Newspaper article titled In Central M.E. Church

In Central M.E. Church

The men's meeting at the Central M. E. church yesterday afternoon was one of the largest religious meetings ever held in Detroit. The crowd was so great that only a small portion of it could manage to get inside of the church. Long before the doors opened the people began to gather on Woodward avenue, and when they were opened there was a wild rush for seats. An hour before the meeting opened every available seat in the large church was filled, and all of the aisles were packed with men, representing every position in life. Mingled with the well-to-do, with their silk hats and broadcloth, there were those representing toil and hard-earned livelihood. The newsboys were conspicuous, and many of them clung to the pillars and the stanchions in the galleries like monkeys, straining every muscle to catch a glimpse of the speaker.

After all of the seats in the galleries had been taken the outer rails were soon lined with men, who sat with their feet hanging over, with no little danger of being toppled over into the crowd. The view of those sitting behind them was totally eclipsed. It is estimated that in the entire audience there were at least three hundred people who heard, but could not see. The ushers gave up in despair shortly after the doors were opened, and the crowd became so dense that a man on the outer edges could not by any maneuver have gotten his hand into his pocket when the collection plates were passed.

The chancel rail afforded the best view, and it was crowded with newspaper men and artists. The choir loft was packed with the singers and those who could not sing, while from behind the organ faces peered and necks were craned in the direction of the speaker. Upon the platform were several of the prominent pastors of this city. When Rev. Dr. MacLaurin arose to offer the invocation, a pin drop could have been heard in the auditorium, which, a moment before, had been a mass of humanity, pushing, crowding and elbowing to advantageous viewpoints. There was not a woman in the house.

Mr. Moody appeared, as usual, with a smile on his face the indication of a glad heart. During his address he clung to his old theory, that Bible teaching is good enough for any pulpit. The sensational preachers were not forgotten. Rev. Dr. Blodgett, of Simpson M. E. church, occupied a prominent place on the platform and did not look at all unconscious.

Mr. Moody took for his text, "Be not deceived, whatsoever a man sowest that shall he also reap." "The most deceitful thing in the world is the human heart," said he. "Man is forever trying to deceive God. But God cannot be deceived. A text of this kind applies as much to the preacher as to the layman: to the saint as well as the sinner. Since the day of Cain man has reaped what he sowed. No millionaire can, by gift or otherwise, escape this great law."

The foregoing furnished the basic thought for the address, which lasted nearly two hours. Mr. Moody held that if the father is a liar the son is a liar by birth.

"You can't plant cabbages and expect to reap oak trees. Some people wonder why their children are such liars. If these parents would look into the mirror they could find the solution to their problem. Some merchants wonder why they have dishonest clerks, who will go into their till and take money, or 'knock down,' if you please. The merchant wonders at this, while, at the same time, he tells that clerk to sell home-made stuff with foreign tags on. while he sells half cotton stuff for all wool. As for me, I have just as much respect for the clerk who goes into his employer's till as for the employer who goes into my pocket and takes my money for a snide article, worth one-half the price obtained. Some women wonder why there is so much lying going on in the world, when, at the same rime they will send down word to their visitors that they are not at home. I have no use for those society lies. I have no use for business lies, or for political lies, even when they are called white lies. A white lie is just as black in my mind as the blackest lie that was ever told."

The whisky trade came in for a roast, the speaker saying that when a man sells whisky he reaps drunkards, even in his family.

"The man who votes for the licensing of the liquor traffic is just as bad as the man who sells the liquor. I don't like that sort of thing, do you?"

There were cries of "No, no," from all parts of the room.

"The only way to down the confounded stuff is to knock the head out of every barrel contaiing it. Right now, at the close of the nineteenth century, is the time for this to be done."