By S.B. Shaw
I first saw Mr. Moody in 1876. He was conducting a noonday meeting at Farewell Hall. When I entered the room, I beheld a large number of clergymen on the platform and I said to a brother minister by my side: "Do you see that large man near the organ? That is Mr. Moody." He replied, "How do you know, have you seen him before?" I replied, "No, but I can tell him; he looks as though he enjoyed more religion than any of the others." He smiled and said: "I guess you are right." Soon Mr. Moody arose and in an abrupt way said: "What would you think if you saw a man on the beach of the lake shivering with the cold, with a big fire near by, looking at it and saying, 'I wish I could get warm.' Why, you would say at once, 'Why don't you go to the fire and warm up?'" He then made a striking application by saying that many Christians were cold and lukewarm with the fire of God all around them, and complained of their leanness and coldness when all they needed to do was to go to God and get warmed up.
He preached that day from John 7:37-40. He spake as one anointed of the Holy Ghost, and we believe that those who listened as if spellbound to his words felt that he spake as moved by the Spirit of God; and giving all due honor to his individuality, his zeal, his perseverance and his integrity, we only accept his own statement when we say that it was the baptism of the Holy Ghost that made him what he was. That baptism he received while in New York in 1871. Multitudes both in Europe and America have heard him relate how he was led to feel his need of power and to seek definitely the experience. At one time he spoke as follows:
"I can myself go back almost twenty years, and remember two holy women who used to come to my meetings. It was delightful to see them there. When I began to preach, I could tell by the expression of their faces that they were praying for me. At the close of the Sabbath evening meetings, they would say to me, 'We have been praying for you.' I said, 'Why don't you pray for the people?' They answered, 'You need the power.' 'I need power?' I said to myself; 'why, I thought I had the power.' I had a large Sabbath-school, and the largest congregation in Chicago. There were some conversions at that time. I was, in a sense, satisfied. But right along these two godly women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about 'anointing for special service' set me thinking.
Cry Of A Burdened Soul
"I asked them to come and talk with me, and we got down on our knees. They poured out their hearts that I might receive the anointing from the Holy Spirit, and there came a hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to cry as I never did before. The hunger increased.
"Well, one day, in the city of New York -- Ah, what a day! I cannot describe it; I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience, if you would give me all Glasgow -- it would be as the small dust of the balance. I tell you it is a sad day when a convert goes into the church, and that's the last you hear of him. If, however, you want this power for some selfish end, as, for example, to gratify your own ambition, you will not get it. 'No flesh,' says God, 'shall glory in my presence.'"
The two godly women who were so greatly blessed to Mr. Moody were Mrs. Sarah A. Cooke and Mrs. Carrie Jones, formerly Hawkhurst, names known to multitudes who have been quickened! into higher life by their Christian example and efforts.
The following extract from a letter by Mrs. Cooke will be of interest to all readers:
"Dear Brother S. B. Shaw: It was at the St. Charles campmeeting in 1871 that a burden came on me for Mr. Moody, that the Lord would give him the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire, a travail of soul deeper than I have ever had for any other being on God's earth. No opportunity after that was lost in urging upon him his great need, and encouraging him to seek with the certainty that it was for him also.
"In my visits to Mr. Moody I was accompanied by Mrs. Hawkhurst, who enjoyed this great blessing, and had lately come to Chicago. After the sudden death of her husband, her home being gone, and almost heartbroken, she had come here to live with her only daughter. But soon Jesus came into her heart with a joy unspeakable and full of glory, and she would say as her feet trod the streets of Chicago on messages of love and mercy, it seemed as though they did not touch the sidewalk. At first, as we talked with Mr. Moody, there seemed no antagonism, but little conviction of his need of any further work; but he asked us to meet with him in Farewell Hall every Friday afternoon, which we did for a number of weeks. As we met there from time to time, he would seem more in earnest, and the last Friday preceding our great Chicago fire in 1871, he was intensely in earnest. This was during the month of October.
"At each meeting, each of us prayed aloud with much earnestness, but at this meeting Mr. Moody's agony was so great that he rolled on the floor and in the midst of many tears and groans cried to God for deliverance from the carnal mind and to be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
"After the great fire, he went to New York to solicit funds for the rebuilding of his institutions but he said his heart was not in it. The great cry of his soul was for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. While on Wall street it fell upon him just as on the first disciples and with the same glorious results."