The Review and Herald


August 1, 1899

The Pearl of Great Price


“Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he hath found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

Truth is represented as a pearl of great price. It is to be enthroned in the heart; for it alone can convince of, and reclaim from sin. By comparing the kingdom of heaven to a pearl, Christ desired to lead every soul to appreciate that pearl, above all else. The possession of the pearl, which means the possession of a personal Saviour, is the symbol of true riches. It is a treasure above every earthly treasure. RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

Christ is ready to receive all who come to him in sincerity. He is our only hope, our Alpha and Omega. He is our sun and shield, our wisdom, our sanctification, our righteousness. Only by his power can our hearts be kept in the love of God. He longs to give us his peace and rest. But he will not tolerate one particle of pretense or hypocrisy. There are those who say and do not, who profess to know the truth, but whose lives are a denial of it. The Lord knows these. RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

On one occasion Christ warned his disciples to beware how they cast their pearls before those who had no discernment to appreciate their value. They were to be careful how they applied their time and taxed their strength. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,” he said, “neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

There are those who will be rescued from the very depths of pollution. Isaiah speaks of this class: “Wash you, make you clean,” he says; “put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

The evils are to be cut away from the life. Sins are to be repented of. Though they are as scarlet, they may be made as white as snow. Just as great a transformation as possible is to take place in the character. But if, after test and trial, after being brought into connection with those who work faithfully in their behalf, men and women do not give evidence that they have been purified from wrong habits and practises, they show that they do not appreciate the pearl of great price. If they are dishonest in any transaction, temporal or spiritual, if they are not straightforward, they show that they regard the rich mercies of God as a common thing. They can not see the value of the pearl of great price. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land,” God declares; “but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. How is the faithful city become an harlot.” How have those who have had every opportunity to know the truth become defiled with the corruptions of the ungodly. “It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver has become dross, thy wine mixed with water.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

Those represented in these words have mingled the sacred with the common. They profess to believe the truth, but they can not carry dishonest practises in the narrow road and through the strait gate. By their actions they show that they have chosen the road in which the world travels. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

We shall meet those who have so perverted the conscience that they are unable to discern the precious truth of God's word. Then let all be careful with whom they connect. When men show themselves unimpressionable, unable to appreciate the pearl of great price; when they deal dishonestly with God and with their fellow men; when they show that the fruit they bear is the fruit of the forbidden tree, beware lest, by connecting with them, you lose your connection with God. They give evidence that God is not working with them, and the knowledge gained by a connection with them is misleading. You can not be a savor of life unto them; for they will not appreciate the word of God. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

We shall see in the future, as we have seen in the past, all kinds of characters develop. We shall witness the apostasy of men in whom we have had confidence, in whom we trusted, who we supposed were as true as steel to principle. Something comes to test them, and they are overthrown. If such men fall, some say, Whom can we trust? This is a temptation Satan brings to destroy the faith of those who are striving to walk in the narrow road. Those who fall have evidently corrupted their way before the Lord. They are beacons of warning, teaching those who profess to believe the truth that the word of God alone can reclaim men from guilt, and keep them steadfast in the way of holiness. RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

The word of God is the pearl of great price. It is unchangeable, eternal. Truth as it is in Jesus sets men right, and keeps them so. The truth is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast. But the truth is no truth to him who does not obey it. When men drift away from the principles of truth, they always betray sacred trust. Let every soul, whatever may be his sphere of action, make sure that the truth is implanted in the heart by the power of the Spirit of God. Unless this is made certain, those who preach the Word will betray holy trusts. Physicians will make shipwreck of the faith. Lawyers, judges, senators, will become corrupted, and yielding to bribery, will allow themselves to be bought and sold. Those who do not walk in the light as Christ is in the light, are blind leaders of the blind. “Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” RH August 1, 1899, Art. A, par. 10