Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "F"

156 -- FAITH, Obedient

     That we are saved through faith is a scriptural doctrine. But faith, when genuine, always results in appropriate works. All that passes for faith, but does not lead to hearty obedience to the commands of God, is downright presumption. "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (Jas. 2:20). Many are not willing to know this great, fundamental truth. They shut out the light which God would give them, and sometimes pay preachers great salaries to confirm them in their delusions. Yet nothing is taught more clearly in the Bible, than the utter worthlessness of an inoperative faith. What can be plainer than these words of Christ? -- "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say ?" (Luke 6:46). Why do you profess to be my disciples, and do not obey me?

     However great may be the physical strength of any man, the moment he dies he is powerless. The dead body can do nothing. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (Jas. 2:26). It is of no value whatever. Yet with what tenacity do many cling to their dead faith! Reader, have you a working faith?

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157 -- FAITH, Saving

     Very much that passes for faith is only the faith of devils. It is of precisely the same quality as the faith which devils have. There is not a truth of the gospel but that the devils believe. They have no doubts about the divinity of Christ, or that God answers prayer. Unless our faith is something more than an assent of the understanding to the truths of the Bible, it will not save us. The faith that saves goes beyond the intellect. It takes a firm hold of the affections and the will, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Rom. 10:10). Saving faith is a voluntary reliance of the soul on Christ. The element of trust enters largely into it. We may believe in an individual and yet, for various reasons, not choose to trust him. But Christian faith is, as Dr. Horace Bushnell well says, "the faith of a transaction. It is the act of trust by which one being, a sinner, commits himself to another being, a Savior. It is not mind dealing with nations, or national truths. It is what can not be a proposition at all. But it is being trusting itself to being, and so becoming other and different, by a relation wholly transactional." This telling people that they are converted because they believe that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God," only tends to deceive them to their eternal undoing. It is assuming a terrible responsibility.

     Beloveds, you need, in order to be saved, to place such reliance in Christ that you depend on him alone for salvation. You must sacrifice to him, standing, and property, and reputation; and look to him for all you need for time and for eternity. "So whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he can not be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

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     Works done from selfish motives, and by one not born of the Spirit, have nothing saving in their character. Such were the works of the boasting Pharisee. We have become so afraid of them that we have well-nigh lost sight of the great truth, so clearly taught in the Bible, that our eternal salvation depends -- not merely upon what we believe -- but upon our actions and motives. It is not to them who live and die in the church that eternal salvation is promised, but to them who seek for it by "patient continuance in well doing" (Rom. 2:7).

     Paul has much to say about salvation by faith; but, in harmony with the other inspired writers, he makes our eternal salvation depend upon our works of faith, and not upon any profession of faith, or mere intellectual belief of doctrines.

     It does not seem possible to misunderstand the words of Christ: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:20). When profession and performance do not agree, the case is decided by the performance. If, then, you would gain Heaven, you must see to it that you not only profess Christ before the world, but that you do God's will, in your conversation, in the disposition of your time, and in the use you make of your property, Be not deceived. The covetous. no matter how much religion they may claim to have, shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:10).

     Read your Bibles carefully on this subject. Take a concordance and find the passages which speak on this point, and you will be surprised at the number which teach that our everlasting destiny depends upon our works.

     In the last chapter of Revelation we read, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14).

     Notice how plainly Christ teaches that our eternal life, or, on the other hand, our final damnation, depends upon our works. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28, 29).

     Reader, is your life consecrated to doing good?

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     When we made our garden a few years ago, we were saving of the ground. We had only about four acres; and about three-fourths of that was taken up with orchard and buildings. So we dug up the ground and set grape vines along the grass. Some of them lived, but we never got any grapes from them. Seeing that with all our care they did not thrive, we set out, some two years later, other grape vines in the garden. The soil was no better, but it was under cultivation. These vines gave us an abundant yield of grapes last fall. So our peach trees in the grass have barely lived; but those in the garden have become large trees and given us fine peaches.

     We see similar results in religious matters. Some take the most important doctrines, and the most precious promises, and put them in a heart all sodded over with worldliness, and wonder why they do not reap a richer harvest of peace and joy. The fault is not in the doctrines or in the promises, or in their not being properly believed, but in their not being received in a broken and contrite heart.

     Beloveds, break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns (Jer. 4:3).

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160 -- FAULT, Dealing With One in

     The directions given in case one is overtaken in a fault -- in a trespass -- should be carefully followed. The great thing to be done is to restore him: not to get him out of the church. Notwithstanding his fault, he has a soul to save, and those who have undertaken to help him should not give up so easily. If they do, it will make him more liable to give way to despair. It is true, he has disgraced the church; but to throw him out of the church to die will not remove the disgrace. Saving souls is of greater consequence than attempting to save the reputation of the church by letting souls perish from neglect.

     The spiritual should undertake to restore him. The others are not likely to try; and if they did, it could but result in failure. The spiritual should be allowed to do this work.

     They should not be interfered with while obeying the Scriptures. If they find it necessary to get him out of the church in order to restore him, then he should be got out of the church. But in order to restore him it is not enough that the spiritual go about this work in good faith; they must do this work in a proper manner. They must restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. They must have a feeling of sympathy with those whom they would benefit. Resentment repels; love attracts and conquers.

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161 -- FAULTS Must be Acknowledged to God

     For one who has lost grace to get back to the Lord, it is necessary that he should see his fault, and acknowledge it. But all sin is blinding in its nature. This is especially the case with the sin of covetousness. Hence it sometimes happens that, in business matters, he thinks he is right when every fair-minded person conversant with the fact knows he is wrong. This is a very dangerous condition for a person to be in. The most skillful doctors, when sick, call other doctors to prescribe for them. So when one is in such a moral state that he calls right, where his temporal interests are concerned, what the spiritual call wrong, he should accept their decision and follow their advice. He needs help. He should seek it and accept it. He should open his eyes to his fault, make confession and restitution, and pray, and have the spiritual pray, for his restoration. Because a man has gone wrong in one thing, it is no reason why he should go wrong in every thing, and lose his soul at last. He should be more anxious for his recovery than a sick man is to get well. But all that others can do for him will not save him unless he will a do his duty. To his own Master he standeth or falleth.

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162 -- FAULTS Must be Corrected in a Right Manner

     If you think some brother has done something wrong, have the courage to go to him and tell him his fault privately and tenderly. This is Christ's command. Obey it in manner, as well as in matter. It is not enough to tell him his fault. Christ's word is explicit. "Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matt. 18:15). You grossly violate this command if you tell him his fault publicly, in the congregation. In doing so you disobey Christ. You have no right to tell it to any person, until you tell it to the offender alone. Do not attempt to mortify him before others, but give him a chance to mortify himself. Frequently those who have taken a wrong step are prevented from getting right by the injudicious treatment they receive. They are accused of much more than they are guilty of; and the fear of having it reported that they confessed to all that is said about them, keeps them from making any confession. Their salvation is hindered and great wrong is done. Some congratulate themselves for their fidelity in exposing sin, when, in reality, they are guilty of cowardice. It takes much more courage to go to the offender, than it does to denounce the offense in public.

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163 -- FAULTS of Others, Dealing with

     It is a great defect not to be able to deal with the faults of others with plainness without manifesting a bad spirit. Under all circumstances we should speak the truth in love. We should be decided, without being excited in the heart by anger. "Remember," says Fenelon, "that real firmness is gentle, humble, and quiet. Anything like sharp, harsh. restless firmness is unworthy of God's work. We are told that wisdom `sweetly ordereth all things': do you the like: and if you ever are betrayed into acting roughly, humble yourselves without reserve. Confess that you are often in error as to manner, and in substance keep to your rule. In other respects you can not be too obliging or too assiduous. There is no manner of reading or prayer which will teach you so much self-renunciation as this subjection."

     We would learn to be uncompromising without any manifestation of roughness or self-will.

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164 -- FAULTS, Spying Out

     We all crave pure food and drink. But we should all starve if we used a microscope of great magnifying power to examine what we eat and drink, and set ourselves against taking anything except what was seen to be pure. A church should be pure. But the preacher who examines his members under a powerful microscope, and disposes of all in whom are found any defects, will soon find himself without members. It is better to use the telescope more and the microscope less. To give one's attention to spying out the faults of others is bad business. It leads to great inconsistencies. Those who strain out gnats soon get where they swallow camels. Men sometimes leave the Free Methodist church because of little things which they do not like, and unite with a church whose position on vital questions they plainly see to be radically wrong. Some of our straitest preachers have gone to the broadest of sects.

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     The most cruel criticisms upon those who are working in the cause of God are made by the men and the women who are neglecting their own duty. They are ready to magnify every mistake, real or fancied, of those who work; to make the least of their successes, and the most of their apparent failures. Preachers who never have revivals never weary of calling attention to everything objectionable in the methods of those who have powerful revivals. Men who hold on to money which they ought to give to schools and a missions, and other salutary agencies, find fault without mercy with the way these agencies are managed. But they are not the ones to take hold and try to help to a better management. Will such not learn that the greatest of all mistakes is to sit still and do nothing? Meroz was cursed. not because be carried his gun on the wrong shoulder, but because he did not carry it at all; he stayed at home when he should have gone to battle. The man with the one talent was cast into outer darkness, not because he had made an unfortunate investment of his lord's money, but because he hand made no investment. O ye fault-finders, beware lest, when your Lord come, ye be found smiting your fellow servants, instead of working with them!

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166 -- FAULTFINDERS Must not be Heeded

     No building was ever erected by part of the hands working to the plan and the other part tearing down the scaffolds on which the others work. A minister's reputation is his scaffold. Destroy that, and he has no standing from which to build. Chronic fault-finders are chronic sinners. They may wear the dress of loyal soldiers, but they are Satan's guerrillas. They cast off the resources, and render more toilsome and dangerous the onward march of those who are fighting the battles of the Lord.

     Grant entered the army as a captain; he ended the war as general of all the armies of his country. He rose, not by criticizing in the papers his fellow officers, but by showing superior skill and courage in conquering the enemy. There were plenty to find fault with him; but Lincoln had the good sense and the courage to stand by him, in spite of adverse criticism, when he saw that he was doing effective work.

     So, if your preacher is true to God, and diligent in his calling, give him your hearty support and co-operation. Do not lend your ears to those who would cripple his influence by lowering him in your estimation.

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167 -- FORMALITY in Religion

     The great danger to Christianity in this country is not from infidelity, but from formality. Men, to live peaceably together, must have some form of religion -- something that restrains them when the eye of the officer of justice is not upon them. Atheism is too bleak and dreary to satisfy the longings of the human heart. The prospects which Christianity holds out for the future are too captivating to be easily set aside. The objection the world makes is not to eternal life, but to the conditions upon compliance with which it is promised. So when these conditions are in substance set aside, and the bliss of Heaven is promised to people on their own terms -- when the people are persuaded that religion will not interfere with their business or pleasure -- then everybody is willing to be religious.

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168 -- FORMS, Religious, Their Value

     All efforts to so spiritualize Christianity as to dispense with forms, have been utter failures. This earth is too material for the long-continued abode of anything wholly spiritual. When a human being takes the spirit form, he leaves this world. All our senses demand something tangible, though it be but a medium through which that which is intangible may work. Electricity diffused is unrecognized; but concentrated, it carries our messages with the lightning's speed, illuminates our streets, and propels our cars. "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Cor. 4:20). But still it is a kingdom, regularly organized, and not anarchy. Spiritual life, embodied in proper forms, multiplies and perpetuates itself, and is made a blessing to others; but disembodied, it disappears and, as far as can be seen, accomplishes but little good. If, as we say, the arm goes to sleep, we do not cut it off, but move it about and restore the circulation; so, if any of the forms of religion which Christ has established seem dry and dead, put new life into them, and they will again become of service to you. "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:13).

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169 -- FORMS to be Retained

     Forms in religion are necessary. If we adore and worship our Creator, there will be some mode of expressing our adoration and worship. Neither a stove nor a fireplace can warm us; but in a house we need one or the other in which to make a fire which will keep us warm. The table and dishes do not feed us; but we need them that we may put on them the food that will sustain us. Getting down on our knees, and saying over words, does not bless us; but unless we kneel before the Lord and use the language of supplication, we do not receive his blessing on our souls. Because we do not rely on forms, that is no reason why we should reject and despise the forms which God has ordained as a means of grace. "Hold fast the form of sound words" (2 Tim. 1:13).

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170 -- FORGIVENESS, Spirit of, Must be Maintained

     To keep saved we must keep a spirit of forgiveness. No matter how others act, we must feel kindly towards them, and not cherish anything like resentment for their misdeeds. It many be

"Hard to feel the stranger's scoff,

Hard the old friends falling off,

Hard to learn forgiving!

But the Lord his own rewards,

And his love with theirs accords --

Warm, and fresh, and living."

     Nursing animosities is dangerous business for any one who has a desire to ever enter Heaven. One does not need to be a Christian to feel kindly towards those who do right. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." To forgive another implies that we think he has done wrong. Where we know this is the case, we must still be forgiving and tender-hearted towards him.

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     A Christian can not hold a grudge. We must be of a forgiving spirit. In dealing harshly with those who have gone astray we many say that we give them no more than they deserve. That may be true, and it may not be true. There may be animosity nestled in the heart, the presence of which we have not discovered. But if there is not, still we should leave them, as far as is consistent with our duty, in the hands of God. He is the judge.

     We should be slow to condemn.

"Though justice be thy plea, consider this --

That in the cause of justice, none of us

Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy."

     Our Savior's words should be carefully studied: "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, If ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matt. 18:35).

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172 -- FREE CHURCHES Needed

     Free churches are greatly needed in every city. Every seat in every church of Jesus Christ should be free. The system of renting or selling pews in houses of worship is wholly wrong. It is in direct conflict with the plainest teaching of the Word of God. It brings into the church some of the proud, fashionable, well-to-do people, and shuts out the classes. It fosters the meanest of all kinds of aristocracy -- that based on money. It makes hypocrites and deceived professors instead of saints.

     The Detroit Evening News says:

     "The poorer classes -- the great bulk of the people -- are conspicuous by their absence from the most fashionable churches. Thus these supposed-to-be educational institutions are run by and in the interest of the already educated; for let a poorly dressed person present himself at the door of a church, and he is immediately met by a well-fed and well-dressed usher, who takes a mental inventory of the applicant somewhat as a hotel clerk does of a guest, and quickly consigns him to a back seat, which by reason of its poor position is 'free.' In the meantime, the well-dressed stranger is given the best seat, handed a hymn-book and, at the close of the services, the deacons and minister crowd around him and invite him to come again. The poor man passes out unnoticed and, in proportion as he has any self-respect, leaves that church alone. He sees `the church' is supported by those of another class than his, and he immediately recognizes the fact that he will be nothing but an interloper.

     "Not only are most of the churches and the people drifting away from each other, but the number of converts made in proportion to the money expended is so ridiculously small that if these establishments were run on business principles they would go into bankruptcy. Some of these converts cost $1,000 apiece, some even more than this, and some less. Doubtless a soul is priceless, therefore, no cost is too great; but when a church saves one soul and, by reason of its exclusiveness and its departure from the teachings of Jesus, turns a dozen from Christianity, would it not be better if the church were closed? Yet this is what many of them do."

     God has raised up the Free Methodist church to remedy these evils. But it is easier to denounce wrong practices than it is to correct them. We find it very difficult to obtain a foothold in our cities. Property is high. It costs a good deal of money to buy the ground on which to build a plain church. Those who indorse our principles, and believe that the fashionable churches are all wrong, seem content with giving us their indorsement, and the fashionable churches their money. And then they wonder why the Free Methodists do not increase more rapidly!

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173 -- FREE CHURCHES In Wesley's Day

     Free churches are an essential part of Methodism. A religious aristocracy, which virtually excludes the poor, has no right to style itself a Methodist church. John Wesley, in his "Thoughts Upon Methodism," says, "From the beginning men and women sat apart, as they always did in the primitive church; and none were suffered to call any place their own; but the first comers sat down first. They had no pews; and all the benches for rich and poor were of the same construction." Mr. Wesley began the service with a short prayer; then sung a hymn and preached, (usually about half an hour), then sung a few verses of another hymn, and concluded with prayer. His constant prayer was, salvation by faith, preceded by repentance, and followed by holiness.

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174 -- FREE CHURCHES: Effect of Pew Selling

     Selling the right to the occupancy of a seat in a house dedicated to God, is destroying the foundation of all spiritual worship in that house. It is a formal inauguration of Mammon as master of ceremonies. The Spirit of God is put under restraint. It can no longer have free course there. Nothing must transpire calculated to offend the taste of those who have the money to buy the seats. They have purchased the right to dictate how God shall be worshipped there: and their wishes are generally anticipated before they are expressed. Great care is taken that the influential, wealthy sinners, who have condescended to give their patronage to the house of God, shall have no cause of complaint. As they generally affect refinement, whether they possess it or not, the singing must be artistic. The uncultivated saints must keep silence; and men and women trained to operatic singing, perform this part of public worship under the inspiration of money or vanity. The utterances of the pulpit, too, must be toned down to please the ears of unsaved men. A faithful declaration of the whole counsel of God is out of the question. Popular sins must be ignored, and those truths alone must be presented which are of a nature to give no offense. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do ?" To leave the edifice altogether is the only remedy left. "From such turn away."

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175 -- FREEMASONRY a Foe to Christianity

     He that does not know the location of rocks in a channel through which he must pass, is not fit for a pilot: so he who does not know what stands in the way of the work of God is not fit to lead and direct the work of God.

     Any one who is willing to learn, can easily learn that Freemasonry is a rival and a deadly foe to the Christian religion. It is as clearly proven as any fact can be, that Freemasonry is a religion, with its priests, its baptism, and its ritual -- that it promises to save from sin in this life, and to save the soul in the life to come -- that it rejects Christ, and puts the Bible on a level with the sacred books of the heathen; and, finally, that it offers salvation by works.

     Ignorance on this subject is without excuse.

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176 -- FREEMASONRY Anti-Christian

     It has been demonstrated to a certainty that the system of Freemasonry, as practiced in this country. is an anti-Christian religion. Yet many who profess to be Christians, and even Christian ministers, belong to its lodges. They acknowledge the validity of its horrid, barbarous oaths. Many more who do not belong to it refuse utterly to examine into its character. They support Masonic preachers, take the sacrament at their hands, amid stand connected with churches which are so far controlled by its influence that they do not dare to bear testimony against it. If Freemasonry is what Bernard and Stearns, amid Finney and Ronayne and Blanchard, and others have proved it to be, then no one who wishes to be a true Christian should stand connected. or have any fellowship whatever with churches that shelter and foster this powerful and insidious enemy of the religion of Christ. We may unite with such people in putting down saloons, in raising barns and repairing roads, but not in holding meetings for- the purpose of getting sinners converted to God. Never.

Such people themselves need to get converted to Christ. What concord hath Christ with Belial?

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     Freemasonry is just as completely an anti-Christian religion as Mormonism is. Does the former have a Bible on the desk of the lodge? Time latter has one on its pulpit in its temple at Salt Lake, amid its preachers often take a text out of it to preach from. Does the latter practice polygamy? The former makes provision for the protection of the virtue of the mothers, wives amid daughters of the members of the craft only. All other women are unsheltered by its oaths.

     Do Freemasons stand connected with Christian churches, occupy Christian pulpits, cater to Christian prejudices, and flourish on salaries paid by Christian people? Doubtless Mormons would do the same if their cause was sufficiently popular to enable them to do so.

     Do Freemasons claim an antiquity dating back to the days of Solomon? The Mormons claim that polygamy had its origin in the infancy of the human race.

     The Mormons formally accept Christ: but grand lodges of the Freemasons have judicially decided that prayers offered in the lodge in the name of Christ are unmasonic. In Masonic rituals the name of Christ is expurgated from passages from the New Testament which they quote. A Christian, then, has no more right, as such, to support a Masonic preacher than he has a Mormon.

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178 -- FREEMASON REVIVALISTS Should Not be Assisted

     If Masons are conducting revivals, or holding religious meetings, you should have nothing to do with them, You need inquire no further. The work they do must be superficial. They may make many converts; but they heal slightly. You aid such work at your peril. "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord" (2 Chron. 19:2).

     You may help a Masonic preacher, if he will permit you to help him, get to the Lord. Before he attempts to convert others he should himself be converted. You should not give him countenance as a minister of Jesus Christ until he has "renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully" (2 Cor. 4:2). That will take and keep any man out of the lodge. If you stand by compromisers you will yourself become a compromiser. Remember Ananias and Sapphira.

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179 -- FREE METHODIST CHURCH, Friend of the Poor

     The Free Methodist church is a friend of the poor. It teaches that the grace of God, which brings salvation, is free for all. It requires that all the seats in all its houses of worship shall be free -- as free as the grace it preaches. We know no other church, except the Friends, which, from principle, excludes all caste from its houses of worship. Most denominations have some free churches from policy. Others have some free seats; but the residents of the place are seldom willing to advertise their poverty or their penuriousness by occupying these free seats with regularity. Many people do not go to church because they are not able to dress in fashion. They can not appear as the congregation generally do, and so stay away. The Free Methodist church requires all its members to dress plain. So plain people need not be afraid to attend church with them. Christ said, "The poor have the gospel preached unto them." If they do not hear the gospel where Free Methodists have churches, it is their own fault. They need not stay away because they do not wish to remit a seat, or because they can not wear fine clothes. Let them come as they are. They will be cordially welcomed.

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180 -- FREE METHODIST CHURCH Must Keep the Old Way

     God has called the Free Methodist church to keep alive among men the remembrance of the days of simplicity, plainness and spiritual power. We must be true to our calling. While there is much of activity in the churches, it is, for the most part, on the line of civilization, rather than on that of Christianity. Little is done that the natural man can not do. Worldly schemes and worldly policy are relied upon to secure time prosperity of the church. And they succeed in building up a worldly organization, which styles itself a church of God. But few of the so-called converts are even scripturally awakened. We must not be drawn, by their seeming success, into any of these plans of worldly policy. Let us stick to gospel work and gospel methods. Let us never unite in revival efforts with any who do not do clean work for God.

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181 -- FREE METHODIST PREACHER Must Have Settled Convictions

     A Free Methodist preacher who has not settled convictions that the truths to which we give special emphasis are important truths of the Bible, has no business among us. He will do us more hurt than good. Those who are weak will be still more unsettled under his labors. If he makes converts, the most of them will go to other churches. If he believes that men can be good Christians and belong to the lodge, and women can be saints and be adorned like the world, he should study the Bible, and seek time help of the Spirit, till be gets established in the truth. Be should then hold it up so clearly and strongly that those who hear him preach shall understand that they can not serve God and love the world at the same time. If he has convictions, he Should be true to his convictions. But if he leans to the popular Christianity of the times, he will sooner or later fall where he leans; and the sooner he does it the better it will be for all concerned. It would have been better for Judas to have forsaken Christ as soon as he found out that his kingdom was not of this world. He who seeks religion for its worldly advantages should go to the richest and most worldly church he can find.

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182 -- FREE METHODIST: Prejudice Against the Term

     It is quite surprising to what extent the bad feelings of some are stirred by the word "Free Methodist." The sight of it or the sound of it seems to bring an instant change over their spirits. They want their children converted, but not at a Free Methodist meeting. One widow woman took her son, a wicked young man, from the altar of one of our churches. He went from bad to worse and soon landed in State's prison.

     The same degree of spiritual power which is often manifested in our meetings, when no one can be persuaded to make a start for the kingdom, would, in other churches, result in the going forward or standing up of a large number. This is owing in part to prejudice, and in part to the feeling that they can obtain salvation on easier terms in other churches than they can in the Free Methodist church. We must insist upon it more clearly, and more strongly, that Christ has made the conditions of salvation the same for all, and the same in all places. This that men and women get in the popular churches, without abandoning their sins and renouncing the world, whatever it may be, is not the saving grace of God.

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183 -- FREE METHODISTS, a Separate People

     The Free Methodists are a nation by themselves. God raised them up to be such. Wherever they are true to their calling, they prosper. When they try to be like other people they get swallowed up. Just to the degree that other churches are conformed to the world, we should keep clear of them.

     True Christians are not of the world, "But ye arc a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God" (1 Pet. 2:9). That such is the character of the popular churches, none but one who is utterly blind can claim. Spurgeon says:

     "I sometimes fear that the only age to which we can be truly likened is the time before the flood, when the sons of God intermarried with the daughters of men, and when there ceased to be a distinction between the church and the world. It is but the part of candor to acknowledge that there is such a mixture nowadays, such a compromise, such a giving and taking on both sides of religious questions, that we are like a leavened mass, mingled and united together. All this is wrong; for God has always intended there should be a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, as clear and as palpable as the distinction between the day and the night."

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184 -- FREE METHODIST, The, Suggestions to Contributors to

     The excellency of our paper is due largely ton the excellent articles contributed from week to week. They are from men and women who feel the fire burning in their hearts. They are in earnest and write in earnest. We hope they will continue in well doing. And others, who do not write, could help on the cause by writing short, pointed articles, full of the Holy Ghost and fire.      We can not publish everything that is sent us, because we do not consider it suitable for our columns. We may err in what we admit, and in what we reject; for we make no claim to infallibility. We simply use the judgment God gives us.

     We venture a few suggestions to our writers, attention to which will help secure admission of their articles:

1. Be certain of your facts. If they are questionable, give the authority. It will not do to assume that everything Is true that you see in the papers. There is much misrepresentation going on.

2. Avoid all offensive personalities. Most persons are very sensitive over what they see in a paper, reflecting unfavorably upon them.

3. Do not use any slang words or phrases. A paper should educate its readers to use a pure language.

4. Write short. Leave out everything that can be left out without obscuring time sense.

5. Verify your quotations from the Scriptures, and give the exact language of the texts you quote. If you endeavor to prove your positions by quotations from others, give the place where the quotation can be found, so that those who choose to do so can verify it.

6. Avoid a controversial spirit. It is not necessary to review every statement which you can not accept. Generally, the best way is to state the truth, and let the truth correct all errors to which it is opposed. The Scriptures are remarkably free from controversial writing.

7. Write on subjects of practical importance -- subjects that will help souls to get to Heaven. Ours is a religious paper; we want to have it intensely religious; therefore, many practical subjects are not suitable for our columns. But there are plenty of religious topics of great importance, and of practical bearing, to occupy all our space. Confine yourselves to these. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of time stature of time fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). Then we may indulge in speculations. One of our devoted, earnest preachers writes:

     "Now but few read these long continued articles touching the millennium. They are nothing but opinions, and prove nothing; therefore, of what use can they be? I would not raise the question of piety in these brethren. Will the millennial theory as ventilated help us to comfort the sick and afflicted ones about us? Will the idea of a Christ coming one thousand years sooner, or later, assist us to lead souls to the Christ who came 1888 years ago?"

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185 -- FRETFULNESS Discouraging

     "Fret not thyself because of evildoers" (Ps. 37:1). If not because of evil-doers, then because of whom may we fret? Shall we fret because of those who do well? Would this be right? Are not those who are doing the best they can entitled to good treatment? If we give them censure when they are entitled to praise, do we not discourage them? Are we not guilty of injustice? Often it makes a person feel worse to be robbed of his good name than it does to be robbed of his money. Children are sometimes driven to desperation by the fretfulness of a parent. They get so tired of being constantly found fault with in little things that they seek to put themselves beyond the reach of the tormenting tongue. A fretting master is not likely to have good servants.

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186 -- FRETFULNESS to be Put Away

     If fretting does no good -- if it has neither reason nor revelation for its support -- then should every child of God put it away, now and forever. "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil" (Ps. 37:8). In its mildest form anger is wrong, Fretting men and women are gradually wearing their lives away.

     If you have fallen into this bad habit, be determined to cure yourself of it. Resolve against it; fight against it; pray against it. Get your heart filled with humble love. Take a personal interest in every one with whom you have to do, especially in those who render you any service. Consider them, for the time being, as in a measure belonging to you. Try to do them good, to make them feel good -- to render them more happy in time and in eternity for having come in contact with you.

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187 -- FRIENDSHIP Ties Must Not be Broken

     If you are tempted with a brother, you will naturally conclude that he is tempted with you. To one who looks through green glasses, everything looks green. A ball dropped lightly, rebounds lightly. A slight touch in shaking hands, is answered with a slight touch in return. If you avoid a brother, especially a preacher, at a public gathering, where many take his attention, the devil will try to make you think that he shuns you. If he knew how you were tempted, he might take pains to speak to you, but he does not, and so, without his intending it, not a word passes between you; and your suspicions are strengthened that he has something against you. If you would take the pains, you would find out that the trouble is wholly with yourself. "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly" (Prov. 18:24). A friendly spirit, manifested in words and acts, makes friends. Try it. A selfish, suspicious, envious spirit alienates friends. Do not try it.

     Our most valuable earthly acquisitions are our friends. They multiply our joys, and divide our sorrows. They add to our happiness and our usefulness. They help hold us up in slippery places and encourage us to be true and upright. We can not afford to lose a single one. Even Job's friends, though they were wrong in their theories, and so proved miserable comforters, drew from him some of the most sublime utterances that ever fell from human lips, and doubtless contributed towards the turning of his captivity. Bind your friends to you by the daily strengthening cords of acts of kindness. The great preventive of the needless alienation of friends is the charity that thinketh no evil.