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God's Jewels

God's Jewels poster

Delivered at the Bible Conference at Cedar Lake last summer [1916] by Rev. Charles Inglis of London, England.

“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”—Malachi 3:17

You know the meaning of the word Malachi. It means “the messenger of Jehovah.” And what a God-sent message this must have been to Israel in their departure from Him! “You shall be mine, in that day when I make up my jewels.” An old writer that lived about four hundred years ago said this about jewels: They were procured at a very great cost, they were prepared with great pains, and they were preserved with great care. Now, God’s people are likened to jewels, for a variety of reasons, and the little while that I speak this afternoon, I want to give you seven or eight reasons why they are likened to jewels.

Their Origin

Now, first, because of their origin. I do not know how many of you have seen the crown jewels in the Tower of London, but whenever I have looked at them this thought has always occurred to me. They were not always there. And the question is, Where did they come from? Why, they were drawn up from out of the depths of the sea or dug up out of the bowels of the earth, and while it is true today that you and I are the children of God and sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, remember that that was not always true. We were once the children of wrath, even as others, and you may depend upon it that it is a good thing to do what David did at times, to go back and remember the hole of the pit from whence we have been digged. Why, there are some of God’s people who are so occupied with their present blessings and their future prospects as to well-nigh forget their origin, to forget what they once were.

I remember hearing of a rich man up in Toronto who had amassed a fortune there by being engaged in the baking business, and his sons and daughters had no idea of the struggles their father had had in early life. They came to him one day and said: “Pa, do you know there are plenty of people not nearly so wealthy as we are and they have finer houses than we have. We wish you would build us a new house.”

“Yes,” he said, “I will build a new house, and I will furnish it in whatever way you wish. There is only one stipulation, and that is that my photograph shall be placed in every room.”

They readily acceded to that, and the house was built and furnished, and the day of the housewarming arrived and the girls brought in their friends to see the new home. There was the father’s photograph in every room, but, to their horror, they found out that it was a copy of an old photograph taken fifty years earlier as he stood in his bakehouse with a white apron on. He said, “I have simply had this placed in every room to remind you of what you came from.”

Oh, we boast, do we not, about our ancestors, but did you ever stop to think of their past? Did you ever stop to think that they were a lot like potatoes in the ground, with nothing to boast of, every one of them? And perhaps one reason why we are likened to jewels is just this, because of our origin.

Need Refining

But again, God’s people are likened to jewels because of the refining process through which they go. You all admire a lovely diamond, but did you ever think of the cutting and the polishing that were necessary before the owner deemed it fit to be worn? I think I hear someone say: “I am so glad to hear you say that. You know my life has been made up of crosses and losses, and I have been doomed to disappointment. I have sometimes wondered what this all means. Has God clean forgotten me?” No, He has not. He simply means this, that it is the grinding and cutting and polishing that are necessary in order to make you fit for a place in the kingdom by and by. Why, we sometimes think when we are in a trial that everything has gone against us, but it is all for us.

I was crossing the Atlantic on one of my many trips, and I was longing to get home. We were looking forward to a record passage. Everything went splendidly for two days, but the third morning when I came upstairs to the deck I found that we had a strong head wind, and I said to the captain, “I am afraid it is to be no record passage now.”

“Why do you say that?” he asked.

“Well, we have this head wind.”

“Yes, but have you not crossed this ocean enough times to know that a head wind, if it is not too strong, always helps us and never hinders us?”

“How is that?”

“It give such perfect ventilation to the firemen down at the furnaces that they can go on feeding the furnaces and forging the ship ahead for all she is worth.”

Ah, beloved friends, we are never so near the Master as when there is cutting and polishing, that cutting and polishing that are necessary to make us fit for His kingdom!

I knew a woman in England who owned a large vine, the largest in the world; she got a fortune from that vine, and she employed some four gardeners to look after it, and I said to a gardener one day, “When is the vine nearest to the gardener’s hand?”

“When he is pruning it, for he is gripping it with one hand and purning it with the other.”

So that all the cutting and polishing are necessary if we are to shine out for Him.

Jewels Differ

Then let me say, again, that God’s people are likened to jewels because of their variety. You do not get two jewels alike. They are not the same size. They are not the same shape. They are not the same value. Jewels differ, and is it not so with God’s people? There are some silly people in the Church of God and they want to make all people alike. Would it not be a monotonous world if all people were alike? My friends, I love variety, and so does my Master. You do not get two blades of grass alike. No two faces are alike. No two planets are alike. They all differ. But wherever you look, by the help of grace, we are all beautiful. Suppose we were all alike, how would you be able to distinguish one from another? The husband would have to say, “Really, is that my wife?” No, no; just as there is variety in jewels, there is variety with the Lord’s people. And you cannot read your Bible without recognizing that fact. Listen! There was Abraham. He was a man of faith. There was Joshua. He was a man of courage. There was Job. He was a man of patience. There was Daniel. He was a man of integrity. There was Peter. He was a man of go, and dash, and impetuosity. There was Paul. He was a man of courage. There was John. He was a man of gentleness.

I Like Variety

Suppose you have a lovely garden. I come into that garden and I say, “What have you under that north wall?”


“What have you over there on the south side?”


“What have you in the center?”

“The same thing.”

“Have you nothing else?”

“No, nothing else. Are they not good?”

“Yes, they are good, but I want variety, and so does God.”

And then you meet with people sometimes and they always are wishing that they had someone’s gift other than their own. Have you never met with them? I wish I could sing like Charlie Alexander! I wish I could preach like Doctor Patton! Do you? Just remember those lines that I so love to quote:

“Do what you can; be what you are;
Shine like a glow worm,
If you can’t like a star.
Work like a pulley,
If you can’t like a crane.
Be a wheel-greaser,
If you can’t drive the train.”

Be what God makes you.

I was staying with a lady in a lovely castle in Scotland, and the first morning I went downstairs to breakfast I was irresistibly drawn to a beautiful silver teapot that stood in a glass case. The workmanship was exquisite. I never saw anything so beautifully engraved. As I stood looking at it, the lady of the castle came to me, and I said, “Where did you get it?”

“My brother got it when he was knighted by Queen Victoria for bringing the water of Loch Katrine into Glasgow.”

“Is it used every day?”

“Oh, no; only on high days and holidays. The last time it was used was some six months ago when we had some great function here at the castle.”

“Well, yesterday I was going through the servants’ hall and I saw an old brown teapot standing on the hob. How often is that in use?”

“Oh, that is always in use.”

Well, I guess I would sooner be like that old brown teapot, always in use, than like that beautifully engraved teapot that only comes out on special occasions. O friends, thank God if you are in usable condition!


But God’s people are likened to jewels because of their value. Think of the value of some jewels. Queen Victoria had a diamond, called the Koh-i-noor, that was valued at a million dollars. Cleopatra had a jewel that was valued at two and one half million dollars; and one of the princes of India today possesses a diamond valued at five million dollars. But as I look around this audience this afternoon I think I see jewels here that cost my Lord a great deal more than that. We cost Him His own precious blood. And I am sure God is going to take care of us, because we have cost Him so much.

His Property

And God’s people are likened to jewels because they are someone’s property. When you see diamonds on the sidewalk you know that they belong to someone. And, my friends, let us never forget that if we are saved, if we are jewels, we are His property. There was a time in my life when I thought as I liked, when I acted as I liked; but ever since the dear hour when He bought me with His blood, I have been His in body, soul and spirit—as people will quote it, because that is from the outward to the inward, while God always works from the inward to the outward. First spirit, then soul and body. Or, as a friend said in one of my meetings at Old Orchard, “Mr. Inglis, I am His from head to foot.” Oh, let that truth get and grip hold on our consciences and it will revolutionize our life.

Do We Shine

But, again, God’s people are likened to jewels because of their brilliancy. Why is it that you are attracted to a diamond more than to a piece of granite? Oh, you say, because of its value? Yes; but why has it more value? You say, “The diamond appeals to me.” Yes; but why does it appeal to you? “Oh, its brilliancy, the way it sparkles.” Perfectly true. And if God likens me to a jewel I ought to be shining out for Him. I remember Professor Gladstone of London, not the politician but one of our great scientists, was talking with some of us one day and he said: “There is a peculiarity about that diamond. If I expose it to the sun’s rays for a few minutes, and I then go down into a dark cellar where all the light is excluded, I can fling that diamond down in the cellar, and walk back five minutes afterwards and pick it up. It shines in the darkness, and it shines for the reason that it has been in contact with the sun’s rays.” I come across Christians who say, “I am trying to shine for Jesus, Mr. Inglis.” “Stop that,” I say, “don’t try to shine. Why, you cannot help shining, if you will but get into the presence of the Lord Jesus.”

When the Master came down from the Mount, His face shone. Why? He had been on the Mount with God. He had been in the blessed sun’s rays. Oh, to shine for Him! And it does not need any effort. There is no need to tell people that you are shining. They can see it.


Then let me say again, God’s people are likened to jewels because they are found in unlikely places. Now it has been my privilege to wander this world over, to preach in pretty nearly every city of the civilized world, and I never reached a place yet but that I found some of God’s jewels. You will find them everywhere. You will find them in many a tenement house and away in the back slums of your city. I was preaching in the city of Dublin some years ago, and a gentleman came to me at the close of the morning service and said: “Here is my card. Come around and see me. I think I can show you something you will be interested in.” I went around to his place of business, got off the main street and on to a side street, and finally I reached the house indicated on the card. I judged the windows had not been cleaned for many a month. The entrance could never have been swept out. The stairs that I went up on my way to his office were as dirty as they could be. I saw my friend’s name on the office door. I went up to the door to walk in and it was locked. I concluded that he had not arrived, and then I heard someone unbolting the door.

When the door was open a little way, there stood my friend. He admitted me, closed the door, locked it, and put the key into his pocket. I said to myself, “Whatever can be his business?” He then took me into a side room, bolted that door, and then opened a huge safe, big enough for me to enter. He took out a drawer and handed it to me and said, “Do you know what they are?”

“Well,” I said, “they are stones.”

“Stones!” he said, “they are diamonds. I am a diamond merchant. I cut diamonds, polish them and sell them. Stones! Is that all you see in there? Have you any idea of the worth of those diamonds that you are holding in your hands?”

“No, I have not.”

“Five million dollars.”

“Well,” I said, “if you will excuse me, I want to hold to these. I have never been a millionaire until this moment.” You see, I was once a millionaire, but the trouble was it did not last long, and as I handed them back to him I said, “Shall I tell you what I was thinking?”


“You would not be offended?”

“No, not at all.”

“Well, I did not expect to find so many jewels in such a dirty hole as this.”

“Ah, that is why we keep this place dirty. We want to leave the impression on people that would break in that there is nothing in here of value to them.”

Ah, I thought to myself, is that not like God’s jewels? In many a back street, in many a rescue mission, you will find some of the brightest of God’s jewels!

Safely Kept

And yet again, God’s people are likened to jewels because they are taken great care of. God takes care of His jewels. He is very careful about those who are His own, that He has purchased with His precious blood. If ever you go to London, you can see a sight there that has occurred for the last hundred years. Sunday and weekdays, summer and winter, in times of war and in times of peace, this same sight is to be witnessed every night in the heart of the city of London, always at the same time. You will see about eighty soldiers walk up one of our main thoroughfares, traffic makes way for them, and they swing up past the mansion house and go across to the Bank of England. The great doors are swung open and in they march, and if you ask why they are there, they would tell you that these men are responsible for the safety of the untold wealth of the Bank of England. I once said to a notorious burglar, who had broken into many a bank, but whom God had converted since,—I said to him, “Tell me, did you ever break into the Bank of England?”

“No, thank you,” was his reply. “Instead of gold, it would be steel; instead of silver, it would be lead. You cannot get anything there. It is absolutely safe.” And so I love to think that God takes care of His jewels.

The Grand Display

Lastly, God’s people are likened to jewels because they are going to be displayed. Why do people buy jewels—to shut them in the bureau? No; they display them. Have you not seen a lady with a beautiful diamond, or a man—because a man is just as vain as a woman—and if she has a beautiful diamond, when she has it on, the headgear has to be arranged or the tie has to be fastened. You know. People buy jewels to display them. My friend, God is going to display His jewels one day.

I was crossing the Atlantic once and we had a lady on board who had evidently found that the country she had just left afforded an opportunity to buy diamonds very much cheaper than the country she was going to, and evidently she had bought all she was in a position to purchase. And crossing the Atlantic, no matter though it was bitterly cold, she did not need her gloves. She wanted to display her jewels. But one day it was so cold that she was compelled to put on her gloves. And yet she was equal to the occasion. She put on her diamonds over her gloves. She wanted to display her jewels.

Ah, friends, God is going to display His one day! Listen! “They shall be mine in that day when I make up My jewels,” and in the presence of assembling worlds and angels and demons He will say, “These are my jewels.” Are you not thankful today that you are one of His jewels?