Sharp chiseling!

(J. R. Miller, "Making the Most of Life" 1891)

"I have refined you in the furnace of affliction."
    Isaiah 48:10

We were stones in the quarry. When Christ saved
us—we were cut from the great mass of rock. But
we were yet rough and unshapely; not fit for heaven.
Before we can be ready for our place in the heavenly
temple—we must be hewn and shaped. The hammer
must do its work—breaking off the roughnesses. The
must be used—carving and polishing our lives
into beauty. This work is done in the many processes
of life. Every sinful thing, every fault in our character
—is a rough place in the stone, which must be chiseled
off. All the crooked lines must be straightened. Our
lives must be cut and hewn—until they conform to
the perfect standard of divine truth.

Quarry-work is not always pleasant. If stones had
hearts and sensibilities
—they would cry out in sore
pain as they feel the hammer strokes and the deep
cutting of the chisel. Yet the workman must not
heed their cries, and withdraw his hand, else they
would at last be thrown aside as worthless blocks,
never to be built into the beautiful temple.

We are not stones; we have hearts and sensibilities,
and we do cry out ofttimes, as the hammer smites
away the roughnesses in our character! But we
must yield to the painful work and let it go on, or
we shall never have our place as living stones in
Christ's beautiful temple. We must not wince under
the sharp chiseling of sorrow and affliction.

"I have refined you in the furnace of affliction."
    Isaiah 48:10