Imágenes de páginas

all is not done for the common weal. This one man is the fons et origo of the whole; of the social, the moral, and the spiritual prosperity of the place, which are sufficiently marked to provoke the admiration and wonder of any thoughtful visitor to Northfield.

The educational establishments for some seven hundred young ladies and gentlemen, which have already sent forth their thousands of devoted Christian laborers to engage in the Master's work in all parts of the world, are in themselves a very miracle of enterprise, courage, and generosity. The striking methods adopted, both in the education of the students and for the obtaining of money for those who lack means, by utilizing their services during


make a human work indestructible, will certainly guarantee the after results of his toil.

(1) Every stone has been laid upon the solid basis of

the vacations, when Northfield is filled with visitors for the conventions, are a constant theme of admiration to all who visit the place; while the moral and spiritual force displayed at all points, in the seminaries, in the boarding--prayer. God's grace, God's guidance, God's glory, have houses, in the hotel life, and in the township, is such as not only to compel the admiration of onlookers, but to evoke the declaration of those who study it most closely : "This counsel and this work must be of God and not of men."

And yet, one man, D. L. Moody, is evidently the moving spirit of the whole, and he rules "with an iron hand well covered with velvet."

What, then, is the secret of this man's success here in social and educational organization, as everywhere else in evangelistic and spiritual labors? And will the works which have so marvelously grown under his hand stand the test of time and experience?

It may appear presumptuous for a stranger to speak with confidence upon these points, but as the answer to the first question secures a safe answer to the second, we think that even here a stranger may dare to prophesy with boldness.

Mr. Moody's work, whether at home or abroad, has been upreared upon three foundations, which, if anything can


been sought without ceasing; and before one step has been taken, whether at Northfield or Chicago, it has been made as certain as prayer and its wonderful answers can make it that the favor of the Almighty was upon the undertaking. Let those who will scoff at the power of prayer, D. L. Moody and his work are magnificent testimonies to all who have the humility and the will to be convinced that God is indeed a prayer-answering God, and that they who put their trust in him shall never lack for wisdom or for supplies. The first power in Northfield is the power of prayer.

(2) Upon every soul with whom Mr. Moody has had to deal he has unceasingly and with courageous determination impressed his simple, scriptural Gospel, which tells of the infinite love of God, of the perfect atonement wrought for sin by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, of the absolute necessity of a new birth by the Spirit, and of the wondrous power of that Holy Spirit to sanctify all who receive him into their souls.

There is no uncertainty about D. L. Moody's evangel

ism, and, while Mr. Sankey and others should be never forgotten, but honored and rejoiced over as God's power in song, and while multitudes owe to the sweet singers a debt of infinite gratitude, it is quite certain that the rock upon which all the educational and evan

gelistic results of

these brethren have been based is that solid rock of the atonement, or the Gospel of substitution, so freely announced by Mr. Moody and his coworkers, whether as preachers or as singers of the Gospel.

But not only have the divine aid been sought and the divine counsel been declared


at every step of Mr. Moody's work, but we must, if we would learn the real secret of its success, notice that

(3) The Divine Being has in everything and at all times been acknowledged as the author or giver of all good giftswisdom, money, power, and success; as the Lord, for whose glory every step must be taken; and as the Master to whose guidance every detail must be submitted.

At Northfield no man is allowed to glory in men. The work is the Lord's; he must rule at all points, and receive the full honor for all that succeeds. Mr. Moody would be the first to acknowledge that he owes an incalculable debt to his mother and to his wife, who have so long been the blessed home spirits of his life. In Mr. Moody's children the father has living monuments of his wisdom and power in the home-and yet not for one moment, either in Northfield or Chicago, is any ruler acknowledged or spoken of but Jehovah.

These are the secrets or grounds of the success which God has so graciously given to his servant. In this man, to a most remarkable degree, has been exemplified the words of the Apostle to the Corinthians, "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence."



And herein lies the answer to our second inquiryWill the works now centered in Mr. Moody stand? Upon this Rock," i. e., upon the true confession of Christ, the Lord Jesus promised that "he would build His Church, and that the gates of hell should not prevail against it." Whatever else may fail, the Lord's word can never pass away." Just so long, therefore, as these three great foundations of Prayer, Truth, and Humility are preserved intact in our brother's work at Northfield and Chicago, so long is it certain that "the blessing of the Lord which maketh rich, and to which no sorrow is ever to be added,"

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

church, and devoted himself to filling them with young men, but was so poor a talker in prayer-meetings that he was counseled to let others talk while he brought in the hearers. Recruiting was his forte. He worked in hard neighborhoods among hard characters. Evenings and Sundays were given to it. He built up a dozen Sunday-schools.. During the war he worked efficiently in the Christian Commission. Such was his apprenticeship. By and by a church was built for him, which he filled with the eloquence born of the passion for souls which such an experience had fed and trained.

The debt which America owed to England for Whitefield, in the last century, was soon repaid with interest by Mr. Moody. In company with Mr. Sankey, he visited Great Britain in 1873. Beginning at Edinburgh, they went through all parts of the country, ending with a thirty days" meeting in London in 1875. Coldness melted before them into enthusiasm. Hostile criticism changed to friendliness and admiration. The crowd was transient; the impression was permanent. Scotland, says Professor Drummond, who followed Mr. Moody's work for a year, would not have been what it is to-day but for him. There are now, in all parts of the United Kingdom, buildings and institutions, both religious and philanthropic, which owe their existence to him. Returning to this country, the two evangelists carried the same work through the large cities, amid the same popular interest.

It is as an evangelist, an itinerant preacher of the Gospel, that Mr. Moody has given the public its superficial impression of him. Among men of that class he has had a wider hearing and influence than any other in our time.. The evangelist passes on and leaves to others the care of giving permanence to his work. Mr. Moody has undertaken to do that himself, and in so doing has become an evangelist of a new type. Experience revealed to him the need of an educational basis for permanent religious betterment. "Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge." He had done his work in cities. The sparse population of country districts needed such work just as much. Northfield, in Massachusetts, had been his early home. Here was the place to begin.

Fixing his home here again in 1875, and interesting others in his scheme, the Northfield Seminary for girls was opened in 1879, and in 1881 the Mount Hermon School for boys and young men. The supreme aim in these schools is a Christian character coupled with the general training given in a rural academy. With this end in view, more study is given to the Bible than to any other one book. In its light, as the great Christian classic, all other studies are pursued. In 1892 there were only about 5 per cent. of the pupils in the Seminary who were not communicants. Very many became communicants while in attendance. These two institutions, about four miles apart, on the east and west side of the Connecticut, have now, we believe, about fifty buildings, a thousand acres of ground,


more than seven hundred pupils, and far more applicants than they have room for. Pupils come to Northfield mainly from the States and Canada. In Mount Hermon many races and nationalities have been represented. Their graduates are found in many homes and many vocations; many enter college; many become teachers and missionaries.

Besides these two academical schools, Mr. Moody has established two others of a semi-professional kind. The Bible Institute in Chicago, for men and women, was opened in 1889; the Northfield Training School, for women, in 1890. The object of these is to raise up trained Christian workers for service among the unchurched, the poor and outcast, both in cities and in country districts. All four of Mr. Moody's schools are characteristically Bible schools, but in these two about half of the whole time is devoted to Bible study, with a view to its effect upon those who live by it, and on those whom they can reach and help thereby. Practical service in various kinds of mission work is joined with this as a course in "Gospel clinics," and in the Training School instruction is given in the fundamental domestic arts. From the Insti

tute 167 students have become pastors; 103, missionaries of various kinds; 103, evangelists; 161 are studying theology or medicine in preparation for pastoral or missionary work.

Thus magnificently has Mr. Moody multiplied himself as no other evangelist ever did. It is his maxim, "Better set ten men to work than do the work of ten men." It is

66 that "no

truly said other living man has done so much to set SO many other people to work and develop latent talents and powers."

To set these four schools on foot, and meet the requirements of their rapid growth, large giving has been necessary. Mr. Moody makes large givers, and is a royal giver himself. He was obliged to print his hymn-book at his own expense,

ized a Colportage Association to spread the sale of these and similar books. The profits support the workers in their work. One book in the list is especially characteristic of the man-the Northfield edition of Bagster's Bible, specially prepared according to Mr. Moody's suggestions for the use of his students.

But no account of Mr. Moody's wide-branching organization of his work would be complete without mention of the Bible conventions held yearly at Northfield. What the Chautauqua assemblies have been to students in the Chautauqua courses, these summer Bible-schools have been to those who have been taught and trained in Mr. Moody's lines. Here, where some of the ablest men in the various churches are brought together to discourse on the vital themes of Biblical teaching, is the home hearth where their bond of union is strengthened, a focus of fresh inspiration for intelligence and for zeal.

Those who attribute a certain decline of popular interest in Mr. Moody's preaching to the theological changes which are going on seem to us mistaken. As to this, the observations are in point which a distinguished Unitarian of the


radical school, the Rev. W. C. Gannett, made in 1877" Not all men carry ideas, not all men carry feelings, which can be moved by a word said to them in common; but every man who goes to the Tabernacle carries a conscience, and knows what Moody means when he says straightforwardly You are a sinner; you need cure, you feel mighty little power to cure yourself; there's a power that can cure you; lay hold of it-here it is -and be well.' He knows what he is talking about, and you know too, be the doctrine what it may. Two or three great moral facts of religion, phrased in the Christian symbols, are there. The fact of sin, the need of a changed heart, of a new birth, the sure moral judgment, the possibility of forgiveness, the strength that comes to the penitent-this you and I know all about, though our symbols for it are different."



because no publisher would take the copyright gratis. It has yielded him a fortune, and this has all been turned in to meet the expenses of this educational work, which still outgrows his resources. It also requires first-class executive ability to be such an organizer. Mr. Moody ranks as high in the qualities of insight, promptness, and energy, which make great administrators of business, as in those which make the successful evangelist. Of these he gave a splendid demonstration in the organizing, financing, and direction of the six months' evangelistic campaign in Chicago during the World's Fair. And yet no man ever had a more humble estimate of himself. If he can get others to speak, he prefers to listen.

[ocr errors]

He values the printed page also, and has been busy with his pen in producing quite a library of books and booklets, some two dozen in all, some of which have sold far above a hundred thousand copies. What General Booth's books are for his Army, these are for the host whom Mr. Moody has inspired. Some of them have been translated into Swedish, German, and Danish-Norwegian. Nor are they allowed to wait for buyers. He has organ

The "Andover Review" remarked in 1891 that a new era in evangelism began with Mr. Moody. The older evangelists dwelt alternately upon the Sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. But "Moody virtually established a new school by making prominent the love of God. The safeguard to his preaching lay in its intensity."

The love of man has been as permanent in Mr. Moody's life as the love of God has been in his preaching. In his early Sunday-school work a score of poor children, it is said, would appear at his shop in a body to be provided with new shoes. He haunts the railroad station at Northfield to welcome newcomers at the term opening. When his Roman Catholic neighbors were building a church he subscribed to it, and gave them an organ, requited by them with a gift of building-stone for his school extension. Loving and beloved, no man of our time, it has been said, " has done so much to unite man with man, break down grudges and sectarian barriers, harmonize diverse views and dispositions, and raise money for other people's enterprises."

[graphic][ocr errors]


The Institutional Church and its Work
By Rufus Rockwell Wilson

HE Institutional Church stands for a form
of religious activity developed during the
last ten years, which, although still in
its infancy, promises to play a potential
part in the solution of many of the prob-
lems that press upon modern society. It
magnifies the personal element, and aims
to minister to the social, physical, and mental as well
as the religious wants of those whom it seeks to reach.
Its doors are open seven days in the week, and in its most
ambitious form it has in its care, and as a part of its regu-
lar work, institutions, social, amusemental, educa-
tional, and evangelistic, for the ministry to the
whole man. It had its birthplace in New York,
and has reached its most perfect development
here, especially in churches that by reason of
their location face the pitiful conditions of life in
the poorer portions of the city.

St. George's Episcopal Church, situated on the edge of the crowded East Side, was the first to enter the field, and the story of what it has acconiplished therein is a most interesting and impressive one. Next door to the church edifice on Stuyvesant Square, but fronting on East Sixteenth Street, stands its Memorial House, a roomy structure whose five floors are admirably adapted to the work in hand, and serve as a center of social life. On the fifth floor are a large reception-room and the private apartments of the assistant clergy, four in number, who make their home in the building. The floor below is given up to club-rooms for men and to a gymnasium. On the second and third floors are the chapel and Sunday-school, while the ground floor contains. eight large rooms used on Sunday for primary and

infant classes and on other days for club and kitchen-garden work. It is the aim of St. George's to extend the hand of helpfulness to every one who suffers for the need of it, and, the Memorial House having already been found inadequate to the needs of its rapidly growing work, the church multiplies its influence by working from other centers. Opposite the Memorial building is the Deaconess House, and over on Avenue A are mission rooms used during the week for a large kindergarten. Further down-town are the Old Epiphany House and the Essex Street Community House. Dr. W. S. Rainsford, pastor of St. George's, thinks the



sports are projected and indulged in by pastors and officers, as well as by the young men, while for the women there are cooking-schools, mothers' meetings, sewing-classes, and kindred attractions.

Other admirable examples of the institutional church in cities of moderate size are the Fourth Church of Hartford, Conn., and the Pilgrim Church of Worcester, Mass. The work begun in Hartford some ten years ago by the pastor, Dr. Graham Taylor, and continued by his successor, the Rev. H. H. Kelsey, includes the Yokefellows' Band, a most efficient instrument for reaching and holding men, and a thorough system of visitation. While the church is made the social and religious center, much is done outside in the maintenance of cottage meetings and neighborhood missions, and in sustaining open-air preaching during the summer, the Hartford Seminary students and professors co-operating heartily in the work. The institutional work. of the Pilgrim Church began in 1887 with a boys' club, to which have since been added other social, athletic, literary,

asylum at Westminster, Vt., where those addicted to liquor, morphine, and tobacco receive scientific treatment. The proceeds of this asylum are devoted to a near-by orphanage, wherein waifs from the city slums receive all the advantages of a city home. At Westminster the Temple also supports a vacation home for working girls, while from its church kitchen in Boston hot coffee and rolls are supplied daily to the teamsters who congregate in the neighborhood. The Temple's work for women and girls is carried on by an organization called the Dorcastry. The Temple also supports a kindergarten, which meets every morning except Saturday, and in which some fifty little folks, for whom a lunch is provided, are trained in all the lines of domestic service usually taught in such schools. The Ruggles. Street Baptist Church (the Rev. E. D. Burr, pastor) works on lines somewhat different from but no less fruitful than those followed at the Temple. It probably does more than any other church in Boston in relief lines, regularly assisting hundreds of families with food and clothing.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

and religious associations, composed of boys, girls, and adults. A gymnasium with baths, a reading-room with games and familiar practical talks, a sewing-school and kitchen-garden for girls, and industrial classes for boys are distinctive features of the work.

However, in the number and importance of its institutional churches, Boston, as might be expected, is the city which most closely rivals New York. Two of the Boston churches, Berkeley Temple and the Ruggles Street Bap tist Church, especially merit notice. An important feature of the work prosecuted by Berkeley Temple (the Rev. C. A. Dickinson, pastor) is an organization called the Young Men's Institute, which has literary, industrial, and physical culture departments, and a lecture and entertainment course. A well-stocked reading-room is open at all hours, and an excellent parish library furnishes additional reading matter. But its temperance guild is in some respects the most interesting branch of the Institute. Large numbers have been redeemed from drinking habits through its agency, and its efforts are now supplemented by an

[ocr errors]

During 1895 over two thousand six hundred patients were treated at its dispensary. On its medical staff are nine physicians, with an apothecary and a dentist.

Other noteworthy institutional churches are the Pilgrim Church, Cleveland, O.; Plymouth Church, Milwaukee; People's Church, St. Paul; Grace Baptist Church, Philadelphia; and the Lagonda Avenue Church, Springfield, Ohio. The more familiar name of Grace Baptist Church (the Rev. R. H. Conwell, pastor) is the Temple, and its most conspicuous feature is Temple College. Two thousand pupils attend it, and have completed instruction, in a broad range of studies. The allied departments enroll enough. more students to swell the total to 3,500. A new building connected with the Temple is the home of a network of organizations, including musical and other associations, and a woman's congress of household science and art. The Samaritan Hospital accommodates twenty patients, and the Young Men's Congress, organized on the basis of the Federal Congress, discussing the same subjects and governed by the same rules, meets weekly..

« AnteriorContinuar »