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his favourite pursuits, all his darling pleasures, all his evil passions, all his corrupt affections.'
EMILY. "The pearl of great price."" Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Matt. xiii. 45, 46.
MRS. M. What does the treasure in the field represent?'
The blessings we may find in
the Scriptures, mamma.'
MRS. M. Right, and tell me, Emily, what is the sum and substance of all the blessings promised in the Scriptures?'
GEORGE. 'Jesus Christ, I think.'
MRS. M. Yes, he is the pearl of great price.'
But what are the goodly pearls
the man was looking for.'
MRS. M. • What is it that all men are in
'Some are searching for riches,
some for pleasure, some for ease, every one for what he likes best.'
MRS. M. Yes; each is in search of what he thinks will make him most happy ; perhaps searching in all the vanity of human ways and modes, for pardon of sin and for salvation: but he alone can be successful in his search, who finds the "pearl of great price." Christ is the only true source of happiness; and he who has found Him, that is, he who is convinced that in Him alone is salvation, in him alone peace and comfort and real joy, he will willingly give up all for Christ. "He counts all things but loss and dung that he may win Christ."'
GEORGE. 'I do not think you need say anything about the net and the fishes, mother, for it seems to mean the same thing as the wheat and the tares.'
MRS. M. The casting out the net means the preaching of the Gospel; as the net contained many fishes, so does the visible Church of Christ contain many professors; when the net is brought to the shore, the fishes are
separated, the bad cast away, the good re
tained so it shall be at the last day, great and terrible day of the Lord." Let us pray, my children, that at that day, we may be amongst those who have found the " pearl of great price," and have "sold all that we have for its sake."
Oh, Almighty God and everlasting Father, grant that as the grain of mustard-seed became a tree in which the birds of the air found shelter, so may thy blessed Gospel be food and shelter to the nations now lying in darkness and in the shadow of death. May thy Holy Spirit so work like leaven in our hearts, that we may seek that treasure which the Holy Scriptures alone contain and find that pearl of great price, which is Christ the Lord; that so at the last day we may be amongst the wheat which is gathered into the barn; that, caught in the net of the Gospel, we may be drawn to that heavenly shore, where neither rocks nor quicksands shall interrupt our landing, and where we shall dwell with Thee, world without end. Amen.
THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT. Matt. xviii. 23-35. THE TWO DEBTORS. Luke vii. 41-49.
MRS. MANSFIELD. Well, George, what parable shall we have to-night?'
GEORGE.The unmerciful servant, mamma; but first let me ask you, did papa tell you any-thing about me?'
MRS. M. No, I have seen little of your papa to-day; he has been out of doors almost all day.'
EMILY. ( throwing her arms round her mother) Ah, my poor dear mamma, you are not able, as you used to be, to run about and know every thing that was going on.' MRS. M. It is true, my dear little Emily; but I feel that this affliction has proved a blessing in disguise. Formerly, my body
was continually in motion, and my mind had little time for thought;-I am now forced to pass many an hour alone, and I can "enter into my closet, and shut my doors about me; and I have made great discoveries; GEORGE. (interrupting)
'You imagine that they relate to your favourite studies, George; but no, they are not scientific, they are what I consider even more useful.'
GEORGE. • What can be more useful than scientific knowledge?'
MRS. M. Knowledge of self, George; and that is what I have acquired; and I trust, knowledge of God also: for having been enabled to see more clearly my own short comings, I can the more fully appreciate the wonderful mercy of God; and the more I think on his mercy, the more I love him. But let us have our parable.' 'Shall I read it, mamma ?
EMILY. MRS. M. not seem inclined to do so.'
Yes, my love, as George does