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Address To Farents, II.

HAVE had a little trouble to find a text for to-night. All last night and this morning I was trying to find one, but could not. This morning, however, in coming out of Farwell Hall prayer-meeting, a mother, whom I have known for a great many years, came to me with tears running down her cheeks, and, with grief, nearly sinking to the floor. "O! Mr. Moody," she said, "have these meetings to close and not one of my children saved?" and the thought flashed on my mind, I have got a text, and it is in the ninth chapter of Mark, which we have read: “Bring him unto me." The disciples had failed to cure this man's son. James and John and Peter had been with the Master upon the mount, where they had seen the transfiguration, and when they came down from that scene they found a great company around His disciples, asking them questions. I suppose the skeptics were laughing and ridiculing the religion of Jesus Christ and its teachers. His disciples had failed—they had not been able to cast out the dumb spirit, and the father said, when asked a question, "I have brought my son to your disciples, and they cannot heal him," and He said, “Bring him unto Me." When he was brought, the devil threw him down. The moment the poor deaf and dumb man came into the presence of Christ the spirit within began to tear at him. This is often the case now. Sometimes when there is a good deal of prayer going up for people they become worse. When the Spirit begins with men, instead of getting better they sometimes become worse, and it seems as if God did not answer prayer; but this is only a sign that God is at work. A mother was praying for and giving good counsel to a loved son lately, and he said if ever she spoke to him about religion again he would leave the house. Whenever the word was presented to him, he became worse. That mother did not take her son to the preachers, but thank God, she took him to Christ. She didn't take him to the church, she did not take him to her friends—she knew that if he was to be saved it was only by Jesus Christ. She took him to the Master, and the result was that within forty-eight hours after saying this to his mother, that wayward

boy was brought to the feet of Jesus. So if any have been praying earnestly and faithfully for their sons without success, my dear friends, get your eyes off the church, off friends, off everything else but Him, and let your prayer go up day and night, and it will be heard, because we have God's word for it. An answer is sure. We are not sure whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning, but we are sure that He will answer our prayers. It is sure. If we hold on to God in prayer and find that we don't get our supplications answered in a month-in a year-we are to hold on till the blessing comes. Now it may be that this mother, like a great many mothers, has been looking to the prayers here-looking to what has been going on in these meetings, and has been saying, "There are so many Christian people praying, and surely God will bless my boys owing to these prayers.' Now, we must get our eyes from off multitudes, from sermons, from others' prayers, and let all our expectations be only from Him, and a blessing will come. These meetings have been very profitable, and during the weeks past I have noticed that those fathers and mothers who have gone out after other people's children, have had their own wonderfully blessed. Whatever good you do to other people's children the reflex will come back upon yours. It may be that that mother was very selfish, and wanted her sons blessed only; she hasn't, perhaps, been trying to bring others under the influence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every day fathers and mothers come to me with tears in their eyes-fathers and mothers who have gone out after other people's children-testifying how their children have been blessed. A mother who has been working for Him here, told me that her five children-every one of them-had been blessed by these meetings, and I suppose that if I put it to the vote many parents here would stand up and testify as to the answers received to prayers and personal efforts for their children. I was very much surprised lately to see an old citizen coming into our meetings with a wayward son by his side night after night. Every evening he was to be seen with him, and last Monday evening he got up and told what God had done for him in answer to personal effort. That father got woke up, and did not rest till he was answered.

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Now it seems to me, just as we are leaving this city, that a great many parents are beginning to wake up to the fact that these meetings are about to be closed and their children have not been blessed. When we were in Great Britain, in Manchester, a father woke up to the fact that we were going away from that town. Just as we were about closing he got wonderfully interested in the meetings, and when we had gone to another town he said to his wife: "I have made a mistake: I should

have taken you and the children and the servants to those meetings. Now I'm going to take my son from business, and take you and the children and the servants to the town where they are being held now and take a house and have you all attend the meetings." He came and took a house and sat down determined to remain there till all had been blessed. I remember him coming to me one night soon after arriving and saying, "Mr. Moody, my wife has got converted thank God for that. If I get nothing else I am well paid." A few nights after he came in and said his son had become converted, and then told me one of the servants had been brought under the influence: and so he went on until the last day we were to be in that town arrived, and he came to me and said the last one of the family had yielded himself up to Christ, and he went back to his native city rejoicing. When we were in London the father and son came up and assisted in the work, and I don't know a happier man in all Europe than that one. How many parents living almost within sight of this building have felt no interest in these meetings; yet they know their children are hastening down to death and ruin. Business must be attended to: time is very precious, and they have gone to waste, in order to bring their sons and daughters under religious influences, and the result will be that many and many a family in this city, will see dark days and bitter hours, and many a parent will go down to their graves on account of wayward children. Now, why won't you even in the closing hours of these meetings-why won't parents wake up and bring their children to Christ; just hold them up in the arms of their faith, and pray, "Lord Jesus, save these children that God has given me; grant, O God, that they may be with me in glory."

It may be that some father or mother is saying: "I have not been living right myself in God's sight; so how can I talk to my children of Him ?" It seems to me the best thing to do under those circumstances is to make a confession. I knew a father who a few days ago told his children that he had not been living right. The tears rolled down his cheeks as he asked their furgiveness, "Why," said one child, "do you ask us for forgiveness? Why, father, you have always been kind to us ?" "I know I have, my child," he answered, “but I have not been doing my whole duty toward you : I've never had a family altar : I have paid more heed to your temporal welfare than to your spiritual but I am going to have a family altar now." He took down his Bible and began there, and it wasn't long before his children were touched. Suppose you haven't been living in accordance with the gospel: why not make an open confession to your wife—to your children-set up a family altar, and pray

for your children, and it will not be long before you will be blessed. Let us come to Him. Let us look straight away from the churches; let us look from every influence to only the Master Himself, and let His words ring in the soul of every parent here to-night: "Bring Him unto Me." Have you got a wayward son? He may be in some distant State or foreign land, and by the last news you received of him was rushing headlong down to ruin. My friend, you can reach him-you can reach him by intercession at the throne. A short time after I got here I received a letter from Scotland. I haven't time to read it. The letter was sent to a minister and he forwarded it to me. It was the gushing of a loving father. He asked us to look out for his boy, whose name was Willie. That name touched my heart, because it was the name of my own boy. I asked Mr. Sawyer to try and get on the track of that boy some weeks ago, but all his efforts were fruitless. But away off in Scotland that Christian father was holding that boy up to God in prayer, and last Friday, in yonder room, among those asking for prayer was that Willie, and he told me a story there that thrilled my heart, and testified how the prayers of that father and mother in that far-off land had been instrumental in affect

ing his salvation. Don't you think the heart of that father and mother will rejoice? He said he was rushing madly to destruction, but there was a power to those prayers that saved that boy. Don't you think, my friends, that God hears and answers prayers, and shall we not lift up our voices to to Him in prayer that He will bless the children He has given us.

You know how Elisha was blessed by the Shunammite woman, and she was blessed in return by a child. You know how the child died, and how she resolved to go at once to the man of God. I can imagine Elisha sitting on Mount Carmel, and seeing that woman afar off, and saying to his servant, "Do you see that woman? I think I know her face-it is the Shunammite, now that I see her face. Go run and ask her 'is it well with her.'" Off the servant runs, and when the servant came to her, she said, "It is well." Although her child was dead she said "It is well." She knew that the man who gave her the child could raise it up. She runs up to the Master and falls down, putting her arms about His feet; and the servant tried to put her away. .But Elisha wouldn't let him. He says to the servant ; Here, take this staff and go and lay it upon the face of the dead child," and tells the servant to go home with her; but she won't leave the man of God. She doesn't want to lean upon the staff or the servant. It wasn't the servant or the staff that she wanted, but the man of God that she wanted with her.

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"You come with me," she says. "You can raise it up." She would not leave Him till He came to her house. He went in and closed the door and prayed to God that the child would be restored, and then lay upon the child, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands, and the child began to sneeze, and there was the child of the Shunammite woman raised up. Bear in mind that it was not the servant nor the staff, but the Master Himself that saved the child. My friends, if we lean upon the Master we shall not be disappointed. The moment that child was brought to the Master the wish of that woman was granted, and if we as parents bring our children to Him, we shall not be disappointed.

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But there is another thing I want to call your attention to. We don't fast enough. This fasting don't mean fasting from meat, as many people think necessary. It seems to me if I had a wayward boy I should put myself at the feet of Christ, and fast a little, by keeping away from amusements, from theatres. I find a great many worldly Christians going off into the theatres. They say, "I only go for a little relaxation of course I could stop going whenever I like, and needn't be influenced by them ; I only go occasionally." A worldly Christian said to me, I only go once a month." "Well," said I, "how about your boy; he may not have the will-power you have, and your example in going only once a month may only be the means of his going there all the time." A man, my friends, may have great willpower, yet his son may have very little. And therefore a little fasting in this regard would be good for our children. We should abstain from all pleasures that are liable to be hurtful to our children. If you fathers and mothers want your children to keep from evil influences you ought to keep away from them yourselves. If they see you indulging in these pleasures, they think they are on the right side by doing the same thing. A young man says, "I don't want to be any better than my father; and he goes to the theaters." Now, there are young men who have come into the inquiry rooms one night and the next night have gone off to the theaters. I don't know if a man with the spirit of God should go there. These men may one night be here and the next night may go off to some amusement, where they hear as a waltz, "What Shall the Harvest Be," or, "Almost Persuaded." How Christian men and women can go to such places as that, I cannot conceive. If it is not sacrilege, then nothing is. What can those worldly Christians expect from their children if they frequent such places? I think the time has come for a little fasting. When Christ died it was to separate His church from the world, and how can a man who has consecrated himself as a child of God, go back to the world

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