<b>Dwight L. Moody's letters to his family, 1884-1897</b>

Dwight L. Moody's letters to his family, 1884-1897

The evangelist Dwight L. Moody, in an age before the automobile and the airplane, was a man constantly in motion. Most of the last half of his life was spent traveling to the United States and the British Isles to preach, organize and lead. But he was a home-loving man. Following are the texts of four letters he wrote to his son William and one to his daughter-in-law Mary which convey well both the sense of a man who was both in a hurry and centered in his family. The brief, scrawled notes start when William was just a boy and continue on into his adulthood, when he serve as an associate i n his father's ministry, which included not only preaching but also the schools Moody started in his home town of Northfield, Massacuhsetts. Moody senior was also a great supporter of the Bible institute in Chicago which was eventually named after him. The letters below were selected from box 38, folder 10 of Collection 318 in the BGC Archives.

The letters are virtually punctuation-free and are often very difficult to read and some parts of the transcriptions below are only guesses. All comments in brackets [] are those of the trancribers. When words are misspelled in the original, the transcriber has left the orignal, incorrect spelling and followed it with "[sic]"

March 22/84

My dear Willie

By the time you get this note you will be 15 and I want to tell you how thankful I am that you have been spaird [sic] to us a nother [sic] year & I trust the new year before you will be your best year & that you will grow in all the graces Gal[ations] 5-22&23[.] I am earnestly praying that God may make you a useful man[.] I have a present for you but I am gone [sic] to keep it until you get here[.] it is like one I have for Ma Ma [one word unclear] pictures[.] Enclosed I also send you $5[.] I wanted to get you a nice present with the money but it is so hard to get any thing that you can take around with you as you travel about[.] I send you much love & good wishes & may you live to take the place of your father in the blessed work of leading souls to Christ is the prayer of your father[.]

D L Moody


[No date. Stationary of the Pierpont House in Brooklyn Heights This letter was possible written when William was away at college.]

Dear Will

You will have all the family with you when you get this [.] tell them I will be glad to see them [.] in regrad [sic] to your baths you must be very carful [sic] about taking cold afterwards[.] the Dr[.] say that is the danger[.] So many take cold that thay[sic] never advise it[.] so I hope you will be exceedingly carful [sic] & not over do the thing[.] I think if [unclear, perhaps "it is done."] We should be very careful and not take any chances Let me know what Sabbath you can come up & spend with us[.]

Your loving father
D. L. Moody


[On stationary of the Chicago Evangelization Society] Chicago Oct 23 1889

My dear Will

I have just heard of your getting better & I am so thankful[.] it has taken a great load off[.] but I hope you will not go back Monday[.] There is so much sickness at N Haven[.] You had better send for your books & study at home a week and see how it is with you[.] I wish you would take cod liver oil[.] I beleave [sic] it would do you great good and build you up[.] What you want is to get strong so you can throw off dease [sic][.] Do not be in a hurry about going back[.] take your time[.] I am to preach for Talmage [note: T. L. Talmage, another evangelist] Dec 9[.] I hope it will be so you can go to N Y with me[.] I am in hopes to take Mama & Emma & it may be Paul [Moody's wife, daughter, and son] with me & you could come down and spend the Sabbath[.] I would be glad[.] I am getting the building [note: the Bible Training Institute, later the Moody Bible Institute] nearly finished but I am afraid I will not get it finished so to open it before I go away or back East[.]

Good by [sic] for now son[.] may God bless & help you is my prayer

D. L. Moody


Ithaca [N.Y.]

Jan 25/90

My dear Will

Cornell has the finest campus I have ever seen & they will soon have the largest university on this continent [.] I am shure [sic] it is butiful [sic] & thay [sic] have a [unclear, perhaps "bountiful"] endowment & a fine set of fillows [sic][.] here it is helthy [sic] as well a butiful [sic][.] The students are turning out well to the meetings & I think I am getting hold well but can't tell yet [.] I want a sabbath to know just how I am getting on [.]

I am to pass through Mt. Hermon one week from today [.] I think I shall go down on the late train Saturday night[.] I do not know wether [sic] Mama & the children will go with me or come down later after I get a place for us to stay in[.]

I am in hopes you will excuse the girls[.] [Meaning, perhpas, that he hopes William will allow his wife and daughters to visit.]

Goodby[.] Hoping to see you one week from today [.] I remain you loving father[.]

D L Moody


[Letter written to his daughter-in-law May, Mary Whittle Moody, who had given birth to Dwight Lyman Moody (his grandson) on November 7. 1897]


Nov 17th 1897

My dear Mary

I have not writen [sic] thinking you would not be strong enough to read but I heard last night through my letters from home proved that you wer [sic] getting strong & I was very glad[.] I am in hopes that by the time you get this you will be able to get up[.] I have thought of you by day and dreamed of you by night[.] I was in hopes when I was at home it would have been all over or I should never have planned to have been away so far[.] it was a trying time for me & it must have been for your father[,] dear man. I do want to see you all & as soon as I can get a way for home I shall start[.] Kiss the newcomer for me & dear little Irene [.] tell her I am longing to see her[.]

Hoping to be able to be you in December & see a good deal of you all[.]

I am you homesick Father in law

D.L. Moody

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