Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "S"

495 -- SABBATH, The

     The Sabbatarians, by their positive assertions, and their long array of Scripture quotations, succeed in disturbing some honest souls. But do not be disturbed. Their proofs will not bear examination. We say this, because we have examined them with all fairness and candor. We have never seen a single text that says, God commanded men to keep as Sabbath the seventh day of the week. They add "of the week" to God's commands. We have never seen any good authority to prove what they so confidently assert, that Constantine or the Roman Catholic church changed the Sabbath day from the seventh to the first day of the week. If they ever made any such change there ought to be an authentic record of it. We have never seen any. Let it be produced. Give us not assertions. They are easily made. Show us records.

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496 -- SABBATH To Be Valued

     It is the duty of a Christian to conscientiously observe the Sabbath. It is the day which God has specially set apart for himself. His requirement is, "In it thou shalt not do any work." Ordinary labor is to be suspended on this holy day.

     To keep it properly, we must make preparation on the day preceding. We should do on Saturday all that we can for our comfort on the Sabbath. Instead of working later than usual on Saturday night, we should quit work earlier than usual, in order to get our minds and our worldly matters ready for the Sabbath. To sit up late on Saturday night is likely to be followed by getting up late on Sunday morning, being late to church and, in the end, too often, in backsliding from God. It was very early on Sunday morning that the women of Galilee met the angels and learned from them that Jesus was risen from the dead.

     If you would get much out of your religion, you must make much of the Sabbath.

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497 -- SABBATH, Preservation of the

     Working men are specially interested in the preservation of the Sabbath. Let it be turned into a day of recreation, and it will soon become a day of labor. The money kings will say, "These people tire themselves more by their Sunday amusements than they would by work; therefore, they might better be kept at work." We have called attention to the fact that on the continent of Europe this result has been realized to a large extent. Large numbers of working people have no day of rest.

     The Sunday excursions and baseball games, common in this country, will have the same effect. Already it is beginning to be realized. A contemporary says

     "Sunday labor has been greatly increased during the past few years. In the city of New York alone there are fully one hundred thousand men and women who work every Sunday at their trades or vocations. A religious organization there is trying to prevent the growth of this encroachment upon the day of rest."

     If the people will not have a Christian Sabbath they will soon have no Sabbath.

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498 -- SABBATH: Net to be Secularized

     The American Germans are making a great mistake in trying to secularize our American Sabbaths. They may have the assistance of the railroads, and of some of the capitalists, in turning the Sabbath into a day of pleasure, of riding and drinking and revelry; but when that is effected they may expect that the same result will follow here as is being realized in Germany -- the Sabbath will be turned into a day of labor; and the toilers will be compelled to toil on seven days in the week. The German government, in a recent report on Sunday labor, shows that factory work is becoming the rule in Germany. Sabbath labor is more general in some parts of the empire than in others; but there is a decided tendency to do away with the practice of regarding the Sabbath as a day of rest from labor. If we do not have the Christian Sabbath, we shall have no more Sabbath than they have on the continent of Europe. The greed of gain in most of those who employ labor, will soon make it clear that it is no worse for the laborer in the mill than it is to play ball, and get drunk, and have fights, on the Sabbath. All are interested, whether they know it or not, in the preservation of the Sabbath, but none more so than the working man.

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499 -- SABBATH Worldly Conversation Not to be indulged

     We must not indulge in worldly conversation on the Sabbath, if we would keep it properly. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Worldly talk on the Sabbath is not only an indication of a lack of grace, but it opens a leakage of the soul through which what grace one has may easily slip away. Do not allow yourself to talk about worldly business on God's holy day. Be decided in this matter. Your friends, your children, your employers or your employees will draw you into it if you permit them. Follow God's direction and do not seek your own pleasure, nor speak your own words, on the Lord's Day. Let your conversation be in Heaven -- about Heavenly things. Lay aside worldly cares and worldly talk, and seek to minister grace to others and to have others minister grace to you. Then the Sabbath will be to you a delight, and God will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth.

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     The working classes are making a great mistake by turning the Sabbath into a day of public amusement. If they keep on they will repent when it is too late. They have the deepest interest in the preservation of the Christian Sabbath as a day sacred to the worship of God, from whom came all our blessings. The New York Journal of Commerce, a leading secular paper, says:

     "The moment all serious regard for the hours of rest, as sacred time, is lost, the greed of man comes behind the laborer with its lash, and in spite of laws forbidding work the factory and the mill are open, and the workmen must respond or quit the service. Let this fact be impressed on the mind of every man who asks for more of license on the first day of the week. A Sunday which has no sacred hours will very soon have no interval of peaceful rest Open the day for unrestricted fun and frolic, and it will soon be open for exacting toll."

     The men who get up Sabbath excursions for the laboring classes, and set before them beer and whisky, are their greatest enemies.

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501 -- SABBATH, Seventh Day

     The keeping of Saturday for Sabbath has always resulted in a failure, whenever it has been tried for any length of time. A large colony of Seventh-day Baptists settled in the town in which I spent my boyhood. They were a godly, intelligent people, free from fanatical notions. They had a flourishing church. Their ministers were pious, educated men. But they have all run out. Their children learned from their parents to work and play on Sunday, and from their neighbors to do the same on Saturday, and now it is a godless, wicked neighborhood. The Seventh-day Baptists began their work in this country over two hundred years ago. They were able, zealous, sincere men; but the blessing of God has not rested upon their labors. Their increase has been less than the natural increase of their families. They have fought vigorously, but they have been fighting against God.

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502 -- SAINTS Approved of Men

     What the Apostle says about true saints being "approved of men" is deserving of serious consideration. He does not mean that they will be popular, in the common acceptation of that word; very far from it. On the contrary, he taught, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." But the very ones that persecute come at last to approve, and often to love and fellowship, those whom they persecute. Constancy in suffering, and sweetness of temper, and holy triumph in agonies extreme, manifested by his victims, have brought many a persecutor to his knees, beseeching God to bestow upon him this great salvation. In religious matters natural men are slow to adopt what they approve, and swift to practice what they condemn. But however men oppose us, we should always aim to keep their consciences on our side. In the long run, conscience is pretty apt to wear out prejudice. Not infrequently will men talk against the saints, and turn around and defend them when others do the same. A godly life stirs up opposition, but it at the same time challenges admiration for its consistency.

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503 -- SAINTS Persevere in Adversity

     He who will be a saint only when everything is prosperous, is no saint at all. A fish goes against the current only when the fish is alive. The dead ones are washed ashore. Paul, when in prison, wrote, "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me"; but his faith never wavered on that account.

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504 -- SAINTS, Overfed

     Though one must eat, if he would be able to work, yet if he eats all the while he will soon be unable to work. Overfeeding is as dangerous as underfeeding. Ordinarily more persons die of dyspepsia and apoplexy than of starvation.

     The trouble with some of our pilgrims is, they do not work enough in proportion to the amount of Spiritual food they take. Their appetite is good. They relish strong meat. But they do not work enough to keep their digestion good. They would be strong if they had more exercise in God's great harvest-field. As it is, instead of bringing in sheaves they are complaining. They flounce about paroxysmally, and tread down the grain that they should reap. They offend needlessly those whom they should bring to Christ. If they would visit them and talk with them face to face, they would be tender and sympathetic, and use persuasion where they now use denunciation. They are puffed up and die of spiritual pride, or they become mere fault-finders, and in trying to kill others kill themselves. Our only safety is to "work out our salvation" as "God works in us to will and to do of his good pleasure."

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505 -- SALOONS Should be Suppressed

     The experience of every community shows that the sale of intoxicating liquor leads to drunkenness. To this there are no exceptions. Wherever there is a saloon, there are drunkards among its customers. This is so everywhere. Saloons make drunkards, just as schools make scholars. Every glass of intoxicating liquor which a person drinks is one step on toward making him a drunkard, just as every lesson which a child learns goes a little ways towards making him a scholar. Saloons are schools of crime, nurseries of poverty and degradation. They teach nothing good; their whole influence is hurtful to society. Therefore society has the right to suppress them. It has no right to tolerate them. Men have no natural right to keep a saloon. Laws prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, as a beverage, no more interfere with one's natural rights than do laws prohibiting stealing. Then SALOONS SHOULD BE SUPPRESSED. The sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage should be utterly prohibited.

     The saloon is of foreign origin. It is not an American institution. We remember when there were no saloons in the country. They were brought here by the criminals and socialists and anarchists of the old world. The great majority of saloon-keepers are foreigners; and many of them are ex-convicts. They are the natural enemies of our free institutions. They corrupt our politics. They put into office, to make and execute our laws, ignorant men, lawbreakers, dissolute, unprincipled men. If they keep on growing in influence, they will land us in despotism. A nation of drunkards can not long remain a free nation. Our old taverns were bad enough. The saloons are a thousand-fold worse. They are an unmitigated curse. Patriotism, no less than philanthropy, requires that the saloon should be suppressed.

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506 -- SALOONS, Society Has the Right to Suppress

     Liberty is not license. The welfare of society demands that a man must exercise his natural rights so as not to interfere with the natural rights of others. A man living entirely alone commits a crime only against himself when he gets drunk. But if he is in a family, or in society, he commits a crime against the family or against society when he gets drunk. He makes himself a nuisance. He places himself in a position in which he is unable to contribute his proportion to the Support of the family and the welfare of society. He becomes an unnecessary care and burden to others. While in a state of intoxication, he loses, to a great extent, the control over himself. His reason is unbalanced, his moral sensibilities are blunted, and he is liable to commit the greatest crimes against his best friends.

     Therefore, in society no man has a right to get drunk. Society has the right not only to punish him for getting drunk, but to exercise all necessary precautions to prevent any person from getting drunk. Therefore it has the right to suppress saloons.

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507 -- SALOON: Headquarters of Anarchy

     The American people should wake up to the fact that we are rapidly verging on a state of anarchy. The standing argument against prohibition is, that it can not be enforced. What is this but an acknowledgment that whisky and beer are stronger than the law? that the real seat of our government is the saloon, and not the State-house? And everywhere the saloon is the headquarters of anarchy.

     Every true patriot should say the law prohibiting or restraining liquor-selling and gambling must be enforced. Officials whose duty it is to enforce it, should be exhorted to do their duty; and be supported while attempting to do it. If they neglect to do it honestly and bravely, they should be made to give place to better men. Christians should make it a matter of conscience to do their part toward securing good laws and a vigorous enforcement of them. The church should be as active as the saloon in selecting candidates for office and in securing their election. The ungodly should not be allowed to enthrone ungodliness without opposition or protest. Our deeds should say with our words, "Thy kingdom come."

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508 -- SALOON Should be Outlawed

     No other crime is more easy of detection than that of selling liquor to drink. The victims of the saloon-keeper, as soon as they set foot on the street, tell by their appearance, and by their talk, what has been done to them. To suppress liquor-selling it needs a strong law against it, and earnest men to enforce it. For men who give their support to saloons to profess to be Christians is a disgrace to Christianity. A merchant who sends rum to Africa, may be a liberal church-member, but he is as probable a candidate for hell-fire as the country affords.

     Because men can not be made honest by law, is as good a reason for licensing stealing as is the one so often urged, that because men can not be made temperate by law, therefore saloons should be licensed.

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509 -- SALOONS: Murder Mills

     As murder-mills, the saloons of this country are a marked success. Many persons are killed with revolvers, some with dynamite, some with poison, but strong drink kills more than all other violent means combined. It kills a large proportion of those who use it; and they, before their death, when under its influence, not infrequently kill others. The saloon-keepers themselves at last become its victims. Other poisons kill the body, but strong drink kills the soul. In other forms of murder and robbery, usually only money and other valuables are taken. One who is murdered by strong drink is frequently robbed of character, of houses and lands, and cattle, and clothes, and all that he possesses. Let the Murder Mills be closed.

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510 -- SALOONS: Kept By Convicts as Punishment

     The keeping of saloons by convicts appears to have been of very ancient origin. Rameses III. reigned over Egypt about 1200 years before Christ. Towards the last of his reign a conspiracy was formed against him. It being discovered, the chief conspirators were put to death. Some ladies of the court, knowing of the conspiracy, but not making it known, were condemned "to the penal servitude of keeping a beer-house." So says Rawlinson in the "History of Ancient Egypt."

     Our advance in civilization in this respect has been decidedly backward. It is true that many of the keepers of our beer-houses are criminals and ex-convicts, but they are licensed to do it as a privilege, instead of being condemned to do it as a punishment. The old Egyptian idea was the more nearly correct. It is well to degrade the business of beer-selling: it is better not to tolerate it.

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511 -- SALOON, Woe For Those Who Vote to Legalize the

     The business of drunkard-making is the business of hell itself. It is worse than ordinary theft; for he who steals another's money leaves him free to earn more money. But he who gets a man's money for strong drink, unfits him for his business, whatever it may be. He may be a skillful mechanic, but jobs become more difficult to obtain -- for a drunkard can not be depended upon. Who will employ a drunken surgeon, or a drunken lawyer? Poverty and crime are the legitimate fruit of the saloon. It is no wonder that God pronounces a woe upon all who are responsible for the business. "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!" (Hab. 2:15).

     Legislatures which legalize the traffic in strong drink, that means you! Citizens, who vote for license, high or low, that means You! God's woe is upon all who countenance the business, and there is no escaping it but by repentance and reformation.

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512 -- SALOON, The, Must Die

     The saloon stands out convicted before the world, as a deliberate murderer. No one is safe who stands in its way. Let the verdict of every right-minded man and woman be, the saloon must die. It has no claim for forbearance. Its hands are red with innocent blood. If in any community we have not officers who will put down the saloons, let us elect officers who will. Let our most determined, intelligent efforts be directed to the utter extermination from the face of our country of the saloon.

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513 -- SALOON-KEEPERS: Oppressors

     The great oppressors of the wage-workers of this country are the saloon-keepers. Let a new factory be started, and saloons are opened near it. The fewer hours that drinking men work, and the greater wages they receive, the more time and money they have to spend at the saloon. No matter what wages men get, if the saloon and the lodge come between them and their families, their families will buffer. The monopolists to be dreaded are the men who have a monopoly of selling beer and whisky. The strikes that are so common in the cities are wicked and senseless. Wages now are far above the cost of living. The really oppressed class are the farmers. It takes about five bushels of wheat to pay for a good pair of shoes. The men who run the machines by which shoes are made do not equal the average farmer in intelligence and skill. Yet each of these men turns out several pairs of shoes a day. The oppressions of the lodge are felt in all quarters by all the people. Let the children of God stand free; and at the same time use what influence they can to secure liberty of conscience and of action for all classes and conditions of society.

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514 -- SALOON-BEEPERS Versus Preachers

     The saloon-keepers are the natural enemies of the preachers. Preachers try to save men; saloon-keepers lead them to hell. Preachers dissuade men from crime; four-fifths of the crimes against persons are caused by the saloonkeepers. Preachers influence bad men to become good; saloon-keepers make good man bad. The pulpit is counteracted by the bar. The efforts of the preachers to lift men up are neutralized by the efforts of saloon-keepers to drag men down. Therefore, preachers, whatever they may disagree about, should make common cause against the business of saloon-keepers. The great crime of liquor-selling is their calling. It is so bad that it can not be reformed. It is a business which no one can follow, under any circumstances, and be a Christian.

     Then let Christian ministers and Christian people unite in putting down this nefarious traffic. Let no opportunity to banish it from any community be lost. Let the most feasible and the most vigorous effort be made to utterly exterminate this horrible business from the land.

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515 -- SALVATION: By Grace

     We are saved by grace, and not by any works of our own. If we are able to do any good works, this ability is of grace. The inclination to do good is from above; for it is God that worketh in us to will that which is right. The ability to carry out what he has inspired us to attempt is also of him; for he worketh in us to do his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

     Bishop Hamline was one of the most godly ministers in the M. E. church. At every conference he attended he stirred up the preachers to seek holiness, to live it and enjoy it. But his whole trust was in the mercy of God. Towards the close of his life he wrote: "My sense of unworthiness is so great, and the fact that Christ died for me is so assured, that no words which I can use seem to come up to the earnestness and ardor of my experience. 'Chief of sinners!' 'Jesus died for me!' Let these be ever written on my inmost heart. And oh, to think that he who died for me should renew me, and rekindle the flame of divine love in me, when it had burned low and had sometimes been well-nigh quenched! In my own merit I deserve nothing but perdition, but I trust in Christ, and he saves me. I feel that he saves me. I am saved! I know I am saved! I never saw more of the glories of redemption than I have seen today, never at any period of my life."

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516 -- SALVATION Requires Earnest Effort

     It seems incredible that any one who believes in Jesus can believe in Universalism. One asked him the question, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" His answer was direct and to the point: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). This plainly teaches that not only few are saved, but that many who seek salvation will fall to reach Heaven because they are not sufficiently in earnest. They seek, but do not strive. Their efforts are too feeble and too spasmodic.

     STRIVE! What power is in this word! It is like the bugle's blast calling to battle. It summons to desperate conflicts with self and Satan, with rooted wrongs and fortified errors. It bids us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

"Not on beds of down, Or under shade of canopy reposing, Eternal life is won."

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517 -- SALVATION: The Rich May Be Saved

     There are great obstacles in the way of the salvation of any person. We must all fight if we would reign. It requires earnest effort to take the kingdom of God. But there are special difficulties in the way of the salvation of the rich. They love to have their own way. It comes very hard for them to submit to God. Our Savior says, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" (Mark 10:23). Still they may be saved. There is a possibility of it, for Paul writes, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God" (1 Tim. 6:17). This implies that they may be saved. The Free Methodist church, while it is especially adapted to the poor, also affords the best opportunities for the salvation of the rich. By requiring all its members to dress plainly, it does not give encouragement to pride. By having all the seats in all its places of worship free, it does not nourish a moneyed aristocracy. In every meeting it gives a practical lesson on the essential brotherhood of mankind. "The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all" (Prov. 17:2). For the salvation of all classes -- especially of the rich -- free churches afford the best possible facilities. Judge McLean, of the United States Supreme Court, was one of our most prominent public men in his day. It was said that he would never attend a church which rented or sold its seats, except upon a funeral occasion.

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518 -- SANCTIFICATION Through the Truth

     There is a great depth of meaning in the prayer of Christ for his disciples: "Sanctify them through thy truth" (John 17:17). They had already been converted and were kept; but they needed to be sanctified. This was to be done through the truth. Error does not make its votaries holy. Its tendency is to lead those who embrace it to yield to wrong affections and bad tempers, and so become guilty of vicious conduct.

     But there is a sanctifying power in truth. No one can open his heart to any truth without being made better by it.

"Stronger than steel Is the sword of the Spirit; Swifter than arrows The light of the truth is; Greater than anger Is love that subdueth."

     He who would be sanctified wholly must love truth supremely. He must be loyal to it in all his words and actions. This ma" cost us much, but the results will compensate for all it costs. "Buy the truth, and sell it not."

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519 -- SANCTIFICATION Must be Preached

     Our preachers, if they would succeed in their work, must preach entire sanctification. They must preach it clearly, distinctly, definitely. On this subject the gospel trumpet must give no uncertain sound. Francis Asbury did more than any other man to plant Methodism on this continent. He said he felt divinely called to preach holiness in every sermon. Yet, one time when he was taken sick, he wrote: "I have found by secret search, that I have not preached sanctification as I should have done; if I am restored, this shall be my theme more pointedly than ever, God being my helper."

     Brother, do you preach entire sanctification as you should? Do your people get sanctified wholly? Do you live so that you can preach sanctification from a present experience?

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520 -- SATAN Hates Real Manifestations of the Holy Ghost

     It is a cunning trick of Satan to brand with odious names those who walk in the Spirit. Nothing excites the wrath of the devil like a real manifestation of the Holy Ghost. He stirs up his servants, especially those who belong to, the church, to heap contempt upon those who give themselves up to be led by the Spirit. They are branded as fools and fanatics by those who do not know what fanaticism is. True fanaticism is very unlike the spirit of humble love which those always manifest who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

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521 -- SATAN Imposes Crosses

     The disciple of Christ must deny himself and take up his cross daily. But just here he needs to be on his guard. When Satan finds that he can not any longer prevent you from taking the cross, then he changes his tactics and makes crosses for you. He gives as the reason for doing anything, that it is a cross. This is Satan's logic. If there is no better reason for doing anything than that it is a cross, then let it alone. Because it seems hard to you to do anything, it does not follow that you must do it. A deluded man, Freeman, of Northern New York, thought that he must do something that Satan made a test of his fidelity to God, and so he killed the child on whom his heart was set, and offered her, as he said, "a sacrifice to God." The devil lays crosses on those who will take them. Do not touch them. We give you two marks by which you may distinguish the cross of Christ from the crosses which Satan imposes:

     1. The cross of Christ is always in harmony with the general teaching of the Scriptures. Satan often backs up his suggestions with a single text, detached from its connections. Read in the fourth chapter of Matthew how he tempted our Savior, and the method Christ adopted to defeat him.

     2. When a person takes the cross of Christ, God gives the strength and a glory that makes the cross easy to be borne. It may require more labor and more self-denial than has, up to this time, fallen to your lot, but Christ will give you such vigor and such rest of soul that you will get along better than you ever did in your life. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

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522 -- SCHOOLS, Salvation

     No agency among us is doing more for the permanence and spread of the work of God in the earth than our salvation schools. They are raising up well-trained, valiant soldiers who will carry on the truth when we who have been longest on the field shall have been called from the scenes of conflict. The good effects of these schools have been already seen in all quarters of the globe. Then take hold and help sustain them. If you have children to send away to school, send them to our schools. If you have money to leave for the cause of God, when you are through with it, then leave a legacy for one of cur schools. We would like to see each of them endowed with a liberal sum, the interest to be devoted to the support of the principal and teachers.

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523 -- SCOLDING Will Not Do

     You can never scold the people into a revival. All you say is true. and the people deserve every word of it. but you say it in such a scolding tone and manlier that it does more harm than good. Do ask the Lord to change your spirit, so you can successfully change your manner. Get filled with meek and lowly, and tender love, and it will act like a charm on others. You can lead those whom you can not drive. Little as you suspect it, you really need to be revived yourself. You are ready to talk and to pray; but your talk lacks unction, and your prayers lack faith and fervor. Yen do not have the spirit of supplication. Beloveds, let us who preach have a revival. What do you say?

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524 -- SCRIPTURES, Wresting of

     Every book has some word or words which it uses in its own peculiar sense. It is so with contracts. and with all important writings. To understand them correctly, we must take the word in the sense in which the writer uses it. This may. or may not, be the original meaning of the word. This is not material. Words are simply signs of ideas. So, in understanding a writer, or in interpreting a document, we must inquire what idea, in the passage under consideration, the word was intended to convey. To give to the word in any writing the meaning generally attached to it, although it is evident that the writer uses it in another sense, is to pervert its meaning. Bible words are sometimes used in this way. It may be done without any intention to pervert the meaning of the Scriptures, but the result is the teaching of the Scriptures is perverted. Thus the word immortality is never used in the Scriptures to denote, simply and solely, existence forever. There is always coupled with it the idea of a happy existence. It is not once used as the opposite of annihilation. But those who teach what they call "conditional immortality," use it in this sense, and thus pervert the teaching of the Scriptures. Thus, in Romans 2:8, 9. Paul uses, as the opposite of immortality and eternal life, not annihilation, but "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish." These terms plainly imply a conscious existence.

     Reader, be careful how you, in substance, say to yourself, "Take thine ease, eat. drink, and be merry," thinking that death ends all. A sensual life is a senseless life. It does not terminate in non-existence. Christ says of a representative of this class, that he died and was buried, "and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments" (Luke 12:23).

     Reader, shun his mode of life, as you would shun his fate.

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     While we should be conscientious. we should guard against over-scrupulousness. Some good Christians are destroyed by it. We knew an excellent sister. a school-teacher. who became so afraid that she should not speak the exact truth that she would qualify everything that she said, and finally became afraid to say anything. She died insane. Baxter says:

     "If you send your servant on your message, you had rather he went on his way as well as he can, than stand scrupling every step whether he should set the right or left foot forward, and whether he should step so far, or so far at a time. Hindering scruples please not God."

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     Among the inalienable rights of man is the right to work for whom he pleases, and on what terms he pleases. To deprive him of this right is to deprive him of an essential element of personal liberty. It is taking a long step towards reducing him to a condition of servitude. It makes him, in this respect, a slave. He is no longer his own master. Were any state to pass and enforce a law that a man should not be permitted to work unless he belonged to a particular association, and unless he received for his work a price stipulated by this association, and yet the state fail to provide him with work at that price, there would be a rebellion. Such a law would be considered too despotic to be endured. Everywhere there would be a revolt against it. No political party would dare to propose such an enactment. Such a law would be regarded as an infringement upon our God-given rights. Yet this is precisely what the secret labor organizations are doing. If a man does not belong to their order they will not allow him to work with them. If a part of them demand wages which the employer is unwilling to pay, a strike is ordered. Those who wish to work are not permitted to do so. Any who attempt to take their places are maltreated and some, perhaps, are killed. All this is a violation of the fundamental rights of man. It tends to the overthrow of the social fabric. It introduces an irresponsible, despotic power. It is no better than robbery. It is robbery under another guise. No Christian can voluntarily place himself under the control of others so as to authorize them to require him to do wrong. To belong to Christ he must be free to follow Christ. He cannot serve two masters. He who submits to the dictation of the lodge renounces allegiance to Christ. Other lords have dominion over him. Hence. the Free Methodist church, in requiring all its members to have no connection with secret societies, requires only that which is necessary to their being Christians. It renders them important aid in maintaining their personal independence. It also contributes materially to the good order and. the welfare of the community at large. Were the influence of the Free Methodist church all prevalent, labor troubles would, to a great extent, be avoided. Men would be taught that they can not be Christians without paying proper respect to the rights of others. But what inducement can there possibly be to form secret societies, if men do not expect to reap from them advantages to which their abilities, their character and their conduct do not entitle them? Patriotism combines with piety to urge us to do all we can to spread among men the Christianity taught by the New Testament.

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527 -- SECRET SOCIETIES and Labor

     The outrages inflicted by the secret societies which control the "labor movement" are of such a nature as to demand suppression by the strong hand of the law. By practically abolishing the system of apprenticeship they virtually deny to the boys of this country the right to learn trades. Hence the foremen in most of our great manufacturing establishments are men born in foreign lands. American boys must look for employment outside of the trades, or be content with subordinate positions. If this state of things was brought about by legislative enactments, such an ado would be made as would soon bring about a remedy. But the tyranny of the trades unions is endured with a servile submission alike disgraceful to freemen and dangerous to our liberties. We need a better, braver class of men for our legislators.

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528 -- SECTS

     There is no command in the new Testament requiring the church of Christ to preserve an organic unity. That such a union is desirable, if it were possible, is extremely doubtful. It is a fact that admits of no dispute, that where this unity prevails to the greatest extent, there the church is the most corrupt, as in Italy, Spain and Austria. We advise those who are so sorely exercised in mind over the number of sects in this country that they can not live in peace here, to emigrate to some of those countries in which sects are not tolerated. They will find that there may be unity without spirituality. Water is never so strongly united as when it is frozen. But it is not the most useful in that state. Enough of heat to separate it makes it serviceable for man and beast. Even ice kept for use is of little service only as it is melted. The fire of divine love in the compact church of Italy would doubtless create divisions, but it would do great good. There are many things much more deplorable than the division of the church of Jesus Christ into sects. Satan delights to divert good men from fighting sin to fighting sects. Do not be drawn away into this profitless work. You will be in great danger of becoming defiled by a spirit of bitterness, but if you should be one of a thousand engaged in this work who keeps the charity essential to salvation, your life would be misspent.

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     Many reports come to our ears of brethren, in different parts of the country, who have lost their property by becoming security for others. Some of them are sad cases indeed. One aged couple -- over seventy years of age -- who had acquired a moderate competence by hard work, were induced to become security to a large amount for a short time, for a neighbor whom they had known from childhood as an honest man. The result was, they lost all and are now obliged to work out at days' work to get a living.

     The way to prevent all such calamities is very simple. It is to obey what God's Word says on the subject: "Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee." (Prov. 27:26, 27). And again, "He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure" (Prov. 11:15).

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     The capacity of some persons for self-deception is truly wonderful. Were it proper to speak of genius In such a connection, they might be said to have a genius for imposing upon themselves. They give every appearance of truly thinking they are saints; while they do not exhibit in everyday life the uprightness of the honest heathen. They profess perfect love, while they manifest in every method which they consider safe, unmistakable malice towards the objects of their dislike. They claim to be willing to lay down their lives for Christ; while their contributions for the support of his gospel are made in response to appeals to their pride or to their love of self-indulgence. "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults."

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531 -- SELF-DENIAL Must be Practiced

     If we do not know what self-denial for Christ's sake is, we do not belong to Christ. He who lives to gratify his senses does not live for eternity. Nor does he know in what true enjoyment consists. The happiness of this life is best secured by meeting fully the conditions for securing the happiness of the life that is to come.

"I could not choose a larger bliss Than to be wholly thine."

     But no matter what temporary suffering it may involve. we must keep ourselves wholly consecrated to God. No sacrifice that he calls for must be counted too great for us to make. Christ forbids all needless self-indulgence and extravagance; not that we may save the money which they cost, but that we may have more with which to bless others. No Christian "can afford" to spend money needlessly upon himself.

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532 -- SELFISHNESS and Christ's Religion

     A selfish religion is not Christ's religion. Men who heap up riches and bestow their goods only where they are not needed -- upon wealthy churches and organization -- will hear Christ say, "I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." Upon their inquiring in surprise when they did this, the answer will be, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." And these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matt. 25:42-46). The rich would do well to lay these awful words to heart. They are not likely to hear them from their pulpits. A divine religion is a humane religion. He who loves God most is the most ready to make sacrifices for the good of his fellow men.

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533 -- SELFISHNESS, The Great Obstacle

     Consecrate your service to the Lord. Whatever your condition, there is work for God that you can do, and work that will go undone unless you do it. Each day brings its opportunity, which, when lost, never returns.

     Do stop living for yourself. To live for others will give to life a new charm. Some are never satisfied with their experience, and they fail to find out the cause. In many cases it is because they are too much taken up with themselves. Less money expended for personal luxuries, and given to relieve the privations of others, would benefit them in this life and in the life to come. To have a large amount of grace, one must have a large heart. Mueller has mighty faith, for he has many mouths to feed.

     Let us by "patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality," that we may have "eternal life."

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534 -- SENSITIVENESS, Sanctification Remedy for

     Sanctification and sensitiveness are not synonymous, but quite the contrary. The more fully we are sanctified the more easily we can endure to have others differ with us in opinion. We may get in our experience where we can bear to have a brother say that we are mistaken without our thinking that he accuses us of lying. It is possible for us to become so matured in grace that we will put the best construction, that it will honestly bear, on what we hear and read. We may be, even here, so completely transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we will have sweet and intimate Christian fellowship with some who differ widely from us in their theological opinions. Let us make haste to get there. It will add greatly to our own peace, and to the harmony and welfare of the church.

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535 -- SERMONS, Powerless

     Christ says: "I am the vine, ye are the branches." The branch depends for its life wholly upon the vine. So our spiritual life and our usefulness depend on our vital union with Christ. "As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."

     A follower of Jesus may have been eminently useful for many years; but, if he relies upon himself, or upon his past experience, he is no longer successful. Samson was a laughing-stock for the Philistines when the Lord, because of his unfaithfulness, departed from him. So sermons and exhortations, which made men tremble when they pulsated with the life of Christ, become, at best, only entertaining when the dependence of the preacher is upon his rhetoric or elocution. The greatest of truths lose much of their force when only carried to the ear by the voice of man. Words which fall powerless upon the ear, would, if carried to the heart by the breath of the Almighty, effect a wonderful transformation. Reader, are you united to Christ? "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

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536 -- SERMONS Should Be Studied and Outline Written

     If God calls you to devote your time to preaching, then he calls you to make suitable preparation to preach. Because you do not read your sermons, is no reason why you should net study your sermons. The less you write the more time you will have to study. But you should write, no matter how fluently you may be able to talk. Make a careful, written outline of every sermon. Divide your subject naturally. State your propositions clearly. Prove every important proposition by one or two plain texts, correctly quoted. Do not talk at random. Make your points so plain that you carry the understanding and the conscience of your hearers with you. Master your subject. Obey God's directions. "Hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me" (Ezek. 3:17). Cod speaks generally to the soul in a still, small voice. You must live near him to hear that voice. You must be familiar with his Word if you would have God put his words in your mouth.

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537 -- SERVICE Must be Whole-hearted

     It is in vain that we use the language of devotion, unless our hearts are in it. God does not change. What he complained of in his people anciently, in lacking heart purity, he does not approve in his people now.

     "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before me as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness" (Isa. 33:31). We must put our hearts in our prayers, in our testimony and in our songs. The most elaborate, artistic performances of acts of worship, as well as the simplest and rudest, are an abomination to God when they are not the genuine expressions of the feelings of those who participate in them. He abhors hypocrisy.

"Half-hearted, false-hearted! Heed we the warning! Only the whole can be perfectly true; Bring the whole offering, all timid thought scorning, True-hearted only if whole-hearted too."

     It is ourselves that God wants, and not merely our words. Let us see to it that our surrender to his will is complete. Let there be no more pretenses, no evasions. Let us be Christians, not only in some things, but in all things. Let our lives be continuous acts of worship.

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538 -- SIMPLE LIFE, Advantages of the

     Nature has her own way of evening things pretty well, after all. The man who has choicest delicacies to eat, suffers from want of appetite, and from dyspepsia and other diseases consequent upon high living, so that his costly dishes do not afford him as much pleasure as the laborer derives from his plain food. "I will gladly exchange dinners with you," said a millionaire to a laborer, "If you will give me your appetite and digestion." The actual wants of the body are easily met; the imaginary wants, which spring from pride and envy, can never be met. His food, prepared by a three-thousand-dollar cook, no longer tastes good when he learns that his competitor has a ten-thousand-dollar cook. To live simply and within one's means is to live well. The more of a beast a man makes of himself, the greater are his bodily sufferings, and the smaller is his capacity for real enjoyment. Good health and few wants afford more enjoyment than the bountiful supply of the artificial wants of one who has pampered appetites and a broken-down constitution. "Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content."

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539 -- SINGING

     If singing is an act of worship, then the worshipers should sing. If they are real worshipers, they will not consent to delegate the singing to a few. They could not do this, even if these few were saints. But usually the choir is made up largely of sinners. They sing for pay, or for praise. There is no worship about it. The sentiment expressed is not felt; the words do not have any meaning in the mouths of those who use them. It is a performance merely. But is God pleased with unmeaning performances? Let Christ answer: "God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). That can not be done with a senseless organ, by an ungodly choir. They must first be converted. Instead of hiring others to do your singing, you should say with the apostle, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." No machine that man ever invented can do this. No instructor of music can teach this art. Saved persons alone are capable of it. And they, when they sing, need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Those who sing in the spirit get blessed themselves. They are lifted sometimes almost to the very gates of heaven. Often, under spirited singing, sinners get convicted and penitents converted. Masses of people are powerfully wrought upon by Holy Ghost singing. It produces an effect infinitely beyond anything that mere artistic performances can accomplish. Let somebody start the tune that can start it in a devotional key. Let us have the Spirit and look to get blessed in our singing. Let all sing, and put their hearts in the singing.

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540 -- SINGING: Hymn-books

     At a Free Methodist camp-meeting we gave out a hymn from our Free Methodist hymn-book. To our surprise, there was not another hymn-book on the ground. Old-fashioned Methodist hymns and tunes were a novelty. Each preacher had his favorite collection of spiritual songs, and with these the people were well supplied. After this it was not a surprise to us to learn that at evening the working forces were divided -- some going to the "Salvation Army" and some to "Daniel's Band," not leaving enough who had power with God to bring through the sinners who came to the altar to seek salvation.

     Brethren, if you would make our work a success, you must fall into line and adopt Free Methodist methods, and read Free Methodist literature, and come into Free Methodist discipline. The tactics of a successful army are essentially the same throughout, though they may vary on occasion.

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541 -- SIN, Besetting

     If you are living in the commission of any known sin, you are not justified. It may be concealed from your fellow men, but it is not hidden from God. You may be keeping up a high profession; but that only makes your case the more hopeless, and your damnation the more terrible. You may be very zealous for reforms, and may succeed in casting out devils and doing many mighty works, but that will not prevent Christ from saying to you at last, "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity." However well you may cover your tracks for a time, one thing you may depend upon, Be sure your sins will find you out. Then, at once, break off from your sins by righteousness. Turn to God with all your heart. Seek forgiveness until you find it. One reliable evidence that God has forgiven you, is power to overcome your besetting sin.

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542 -- SIN, Progression in

     The ancients had a maxim, Nemo repenti fuit turpissimus -- "No one suddenly becomes most vile." An abandoned life, like winter, comes on by degrees. The first downward step which that hopeless, helpless drunkard took was playing checkers. To be in fashion he then took to smoking cigars, then to drinking beer, then whisky. His farm is gone, his health is gone, his character is gone, his property is gone, his family is brought to beggary and he is staggering up to the mouth of hell!

     When one departs from the strictest uprightness, he can not tell where he will drift. He puts himself in the power of his enemy, who seeks only to drag him down to destruction. Little sins grow into great sins -- and often they grow with startling rapidity.

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543 -- SINNERS Must Forsake All Wrong

S     t. James is as explicit as Daniel in specifying the nature of the work which God will reward. "Let him know, that he that converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:20). The converted sinner must not only turn to that which is good, but he must turn from everything that is wrong. People are very ready, in these times, to put on the garb of Christian profession, 'provided they be permitted to wear it over their own garments of pride and self-righteousness. They will consent to dress tolerably plain at church, if they may dazzle in diamonds in the world. They will put on sackcloth in Lent; but must make up for it in the costliness of their Easter bonnets and other gorgeous attire.

     Many a man will contribute liberally to the church, if he may still gamble in stocks, or drive hard bargains, or oppress the hireling in his wages.

     But the convert that God owns turns from all his errors -- from pride, and sensuality, and covetousness, in all their diversified forms.

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544 -- SINNERS' Services Should Be Accepted

     One can not do anything to help on the cause of God without getting his reward, either in this life or in the life to come. God is a good paymaster. Christ healed the centurion's daughter on being told that "he loveth our nation and hath built us a synagogue." We mentioned, a few weeks since, how a gentleman aided in raising a subscription to build us a church. We are just informed that he has been gloriously converted and has united with the Free Methodist church. Praise God!

     Word comes to us about an aged gentleman who had been prejudiced against the Free Methodists. But when they were to hold a conference in the town in which he lived, his love of hospitality led him to take an active part in providing for the conference. He attended the sessions and the preaching services, and his prejudices were swept away. He got saved among them, and died in holy triumph.

     It is a great mistake not to let sinners help us, when they wish to and can do it consistently. We needlessly deprive ourselves of needed help, and often prevent them from getting the blessing they would receive if permitted to do the good to which they feel inclined.

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545 -- SLANG Should Never Be Used

     Some of the sacred writers were men of education, others were unlearned. There is a great difference in their style; but they all agree on one point -- one of them used slang. The simplest style found in the Bible is yet a pure style. We wish to call the attention of all who speak in public, and especially our preachers, to this. It is our settled conviction that no one can use slang without grieving the Spirit of God. The use of it is offensive to all persons of good taste, and especially to those who have the Spirit. To use low, slang phrases is neither winning, witty nor wise. "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ." If this should be the rule for private conversation, much more should it be for public addresses. You can be familiar without being low and vulgar. Study the Bible. Study the "Pilgrim's Progress." Bunyan was uneducated. His associations were with the poor and ignorant. In early life he formed bad habits of speech. But conversion cured him. In his writings there is nothing offensive to the most fastidious taste. His language was that of the common people. But you find in his writings no low, vulgar expressions. Imitate him in this respect. Say nothing that borders on buffoonery. Do not court a laugh when you should win a soul. Be serious. Be in earnest; and do not be vulgar.

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     He who is always looking for difficulties will always find difficulties. "The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets" (Prov. 22:13). The trouble was with the man, not with the street. Laziness is a great inventor. It can always find reasons satisfactory to itself for not doing what is needed to be done. It is as abundant in resolutions as the apostles were in acts. But the highest resolves accomplish no more than to ease the conscience. Like Pollok's candidate for fame, he

"Saw in the very threshold of pursuit, A thousand obstacles; he halted first, And while he halted, saw his burning hopes Grow dim and dimmer still, ... His purposes made daily, daily broken, Like plants uprooted oft, and set again, More sickly grew, and daily wavered more, Till at the last ... Sleep gathered fast, and weighed him downward still."

     It is time that the resolutions of many began to take form in action. God works in us to will and to do, but we must work out our own salvation. And we must work with a will. We can not

"Be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease."

     Reader, are you a working Christian?

     A lazy person can not be a Christian. He may be in the church, but he can not be in Christ. All who are in Christ partake of his spirit. And his is a diligent spirit. When only twelve years of age he said: "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:49).

     Paul, while insisting upon the deepest piety, directs its possessor to "be not slothful in business" (Rom. 12:10); and the wise man said, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Eccl. 9:10). The grace of God puts life and energy in its possessor. This is seen in temporal and spiritual matters. He who prevails with God in prayer on his knees, will do good work for man with his hands. It was Paul's boast that "these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me" (Acts 20:34). Willful idleness is sin.

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547 -- SOCIAL BEING, Man a

     Man was not made to be alone. He was formed for society. Christianity is a social religion. As soon as Andrew felt the joy of communion with Christ he brought his brother to share in the blessed fellowship. Happiness is multiplied by being divided with others.

"Oh, the music and beauty of life lose their worth When one heart only joys in their smiles; But the union of hearts gives that pleasure its birth, Which beams on the darkness and coldness of earth, Like the sun on its own chosen isles: It gives to the fireside of winter its light, The glow and the glitter of spring."

     We need a personal experience of saving grace; but it should be such an experience as leads us to long to share it with others. No man who is truly born of the Spirit lives to himself alone. Of all human beings he is the most careworn who cares only for himself.

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548 -- SOCIETIES, Forming New

     In forming new societies it is of great importance that they be composed of godly men and women. The first members should be saved members. They should know our principles, and should be consecrated to God to carry them out. They should have a clear experience of sanctifying grace, and a fixed determination to live holy lives. Such members will mold others as they come in. They will grow up a strong society, having power with God and influence with men. Societies of this kind are not liable to be torn to pieces by internal dissensions, nor to die of formality. They will settle down to steady work for Christ in the salvation of souls, and, as a consequence, they will prosper. It is better not to form a society than to form one out of bad materials. It is the character of the individual members, more than the Discipline to which they say they gave their assent, which determines the character of a society.

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549 -- SOUL Food

     When we are hungry the sound of the dinner bell is pleasant to us. We like to hear it. But when we get to the table we expect something to eat. We are not satisfied any longer with the jingle of the bell. We want something besides noise. So when people come to our meetings they come to hear something that will do them good. They want food for the soul. If they wished to listen to one who "can play well on an instrument," they would have gone somewhere else. No man can minister acceptably to our congregations, however full his head may be of words, unless his heart is full of grace. Our people want something more than mere rattle. The sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal will not satisfy them, however skillfully they may be sounded and tinkled. It is not enough to preach about the Spirit. The preacher should be so filled that he can minister the Spirit. He must not only tell the people to get blessed; he must himself get blessed. To do this he must walk closely with God all the week. If he has been indolent, and self-indulgent through the week, he can not atone for it by violent vociferations on the Sabbath.

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550 -- SOUL Hunger Must be Satisfied

     The success of any church will be in proportion to the zeal and fidelity with which it holds up Christ. Everywhere the people are spiritually starving. Many are so far gone that they have no sense of hunger. Dogmas will not feed them. Denunciations and controversy will but drive them away. As the smell of nicely cooked food awakens the appetites of the body, so the odor of sanctity never fails to excite a hunger for righteousness.

     Nothing can satisfy soul-hunger but the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven. He that feeds on Christ shall never hunger. The restless craving for something unattained is gone. Then hold up Christ. He is more attractive than the best trained choir -- than the most eloquent preacher. We should show men their needs in order that we may point them to Christ, who can satisfy their every need.

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551 -- SOULS, Wisdom Required in Dealing With

     In cutting a tree into wood we strike slanting blows, and take out at first large chips. To get the log cut through once, we have to cut it through twice. Every chip requires a blow at each end. This may seem to the inexperienced a great waste of labor, but it is a great saving of labor. In fact, it is the only way to cut through a large log. By striking straight across the grain in one place you could never get the ax in far. You would mar the log, but you would get no wood. We see why some Christian workers accomplish so little. They strike hard blows; but they are not well-directed blows. In their eagerness to get at the heart, they go square across the grain. A Freemason or a flounced and feathered woman has been wounded by the Almighty and comes to their meeting for help. They make a direct attack upon the idol at once, stir up opposition and drive them away. By indirect blows they might easily have cut the badge or the flowers out, but, as they went to work, they only gave offense. They drove hungry souls away empty; and they never came back again. He that winneth souls is wise. It requires neither wisdom nor grace to make them mad. If that is all you have done, do not boast of your fidelity. Ask God to give you Heavenly wisdom, that you may achieve real success.

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552 -- SOUL-SAVING, Devotion to

     If God calls you to the work of the ministry, then give your heart to the work. Do not allow yourself to be diverted from it. If you devote your strength to hunting heresies and fighting every wrong notion, you ought not to wonder that the work of God does not prosper in your hands. If you want to see souls saved you must give yourself to the work of soul-saving. Going through the forms in an appropriate manner may ease your conscience, but it will not meet the claims of God nor bring souls to the cross. Do get baptized with a spirit of sympathy for the lost. Do give yourself wholly to the work of saving souls. You will astonish yourself at seeing what a revival preacher you will make.

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553 -- SPEECH, Plainness of

     Fancy flourishes in the pulpit may entertain the audience, but they excite no terror among the enemies of God. The preacher who does execution must be in dead earnest. Affected prettinesses are as much out of place in the house of God as they would be on the battlefield. Away with them. Use plain words in a plain manner.

"Speak thou the truth. Let others fence And trim their words for pay; In pleasant sunshine or pretense Let others bask their day."

     But do you deliver God's message in God's own words? Stand in fear of hell; but do not be afraid to say hell! If you are a messenger of God, you have warnings from God. Do not fail to deliver them faithfully. The salvation of your own soul, as well as that of your hearers, is at stake. "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Tim. 4:16).

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554 -- SPIRIT, Be Filled With the

     "Be filled with the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is meant. It is put in contrast with wine, the evil spirit that leads many to excess, and madness, and poverty, and crime. The two do not go together. Though some men appear uncommonly religious when partially intoxicated, yet their religion is of no value, for it is not the right kind. It is the religion of the flesh, though it may appear to be very zealous for Christianity. The clothes may be Jacob's but the voice is Esau's.

     It is not enough to have the Spirit of God: we must be filled with the Spirit. Admit sunshine to a room, and it at once floods it, and expels the darkness. Open your soul to the Holy Spirit, and he will drive out all antagonistic spirits. Pride and envy, and covetousness, and unholy desire, will be banished; and they can never re-enter as long as the soul is filled with the Spirit. The easiest way to get air out of a tumbler is to fill it with water; and the easiest way to get vanity and all bad passions out of the heart is to have it filled with the Spirit. Then set yourself to obey this command, and be filled with the Spirit.

     It is remarkable that the Apostle, after commanding us to be filled with the Spirit, immediately gives us directions how to act under his influence. This deserves our serious attention. What do we learn by it? We ought to learn a great deal. It should teach us that no degree of the Holy Spirit's influence ever deprives us of our free moral agency. The Spirit may rest upon us to that degree as to take away. for the time being. our physical strength; but the moral nature is never overpowered. We are still, under the mightiest pressure of the Spirit, left free to act. When overwhelmed by a manifestation of the Son of God, Paul says, "I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." He was not compelled by it; but he yielded voluntary obedience to it. God never does violence to the human will. He never turns any man into a mere machine. To do so would be to deprive him of his religious nature -- to render him incapable of true obedience. We never think of praising our watch because it keeps good time. It runs just as it was made to run. But man is not a curiously-made piece of mechanism. He is a moral being -- always capable of choice and of self-direction. Hence, when he goes wrong he is to be blamed.

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555 -- SPIRITUAL STRENGTH Must be Renewed

     Physical strength, to be retained, must be renewed. Unless he eats and sleeps, the strongest will soon give out. It is so spiritually. The soul that has prayed for pardon and found it, needs to watch and pray that he enter not again into temptation. One who has been sanctified wholly needs to go on and add to the grace which he then received. in order that he may "never fall" but that "an entrance may be ministered unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

     So we need to wait on the Lord that our strength may be renewed. We can not live on past blessings. either for soul or for body. Paul's experience was genuine and thorough, yet he wrote of himself, "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Many of nigh profession become dry and spiritually dead, for want of this daily, inward renewing. The petition which our Lord taught us, "Give us this day our daily bread," is in behalf of the soul no less than of the body. They are the strongest who makes the best use of the means of grace. He who does not pray much in secret, must not look to be signally rewarded openly. The face of Moses shone before the people, but it was when he went before them from communing with God.

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     No farmer who sows oats expects to harvest from this sowing a crop of wheat. To raise weeds it is not necessary to sow weeds. The land partakes of man's depravity; only let it alone and you have a plentiful crop of weeds. So, to reap the fruits of righteousness, the seeds of righteousness must be sown. And one sowing will not suffice. The fallow ground must be frequently broken up, and the vital seeds of God's eternal truth be sown broadcast in the contrite spirit, and fruit will be gathered unto eternal life. But constant watching and unceasing painstaking are necessary. The most productive garden, planted with the choicest seeds, will not bear to be neglected. Our eternal salvation is not, ordinarily, worked out in a day or in a year. There must be no slackness till the end is reached. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).

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     Between two given points on a plain surface only one straight line can be drawn. Starting from one of these points, any number of crooked lines can be drawn in the general direction of the other, without hitting it. So there is but one way to Heaven -- the Way of Holiness. The number of ways to miss it is legion. Straight lines resemble each other. Of thousands of crooked ones, two may not be alike. Fenelon was a Roman Catholic, Edwards a Presbyterian, Wesley the founder of Methodism, Stephen Grellet a Quaker, but they all point out the same way to Heaven. We have looked over the writings of many Universalists and semi-Universalists and infidels, but we find no two of them who agree. Each has his own discovery of the way to life and happiness, but finds to his dismay that true Christians neglect his discoveries, and go on in the old paths of righteousness, happy and contented. Let us hold on steadily in the narrow way, contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. "As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel" (Ps. 125:5).

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558 -- STRANGERS, Do Not Sign Papers For

     "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers"; but do not sign any papers for them. If you do, you may get yourself into trouble. Some of our laws aid villainy. An unsuspecting, honest farmer, near us, was induced to buy of a genteel, polished stranger, two bags of a new kind of fertilizer. The cost was to be but little; and nothing if he did not like it. He was induced to sign an order for it. This signature cost him three hundred dollars.

     It is time that our laws which make notes obtained by fraud valid in the hands of an "innocent purchaser" were reversed. A note, like a deed, or the title to any other kind of property, should, if there is any wrong connected with it, carry the taint with it wherever it goes. If this were made the law, as it certainly should be, it would close up one of the richest mines of villainy now worked.

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559 -- STRENGTH, God is Our

     A man may be poor; but if he is doing business for one who is rich, and is authorized by his employer to draw upon him for all the money he needs to carry on his business, he has no right to complain of a lack of funds as long as his drafts are honored.

     We are weak; but if we are truly the servants of God, we have the right to come to him for all the strength we need. He is our strength. We may all pray with the Psalmist: "Give thy strength unto thy servant" (Ps. 86:16). When this prayer is offered in faith, by the weakest servant of God, it is always answered. Then we can say with the Apostle, "When I am weak, then am I strong." Thus we often see the one who is called "the weaker vessel" the stronger to endure the hardships and the trials of life. Nor need we be deterred in the least by our own insignificance; for God's strength is made perfect in weakness. The weaker we are by nature, the more clearly will it be seen that our strength is of God.

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560 -- STRENGTH, Our, in God

     We must not in our faith limit the power of God. To his friend of old he said: "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. 17:1). We are apt to base what we think we can do in the service of God, upon what we are. He that does this can not seriously aim to "be perfect" before God. He may have a very imperfect knowledge of himself; but he knows he is not capable of so great an achievement. It is far beyond his capacity. But he who really depends upon God, depends upon strength that can never fail. It is always equal to any emergency. To him who would walk unspotted from the pollutions which he may encounter in the path of duty; to him who would overcome his enemies in every conflict, God says: "Let him take hold of my strength" (Isa. 27:5). That can never, by any possibility, fail.

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561 -- STRENUOUS, Not Enough To Be

     It is a great mistake for one to suppose that he is a radical Christian because he is strenuous about external things, great and small. The Pharisees were. Inward piety will always be attended with outward piety. True grace is neither barren nor unfruitful.

     But there may be a scrupulous attention to the outside, while the heart work is wanting. Red cheeks are not always an evidence of health. They may be painted by vanity, or tinged by consumption. It is important to dress plain; it is still more important to have the spirit clothed with humility. We should bear our testimony against pride and worldly conformity, but it is still more necessary that we are ourselves delivered from a spirit of envy and jealousy. We should see to it that grace goes to the very bottom of our natures, and roots out every plant that is not of heavenly origin.

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562 -- STUDY, Importance of

     If a preacher would be permanently useful, he must study. This is imperative. No natural gifts can render study unnecessary. The most brilliant speaker will soon lose interest in what he says, if he keeps on, year after year, repeating his old discourses. And if a speaker is not himself interested in what he says, he will fail to interest others. Such persons, finding their usefulness gone, themselves a burden, and their ministry a drudgery, are apt to forsake their divine calling at a time of life when they should be capable of doing the most good.

     Years ago we said to the most original genius we ever knew, "You ought to study more." "What shall I study?" was the sublime reply, with special emphasis on I. For many years, when the church has needed his services most, and when his influence might have been most widely felt, he has been hid away, buried out of sight. The ocean keeps full by being fed by thousands of rivers; the richest soil maintains its productiveness by absorbing fertility from earth and water and air; and so the mind most richly endowed by nature must take in new supplies of mental food, or it will gradually lose its grasp and power. Timothy was gifted, and well trained, and deeply pious, and filled with the Spirit; but Paul wrote to him, "Give attendance to reading." But, alas, what is the use of writing? Those who need this note, most probably, will not read it

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563 -- SUBMISSION Required

     One reason why some decided Christians do not grow in grace, and have more power with God and man, is that they must always have their own way. They do not know bow to give up in any matter in which they differ in opinion from their brethren. They are self-willed and contentious. They believe in submission to themselves.

     Dr. Adam Clarke says: "The Apostle inculcates the necessity of order and subjection, especially in the church. Those who are impatient of rule are generally those who wish to tyrannize. And those who are loudest in their complaints against authority, whether civil or ecclesiastical, are those who wish to have the power in their own hands, and would infallibly abuse it if they had. They alone who are willing to obey are capable of rule; and he who can rule well is as willing to obey as to govern. Let all be submissive and orderly."

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564 -- SUBMISSION Essential to Christian Life

     A horse or an ox, to be of service, must be broken. A wild horse may excel in beauty and in speed, but who except himself is benefited by his fleetness? The yoke is an emblem of subjection and of service. Every man who lives in society must, sooner or later, submit to restraint. It is not possible always to have one's own way. The Czar of Russia is an autocrat; but he often fails to secure the accomplishment of his wishes. He who must sometimes give up, can not be taught too early to yield. The habit of submission, early formed, renders submission easy. The child trained from infancy to obey parental authority, as he becomes older submits gracefully to school authority, and makes a useful, law-abiding citizen, and a faithful, cross-bearing Christian. Children who have been brought up in indulgence may be converted; but it is very hard to keep them converted. They chafe under the necessary discipline.

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565 -- SUBMISSION, Christian,

     A true Christian can submit, even when he knows he is right and others are wrong. It does not require grace to have our own way, or to quit the field if we find we can not have it. Adam Clarke, in his old age, was made a supernumerary, against his request. When informed of it, he wrote:

     "I feel that I have been ill-used in that work which God called me to, and which Mr. Wesley with his own hands confirmed me in, by their setting me down for a supernumerary, against remonstrances made to the president himself. Though. therefore, I conceive I have no appointment, I go preaching about wherever they call me to work for their charities. You see, therefore, that though I am hurt, I have not taken that offense which causes me to stumble. My time is nearly done. I have worked hard, borne many privations, and suffered much hardship, for more than half a century -- and was still willing to work: and as I could still work with the same energy and effect, for God continued to own my word, it was not well to throw me thus far beyond the working pale! GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, AND MY SOUL BOWS BEFORE HIM!"

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566 -- SUBMISSION Must be Mutual

     A preacher says, "We have a man in our society who is very good if he can have everything his own way." There may be other societies which have a man of this character. So we venture to say a few words to them in love: Brother, if you are a disciple of Christ, you are a learner. That is the meaning of the word disciple. A judicious scholar studies the necessary branches of learning in which he is deficient. He may not like them. But if, to be useful, he needs to understand them, he conquers his aversion. You are deficient in submission. It is an important, and may easily become a fatal, deficiency. It was this that cast Satan down from Heaven. It will keep you out. No matter how much you may love other truths, if you do not learn the doctrine of submission, and practice it, you can never enter Heaven. It will not do for you to like to have others submit to you, and stop then; you must learn to submit to them. The command is, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord." This shows that it must be mutual. You have construed it to mean that everybody must submit to you. A sad mistake! The Apostle classes among those who are "reserved unto the day of judgment" to be punished, "them that despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." Beware that you do not belong to this class.

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567 -- SUBMISSION: Obedience to Authorities

     Saints are not self-willed. No one can remain in the school of Christ who does not learn and practice submission to right authority. He should not submit to sin; but he should submit to those who are over him and admonish him in the Lord. John Wesley was not the greatest preacher of his age; but he was the greatest organizer: and while but little remains of the work of Whitefield, the influence of Wesley is felt throughout the world. But Wesley insisted upon obedience in all his societies. Those who would not obey the rules were dropped.

     The Jesuits, as a body, are the worst religious society on earth, and the most powerful and successful. Their influence depends almost wholly upon the spirit of obedience that is inculcated. It is carried to the utmost conceivable limit. The Jesuit must obey his superior in all things, right or wrong; but the saint of God can never do that which is morally wrong, no matter who enjoins it. But in other things he is meek and submissive.

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568 -- SUBMISSION to Government Important

     St. Peter says that among those who are reserved "unto the day of judgment to be punished" are "them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise government." Those who refuse to join a church because they are unwilling to be governed, would do well to carefully consider this passage. It applies with equal force to those in the church, who have promised to be governed by the Discipline, but who willfully violate it. A Free Methodist preacher who is very ready to govern, but not to be governed, is really in a dangerous spiritual condition. The independence of which he boasts is a strong evidence of a lack of grace. One trait of those who are filled with the Spirit, is a readiness to submit themselves one to another in the fear of God.

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     "When a person or a church begins to backslide, there is often no stopping-place until the depths of perdition are reached. A neatly-printed pamphlet of ninety-six pages has been sent us giving an account of an "Assembly" and "Camp-Meeting" to be held under the auspices of ministers of the M. E. church. Among the attractions to the campmeeting mention is made of 'singing evangelists," who, in addition to leading the congregation, will give you solos and duets, with guitar or piano or organ accompaniments that would be worth, several times over, a fifty-cent concert ticket. The camp-meeting is to be followed immediately by the assembly. Among the celebrities to be present to edify and entertain the people, is a "noted violinist," a professional fiddler, who "will perform such feats on his versatile instrument as will astonish and delight all listeners. He is a violin virtuoso not equaled by any violinist of his age in the country, and has few if any superiors among the older artists."

     They must be hardened sinners indeed, who can not be drawn into the church by such singing and fiddling, and guitar and piano and organ accompaniment! But perhaps they are in the church already, and these varied performances are provided to furnish for them a substitute for the joy of salvation!

     But the astonishing thing is that those who get up these entertainments call themselves Methodists! Sidney Smith, a clergyman of the Church of England, wrote of them about fifty or sixty years ago:

     "The Methodists hate pleasure and amusements; no theater, no cards, no dancing, no Punchinello, no dancing dogs, no blind fiddlers; all the amusements of the rich and the poor must disappear wherever these gloomy people get a footing. It is not the abuse of pleasure which they attack, but the interspersion of pleasure, however much it is guarded by good sense and moderation." -- Works, p.44.

     John Wesley, whom they claim as their founder, says: "A Methodist is one who has the 'love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him:' one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, 'Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee! My God and my all! Thou art the strength of my heart and my portion forever!' He is therefore happy in God, yea, always happy, as having in him 'a well of water springing up unto everlasting life,' and overflowing his soul with peace and joy." -- Works, vol. 5, p.241. Were the early Methodists fanatics? or are the modern, fashionable, pleasure-seeking Methodists deceived worldlings? Which? They are so opposite to each other that it is impossible for both to be right.

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570 -- SUPERFICIAL WORK is Deceiving

     A sure way to deceive people is to place the standard of Christian holiness below the Bible standard. Many do this; and by doing this persuade numbers to profess holiness. But this is labor lost, to one who is working for eternity. Many "holiness teachers" in the M. E. church make the standard of holiness lower, in the matter of dress, than their Discipline makes it for those who are scripturally awakened. Their Discipline teaches that the Spirit of God and the Word of God require more self-denial of an awakened person than these "holiness teachers" say is required of one who is sanctified wholly. Of course both can not be right. If we are convinced that any teachers are dangerously lowering the standard of holiness, we should be careful how we give them our countenance or support. We must not do superficial work, either personally or through others. Our work is to be tried by fire.

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     The success of a preacher depends largely on his ability to put himself in sympathy with his hearers. Unless he does this, no matter how great are the truths which he proclaims, and how ably he presents them, he will repel rather than attract, drive away rather than draw.

     To put himself in sympathy with his hearers the preacher must have real sympathy for them. Anything affected will soon be found out. Love begets love. Those in whom we feel a lively interest will feel an interest in us, and in what we say.

     This sympathy should be manifested in our words and our manners. We should put ourselves on common ground with our hearers as far as possible. Instead of seeing how far we disagree, we should see how far we can agree. There should be no compromise, no withholding unpopular truth. The truth should be fearlessly proclaimed, but it should be proclaimed in love. The more severe is the truth, the more tender should be the manner.

     There should be nothing of the spirit of "Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" (Num. 20:19).

     So, too, in our personal intercourse we should be tender, gentle and sympathetic; not standing upon our rights, not provoking in our manners. Rather, with the Apostle we should be able to say, "But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children" (1 Thess. 2:7).

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572 -- SYMPATHY, Power of

     In efforts to save souls, sympathy goes farther than severity. Kindness will bring more to their knees than hard knocks. Christ was moved with compassion. He said very plain things; but he said them from a heart overflowing with tenderness. His words, his actions, his manners, his tones of voice, his pathetic utterances, showed that he came, not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. If you have his Spirit, and imitate him in these things, you will draw men to you, and not drive them from you. People who come to hear you preach will continue to come. You will hold your congregation. The plainest things that you may be led of God to say, will be received, and will profit the hearers. There will be a subtle, unseen influence about you, that will make those who feel all cut to pieces by your words say, "Well, I like him after all."

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573 -- SYMPATHY, Practical

     There is something striking in the arrangement of words in the last verse of Psalm 126, as well as in the words themselves: "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." In this verse the weeping is made the principal act. Generally we preachers make bearing the precious seed -- stating the truth -- the principal act. We lay more stress upon logic than upon sympathy. Is not this one reason why preaching is not more effective? If we felt more deeply for the souls of those whom we address, our words would, in a greater number of instances, reach their hearts. He that goeth before his people endeavoring

"With cries, entreaties, tears, to save; To snatch them from a gaping grave,"

can never be wholly unsuccessful. Some at least will be won to Christ.