The "pearl of great price"

In Bible metaphor the pearl stands for something very precious, for a pure idea which heals and must be treasured and protected. The advancing Christian Scientist is constantly finding pearls of healing, sometimes hidden in the most unlikely places, as the material pearl is secreted in outwardly unattractive bivalves at the bottom of the ocean. In spiritual experience the discovery that the real man is perfect is a priceless pearl which the wise man when he has found it removes from danger for preservation, because it establishes man's status for eternity. The understanding of the motherhood of God is likewise a pearl; the realization of the true creation, of the nothingness of matter, the powerlessness of evil, the allness of Mind, the unity of Principle and idea, these are all costly pearls the value of which cannot be reckoned in material terms, because they heal mankind of sin, disease, and death. With these jewels and others of special excellence and beauty one may face the world with the consciousness of possessing great riches which cannot be taken away. Lack and loss appear unnatural when such wealth is possessed, the sin of avarice futile, envy and jealousy without foundation, unhappiness illogical.

Christian Science calls to the inhabitants of the earth to partake of the priceless healing waters, of the spiritual joy and gladness which dispels the grievousness of war. One of Jesus' parables is told in the following words by Matthew: "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." Yet the nature of pearls is such that they may be easily broken if roughly handled; therefore they must be protected. This fact is not seen at once by the beginner in Christian Science. The joy of discovery is so great that there is a natural impulse to announce it to all men indiscriminately, whether they are ready to understand the value of the discovery or not. Every Christian Scientist will recall sad experiences, misunderstandings, disappointments, from displaying pearls to those unprepared to appreciate them. The Master was obliged to warn his listeners against this danger when he said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." Mrs. Eddy likewise felt constrained to advise caution in this matter. On page 89 of "Miscellaneous Writings" she says, "The hazard of casting 'pearls before swine' caused our Master to refuse help to some who sought his aid; and he left this precaution for others." Sympathetic mesmerism is not a safe guide; those who call loudest for help are not always willing to listen to the still, small voice. It is sometimes necessary to carry our most highly treasured inspirations to a safe place, out of the reach of all harm, until their inestimable value is duly recognized and they can be humbly accepted by others for life's adornment.

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