The Refiner of Silver

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Some months ago, a few ladies, who met together in Dublin to read the Scriptures and make them the subject of conversation, were reading the third chapter of Malachi.
One of the ladies gave it as her opinion that the " Fuller's Sope " and the "Refiner of Silver" was the same image; both intended to convey the same view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ.; while another observed, "there is something remarkable in the expression in the third verse, 'He shall SIT as a refiner and purifier of silver.' "
They agreed that possibly it might be so, and one of the ladies promised to call on a silversmith, and report to them what he said on the subject: She went accordingly, and without telling him the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver. This he fully described to her; "but," said she, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
" Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith, "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded, the silver is sure to be injured."
At once she saw the beauty and the comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
Christ sees it needful to put the children into the furnace-but He is seated at the side of it-His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random. The very hairs of their head are all numbered.
As the lady was leaving, the silversmith called her back, and said he had further to mention that he only knew when the work was complete by seeing his own image reflected in the silver.
A beautiful figure! When Christ SEES His own image in His people, the work of purifying is accomplished!
It has been well said: ''If thou art a child of God, there is no exemption from the household discipline. The voice that speaks may seem rough, but the hand that smites is gentle. The furnace may be seven times heated, but the refiner is seated by. His object is not to consume, but to purify. All, be assured, will yet bear the stamp of love. The saint on earth can say regarding his trials, in faith and in trust, 'I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right.' The saint in glory can go a step further, ' I see, O Lord, that they are so! "
" Believer, on a calm retrospect of thy heaviest afflictions, say were they unneeded? Was this what Augustine calls 'the severe mercy of God's discipline '-was it too severe? Less would not have done. He may have led thee to a Zarepath ('a place of furnaces'), but it is to show thee there 'one like unto the Son of God!'
"When was thy God ever so near thee, or thou to thy God, as in the furnace-fires? The spices in the temple of old were bruised. The gold of its candlestick was beaten gold! My soul, be still! Thou hast in affliction one means of glorifying God which even angels have not in a sorrowless world: Patience under the rod-submission to thy Heavenly Father's will."
"Yes, patience! there may come a time,
When these dull ears shall hear aright,
Strains that outring earth's drowsy chime,
As heaven outshines the taper's light! "
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:7)