Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "M"

275 -- MARRIAGE: Warning to Young Women

     It is no wonder that ungodly men like to get Christian wives. They can be depended upon. They are not governed by pride, or ambition, or impulse; but by principle. But, sister, you run a fearful risk when you marry a man who is destitute of Christian principle. If he is without the fear of God, he will be likely to give you trouble. Your life, in all probability, will be one of suffering. He will endeavor by degrees to draw you away from Christ. If he does not succeed in this, he may turn to oppose and persecute you. Difficulties will confront you at every step of your progress in Divine life. No matter how attractive you may be to him now, you may expect that he will find some other woman more attractive in years to come, and the very life will be crushed out of you as the sad conviction forces itself upon you, that he to whom you have given your all has become alienated from you in his affection, and given his love to another. Sisters, heed the admonitions of God's holy Word and "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers."

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     In one of the provinces of Germany the authorities are forbidden to issue a marriage license to a man who is known to be a drunkard. This is as it should be. But women ought not to make such a law necessary. No woman should entrust her life to a man who indulges in the use of intoxicating liquor. He may promise to reform; but if he will not reform before obtaining a wife, he will not be very apt to reform after he gets one. No unmarried woman is so poorly off, but that she will be worse off if united to a drunken husband.

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277 -- MEETINGS Injured by Light Spirit

     We have sometimes seen a good meeting greatly injured by a light spirit insinuating itself into the hearts of the saints, until they were controlled by it for the time being. The Holy Spirit was grieved and the congregation lost its seriousness. William Kendall often had lively meetings. He would himself get blessed very much, and the people got blessed, as glorious victories were achieved in the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of believers. But he guarded carefully against a spirit of levity. As soon as he saw symptoms of any being carried too far in that direction, he would oppose them; he would make no issue, but, in the Spirit, he would lead off in singing one of the old, solemn, Methodist hymns. This would hurt no one, but would bring the meeting back into the right channel. He could not have done this if he had not himself been filled with the Spirit. Such a course is in keeping with the Apostle's direction: "Is any merry? let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). Do not let him strike up a lively ditty; but let him sing a good, solid psalm, or hymn. But do not let dead folks make this an excuse for opposing the saints when they get blessed. "See thou hurt not the oil and the wine" (Rev. 6:6).

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278 -- MEETINGS, Opening

     The time that can be given to a religious meeting is necessarily limited. The one who has it in charge should see that no time is wasted. He should open promptly. His hymns and Scripture should be selected beforehand, and the people not kept waiting while he is hunting them up. All necessary consulting should be had in advance.

     As a rule, make the opening exercises short. It is a shame for a minister to take half an hour to open a lovefeast, and then urge the people to "speak short."

     If you are to preach, come before the congregation full of matter. Make no apologies, no delays. Dive into the merits of your subject at once. Speak plain words and to the point. Get clear ideas of your subject and present them in a clear and forcible manner. When you get through, stop. Do not keep the saw running when the log is sawed. Try and get some under conviction and give them a chance to get to the Lord and get blessed.

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279 -- MEETINGS, Protracted

     Do not be in too great haste about closing your protracted meetings. Hold on till you see great results. If there is an interest, so the unsaved come out, keep the meetings going, even if sinners do not make any move toward getting saved. Patience and perseverance are very necessary to carry on the work of God successfully. Break down yourself anew before God. Get a deeper and more tender love for perishing souls. Get your working members baptized anew with the Holy Ghost. Put the plow in deeper. Have a stronger faith in God. Expect success. Do not scold. Do not talk discouragement. Begin your meetings promptly. Close in good season, so you and the people will not get all tired out. Be determined to have a complete victory, and you will have it. God bless you.

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280 -- MEETINGS, Strangers in Our

     People come to the Free Methodist churches to get help for their souls. Therefore we should be in a condition to help them. If good, substantial food is handed out, it will be relished, however plain the vessels are in which it is served, provided they are clean. Starved souls, if they are not past feeling, want the bread of life. To pelt them with stones is cruel. It drives them away, and hurts them, and hurts them who pelt them.

     We should deal faithfully with the erring, but it should be always in love. Did we know all the circumstances of those whom we censure we should often pity as well as blame. Kindness may be undeserved, but it is seldom that it does not bring better returns than severity. Strangers who visit our meetings should always be well used. Nothing fits us to labor for others like perfect love. It disposes us to do good and instinctively leads us to adopt the proper means of accomplishing it. Wisdom is better than wit; sympathy is better than sarcasm.

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281 -- MEETINGS, Union

     Ministers who appeal to the love of pleasure to promote the self-denying religion of the cross, love to get even an apparent indorsement of their ungodly course from a holiness preacher. Hence, though they secretly oppose you and talk against you, they are anxious to have you unite with them in union meetings. They do not want your religion, but your influence. People have begun to have confidence in your piety, and these compromising preachers desire, as far as possible, to turn this to their own account. Their paper is no longer good; yours is, and they want your indorsement. Be on your guard. Many a sound man has been ruined by indorsing others.      Have nothing to do, in any form, with sustaining meetings in which superficial work is done. If men are encouraged to think they are converted, while they are holding on to the secret lodge and to their tobacco; and women, while they still appear in their jewelry and their finery; then have nothing to do with such a revival. It makes proselytes to the church, instead of converts to God. It results in fatal self-deception. It leads souls along from the altar of God, from the sacramental table down to hell.

     Give no countenance to any religious meetings where you can not do thorough work for God. If you would have prosperity in the church, then you must, the same as in private life, mind your own business.

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282 -- MEMBERS, Patience with

     Do not get tempted with your old members if they do not take hold as zealously in the revival meetings as you think they should. They will not hinder the work unless you yourself are the occasion of it, by getting tried with them, and by firing at them, and so drawing public attention towards them. They have stood by the work bravely when others have quit the field and run away; and they will stand by it when some, who now seem burning with zeal, have burned all out and have blown away. Let them work in their own way. If you feel that you must say sharp things to them, do not say them in public; but take them alone; visit them; pray with them; get blessed together, and you will feel like bearing with them. It is no way to promote a revival, to say things in public that have a natural tendency to undermine the confidence of those who hear, in the piety of your members. If preachers would attend class-meetings more, and do more faithful pastoral visiting, they would have less occasion to make periodical attacks upon their members in public.

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283 -- MEMBERS, Preachers Must Respect The Rights of

     The Free Methodist church is not an ecclesiastical despotism. The governing power in the church is not vested exclusively with the preachers. They have their part in the government, but they can exercise it only in conjunction with the members. The preacher does not admit members, nor does he dismiss them. This power belongs to the members. The preacher may preside at the society meeting which admits members, but it is the vote of the society which admits them. On the other hand, he has no right to drop members. They can not be disposed of in that way. Unless they die, or withdraw, or remove, they can not be got out of the church without a trial according to Discipline. Our members have rights which the preachers are bound to respect. Those who wish to lord it over God's heritage should seek a home somewhere else than in the Free Methodist church.

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284 -- MEMBERS Should be Given Work

     Our preachers often fail in setting to work members of their societies who have a heart to work and the ability to do efficient work. Not until some other organization pushes such unemployed members out, do these preachers realize what a loss they have sustained. In some places the Salvation Army has been manned almost entirely by Free Methodists. What a crowd they did draw! They possessed no more talent than they did before, but they had somebody to set them to work.

     A preacher is an officer. If he can not lead others out into the conflict, he should resign. He who can not direct others should take his place in the ranks. In every neighborhood there is a great battle for holiness and righteousness to be fought. Every one capable of doing service should be enlisted. Their work should be assigned them, and opportunity be given them to do it. Put forward the modest and the retiring. Great volcanoes are sometimes thrown up on a level plain. Those who were never considered gifted, sometimes, when they get filled with the Spirit, astonish their acquaintances by their powerful and timely exhortations.

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285 -- MEMBERSHIP Merely Will Not Save One

     Much of the preaching of the day takes it for granted that members of the church in good standing are, by virtue of that fact, in a state of salvation. In this respect there is but little difference among preachers of all denominations. In many cases this is a fatal assumption. There should be no effort to convert people to our way of thinking in matters of indifference, but we should hold up clearly the New Testament standard of salvation. Much of the preaching and most of the warnings of the Bible are addressed to God's professed people. It was to "the church of God," to those called "saints," that Paul wrote these words: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor. 13:5). And it was to a minister in good standing that the beloved and loving John wrote: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17).

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286 -- MEN, True, Should be Recognized

     Every man should be accorded all the advantages to which his talents, his training, and his good conduct entitle him. These qualities have a commercial value. They are his property as much as the house which he has purchased by his industry and economy. Organizations that rob him of these advantages are no less guilty than those that rob him of his money.

     The tendency of strong party spirit is to put forward compromisers, time-servers, where men of principle are needed.

"God give us men. A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honor -- men who will not lie."

     We should be able to recognize such men, and be willing to do what we can to aid in giving them their true position. This is God's direction: "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).

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287 -- MIND, Power of, Over Body

     The mind has great power over the body. Bad feelings grow by being nourished and cherished. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that a well person may be made sick by being made to think he is sick. We are saved by hope, physically as well as spiritually. The Psalmist said: "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord" (Ps. 118:17). And he did not die. If you are tempted, do not talk about it, unless to some one who can help you. If you do not feel well, take the same course.

"Some men employ their health, an ugly trick,

In making known how oft they have been sick,

And give us, in recitals of disease,

A doctor's trouble, but without the fees."

     True faith in God begets a determined spirit, and often keeps off disease. Blessings that are worth having, are worth fighting for. Many do not live out their appointed days because they give up too easily. The spirit of infirmity overpowers them. But a strong spirit masters a weak body.

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288 -- MIND Must be Expanded

     To grow in grace you must grow in knowledge. If the mind is contracted, the thoughts run in the same groove, and the same forms of expression are used. Religion degenerates into formality. The words used may be good, but they are without power. Stereotyped matter does not interest either speaker or hearer. To expand the mind, to grow in knowledge, you must read, you must study. You may think you have not the time, but in this you are mistaken. Elihu Burritt, a blacksmith, while working at his trade, became one of the most learned men of his age. He understood more languages than any other man in this country. While learning them he worked the regular hours each day at his trade. Nor did he injure his health by work and study. You may have a large circuit and a great deal to do, but if you have a mind to study, you can, by systematic application, accomplish wonders. Devotion to God will make you eager to equip yourself in the best possible manner for his work.

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289 -- MIND, Sound

     The Spirit of God gives wisdom and direction to the children of God. But they are not to throw away their common sense. They are to use all they have, and get more. Common sense is one of the gifts of God. Paul says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7). A locomotive fired up is very useful when kept on the track; but if it gets off the track it does great harm. The spirit "of power and of love" is very necessary for a Christian. Without it he is like a locomotive without steam. But if he has not with it a sound mind, he is liable to do more hurt than good. He becomes positively dangerous. The thing to be done is not to humor his caprices, and jump on to his train, but get him on the track as soon and with as little damage as possible. You do him hurt to encourage him in his erratic tendencies. Keep these triune graces, power, and love, and a sound mind. Either one without the rest will result in harm. See that you have all three. They are "received." Therefore you may come to God for them. It is time to put away folly. Weakness is cured by "POWER;" impatience and fretfulness by "LOVE," and foolishness by a "SOUND MIND." Have you received them? If not, will you have them?

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290 -- MINISTERS Of Other Denominations, Inviting

     A preacher of another denomination writes to us that he was specially invited to attend a Free Methodist campmeeting. He says he went and labored, and went away, and they never offered to pay his railroad fare. We know nothing of the meeting -- were not present at it -- and had nothing to do with his going there; but he writes to us as if we were to blame for the treatment which he received. Perhaps we are. Our preachers and people ought to be more considerate. They ought to have better manners. If you specially invite any one to come and labor in a meeting, be particular and pay the traveling expenses, and take good care of him. "The workman is worthy of his hire."

     As a rule, it is not best to invite ministers of other denominations to labor in our meetings. They can not enter heartily and conscientiously into our work. If they could, they would be of us. They are apt to sow the seeds of dissatisfaction and worldliness. They leave an influence which works insidiously against us. We had better mind our own business, and do our own work.

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291 -- MISTAKES Should be Acknowledged

One of the greatest means of grace is a readiness to acknowledge our mistakes frankly and without any efforts at self-vindication. The "old man" dies hard. When he joins the church, and especially when he professes holiness, he is very watchful over his reputation for intelligence and consistency. If he does not, in general terms, profess infallibility, yet in no particular instance is he known to candidly admit that he was mistaken. There is something wanting in the experience of such persons. They are lacking in mellowness, in gentleness under provocation, and in the unction of the Holy Ghost. We should never get where we can not obey the command, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."

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292 -- MISTAKES Should be Confessed

     It is a subtle artifice of Satan to make a saint believe that he must never confess when he has been mistaken la his judgment, or has taken the wrong side of a question. When we have done wrong, even from the best of motives, we should be ready to acknowledge it. Jeremy Taylor, in his "Rules for Holy Living," says: 'Be not always ready to excuse every oversight, or indiscretion, or ill action, but if thou beest guilty of it confess it plainly; for virtue scorns a lie for its cover, but to hide a sin with it is like a crust of leprosy drawn upon an ulcer. If thou beest not guilty (unless it be scandalous), be not over-earnest to remove it, but rather use it as an argument to chastise all greatness of fancy and opinion in thyself; and accustom thyself to bear reproof patiently and contentedly, and the harsh words of thy enemies, as knowing that the anger of an enemy is a better monitor, and represents our faults, or admonishes us of our duty, with more heartiness than the kindness does, or precious balm of a friend."

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293 -- MONEY Should not be Hoarded

     Why should you wish to leave so much property to your children that they will not need to work for a living? Do you think they will be as well off in this world? Did the men around you, who occupy influential positions, start in life with a fortune at their command? As a rule, did they not begin low down and work their way up? Will your children be as likely to make good Christians, if they are left so they can fare sumptuously every day? You know the probability is that they will be like the world.

     Then use your money for the promotion of the cause of God, and do not hoard it up for your children.

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294 -- MONEY, Wisdom to be Exercised in Handling

     In handling the funds of others we should not only be strictly honest, but we should take pains to make our honesty apparent to all. There should not be the slightest ground for suspicion. We should have the means at command to silence the accusations of envy and hate. See how particular Paul was, when he took up a contribution at Corinth for the relief of the poor and persecuted saints at Jerusalem. He would not take it alone; but had the churches appoint capable, trusty persons to go with him, and see that the contributions were properly administered. He gave the reason: "Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." See 2 Cor. 8:18-21. He could endure any amount of persecution; but he could not needlessly lay himself open to false accusations.

     Dr. Paley well says: "He repeatedly professes that there should be associated with himself in the management of the public bounty, not colleagues of his own appointment, but persons elected by the contributors themselves."

     A minister of the gospel should be a man whose integrity can not be successfully questioned.

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295 -- MONOPOLIES Characterized

     In the gospel there is no privileged class. Just as the influence of the gospel prevails in civil affairs, the rights of all are respected. Monopolies are utterly subversive of the rights of the people. They rob the many to enrich the few.

     Cromwell wrote from Dunbar, where his last signal victory was gained over the royalists: Relieve the oppressed, hear the groans of poor prisoners. Be pleased to reform the abuses of all professions. If there be any one that makes many poor to make a few rich, that suits not a Commonwealth."

     Noble words! Our nation needs a Cromwell. Conspiracy is the order of the day. The business of the country is growing to be more and more conducted on Satanic principles. The man who places you in a position so that he alone can meet your wants, and then demands an exorbitant price for doing it, acts on the same principle as the highwayman who, with a loaded, cocked revolver at your head, demands your purse or your life.

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296 -- MORAL STANDARDS Must be Kept Up

Just as the church lowers the standard of salvation, the world looking on lowers the standard of morality. Gambling at church festivals, gambling in stocks by church members, makes gambling respectable and popular. The voting of church-members for license to sell liquor makes saloon-keepers bold and defiant. Sin needs but little encouragement to break through all bounds, and assert its right to dominate.

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297 -- MORALITY, One Standard of, For All

God has one standard of morality for all. "Thou shalt not steal," is as binding upon the non-professor as upon the professor. So are all of God's commandments. One who is disobedient and rebellious will not have any heart to say in the day of judgment, "Lord, I never professed religion." No such excuse will avail. Open rebellion is not less damning than secret hypocrisy. Spurgeon says to one who prides himself on his making no profession: "You imagine that when you stand before God, if you tell him, 'Lord, I never professed to love thee, I never pretended to serve thee,' God will accept your impudence as honesty -- that he will look upon your presumption as sincerity! Why, sir, you can not mean what you say; you must have deceived yourself most terribly if you do. Your honesty in avowing yourself to be a slave of Satan! Your effrontery in declaring that you are steeped up to the very throat in sin, is this to be an apology for your sin? O man! be wiser."

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298 -- MOTIVES

     We shall not make much out in trying to follow Christ, if the question of profit and loss determines the service we shall render him. Mercenary considerations should have no weight whatever in deciding the Christian position we shall undertake to fill. Such a motive is akin to that which actuated Judas, when he betrayed his master for thirty pieces of silver.

     Our inquiry should be, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The answer to that should decide our choice. It may involve a life service of self-denial. What of that' The greater will be the reward in the eternal world. Christ did not die rich. The apostles did not die rich; yet how they triumphed over poverty. "As poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." What millionaire ever felt like that?

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299 -- MOTIVES, Worldly, Fatal in Choosing Christ

     The crime of Judas did not consist in the amount of money which he received for betraying Christ, but in the fact that he betrayed him at all.

     Dr. Stephen Olin was light when he said: "Whoever stops to inquire whether it may cost him sacrifices to be a Christian, with any intention to hesitate if it does, has admitted a consideration utterly incompatible with his becoming a Christian at all. Whoever chooses his creed or his church with any, the slightest, reference to the honor, or the ease, or the emolument it may give or withhold, does, by such an admission, utterly vitiate all his claim to have any part or lot in the matter of saving piety. I do not speak of those who, knowingly and deliberately, make these their chief ground of preference; but I affirm that it is wholly anti-Christian, and an insult to a crucified Savior, to yield any, the smallest, place to worldly motives in choosing the Christian position which we will occupy. Let Christ and conscience decide in this matter. 'Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.' The gospel will admit of no compromise here. This is its point of honor, which it can not, and will not, yield by a single iota. I feel called upon to use the language of unmeasured denunciation against a mistake so often fatal to hopeful beginnings in religion -- so very often fatal to the religious prospects of young men."

     This is Christianity as we learned it when a young man. It has not changed. A person whose religious principles are in the market has no claim to the name of a Christian. He lacks the primary element of the Christian character.