A Great Bargain

   (No. 1424)




   "Again, the kingdom of Hea ven is like unto a merchant, seeking good
   pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold
   all that he had, and bought it." Matthew 13:45, 46.

   A MERCHANT endeavors to trade so as to make a profit. Whether he deals
   in pearls or in grain, he does not hope to obtain riches by labor. He
   leaves that to those who eat their bread in the sweat of their face. He
   tries to get his by the sweat of his brain. He is dependent not so much
   upon labor as upon knowledge, upon skill, upon the advantage which
   superior acquaintance with the article which he deals in gives him.
   Now, this merchant is, at the very commencement, in some measure, a
   picture of the seeker after Christ. Christ and His salvation are not to
   be earned--they are not to be procured as the result of labor. Christ
   is to be had by knowledge. What says the Scripture? "By his knowledge
   shall My righteous servant justify many," that is, through their
   knowing Christ they become justified.

   This is, indeed, another way of putting the system of salvation which
   is stated thus, "How shall I hear without a preacher?" The work begins
   with hearing the preacher. It then goes on to believing what you hear
   and through believing you are saved. This is virtually knowledge--the
   knowledge communicated by God's messenger or by God's Word--the
   knowledge heard, the knowledge believed. So men come to the knowledge
   of Him whom to know is life eternal, for when a man knows Christ and
   understands Him so that he gives his heart to Him, then is he saved!

   Inasmuch, then, as the merchant seeks his advantage by superior
   knowledge, he becomes a type of the man who gets saved through
   obtaining the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus
   Christ. I shall not, however, enlarge upon this analogy, but proceed at
   once to speak of the merchant in this parable, for here we have a fit
   emblem of many who lay hold on Christ and find Him to be their All in
   All. Let us watch this merchant while he is doing four things. First,
   seeking, then finding. Then selling and, fourthly, buying again.

   I. First, then, we shall WATCH HIM WHILE HE IS SEEKING. "The kingdom of
   Heaven is like unto a merchant seeking good pearls." It is different
   from the man we read of just now who, by accident, discovered a
   treasure while he was in the field. He was looking for something else
   and came upon the treasure. That is the man whom God, in infinite
   Sovereignty, saves, though He was heretofore indifferent and careless.
   This is a person of a nobler sort. He is of a higher grade of mind. He
   is of an altogether different mental constitution. He is seeking good
   pearls--something good, not exactly seeking the one Pearl of Great
   Price, for at first he does not know about it. But, still, he is
   seeking pearls and he comes upon one pearl in consequence of his

   Now, notice about him, as a seeker, that he has his mind awakened and
   engaged. He is thinking about something-- thinking about pearls. His
   heart is occupied with his business. His energies are thrown into it.
   All his thoughts are in the direction of precious stones. Oh that we
   could wake men up to exercise the faculty of thinking and then to
   direct, to regulate and to control their thoughts! But thinking is an
   occupation that a great many persons altogether dislike! They are
   frivolous. We cannot get them to think about anything. Why is it that
   people are so passionately fond of reading novels and so seldom read
   the true histories which are quite as interesting and far more capable
   of affording pleasure and pastime? It is because the minds of men are

   An idle tale--a silly story of a love-sick maiden--will engross them by
   the hour together! But anything that is solid and worth the knowing
   seems to have small charm for their shallow brains. Many minds never
   get on the wing at all. Many men work so hard with their hands and
   suffers such fatigue from bodily labor that they are scarcely able to
   think much, while there are others who dissipate their time and consume
   their lives in idleness till they are utterly disqualified for any
   vigorous thought. They are lazy and sluggish. They have dry rot in
   their very souls! Their brains do not work. They seem to live in one
   everlasting lethargy and daydream. Oh that men were wise, that they
   were thoughtful! Happy was the preacher who knew that he was addressing
   himself to a thoroughly intelligent, thoughtful congregation! We

   would expect, then, that the handfuls of good seed would drop into the
   furrows readily and bring forth an abundant harvest!

   This merchant's mind was awakened. He had something before him. Equally
   evident is it that he had a fixed definite objective. He had given
   himself to pearl hunting and pearl hunting was to be the one objective
   of his life. If you had met him and said, "What are you seeking?" He
   would have answered in a moment, "I am seeking good pearls. Have you
   any to sell me?" He would have been sure to have the answer ready to
   hand. But ask many a man whom you meet with, "Sir, what are you living
   for?" he would, perhaps, tell you what his trade or what his profession
   might be! And if you pressed him with the question, "What is your main
   objective in life?" he would not like to say that he was living only to
   enjoy himself--seeking his own pleasure. He would hardly like to say
   that he was living to grasp and grab and get a fortune. He would hardly
   know how to answer you!

   Many young men are in this condition--they don't have a definite
   objective. Now, you will not make a good captain if you do not know the
   port you are sailing for. You will make a poor life of it, young Man,
   if you go out as an apprentice and then, afterwards, as a master with
   no definite aim and end. Say to yourself, "I can only live for two
   things. I can live for God, or I can live for the devil--which, now, am
   I going to do?" Get your mind well fixed and firmly resolved as to
   which it shall be. I will put it to you as boldly and baldly as even
   Elijah did when he said, "If Baal is God, serve him, but if Jehovah is
   God, serve Him." If the world, if the flesh, if the devil are worth
   serving, go follow the career of a sensualist and say so! Let yourself
   know what you are at--but if God is worth serving and your soul worth
   the saving, go for that! Do not sneak through this world really seeking
   yourself and yet not having the courage to say to yourself, "Self, you
   are living for yourself." Have a definite and distinct objective, or
   else your vital energies will be wasted and your most industrious days
   will be recklessly squandered!

   This merchant, in the next place, had an objective which was not at all
   commonplace. Other people might go in for bricks and stones, or for
   grain, or for timber. He went in for pearls. He was a merchant seeking
   pearls and those the best he could find. He did not go in for common
   sea pearls, or pearls such as you may get in a Scotch river, but he
   went in for good pearls. He took a high aim, as far as that line of
   action was concerned. He went into a fine business. I would to God that
   many who have not found Christ, nevertheless had sufficient common
   sense, sprinkled over with Grace, to say, "I will go in for something
   good. My life shall not be an evil one"--

   "Lives of great men all remind us We may make our lives sublime."

   It goes well for a young man when he has such an aspiration as this
   within him--"My life, too, shall be sublime. I will not seek mean or
   menial objects. I will not cultivate any depraved or groveling tastes.
   I will seek something that I can commend to my own
   conscience--something that will bear reflection when I come to
   die--something that will carry the sterling mark when I have to value
   it in another world." O young Merchant, if you are about to start in
   business, I recommend this business of seeking good pearls! Seek the
   Truth of God, seek honor, seek temperance, seek peace, seek love, seek
   that which will make you good and true and right! I will tell you,
   soon, where you may find these, but for the present it may suffice me
   to inculcate a laudable ambition for everything that is honest and of
   good repute--and an eager desire with your heart for that which your
   conscience commends.

   The merchant went to seek pearls and he sought them with diligence. The
   merchant was seeking good pearls. He did not open a shop and say,
   "Pearls bought here if anybody likes to bring them," but he went forth
   in quest of them. How far he traveled I do not know, but the oriental
   trader frequently goes immense distances. You may meet a
   Nijni-Novgorod, in the south of Russia, with traders who have been all
   round the globe seeking what they want--men who do not always travel by
   railway, but who will walk any distance to obtain the very article on
   which they have set their minds and in which they deal. Distance seems,
   with them, to be no object. Ah, and when a man has got a noble
   objective before him, and says, "Before I die, I will accomplish
   something that shall be right and true and beneficial to my fellow
   men," he will face hardships that would baffle his fellows!

   I pray God that he may have the perseverance to carry that out and that
   he may say, "Is there anything right to be learned? I will learn it,
   let it cost me what it may of care and toil, of headaches and
   heartaches, of buying experience and burning the midnight oil! If there
   is anything to be done that is good and true, I will do it at any
   hazard, for I am seeking good pearls." And as the merchant was seeking,
   so he was using discrimination at the same time. When we are very

   diligent and full of desire, we are in imminent danger of being easily
   deceived, but this man, seeking good pearls, was not like a lady
   unacquainted with the nature of pearls--he was a man who knew a pearl
   when he saw it! He knew the character of pearls and the value of
   pearls. He could tell which were cloudy and which had a soft radiance
   and which were of the first water.

   Indeed, he could tell a genuine pearl from an imitation one! He was a
   merchant seeking good pearls. Yes, dear Friend, and I pray God that if
   He put into the heart of any Brother or Sister here to live for the
   right and for the true, He would give you great discrimination, for
   there are many shams in the world and you may readily grasp that which
   appears to be substantial goodness--and it may turn out to be a shadow.
   Seek not only pearls, but seek good pearls. Go in for the good! Yes,
   cast your soul about to find the best! Evidently this merchant went
   into the business with comparatively moderate expectations. He was
   seeking pearls. They must be of a tolerable size and pure. He evidently
   expected to buy a good many of them. It was what he was seeking,
   seeking good "pearls" (in the plural).

   He had not reckoned that he should be fortunate enough to light upon
   one huge pearl that should be worth an emperor's ransom! That he had
   not looked for, though he did feel a desire that way. If anybody had
   said, "Would you like to find a big pearl?" he would have said, "That I
   would! That is infinitely better than to find a number of little ones."
   He hardly hoped for it and, therefore, he did not seek it, but, still,
   he was ready enough to have it if it came his way. And so, my dear
   Friends, I am speaking of a class of persons--and I hope there may be
   representatives of them here--who want everything they can get that is
   good and true.

   You need to be temperate in all things. You need to have an unsullied
   character. I remember that was my own desire, when first I thought of
   the life that lay beyond me. Before I knew the Lord I used to think, "O
   that I might be kept from dishonesty, that I might be preserved from
   falsehood, that I might be kept from a malicious spirit, that I might
   be right-hearted and true." Those were the pearls that I wanted! I did
   not know, just then, that I could find something that would include all
   these minor pearls and a good deal more! Still, it is well when such a
   desire as that is in the heart, especially of any young man. I wish it
   were in the heart of the old, if up till now they have never found the
   Pearl of Great Price!

   Thus have I shown you the man while he is seeking. I wonder whether he
   has come in here tonight and is sitting among this assembly. Perhaps it
   is not a man at all, but a woman, a merchant woman. They can do trading
   well. Lydia, that seller of purple, was, no doubt, an admirable
   tradeswoman, and in the Divine trade of which we are now speaking there
   is no difference. Well, you do not know the Lord yet, dear Friends, but
   you do need to seek everything that is excellent. So far so good.

   II. Let us go a stage farther, then, and look at this man's FINDING. He
   was buying pearls everywhere. Where he went he asked people if they had
   any pearls. He went down back streets, into the slums of big cities and
   searched out the Jews in those old days, living in the dirtiest corners
   of the city. He wanted to know whether they had any pearls. It was
   pearls in the morning, pearls at mid-day, pearls at night! If under his
   window at night anybody had cried, "Pearls!" he would have been
   downstairs in an instant to get them! He was hard after pearls and so
   it came to pass that he lit upon a pearl that he never hoped to see. It
   was more than he expected! Ah, I pray God that some here, whose hearts
   are honestly seeking after that which is right, may find Christ, who
   has in Him more of the spirit of temperance, uprightness, truth and
   philanthropy than will be found anywhere else! Oh, that they might find
   Him who is the Truth and whose doctrine is perfect holiness and
   everlasting life! It will be more than they ever expected to find! And
   when they do find it, how glad they will be!

   Certainly this man was in the way of finding a fine pearl if anybody
   was. He was seeking good pearls, not the one pearl, but he was in the
   pearl line and so he was likely to discover the best pearl if anybody
   discovered it. "Being in the way, the Lord met with Him," says one of
   old. Oh, if you have desires after that which is right and true and
   good, I trust that the Lord Jesus will manifest Himself to you and that
   you will say, "This is the very thing I sought for! I have longed and
   pined after it and here it is." This find was to this merchant a
   remarkable one! He did not find good pearls--he found what was much
   better--one pearl. And to him that one pearl contained all the little
   pearls that he had before been seeking after. Tell it and let all men
   know it, that all that is good beneath the sun--all that is true, all
   that is right, all that is loving, all that is philanthropic, all that
   is of good report, commendable before God and praiseworthy among
   men--is to be found in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ!

   And it will be given to us and worked in us when we submit ourselves to
   Him and make Him our All in All. He who is a Christian, if he is
   perfectly a Christian, has all good things in one! If there is anything
   that is to be praised and extolled by philosopher or sage, you shall
   find it in the example of the Master! And He will give us Grace to
   exhibit it in ourselves! So this man found all in one. What the value
   of that pearl was I do not know. The estimate of its value is not
   given. We only know that he thought it worth all that he had and he
   went away and sold all that he had that he might buy it. And he
   evidently thought it worth all the other pearls he had ever been
   seeking because if he spent his all upon that one pearl it would be
   clear that he must have abandoned the searching after smaller pearls
   since he had no capital left!

   But he thought the one pearl of more account than all other pearls and
   worth more than all that he had. Yes, I guarantee you that he thought
   it worth a great deal more than all that he possessed. He would not
   have sold all that he had in stock to buy it if he had not the notion
   that it was worth ten times the price then and, that when he had paid
   for it, he should have made his fortune and should be rich beyond a
   miser's dream--for that is how traders in such things are sure to fetch
   their bargains! Well, when a man finds Christ I cannot tell you how
   much he values Him, but this I know-- all the world besides seems
   nothing to a Christian when he has once found His Lord and Master! "Oh
   what a Christ I have!" he says. But he cannot tell how dear--how
   inconceivably precious--the Christ of God is to his soul!

   Concerning this find we must mark, next, that the man, having found it,
   was resolved that he would have it. Having found a pearl of great
   price, he did not question whether he should buy it or not. If he had
   not gone out honestly to seek pearls, he would have objected to the
   price, but being intent upon finding pearls, he no sooner found this
   one than he said, "I must have that. I can let the little pearls go if
   you like, but I must have that." And it is a grand thing when the Lord
   brings the human mind to this! "I see that in Christ there is
   everything I need--pardon for my sin, cleansing for my nature, Grace to
   maintain my character and to make me perfectly fit for Heaven. There is
   all in Christ that I need and I must have Him! I must have Him! It
   comes to this--at any price--whatever it may cost me, I must and I will
   have Him!"

   Now, although the parable does not say it in so many words, it is
   perfectly clear that the person with whom he was dealing was willing to
   sell. When he had found a pearl of great price, he bought it, which he
   could not have done if the other had not been ready to sell it. Albeit
   the Lord, in His mercy, does not sell His Grace, but gives it freely,
   the manner in which He disposes of it is here described under the
   figure of selling. If you want Christ, you may have Him if you are
   willing to come to the terms which God lays down. Of this I shall have
   to speak presently. If you desire this Pearl of Great Price, there is
   no reason in the world why that Pearl should not be yours tonight!

   If now you have found Him, who is "the chief among ten thousand" and,
   "altogether lovely," and you value Him so that you cannot be happy
   without Him, He will become, at once, your portion! If, having heard of
   Christ, your desire is toward Him as all your soul can need and you are
   ready to say, "I will not leave this house of prayer till Christ is
   mine," there is no obstacle to your possessing this priceless Gift!
   Yes, God, even the Father, is willing that you should have His only
   begotten Son to be your Pearl from now on and forevermore!

   III. Having thus described the seeker and described the finder, we must
   go on to describe him SELLING. He sold all that he had. It had taken
   him a long time to get it together and, I have no doubt, he had much
   pleasure in the accumulation. But now he has great pleasure in selling.
   "Buy my farm," he says to one man. "Come, buy it!" "I don't know that I
   want to buy farms," says the other. "It is nothing! It is nothing!"
   "Nevertheless, let us come to terms. I need money and I must have
   money." And away went the furniture in the house, one article after
   another! They must all go! Clear them all out! This was a rapid sale.
   He must have money. Everything must go for that pearl! Though he did
   not tell anybody his motive, that pearl was on his brain and on his
   heart--and all must go.

   He is more glad to get rid of his possessions than ever he was to
   obtain them! Away they shall go at the best price they will fetch, but
   go they must, for he must have the pearl! Well now, Jesus Christ is to
   be had, but there is a great deal that a man must give up if he is ever
   to call Christ his own. "What, then," says one, "what am I to give up?"
   Well, there must be a selling off tonight of a whole mass of old
   prejudices. Sometimes when the Truth of God, as it is in Jesus, comes
   to a man's mind, he repels it because it is so different from what he
   has learned ever since he was a child. And the notion is that you had
   better follow the religion of your parents. If you had been a
   Hottentot, you would have worshipped a fetish. If you had been born in
   Hindustan, you must have worshipped Juggernaut, according to that

   But it is a great mercy when a man says, "Now, I understand that Jesus,
   the Son of God, has died in the place of sinners that believe in Him
   and I am simply to believe in Him and I shall be saved! On my believing
   I shall receive a new

   nature and be born again by the Holy Spirit, and from that time on I
   shall become the disciple and the servant of Christ. Now," says the
   man, "I will do it! It is contrary to what I have always been told. I
   have been led to think that it was my good works which would save me. I
   have heard that Saving Grace was in the sacraments, but at last I
   perceive that God teaches in His Word that salvation is by faith in
   Jesus Christ, and I will have it! I will sell my prejudices! Away they


   Next to that you must sell off your righteousness. It will not fetch
   much, but I daresay you think it is a fine thing. Up to now you have
   been very good and your own esteem of yourself is that as far as the
   Commandments--"All these have I kept from my youth up." And what with a
   good deal of Church going, or attendance at the Meeting House and a few
   extra prayers on Christmas and Good Friday, and just a little dose of
   sacraments, you feel yourself in tolerably good shape! Now, Friend,
   that old moth-eaten righteousness of yours that you are so proud of,
   you must sell off and get rid of, for no man can be saved by the
   righteousness of Christ while he puts any trust in his own! Sell it
   all--every rag of it! And if nobody will buy it, at any rate you must
   part with it! Assuredly it is not worth putting among the filthiest of
   rags, for it is worse than they are!

   And everything else that you have before now thought fit to boast
   of--come on, you must get rid of it! You know so much. Well, you had
   better sell off what you know, for unless a man become as a little
   child he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. You are somebody--you
   fancy you are not cast in a common mold--you have a great strength of
   will and can force your way to Heaven! You will have to get rid of that
   little conceit, for that strength of yours will be your weakness! It is
   only when we are weak in ourselves that we can ever be strong in
   Christ! Are you content to do so? Will you sell off all the old
   prejudices and all the old righteousnesses? Going, going, gone! Will
   you let them go, or have you got a reserve price? Let them go, for they
   are dross and dung and the sooner they are gone the better--for then
   you can buy the Pearl of Great Price--but not till then!

   Yes, and there are some men that will have to give up a good deal of
   what they call pleasure--sinful pleasure. No pleasure which is honest,
   which is really beneficial to us, need ever be denied to us--

   "Religion never was designed To make our pleasures less."

   It makes them vastly more! But any pleasure that savors of sin is to be
   done away with. Come, can you sell all that? That mixing in loose
   company, anything approaching to lewdness, anything that has to do with
   the gratification of the vile passions of the flesh--come, for Christ's
   sake, can you give it up? Well, if you cannot, of course you cannot
   have the Pearl! If you must have the world you cannot have Christ. If
   you can find pleasure in the haunts of sin, you are of your father, the
   devil, and you do his works. But come out from it! Give them all up!
   Cast it behind you. These things must be sold off if we are to have the

   And, then, sometimes, in some cases, men have to give up a good deal of
   the honors and the satisfaction of life that arise from the esteem of
   their fellow creatures. Has it come to this, "If I become a Christian
   they will ridicule me"? Well now, can you not put up with a little
   disgrace for Christ? "But if I am an earnest Christian, then I shall
   have to encounter all sorts of slander." Be it so. And can you not give
   up the applause of men for the sake of Christ? Come and let the dogs
   tear your character to shreds as long as you are right before Him and
   your motive is pure! "Yes, but I know what it is. I shall get the cold
   shoulder in society if I become a thoroughly earnest Christian. There
   is Lady So-and-So, for whom I have very great respect, whose good
   opinion I would not forfeit on any account--and she would not recognize
   me any more." Very well, but can you put the whole lot of it into the
   scale and say, "I sell it all off! I let it all go, that I may have the

   That man is not worthy of Christ who would be ashamed to stand in the
   pillory with Him, or go with Him to prison and to death! We must so
   love Him that we count reproach for His sake to be honor, even as Moses
   counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of
   Egypt. "Well, you have taken enough, surely." Yes, but this pearl
   hunter sold all that he had, but you have got a little left. You have
   got some prospects. If you become a Christian your old uncle will cut
   you out of his will. You know very well that if you shall go to hear
   the Gospel at such-and-such a place you are very likely to be fired
   from your employment. "But we must live," says somebody. This is not at
   all clear to my mind! I know that we must die, but as to, "must live" I
   do not feel quite so certain about that!

   It is infinitely better to die than ever to do a dishonorable thing! If
   Jesus Christ is our Master, we must be content to let the fairest
   prospect go and all things that seem to encourage our success in this
   life must be secondary in our thinking! We must seek, first, the
   kingdom of God and His righteousness. Yes, and sometimes even love that
   has been longed for must go for Christ's sake. Company that has been
   delightful must be forsaken for Christ's sake. And if all this is done,
   yet it is still not enough! He that has Christ must give himself and
   all that he has to Christ! I should doubt whether I were a follower of
   Christ if I had not in my very soul given up to Him all that I am and
   all that I have, to be forever His.

   He has bought us with a price and it is not right for us to give him
   only one arm, one eye, one foot and half a heart! He that is a true
   Christian is a Christian through and through! Whatever he possesses of
   talent. Whatever of substance he owns, he looks upon nothing as being
   his own, but as all belonging to his Master and he is prepared to use
   all for his Master's Glory and to part with all if so it were necessary
   for the maintenance of his Master's kingdom! The merchant sold all that
   he had! I think I see you draw back. "This--this is too hard a line."
   Very well, if you do not want to buy the Pearl--that is to say, if you
   do not want to make your fortune, for the buying of the pearl was the
   making of the merchant's fortune--if you do not think the Pearl is
   worth it, pray do not have it!

   It is not possible to estimate the intrinsic value, the real worth of
   Christ! We do not cast pearls before swine. If you do not want Him,
   there are plenty who do. He need not come begging of you that you will
   be His customer. God forbid you should refuse, but if you do not want
   Him, then say so! Only say it, and definitely and distinctly say it, "I
   will have nothing to do with Him." But this man went and sold all that
   he had. I tell you he was glad to sell it. He counted that the man who
   bought his farm was doing him a favor. "Take it," he said, "there, I
   will let you have it under price if you will only let me have the
   money. I so much want to get money."

   No, but he did not dare tell him such for fear he should go and raise
   the price, but in his heart, "I do so much want to get that pearl that
   I really would be obliged to anybody who will take that stock off my
   hands." So if you really want Christ, instead of needing Him to urge
   you to dispose of these poor effects which I have described, you will
   be eager to be rid of them that Christ may be yours! May the Spirit of
   God work in you such a high resolve!

   IV. Now, the last thing is THE BUYING. He had sold all that he had and
   then he pays the shekels--pays them over that he may have the
   pearl--and he gets the pearl. It was a considerate purchase--a
   deliberate bargain. He did not see the pearl and then, in a hurry go
   and sell his goods and guess at the value of it. No, but he had looked
   at it, for he was a seeker of pearls. He knew a pearl when he saw it,
   though I dare say he did not tell the seller all that he had seen in
   it. He said to himself, "That is a wonderful pearl. If I can get the
   money--my little stock won't fetch above 500 pounds--but if I can get
   it for that, I am a made man."

   And so he thought it over. It did not need much thinking over. Oh, if a
   soul did but know Christ, he would not think twice before he would have
   Him! If men were not such fools--if they had but light from Heaven to
   see the value of my Lord and Master--instead of our standing here and
   having to beg and persuade and find out new words of commendation, I
   think they would only say, "Tell us about Him! We will have Him! What
   does He ask of us? What can we do for Him? What can we submit to so
   long as we may but make sure of Him who forgives all sin, who gives
   immediate and perfect salvation to all who trust Him? So long as we may
   have the Christ of whom it is written, 'He that believes in Him has
   everlasting life,' we shall be content."

   It was a well considered purchase. And it was an immediate purchase. He
   did not go home and say, "I shall think about this." No, but he knew
   that pearl and he said, "If I let that slip through my fingers I shall
   never see the likes of it again. If anybody else gets that bargain,
   then I shall have lost the one opportunity of my life." And so he does
   but take time enough to go and sell his farm and the little land he had
   and the little property he had. He was back quickly with his money,
   only afraid somebody might have slipped in between and offered another
   thousand or two more than he was able to raise and that he might lose
   the pearl. So, dear Friends, he that comes to Christ aright may well
   deliberate about it, but the end of his deliberation ought to be very
   speedy. "If He is to be had, let me have Him. Oh, if I can know my sins
   forgiven, let me know it! Oh, if by any means I can have peace with
   God--if I can become a child of God and an heir of Heaven--if my
   eternal happiness can be secured, oh, let it be secured! How is it
   done? Come, tell me at once! I wish not to leave my seat till I have
   found that which you speak of."

   It was a deliberate bargain--an immediate bargain. And then it was a
   joyful one! I am sure his eyes twinkled as he paid over his money. I
   should like to have a picture of his face, when at last he had got his
   pearl! Now, that which he had

   been all over the world for, he not only got, but something a great
   deal better! He got his pearl and, I dare say, he was ready to jump for
   joy to think that he got it! Ah, when a soul gets Christ it is--

   "Happy day, happy day,

   For He has washed my sins away." It is the beginning of delight to a
   soul when he can say, "Jesus is mine! I know He is! Grace has enabled
   me to lay hold upon Him." And, oh, what an enriching purchase it was
   which the man had made! When he had once got the pearl, instead of his
   property, he thought to himself, "Why, I have got a hundred times more
   property, now, than I had! Though I have given up that bit of land I
   can buy half a province, now, if I like, with this pearl which I have

   So, Brothers and Sisters, if you have ever given up anything for
   Christ, I am sure that the Lord Jesus Christ has made you very ample
   rewards! Some years ago a person rather eccentrically advertised for
   persons who had been losers by obedience to the Divine Command--that if
   anyone who had lost anything through love to Christ would apply to him,
   he would make it up. The odd advertisement appeared for some months in
   one of our religious periodicals. But the oddest thing is that nobody
   ever answered it! I would have thought that somebody would have tried
   and made up a case, but nobody did! You cannot make up such a case--you
   are no losers by Christ!

   "But," say some, "the martyrs were, were they not?" Well, they are up
   there, ask them! They will tell you as you look at them with their ruby
   crowns, all brilliant in the light of God, as they stand--

   "Fairest of the sons light, Midst the bright ones, doubly bright," that
   they counted it their honor that they should be permitted to lay down
   their lives for Jesus' sake! Oh, there is no losing when you deal with
   Him! You will make 500 per cent over this exchange--be sure of that!
   No, it shall be a thousand per cent, for, "No man," says He, "shall
   lose house and lands for My sake that shall not receive in this world a
   hundredfold, and in the world to come, life everlasting."

   This was a final purchase. The merchant, according to the parable,
   never went buying pearls anymore. "No," said he, "No. I have bought a
   pearl of great price and now I will go out of the business." And when a
   man once finds Christ-- ah, then he seeks nothing more! If Jesus Christ
   is mine, more than all in Him I find. He does not need a secondary
   object. His desires all stay home and satisfy themselves with the
   fullness that is in Christ Jesus. He went out of the pearl-hunting
   line, for he had found all the pearls he should ever need. And it was a
   purchase he never regretted. The parable does not say that he came back
   to the seller and said, "There, take your pearl, and let me have my
   house and lands back." No, it was done! The great transaction was done!
   He never wished to have it undone! With his pearl of immense worth, he
   was a rich man, worthy to be the rival of princes, and he felt that it
   was enough.

   Oh, blessed are they who can say, "It is enough," and can rejoice and
   bless and magnify the Lord--

   "Now rest, my long-divided heart! Fixed on this blissful center, rest!
   With ashes who would grudge to part, When called on angels' bread to
   feast?" Let me, however, just put in one word of caution. Take care,
   dear merchant Brothers, that when you buy a pearl, you buy a good
   one--that it is the Pearl of Great Price! I have known noble spirits
   whom I have admired and felt ready to weep over--men that have been
   heroic in the pursuit of that which seemed to them perfectly true and
   have made a sacrifice of all that they had for it--and yet they have
   been deceived. They have grasped antichrist instead of Christ! They
   welcomed the lie of Hell which came to them in the garb of the angel of
   light! Mind, mind that you get Christ and His Truth as you find it
   revealed in Scripture and revealed a second time in your own heart by
   the Holy Spirit--for whatever is short of Christ will prove a cheat and
   deceive you.

   Some years ago one of the largest pearls that was ever found passed
   into the hands of a Russian. It was a very large pearl, indeed--as
   large as an egg and of a pear shape. He purchased it, the party who had
   it being ignorant of its value. He was a man of substance and he kept
   it and prepared a house which, though sparse on the exterior, was
   sumptuously furnished within. And he would take his guests into an
   inner chamber which, when it was unlocked, contained a table of marble
   in the center of which was a box which had to be unlocked with several
   keys and the reading of an alphabet, and so forth, and at last he
   produced this pearl. He was very reluctant of ever permitting it to
   depart from his hands, for it was of immense value.

   The Emperor of Russia bid an enormous price for it and promised him
   honor and rank, but he would not part with it. It happened, however,
   that the possessor of this pearl was implicated--whether truthfully, or
   not, I cannot tell--in a conspiracy and had to leave his home at St.
   Petersburg. He took with him nothing but his pearl and came to Paris
   sufficiently rich in the possession of that pearl. On a certain day,
   the Duke of Brunswick, who was his only rival in such matters, came
   with some others to see the pearl. The owner unlocked it with great
   care and much deliberation. And when he had opened it, he was observed
   to turn suddenly pale. It seemed as if he had been stricken with death.
   Unhappy man! His pearl had suddenly become clouded, as pearls sometimes
   do. It had been taken with some disease which happens to pearls, if I
   may so express it. In a short time it would turn to powder--it had
   ceased to be of any value, whatever, and he had come down from a
   millionaire to a pauper! Yet he had bought a good pearl,
   notwithstanding this seemingly tragedy.

   There is only one Pearl that never can be clouded and will last right
   on throughout eternity and that is the Son of God, "who only has
   immortality." If you get Him, you have a Divine hope which can never
   fail you! But if your hope is in priests or a hope connected with
   sacramentarianism, or any other hope but that of which Christ is top
   and bottom, beginning and end--you may make what sacrifice you
   will--your brightest prospects will end in bitterest disappointment!
   May the Lord grant that none of us may ever be thus balked of our
   life-confidence--that no such blank bewilderment may ever fall on our

   Listen to me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek the
   Lord. The voice of Jesus is heard in this parable of the kingdom
   describing and directing the seekers. Such persons comprise no small
   fraction of an assembly like the present. It would, indeed, be strange
   if seekers were not always largely represented here and, in every stage
   of anxious enquiry! I am sure some of you have seen the Pearl you want
   sparkling before your eyes. I wonder how many of you have resolved to
   sell all you have to buy it? But who among you all have actually made
   the Pearl your own and rejoice in its possession? That such of you will
   go on your way rejoicing there is no doubt! But will you not return and
   give glory to God? Shall we not have the happiness of greeting you here
   in the fellowship of the kingdom of His Grace? The Lord grant it may be
   so for Jesus' sake. Amen.