The Model Church

Words by John H. Yates Music by Ira D. Sankey

“Well, wife, I've found the model church,
And worshiped there to-day.”




I found this poem in a newspaper, wrote the music for it, and sang it for the first time at a meeting for ministers and Christian workers at Atlanta, Georgia, conducted by Mr. Moody. It has been repeatedly used as a solo in meetings gathered for the discussion of the subject, ”How to reach the masses. ”Once, in Buffalo, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Yates of Batavia, New York; and I urged him to devote more of his time to writing Gospel hymns. He has since written several popular songs, one of the most successful being ”Faith is the Victory,” which I published in ”The Christian Endeavor Hymnbook."

A poor little girl, living in an alley of the slum district of Chicago, was used in a remarkable way for the conversion of a commercial traveler. He had received instructions, his trunks filled with samples had been sent to the depot, and hurried good-byes had been said. With gripsack in hand, he took a short-cut to the station through one of the filthy alleys of the city. He saw a great number of half-clad children, whose only home was a wretched basement or illy ventilated tenement. As he passed, one little waif was singing at the top of her voice:

“There'll be no sorrow there.”
“Where?” said the thoughtless salesman.
“In heaven above, where all is love, there'll be no sorrow there,"
sang the little girl.

The answer, the singer, the far-away heaven with no sorrow there, lodged in his heart. The fast-flying train soon left behind the hurry and the bustle of city life, but the answer of the little singing waif was taken up and repeated by the rapid revolution of the car wheels. He could not forget the singer and the song, nor could he rest until he cried for mercy at the Cross. It was one of the many fulfillments of the promise, ”A little child shall lead them."