"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."
In the picture we see the merchant on the sea-shore, where he has waited for the landing of these sailors from another country. He asks them if they have any goodly pearls for sale, and one man opens his box and takes out this "pearl of great price." It is just the kind of pearl the merchant had been seeking, so he quickly produces his two bags of gold and offers them to the man for his pearl. But the man smiles. "What! part with so large and so beautiful a pearl for two bags of gold?" He could not think of it. The pearl is again placed in its box, and the merchant has to go away disappointed. But the longing to have that pearl is too great. A thought occurs to him. He will go home and sell all that is his, and the money he shall thus obtain, added to his two bags of gold, will surely buy the precious jewel.
And so it is with men when they seek that pearl of pearls, the forgiveness of God. They will give up a great deal in order to obtain it, but they find that God requires them to give up everything that is sinful or worldly. And if their hearts are really set upon obtaining it, they will do as this merchant did, and part with everything that would hinder them from coming to God, or walking in the way that leads to heaven.
[Illustration: THE MERCHANT SEEKING GOODLY PEARLS.]