SOMETIME AGO some ladies were reading the third chapter of Malachi, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me,” etc.  One of the ladies gave it as her opinion, that the fuller’s soap and the refiner of silver were only the same image, intended to convey the same view of the sanctifying influences of the grace of Christ.  “No,” said another, “they are not just the same image; there is something remarkable in the expression in the third verse, He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” They all said that possibly it might be so.

This lady was going into town and she promised to see a silversmith, and report to them what he said upon the subject; she went, without telling him the object of her errand, and begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But do you sit, sir?” “Oh, yes, Madam, I must sit, with my eye fixed steadily on the furnace; since, if the silver remains too long it is sure to be injured!”

She at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into the furnace; but He is seated by the side of it, His eye steadily intent on the work of purifying; and His wisdom and His love are both engaged to do all 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 ready to return to her friends and report what she had heard, turning from the shop door, the silversmith called her back and said that he had forgotten to mention one thing:  that he only knew that the process of purifying was complete by seeing his own image in the silver. When Christ sees His own image in His people, His work of purifying them is complete.