From Moody's Anecdotes


When I was preaching in Baltimore in 1879, an infidel reporter, who believed I was a humbug, came to the meetings with the express purpose of catching me in my remarks. He believed that my stories and anecdotes were all made up, and he intended to expose me in his paper.

   One of the anecdotes I told was as follows:

   A gentleman was walking down the streets of a city some time before. It was near Christmas-time, and many of the shop windows were filled with Christmas presents and toys. As this gentleman passed along, he saw three little girls standing before a shop window. Two of them were trying to describe to the third the things that were in the window. It aroused his attention, and he wondered what it could mean. He went back, and found that the middle one was blind — she had never been able to see — and her two sisters were endeavoring to tell her how the things looked. The gentleman stood beside them for some time and listened; he said it was most interesting to hear them trying to describe the different articles to the blind child they found it a difficult task.

   ''That is just my position in trying to tell other men about Christ,'' I said; ''I may talk about Him; and yet they see no beauty in Him that they should desire Him. But if they will only come to Him, He will open their eyes and reveal Himself to them in all His loveliness and grace.''

   After the meeting this reporter came to me and asked where

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I got that story. I said I had read it in a Boston paper. He told me that it had happened right there in the streets of Baltimore, and that he was the gentleman referred to! It made such an impression on him that he accepted Christ and became one of the first converts in that city.

   Many and many a time I have found that when the sermon and even the text has been forgotten, some story has fastened itself in a hearer's mind, and has borne fruit. Anecdotes are like windows to let light in upon a subject. They have a useful ministry, and I pray God to bless this collection to every reader.


   There was a Wesleyan preacher in England, Peter Mackenzie, full of native humor, a most godly man. He was once preaching from the text: ''And They Sang a New Song.'' and he said:

   ''Yes, there will be singing in heaven, and when I get there I will want to have David with his harp, and Paul, and Peter and other saints gather around for a sing. And I will announce a hymn from the Wesleyan Hymnal. 'Let us sing hymn No. 749 '

My God, my Father, while I stray

   But some one will say, ''That won't do. You are in heaven, Peter; there's no straying here.' And I will say, 'Yes, that's so. Let us sing No. 651 '

Though waves and storms go o'er my head,

Though friends be gone and hopes be dead

   ''But another saint will interrupt, 'Peter, you forget you are in heaven now; there are no storms here.' 'Well, I will try again, No. 536 —'

Into a world of ruffians sent

   ''Peter! Peter! some one will say, 'we will put you out unless you stop giving out inappropriate hymns.' I will ask what can we sing? And they will all say:

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''Sing the new song, the song of 'Moses and the Lamb.' ''


   It is related of an atheist who was dying that he appeared very uncomfortable, very unhappy and frightened. Another atheist who stood at his bedside said to him:

   ''Don't be afraid. Hold on, man, hold on to the last.''

   The dying man said: ''That is what I want to do, but tell me what to hold on to?''


   In the second century they brought a Christian before a king who wanted him to recant and give up Christ and Christianity, but the man spurned the proposition. But the king said:

   If you don't do it, I will banish you.''

   The man smiled and answered, ''You can't banish me from Christ, for He says He will never leave me nor forsake me.''

   The king got angry, and said: ''Well, I will confiscate your property and take it all from you.''

   And the man replied: ''My treasures are laid up on high; you cannot get them.''

   The king became still more angry, and said: ''I will kill you.''

   ''Why,'' the man answered, ''I have been dead for forty years; I have been dead with Christ, dead to the world, and my life is hid with Christ in God, and you cannot touch it.''

   ''What are you going to do with such a fanatic? said the king.


   A man was converted some years ago, and he was just full of praise. He was living in the light all the time. He used to preface everything he said in the meeting with ''Praise God!''

   One night he came to the meeting with his finger all bound up. He had cut it, and cut it pretty bad, too. Well, I wondered how he would praise God for this; but he got up and said:

   ''I have cut my finger, but, praise God, I didn't cut it off!''

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   If things go against you, just remember they might be a good deal worse.


   A man said to me some time ago, ''Moody, the doctrine you preach is most absurd: you preach that men have only to believe to change the whole course of their life. A man will not change his course by simply believing.''

   I said —''I think I can make you believe that in less than two minutes.''

   ''No, you can't'' he said; ''I'll never believe it.''

   I said, ''Let us make sure that we understand each other. You say a man is not affected by what he believes, that it will not change the course of his actions?''

   ''I do.''

   ''Supposing,'' I said ''a man should put his head in at that door and say the house was on fire, what would you do? You would get out by the window if you believed it wouldn't you?''

   ''Oh,'' he replied, ''I didn't think of that!''

   ''No,'' I said, ''I guess you didn't.''

   Belief is the foundation of all society, of commerce, and of everything else.

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