Pungent Truths

By William B. Rose


Topics Beginning with "W"

613 -- WAIT UPON THE LORD When Straitened In Circumstances

     If you are in straitened circumstances and need help. it is quite likely that the devil will step in before God and offer you his assistance. He did so by our Savior. When he was hungry the devil said to him, "If thou be the Son of God. command that these stones be made bread." That is, "Look for the help in a miraculous way, which you may easily obtain in a rational way." This is not God's order. He requires us to go as far as we can, and then he is ready to step in with his power. We must plow and plant, and God will send the sunshine and the rain. We must set the proper example, and give the right instruction, and God will send the quickening power of his Spirit. His help may be delayed; but it comes when we reach the extremity. Refuse the devil's assistance and God will provide.

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614 -- WALKING IN THE LIGHT, Necessity of

     To keep the blessing of God on our souls we must walk in the light. And light never changes. What was light is light. We may get additional light, but it only confirms the belief that we did right in walking in the light which God previously gave us. He who is truly sanctified to God is never sorry that at the very beginning of his Christian life he repented thoroughly and brought forth fruits meet for repentance. He who in building lays a good foundation, passes on, but he does not go from the roof to the cellar to tear down the wall on which the building rests. So he who builds up a true Christian character, does not take back what he has given to God. To do this is to go back, and not forward; it is to tear down, and not to build up.

     It is astonishing what a change takes place in one's physical appearance, when he looks back, and begins to draw back. The light goes from his eye, the divine glory from his countenance, the elasticity from his step, and the inspirited ring from his voice. He is dark and gloomy, or light and trifling, severe or over-lenient, or all by turns. He is variable and inconsistent, and no one can tell where he will drift; but there is great danger that he will wander in the blackness of darkness forever. O beloveds, walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you.

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615 -- WANDERINGS In the Wilderness

     The journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land lasted forty years. There was no necessity for it. It might have been made in a few weeks. The wanderings in the wilderness might have been avoided. So there is no need that a Christian should be forty years, or one year, in reaching the Canaan of perfect love --

"The land of corn, and wine, and oil, Favored with God's peculiar smile, With every blessing blest."

     Many of the battles the ordinary Christian has to fight, and of the difficulties he has to encounter, are the direct result of disobedience and unbelief. Crosses there always will be, and burdens to carry; but to a determined soul, trusting in God, they are easily borne. Beloved, give up your wanderings by giving yourself wholly to God. Claim the exceeding great and precious promises that are given you to enable you to become a partaker of the Divine nature. Meet the conditions. Bring yourself to a complete surrender to all the will of God. Make all the confessions that God calls for. Throw yourself on the atoning blood, and believe to the salvation of your soul from all inbred sin.

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616 -- WARNED, Every Man Should Be

     No one can become truly religious unless religion has a beginning in his soul. The Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Much of the religion of the day is purely sentimental, because it has no foundation. It does not rest on the fear of God. The popular preaching of the day lays the whole stress upon the love of God. The New York Sun, a well-informed paper, says:

     "The whole doctrine of everlasting punishment has become unpopular among Protestants of recent years. It is not preached as of old. Refined and polite congregations regard a clergyman as coarse and boorish, if he thunders forth the warnings with which every sermon of the past used to end. 'Hell' and 'damnation' are words they require to be expunged from the pulpit vocabulary."

     This is the natural result of filling up the churches with unconverted members. Those who have not themselves fled from the damnation of hell do not like to listen to words of warning. But the man of God hears a voice within him, saying: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me" (Ezek. 3:17). And he obeys.

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617 -- WARNINGS, Faithful

     John the Baptist preached that men should flee from the wrath to come. Two-thirds of the warnings to men to keep out of hell. expressed in the New Testament, were uttered by the Savior. Paul said he preached, "warning every man."

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618 -- WISDOM, As Well as Zeal, Necessary

     To insure success it is not enough that our cause is good and our motives pure. We must act wisely if we would win. There was a time when the Protestants of France were a large and influential portion of the population. They were gaining ground rapidly, and bid fair soon to be in the ascendancy. But a few injudicious movements led to their overthrow; and since then Protestantism has never been able to regain a foothold in that fair land. Their principles were right, but their policy was wrong. A good cause may easily be defeated by the injudicious measures of its friends.

     Too little attention is paid by some real Christians to the charge of Christ, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Many seem to think that it is enough to be harmless. They lay little or no stress upon the injunction to be wise. Having settled it that a course of action is right, we should seriously consider the question, "Is it wise," It is not so much for lack of zeal as for lack of wisdom that the cause of God makes comparatively such slow progress among us. We need to pray more for wisdom. and to put in active exercise all the sense and grace we have or can possibly get. Many, because the object at which they aim is good, will not see that the course they are taking will defeat that object.

     "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."

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619 -- WISDOM Indispensable

     Although grace effects a perfect revolution ill one's moral character, yet the bent of the natural disposition is still seen when the work of grace is fulfilled. The amiable John becomes the loving disciple; the impetuous Peter, the bold preacher of Pentecost; the zealous persecutor, Saul, becomes the indefatigable apostle Paul, who carries the gospel to the ends of the world as known at that time.

     Those who would labor for souls, must learn to work along the line of the natural disposition. To split rails, you must follow the grain of the log. To polish wood. you must work with the grain; or, if you are obliged to cross it, you must have sharp tools, and take off but little at a time.

     In short, whether a man has little learning or much learning, if he would win souls he must have wisdom. This is indispensable. He must know where to strike. It is the well-directed blow that does execution. "He that winneth souls is wise."

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620 -- WISDOM, True

     The men whom I consult most frequently, and on whose opinions I place the greatest reliance, are not men of learning. They know but little of books, they never had any great advantages of schools. or of society. But they are meek and humble followers of Jesus. And God says, "The meek he will guide in judgment." They are men of prayer.

     One may have a great amount of learning, and but little wisdom; and he may have much wisdom and little learning. If a person has but one, heavenly wisdom is to be preferred. He may have both. Only do not make the mistake of supposing that this wisdom can be gained from books. It can not. Books and schools have no necessary connection with it. If you would have practical wisdom to guide you in important matters, you must come to God directly for it. Your consecration to God's will must be complete. You must have no doubts, no misgivings. "Every one that asketh [in this manner] receiveth."

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621 -- WISE in Their Own Eyes

     God promises to save us from folly; but if we still persist in foolishness he does not promise to save us from the consequences of folly. If we can not swim, and will go into water over our heads, we must expect to drown. If we would look to the Lord more for direction, we would not have to cry to him so much for help. We have hard traveling because we take the wrong road. If a woman will marry a drinking man, she must bear the abusive treatment of a drunkard. "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 5:21-24).

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622 -- WOMAN Uplifted by the Gospel

     In all nations where the true God is not known and worshipped, woman is degraded. Generally she is in a state of servitude. Often, the rights that are conceded to a man-slave are denied the free-born woman.

     Christianity concedes to her the same rights that it does to man. But many men are slow to see it. The "old man" loves to play the tyrant. The "new man" does not, but is ready to be the servant of all. The measure of love that Christian husbands are to have for their wives, is that which Christ manifested for his church when he gave himself for it. This pure, deep love will make any husband considerate of his wife and careful to promote her piety, and her happiness. It will not allow any man to domineer over his wife.

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623 -- WOMEN: Earnest Gospel Workers

     "I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel" (Phil. 4:8). The word here translated "laboured" deserves particular notice. In the original it is sunethleson. From the latter part of the word comes our English word athletics. It de notes the highest pitch of exertion; an athlete is one who has great strength and power of endurance, and who, upon occasion, exerts all his strength and skill.

     So there were women who contended side by side with the great Apostle in the conflict against the powers of darkness, and who endured hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

     The gospel has exalted woman and she, in turn, has been from the first ready to do and bear and suffer for the gospel.

"Not she with traitor's kiss her Savior stung, Not she denied him with unholy tongue; She, while apostles shrank, could danger brave; Last at his cross, and earliest at his grave."

     While the churches generally admit that under the gospel dispensation "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free," yet they still insist upon it, in the bestowment of positions in the church, that there is "male and female." It takes a long while for some who embrace the gospel to understand the gospel.

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624 -- WORD OF GOD, Meditation Upon the

     A man may be perishing of hunger, while a cow is near at hand with a bag full of nutriment. But if he would get the food he must milk her. So many a soul is starving while God's Word is full of substantial food. But to get it he must sit down and, by patient study, draw it out. To get benefit from words -- even God's words -- we must get down to the thoughts which the words are intended to convey. We must put our mind on the Scriptures, and then we will find in them wisdom and strength. The Psalmist said: "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word" (Ps. 119:148). The good man described in the first Psalm is one who meditates on God's law day and night. The Apostle Paul, writing to a young minister, charges him: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (1 Tim. 4:15). And St. Peter directs young converts: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2).

     In no other of his epistles does Paul speak more reprovingly to those to whom he writes than he does in his epistle to the Corinthians. But he begins with words of commendation. He shows that he is not in ill-humor with them, but is as free to praise their good qualities as he is to reprove their faults. What can be more conciliatory than the following language: "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him. in all utterance, and in all knowledge" (1 Cor. 1:4, 5). He thus prepares himself to speak of their faults in the mildest manner possible, and prevents them from entertaining the suspicion that he is prejudiced against them, and so underestimates their piety.

     How much alienation and hard feeling would be prevented if, in reproving others, we took a similar course! How much more good is effected by reproofs when they fall upon hearts softened by kindness, than they do when they are discharged at hearts hardened by a harsh manner and cruel words!

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625 -- WORDS, Careless

     For a careless word a soul may be lost. For a neglect of duty, some precious soul may be found on the left hand in the day of judgment.

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626 -- WORDS, Pure

     The words of the pure are pleasant words (Prov. 15:26). They are not impure words: they are not slang words. The preacher who uses slang words in the pulpit, or in private, gives unmistakable evidence of a lack of grace. If he was ever sanctified, he has lost the blessing. He may be an ordained minister; but he is a backslider. If he lived in Canaan he would talk the language of Canaan. If he walked with God he would use God's words. "Every word of God is pure" (Prov. 30:5).

     If a minister, when he is with the ungodly, adopts their language and tells coarse jokes, or laughs at them, and uses slang words, it is because he is in heart one of them. He should speedily get to the Lord and get forgiven, and have all vanity and vileness taken from his heart; or he should quit preaching. He has no business in the pulpit. He should never enter it again in his present condition He should cry to the Lord, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." He should wait upon the Lord until a live coal from off the altar is laid upon his mouth. and it is said, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" (Isa. 6:7).

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627 -- WORK, Steady, Required

     No degree of piety or genius can take the place of hard work. The successful aspirant for a crown of life is the one who makes it a business to serve the Lord. No one can tell what he can accomplish until he sets himself steadily at work for some worthy object.

     Louis XIV. succeeded to the throne of France when he was a young boy. As he grew older he applied himself to business. Later in life he wrote concerning this early period of his history: "I laid it down as a law to myself, to work regularly twice a day. I can not tell you what fruit I reaped immediately after this resolution. I felt myself rising, as it were, both in mind and courage; I found myself quite another being; I discovered in myself what I had no idea of, and I joyfully reproached myself for having been so long ignorant of it. Then it dawned upon me that I was king, and was born to be." He became the greatest monarch of his day.

     Settle down to steady work in God, and you will win at last a crown of life.

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628 -- WORKERS, Develop Your Owe

     Do you want help on your circuit? Do not send abroad for any till you have seen what workers may be developed among your own members. Put them in training. Get them to work. Call them out; put them forward. If they are not in a spiritual condition to work, they will find it out, if they attempt to work, much sooner than they will from any amount of preaching and exhortation. Get them blessed clear lip to boiling heat, and you will be astonished at the talent which will be manifested by some timid, shrinking, unlettered men and women.

"In the still air the music lies unheard, In the rough marble beauty lies unseen."

     Give the "still air" the proper motion and what ravishing music you will hear! Take off the superfluous chips from the "rough marble" and what a beautiful statue stands out for the admiration of mankind! You have the materials and the tools; show yourself "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" by turning out those who do good work for God. They will abundantly pay you, by their help, for all the pains you have taken with them. You will need but little other assistance.

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629 -- WORKS

     Many appear to think that if they gain Heaven all is gained. This is a great mistake. All in Heaven are happy; but there are degrees of happiness in Heaven. The farms in Illinois are all good and desirable, but some are better than others. So any mansion in Heaven is to be striven for: but the more ardently we strive, the higher will be our seat in glory. This Paul explicitly declares. "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor. 15: 41, 42). That is, there is a wide difference in the glory of the stars: so will there. be a corresponding difference in the glory of men in their eternal state. And this difference depends upon their works. Hence the Apostle concludes this wonderful chapter with the exhortation: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58). We may work for men and lose our pay, but for everything we do for the Lord we shall receive a glorious recompense. "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink, in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward" (Mark 9:41). The least we do for Christ will, in the end, amount to more than the utmost we can do to secure worldly advantages.

     We do well to ponder seriously the weighty words of Christ: "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12).

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630 -- WORKS Rewarded

     Men are rewarded by their fellow men according to their position; and often it happens that he who does the most work receives the least pay. But it is not so with men who work for Christ. They do not receive their recompense here. Nor are they paid, in eternity, in proportion to their talents, or the offices they filled, but in proportion to the honest, hard work they did for Christ. Many who are least now will be greatest then. "And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all" (Mark 10:44).

     Do you believe this doctrine, that men are rewarded by Christ according to their works? If you do, then you will work. You will not want to go where there is least to do. You will not be seeking an easy position. You will be zealous. You will seek to put into the cause of Christ all the time, all the talent, all the property that you possibly can. You will not seek to impose upon others the duties which you should do. You will fill up each day with usefulness.

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631 -- WORKS and Rewards

     Twenty-five years ago he was thought to be in danger of dying soon of consumption. He was a devoted Christian. He looked to the Lord for direction, and was led to go to the far West, where the air is dry and the sunshine is seen nearly every day in the year. By the blessing of God he regained his health, and prospered in business, and became wealthy. His children settled around him and were well off as to the things of this world. A few months ago he died in peace and, we trust, went to Heaven. But we have no doubt his death would have been more triumphant, and his eternity happier, if he had remembered the cause of God in his will. But all of his large property went to his children, who had already enough and whose affections appear to be set on the world. He made a great mistake: and what is worse, his mistake can not be corrected.

     Why are not the words of Christ more generally believed? Why do not professed Christians act as if they believed them? 'Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Reader, are you doing work which Christ will reward?

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632 -- WRITING for the Public Be Sure of Facts

     Do not write unless you have something to say. If you undertake to teach others, see that you have a clear understanding of the matter about which you write. Be sure of the facts. In traveling, I have been directed wrong so many times that now, when I approach a man for information, I ask him first if he knows the way to the place T mention. I find that many people are ready to tell the way to a place when they do not know it themselves. It is so in writing. Many are forward to shed light upon a subject concerning which they are in darkness. At Lest their knowledge of it is extremely superficial. Such should study up their subject before they write.

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633 -- WRITING for the Public: Be Manly

     Truth is truth, no matter by whom it may be uttered or written. But the force that it carries with it depends not merely upon the manner in which it is presented, but upon the character of the one that presents it. Hence, when an audience is asked to listen to a stranger, they are informed who he is. He does not attempt to speak in disguise. The same principle should hold in writing for the public. As a rule, one should not write that for which he is afraid, or ashamed, to stand responsible. Especially is this true of all criticisms upon individuals or associations. If you feel called upon to attack others, do it in an open, manly way. Give them a chance for self-defense. Do not shoot in the dark. Then do not waste your time by sending us articles without your name. Though we may not always publish them, yet we must have the name of the writer.

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634 -- WRITING for the Public: Do Not be Contentious

     The Apostle says, "Avoid foolish questions, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain" (Titus 3:9). We are very anxious to obey this command. It comes to us with Divine authority. Our own peace, and the prosperity of the church, are intimately connected with its observance. The disregarding of it will be followed by disastrous consequences.

     But we do not see how we can do it without assistance, Divine and human. We devoutly ask God for help to follow this direction. We also humbly beg our correspondents to assist us in this important matter. If they will ask "foolish questions," and will keep up "contentions and strivings about the law," how can we avoid them? So, after you have passed favorably upon your communication for the Free Methodist, as to ita literary character, please examine it critically as to its moral character, and if you find it comes under either of the above heads, please do not send it. Though it may be true, and well written, but if you know the decision of an apostle that it is "unprofitable and vain," why should you wish to have it published?

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635 -- WRITING for the Public: General Suggestions

     When you write for publication, use white paper, black ink, and a good pen. Faint pencil marks on tinted paper are read with difficulty.

     Do not write in a hurry. See that you use words which express your meaning. If you quote from the Bible, or from any author, to prove a statement, quote correctly, and give the reference, so that your quotations may be verified.

     If you controvert what some one else has written, take pains to understand him before you write a word in reply. Put the best construction on what he writes that his language will allow. If you state what he wrote, then state it in his own words. To put your own construction upon the language of another, and then assert that he wrote what you say he meant, is not honest; it is not right. To do it intentionally is a sin. It is bearing "false witness against your neighbour." If there was more candor there would be less controversy. Avoid all offensive personalities. Do not use opprobrious epithets. Let your spirit and your tone be conciliatory. In your writing, as in everything else, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).

     If your article does not come out in the next number of the paper, do not get excited over it, and come to some hasty conclusion about it. Wait. Have patience. In due season it may appear. But if it does not, bear it.