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THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY
DEPOSITORY, 56, PATERNOSTER-ROW, Aln 65,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCIIYAR,).
"HERE comes Aunt Andrews, and
she will tell us all about it.-Aunt
Andrews! we want you to tell
us the difference between a jewel
and a precious stone."
4 PRECIOUS STONES.
"Just as much difference, my
little dears, as there is between
me and your aunt Andrews."
Oh, aunt! You and aunt
Andrews are the same."
"And so are a jewel and a pre-
cious stone the same. Sometimes
an ornament has many precious
stones in it, and then the orna-
ment altogether is called a jewel,
but, for all that, every precious
stone is a jewel."
"Thank you, aunt! Thank you!
We know, now, what we wanted
to know. Do you know how many
kinds of precious stones there
"No, indeed, I do not. Do
PRECIOUS STONES. 5
you take me for a countess, or a
duchess, that you think I must be
acquainted with such things?"
"We do not take you for a
great lady, but we take you for a
nice, wise, good, and kind aunt
Andrews, and that is a great deal
better. But you know the names
of some of the precious stones, no
Well, my dear children, I do;
and anything that I know, you
shall know and welcome. You
want to hear the names of some
of the precious stones, do you? "
"If you please, aunt. Any-
thing about them will please us
6 PRECIOUS STONES.
Suppose I tell you what pre-
cious stones the Chinese mandarins
wear in their caps ? "
"Oh do! do! But first tell us
what a Chinese mandarin is."
"A Chinese mandarin is a ma-
gistrate, and there are nine classes
of them, one above another. Every
class wears a particular button in
the cap, made of a jewel, or of
gold or silver. The higher the
mandarin is, the more precious is
the jewel in his cap."
"What an odd custom, aunt!"
"It appears so because it is
new to you, but we have quite as
odd customs among ourselves.
The first, or highest class of man-
PRECIOUS STONES. 7
darins, wear a ruby button; the
second, a coral; the third, a sap-
phire; the fourth, a turquoise; the
fifth, a crystal; the sixth, a pearl;
the seventh, wrought gold; the
eighth, plain gold; and the ninth,
"Then the ruby button is the
highest, and the silver button is
"Exactly so; and now I think
of it, there is in the twenty-eighth
chapter of the Book of Exodus
an account of the precious stones
in Aaron's breast-plate. I will
read it to you."
You always have your pocket
Bible ready, aunt."
8 PRECIOUS STONES.
"This is the account: 'And
thou shalt set in settings of stones,
even four rows of stones: the first
row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and
a carbuncle: this shall be the first
row. And the second row shall
be an emerald, a sapphire, and a
diamond. And the third row a
ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
And the fourth row a beryl, and
an onyx, and a jasper: they shall
be set in gold in their inclosings.
And the stones shall be with the
names of the children of Israel,
twelve, according to their names,
like the engravings of a signet;
every one with his name shall they
be according to the twelve tribes.'"
Oh, what a cluster of precious
stones! Good aunt Andrews finds
almost everything in her Bible."
Do you remember the de-
scription in the book of Revela-
tion, of the heavenly Jerusalem,
where a splendid collection of pre-
cious stones is set forth in two or
three verses ?"
"No, aunt Andrews. Please to
read it to us."
I will, my little dears: 'And
the city was pure gold, like unto
clear glass. And the foundations
of the wall of the city were gar-
nished with all manner of precious
stones. The first foundation was
jasper; the second, sapphire; the
10 PRECIOUS STONES.
third, a chalcedony; the fourth,
an emerald ;, the fifth, sardonyx;
the sixth, sardius; the seventh,
chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the
ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chry-
soprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth;
the twelfth, an amethyst. And
the twelve gates were twelve
pearls,' Rev. xxi. 18-21. I
hardly think that you ever heard
of such a splendid collection of
jewels as this anywhere else."
Never! never! And now
please to tell us which of all pre-
cious stones is of the most value.
You must know, for you know
0 children! children! you
never made a greater mistake than
in thinking so. If I only knew
a hundredth part of what I do
not know, then should I be, in-
deed, a wise woman compared
with what I am now."
But cannot you tell us, then,
what precious stone is of the
Yes, I can tell you that. Of
all precious stones the diamond is
of the greatest value. It is the
hardest of all bodies, and sparkles
beautifully. Its colour is clear
like water. Next to the diamond
comes the ruby, which is of a
brilliant red colour. The sap-
phire is blue and follows the ruby
12 PRECIOUS STONES.
in costliness, and after the sap-
phire comes the yellow topaz; so
that you now know which are the
four most precious stones in the
Yes! that is just what we
wanted to know. Thank you,
We read of a Roman lady
who, being asked to show her
jewels, brought forward her two
sons, saying,' These are the only
jewels of which I can boast.'"
How very pretty! She must
have been a very kind lady. It
seems, then, that there are other
jewels beside precious stones."
" Indeed there are. All precious
stones are jewels, but all jewels
are not precious stones. God's
holy word speaks of wives adorn-
ing themselves, not with gold, but
with the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is in the sight
of God of great price,' 1 Pet.
iii. 4. So you see that a meek
and quiet spirit' is a jewel, and
one of great value too."
Very true, aunt Andrews.
Are there any other jewels in
God's holy word ?"
Oh, plenty! Truth is ajewel,
of far greater value than the
diamond; knowledge, temperance,
patience, godliness, and brotherly
kindness, are excellent jewels;
14 PRECIOUS STONES.
and then there are faith, hope, and
charity. The most valuable of
all, however, is the Pearl of
great price,' spoken of in the
13th chapter of Matthew."
Oh! what is that, aunt An-
I hardly know whether it is
particularly described in Holy
Scripture, but I call it, in my
plain way, the gift of eternal life,
through the merits and sacrifice
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, who died for sinners on
the cross, that all who believe in
him, and love him, may live for
ever; and this is worth more than
all the rubies and diamonds of
PRECIOUS STONES. 15
the world, if they were to be put
together and piled up as high,
and higher, than the church
What a deal you have told us,
dear aunt Andrews, about jewels
and precious stones! We are so
much obliged to you! "
You are very welcome, my
little dears; but mind, when you
think about jewels, that you never
forget the Pearl of great price,'
which is so far beyond them all-
* How poor is earth, with all its glittering toys,
Compared with heaven and everlasting joys !'"
16 PRECIOUS STONES.
HAPPY IS THE MAN THAT FINDETH
WISDOM.-PRov. mi. 13.
"How happy is the child, who hears
Instruction's warning voice,
And who celestial wisdom makes
His early, only choice.
"For she has treasures greater far
Than east or west unfold;
And her rewards more precious are
Than all their stores of gold.
"In her right hand she holds to view
A length of happy days;
Riches, with splendid honours joined,
Are what her left displays.
'She guides the youth with innocence,
In pleasure's path to tread,
A crown of glory she bestows
Upon the hoary head."
RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY
CUmM E. I atj. u; Tb bo.mts above,
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