After having given an account of Mr. Jones's life and work, it is fitting that I should give an estimate of the man himself, as he served his day and generation, in different ways. It is conceded by all thinkers that Mr. Jones was one of the best all-around men that this or any other century has produced. To give a critical and detailed discussion of his many qualities would demand time. To discuss him in the many capacities which he served his day would also require much space. To present him fully in his true light in these different manifestations, it would necessitate the work of a specialist in each department to do him justice.
It is not the purpose and scope of this book to furnish such a study. However, I will present him briefly, in a way that will be suggestive to the thoughtful, who wish to know more of the secret of the man who has accomplished such mighty results.
In the first place, let us think about him as a man. Some of the essentials to manhood are as follows: First, the power to choose between right and wrong. A man must have a clear conception of what is right, and what is wrong. He must be able to draw the lines of demarcation, and separate the good from the bad. We see these elements of manhood in Joshua, who said: "Choose you this day whom you will serve." In Elijah, who separated the prophets and followers of Baal from those of God. In Paul, who said: "This one thing I do." In Jesus Christ, who said: "No man can serve two masters." "He that is not with me, is against me." "He who gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." Mr. Jones's mind saw these distinctions and lines more clearly than any living man. In an instant he could see all around a subject, and dissect it, and lay the evil and the good bare before his eyes. His natural ability in this respect was supplemented by the Holy Spirit. He had the power to choose.
The second essential is an indomitable purpose to do the right. Daniel possessed this power when "he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself." David, when he said, "Oh, God, my heart is fixed." Elijah, when he asked, "Why halt ye between two opinions? If God be God, serve him; if Baal, serve him." No man was ever more thoroughly possessed with a determined purpose than he. It permeated his being. With the first question, "Is it right?" settled, the next was, the determination to do it, let the consequences be what they might. He has been known to literally take his life in his hand, and go before an individual, or an audience, and carry out his purpose to a finish, without a tremor or the slightest sign of fear. If he had known that the next moment after he carried out a formed purpose would bring an assassin to his feet to shoot him down in cold blood, before he would have retreated or run up the white flag he would have been shot down in his tracks. With all the temptations made strong by heredity or environment, or former dissipation, he fought off the evil, and lived the cleanest, soberest, and purest life; one that he would not ask a mother, a wife, or a daughter to surpass. Such a well-defined and determined purpose few men possessed.
In the third place, courage is another element of strength. While a man might have the power to choose, and the power to purpose, he must be courageous to obtain the highest moral culture. He has demonstrated to the world in the last thirty-five years his physical and moral courage; the personal attacks made upon him, and manly defense of his person proves to the world that he was as courageous as a lion. His attack upon vices and sins of cultured society, and his denunciations of the liquor traffic, the most omnipotent power in the United States to-day, in which he was compelled to score the officials of our great commonwealth, from the President, the Governor, the supreme judge, and circuit judge, to mayor, chief of police, and the church officials in sympathy with them, impressed the world with a courage as strong as death. He said: "I am the only man who runs directly against the trend of present-day society. I never follow the grain, but run directly contrary to it. There are plenty of men who believe just as I do, but I am the only one who opposes every custom and practice of the people of position and brain, whose lives contradict the teachings of the Bible. I never stand before an audience but what I am compelled to cross them, somewhere, most every time I open my mouth." This was absolutely true, and demonstrated his courage.
In the fourth place, there must be downright honesty as an ingredient of manhood. In the trivial, as well as the great things of life, a man must be honest. Every one who had dealings with him, or knew anything about him, will admit that he was absolutely honest in every particular of his life.
A citizen of his own town, who had a misunderstanding with him, which resulted in blows, said of him, in the public press after his death: "The only fault he had, if such it can be called, was that he was too honest; being so honest himself, he couldn't conceive how other people could be anything else." From the most prominent man down to the humblest laborer, the consensus of opinion was his absolute honesty.
Another essential in a well-rounded character is tenderness. In his home and with his friends, and in dealing with his enemies; in the presence of the needy and repentant, in the sick-chamber, and in the presence of death such tenderness and gentleness can scarcely be found in any other life. Every expression, movement and word seemed to be the personification of gentleness and kindness, when the occasion demanded such. It was his heart that really encircled the world, and made for him the thousands of close friends. They were unconsciously drawn by his tenderness, like a needle is drawn by a magnet.
When a Governor or a President dies, he is honored because of the position he occupies, but when a private citizen passes away, if honored at all, it must be because his life commands it.
While the press of the United States gave him as much prominence, in publishing accounts of his death, as it would have done the best beloved Governor or the President of the Union, it was because he had so impressed himself upon the people, that his death was felt to be a national loss.
Passing from Mr. Jones as a man, he next appears as a citizen. Good citizenship is the outgrowth of manhood. No man can be a real citizen without character as the basis. Mr. Jones was preeminently a citizen. He possessed all the characteristics of first-class citizenship. He was interested in the material development of his own town and State. Wherever he preached or lectured, he was interested in the things that develop a town and a community. The financial good of the people where he lived, as well as the thousands wherever he labored, was always near his heart. He thought, reasoned, and devised plans for the financial betterment of those whose lives were thrown in contact with his.
He had the intellectual good of the people at heart. He believed in good schools, good libraries, good colleges, good universities, and while his clear conception of what intellectual achievement should consist in, made him fight some of the vagaries connected with intellectual attainments, he was ever ready and willing to give his influence and money for the education of the people, in his own town and wherever he found them.
But, to be the highest type of a citizen, one must have at heart the moral good of the people. And whether high or low, rich or poor, white or black, he prayed, labored and died to make good men and women out of the citizens of every town and city where he went. The people in Cartersville not only realized that they had lost a friend, a good man, and a great preacher in his death, but felt most keenly that they had lost an invaluable citizen, and the man that had done more than any other to make Cartersville what it is, and to give it its place before the world.
One of his most remarkable traits was, that you could receive favors from him, and feel sure that you would never be reminded of your obligation to him. No favor ever received from him subjected you to any risk of embarrassment afterwards. His was the friendship that delighted in doing for others without any desire for a return of favors.
As a preacher, Mr. Jones logically appears next. In this capacity he was at his best. From the very beginning, he was a true pastor, visiting his flock, an inspired preacher instructing his hearers. His work continued to the end just as earnestly and faithfully as it was begun. While he did not have charge of pastorates in later years, he nevertheless did pastoral work in his home town, and in the great cities where he labored. During his last tabernacle meeting he frequently would leave the services in charge of others and take his horse and buggy and visit the poor and the sick, to cheer them on their way. He has left his hotel and gone out to the humble home of the drunkard's wife and talked and prayed, and led the father to Christ. He has visited the gambler and the saloon-keeper, and talked to them in their places of vice about their soul's salvation.
But it was in the pulpit that he found his throne. He possessed every requisite for a great preacher. He was absolutely original. He could not imitate or be imitated. He stood absolutely alone as a pulpit orator. He was characterized by moral earnestness. Much of his strength lay in his moral earnestness. No man ever preached with more sincerity and earnestness than he did. His courage in the pulpit was as mighty as his earnestness. Here is where it manifested itself in the strongest way. His perfect naturalness was one of the most marvelous elements in his pulpit work. He never posed, he never assumed attitudes, he never squared himself to look well, or thought about people looking at him. He would enter the pulpit the same man that he was in conversation. A professor in one of our leading theological seminaries said: "The secret, perhaps, in Sam Jones's preaching is that he takes the Sam Jones of every-day life into the pulpit." Every intonation of his voice, every movement of his being, every thought of his brain was as natural as a rippling, gurgling brooklet.
Another requisite was his intellectual strength. He possessed a great brain. At any moment that he willed, some of the most beautiful and powerful thoughts would emanate from his mind. It was the power of thought energized by the living Spirit that moved and molded the lives of his audience. His intellectual readiness along with intellectual strength was marvelous. Daniel Webster had to gather himself together hours and days before he was ready to put out his strength, but Mr. Jones could command himself at any moment, and could utilize his brain power instantly. Furthermore, he was an intellectual athlete. There wasn't the slightest awkwardness in his intellectual life. He had perfect command of all his faculties. He was the Napoleon of the pulpit. He could concentrate his forces at any given time on any given thing. His sense of prospective was marvelous. Every epigram, proverb, anecdote, had a purpose. He was an artist in this respect. His preaching was like painting a picture. He always had in mind, results, and, in this respect, he was the Edmund Burke of the pulpit. He was for winning the verdict. He had marvelous gifts of wit and humor that were windows, through which the light passed to enliven his utterances. He knew man. His knowledge of human nature was perfect. He could play upon humanity like a skilled musician, and bring forth the sweetest strains from the most dilapidated instrument. His pathos was the flood-gate through which the tides of emotion flowed. He was a proverb-maker, and gave out his wisdom so condensed that the simplest mind could understand, and the common people heard him gladly, while the aristocracy listened and wondered. He possessed the most marvelous voice that was ever lodged in a human throat. He could stand before ten, fifteen or twenty thousand people, and without the least effort speak so that every word would be distinct. It had a marvelous range. His voice seemed to be as natural as that of the sweetest songster. It had matchless qualities. If he was in a witty or humorous mood, it seemed to be made specially for that. If he was indulging in sarcasm, invective, or denunciation, it seemed to be given specially for that purpose. If he was in a tender, pleading, pathetic spirit, his voice seemed to have been keyed in the minor. There was no gift in his possession that was under more complete control than his voice.
His magnetism was so wonderful that when he entered a building, unconsciously, it seemed the great audience took cognizance of his presence, and by the time he reached the platform every eye was centered upon him, and they saw and felt nothing else but his personality while he was before them. He was a thorough man. He understood himself, thoroughly; he was so developed that there was nothing maimed about his make-up. He preached to men out of his own heart. He knew himself, and made his feelings, emotions, fears, and hopes the basis for his preaching to others. But with all these marvelous gifts, he could never have done what he did had it not been for the baptism of the Holy Spirit that God had entrusted to him because of his consecration and faithfulness. He could have wrought untold evil, had he not been in the right. An intelligent policeman who fought the crowds back from the doors of an overcrowded auditorium, in one of the largest cities of the Southwest, and who got within the doors and heard his message, and saw how he had moved the audience, exclaimed: "Oh, what evil that man would do if he turned his powers in favor of the wrong. Had he suggested to the eight thousand men to make a raid on the saloons in the city, they would have followed him to the dives and torn down the buildings in order to carry out his mandates." But these marvelous gifts were consecrated to God, and account for the wonderful influence that he exerted for right. He was a preacher whose success could not turn his head. Praise didn't puff him up. There was no compliment or censure that seemed to have any effect on him. He was never intoxicated or affected by the laurels that he won. He was the same Sam Jones at the end of his enviable career that he was when an unknown backwoods Georgia circuit-rider.
Most of his life was spent as an evangelist. He was known everywhere as "Sam Jones, the Georgia Evangelist." For twenty-five years or more he was recognized as one of America's greatest and most noted evangelists. The United States in the last century produced just two world-wide evangelists. One was Dwight L. Moody, of sturdy New England stock; the other was Sam Jones, of Southern blood and provincialism. While they were so entirely unlike, a comparison, if such was desired, would be impossible.
In Boston, where both were engaged in great revival campaigns, which were separate and distinct from each other, Mr. Jones and Mr. Moody had a conversation. Mr. Moody suggested that he would turn his overflow crowds to Mr. Jones's services. Mr. Jones characteristically remarked, "I am not in the habit of preaching to the overflow crowds; the other fellow does that in the town where I am." When the test came on, the coldest and dreariest day, Mr. Jones's audiences far outnumbered those of Mr. Moody. He would take the opportunity of commending Mr. Moody, whom he loved devotedly, and urging the people to attend upon his ministry, and once said: "The difference between Mr. Moody and myself is this: Mr. Moody is like Peter, I am like Sam Jones." In his evangelistic work, he had no rival. He was the originator and perpetuator of his peculiar evangelism. The Bible makes a distinction between the work of an evangelist and a pastor. Paul, who was both a pastor and evangelist, said: "He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors, some teachers, some evangelists." In the mind of this great apostle, there was no conflict between the work of an evangelist and pastor. Their work was separate and distinct. Each had his place. He further said: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God." Mr. Jones, the evangelist, grew out of Jones the preacher. The gifts and graces of the evangelist were developed in him while a pastor. They became more in evidence as his field of labor increased and enlarged, until the bounds of his circuit were too small for him, and he reached out in every direction until the world finally became his parish.
While you may make rules and regulations to confine such a man, it is impossible to hold him within limitation. There were two things that made him the great evangelist that he was. The first was, his evangelical preaching. He took the Bible as his authority. He preached it just as he found it. He had no patience with higher criticism. No evangelist has any business with such a Bible. Without the utmost faith in the simple word of God, he might preach earnestly and eloquently, but could not produce conviction. He took the Book just as he found it.
A higher critic said to him once: "Mr. Jones, you don't believe the Bible just as it is, do you?" His reply was: "You fool you, of course I do; how could I believe it as it ain't?" The great evangelical doctrines, such as the weakness of the human heart; the work of the good Spirit in convincing the mind and convicting the will; the grace of God in helping the sinner to repent, and in trusting Jesus Christ for salvation, and in the power of God to keep, and the reward of the faithful, and the punishment of the wicked—these were preached with such earnestness and faithfulness as has seldom been heard. He did not preach them in a technical way, but in a simple manner, as his Lord had done. He picked up the illustrations and incidents of life, and through them made these great truths so simple that any one could grasp them; in this way, his preaching was more like the Saviour's than any one else.
In the second place there must be the evangelistic spirit. A man may be evangelical in his preaching, and yet if he hasn't the evangelistic spirit, it is out of the question to move men. No one was ever more deeply interested in the evangelistic work than Mr. Jones. He devoted every energy to this cause. In his last years he was known to speak to his most intimate friends and preachers, saying that he was interested in who should carry on this great evangelistic work when he was gone. Among his last words were expressions of his deep solicitude for the coming evangelism. While his evangelistic work encountered much criticism, from high sources, he always numbered some of the leading bishops and most distinguished ministers as his most earnest friends and ardent admirers and truest supporters. At one time in his life some of the bishops had much to say in public, and through the press, about evangelists, having him as their target; and while he answered back from the pulpit and through the press making things rather lively, he always held these men in highest esteem, and after some of them passed away he was among the first to aid with his influence and money to erect lasting and abiding monuments to their memory and work.
As a lecturer-orator, Mr. Jones stood at the head of the list. After his great meeting in Memphis, he was called back to the city to deliver a lecture. His subject was "Character and Characters." He began by saying: "This is the largest audience I have ever lectured to, and the most intelligent," and then let them down gently by assuring them that it was his first attempt on the lecture platform. Occasionally, between his meetings, he would lecture for the churches, and other worthy causes in Georgia, and adjoining States. Frequently, there was no charge made for his services above his expenses. But as his fame spread, he was besieged by the bureaus and committees for lecture dates. A great many of these were turned down for a number of years. His correspondence asking for lectures was immense. A close friend who sat by him one morning, while looking through a pile of mail, said: "There sat Mr. Jones, his mobile face showing the contents of each letter before he spoke, dictating in the fewest words the most kindly reply, and in better English than he has ever talked. I was reminded of what a famous man said to another, 'See here, do you know you are talking first-class prose worth fifty dollars an hour?' On he went dictating, removing letters from the big valise in the corner, which held atleast eight hundred unanswered letters, to a great man like T. DeWitt Talmage, and then to a reformed drunkard, and then to a broken-hearted wife, and then he began to answer the calls to lecture offering one hundred to five hundred dollars a night. He said, 'No,' kindly, with the emphasis, 'we preach.' "
During the years of his ill health he lectured constantly and his summer months were spent at the great chautauquas. The lecture platform afforded him great opportunities for doing good. He was one of those men who could pick up his audience at first appearance and mould it with his thought. He never lectured without lifting some one to a holier and better life. The chautauqua platform was his throne as a lecturer. After his great meeting in Cincinnati, twenty-one years ago, Bishop Vincent came down to Cincinnati and interviewed him regarding a lecture at Lake Chautauqua, New York. From that time year after year he had visited the great chautauquas throughout the West, Southwest and North. He appeared at the largest and best of them, and the oftener he appeared, the larger the attendance and more delighted were the people. He had visited some of them year after year for the last twenty years. For next season plans had been made for anniversary days in his honor. He was the celebrity at the chautauquas. The good that he accomplished at these summer gatherings will never be known in this life. One instance out of hundreds is given.
Riding out of Chicago, a summer or two ago, he was met at his destination by a young man in an automobile. As soon as Mr. Jones alighted from the train, the young man walked up, shook hands with him, and said: "I want the honor of driving you around to the hotel; when you were here last year, I was a miserable sot, but I haven't touched a drop of liquor since I heard you lecture." Such results followed his lectures wherever he went. It was on the lecture platform that he gave the freest vent to his emotions—such as wit, humor, and pathos. To hear him lecture at one of these great chautauqua gatherings was like going to see a great geyser play. He never studied, in a scholarly sense, his lecture, but would simply stand there in the presence of thousands and let nature play, and the truth bear upon the subject as he saw it rush from his soul in warm, liquid speech. While he sometimes emitted some mud, it never soiled any one. On these occasions he was at times as fearless and as oblivious to the opinions of his auditors as a cyclone is of the forest that it sweeps over. He had his own way, said his own say, but carried the crowd with him, who demanded that he should come again the next season. Before he closed his lecture he would usually stir up the emotion of his people with some beautiful and touching story that had come under his observation. At such a moment, he seemed in touch with some heavenly music which was forcing him to keep in tune with same. The great audiences forgot themselves, and seemed to be far away listening to the heavenly melodies.
Last summer at the Miami Valley Chautauqua, where he had graced the rostrum for ten consecutive years, and had, if possible, the largest audience ever before, the contract for his presence the next year was signed before he left. In his closing remarks there he said that he had something like a presentiment that he would never speak from that platform again. Said he: "I am in excellent health, but such is my presentiment now; so, if I never address you again, good-by."
There was always a sustained interest at his lectures. People never wearied or went to sleep. Dr. A. C. Dixon, one Monday morning, met Mr. Jones on Broadway, New York, and said to him: "I see from this morning's Sun that you so shocked the audience at Prohibition Park yesterday that the modest women got up and left the house." Mr. Jones quietly asked: "Did the Sun say that anybody went to sleep?" "No," he replied. "Well, Bud," he said, "you keep on reading the Sun, and when it says that anybody went to sleep while I was talking, you let me know."
As a reformer and prohibitionist, Mr. Jones was given a prominent place in the history of good government and morals. He was one of the first preachers that opened his mouth in the Southland against the liquor traffic. Everywhere he went, his strongest attacks were against it. The greatest reformations in municipal and individual life followed. Saloons were voted out of the towns, or suppressed, wherever he went, and for a quarter of a century the towns have been without open saloons. The reformations and conversions of gamblers were counted by the score—sometimes a hundred in his great meetings.
While in Little Rock, Ark., one of the most noted gamblers of the West was reformed. We furnish an account of this reformation:
"The whole gambling fraternity of the Southwest will read with wonder that one of their number has thrown down his cards and dice and bade an eternal farewell to the green cloth, with all its blandishments and allurements. From Oklahoma to New Orleans, from Memphis to El Paso, from St. Louis to Galveston, no gambler's name is more generally known than that of E. E. Crutchfield. Ever since he was a boy he has been experienced at cards and dice. He has won and lost enough money to buy the Iron Mountain Railroad, with all its appurtenances and belongings. He has won thousands of dollars in a single night here in Little Rock, where he is well known and universally a favorite among the fraternity. He has followed the vocation of gambling in different cities of the great Southwest and in all the larger cities of this section. He went to the first meeting held here by Rev. Sam Jones, and never missed a solitary service, until last Wednesday night he became more and more interested and threw himself at the Savior's feet, and the kind Savior took him up and blessed him, and wrote out a pardon for all his sins and sent him forth rejoicing in a Savior's love. He arose, and gave Mr. Jones his hand, and made a manly confession of his life. He said: 'This is the last deal forever, boys, for I have given my heart to God, and shall join the church at once.' He left for his home at Jennings Falls, where he owns a beautiful farm, to convey to his wife and children the glad news of his conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ."
One of the best examples of a reformed drunkard happened while making a prohibition
speech in Robertson county, Tennessee. This was one of the many remarkable
instances of reformed lives. Mr. Jones spoke of it in the following way: "I
was making a prohibition speech in Robertson county, Tennessee, and noticed
on the right of the platform a blear-eyed, bloated fellow who was about three
parts drunk. Each part a third. As I talked he would screw his fist into
his eyes and wipe away the tears. After the speaking I went to a friend's
house, perfectly exhausted, and lay down. The lady of the house called at
the door in a few minutes, saying that a man wanted to see me.
"'Tell him I am tired,' I said, 'and please excuse me.' 'That is all right, anyhow,' she said, 'because he is a drunken, ragged vagabond.'
"I said: 'If he is that sort of a fellow, let him in. I used to belong to that gang myself, and I never go back on them.' The man came in, and I found he was the drunken fellow who had listened to me speak.
"He said: 'Mr. Jones, I don't want any money. Money can do me no good. I am a ruined man. Drink has made me a wreck. A short time ago, I had a happy home and household. A few weeks ago I buried my wife, having crushed every drop of blood out of her heart before she died. My two boys are at the Orphans' Home in Nashville. One of them is a little blind fellow. My two girls are in Murfreesboro, and this (here he pulled a little black cap out of his pocket) is the last thing that is left to remind me that I ever had a household. It is my little blind boy's cap. Now, I don't want any money from you, but I just got an idea from the way you talked that maybe you had some sympathy for me. If you have, pray for me. Good-by.' And he started off.
"'Hold on here,' said I, and I called up Mr. Taylor, my secretary, and said: 'Frank, go up town with this man and wash him all over with soap and put a new suit of clothes on him from head to foot and bring him back.' In an hour or two he came back, and I did not know him. I had to be introduced to him over. I took out one dollar and handed it to him, and said: 'Railroad fare in this State is three cents a mile. Here is one dollar. Now, you get on a train and ride thirty-three miles, no matter in what direction, and get the conductor to put you off in the woods when you are thirty-three miles out, and then you strike out through the woods for a new life.'
"The fellow did exactly as I told him. I got a letter from him the other day, and he said that he got into the woods and struck for a new life. He got a school, sent for his children, rented him a home and was doing well.
"A few weeks afterward a first-class tailor took me into his store and gave me a seventy-five-dollar suit. I spent about thirty dollars on that poor drunkard, and made forty-five dollars clear. Why don't some of you fellows speculate that way?"
If greatness is measured by the service a reformer does, Mr. Jones deserves the appellation "great reformer." In scores of communities throughout the land, under the spell of his preaching, the civic conscience has been quickened, and the social and political reforms have been permanent and far-reaching in their results. Mothers' hearts breaking over their erring, wayward sons have had their mourning turned into joy. Lonely wives creeping through the watches of the night have been enabled to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Discouraged and despairing men have had their vision enlarged, and their faith strengthened. For a score and a half of years, wherever Mr. Jones has gone, his services have brought about such results. As a reformer he had the boldness of a Hebrew prophet. He had the spirit of a Savanarola. He possessed the courage of a Martin Luther. He had the eloquence of a Whitefield, and the earnestness of Moody. He had the passion of John Knox. Like John the Baptist, the axe was laid at the root of the tree. His message was a vital and fundamental one for all classes, but in a peculiar sense, for those lives who needed reformation.
Mr. Jones had no mean reputation as a writer and an author. While his arduous evangelistic work demanded much of his strength and time, he took occasion to contribute articles to the secular press and religious papers. He often felt that it was his duty, and he desired to devote more time to literary work. There are half a dozen or more volumes of his sermons that have been printed. Any one who has read his sermons can see the unique position that he filled as a writer. For years he was contributor to the Atlanta Journal, and the articles covered nearly every important issue of the day. Some of his most thoughtful and prophetic utterances are to be found in those weekly letters. A number of prominent lawyers have said that they have not missed reading one of those articles since they began. Other prominent citizens have spoken of the deep interest they took in the paper, because of his contributions. During his life he was associated in the editorial work of one or two religious papers. His writings in those papers were as unique as his preaching. People were always eager to get anything that came from his pen. The royalty on his books ran up into the thousands of dollars the first few years; however, he didn't pay much attention to the publications, and a great deal of the money never reached his hands. All sorts of publishers got out books purporting to be from him. The authorized publishers of these books were the M. E. Publishing House, South, Nashville; the Western Book Concern, Cincinnati; and the Canadian Book House, Toronto. A later book was published by a Subscription Book Concern in Nashville.
Thousands of dollars that came to him as royalty was used in philanthropic work. As a philanthropist, Mr. Jones deserves consideration. While his gifts were not in large sums, to a few institutions, he contributed liberally and generously to worthy enterprises, wherever he came in contact with them. He was always the most liberal contributor in erecting great tabernacles and auditoriums in the cities where he repeatedly held meetings. He gave liberally to the schools and colleges where poor boys and girls were being educated. He was instrumental in starting a female college in his town, which was afterwards converted into a public school building. He took special delight in helping orphans' homes and such worthy institutions. He came to the rescue and helped individuals who were threatened with financial embarrassment. He helped the struggling colored people in his own town and in many places where he gave them special services. He was a liberal contributor to municipal reform movements, and to the missionary cause. The Young Men's Christian Association appealed to him very earnestly, and in many places he inaugurated movements and raised the money to build Y. M. C. A. halls. In a number of the leading cities where he worked, these Young Men's Christian Associations are a monument to his generosity and efforts. A great many families were educated by him, and there are ministers in the Southland filling prominent pulpits today who love and honor him for the support that he gave their widowed mothers, while they were struggling through college. Perhaps, for twenty-five years, or more, he made on an average of thirty thousand dollars a year, but much of it was given away, where in his wisdom he thought best.
In speaking to a friend last summer, he said: "The nearest I can estimate, I have made over seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars with my tongue." He was a generous and liberal contributor to every worthy cause.
Copied for WholesomeWords.org from The Life and Sayings of Sam P. Jones: A Minister of the Gospel by His Wife. 2nd and rev. ed. Atlanta: Franklin-Turner Co., ©1907.
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