Hattie McLary – A Few Thoughts from a Letter of a Dying Worker 

Lamentations 4:1, “How is the gold become dim? How is the most fine gold changed?” I wondered why it said “Grow or become dim.” It never occurred to me that gold could tarnish. I thought, “Well, nothing was written in the Bible carelessly or without preparation.” At once a little incident came to my mind that took place forty years ago.


My mother was looking through my father’s purse one day and came across a peculiar looking coin, and upon asking what it was he replied that it was given him a few days before as a nickel, in making change. He said when he noticed how queer it was, the man was very profuse in his assurance that it would pass as a nickel. It looked like an old brown penny, only a little larger and heavier. My mother didn’t feel satisfied, so she took some scouring brick and an old woolen cloth and began scrubbing it. As a result, a five dollar gold piece came to light! Father took it to the bank and exchanged it for silver. After telling the banker about it, he was told that gold very quickly accumulates a film of the metal of other coins it rubs against, if carried with them in the same pocket or purse.


Gold is the only real dollar; silver and paper are only substitutes, representing for convenience, the gold in the U.S. Treasury. The Government had put five dollars worth of gold into that coin, but its buying power had diminished to five cents by associating with imitation money, until its identity was hidden and it had acquired the color of one of the least valuable coins in the realm. So the person who has received the stamp of God, may find himself in the same condition, if the rigid scouring process is not applied daily, as we are constantly coming in contact with that which defiles. When a bright new coin in God’s Kingdom is first put into circulation, the devil’s coins usually give it wide berth, as they do not enjoy the contrast. When the little coins get unwary and neglect to shine up, often rubs with its neighbors, the contrast does not seem so great to them and they rub a little oftener till by and by when God has need of His little gold coin, He can buy nothing of value with it. Then if ever it is to be used again, there must be the usual brick and wool scouring, which is sure to leave its scratches and worst of all, if accurate scales were used, it would be found to have lost some of its weight. Of course we must meet and have dealings with the world, but becoming tarnished can be avoided by avoiding the rubbing, which is intimacy and fellowship.


To the person lying on a sick bed and living apart as I am, the human craving for fellowship makes it hard to keep aloof, as one should. Then when those we love dearest, humanly, are all of the world and in daily touch with us and our human family interests are mutual, one is apt to become careless. But in all these lonely years, God has stood by me and not one day of all that time has passed but I have not been reminded of my spiritual grooming. That it would be good to take a dip in the living water and rest at His footstool. I thank God that I still agree with Him, “It is good.”