New York American, 1915


Toronto, Ont., Jan. 31, 1915 Pastor Russell is here today. We report his discourse on the text, "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that Day when I make up My jewels." (Mal. 3:17.) He said in part:

Our text points to the close of the Gospel Age, and not only tells us that the Lord will not gather His jewels sooner, but also implies that the only class to be gathered at that time will be the jewel class He comes to make up His jewels. We have here a contradiction of the ordinary thoughts on this subject that He has been gathering His jewels all along for the past six thousand years, evidently an erroneous thought, since He has appointed a Day, in the end of the Age, in which He will gather, or make up, His jewels; and that everybody who is respectable, half-way decent, is to be gathered to the Lord and share in His Kingdom. Our text distinctly points out that only a very exceptional class will be sought for and gathered.

The class here described as jewels is contrasted in the context with other classes- "the proud," who have much of the success of the present time; and "the workers of wickedness," who tempt God and are not careful to please and serve Him. Such evidently are the majority of mankind. The jewel class is described as "they that feared Jehovah" that reverenced Him- "and that thought upon His Word."


But, we inquire, where are jewels usually found? The Answer'is that they may be found in very unexpected places. For Instance, the diamonds of South Africa are sometimes mingled with the ordinary gravel, and sometimes imbedded in bluish-black clay. They all require to be searched after, and to be washed from the mire, before being prepared to refract the light. So some of these jewels that the Lord is now seeking out from the world are found in the ordinary walks of life, and some came from deep down in the mire of sin. In the world of mankind the Lord does not expect to find the jewels in perfect order shaped, cut, polished and ready for the setting in glory. On the contrary, by one class of His servants He lifts them out of the mire of sin and the horrible pit, cleanses them through the merit of His own precious blood and through His Word: and then through other servants and providences He polishes them with Divine skill, that they may reflect and refract the light of the glory of God the Divine character Justice, Wisdom, Love.

As the diamond in its rough state, uncut, unpolished, would have no more value than a common stone for ordinary purposes, so those whom the Lord is selecting and preparing as His jewels are to derive their ultimate value from the cutting, shaping, polishing, of their characters under Divine providence. As it is written, "We are His workmanship." We cannot suppose the illustration to be perfect in every particular; yet we may readily see that while Divine Grace is to be credited with the entire outcome the beauty of the finished jewel nevertheless Divine Grace operates according to principles and conditions, under Divine Law. As the experienced diamond miners reject the soft clay and various of the hard stones, in seeking for those of the desirable kind, so the great Jewel-Gatherer operates according to a principle in seeking for His jewels.


The hardness of the diamond may be used to represent character, and we are to remember that character belongs to the individual. Each must have his own character, and only in proportion as each has it can he hope to be accepted as a jewel; for those without it will not endure the tests.

As the diamond-seeker lays hold upon everything in his path that gives evidence of having the diamond quality, so Divine Grace, operating in the diamond field of the world Christendom lays hold upon all who have anything resembling character. The soft, the pliable, the uncrystallized, are not being sought now, and coming in contact with Divine Grace are passed by. Only such as give evidence of character are thought worthy of even washing and testing. Eph. 5:26.

The Hard crystallization of the diamond corresponds to willingness toward righteousness in the individual; and unless there be such willingness toward God and righteousness there is none of the jewel quality which the Lord is now seeking. Those whose wills are formed, crystallized, set, determined for righteousness, are those whom the Lord seeks. But the great Jewel Seeker accepts some in whom the crystallizing process is incomplete, and helps their infirmities, developing in them by His providences the quality of firmness for righteousness, at the same time polishing them.

But even when the rough diamond has been found, it would be of no value except as it could be cut; indeed, it would be of less value than other stones for many purposes. So it is with those whom Divine Grace finds in the mire of sin, having nevertheless will or character desiring righteousness, truth, goodness, justice the great Lapidarist must really give them all their value by His skill in shaping, cutting and polishing them. Yet, on the other hand, He could not cut, shape or polish that which had not the essential quality, or character, or will for righteousness.

Those who are in the hands of the great Lapidarist and undergoing His polishing process, must first have passed through the previous experience of having been found of the Lord Jesus, must have been washed, and must have been accepted as having wills desirous of harmony with the Divine mind. Therefore they may take pleasure in all the trying experiences and difficulties through which our Lord Jesus causes them to pass as various parts of the process necessary to their completion as Jehovah's jewels, to be made up by the close of the Gospel Age and to be set in the gold of the Divine nature, to reflect the beauties of the Divine character. [HGL694] It is in harmony with this thought that the Apostle encourages us to rejoice in tribulation, knowing that it is working out for us patience, experience, hope, brotherly kindness and love the facets essential to the jewel in the eyes of Him who is shortly to gather His jewels. The Apostle again speaks of even the most trying experiences of the Christian life as "light afflictions," and of the present life as but "a moment," saying, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."


The earthly lapidarist takes firm hold upon the jewel which he has already tested and proved to have the requisite jewel quality; and, encasing it in a suitable instrument, he presses it against a lap-wheel, with just the required amount of pressure to effect the necessary shaping and polishing. The process requires great skill; hence only skilled workmen are employed in this department.

So with the Lord's jewels, their value depends much on proper cutting; and this is entrusted only to the skilled hands of our Lord Jesus, of whom we are assured that He Himself passed through similar experiences of testings at the Father's hands. He knows just what we need to perfect us, that we shall be pleasing and acceptable to the Father, to reflect and refract the light of His glory when it shall fall upon us in our finished state.

A part of our lesson is to have faith in this great Master-Workman, whom the Father has appointed to shape and polish us. We may require much more trimming on some sides of our character than on others; and often the disposition is to draw back, to be not fully submissive, to fear that the Lord has abandoned us to trial. But Infinite Wisdom assures us that this is not so, and that to draw back would leave us "unfit for the Kingdom."

The world has seen the wheel of discipline which has been cutting the Lord's jewels for centuries, but it has not understood the necessity and the value of the process. It may have even caught an occasional glimpse of the jewels, but not to any advantage not so as to be able to know the real merit of their characters or the value of the cutting and polishing; for even the already finished facets are smeared with the cement and slime from the grind-wheel. But the great, loving Lapidarist knows and has explained it all to the jewels; and they know in part now, and by faith are trusting all the remainder.

The Lord knows just how much pressure to apply just how much friction is necessary and will not cause tribulation which He cannot and will not overrule for our good. Being thus assured that all things are working together for good to them that love God. His living jewels can rejoice in tribulation, knowing that it is working out in them "the peaceable fruits of righteousness" meekness, patience, gentleness, brotherly kindness and love; that such experiences are essential and that without these they could never be amongst the gathered jewels.


We are not to suppose that those who are now pressed against the wheel of tribulation are thereby made miserable. On the contrary, they realize a joy and peace which the world can neither give nor take away. And when we remember that their severe experiences and polishings are "but for a moment," as compared with the longer discipline of those who will be dealt with during the Millennium; and that in proportion to their trials they are granted more grace and will receive a reward exceedingly abundant, more than they could ask or think then we can see that these jewels now being prepared by the Lord are highly favored above all men.

The process of seeking and polishing the jewels has already been in progress for more than eighteen centuries; and the Scriptures indicate that now the end of the Age is upon us the time for gathering these jewels and setting them in the glory of the Divine nature. The signs of the times clearly indicate that the great Time of Trouble with which the Gospel Age is to end is even at the door, to prepare the world for the coming blessings of Messiah's Kingdom. Hence if we are to be amongst the acceptable jewels we have need to give diligence and to co-operate with the great Master-Workman, that the shaping and polishing of our hearts, our wills, may be perfected quickly, and that we may be ready to share a glorious part when He comes to make up His jewels.

Through the Prophet the Lord indicates that as soon as His jewels shall have been gathered, there will be a general change in His dealings with the world. Our context shows how it is at the present time, while the polishing of the jewels progresses. Frequently the unfaithful and the worldly seem to have the advantage; but after this polishing of the jewels is completed, and they have been set in the crown of rejoicing at the end of this Age, "then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not."

Now, while evil predominates, while the Prince of this world reigns, and while "they that tempt God are even delivered," it would be difficult by outward evidences to judge who are the Lord's favored ones. Indeed, his living jewels seem to be less favored and to have more afflictions, trials, persecutions and difficulties than others. Consequently amongst them are not found many great or rich or wise, but chiefly "the poor of this world, rich in faith." But when these shall be glorified with their Lord in the Kingdom, then there will be a general change. No longer will the wicked and those who tempt God be found in power, influence and prosperity, and the meek, the godly suffer persecution and tribulation. On the contrary, of the time when Christ's Millennial Kingdom shall be inaugurated it is declared prophetically, "In His Day the righteous shall flourish," "evil-doers shall be cut of," and Satan shall be bound. Psa. 72:7-9; 37:9.


Our context gives another suggestion respecting the disposition of this jewel class during the time of their polishing We read, "They that feared (reverenced) the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard." What could be more natural than a desire for communion with all who are of "like precious faith," all who are similarly undergoing polishing at the hands of the great Lapidarist, all who are of the same disposition as respects God and righteousness? Our Lord points out that [HGL695] love of the brethren will be a marked quality in all the jewel class; and the tendency of the "brethren" is to meet frequently, either in person or through the printed page, and to speak to each other. Mal. 3:16.

The Apostle Paul distinctly calls to our attention the necessity for this class to meet together. He exhorts, "Forget not the assembling of yourselves together, . . . and so much the more as ye see the Day drawing nigh" the Day of gathering of the jewels. It is to this same end that our Lord has made some of His promises to His people collectively, saying, "Where two or three of you are met in My name, there am I in the midst."

When we read that these faithful ones "spake together," we naturally inquire respecting the subject upon which they communicate. It is not stated here, but is clearly pointed out elsewhere in the Word of God. The Apostle calls attention to the fact that such "mind Heavenly things," and contrasts them with those who, "mind earthly things." Their conversation, therefore, will not be respecting earthly pleasures, food and raiment, the ambitions of the natural mind, the pride of life, etc., but will be respecting the things which are uppermost in their hearts; they are seeking "first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," and in earthly matters are "content with such things as they have."


Another thought in this connection, which we should not overlook, is that brought to our attention in the words, "And the Lord hearkened and heard." As the sons of God meet to talk over the Divine Plan, the Divine Wisdom, Justice and Love, to help one another and to encourage one another with psalms, hymns, spiritual songs and the exceeding great and precious promises, how much they would be blessed if only they could always have in memory this statement! Whenever the people of God are speaking together, He listens to their conversation, to note who speak forth those words that are loving, gentle, pure, true, as distinguished from those who are careless of the truth, or whose words are vain or frivolous, or worse than this, slanderous, enmitous and selfish.

Let all the sons of God remember the importance of honesty, "truth in the inward parts," when they come together to study the Divine Word and to help one another, "let nothing be done through strife and vain glory"; but let each esteem the other greater than himself in saintliness seeking to see in each other, as far as possible, the good, the noble, the true, and to watch his own heart and to know of his own blemishes. Thus let personal humility and love of the brethren keep pace with our growth in knowledge of Divine things; other wise let us be assured that we are in the sifting and separating time; and that all who have not this spirit of humility, patience, gentleness, brotherly kindness, love will surely be separated.

Such will not be amongst those gathered as jewels; for those whom the Lord will gather will be pure, stainless. They are to be faultless in love before the Father; and perfect love casts out not only fear, but also selfishness, animosity, evil surmises and evil speaking, self-love and pride. Beautiful indeed will be the Lord's Jewels, polished after the likeness of the great Jewel our Lord Jesus Christ.

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