Mr. Moody on Church Fairs and Sunday Singing.
At a Christian conference in San Francisco, held under the auspices ot Messrs. Moody and Sankey, the questions answered below were taken from the “ question drawer Q. —Do church fairs and suppers help the finances of the church ? A. —ln the long run they don’t; they hurt them. I never knew a church fair in my life that someone didn’t get get his feelings hurt. I believe they grieve the most spiritual of every church, and you cannot afford to grieve those who have the most power with God. They bring in a profane element. Men of the world —scoffers—will tell you they have paid fifty cents to help the church. They have probably paid fifty cents for an oyster-stew that cost the church forty cents and the Church of God has made ten cents on the operation. I think it is very small business. Then the way they are conducted is very objectionable. The idea that you can go around to the sanctuary, and by giving twentyfive cents vote who is the handsomest lady in town ! And this in the house of God ! I tell you we have gone so far in this respect that we don’t know where we are. In one place I remember its being given out that any man might go in and kiss the handsomest woman there for twenty-cents. And yet you wonder that the world scoffs at the church ! How degrading it is. I think we had better rely upon God and the legitimate means for our finances than have drinking, licentious, ungodly men brought to our aid and company in this way. I say let us set our faces like a flint against all these things. Q. —How can we get our church people to sing? A. —Sing yourselves. Singing is catching. Mr. Sankey never likes me to sing near him, because I don’t know one tune from another, and he says I put him out. But when the whole crowd begins to sing I sing out something. I sing the best I can, and that’s all anybody can do. Charles Wesley’s hymns waked up the world. Methodism sang its way around the world in the first half of this century. When a church gets cold they don’t want to sing, and they hire half a dozen opera singers to go up in the organ loft and praise God for them. I pity a church that never sings. The first impulse of a young convert is to sing God’s praises. No man can praise God for me. I believe we want grand congregational singing. There are a few who want the artistic singing. I would
let them have two or three hymriis a day, but let us also have congregational singing. Q. —Can unbelievers lead in the praise of God ? A. —I don’t believe they can. How are they going to praise Him whom they don’t love. There is not much praise in an unbelieving heart.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 276, 23 February 1881
Mr. Moody on Church Fairs and Sunday Singing. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 276, 23 February 1881
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