and ministers of various denominations
have rejoiced together in this blessed work of the Lord, and felt
its quickening influence. Many of the Lord's servants have met
together for the first time, and felt their hearts drawn out in
brotherly love and sympathy, enabling them to overlook various
minor differences of creed and church government

The noon-day prayer-meeting was first held in the Town Hall,
which large building was filled long before the appointed hour.
A very solemn and prayerful spirit seemed to pervade the masses
— the stillness was quite impressive, and the great bulk of the
people seemed to enter most deeply into the importance and
solemnity of the occasion. The numbers at the noon day prayer-
meeting were probably quite 3,000. Afterward it was changed
to Bingley Hall, where thousands more might be accommodated


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The afterpoon Bible-reading is also well attended, and greatly
enjoyed by many. The evening meetings hav* gone on steadily
increasing, until at length I suppose some 15,000 must have been
congregated together. The attention of these great masses
(assembled an hour before the time) was well sustained by sing-
ing — and, as a brother clergyman said to me, on the platform, " we
never heard such singing of the good Old Hundredth Psalm
before, and probably may never hear the like again " — as it burst
forth from the hearts and lips of this vast assemblage. Oh ! it
was a touching sight and a telling sound — such as Birmingham
itself had never witnessed before — 15,000 met together, night
after night, to listen to the loving, sympathizing, fervent preach-
ing of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners I And the audience
felt it I The Holy Spirit of God seemed working in our midst —
alike on preacher and hearers — and many were the hearts moved.

At 7:30 Messrs. Moody and Sankey entered the building.
The service began by singing, then prayer was offered, another
hymn or two were sung, a portion of Holy Scripture read, another
hymn, and then followed the address. Numerous anecdotes
were related, as if not only to illustrate certain points, but also
to rivet the attention, and then, as the preacher's heart and
tongue seemed set on fire, all these little adjuncts were sub-
merged in the one glowing, burning theme — salvation for lost
sinners — yea, a* present and immediate salvation for every one
that believeth in Jesus ! As I sat near the preacher, I could
read the meaning of the big drops upon his brow, and how his
whole frame was moved, not with selfish passions, seeking per-
sonal admiration, but steeped in the love and spirit of his Master.
One great object was kept steadily in view — the glory of God in
the salvation of sinners through Jesus Christ, and the intense
longing that thousands might share with him the blessings and
the joys of this great salvation I Almost breathless stillness
chained the audience.

Numbers stayed for the after-meetings; the females in the
side-galleries, the males in the Scotch Church adjoining. On
the first Monday evening Mr. Moody himself undertook the men,


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bat finding the numbers so large, he sent up to the platform for
assistance. Undoubtedly personal interviews are the best.

We have reason to believe that many found pardon and peace
in Jesus, and are spreading their happy and holy influences
around. The singing appeared to be improving night after
night, as the vast masses gradually learned the tunes and hymns.
Mr. Sankey's solos were powerfully and sweetly sung, and his
clear utterance and distinct enunciation of syllable after syllable
gave a great effect and pathos to the whole.

And on Tuesday, January 26, the day of the convention, it
was supposed that from one to two thousand ministers of various
denominations attended the gathering, which began that day
at ten o'clock and continued till four p. m. Truly it was a great
evidence of the divine blessing, as the delegates from Edinburgh,
and Dublin, and other cities, told how the work was still progress-
ing in their respective cities, after Messrs. Moody and Sankey
had left, and in some places ripening in a most marvelous
manner. Indeed a letter reached me only yesterday, telling me
of a brother clergyman in Dublin, who had a list of sixty persons
in his congregation, who had apparently been brought to Christ
through attending the meetings of Messrs. Moody and Sankey.

Verily, the Lord is blessing the evangelistic labors of our dear
brothers in Christ — Moody and Sankey. I do not pretend to
endorse every utterance, or to see with them exactly, eye to eye, on
every point. But I do see, and I do greatl) rejoice in their being
raised up by God to proclaim, so touchingly, and so successfully,
the utter ruin of sinful, fallen man, and his recovery solely
through faith in Jesus Christ !

The all-day convention on Tuesday was in every way a suc-
cessful meeting. It was attended by immense crowds throughout
the day, and many well-known ministers and others were present
from London and various towns in the provinces, as well as Scot-
land and Ireland. Mr. Moody presided throughout the day, with
his usual tact and energy.

The first hour was fitly devoted to praise, and Mr. Sankey'**
opening address was followed by powerful testimony to the value


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Df the services by our brethren in Scotland and Ireland. All the
speakers concurred in saying that a new song had been put into
their mouths.

Mr. Moody occupied the next hour with an address on " Work ; "
and his trenchant words, uttered in the presence of so many
Christian workers, were potent with blessing, in stimulating them
to do more than ever for the Master in their widely separated

" How to conduct Prayer-meetings " was the next topic, and a
most important one it is. We cannot better describe many of
the prayer-meetings we have been accustomed to attend in past
years than by comparing them to " wet blankets." They have
been characterized by so much frigidity and routine, that we do
not wonder the attendance has mostly been small Mr. Moody
will have done us British Christians a great and lasting service if
he has been enabled to show how our prayer-meetings may be
made broad and deep channels of blessing and happiness, both
to Christians and the careless world round about us. We look
for this result

More important, perhaps, was the subject of the next hour,
4< How to reach the masses. 1 ' Whoever will solve that problem
will earn the unspeakable gratitude of all who sigh for the conver-
sion of the nations to Christ. The rousing addresses of Mr.
Chown, of Bradford ; Mr. Newman Hall, of London ; Mr. R. W.
Dale, of Birmingham ; Mr. Fletcher, of Dublin, and others, all
men of large experience, will, we trust, have contributed some-
what to this desired end.

Mr. Moody was as practical as ever in his answers to the ques-
tions sent in ; and if those who sent them will only apply those
answers, we are inclined to think the hour devoted to the " Ques-
tion Drawer " will be the most fruitful of any.

In the evening a public service was held in the same place ;
hundreds were unable to gain admission. The Rev. Newman
Hall, of London, delivered an address, earnestly entreating all
present to forsake sin and come to Christ. Mr. Moody, in his
discourse, urged on his hearers immediate decision for Christ


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"the toy-shop of the world" WELCOMES THEM. 169

Mr. Sankey's singing of sacred songs seems to make a deep
impression upon the great congregation.

At the meeting in Bingley Hall on Friday evening, Mr. Moody
said : I was very dejected last night. Our meetings have been
no much blessed that an effort was put forth to get Bingley Hall
for another week. When we got home last evening, we found a
despatch from a gentleman, saying we could not have the halL I
was gready depressed all day. Now, however, I have just been
told we may yet obtain the hall for another week. But the com-
mittee are wavering a little, as they have some fears the people
will not come out to the meetings next week. We have had good
committees wherever we have been ; but we have never had a
better committee than the Birmingham one, and I know they will
come to a wise decision. But if you are anxious about your souls,
you'll attend the meetings. We'll get several gentlemen to speak,
and we hope you'll rally round them and the committee. We
have had great blessings in other towns ; but I think we never
met with anything that came up to this — to our meetings in Bir-
mingham. I must say I've never enjoyed preaching the gospel
more than I have done since we came to Birmingham. WeVe
reached so many people. I only wish we could have such a hall
wherever we go. I think if we could only take up Bingley Hall,
we would carry it round the world with us, as a place in which to
preach the gospel to all men. But I would like you Birmingham
people to go with us. Well, then, if we do our best to get speak-
ers for another week, will you do your best to get hearers for the
speakers? — (Many cries of "Yes," "yes.") Well, keep your
promise. Why, almost any man could speak in this hall to such
a meeting as this. The very sight of you is enough to make a
dumb dog bark. Ill telegraph off to Liverpool and London to
send us all the help they can. There will be a service on Sunday
afternoon, when one of your own ministers will preach. On Mon-
day night you'll have a thanksgiving service. Come to it to thank
God for having answered our prayers to bless these meetings.
Has God not answered your prayers? — (Cries of "Yes," "yes.")
Then on Tuesday well get some one else to speak. On


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Wednesday there will be the usual services in the churches and
chapels. On Thursday night there will be another speaker. On
Friday I will come back, on my way to Liverpool, and we'll have
a meeting for all the converts. Now, let all rise who will support
the committee and attend the different meetings. [Almost the
entire audience stood up in response to this appeal.] Yes ; the
committee are quite satisfied. We'll go on then. Pray there may
be hundreds and thousands converted next, week. If things do
not always please you, don't complain ; just pray. Pray for a
great blessing next week.

Services were held in Bingley Hall, from 5,000 to 7,000 per-
sons having been present at each.

At Messrs. Moody and Sankey's farewell service, Bingley Hall
was once more crowded to its utmost, nearly 1,600 converts'
tickets being applied for. It would be manifestly premature to
assert that this number of people have been converted during the
previous three weeks' services. As Mr. Moody said at the Con-
ference in London, on the same day, they did not desire to reckon
up the number of converts, because they could not judge of the
reality of the cases. At the same time we think it very probable
that many have been brought savingly to believe in Christ who
did not apply for converts' tickets. In any case, the progress of
the movement in Birmingham has been such as greatly to encour-
age and cheer our American brethren and those who helped them
in their labors ; and we respond to Mr. Moody's hope that it may
" continue for a year."

Mr. Moody's address to the converts was, as usual, most fitting.
His parting sentences were the expression of affectionate regard,
and it was plain, from the demeanor of the audience, that the
parting on their side was a most reluctant one.

Mr. Sankey sang the farewell hymn with great pathos and feel-
ing; and on leaving the hall both he and Mr. Moody were be-
sieged with friends anxious to receive a parting shake of the hand.
They proceeded to Liverpool on Saturday.

A correspondent writes concerning this meeting: "We shall
never forget that address." Such was the almost involuntary


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"the toy-shop of the world" welcomes them, 171

exclamation of a well-dressed mechanic who was standing by us
in the aisle of Bingley Hall. And truly the Work of the Lord in
this town is such as has never before been seen here. We were
praying and expecting great things, but the blessing has exceeded
our expectations y never before have the people of every class
been so moved and such glorious results followed. A week hav-
ing elapsed since Mr. Moody left us, we are enabled to speak in
a measure of results. First, the life of the ministers who have
taken part has been largely increased, so that the testimony of
many of the hearers last Sunday was, " Our minister preaches like
a new man ; " then the renewed life of the churches is already
manifesting itself in the desire to work either in Sunday-schools
or tract districts ; and besides this, the people outside are more
disposed to hear the gospel, many coming into our churches last
Sunday, and in more cases than one when notice was given out
after the service that inquirers would be spoken to, numbers vary-
ing from twenty to sixty passed into the vestry, and many rejoiced
in a new-found Saviour. Our hearts are indeed full of praise ;
should we be silent, the stones might well cry out, " But we will
bless the Lord from this time forth, and forevermore."

I know of no one of the many blessed hymns which has more
struck the heart and arrested attention than that sweet one whose
chorus begins, " Oh, 'twas love, 'twas wondrous love, the love of
God to me." This love and its manifestation is the theme of every
sermon, and, of course, God owns it. Ministers wonder at fail-
ure, and try to discover the cause ; a week of services such as
Birmingham has had for the last fortnight, I think must answer
the question, "What is the cause of failure?" for we have seen
in the crowded meetings, in the overwhelming number of anxious
ones, in the utter breaking down of strong men, the secret of suc-
cess* The wondrous love of God has been the weapon which has
been used ; failure in using this weapon has been the cause of
failure in result. Never has Birmingham been so mightily moved ;
in the workshops Sankey's songs are sung, and men who cared fot
none of thest N hings are anxiously inquiring after the good news.
Oh, may our God carry on the work begun with mighty power.


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Liverpool's Month of Mercy.

The brethren revisited this great city by the sea on the 7th of
February and remained till March 7, 1875. Twenty thousand
dollars had been expended for a building capable of seating
eight thousand persons, and, when crowded, several thousand
more were accommodated. It was named Victoria Hall.

The Friday preceding the arrival was observed as a day of
preparation on the part of many of the churches, and the first
meeting of the evangelists was on Sunday morning, at eight
o'clock, for Christian workers. This was followed by the after-
noon and evening meetings.

All Liverpool was moved by them; but not with the most
desiiable feelings. Some were actuated by a spirit of embittered
hostility, and did not hesitate to write and speak of these ser-
vants of Christ what had not the shadow of truth. This veiy
opposition, however, did good. God makes " the wrath of men
to praise Him." I have known of some who entered Victoria
Hall bitter enemies, and left it attached friends to the move-
ment Many flock to the meetings, apparently from idle curi-
osity, and thousands under spiritual anxiety, whilst God's people
rally round the evangelists with an enthusiasm and hearty good-
will which is cheering to observe.

At last Monday evening's meeting, an intelligent young man

informed me he came into that hall to scoff at all he heard. " I

believed only in God and the devil ; the latter I served well, and,

as sitting laughing at the fools (as I then thought) about mc,


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that beautiful hymn, 'Safe in the arms of Jesus, was sung. A
sudden thrill passed through my whole frame, and then like a dart
ran through my very heart. My feelings were awful, but I lis-
tened to the next verse, and felt there is a Saviour. Who is He?
Where is He? Instantly I realized the truth, Jesus is the
Saviour. I threw myself into His loving arms, and here I am
now, rejoicing in Him."

" Blessed be God," I said, "for such news. Now, brother, go
home and tell your friends what great things God hath done for
your soul."

"Will you pray?" he said.

We went together to the throne, and then he said, " God bless
you. I will now live and work for Jesus."

The devil lays his plans, and no doubt thinks they are well
arranged, but whilst he proposes certain events, God disposes of
them in a very different way than Satan expected.

Of this I have had an instance.

"lam under a dreadful temptation," said a young man to me.

"What is it?" I asked.

"I was given drink by a man professing to be a Christian, and
whom I have heard preaching the truth to me and others, but who
is opposed to Moody and Sankey, and I was sent here by him
to give annoyance. Now I am brought to Christ, in place of dis-
honoring Christ in this meeting, what am I to do to this man ? "

" Pray for him," I said, " and God will give him to you as a
star for your crown. Tell him plainly his state, and bring him
iere with you next night."

" I knew a lady who went to a religious meeting an avowed
infidel, sent there by two sisters-in-law for a similar purpose to
that which brought you this night here. She was brought to
Christ, and sent back to them full of Jesus, and was the means
of their saving conversion ; and now all three are rejoicing in the
great salvation effected by Jesus, the Son of God, for every
penitent, believing child of Adam."

Truly the Lord is doing great things for us, "whereof we ore


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It may emphatically be said of them, "They came, they spoke,
they conquered." For twenty years I have been more or less
mixed up with the evangelistic work of the town, but never have
I met with more opposition and scorn to any movement than the

The erection of the vast hall to hold 10,000 persons, was looked
on as monstrous folly. As it was being built, the talk was, To
what purpose is this waste? But now what was called Moody's
folly, is seen to be God's wisdom.

Men who wrote, spoke against, and laughed at it, now speak
with bated breath, come and hear, and go with changed thoughts.
" Nothing succeeds like success," is an old world's adage, and in
this is proved to be true : — 6,000 at a midday prayer-meeting ;
6,000 at the afternoon Bible-lecture ; 10,000 at the evening meet-
ing, with the inquiry-rooms full, are something that even the Ex-
change has to admit But beyond this, there is the mighty work-
ing power of God's Spirit working and acting, which no tables
can register or numbers record. " 'Tis not by might, nor by power,
but by My Spirit," was the key-note of the preparatory meetings,
which has been steadily kept before all the workers.

The part allotted to me in the great work has enabled me to
see and test much that is going oil And this I can say— there is
wheat ; there is chaff The wheat is sound, and will be a glorious,
bountiful harvest The chaff will be blown away. Wheat and
chaff always grow together. Never have we been privileged to
see so much real, genuine work — anxious faces, tearful eyes,
aching hearts.

Mr. Moody, after a telling address, went into the inquiry-room,
and his place was occupied by a layman, who wielded^ the sword
of the Spirit with amazing power right and left His words,
powerful and well chosen, fell with force, and told on the vast
audience that seemed spellbound. Many seemed to be convicted
of sin, and hurried into the inquiry-room.

Online LibraryEdgar Johnson GoodspeedA full history of the wonderful career of Moody and Sankey in Great Britain ... → online text (page 14 of 64)