Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "H"

206 -- HABITS of Great Men Not to be Imitated

     Young men who, from reading accounts of the habits of some of our great generals, are tempted to drink and smoke, would do well to bear in mind that in consequence of those habits these very generals came prematurely to their graves. Knowing this fact, it is a matter of surprise that literary men should be so fond of parading before their readers the fatal habits of the heroes they celebrate. The two greatest of our generals, who came out unscathed from the hardest battles fought in our Civil War, died in the midst of the enjoyment of the laurels they had won, from the diseases brought on by tobacco and by convivial habits. The young men of this generation should heed the warning which speaks out silently and solemnly from the premature death of many of our great men. If the poison of the cigar and of the wine-cup takes off those whose strong constitutions have been hardened by toll and exposure, how can those who lead a comparatively sedentary life hope to escape with impunity.

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207 -- HEALING, Prayer of Faith for

     Because the sick are sometimes healed in answer to prayer, it does not follow that they will always be healed by this means. While it is true that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick" (Jas. 5:15), yet no one can, at will, offer the prayer of faith. This kind of prayer is specially inspired by the Spirit, whenever it is offered. Even Paul could not offer it when he pleased, or he would not have left Trophimus at Miletum sick (2 Tim. 4:20). Among spiritual gifts which God divides to every man severally as he wills. Is the gift of healing (1 Cor. 12:11). Those who make formal prayers can pray as requested. But when one prays in the Spirit he must pray as the Spirit gives him utterance. So when it is the will of God, in any particular instance, to heal the sick, he will give to one who lives in the Spirit to pray the prayer of faith. Dorothea Trudel, the modern apostle of healing through faith, and in answer to whose prayers hundreds were healed, herself died on her knees while praying, when only about thirty-eight years old.

     If a person who claims to have faith in God for the body, sickens and dies without a doctor, what an ado is made about it! It goes the round of the papers; and it seems to be assumed that he died for want of medical attendance. Why is not an equal clamor raised over those who die in the hands of the doctor? The cases are far more numerous and distinguished. A few years since, Secretary Banyard's daughter took a common cold, through wearing a fashionable dress, at a fashionable reception. The father promptly called the doctors in whom he had most confidence, but in their hands she dropped away like a flower at the touch of frost.

     A little later, Mr. Rice, a millionaire, in the strength of manhood, just appointed minister to Russia, was attacked with soreness in the throat. He was at his home in New York City, and the best medical skill that the country affords was employed, but in a few days he died.      Recently, the son of Secretary Blaine, in the vigor of early manhood, died under the care of Washington doctors. Similar cases are constantly occurring. Why `are they not brought forward as proof of the folly of having faith in doctors?

     A lady of sound sense, in affluent circumstances, has had much sickness in her family. She has tried eminent physicians far and near. Recently she said to us: "I have lost faith in doctors so completely that now, when any of my family is taken sick, it never comes into my mind to call a doctor. I do not think of them any more than if there were no doctors."

     Who can say that strong faith in God, careful nursing, simple remedies, and needed rest, are not more efficacious in restoring health than doctors and drugs? Yet after you have done the best you can, if help is not realized, we can not say you should not call a doctor.

     We should carefully observe the rules of health, and so avoid sickness. We should have a steady faith in God for soul and for body, for temporal and for spiritual blessings. But we should not needlessly put ourselves under bondage. We should not say that we will never call a doctor or take medicine. We should, under all circumstances, leave ourselves free to act according to the light that God gives us for the occasion.

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208 -- HEART SEARCHING for Discouraged Preachers

     I am sorry that you find things in so discouraging a condition -- the church cold, some of the members backslidden, sinners indifferent, congregations small, and but little interest manifested in religion. This is a sad state of things, but it is by no means uncommon. It is no new thing for Christians to backslide. Some went back to the beggarly elements of the world in the Apostle's days, and the fatal fashion has had followers ever since.

     Bad as matters are, they are not hopeless. God still lives. His Word has lost none of its efficacy. It is still quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Try that. Begin with your own heart. Probe it thoroughly. See if you have not compromised; or been wanting in self-denial, or received honor of men. Seek to disguise it as he may, he who was once successful in saving souls, but fails now, month in and month out, is backslidden, more or less, from God. His power is gone. If this is the case with you, own it to yourself. Do not attribute your failure to circumstances. Lay it to its true cause -- your want of grace. Then, whatever else you do, get the grace that will make you conqueror. Humble yourself before God. Ask until you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire! Then pour the truth red-hot upon the consciences of professed Christians. Get them to breaking down and confessing. Then God will manifest among you his power to save. The people will come together. God will give you love for their souls, Give to each a portion in season. Proclaim God's law and vindicate its claim. Preach Christ, warning every man; and instructing every man in all wisdom, that you may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. You can not take this course and fail. God will be with you. There are some honest souls who will receive the truth. When all get saved who will, in one place, go to another. Make a bold strike for salvation. Have faith in God and live wholly for him, and failure will be out of the question. Your temporal wants too, will be supplied. The infinite resources of the Almighty Savior are pledged to this. He fed Elijah by the ravens -- unclean birds -- and he can make those care for you who are yet unsaved. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

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209 -- HELL on Earth

     Perilous times are upon us. The papers record the most revolting, unheard-of crimes. Going to hell? Why, hell is coming to earth. It is here already. Demons from the pit, in human guise, would hardly seem capable of greater atrocities than are committed by men brought up within easy reach of the best and most elevating influences. Preachers would abolish hell; Satan is showing them that it can not be done. Hell has enlarged itself, and is extending its borders to their very midst. It is time for the people of God to cry out. Soft speeches and pretty phrases should be laid aside. The most energetic expressions, the most awakening language, are demanded. Tremendous earnestness from all God's preachers and people is now in order. Where are the sons of thunder? Where are those who weep between the porch and the altar?

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210 -- HOLINESS by Faith

     At Deliver, Colorado, while waiting for the train, we conversed with a young man who had been to Fountain to attend the conference. We knew he had been seeking the blessing of holiness.

     So we inquired:

     "What blessing did you receive?"

     "I hardly know," he replied; "I was very much blessed."

     "Were you clearly justified when you went forward?"

     "What did you ask for?"

     "For the blessing of holiness."

     "You received something?"

     "Yes, a great blessing; but I am afraid to say it is the blessing of holiness, lest I be deceived."

     "If you asked your grocer for sugar, and paid him the price of it. you would have no hesitation in saying you had it, though you did not see it put up. Christ says, `What things soccer ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' Believe that you receive them. Not something else -- not an imitation, but the precise things that ye ask for. When then, being clearly justified, we pray for holiness and receive a great blessing, we should believe that we receive what we pray for. We dishonor God by doubting it. If we are indefinite in our profession, we shall soon be uncertain in our experience."

     "I see it," he exclaimed; "I have the blessing of holiness, God does sanctify me wholly. I feel it like electrical fire all through my body, to the very ends of my fingers."

He praised the Lord in the depot and went on his way rejoicing.

     Many doubt away the blessing that they receive in answer to prayer, until they form such a habit of doubting that it seems next to impossible for them to hold on to what God does for them. Have faith in God.

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211 -- HOLINESS Hates Wrong

     True holiness implies, among other things, hatred of all wrong. In this it differs from mere amiability. One direction of the Apostle to the brethren, given after he beseeches them to present their bodies a living sacrifice to God, is. "Abhor that which is evil" (Rom. 12:9). Again, "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil" (Ps. 97:10). One can not do this and be popular. Let a Roman Catholic priest hate the saloon, and make vigorous war upon it, and no parish will want him. Some able, godly Methodist Episcopal preachers have made issue with Freemasonry, that great rival of Christianity; but their appointments kept growing poorer, until they felt compelled to leave the regular work of the ministry. True holiness is the active, uncompromising enemy of all wrong. False holiness opposes that only which it is popular to oppose. After the battle against wrong is fought and won, it very vigorously denounces the wrong. True holiness takes part in the battle, and is not given to boasting when it is won.

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212 -- HOLINESS, Spurious, Does Not Antagonize Evil

     A holiness that does not take a plain and decided stand against popular sins is not the holiness of the Bible. It many have many things about it that are commendable. Brass highly polished, to one ignorant of values, looks to be worth more than gold. So, spurious holiness is more current in the world, and among worldly professors, than the genuine. It is not so troublesome. It deals in commendations, almost never in reproofs, It is silent in the face of anti-Christian practices that are popular. If it speaks against worldly conformity, It is in such an indefinite manner, and in such general terms, that no one is convicted. If it bears testimony against the lodge, it is so mildly that none are offended.

     God's Word is: "Abhor that which is evil." "Ye that love the Lord hate evil." The saint of God exclaims, "I hate and abhor lying; but thy law do I love" (Ps. 119:163). Reader. is your whole influence exerted against that which you know to be wrong?

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213 -- HOLINESS Must be Commended by the Life

     If you would commend the cause of holiness to others, be careful to commend it by your life. Profess out all that God does for you. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). But be able to appeal, as did the Apostle, to those among whom you live, to testify that your life is in harmony with your profession. "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe" (1 Thess. 2:10). Let all with whom you have dealings, feel that they can place the utmost confidence in you. An old writer says, "Sin indulged in a believer, is like a rent in a richly embroidered garment; or like a crack in a silver bell. A foul spot is soonest discerned in the fairest cloth. The world will sooner make an excuse for its own enormities than for your infirmities."

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214 -- HOLINESS, profession of, Opposed

     While we should commend holiness by our lives, we must not make the mistake of supposing that true holiness will secure general commendation for us. A few saints many give us their qualified approval, but the world and worldly professors will generally oppose us. This we are taught by both Scripture and reason. "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?" (Acts 7:52). "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).

     This is the kind of treatment we might expect a truly holy person would receive, when we consider two things: (1) Everywhere sin and wrong-doing abound. (2) A truly holy person must, in every proper way, bear his testimony and give his influence against sin and wrong-doing. So did Christ. So did Paul. So did the holy martyrs. It got them into trouble. A similar course will get the most loving and gentle and prudent man or woman into trouble at the present day. On this account many who begin to lead holy lives draw back, and then gradually settle down into popular holiness, which is as unlike the genuine as brass is unlike the gold it is polished to represent, as a basswood stick is unlike a file of hardest steel.

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215 -- HOLINESS, Practical

     True holiness will manifest itself perhaps more clearly in making a bargain than in making a prayer. It leads its possessor to look out for the interests of another, as well as his own. It does not take advantage of the weakness or ignorance of others. It deals as honorably with a woman or a child as with a keen, experienced man of business. Job, in maintaining before his fellow men his integrity, says: "I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame" (Job 29:15). Where one with whom he was dealing could not see an advantage that of right belonged to him, and Job could, he made it known to him. The holiness that does not lead to the strictest integrity in all business matters is of no value whatever, as far as saving the soul is concerned, it is altogether spurious. It has not the seal of God upon it. One who has true holiness has ingrained in his very being the rule laid down by our Savior: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

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216 -- HOLINESS, One Can Not Have, and Get Mad

     If you get mad, you have lost the blessing of holiness -- if you ever had it. Nothing can be clearer. You may be naturally quick-tempered: that makes no difference, The very design of Divine grace is to correct what is wrong in our dispositions. If it does not do that, it does not do anything for us. We are mistaken in supposing we have it. We have taken up with a worthless imitation, offered to us on easier conditions than those we must meet in order to obtain the genuine.

     Charity beareth all things, endureth all things. Charity is not provoked. This is what the Bible says. The word easily, found in our common version (1 Cor. 13:5), Is not in the original. If you have not, then, this grace that keeps you from getting mad, your religion is of little worth. It will not take you to Heaven. No matter how high professions you make, or how well you talk, you are but "as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." It Is an awful thing to be deceived.

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217 -- HOLINESS Must be Clearly Preached

     A preacher can not keep clear in the blessing of holiness unless he preaches holiness clearly. A shining light must be permitted to shine. Put a cover over it and it goes out. Water keeps pure by running. A working man keeps strong by working. To one of his young preachers John Wesley wrote: "As long as you give yourself up to God without reserve, you may be assured he will give you his blessing. Indeed, you have already received a thousand blessings: but the greatest of all is yet behind -- Christ in a pure and sinless heart, reigning the Lord of every motive there. It is good for you to hold fast what you have attained, and to be continually aspiring after this; and you will never find more life in your own soul than when you are earnestly exhorting others to go on unto perfection. Many will blame you for doing it; but regard not that; go on through honor and dishonor. `This one thing I do,' is your motto. `I save my own soul, and them that hear me.'"

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218 -- HOLINESS to be Definitely Preached

     All our preachers should preach holiness clearly and definitely, It is not enough to preach It in a general way. Whole sermons should be devoted to the subject. Every person in the congregation should be made to see his obligation to be holy, It should be presented doctrinally, experimentally, and practically, in all its scriptural aspects.

     John Wesley, In writing to one of his female preachers, says: "You can never speak too strongly or explicitly upon the head of Christian perfection. If you speak only faintly and indirectly, none will be offended and none profited. But if you speak out, although some will probably be angry, yet others will soon find the power of God unto salvation.

     "Speak to all, and spare not. Be instant in season, out of season: and pray always with all perseverance."

     If you are not able to speak on the subject from a present experience, then get the experience. Set about it earnestly, at once.

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219 -- HOLINESS: Standard Must Not be too High

     We many as well not preach holiness at all as to place the standard higher than God has placed it. You had better save your ammunition than to shoot at the sun. God requires us to be Christian men and women, not angels. Never let go your hold upon a round in the ladder of Heaven until you grasp firmly another round above it. Many a hard fall has been experienced by grasping at something beyond the reach.

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220 -- HOLINESS: Standard to be Kept Up

     It is worse than useless to try to make true holiness popular. You may as well try to make flowers bloom in an arctic region, out of doors, in the winter. You would lose your flowers and lose your labor. To make holiness popular with worldlings is to destroy it. Ice, when warmed, does not remain ice; holiness, when brought down to the tastes of the ungodly, is no longer holiness. Sugar and alcohol are composed of the same elements. There is a small difference in the quantities of these elements in these two substances. But there is a vast difference in the two substances that result. So you put a little less of abhorrence of wrong, and a little more of worldly conformity, and a little more willingness to apologize for wrong-doing, into holiness, and you have a species of Jesuitism, as unlike holiness as alcohol is unlike sugar.

     Hold up the standard of holiness where Christ placed it, and do not try to make it popular.

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221 -- HOLINESS, Regaining the Blessing of

     If you have lost the blessing of holiness, there is just one way to regain it. That is, by repentance, and confession, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You will never get it by any reformation of conduct. You may do just right now, and act as if you had never lost it; but you will not regain it in that way. You must confess to the Lord your loss, and ask him to restore unto you the joy of his salvation, It is not enough to seek more power. That will do but little good. You must be willing to humble yourself before God, and acknowledge that you have grieved his Holy Spirit. Any confession that he lets you see you should make to any person, or in public, you should humbly make. The Bible way to get up is to go down. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

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222 -- HOLINESS and Heaven

     Heaven is a reality, hell is a reality, holiness is a reality. If you were going to an imaginary Heaven or hell, then an imaginary holiness might answer. But Heaven is a real place, a solid, substantial world, inhabited by holy beings who never die, and who never become depraved. If you would go there you must become like them. Your character must be in harmony with the inhabitants of Heaven, or you could not be happy in their company. Rutherford, a devout Scotch Presbyterian, said, "This cross hath let me see that Heaven is not at the next door, and that it is a castle not soon taken. I see also that it is neither pain nor art to play the hypocrite." "Make tight work at the bottom, and your ship shall ride against all storms, if, withal, your anchor be fastened upon good ground, I mean within the veil." Let your prayer be, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Expect to have the prayer answered.

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223 -- HOLINESS, Real

     The holiness which God requires is real and not imaginary. It does not consist in a belief that because Christ is holy, and we believer in him, God will consider us as holy though we are positively unholy. This delusive but damning doctrine is quite popular. Sin is no fiction; it will be punished in every one in whom it is found. Holiness is not an imaginary but an actual attribute of God's children. How clearly is this expressed by the Apostle! "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:3). This does not admit of a single exception. Every man; this takes in every one who professes to have a hope in Christ, no matter what may be his creed or church! If the hope is well founded, it results in personal purity. Reader, have you this hope?

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224 -- HOLINESS Counterfeited

     We must always bear in mind that true humility is an essential element of true holiness. We can not be proud and be holy at the same time. The two qualities are not merely antagonistic, but, like light and darkness, the one is destructive of the other. If pride prevails, holiness dies; if holiness prevails, pride dies. The holiness that pleads for pride is hollow and worthless, It is not scriptural holiness. It is a counterfeit, more attractive to the world and to carnal professors, it may be, than the genuine article; but nevertheless a counterfeit, that never will gain admission to Heaven. For several years past the cause of holiness has been coming up in public estimation; and hence dangerous counterfeits are afloat. We must be on our guard against them. We should try them by the Word. If anything that passes for holiness has not all the marks which the Scriptures lay down as belonging to it, then it is worthless. Reject it.

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225 -- HOLY, Be Ye

     When you see a man that does not care to learn, you many be assured that you see a man who never learned much. Knowledge begets a desire for knowledge. So grace begets a desire for grace. Not to want to be holy is a very clear sign that one is destitute of saving, grace. Says Caughey: "It would not require much argument to prove that those Methodists who do not enjoy holiness, nor are pressing after its attainment, either have never been converted, or have fallen from a justified state; and further, that they are In peril of that threatening, `so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee omit of my mouth.'"

     Reader, are you making it the main business of your life to follow holiness? If not, you have just ground to be concerned. Begin at once to seek for a holy heart. God's command is, "Be ye holy."

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226 -- HOLY SPIRIT: First Need in Trouble

     Spiritual influences are invisible to mortal eyes, but they are powerful. We need the Spirit of God more than we need money, more than we need learning. He is introduced to us in the Bible at the very beginning of the history of the creation, as the all-powerful agent by whom order was brought out of confusion. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2).

     If there is trouble and confusion in the church, and all looks dark and discouraging, the first thing you need is, not a church trial, but the moving of the Spirit of God upon the hearts of the people. Secure this, and they will cease from their dissensions, light will banish darkness, and each person will begin, as if by instinct, to take his proper place.

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227 -- HOLY SPIRIT Necessary

     Instrumental music is not necessary to draw the masses. Crowds can be collected without fifes, or drums, or fiddles, or cymbals. The early Christians adopted no means of the kind to gather congregations. They had something more attractive. It was not eloquence, but it was a noise -- a noise produced by the Holy Ghost in men. "Now when it was noised abroad, the multitude came together" (Acts 2:6). The Revised Version has it, "And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together." It was this sound that drew them. That was the secret.

     There is something wonderfully attractive in this sound at the present day. In whatever church It is heard there will be a congregation. The minister may be learned, or he may be ignorant; he may be eloquent, or he may be slow of speech; that does not seem to have much to do with the matter. The preacher has lithe to do with it, only as he ministers the Spirit to others. If only the people of God are filled with the Holy Ghost, the room will soon be filled with people. But there must be no putting on appearances. All must be real. Noise made for the sake of noise, is generally repulsive. But when the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of God's people with "joy unspeakable and full of glory," or when he enables them to pray "with groanings that cannot be uttered," there is something that fills the meekest with awe, and draws them to the place where the saints are assembled.

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228 -- HOLY SPIRIT, No Substitute for

     A preacher can not possibly find any substitute for the Holy Ghost. There is not the slightest use in trying. Eloquence and argument, anecdote and wit, may entertain and even convince, but they can not convict. If you would have souls truly converted to God under your labors, you must have God with you. It is said that an African chief, a heathen, after hearing Bishop Taylor, went away, saying, "He is God's man, sure." This is the impression which every minister of the gospel should make. Whatever else the people think of him, they should feel that God is with him. Those who truly love God will be drawn to him: those who hate God will hate him. They will go away and talk about him; but they will come back to hear him. There may not as many profess religion under his labors, as often do under the labors of one who compromises and works for policy; but more men and women will be truly born of the Spirit and fitted for Heaven.

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229 -- HOLY SPIRIT, Restraint of the

     The wicked are not wholly destitute of the Spirit of God. Bad as they are, they would be much worse were it not for his restraining influence. Many a hand that has been raised to kill, has been held back by the unseen power of the Divine Spirit. Men who never listen to a sermon, or read a good book, often hear a still, small voice endeavoring to persuade them to abandon their sins and lead a better life, It was to those who were hopelessly wicked that God said: "My Spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen. 6:3). When he ceased to strive with them, sudden destruction came upon them. So do not be afraid to go to time very wicked with words of warning and with offers of mercy. The Spirit of God has gone before you and prepared the way. Gain the confidence of a wicked man, so he will speak freely with you, and you will be astonished to find how much God has been talking to him. The Spirit has been striving with him when those who knew him supposed he was utterly hardened.

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230 -- HONESTY

     Honesty lies at the bottom of the Christian character. No matter what one believes; no matter how zealous he may be for the church, and how much he may pay for its support; no matter how high his professions may be, if he is not thoroughly honest at heart and in his business, his religion is absolutely worthless. Integrity is one part of the righteousness which God requires of every human being. Little acts of dishonesty grieve the Spirit, and he who commits them, left without support, falls into grievous sins. In looking over our books I was struck with the fact that most of the preachers "who went out from us, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us," have an unpaid account. In some cases these bills are quite large. Another thing we notice. We frequently get letters from those who have been owing us for years for the Earnest Christian, inclosing the pay. They tell us that the Lord has reclaimed them, and blessed them, and they are led at once to pay their debts. You need never be afraid of such leadings. They are always of the Lord. In following them you will never go astray. Be honest with God, honest with your preacher, honest with your publisher, with your neighbors and with all with whom you have any business transactions. However some may hate religion, compel them to say that you are honest.

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231 -- HONESTY, We Should be Able to Prove Our

     "Provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Rom. 12:17). This is one of the practical directions which the Apostle gives to those whom he has exhorted to "present their bodies a living sacrifice" to God. A genuine, deep religious experience makes us more careful and conscientious in all the concerns of life. We must not only be honest, but we must make provision so that if necessary It can be shown to all men that we are honest. We should not only do right in business matters, but be able to show that we do right. Especially is this the case where we do business for others. If you pay out money for another person, or for a society, always take a receipt for it. It will greatly help the cause of God for Christians to do business in such a way that their honesty can not be successfully questioned.

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232 -- HONESTY in Religion

     Honesty in religion, as well as honesty in business, is required of every Christian. Men may succeed in obtaining money under false pretenses; but they can not gain Heaven in that way. There must be no deceptions, no shams, no putting on appearances not warranted by realities. We must not give our public adherence to doctrines which we do not heartily believe. If we are Arminians we must not join the Calvinists, no matter how much larger salaries they may promise, unless we want God to damn us. Not that men will be damned for being Calvinists; but they will be damned for acting a lie. While our name is with a church our hearts should be with it; and we should labor to build it up, and not merely to build ourselves up on it, and at its expense.      If we believe that Freemasonry is an anti-Christian religion we should not support Masonic preachers, though they be eloquent and apparently zealous for the church.

     God requires truth in the inward parts.

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233 -- HONESTY characterizes a True Christian

     Honesty is not religion, but the right kind of religion makes all who possess it honest. A true Christian carries a sensitive conscience into all matters of business. He does not misrepresent, nor exaggerate, nor conceal, for the sake of any personal advantage. His word can be depended upon. This is the plain teaching of the Bible. It lays the greatest stress upon the principle of honesty. "He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10). Our Discipline lays proper stress upon this principle when it forbids contracting debts without the probability of paying. It is better to turn an old garment inside out, and upside down, to darn and patch it, than to go into debt for a new one. Let us be careful to have "always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men."

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234 -- HONESTY, Heart

     A man many be honest without being a Christian; but he can not be a Christian unless he is honest. Creeds many differ; but all who have any just claim to the Christian name are alike in being governed, in all business matters, by downright integrity.

     Bishop Thomas Wilson, of England, wrote one hundred fifty years ago: "A man who borrows money which he knows he can not repay, plainly takes advantage of his creditor's ignorance of his circumstances, It is probable he may fancy himself less guilty than if he had stolen so much or taken it by force; but he would not think so if the laws had made these two crimes equally penal, as they are in fact equally unjust in the sight of God and man."

     A brother who, for the last twenty years, has published religious books and periodicals, told us the other day that he was obliged to stop publishing because the religious people owe him so many thousands of dollars in small amounts which he could not collect.

     No matter what may be the profession, if a man's religion does not make him honest it does not save him. He is still a child of wrath -- an heir of hell.

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235 -- HONESTY, Principle of

     No amount of praying, no excess of zeal for sound doctrines, will atone for dishonest practices. He who wrongs his fellow man sins against God. He who obtains money by false representations, is, if he professes to be a Christian, a false pretender. The principle is not affected by the amount which is sought to be gained. Our Savior lays down the principle in these words: "He that is unjust is that which is least is unjust also in much." This does not excuse those who run off with thousands of dollars of other men's money intrusted to their care, but it classes with them the man who defrauds another of a few dollars or a few cents. In all business transactions a true Christian is strictly conscientious. The Apostle teaches us that one must not only pay to others the money that belongs to them, but the respect to which their position or their age entitles them. This is the rule as he lays it down: "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour" (Rom. 13:7). Pay your tales; do not defraud the government by smuggling goods; render due deference to those in official position; and be respectful towards all.

     The custom of some good people, not to take off their hats In the presence of any one, may have been in its day a testimony against servilely cringing to kingly authority, but in this country It is without significance. It has neither Scripture nor reason for its support. On the contrary, it is in plain violation of the command, "Honour all men" (1 Pet. 2:17).

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     Cincinnatus showed his magnanimity of soul not more in the deliverances he wrought out for his country, than by his unwavering loyalty and patriotism after he had retired to private life. To be true to his country he did not need to be in office, or to be expecting an office. So if one is a true Christian, principle will weigh more than any personal considerations. He is not fit for a class-leader who leaves the church because he is not made class-leader, It was a fallen angel who declared that it is

"Better to reign in hell,

Than to serve in Heaven."

     Our Lord says, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matt. 23:11, 12). But there must be no sham humility.

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237 -- HUMBLE, The, Secure Christ's Presence

     The presence of Christ in a congregation met for worship does not depend upon the place in which they are assembled. The character of the edifice has nothing ton do with it. The place may be an upper room, it may be a log house -- it many be a cathedral. This has not the slightest influence in securing the presence of Christ. The sunshine in a house depends, not upon its construction, but upon the opportunity the sunshine has to get in. So the manifested presence of Christ in a meeting depends upon the humble, consecrated souls who are willing to receive him. He comes as a King to rule, if be comes to stay. As such he must be received. From the proud and the self-willed he turns sadly away. With formalists and hypocrites he has no more sympathy than he had when he denounced in such burning words the scribes and the Pharisees -- the men of the greatest literary and the men of the greatest religious pretensions. He makes his abode with the poor in spirit, and the pure in heart.

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     If the work of God does not move, on your circuit, as powerfully as it should, and you have failed in the use of other means, suppose you try one that I have never known to fail -- humbling yourself, with your people, before the Lord. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" (Ps. 51:17). These sacrifices he always accepts. When they are laid upon his altar he answers by fire. The Holy Ghost falls upon those who offer them. Others are touched, and the work breaks out anew.

     Under Wesley's preaching, the work in London, at one time, came to a standstill. He says, "We met at Fetter Lane to humble ourselves before God, and own he had justly withdrawn his Spirit from us for our manifold unfaithfulness. We acknowledged our having grieved him by our divisions -- one saying, `I am of Paul,' another, 'I am of Apollos;' by our leaning again to our own works, amid trusting in them instead of Christ; by our resting in those little beginnings of sanctification which it had pleased him to work in our souls; and, above all, by blaspheming his work among us -- imputing it either to nature, to the force of imagination and animal spirits, or even the delusion of the devil. In that hour we found God with us as at the first. Some fell prostrate upon the ground; others burst out, as with one consent, into loud praise and thanksgiving; and many testified, openly, that there had been no such day as this since January 1, preceding." (Works, Vol. 3, p. 140).

     A spirit of division will stop the most promising revivals; so if you have taken hold of anything concerning which saints may properly sustain a different opinion, and have pushed it to such an issue that you have got the people to discussing it, and taking sides about it, you should consent to see your mistake, call a meeting of the society and make your confession so humbly, and so sincerely, that others will catch the spirit, and the work of God among you will break out afresh, Oh, it is so hard to get down. and keep down, where God can use us all the while!

     How often, even among us, is the work of God hindered by "imputing it either to nature" or to "the delusion of the devil." Good societies have been broken up in this way. What if some do find fault because some of the saints get blessed and act peculiarly? When you get everything down to a dead respectability, to please a few who affect superior refinement, these very persons will not come near your meetings. They will have nothing to do with you. They do not care anything about your fine sermons. They did not know what it was that drew them to your services; but it was the Spirit of God, which you have grieved and driven away by persecuting those who gave themselves up to follow as he leads, Oh, in how many places a Fetter Lane confession is needed! Look at the matter candidly, and see if there is not help in this direction.

"What are our works but sin and death,

Till thou thy quickening Spirit breathe?"

     Let us look at once for the quickening Spirit throughout all our borders.

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239 -- HURRIED SPIRIT, Avoid a

     Do not get hurried. Let your feet and your hands make haste, if necessary, but let your spirit be calm and quiet. If you find that you are getting hurried, stop short, cool down, and take matters deliberately. Things done hastily are often done improperly. They frequently have to be done over again. Sometimes a day is nearly lost by getting in a hurry. What is still more, a valuable friend is lost by hasty words, uttered in a hasty manner. Worst of all, sometimes one loses his religion by giving place to a hasty spirit. If you feel biting words struggling for utterance, hold them in, as with a bit and bridle. Put out unholy fires while they are smoldering. If allowed to break out they soon get beyond control.

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     A hypocrite is one who pretends to be what he knows he is not. Hypocrites are not confined to the churches. They are found everywhere.

     There are many business hypocrites -- men who put on every appearance of being honest, while they are secretly planning to rob their fellow men. We have known several instances of men who for years had such a reputation for honesty that many, who had money that they did not wish to use at present, would put it in their hands for safe-keeping. in preference to depositing it in the banks. After a while they would fall or run away to Canada with the money. Facts would come out which would show clearly that they had been dishonest all along. There are men of downright business integrity. Such men may not prosper as fast as others; but their prosperity is much more lasting. And it does not end in destruction. "The prosperity of fools shall destroy them" (Prov. 1:32).

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241 -- HYPOCRITE, Religious

     A religious hypocrite is the worst of all. Almost every week the papers give an account of some one who has fled from the country, taking with him some other man's wife and the money which had been entrusted to his care by a bank, or by the county, or city, or some confiding employer. In some cases these men belong to the church and are active workers in the Sunday-school. The man or woman who is secretly living in adultery or theft, and yet professing godliness, has good reason to fear all the horrors of double damnation, In many cases they begin to feel, even here, the torments of the damned. The gnawings of the worm that dieth not become so intolerable that they divulge their guilty secret in the hope of finding relief.

"Now conscience wakes despair

That slumbered; wakes the bitter memory

Of what he was, what is, and what must be."

     The word of the Lord to all such is: "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning !"

     "Lucifer" means light-bearer, from lux, light and fero, to bear, to carry. This applies with intensest force to backslidden ministers.