BILLY SUNDAY

    Our Matchless Christ 
 
 

    "I hate the devil and his evil works so much that I am going to fight him until I have no more strength, then I am going to bite him until I have no more teeth, then I am going to gum him until I die." 

     
To many, Jesus Christ is only a grand subject for a painting, a heroic theme for a pen, a beautiful form for a statue, and a thought for a song; but to those who have heard His voice, who have felt His pardon, who have received His benediction, He is music, warmth, light, joy, hope and salvation, a Friend who never forsakes, who lifts us when others try to push us down. We cannot wear Him out; we pile on Him all our grief's and troubles. He is always ready to lift us; He is always ready to help us; He addresses us with the same love; He beams upon us with the same smile; He pities us with the same compassion. 

     There is no name like His. It is more inspiring than Caesar's, more musical than Beethoven's, more patient than Lincoln's. The name of Jesus throbs with life, weeps with all pathos, groans with all pains, stoops with all love. Its breath is laden with perfume. 
 

     Who like Jesus can pity a homeless orphan? Who like Jesus can welcome a prodigal back home? Who like Jesus can make a drunkard sober? Who like Jesus can illuminate a cemetery plowed with graves? Who like Jesus can make a queen unto God out of a lost woman of the street? Who like Jesus can catch the tears of human sorrow in His bowl? Who like Jesus can kiss away our sorrow? 

     I struggle for a metaphor with which to express Jesus. He is not like the bursting forth of an orchestra; that is too loud and it may be out of tune. He is not like a sea when lashed into a rage by a storm; that is too boisterous. He is not like a mountain wreathed in lightening, canopied with snow; that is too solitary and remote. 
     He is the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, a gale of spices from heaven. 
     BILLY SUNDAY, one of the great evangelists of all time, was born in an Ohio log cabin and reared in an orphanage. After working his way through high school and attending Northwestern University, he became a professional baseball player. He gave up a lucrative sports career, shortly after an astounding conversion at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, to work as a YMCA secretary. Later he became an ordained Presbyterian minister. 

     He entered the evangelistic field as Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman's assistant, and two years later launched the first of a long series of famous campaigns which took him to all parts of the country. Statistics on these meetings are staggering. His 1917 campaign in New York City ran for ten weeks, and the freewill offering amounted to $102,482. Mr. Sunday gave the entire amount to overseas work among American soldiers. He gave his $68,284 Chicago collection to the Pacific Garden Mission as a thank-offering for his conversion there. Mr. Sunday died in 1935. 

     Some frowned on Billy Sunday's spectacular methods, but the crowds thronged to hear him and it is doubtful whether any other evangelist ever addressed such multitudes. Tabernacles were built for him in many cities, and hundreds of thousands of persons found, through his ministry, the Matchless Christ whom Billy Sunday loved so well.