Polishing the stones!

from Bonar's, "The Night of Weeping"

Christians are "living stones," placed one by
one, upon the great foundation stone laid in
Zion for the heavenly temple. These stones
must first be quarried out of the mass.
This the Holy Spirit does at conversion.

Then, when cut out, the hewing and squaring
begin. And God uses affliction as His hammer
and chisel for accomplishing this. Many a stroke
is needed; and after being thus hewn into shape,
the polishing goes on. All roughness must be
smoothed away. The stone must be turned
around and around on every side that no part
of it may be left unpolished.

As the stones of Solomon's temple were all
to be prepared at a distance and then brought
to Jerusalem, there to be built together; so
the living stones of the heavenly temple are
all made ready here on earth, to be fitted in
without the noise of an axe or hammer into the
glorious building in heaven made without hands.

Every Christian then must be polished
here; and while there are many ways of
doing this, the most effectual is suffering.

And this is God's design in chastisement.
This is what the Holy Spirit effects: as like a
workman He stands over each stone, touching
and retouching it, turning it on every side,
marking its blemishes and roughness, and
then applying His tools to effect the desired
shape and polish.

Some parts of the stone are so rugged and
hard that nothing except heavy and repeated
strokes will smooth them down. They resist
every milder treatment. And yet, in patient
love, this heavenly Workman carries on the
Father's purpose concerning us.

He labors until every part is polished and shaped
according to His likeness. No pains are spared, no
watchfulness relaxed, until we are made entirely
like Him, being changed into the same image
from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.