The pearl of great price

The pearl of great price

Parable of Tares explained. Hidden Treasure. Pearl. Net.

(The Gospel History, Section 52)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls: and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

The pearl of great price

(The Saviour of the World, Vol III Book II Poem XXIII)

The Pearl of Great Price, by Sir John Millais

A merchant seeking goodly pearls went up and down the land,
And now and then a jewel rare came to his eager hand;
And here he sought, and there he bought, some pearl of value great;
And folk said of this wealthy man, How waxeth his estate!

But when the man sat down to scan the pearls he’d got with care,
Discerned he flaw in this one, stain or slight distortion there;
His soul in loathing turned away from all that goodly store,—
“O, found I but one perfect pearl, all these I’d hold no more!”

One day the news of such a pearl came to his ready ear;
He sought the man who own’d the pearl; in anxious haste drew near—
“Now, let me see thy jewel, hid in safe place and secure;
That better it than be mine own, I would full fain be sure!”

He gazed with vast cupidity on that mild-gleaming gem,
So large, so chaste, so perfect-pure! Abased, he clasped the hem
Of th’ owner’s garment: “Now, declare,” he piteously implored,
“If thou wilt sell this peerless pearl for all the wealth I’ve stored?”

Who owned the pearl gazed steadfastly, and thus at last he spake,
As one that scornful sets a task not one will undertake;—
“Go, sell thy goods, thy precious pearls, each costly thing thou hast,
With price of all these in thy hand, why, we may deal at last!”

The man went sorrowful, for joy he’d found in things he had;
How could he part with all that wealth had erstwhile made him glad?
Long he debated; should he sell, or keep those costly things?
The pearl persuades; he sells the whole, and all their value brings

To purchase that mild-lustrous gem: he holds it in his hand,
Takes it away with him, a joy, no man could understand
But who had sought for pearls of price, and knew to value each,
And knew that now he held a prize beyond hope’s fondest reach!
So spake the Lord: disciples knew,—for little pearls they’d sought,
Small pearls of pleasure, profit, play, advancement,—easily caught
By any show of value in those trivial things they’d found;
And, now they knew their little worth, would trample on the ground!

For, happy men, disclosed to them that Pearl of price so great
The life of Him who offered it was added to make weight!
But not a gift, this pearl of price; a man must sell his all,
E’en to his secret thoughts, ere he that pearl his own may call.

At feet of Him who holds the pearl, his barren wealth must lay,
And stand, a poor man,—amply rich in that he bears away:
An image of the Kingdom see; learn how a man must trade,
Sell all he hath that he may buy that Pearl for him uplaid!

That merchant who seeks goodly pearls of wealth or place or name,
He, great of mind, of fortune great, an-hungered for high fame,
At feet of Him who is that Pearl, these must he haste to lay,—
A beggar seeking alms,—to go, a rich, rich man away!

St. Matthew xiii. 45, 46.