The disciples learn about riches

The disciples learn about riches

Of the right use of Riches. The unjust Steward.

(The Gospel History, Section 111)

And he said also unto the disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he was wasting his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, What is this that I hear of thee? render the account of thy stewardship; for thou canst be no longer steward. And the steward 
said within himself, What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. And calling to him each one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bond, and sit down quickly and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. He saith unto him, Take thy bond, and write fourscore. And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light. And I say unto you. Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles. He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your
 own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold 
to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The disciples learn about riches

(The Saviour of the World, Vol VII Book I Poem I)

To His disciples spoke the Lord
Surely, an unexpected word!
Poor men were they and had withal
The needs of one day to forestal;
And now their Lord whose burning words
Constrain men as with unseen cords,
Instructs their riches to employ
In ways should bring them to annoy.

They heard the lot of that rich man
Whose vast estates in ordered plan
Were by the steward ministered
To whom his cares the Lord transferred:
“Now, what to us things high and great?
The Master sure forgets our state!”
But as the tale proceeds, they find
Words that disclose their inmost mind.

What if each served a Master, great,
Of mighty wealth and vast estate
What if each were a steward set
Some ample rents of His to get
Secure into His treasury?
This steward was a rascal; he
Then profit at his master’s cost
Who knew the sum for men had lost.

A clever rascal was the knave
Who used his wits, dear life to save:
Knowing his lord to judgment come,
Knowing he’d forfeited his home
And all the good to him accrued
What did he? Went and humbly sued
His lord for pardon? Not a whit
His trust was in his native wit!

All knew the tale; ’twas common talk;
How the shrewd villain knew to balk
His master’s natural wish that he
Should for his crime taste penury.
Full many sharers in his blame
He called together to their shame.
“Thou ow’st the master this and this?
To call it half were not amiss!”

And thus secured full many a friend
Prepared to house him in the end;
Else would he make their secret known;
Sure he should reap as he had sown!
The master was aware and said
“A clever knave but sore misled!
Had he his ingenuity
Spent in my service, happy he!”

*    *    *    *    *

The health of time, the wealth of friends,
God’s property used for their ends,
Reproached the man; What should they do?
Perceiving that Christ all things knew?
‘It is too hard,’ and ‘What’s the good?’
They murmured in their wayward mood;
‘Best throw it up and make the most
Of th’ world we’ve served at heavy cost!’

St. Luke xvi. 1-13