Moody and Boys-og

Happy Birthday D.L. Moody

Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 -– December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.

Moody began his educational ministry with the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 (later called the Northfield School for Girls) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. Moody built the girls’ school in Northfield, Massachusetts, the town of his birth, and the boys’ school a few miles away in the town of Gill. Moody’s goal was to provide the best possible education for young people without privilege, and he enrolled students whose parents were slaves as well as Native Americans and people from other countries, which was unprecedented among elite private schools at that time.

Moody and his Success

We were privileged on the morning of Nov. 21st., Sunday, to hear Dwight L. Moody, pronounced by Theodore Cuyler to be the “mightiest preacher to the common people” since the days of Whitefield. Mr. Cuyler had reference to the success of this plain speaking man – this preacher in the dialect of the street. And how unparallelled has that success been! It is questionable whether any apostle or preacher of the Master ever had such crowds to wait upon his ministry.

Dwight Lyman Moody

Dwight Lyman Moody

The morning we heard him, despite the rain and the earliness of the hour, (8 o’clock), the entire building with its seating capacity of ten thousand, was filled, with hundreds standing in the aisles; and other hundred who came too late to be admitted. And be assured it was a sight to be seen! A whole of heads.

Wherein lies Mr. Moody’s strength? As discovered by us, it is chiefly in his wonderful executive powers. He knows how to command – lovingly of course. He partakes largely of that esprit of the Master detected by one of old, and described as speaking with “authority.” His strange earnestness, gives strength; also his present vast experience. Nor would it do count out the pathos of Mr. Sankey’s singing. All these, are as so many larger or smaller rivulets that lend their strength to that resistless flood that bear away everything before it. But the mighty gives that sets all in motion, is Mr. Moody’s ability to command. He is a born ruler. And herein, humanly speaking, is the source of his success. Nor let any think it a small thing. We are not ignorant of the fact that it is quite an easy thing for men to ape rulership; but to grandly succeed, one must be born, sceptre in hand.

It is with such men that God unites Himself, as it were in the accomplishment of his own purposes. Never yet, did God accomplish a great work by a weak and uncertain man.

  • Look at Paul, whom God found it necessary to call to the work, though outside the Apostolic college. None inside had the necessary mettle in him.
  • Look at Athanasius, stubborn and self-willed to a fault. Look at Luther pronounced a very devil by his enemies.
  • Look at Wesley, egotistic enough, so his enemies said, to set himself against the whole Church of England.
  • Look at our own Allen pronounced by the men to whom he refused to submit, in so many words, “an impudent nigger.”

It is with such men that God condescends to work; but with men of namby-pamby natures he has no use; at least in the capacity of leaders in any great movement. It is impossible to hear Mr. Moody and not conclude that a master spirit is before you – “a leader and a commander to the people.” Free and fearless, conscious of the fact that he is master of the situation, only the small minded fall to admire him.

Like Napolean at Dresden with kinglier men than himself around him; Moody stands; and as we have said, in the dialect of the street delivers the message God has given him. With respect to his want of culture, Mr. Moody is unlike most reformers or great preachers of the past. These have mostly been men of letters, the most cultivated of the day. Herein, is Mr. Moody more like the apostles, than any man Christendom has produced. None of these were versed in the technical lore of their day. They were fishermen and tax gatherers; and the Greek they wrote despite its inspiration, is very much like the English, we opine, that Mr. Moody writes without inspiration.

But what shall we say to this. None other than what hath already been said. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea and things which are not to ring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1 Cor. 1. 27-29.


Collection: African American Newspapers
Date: December 2, 1875
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Moody and Boys of the Street

Moody and Boys of the Street

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

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