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Emma Revell Moody

by Arthur Percy Fitt

Emma MoodyMrs. Moody was a choice lady. She had a serious, beautiful face, indicative of a lovely character. Born in London in 1843, she came to Chicago with her parents at the age of six. She told her daughter that she first met her future husband when she was 15, became engaged at 17, married at 19, and became a mother at 21.

Her hair became streaked with white owing to the horrors of the Chicago Fire in 1871, when she got separated from her two children for twenty-four hours.

No wife could mean more to her husband than she did. She was wholeheartedly with him in his Christian convictions and in his various soul-winning and welfare activities. But she was also complementary to him in many elements of character with which she helped him in the earlier years: reserved, well poised, thoughtful, much better educated, independent in judgment. She had social grace and charm.

Her home at Northfield was a model of hospitality, friendliness, and good breeding. Retiring in disposition, she was never seen taking public part in meetings, but she was a good neighbor, ever ready in time of sickness and need with sympathy and substantial help. She taught a Bible class in the local church, where her knowledge and wide experience made themselves felt in a quiet way. She travelled with Mr. Moody unless good reasons prevented, and helped with his heavy correspondence. He always relied on her judgment, and valued her for her full worth.

It seemed as if her interest in life went out with him. She survived him by less than four heart-broken years.

After Mr. Moody's passing, when Mrs. Moody was once talking with her daughter, she spoke of the contrast in her husband's preaching in the early years and later.

When first she knew him she said she used sometimes to cringe under his severity, but as he grew older a passionate note of tender appeal took its place. She thought the coming of his children helped that change in his character. She remembered hearing him say that no one had a right to preach hell except with a broken heart...

From Moody Still Lives: Word Pictures of D. L. Moody by Arthur Percy Fitt. New York: Fleming H. Revell, ©1936.

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