|Again, 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.| -- Matt.13:45-46.
|Einen Kaufmann sleht man ohne Gleichen.|
From The Kirchen-Freunde.
transl., Jane Borthwick or Sarah Findlater
Once a merchant travelled far and wide,
Over mountain-chains and ocean's tide;
Slighted and despised on every hand,
Wearily he passed from land to land.
Not with treasure treasures to acquire,
Seemed the wanderer's purpose or desire;
Gold and silver he regarded not --
Pearls alone with eagerness he sought.
Many were produced to meet his call;
Strictly he examined, weighed them all;
Nothing could deceive, or please his eye:
Calmly he surveyed, and passed them by.
Sadly he pursued his search around --
Ah! the One midst many was not found!
Stars indeed he saw, but not the Sun
All his longings sought and dwelt upon,
Weary now with all his wanderings vain,
To his native home he turns again;
There he finds a Fisher on the strand,
Stooping down to draw a net to land.
What new treasures of the deep are these?
Who this unknown Stranger of the seas?
Changed His aspect now, His bearing high,
While He speaks with gentle dignity:
|Peace be with thee! Now thou mayest obtain
All so long desired and sought in vain --
Thou 'mid many fools the only wise,
At thy journey's end behold the prize!|
|Yes, it is the One, beyond compare,
Sought so long, abandoned in despair;
Stranger, speak, how may it be my own?|
|All thou hast can be the price alone.|
|Be it so!| he joyfully replied;
|Lord, take all, and take myself beside!
For in wondrous love Thou bringest from heaven
What no monarch has or could have given.|
And the world deceived and foolish call
Him, who for one jewel gave his all;
But unheeding what they think or say,
Glad and satisfied he goes his way.
Food is his which they have never known --
Cordials granted to himself alone:
From earth's vanities and cares set free,
Now he walks in peace and liberty.
Wondrous blessings reach him from above;
Love comes down to meet the heart of love;
Ever as he views his treasure bright,
All his soul is filled with life and light.
Blessed they who find the priceless gem!
Blessed they who seek! It shines for them
Brightly still, the prize by God revealed,
For the victor on Faith's battle-field.