The Last Farthing

—Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing.

— St. Matthew 5:26

Let us try to understand what the Lord himself said about his parables, taking St. Matthew 13:14-15. The purport is, that those who by insincerity and falsehood close their deeper eyes, shall not be capable of using the more superficial eyes of their understanding. They shall not see what is not for such as they. It is the punishment of the true Love, and is continually illustrated and fulfilled. This will help to remove the difficulty that the parables are plainly for the teaching of the truth, and yet the Lord speaks of them as for the concealing of it. They are for the understanding of that man only who is practical—who does the thing he knows, who seeks to understand vitally. They reveal to the live conscience, otherwise not to the keenest intellect---though at the same time they may help to rouse the conscience with glimpses of the truth, where the man is on the borders of waking. Ignorance may be at once a punishment and a kindness: all punishment is kindness, and the best of which the man at the time is capable: To say to them certain things so that they could understand, would but harden them more, because they would not do them; they should have but parables—lanterns of the truth, clear to those who will walk in the light, dark to those who will not. “You choose the dark; you shall stay in the dark till the terrors that dwell in the dark frighten you, and cause you to cry out.” God puts a seal upon the will of man; that seal is either his great punishment, or his mighty favor: “Ye love the darkness, abide in the darkness.” “O woman, great is thy faith; be it done unto thee even as thou wilt!”