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"Those that "For ye are bought with a price."- Cor. vi. 20. feek me early fhall find me."-PROV. viii. 17.

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE.
Behold, the flave with joyful beaming eyes,
Holds up to view his glorious glittering prize;
A pearl, more precious than its weight in gold;
The price of Freedom, and of blifs untold:

The prince who promised the aufpicious meed,
From his rich palace hastens down with speed;
With his own hand, unrolled that all may fee,
The title-deed prefents, of Liberty.

The flave may enter now that mansion fair,
A slave no longer, but a rightful heir.

So when the finner by Apollyon bound,
The priceless pearl of Gofpel grace has found;
He breaks his chains, and into Freedom fprings,
No more a flave, he ranks with priests and kings;
By the great Lord of All, to him 't is given,
To be his child on earth, and heir in heaven.

A CERTAIN prince, defirous of adorning his coronet with a pearl of the greatest value, promises liberty to any one of his flaves who fhall find one of a certain number of carats; the prince owns, upon his manor, a "Fishery," where the flaves, at proper feafons of the year, dive for pearls. The usual mode of operation is as follows: The divers, throwing off their clothes, dress themselves in complete fuits of white cot ton; this is to protect their bodies from the contact of the medufæ, or fea-nettles; then, each diver, letting himself over the fide of the boat, places his feet upon a ftone, which is held by the feibor, or puller-up. On his left arm he carries a small basket to hold the oysters he may collect-the pearl is found in the fleshy part, near the joint of the shell-then closing his noftrils with a piece of elaftic horn, he gives the fignal with his arm, and is immediately lowered down; the ftone enables him to fink without difficulty. Here in a period varying from thirty to a hundred feconds, he employs himself in filling his bafket; as foon as

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this is done, or if he wants breath, he jerks the rope, and is immediately hauled to the furface.

In the engraving is feen the fortunate flave, who has fecured the prize; as soon as he discovers his good fortune, forfaking boat and basket, he leaps overboard and makes toward the fhore, exclaiming, "I've found it! I've found it!" Others fhout with him; the prince, his mafter, hears the tumult, and learning the cause, repairs without delay to the bank of the river, to receive the pearl, and to bestow on the finder the promised reward-where, in the presence of all, he reads his deed of manumiffion, and proclaims him free. And he is free-his head, and heart, and hands are now his own; he is now free from that power which degraded him to the exact level of a brute, and free from all its concomitant evils of ignorance, cruelty, and crime; he is now a man, he bears his brow upward. Happy man; Liberty, fair fifter of Piety, has ftooped upon the wing to bless him; nor is this all-he is free to call his former mafter Abba, that is, father, and his miftress Imma, that is, mother; he is, according to custom, adopted as a fon-his future path is irradiated with knowledge, wifdom, and happiness.

By the flave finding the coftly pearl, and obtaining thereby his liberty, is fignified the finner, who finds "the Kingdom of Heaven," or who, in other words, experiences religion; this puts him into poffeffion of a liberty more precious than gold, and more to be defired than fine gold :

A liberty unfung

By Poets, and by Senators unpraised;

Which monarchs cannot grant, nor all the powers
Of earth and hell confederate, take away :

A liberty which perfecution, fraud,

Oppreffion, prifons, have no power to bind ;
Which, whofo tastes, will be enflaved no more.

This is the liberty of gospel salvation; a finner is a flave-a flave not to one master, but to many, who exercise over him a cruel defpotism. Satan takes the lead in tyrannizing over him ; it is true he is a willing flave, but not the lefs a flave for that, for let him but try to free himself from his power, and he at once feels that he is bound; Satan is his lord and mafter, he says to him, "Go, and he goeth; come, and he cometh; do this, and he doeth it." He is a captive, led about just as the devil pleases. Miferable bondage! Sin has dominion over him, forbidden objects control his paffions, and his paffions control his will; he is enflaved to the law of fin, he is chained to "this body of death." Sin wields over him its fceptre with defpotic sway, "he is fold under fin;" even when he would do good, evil is present with him. Again, he is a flave to the terrors of the law; mount Sinai ftill ftands, giving forth its dreadful voice of many thunders, and emitting its flashes of devouring fire; he ftands quaking and trembling beneath its fearful brow. He is alfo "fubject to bondage through fear of death;" although he may make a fhow of courage, when among his guilty companions, over the bottle, or in the battle-field, yet he

dreads his approach; his very image embitters his fweetest pleasure, and makes him miferable. These are fome of the lords that exercise dominion over the poor finner; verily he is bound!

The King of Holinefs offers liberty to the finner, on condition that he exercise "repentance toward God, and faith in Jefus Chrift;" thus runs the proclamation. The flave who found the pearl was obedient; what did he know at firft about pearls? he might have argued, with himself at least, that it was impoffible that fuch uncouth, muddy oyfters, could contain such pricelefs gems, and fo have given up the idea, and with it freedom; but he fought in the manner prefcribed, and found-thus his obedience fecured an ample reward.

Salvation is found only by those who seek aright. That the finner might not lose his labour, the Almighty Lord tells him where it may be found; he tells him to look for it in His word, in his house and ordinances; he tells him how he is to conduct the fearch-he is to lay afide his felf-righteousness and put on fackcloth'; he is to defcend into the depths of humility, and there, by earnest, perfevering prayer, and living faith, to feek until he finds-and the promise is, "If thou feekeft her as filver, and searchest for her as for hid treasure, then fhalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."

But who fhall defcribe the glorious liberty of the children of God. Satan reigns and tyran

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