From Moody's Stories

Illustrations

LADY PENDULUM

When Mr. Sankey and I were in London a lady who attended our meetings was brought into the house in her carriage, being unable to walk. At first she was very skeptical; but one day she said to her servant:

   ''Take me into the inquiry room.''

   After I had talked with her a good while about her soul she said:

   ''But you will go back to America, and it will be all over.''

   ''Oh, no,'' said I, ''it is going to last forever.''

   I couldn't make her believe it. I don't know how many times I talked with her. At last I used the fable of the pendulum in the clock. The pendulum figured up the thousands of times it would have to tick, and got discouraged, and was going to give up. Then it thought, ''It is only a tick at a time,'' and went on. So it is in the Christian life — only one step at a time. That helped this lady very much. She began to see that if she could trust in God for a supply of grace for only one day, she could go right on in the same way from day to day. As soon as she saw this, she came out quite decided. But she never could get done talking about that pendulum. The servants called her Lady Pendulum. She had a pendulum put up in her room to remind her of the illustration, and when I went away from London she gave me a clock — I've got it in my house still.

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   Dr. Andrew Bonar once said that, although it was a mystery to him how sin should have come into the world, it was still a greater mystery how God should have come here to bear the penalty of it Himself.

NEVER RUNS DRY

   I remember being in a city where I noticed that the people resorted to a favorite well in one of the parks. I said to a man one day:

   ''Does the well never run dry?''

   The man was drinking of the water out of the well; and as he stopped drinking, he smacked his lips and said:

   ''They have never been able to pump it dry yet. They tried it a few years ago. They put the fire-engines to work, and tried all they could to pump the well dry; but they found there was a river flowing right under the city.''

   Thank God, the well of salvation can never run dry either!

HE TRUSTED HIS FATHER 

   A party of gentlemen in Scotland wanted to get some eggs from a nest on the side of a precipice, and they tried to persuade a poor boy that lived near to go over and get them, saying they would hold him by a rope. They offered him a good deal of money; but they were strangers to him, and he would not go. They told him they would see that no accident happened to him; they would hold the rope.

   At last he said: ''I will go if my father will hold the rope.''

   He trusted his father.

   A man will not trust strangers. I want to get acquainted with a man before I put my confidence in him. I have known God for forty years, and I have more confidence in Him now than I ever had before; it increases every year.

PEACE DECLARED 

   When France and England were at war once a French vessel

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had gone off on a long whaling voyage. When they came back, the crew were short of water, and being near an English port, they wanted to get water; but they were afraid that they would be taken prisoners if they went into that port. Some people in the port saw their signal of distress, and sent word that they need not be afraid, that the war was over, and peace had been declared. But they couldn't make those sailors believe it, and they didn't dare to go into port, although they were out of water. At last they made up their minds that they had better go in and surrender their cargo and their lives to their enemies rather than perish at sea without water; and when they got in, they found out that what had been told them was true, that peace had been declared.

   There are a great many people who don't believe the glad tidings that peace has been made by Jesus Christ between God and man, but it is true.

SAWDUST OR BREAD

   If you go out to your garden and throw down some sawdust, the birds will not take any notice; but if you throw down some crumbs, you will find they will soon sweep down and pick them up.

   The true child of God can tell the difference (so to speak) between sawdust and bread. Many so-called Christians are living on the world's sawdust, instead of being nourished by the Bread that cometh down from heaven. Nothing can satisfy the longings of the soul but the Word of the living God.

''BABY'S FEEDING HIMSELF!''

   You know it is always regarded a great event in the family when a child can feed itself. It is propped up at table, and at first perhaps it uses the spoon upside down, but by and by it uses it all right, and mother, or perhaps sister, claps her hands and says:

   ''Just see, baby's feeding himself!''

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   Well, what we need as Christians is to be able to feed ourselves. How many there are who sit helpless and listless, with open mouths, hungry for spiritual things, and the minister has to try to feed them, while the Bible is a feast prepared, into which they never venture.

SHOULD NOT BE POSTPONED

   In 1871 I preached a series of sermons on the life of Christ in old Farewell Hall, Chicago, for five nights. I took Him from the cradle and followed Him up to the judgment hall, and on that occasion I consider I made as great a blunder as ever I made in my life. It was upon that memorable night in October and the court-house bell was sounding an alarm of fire, but I paid no attention to it. You know we were accustomed to hear the fire-bell often, and it didn't disturb us much when it sounded. I finished the sermon upon ''What Shall I Do with Jesus?'' and said to the audience:

   ''Now, I want you to take the question with you and think it over, and next Sunday I want you to come back and tell me what you are going to do with Him.''

   What a mistake! It seems now as if Satan was in my mind when I said this. Since then I never have dared to give an audience a week to think of their salvation. If they were lost, they might rise up in judgment against me. ''Now is the accepted time.''

   I remember Mr. Sankey singing, and how his voice rang when he came to that pleading verse:

''Today the Savior calls,

   For refuge fly!

The storm of Justice falls,

  And death is nigh!'' 

   After the meeting we went home. I remember going down La Salle street with a young man, and saw the glare of flames. I said to the young man:

   ''This means ruin to Chicago.''

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   About one o'clock Farewell Hall was burned; soon the church in which I had preached went down, and everything was scattered. I never saw that audience again.

   My friends, we don't know what may happen tomorrow, but there is one thing I do know, and that is, if you take the gift of God you are saved. If you have eternal life you need not fear fire, death, or sickness. Let disease or death come, you can shout triumphantly over the grave if you have Christ. My friends, what are you going to do with Him? Will you not decide now?

Chapter Twenty  ||  Table of Contents for The Best of D.L. Moody