THE UNJUST STEWARD

See where the steward, worldly wise,
With wicked cunning in his eyes,
Shows his lord's debtors how to cheat
This master of his oil and wheat.

"A hundred measures dost thou owe
Of oil? My friend, 'tis scarcely so;
Here, take thy bill and quick indite
Fifty: that puts the matter right."

"A hundred measures is thy debt
Of corn? My friend, thou dost forget;
Here, take thy bill, and write fourscore;
Surely thou owest nothing more."

Thus wickedly he would provide
Houses in which he might abide,
When for his former acts unjust
He from his stewardship was thrust.

And when his master heard, he smiled,
Though of his goods he was beguiled:
Nor did he e'en forbear to praise
The crafty foresight of his ways.

The children of this world, alas!
The children of the light surpass,
In planning methods to provide
For ills from which they cannot hide.

And so our Master bids us take
The money which He gives, and make
Friends with our riches for the day
When earthly treasures flee away.

Do I my little store expend
For such a wise and prudent end;
Or only think of my own gain,
And not of others' want and pain?

Lord, by Thy Spirit, make me wise
Above my selfishness to rise,
And something daily give away
To find again in Thy great day!

Richard Wilton, M.A.


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