Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "E"


     God made light for the eye and the eye for light. View it candidly, and it looks like a reflection upon his wisdom for one, without special occasion, to sit up late at night, depending on artificial light, and then lie abed late in the morning, when God's glorious sunlight is flooding the earth. Great saints have been early risers. Law, in his "Call to a Holy Life," says: "I take it for granted, that every Christian, who is in health, is up early in the morning; for it is much more reasonable to suppose a person up early, because he is a Christian, than because he is a laborer, or a tradesman, or a servant, or has business that wants him. For if he is to be blamed as a slothful drone, that rather chooses the lazy indulgence of sleep, than to perform his proper share of worldly business; how much more is he reproached, that had rather be folded up in a bed, than be raising up his heart to God in acts of praise and adoration." The Psalmist says, "I myself will awake early" (Ps. 57:8).

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     It is a great mistake for a person to think that because he is educated, he is, therefore, called and qualified to teach the people of God. But it is an equal mistake for one to conclude that, because he has but little learning, he is therefore called to be a teacher in Israel. "God hath chosen the foolish things of time world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty"; but it does not follow, by any means, that all the foolish and all the weak are chosen. And those thus chosen do not remain foolish and weak. They do not demonstrate their call by declaiming against education and despising dominion, and speaking evil of dignities. (See Jude 8). In the fulfillment of Christ's promise is their claim made good: "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" (Luke 21:15). John Bunyan was an unlearned man, but he forced his way to recognition by such simple and sublime utterances as instructed and charmed all classes of mankind. Benjamin Abbott had no education, but under his powerful appeals strong men fell like trees before the wind.

     Prove yourself a John Bunyan, or a Benjamin Abbott, and Free Methodists everywhere will gladly listen to you. They greatly need such men, and would give them a hearty welcome.

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146 -- ENEMIES, Christ Commands Us to Love Our

     We must never lose sight of the fact that Christ commands us to love our enemies. Their conduct may have been most outrageous, but we must leave them with God. Vengeance belongs to him. It does not do for one who thinks of going to Heaven, to hold old grudges against any person. If others have sinned against you, that is no reason why you should sin against God. If you have been defrauded or wronged, even by a brother, the Lord has promised to be your avenger (1 Thess. 4:6). Leave yourself in his hands. Be of a forgiving spirit. Watch for their amendment with the solicitude of a parent over an erring child. If there is any change for the better, be ready to encourage it. "Charity hopeth all things." We should be willing to forgive all whom the Lord will forgive. "Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind. meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Col. 3:12, 13).

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147 -- ENVY, Cure for

     Love is the cure for envy. The prosperity of one whom you love does not disturb you. You have am interest in all that concerns him, and his success is, in a measure, your own.

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148 -- ERRORS, Wisdom in Dealing with

     Jesus did not aim to tear down, but to build up. He supplanted the Jewish church, but he made no attacks upon it. He dispelled darkness by bringing in the light. The false teaching of the scribes and Pharisees he refuted by clearly stating the truth. He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. If we would do good, we must follow his example. It is seldom that errors are removed by direct efforts to refute them, Gracious words go further towards reforming men than reproachful words. Those who are rooted and grounded in the truth are not liable to drink in error. If a tree brings forth evil fruit, our efforts should be directed, not so much to destroy the fruit, as to make the tree good. Preaching against wrongs and meannesses is not necessarily preaching the gospel. When we get men to throw away a false hope, we should do it by the bringing in of a better one. Dead formality is removed by coming to the people with the life and power.

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149 -- EVANGELIST, The Work of an

     The special work of an evangelist is to carry the gospel to the unsaved. It is his mission to go to those who are destitute of the means of grace, and offer salvation to the lost. He is what is called in our day a missionary. Evangelists should not spend most of their time, nor much of their time, with old societies; but they should go where there are no societies, and raise up societies. To do this there are plenty of opportunities. Everywhere there is need that the masses should be evangelized. In this greatly needed work all preachers should take a part. It was to a bishop that Paul wrote, "Do the work of an evangelist." It was not enough that he looked after the work that was already established. He must plant churches in other places. Brother, look at the masses perishing around you. Go to them, and try to get them saved. "Do the work of an evangelist."

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     John Wesley says a Christian "can speak evil of his neighbor no more than he can tell an lie." This is none too strong. The Bible sustains the statement. The man who shall dwell in God's holy hill is, "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour" (Ps. 15:3), There is no use in your talking and singing about Heaven, as long as you are talking about your neighbors. You will never reach Heaven if you are given to backbiting. An unsanctified tongue is a dangerous weapon wielded by an unsanctified heart. You may hurt others, and you doubtless will, by speaking evil of them, but you will hurt yourself more. You may hinder their promotion; but you will prevent your own salvation.

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151 -- EVOLUTION, Argument Against

     Some writers assume that man was originally but little above the brutes, and has raised himself by his own efforts to his present state of civilization. Facts are against this theory. We know of no instance in which a nation has been elevated without the aid of outside influences, The tendency is in the opposite direction. Nations degenerate, and sink from civilization to barbarism. Such cases abound. Egypt was once the most civilized nation in the world. Now it is one of the most degraded. "Rev. S. MacFarlane, who has been for twenty-eight years founding churches, training teachers and translating Scriptures, in the south seas, says the natives of New Guinea have not come up out of original barbarism, but have clearly descended from an ancient civilization. They have, he says, come out of a bygone enlightenment and possess a language in which are lingual traces of Oriental superiority." It is as true of nations as of individuals, that "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !"

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152 -- EVOLUTION, Doctrine of, Little Proof for

     Men of learning appear to be carried away by prevailing fashions about as readily as common men. The doctrine of evolution has scarcely any claim for belief except that it is fashionable. The earliest records we have of the human family show a high state of civilization. Rawlinson, in his history of ancient Egypt, in speaking of Seti, who reigned in Egypt about 1400 years before Christ, says, "The military triumphs of Seti were outdone and eclipsed by his great works. The grand `Hall of Columns' in the temple of Karnak -- the chief glory of that magnificent edifice -- which is supported by a hundred and sixty-four massive stone pillars, and covers a larger area than the cathedral of Cologne, was designed in its entirety, and for the most part constructed, by him; and, if it had stood alone, would have sufficed to place him in the first rank of builders. It is a masterpiece of the highest class, so vast as to overwhelm the mind of the spectator, so lavishly ornamented as to excite his astonishment and admiration, so beautifully proportioned as to satisfy the requirements of the most refined taste, so entirely in harmony with its surroundings as to please even the most ignorant.

     "Egyptian architectural power culminated in this wonderful edifice -- its supreme effort -- its crown and pride-its greatest and grandest achievement; and it only remained for later ages to reproduce the feeble copies of the marvelous work of Seti, or to escape comparison by accomplishing works of an entirely different description.

     "The 'Hall of Columns' at Karnak is not only the most sublime and beautiful of all the edifices there grouped together in such sort as to form one vast, unrivaled temple, but it is the highest effort of Egyptian architectural genius. and is among the eight or ten most splendid of all known architectural constructions."

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153 -- EXHORT, Right to, a Common Privilege

     To have the right to exhort it is not necessary to have an exhorter's license. The direction is general: "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb. 3:13). This is to be done, not merely once a week, but daily. In doing this duty properly there is a double benefit: those who exhort and those who are exhorted are kept from being hardened. They are thus preserved from an "evil heart of unbelief." No matter how fruitless this work may seem to be, it always benefits the one who, with tender solicitude, exhorts others. Lot had an audience of reprobates in Sodom; but he kept from falling into their sins because he "vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds." Then exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

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154 -- EXPERIENCE, Fresh

     The branch of the vine may be firmly united to the parent stock; it may be sound and healthy; but unless it put forth new wood it will bear no fruit. Grapes never grow on old wood. So if you want to help promote a revival of religion, you must get a new experience. No matter boxy long it is since you were converted and sanctified, you must get a new blessing if you would do good to others. Unless you do, your talk and your prayers may be good, but they will be dry. You will hinder where you wish to help. A young convert, who knows little about the way of salvation, compared with you, and whose language is not as good as yours, will do more good. The reason that, though he has less experience, it is fresh. His little pot of manna was gathered today, and so the people will eat it with him. Yours, laid up and carefully preserved, is a memento of other days, when it fell in showers. But it has been kept too long for present use. Beloveds, let us be renewed day by day.

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     When the devil can no longer keep people asleep, he endeavors to push them to extremes. With him it is anything to hinder the work of God. When one consents to be led by the Spirit, then Satan endeavors to make him think he is infallibly led. He who listens to the suggestion, soon gets into such a state that he does not want any one to teach him. He is, in his own estimation, so taught of God that he can not go wrong. Those who agree with him and indorse him fully, he fellowships; those who do not, he condemns. President Edwards says: "This error will defend and support all errors. As long as a person has a notion that he is guided by immediate direction from Heaven, it makes him incorrigible and impregnable in all his misconduct; for what signifies it for poor blind worms of the dust to go to argue with a man, and endeavor to convince him and correct him that is guided by the immediate counsels and commands of the great Jehovah?" (Works, Vol. 3, p. 365). Let us see to it that we always have a humble, teachable spirit.