Some years ago an English merchant was engaged in business in the island of Java. He got very rich there. He married a lady of that country, and returned to England. This lady could not get used to the customs of the English ladies, and was not very happy there. She spent most of her time in playing with her children, whom she loved very much, and in decking herself out with her pearls and jewels, of which she had a very large and costly collection. She would often call for her jewel-box, and spend hours in looking at them and holding them up to see them sparkle in the light. These jewels were her treasures. Her heart was set on them, and she had little happiness beyond what she found in them.
One day her old Scotch nurse, who was a good Christian woman, was in the room.The lady said to her, “Nurse, I think England is a poor place.”
“Why so, ma’am?” asked the nurse.
“Why, I look out into the streets, and don’t see any ladies with jewels on. Now, in my country all the ladies are covered with diamonds and pearls. We dig into our hills and get gold and silver and precious jewels. You dig into your hills and get nothing like them.”
The nurse said, “Oh, yes, ma’am, we have a pearl in this country, ‘a Pearl of great price.'”
“Have you, indeed,” said the lady. “When my husband comes home I’ll get him to buy it for me. I would part with all my other pearls to get that valuable one.”
“Oh!” said the nurse, “this pearl is not to wear. It is not to be had in the way you think of. It is a precious pearl indeed; and they who have it cannot lose it. They are at peace and have all they wish for.”
“Indeed !” said the lady, astonished.
“What can this pearl be? I must get it, if possible.”
“This pearl,” said the nurse, in her simple way, “is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the saying that he came into the world to save sinners. All who truly receive this saying, and have Jesus in their hearts, as the hope of glory, have that which makes them rich and happy, whatever else they want; and so precious is Jesus to them that they count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of him.”