Luigi Tarisio lived as a pauper in a comfortless, dingy attic in Milan. When he died in October 1854, over 100 violins made by Italian masters were found, along with 24 Stradivarius violins.

Vuillaume, the great Parisian luthier and dealer, realizing that Tarisio had a large stock of valuable Italian violins, travelled to a small farm near Fontaneto, where Tarisio’s relatives lived.  There he found and purchased over 140 instruments, including the six finest violins of the collection, and including the celebrated ‘Messiah‘ which had never been used. Even though it was already nearly 150 years old, it looked as new as if it had just come from Stradivari’s hands.

The Hill family,
famous luthiers and collectors in England,
bought the “Messiah” in 1890.

The Messiah is now
in the Ashmolean Museum
in Oxford, England
for preservation for future violin makers to learn from.

As a condition in the will of the former owner,
the Museum
can never allow the violin to be played.

. . .

The Messiah
is probably the most famous Stradivarius,
celebrated for its almost impeccable condition.

Its varnish is as flawless
as when Stradivari applied the last drops in 1716.


The Messiah has not been used.
If someone tuned it now it would not sound very good.

For reasons that are still not fully understood, violins have to be “played in” over several months or even years to develop their full tone.

The “Messiah” is priceless
but as a musical instrument it is almost useless.

 (Why was it called the Messiah? In 1827 Tarisio had made his greatest coup, acquiring a number of violins from Count Cozio of Salabue, including a 1716 Stradivari in unused condition. This violin was Tarisio’s treasure. He spoke of it on every visit to Paris but never actually brought it with him, so it came to be known as the ‘Messiah’)


As a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God
I am priceless.
I was bought with a price – and what a price!
I was not redeemed with silver and gold,
But by the precious blood of Christ.

To enable me to live a victorious, Christ-centred and Christ-honouring life,
all the resources of heaven are placed at my disposal.
I have the Holy Spirit to guide me in all ways.
I have the full armour of protection.
Every promise of God is mine, fully guaranteed.
I have been given gifts and talents to use in His service.

If I leave the gifts of God tucked away, treasured but unused,
I am useless.

What a tragedy!

Let me burn out for Thee, dear Lord,
Burn and wear out for Thee.
Don’t let me rust, or my life be a failure,
Dear Lord, to Thee.

Take me and all I have, dear Lord,
And get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb, of the deep heart of God,
Until I burn out for Thee.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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18 Responses to PRICELESS but USELESS

  1. pbus1 says:

    Hi Angela,

    Thank you for sharing this precious gift with us! A powerful message of encouragement, to stir up the gifts the Lord has placed within us! May we “fan into flame the gift of God” within us, lest it/they lay dormant and rust! God bless you!



    • What a great privilege He gives us to be His message to our generation! We are indeed blessed, but we are also responsible and accountable. May we be not only faithful, but zealous.
      Thanks Paulette.


  2. Ann says:

    Thanks Angela

    What’s the point of locking away what He has given for the benefit of others?

    He poured Himself out, then bought us with a price. We really don’t belong to ourselves at all. I’d rather be the old chipped mug, than the ‘good china’ that sits there never used. May He find something in me to lead others to Him.



    • Very true Ann. There is no purpose to a new life if others can’t see the difference it makes and if we can’t ‘pass it on’ to others – not that WE pass it on, but we are privileged to be used by the One who can.

      Let me burn out for Thee, dear Lord; burn and wear out for Thee.


  3. jelillie says:

    God has been speaking to me about the lateness of the hour. If ever we are to use our gifts it must begin now! Thanks Angela!


    • So many people – people who have spoken that way before – are now thinking the time is close. The thought fills my heart with joy . . . but then I think of those who will be left behind and I realise the urgency of reaching them. Use us Lord.


  4. Freedomborn says:

    Thank you Angela such a powerful message both of assurance and also encouragement to excel for The Lord. Your heart Angela is so full of Love, I feel God’s melody as you share, thank you for your your willingness to share so deeply of your passion for The Lord.

    I keep in contact with Lars, Elisabeth Elliot’s second husband, I was part of a Ministry she was often a guest speaker for, Elisabeth no longer speaks, she is not well, but like Jim she is fondly remembered by many people including me.

    I have a story I must post for you Angela about a violin it is a old one and you probably have heard it, but it has a wonderful message.

    Christian Love Anne.


    • Thank you Anne for your kind words. My heart is simply to praise my Redeemer.

      Jim Elliot left a lot of good words in his diary. The one I quoted to Ron is the one I had as my motto on a discussion site.

      I presume the story you have is The Touch of a Master’s Hand by Myra Welch – a great lesson. I’ll watch for it.


  5. This is a fantastic story and gets your point across so powerfully. Glad to have found it!


  6. ron says:

    I just loved the story never read it before ,thank you ;it`s so true to enable us to be of use and of beauty ,we too need a ,touch of the Master hand ! Thanks for a great post !


    • Thanks Ron
      One of my favourite quotes is that of Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. This was one of the many quotes found in his diary:
      “So live, that when you come to die, you have nothing left to do, but die”

      May we so live that we will use all the resources supplied to us by our God and in doing so, glorify Him.


  7. Todd Beal says:

    Of what use is it to be a Christian if others cannot see Christ in my daily life? Thanks Angela. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16 [NASB]


    • Well put Todd and very true.
      The ‘Messiah’ violin is still a very attractive instrument, looking almost brand new. It shines – but there are no ‘good works’ coming from it. There is nothing to testify of the genius of Stradivari.
      Our ‘good works’ should point to the One who gives us life and light and prove that He is indeed a Master re-creator.


  8. Debbie says:

    This gave me goosebumps, Angela. So powerful. As you explained how truly priceless we are, because of His blood that was shed for us . .. and then all that He has done and given us. We are so much more in Him, than we realize! Praying to be used up by Him! Loved the poem at the end! God bless you as you continue to make yourself available to Him!


    • Debbie, I get goosebumps when I think of how precious we are to God – the almighty, creator God, far, far, far beyond human comprehension – and yet He calls us His treasure! Amazing! And it goes even further . . . He gives us the privilege of being His mouthpiece, His connection with those around us. How amazing is that?! May we never be slow to hear His voice and obey! I want to be used by Him, and used . . . and used . . . and used . . . always only for HIS glory!


  9. Rob Barkman says:

    Your posting is so true. Over the years I have known many Christians who do not recognize the different gifts that they have been given to serve the Lord. Because of this, they take upon themselves ministries they are not gifted to perform, while ignoring ministries to which they are perfectly made. Would to the Lord we all are able to recognize our gifts and then be faithful in using them for His glory!


    • Yes Rob, too many Christians are ‘placed’ into positions in a Church vacancy, regardless of their gifts or their suitability. Can you imagine what a Church would be like if all its people were working in the area of their gifting? Sadly, many are unaware of their God-given gift/s.

      Although I am no longer able to serve in the same way I have done for decades, God still uses me in His way and I thank Him for what HE achieves.

      What an amazing God!


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