The outlook for civilization

Here’s an ad from the November 21 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a preacher who was about to deliver a lecture at Massey Hall.

When I read this, I contemplated Dr. Cadman proclaiming that civilization was about to meet its doom while, in the background, the 75 voices of the Harmony Glee Club harmonized gleefully.

Samuel Parkes Cadman (1864-1936) was possibly the first of the radio preachers. Born in England, he worked in a coal mine for ten years, starting at the age of 11. While working at the mine, he read enthusiastically and became interested in theology.

Upon graduating from seminary, Dr. Cadman moved to the United States, eventually founding the Metropolitan Methodist Church in New York City, and then moving to the Central Congregational Church of Brooklyn, where he preached from 1901 until his death. In 1928, he began an NBC radio broadcast that reached approximately five million people.

Dr. Cadman publicly opposed both racism and anti-Semitism, and was in favour of boycotting the 1936 Berlin Olympics. As it turned out, he did not live to see Hitler’s Olympic Games, as he passed away from a sudden attack of appendicitis less than three weeks before they started.

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