I have posted a video today about the Wicked Mind. I believe it is so vital to the Body of Christ to determine whether or not you or someone you know may not be a true Christian. This is mainly for you. There are so many false prophets in society today that want you to believe you are on the road to heaven when you may not be. Please watch this entire video and may it help you get on the right path. If you feel as if you are not please repent and believe in Christ today.
Dear Readers, Here is a response to someone regarding a few issues specifically Christian Judgment, unity of the church, and how God speaks in todays society and how it is different than how he spoke to prophets. I will begin with judgment.
Many people of the world and even many Christians seem to think that we as Christians are not to judge each other in how we act or what we believe according to the Word of God and this is very, very wrong. According to the scripture we are to judge a righteous judgment. We are to look at a mans life to determine what fruit not only comes out of his lips, but out of his heart and life. The Scriptures say out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A righteous man produces righteous fruit and Holy conversation an evil man will always eventually speak and talk evil. So here is what scriptures say regarding judgment within the body.
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
So what does this mean exactly. We are not to judge by outward appearance but a righteous judgment. How do we know what man is righteous and what man is not. Three things. Doctrine preached, they way they speak, and the manner in which they live.
2Jn_1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Tit_2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Tit_2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit_2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
1Ti_1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
To some men doctrine is not important, but to Christians who hold fast to sound doctrine it is everything. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Any belief system that is not of the Bible is not faith at all but merely presumptuous belief.
Now what comes out of a man in what he speaks becomes evident to those around him. He can hide it from some but his close friends and family know. Also he can hide the way he lives from some but he cannot hide what he believes nor keep his mouth from sinning if he is not of God.
Now I will speak on unity of the church and whether or not sinners should be allowed in if they practice rebellion and refuse to repent.
One thing to think about is because doctrine is so important if someone holds fast to error especially regarding salvation and the way to God you cannot be one with them and treat them as if they are of God according to scripture.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Don't associate or bid him God speed. Don't even receive him into your home. He is evil have nothing to do with him.
1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Again you see that we are to judge the church but NOT the world it already stands condemned. If one calls himself a Christian yet engages in fornication, being a drunkard, railer or evil speaker don't associate or even it with such a man. We JUDGE those that are within or say they are of the body.
Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
1Ti 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Them that sin rebuke before all. If one continues in sin reject, kick out, have nothing to do with. We must be sound in doctrine that leads to Holiness. Any belief or faith that does not lead to Holiness is devilish and evil. Now let's address whether or not God speaks like he did to the prophets of old.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
This makes it clear that the prophets of old or someone hearing from God directly was UNTIL John the Baptist. Now the Gospel is preached.
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
God spoke through prophets and they heard from him directly they point to Jesus coming in the world. Now we had apostles and they speak of Jesus already being here. They established the church and sound doctrine. He no longer speaks to men like he use to, to establish doctrine and canon but he speaks to us through the written scriptures.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
So to sum it up we must practice judgment within the church to be certain we are in the faith and walking in the truth. We must remove willful rebellious sinners from our midst. We also must get our faith from the Word of God in scripture alone. Any such faith that is produced outside of scripture is presumptuous and leads to a puffed up mind and heresy. I tried to make it short and easy to read. If you have any questions please let me know.
May God be with you and have mercy on you,
Your Brother in Christ
James Peters Sr.
People smiling pretending everything is OK. All the while there is this MONSTER inside them lurking in the shadows. Some restrain it, some give loose to its passions. Others pretend it is not there or it is normal to be this way. Truth is none of us are alone in this monstrosity we call life. Sin and evil are ever present inside us all. Be it not for the grace of God we would all be like HITLER. Some get little grace some get lots of grace. However there is a restraining influence upon all of us. This influence is God's Spirit wrestling with men to succumb to the Son of God Jesus Christ. There is a sin unto death folks. Stop pretending. Start pleading for the mercy of God before your life's cord is cut and your time here on earth is over. Flee from the Wrath of God that awaits on judgment day into the arms of JESUS NOW. Don't delay. For a moments delay and you will slip into eternity on the enemies side.
I wanted to talk to you briefly about modern misconception about love. I want you to ask a few questions. What is love? Is love OK with sin? Does God in fact love everyone who ever lived? Please before responding or thinking critically of what I have to say, examine the text. Examine the scripture and be a Berean as far as what the Holy Word actually says. Below are a few verses that we must consider. As everyone knows 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the main chapters as far as speaking on what love is. Let us examine 1 Corinthians 13:6.
1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
You see God cannot be happy around sin. He cannot rejoice when one is in sin. However examine the exact opposite that God does in fact rejoiceth in truth. Truth and Iniquity are identical opposites. The Word says in Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord me depart from evil. You see one who is in truth God rejoices over. One who is steeped in iniquity God's wrath abides on.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (All who do not believe are in iniquity) Love is NEVER OK with sin. So we can clearly see that love denounces sin and must confront sin because it bears the truth at all times. Truth and Sin(Iniquity) cannot go hand in hand.
A question that all Christians and even people who are not Christians struggle with whether or not God loves everyone who ever lived. I want us to look closely at 1 Corinthians 13:8.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
I want you to look closely at the beginning of the verse. The Word of God says that love never fails. So many believe God loves everyone in the world, yet if he did and was unable to save them love would have in fact failed. The truth is love NEVER fails and if God sets His love upon an individual He does in fact save them. There are a few verses that so many people twist such as John 3:16 and 1 Timothy 2:4 but the Bible says to rightly divide the Word of Truth and if you truly spend enough time understanding these verses you can clearly see that God loves those in the World He chooses out of it. That is why Jesus says he prays not for the world but those in the world the Father has given him. 1 Timothy is also a book written to the church not to the world. The gospel is all the sinners can hear beyond that their ears are dead and they are unable to understand sound doctrine or the scriptures at all. They are in fact blind to them. The truth is God hates the wicked.
Here are a few verses that prove this is the case.
Psalm 5:5, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,"
Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates."
Lev. 20:23, "Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them."
Prov. 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
Hosea 9:15, "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."
Please before you go telling a wicked man God loves them remember they abide under the wrath of God. You must warn them of the wrath of God, the dangers of sin, the reality of the coming judgment, then tell them the good news about Jesus and what he done. As John the Baptist would say who warned you to flee the wrath to come.
I have been noticing lately so many talking about how God loves them, how God is good, how God wants to bless them. I see entertainment going on in the church. It is very sad to me. When we look at scripture every one who had a true legitimate encounter with God the first thing they said was never OH God loves me, or OH God bless me. It is always they tremble in Fear because of God's HOLINESS. I hear pastors say OH God is here can you feel Him? Oh if you cannot feel him you must not be saved. Really God is here? If God showed up everyone in the building would be trembling with Fear and repenting in dust and ashes.
I am tired of people not understanding who God is. The beginning of knowledge of God is understanding His Holiness. Most say I know God is Holy, yet they have no true comprehension of what that means. When you begin to see God in His Holiness you cannot help but Fear Him. You cannot help but see yourself as the sinner you are. You see His terrifying wrath, his aweful judgment, and even hell. It is only when we come to the throne of grace that we can see mercy, truth, Jesus, forgiveness, God's love, hope, faith, and goodness. They both go hand in hand though. You cannot have one without the other.
Let us walk in the light so that Jesus blood cleanses us from all sin. Let us understand who God is and that His Holiness is so mighty so awe inspiring that we must Fear Him. That we must honor Him in everything we do and say. Do not forget if you are born again the Holy God of heaven lives within you. Do not subject Him to evils and to sin. He has given you power over sin that you may take dominion over sin. Trust in Jesus and pray and read scripture. Grow to become a mature Christian.
If anyone or any pastor is telling jokes, stories, providing entertainment, not doing everything they can to bring you into perfection which is what they are commanded to do. Shun them. Run from then. They are not true men of God.
If there is sin or willful rebellion in your life and you walk into a church and are not convicted and afraid. Run. There is nothing Holy there.
Today I had a very lengthy discussion with some other believers that defended the position that some infants and unborn babies go to hell. I was baffled in my mind that they would take such a position. I spoke about the fact that all of us are born into sin however God sends one to hell not because of Adam's sin but because of our own personal sin and rebellion. I challenged some of the people that took the position that babies go to hell with the following.
2Sa 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
2Sa 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
In this passage David is clearly saying that one day he will go to heaven with the child and with God. This is very clear.
I then spoke about the sin unto death and the reality of the wrath of God on all who persist in willful sin.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
I proceeded with what the Bible talks about and how all of us are responsible for our own sin and are thrown into hell because of it.
I asked if one could show where we are thrown into hell or under God's wrath because of Adam's sin and no one defended the position with the scripture but attacked my character and said I was wrong.
I will defend the scripture and I know God is a just God. All infants and children that have died are in heaven. They did not choose sin. Even though they were dead in sin just as David's baby went to heaven so do our small children. God has had mercy on them. The truth is most that grow up continue in sin and do not make heaven. Being a child that God has had mercy on and is now in heaven is far greater than living 100 years and ending up in hell.
If you have a child that has died or ever had a miscarriage. I truly believe you can take comfort that God has saved your child and if you are born again you will one day spend eternity with that child. If not you must repent and turn from sin and fling yourself at Jesus Christ that he may have mercy on you.
That one can resist the Spirit and grieve Him away and be doomed and damned while yet living, is a Bible teaching, and has been the fate of some down through the centuries. "He, that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Pro_29:1. "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." Isa_55:6. I relate here some incidents that have come in our own work in the last twenty-five years. These are only a few out of many. Just after I had finished my first year's work as a conference preacher, and had been returned to our circuit, we visited our old home and relatives, as the conference was held near where Mrs. McBride and I were reared. A Baptist meeting had been in progress for two weeks, and great conviction was on many who had not yielded. I had known the minister from childhood; and as the people all knew me, I was asked to bring the closing message of the meeting. I reluctantly consented. Remembering that "a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin," I was the more reluctant, but thought that if I did my best it would please the Lord, and so undertook it. The meeting was held under a brush-arbor, and as it was well announced the crowd was large. I cannot recall my text; but a pall settled down over the audience, and conviction was tremendous. About twenty souls had come to the altar when I noticed a young man whom I had known all my life, standing against a large post. He was pale with conviction and trembling like an aspen leaf in an autumn breeze. I felt impelled to go and ask him to come to the altar. Walking down the aisle to him, and taking him by the hand, I said, "Willie, come to the altar and give your heart to God." He was trembling and said, "Not tonight." But I insisted, but he strengthened his resistance, saying, "Not tonight, Ben." I replied, "But, Willie, this might be your last chance! You may be dead and in eternity in a month!" He looked at me sternly, and said, "Now, Ben, do not try to scare me, I am only twenty-four years old, weigh two hundred, am in good health; and do not think that you can scare me." I replied, "I am not trying to scare you," and with tear bedimmed eyes I returned to the altar, and he was left alone. After quite a few were saved at the altar, the meeting closed. Having taken the management of some business to make some settlements with some parties entangled with a mercantile company, with which I had some relation before I went into the ministry, and being asked to go to Oklahoma and make a settlement for the company, which they had not been able to accomplish, I took Mrs. McBride and went to Durant. We were gone just about a month, and returned to see our people before going to our work on the circuit. When we returned, we met a lady who had been a neighbor to Willie. After we greeted each other, it came into my mind to ask how everybody was. She said, "All have been well except Willie; he died." It almost unnerved me, and of course we wanted to know if he got saved. Then the lady told the sad story of his death. She said, "Ben, I never want to see another unsaved soul die. He was sick only a few days; and as death approached, he realized that he must die. His wife and two babies and his father and mother and some friends were standing around the bed, and he said to all, 'This house is full of devils. Do you not hear the rattling of the chains? They have come to bind my soul and take it to hell. I cannot afford to die!' Fighting for his life, tossing back and forth with a look of despair on his face, in awful agony, he cried, 'I cannot afford to die!' Making the last death struggle, he clutched the board of his bed and died in indescribable torment." Some years after, we related this incident in another state, in a city church; and a man took me home with him and told me the story over, as he was there when Willie died. He said that he asked God not to let him witness the death of another sinner. I asked him if they prayed. He said, "No; no one could pray, it seemed futile to try." How we loved Willie! He was a good, congenial young man, but resisted the Spirit and crossed the dead line. Some years ago while engaged in a camp meeting in the state of Ohio, one night I gave a message of warning, and showed what sin would do for people here, and how it would result in eternal death to the soul. The Holy Ghost pervaded the very atmosphere, and a solemnity like a fearful pall came over the people, while we were calling penitents and many came to the altar. I felt led to make what I call a "death call;" all bowed their heads in judgment silence to let the Spirit speak to every heart, and then all were to act as if it were the last chance. Only a few more came. I paused a moment to get the mind of the Spirit, and He said to me, "Step out there on the altar bench and tell the people that there is someone here who will be dead and in eternity before another service is held under the tabernacle." There was in the audience a practicing physician, standing down the aisle a little way. He turned pale and looked so convicted that two Christian ladies who were acquainted with him noticed it, and went to him and tried to get him to go to the altar and get right with God. He said to them, "If I were to try to get right, it would cost me all I possess and I would be a pauper tomorrow, and there are things that I cannot make right; I will not go. They insisted; but he absolutely refused to obey the Spirit, and left the service. The meeting closed and all retired, but there was much talk amongst the people about my awful statement, and many conjectures as to what effect it would have on the camp meeting if my prophecy did not come true. This is only one of a very few times in all my life, as a Christian, that I was led to make such a positive statement with reference to a soul, and I said it in tears, and gave the warning. I well knew that it would invite criticism and censure, but I had to obey the Lord. All I could say, was that I knew the Spirit had led me to say it, and though I am far from making such statements ordinarily, yet I have to mind the Lord when I am sure it is of Him. The next morning I was called from the table to the telephone, about eight o'clock. When I asked what was wanted, I was informed that the physician who refused to give his heart to God in that service was dead, and that his soul had gone to meet its God. He went home from that service and, after putting his horse and buggy away, he retired to his room in the hotel where he stayed. He closed his door and locked it, threw himself across the bed and shot himself. When he did not respond to a caller, the proprietor of the hotel broke the door open, to find him cold in death. At the eleven o'clock service the next morning, before I took my text I was requested to announce the funeral of this man. He had crossed the dead line and was in eternity before another service was held under the tabernacle, as had been prophesied. Rev. Joseph E. Bates, who was leading the singing in the camp meeting, and who is still living, remembers it. It does not pay to trifle with God. I shall never forget one time when I was engaged in a meeting in the State of M__, where the Lord was working mightily. Unusual conviction was on the people, and destinies were being fixed for Heaven or hell, as the case is where the Gospel of power is preached and the Spirit has a clean channel through which to work. The Word of God is a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. Choices must be made that determine weal or woe. I want to speak of three souls who crossed the dead line in this meeting. One night when there was tremendous conviction on, a man came and gave me his hand. He was so convicted that I felt he must not go back to his seat, but stay and seek the Lord. He did not want to stay, and I did my best to persuade him to give his heart to God, saying, "My dear Sir, it may be your last chance." He trembled from head to foot, but would not surrender. Before I got out of the community, he sickened one morning at eleven o'clock, and died in awful agony at eleven o'clock that night, a lost soul. When friends tried to get him to look to God for mercy, he said, "The other night when I refused to surrender in Brother McBride's meeting, the Spirit left me and I am lost forever;" and in a few moments his soul went to its eternity of night. The Lord saith, "My spirit shall not always strive with man. One night a young man by the name of A__, came to the altar. He had been there a few nights seeking, but this time he refused to kneel with us. He was under deep conviction as was evident to all who saw him. His father and mother were very elderly people and deeply concerned about his soul. One stood on either side of him, each trying to persuade him to kneel; but he stouted it out and returned to his seat. He was a single man and took great interest in his parents. He was a conductor on a through freight that ran from P to St. L. He would always take siding for the through passengers to pass his train; if all were on time, he took siding in his home town. While he was waiting for the trains he would run just a few rods from the track to his old home, and chat with his father, mother, and others who might chance to be there. Shortly after the meeting closed he was making his run, and as usual he side-tracked his train, for the passenger to go by, and went over and had a talk with his parents. He had a habit of getting out of the caboose window and walking up the train, waving his lantern, a good-night to father, mother, and neighbors, when signaling his engineer to pull on the main line. This he was doing the night we are speaking of. His parents and others were watching him wave good-night, when suddenly his light disappeared. A fear that something had surely happened, seized those who were watching, as railroad lights seldom ever go out so suddenly. People went from their homes over to the tracks, with lanterns in hand, to see if anything had happened to A . It was found that he had missed his step and fallen between heavily loaded box cars, and the wheels had run over his body and had killed him instantly. His aged parents, seeing that the people were gathering and were not dispersing, feared it might be that their boy was hurt or killed, and proceeded to go slowly (as his father was very feeble) to the scene. When they got there and saw that A__ was killed, it was more than they could bear; they cried, saying, "My God, how can we ever stand it." The grief was unbearable, especially for his father. He swooned away saying, "If A__ had! If A__ had! If A__ had! If A__ had got saved, we might have stood it." He lived a year or two after that, but never fully recovered from the awful shock. At times he would say, "If A__ had! Oh, if A__ had!" These people were good friends of mine and remained so until their death, and the relatives who are still living are good friends of mine. I relate this sad true story to show the reader that it is possible for one to cross the dead line; but hope that the Lord may use it to get others to take warning and not run the risk of losing their souls by saying "No" to the Spirit, or by deferring salvation until tomorrow. The dead line may be right before you; one step may take you over. Heed the warning, and make sure your salvation today! In this same meeting many souls had been saved and sanctified wholly, and there was great opposition created against holiness. The wife of the richest man in this little town became indignant against holiness, because quite a few of her best friends had embraced the experience. Her husband also was bitter, and had gone to the extreme, inviting people to let them alone, and telling those whom they once counted as their best friends that they did not want any old sanctified folks to come to their place, and that they should stay away. As the weeks passed by, they became more bitter and bold in their opposition. We knew them very well as we had gotten acquainted with them when we first went to the town, two years before. I got this story from a friend of theirs who lived near them. He said, "One morning the lady was sweeping the front porch of her beautiful home. She was fighting holiness, and saying bitter things against the work that was going on in the place (holiness work) to one of her neighbors who was there, when suddenly she dropped the broom, and fell to the floor. The visitor screamed and alarmed the neighbors and then ran to the phone and called the husband from his place of business. The friends gathered quickly, and Mr. G___ came running to his home to find his wife cold in death. "Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Mat_12:32. I know personally, that this woman and her husband both had said many things in contempt about the Holy Ghost. She crossed the dead line and was destroyed suddenly, and that without remedy; and the last we heard of him he was still fighting holiness. We are aware that mercy endures a long time; but we also know that mercy ceases and that one can cross the dead line, if he continues to resist the Spirit's pleading. Dear reader, if you are not saved or sanctified, if you are not a Christian, flee to Jesus now. In the month of August, 1918, in the State of K___ we were in a camp meeting where great crowds were gathering, and the Lord was working marvelously in our midst, and many souls were finding Christ in pardon and sanctification. One night I was preaching to two thousand people on the horrors of a lost soul, and I became so lost in my message that I ran down through the audience, and looked back, describing a soul lost in hell being chased by demons through the dark domain. I was crying, "Lost! Lost! Lost!" There was a stillness over the people, and some were running to the altar. A man about fifty-five years old, with his hair all streaked with gray, who had been a church member for thirty years, but had never been converted, was sitting on the end of a seat; and as I passed him, the Spirit said to him, "That is your photograph in eternity if you do not go to the altar and get saved." He ran trembling with fear and fell at the altar and wept and prayed until 11 o'clock; but he did not get through, and left for his home five miles away. Conviction deepened and instead of retiring to sleep, he prayed all night, and about 5 o'clock in the morning was gloriously converted. Rev. A. S. Clark, of Winfield, Kansas, was leading the singing, and he and I were in the preachers' cottage preparing to go to breakfast, when this man came riding at good speed on his mule, up to the camp ground. Alighting, he ran into our cottage, and shouted, "Thank God, I am saved and I came over here to have a praise service with you!" We all had a great time that morning. After breakfast, Mr. H__, returned to his home and brought his wife, daughter, and son to the camp meeting on Saturday. They were all unsaved. The daughter was about eighteen and the son about twenty-one. He seated them on the third seat back in the audience. Great streams of salvation were flowing, and conviction was tense. After I had delivered the morning message, he went to his family and invited them to the altar to get saved. Others who were deeply interested in them went also and invited them. The mother and the daughter yielded to the Spirit, went to the altar, and were beautifully converted; but the son, pale with conviction, would not yield. At the night service he was urged to yield by his loved ones and friends, but he stubbornly refused. On Sunday the mother and the daughter were sanctified wholly. That night the camp meeting closed with a great sweep of victory. In October, following, the influenza struck the country, sweeping millions into eternity on short notice. When the camp meeting in 1919 came on in August, we returned to the camp for our fifth time. Mrs. McBride was with me this time and well remembers the story told by Brother H___; besides there are many others who know the sad story. On the first Sunday morning of the camp meeting, in the love feast or testimony meeting, Brother H___ arose and said, "Friends, I was wonderfully converted here at the camp meeting last summer, and I have not knowingly sinned this year, although I am not sanctified. I have had a "heap" of trouble this year. Last October the influenza struck my home, and my wife was taken with it and in forty-eight hours she was dying. I stood by her bedside, and just before she died, she said, 'Papa, I want to thank you for taking me to the old C camp meeting last August where I got saved and sanctified. Now I am going to Heaven, and I am so happy;' and she died. In another day or two the influenza seized my daughter, and in forty-eight hours she asked someone to call me to her bedside. I went to her. She said, 'Papa, I am dying, and going to Heaven, and I wanted to thank you before going for taking me to the camp meeting so I could get saved and sanctified;' and she died in glorious triumph." Then he stopped a moment, and sobbed like a child of seven summers; then in sobs finished the story. He said, "I hate to say it, but my neighbors all know it. My son was suddenly seized with the influenza, and in another forty-eight hours died without hope. He had no testimony, and died without God as far as we know. I cannot help it," he said between sobs, "I have done my best. But," he said, "I am so thankful for this old camp ground, and I am going to get sanctified." He was beautifully sanctified that day, and the Comforter came in to comfort him in his sorrow. This young man could have been saved, for his mother and sister sat by his side and the same Spirit dealt with all alike; but they yielded, went to the altar, and are in Heaven; he refused, crossed the dead line, and lost his soul. Several years ago, while engaged in a camp meeting in the South, we had some wonderful times of salvation, and great crowds came to hear the Gospel. I can see them now as they came in automobiles, mule wagons, ox wagons, buggies, on foot, and on horseback, through the woods and over the red hills, and through white sands to the big shingle tabernacle. Praying could be heard out in the woods and shouts under the tabernacle, and the Lord walked over the camp ground to smite sin heavily. I shall never forget this meeting if I should live a thousand years; in fact, I will remember it in eternity. One night toward the close of the camp meeting, I preached from these words, "The end of the age is at hand." Rev_22:10. At the conclusion, I was describing the clock of the soul's probation, comparing it with the clock of probation of time, or this age. I said that just as the clock hands of time's probation in this age reach their highest number and the eve of eternity sets in, and this probationary age is forever closed; so when the hands of your soul's clock of probation reach their highest number, the death knell will be struck, and the eve of your eternity will set in. It was one of those times when God pulls an extra train of salvation through, and gives folks an extraordinary chance to board the train for Heaven; a time when it means much not to take advantage of the opportunity. As I closed the sermon, I took out my watch and as my eyes fell on the hands, it was just five minutes past nine o'clock, I felt led to say, "There may be some soul here tonight, the hands on the clock of whose soul's probation may have reached eleven fifty-nine, and this may be the last chance for you; and if you say 'NO' to the Spirit, you may hear my voice in hell's dark night a million years from now, if it could be measured by time's measurement, saying, 'Five minutes past nine, and I am lost! Five minutes past nine, and I am lost!' " I repeated this sentence several times; it seemed that I could not get past it. Many came to the altar, and there was such praying as one seldom hears, and some were getting through. Suddenly a lady sprang to her feet and came running down the aisle towards the altar, screaming and wringing her hands, saying, "FIVE MINUTES PAST NINE, AND I AM LOST." At every step she paused a moment, and ran around the platform, and down the other aisle, and back to the altar crying, "FIVE MINUTES PAST NINE, AND I AM LOST!" She then stopped long enough to tell her story. She said, "When you were making the call and said that some one might hear your voice in eternity a million years from now, saying, 'Five minutes past nine, and I am lost,' the Spirit said to me, 'Now is your time.' But I refused. And the Spirit persuaded, saying, 'Now is your chance.' I said, 'I will not go tonight,' and the Spirit left me and I am lost!" She ran out into the darkness, crying, "Five minutes past nine, and I am lost! Five minutes past nine, and I am lost!" The last time I heard her, she said in a voice that was dying in the distance, "Five minutes past nine, and I am lost!" Years have come and gone, and I have not heard from her, nor do I expect to see her until we meet at the Judgment bar of God. But no doubt, she crossed the dead line that night when she would not obey the Spirit. We were in a meeting in Providence, R. I., in the year 1920, the last of January and the first part of February, and God was in our services in great power to convict, convert, and sanctify. All was seemingly going well until the second Friday night when final decisions were to be made. The altar was being lined when the janitor of the church, who was backslidden under awful conviction, was arrested by the Spirit. We had formed his acquaintance and had been praying for his return to God, and also a large number of saints had been praying. The song evangelist, who had known him for many years and who wanted to see him return to Christ, left the platform and invited him forward. His friend insisted, but the man refused to come. The pastor of the church, Rev. D__, who is one of my good friends, and was a good friend of the janitor at that time, and would have given anything to see him get back to God, went and labored with him, too. I did not see either of them go to him and, feeling impelled to go and invite him, I went to him; and putting my arm around his neck and pulling him to my heart, I said, "Brother K__, I love you, but the Lord loves you more than I. Brother K__ I want to see you saved, but the Lord wants to see you saved more than I. Come to the altar and surrender." He thanked me for my interest, but told me that he would not go then. I insisted, but seeing that he was becoming indignant, I said, "I will pray for you." I started back to the altar, and he started toward the door. Brother D___ overtook him, and said to him, "Do not leave the house, you may never be here again." He looked at Brother D___ defiantly, and said, "Sir, I will take the chance." He was seemingly in the best of health, comparatively young, and stalwart, a good man without salvation. He took pneumonia influenza before morning, and at nine o'clock Saturday morning was hurried away to the hospital. On Sunday the pastor of the church received a phone message that he was on the "danger list," and asked that we pray for him. Monday he was growing worse; and on Tuesday afternoon, on our way to the service, Brother D___ and I went to the hospital to see him. He was in such a state of mind that we could not talk to him with any degree of satisfaction. When we tried to talk to him about Jesus or salvation, it so distressed him that the nurse refused to let us say very much, or to pray for him; in fact we had no spirit to pray a prayer of faith for him; it was too dark. His suffering was indescribable. How sad it made us both! As we left, we said one to the other, "God save us from seeing anyone die without hope in Jesus." At 9 o'clock that night, his soul crossed the line of worlds, and went into the presence of God, unprepared. In the meantime, one of his little children had died, and we had a double funeral in the home of his parents. I assisted Brother D___ by preaching the funeral sermon; but by request, in order not to add any more grief to the already grief-stricken wife, father, mother, relatives and friends, we did not refer to the deceased. We preached the Gospel, and tried to persuade the living to prepare for death. This is one of the most unpleasant tasks that I have ever had to perform as a minister, and I trust that I shall not have to preach the funeral of another lost soul! Poor soul, he took the chance, gambled with death, lost the game, and crossed the dead line! We have seen enough of like incidents in the past twenty years to make a large book if they were recorded. If you are unsaved remember, dear soul, that every step you take, and every time you say "NO" to mercy's call, you are approaching the DEAD LINE!
ON FALLING IN LOVE.
No flirting, young people, please! You cannot flit around the flame without the risk of burning your wings; and remember, if these are lost, you cannot get another pair; you may be able to crawl or limp, but you will never again bask in the sunbeams or dance with merry-hearted glee in the shadows. In other words, you may play at love-making till you lose the power of loving truly, or forfeit for evermore the right of entrance into love's most holy place. Finally, you may find it impossible to convince another that for once you are in dead earnest, and that the time of love has come to you at length. There is nothing more terrible in a woman's life than to discover that she has played make-believe so long that men treat her only as their plaything and toy, and think that she is incapable of the true passion. "I mean it this time," the flirt says, by look and manner. "I do not believe you," the answer is cast back, whether by man to woman or by woman to man. "I have watched you narrowly, and can count up the hearts you have broken, the lives you have wrecked. You are a Siren, whose bewitching music beguiles to death." "Nay, but I am genuine this once. I mean what I say." "I do not believe you; I do not believe you; I dare not trust you."
So, whatever you do, young people, don't flirt. Never appear to love when you don't. Never lead another on to think that you really care when you are not sure. Never play with another's affections, for fear you should lead to the giving of what can never be replaced, and for which you have given no equivalent. I am old-fashioned enough to think that a man or woman loves really only once. I know what may be said on the other side, but you must let me think so. The cream only rises to the surface in its full wealth once. The perfect beauty of the morning vanishes an hour after dawn. Therefore, you who have not yet given the one love of your life, do not let it go until you are sure that it is not wrongly bestowed. And you who are seeking the twin soul, be sure of your own love before you give a sign.
Some of the happiest marriages I have known have been those in which the man and wife were boy and girl together. They played the same games, got into the same scrapes, roamed the autumn woods nutting, and skated over the winter ice. But not less happy may those unions be which bare the romantic interest of love at first sight. It is wonderful, this falling in love. A man is going soberly along the path of life, with no particular interest in any one, when suddenly a face, a figure, a voice, crosses his path, and straightway his heart is gone. His ideals are realized, his dreams have taken shape. And from that moment, with that wonderful idealizing faculty, he imputes to that young girl all that the poet in him can imagine, or the artist in him depict. "I don't see anything in the girl," a companion says. But he might, poor purblind mortal, as well expect to see what Turner saw in a sunset. Take care, young girl, that you live up to that ideal. I pray you, do nothing, say nothing, to dash it to the ground; it is the most sacred power love can wield. Live worthy 0f it; do not descend to his level, but lift him, lift him to yours. True love is built on respect.
we can never forget that Robert Browning, when in London, was wont to repair to the church in Marylebone, where he was wed, and kiss the very steps on which his bride had stood. What love was his, of which she sings in those matchless Portuguese Sonnets! But what an inspiration for her, or any woman, to show herself worthy of the ideal which love flings over her every movement, her handwriting, the very trinkets she wears, the books she reads.
If you may not flirt, you should take every means of knowing one another. It seems to me that the practice among the working-classes, of walking out together before there is any thought of love-making, is an eminently wise one. We should hear of fewer ill-assorted marriages among the upper classes, if there were more opportunities of young men and women becoming acquainted with each other than can be presented at a ball or a crush. In the United States, young men can take young girls to places of public amusement without having their names unpleasantly associated by gossip. This were worthy of importation into England.
However it is managed, be sure to know something more of man or woman than is given when either is dressed in Sunday best, and clothed in most attractive and persuasive manners. All is not gold that glitters. Some people are like the baskets of strawberries sold in London streets; all the big ones are at the top, and those below are very, very small. Young ladies! I am sorry to say it, but some of the nicest of nice men are the most arrant scamps that ever walked. Do not believe their word, do not entrust yourselves to them, unless you know something more of them than they say of themselves. And, young men, I would warn you not to think that a girl can be judged by her manners in the drawing-room, or at a picnic. Try to drop in the morning; make an excuse of calling. See how she looks in her morning dress; is it tidy, neat, and suitable; is she helping her mother with the younger children; is she pleasant in her behavior to the servants? I had once to choose a wife for a young working-man, and was assured that my anticipations as to the suitability of a certain maiden were justified, because she opened the door of her father's cottage at ten in the morning with her hair tidy, a neat print dress (the sleeves of which were tucked up above her elbows), and soapsuds were steaming all up her bare arms. "She will do," I said to myself.
Notice, when you are with the one to whom you are attracted, these points: How does the young man speak of his parents? does he call his mother, mother? Does he take an interest in his younger brothers or sisters? Does he attend church for himself, or only because you go with him? Does he ever suggest taking you into the public-house, or to some place of amusement where women are treated with unhallowed familiarity and scant respect?
As a young man acts in any of these respects, you may judge him; and remember, that little unsuspected words and acts on his part are more likely to reveal his true character than any number of protestations and vows. Every man reveals his real self once or twice to the woman he woos; and if only women would act on the slight suspicions which sometimes cross them, how many broken hearts would be saved!
Do not suppose that you can alter a man after you are wed. If you cannot fashion him before marriage, you cannot after. A woman dreams that when once she is wife, she will be able to mould her husband to her mind. It is a vain illusion, which in millions of cases has been rudely dissipated. Besides which, are we always able to command the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, especially when we have acted in direct violation of his expostulations?
If you are not sure, don't let your heart go, young girl. Break off an engagement rather than expose your wooer and yourself to lasting misery. It will be kinder to him in the end, because where there is not absolute oneness there cannot be lasting happiness. If he threatens to commit suicide, be well assured he will never do it. He has no right to talk to you like that, and is a coward to play upon your feelings. Besides, a man who talks so lightly of throwing away his own life is not one to whom a woman should entrust hers.
Young men had better consult their mothers or sisters before they take the irrevocable step. Women are quick at reading character, and those that love you will be most likely to choose well for you. Let the women of your family into your secret. Dear souls, they will guess your secret even if you do not tell it, and you may as well tell it; it will please them, and they will advise you well.
There is no harm in early engagements. When I am sure that it is a love-match, and in other respects suitable, I am glad to see two young people drawn together, though in their teens. Probably nothing will more certainly keep them pure and sweet amid the contaminating influences of the world. Let them begin early; it does not matter how long the courtship lasts. The courting times are very happy and blessed times, when young hearts are not too full of hopes and plans and anticipations to enjoy the pathway over which they are passing, and cull its flowers. But in these courting days remember that your relationship be kept on the highest level. It must be spirit to spirit, soul to soul. That which begins and ends with the physical will sooner or later land you both in a ditch. Take care!
Beware! The physical must be the sacrament and expression of the spiritual, else it will widen into the rift that makes love's music mute.
Mind that love-making be only in the Lord. Let it be ensphered in the love of God. Then, like the wedding-ring, the beginning will be everywhere, the end nowhere. For a Christian to marry one who is out of Christ is the grossest folly. Not only is there a flagrant act of disobedience to the distinct command of Christ, but there is the additional certainty that sooner or later there will be manifested an incongruity, a disparity, a want of sympathy in the deepest and most sacred subjects. I have had a wide experience, and been admitted into numberless homes, but I have never seen perfect happiness where this distinct command of the gospel has been violated; and I have never met a case in which the believing partner has won the unbeliever, except when faith may have come to the heart of one after marriage.
Lastly, to all who are unwed, I give my fervent advice: Make it a matter of earnest prayer. Let your heavenly Father choose for you. Do not think that life is necessarily a failure if no supreme love enters it. There are very happy and useful lives on every side that have never been blessed with a supreme affection. Live for God. Make him first. Wait on him and keep his way. In his own good time and way he will give you your heart's desire.