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Usury, the most damnable before God
92,1. But one will say: This provision sounds strange; For what can the heir have for inheriting the property of either his parents or other wealthy relatives? Should he, in such a transfer, calculate the natural portion, take from the heir only as much as that portion, and then give the other part to whom? Or should he accept all this fortune, but accept only the part of nature which he deserves as his property, or manage the great surplus himself to support lazy idlers, or perhaps surrender such surplus to charity organizations, or the directors of charitable institutions?
92,2. This question is only worth a monosyllabic answer. Are the Divine law and the law of the state, or the Divine wisdom and care, and the secular state politics and so-called diplomacy, one and the same? What does the Lord say? He says: "Everything that is great in the world is an abomination before God!
92,3. But what is greater in the world than an usurped state power, which, viewed from the Divine side, never submits to the Divine counsel, but only to its secular state wisdom, which consists in politics and diplomacy; and uses their powers for their own exploitative and consumptive welfare?
92,4. But if it is abominable and disgraceful if any man deceives only one, two or three of his brothers, how much more abominable before God it must be when men know how to crown and anoint a man with all their might, and then under such coronation anointing, deceive entire peoples in all imaginable ways to their own revelry advantages, either by the so-called state wisdom, or, should it not do, then with cruel open force!
92,5. I think that from this little sentence, one can almost grasp the extent to which the rights of most of the present states handle their affairs counter to the Divine. I also think that when the Lord said to the rich youth: "Sell all your goods and distribute them among the poor, then follow Me, and you will prepare for yourself a treasure in heaven", hopefully this statement will suffice to learn what kind of distribution the earthly rich man, if he wants to reap the kingdom of God, should do with his wealth. If he does not do that, then he must ascribe it to himself when the same verdict which the Lord has pronounced over the young man who has become sad: that a camel would be able to get through the eye of a needle easier than would a rich man into the kingdom of heaven! Of course, the circumstance must be taken into account that the Lord here has pronounced such a highly regrettable judgment over a young man, who was also certainly an heir.
92,6. One might well ask: Why did "a rich young man" have to appear here, and why should not some old speculator have appeared before whom the Lord had made known His eternal displeasure with all earthly wealth? The answer is very close: the young man was not yet a diehard wealth manager, but he was still at the point where such a youth usually does not properly appreciate the earthly wealth yet. For just this reason he could at least approach the Lord for a short time in order to hear from him the right direction and the right use of his wealth. It is only when he realizes the Divine will, that he then falls away from the Lord and returns home to his riches.
92,7. So the youth had this privilege, as a youth who was not yet liable, to approach the Lord. But the already inveterate, old-aged rich landlord, speculator and usurer, stand as camels behind the eye of aneedle, through which they would have to squeeze in order to reach the youth like the young man. So it is no longer granted to such a rich and given, like unto the young man, to meet the Lord. For these however, the Lord has unfortunately cited another very important example in the story of the "rich glutton." I do not need to tell you more.
92,8. But whoever of you can think only a little, will with the greatest ease find out that no human vice is as contemptible to the Lord of heaven and all worlds as wealth acquired through usury and its usual consequences. For no other vices do we see the Lord of life and death very clearly opening up the abyss of hell as with this one.
92,9. Be it manslaughter, adultery, harlotry and the like, in all this, no one on earth has seen the Lord condemning him to hell. But this sin of usury, He has punished with word and deed in the most urgent manner, both with the priesthood and with every other privileged classes!
92,10. Who can prove to the Lord, in the face of all other human offenses, that He has raised His almighty hand over such a sinner? But the money-changers, pigeon-merchants, and such kind of speculators, had to submit to being beaten and chastised with a tortuous rope from the temple by the omnipotent hand of the Lord Himself!
92,11. But do you know what that means? This true evangelical endeavor will say no more and no less than that the Lord in heaven and of all worlds is the greatest sworn enemy of this vice. In every other, His Divine love speaks of patience, forbearance, but over this vice, He pronounces His anger and wrath!
92,12. For here he hinders entrance to Him through the well-known eye of the needle, evidently opens up the abyss of hell, and shows in it a truly damned one, speaks up frightfully against the rule-hungry and greedy Pharisees, clearly showing them how fornicators, adulterers, thieves and other sinners are more likely to enter the kingdom of God than they.
92,13. Finally, He even takes a chastening weapon in the temple and ruthlessly drives out all the speculators of any kind and calls them murderers of the Divine kingdom, turning the temple, which represents the Divine kingdom, into a dungeon of murder.
92,14. We could cite several such examples from all those who could be inferred that the Lord is the supreme enemy of this vice. But for whoever is able to think reasonably, this will be enough. On this very occasion we may take a brief look at our ninth commandment, and we shall see from this view that the Lord has not limited the desire in any other human relation, nor in any other self-forbidden opportunity and activity, as in the case of this most detestable opportunistic usury.
92,15. Everywhere He expressly forbids only the activity, but here already the desire, because the danger which arises therefrom for the spirit is too great. It totally withdraws the spirit from God and turns him completely to hell. You can also see this from the fact that every other sinner feels repentance for a sinful deed, while the rich speculator celebrates and triumphs over a happy successful speculation!
92,16. This is the true triumph of hell, and the prince of hell, therefore, seeks by preference to foster in mankind in every possible way, love for the wealth of the world, because he knows that they are filled with this love, are most repugnant unto the Lord and that they receive the least mercy! - I do not need to tell you more about that.
92,17. For everyone who will heed these words deeply, because they are the eternal irrefutable Divine truth! And you can know it to be true and believe it, because not one syllable in it is too much, rather you can assume that there is far too little said. But everyone should remember this: the Lord will employ every possible means at every possible occasion, before he will let anyone perish, but against this vice, He will do nothing except open the abyss of hell, as He have said it in the gospel. All this is certain and true, and through this, we have come to know the true meaning of this commandment. And I say once more: Let everybody take what is said here to heart! - And now nothing more. Here is the tenth room, and so we enter it!
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