|Chapter 58||The Great Gospel of John|
At Sychar. Life and behavioural hints. ‘Giving is more blessed than receiving’. ‘What is done by love remains good forever’. The plight in the beyond of friends of the world. The Lord's advice on the proper use of wealth. How to come by God's blessing.
1. Says the merchant: 'I know them, they are tough Sycharites who are pagan rather than children of Israel. But the most miserable among them are those from the region of the Galilean sea; these are sheer servants of matter and no longer have an incline of anything exalted and divine! Pure spectacle heroes! A magician from Persia is more to them than Moses and all the prophets, and a voluptuous whore from central Asia preferable to gold and precious stone! I know them only too well; but to keep them quiet I shall banquet them at the summer house. Because not to serve them should be the end!
2. Say I: 'Do what you like and can; because it is more blessed to give than to receive! But in future give only to the needy and poor, and if someone wants to borrow money from you but is rich, and it is obvious to you that he can repay you handsomely, then don't lend! Because once you have loaned to him he shall soon secretly turn into your foe, and you shall find it hard to get back your money and interest.
3. But should a destitute come to you and you can see that he won't be able to repay, then lend, and the Father in Heaven shall restore it to you a hundredfold in different ways already on earth, and then turn the money you loaned to the poor into a great treasure in Heaven, awaiting you high above the grave in the beyond after this earth-life.
4. I say unto you: 'Whatever was done by love on earth also remains done in Heaven forever; but what mere worldly intellect does shall be swallowed up by the soil of the earth, leaving nothing for Heaven. But of what use to man all earthly treasure-work if his soul suffers harm?!
5. He who worries about earth and flesh is a fool; for just as man's flesh has its end, so will it be with the earth! When however the end of the earth shall once have come for sure, on which ground shall the poor soul have its dwelling then?!
6. But I say unto you that every man whose body is taken from him also loses the earth forever. And if he has not created a new earth in his heart through love, then his soul shall have to expose itself to the mercy of the winds and the clouds and mists and be driven about throughout everlasting infinity without finding pause or rest, other than in the false and insubstantial configurations of its own fantasy, which becomes feebler and darker the longer it lasts, eventually turning into thickest night and darkness, from which the soul shall by itself hardly ever find its way out! Hence you can in future do as I have just shown you; but for now do as you want to and can do!'
7. Says the merchant: 'You are exceedingly wise and might be right in everything, but I don't quite agree with the money lending. Because if one has earned a lot of money and does not want to see it lying around dead, then one would rather lend it out at reasonable interest than bury it so robbers coming by night can't take it, when breaking closet and chest; one can by all means give to the poor out of the abundance, as appropriate, because if I give everything away at once without managing my wealth properly, then I shall soon be left with nothing and not be able to give to the poor'.
8. Say I: 'Leave the right economising to God the Lord and give to him whom the Lord will lead to you, and your wealth shall not diminish! Do you not have many large fields and meadows and gardens full of fruit and grapes, and your extensive stables full of oxen, cows, calves and sheep? Trading with these shall always, with God's blessing fully restore what you have distributed to the poor throughout the year; but that which you place in the banks of the rich shall not be restored from above, and you shall be troubling yourself much about whether the banks are managing your money properly. Do therefore as I have shown you earlier and you shall have a good and trouble-free life, and all the poor shall love you and blessedly serve you where possible, and the Father in Heaven shall constantly bless everything you do; and behold, this shall be better than the ever-growing bank-interest worries!'
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