The Miser Of Marseilles

There is a legend about how, years ago, there was an old man who used to walk the streets of that seaport town that they called, “The Miser of Marseilles.” He was an object of derision throughout the whole city and even throughout the south of France, for everybody seemed to know him. Apparently, he loved nothing and had no other object than to hoard every bit of money he got hold of; for what purpose, none knew.

He was hated whenever he appeared on the streets. When he died, he was so despised that only a single person attended his funeral. Then his will was read, and these were its strange terms:

“From my infancy I noticed that the poor people of Marseilles had great difficulty in getting water. I noticed that water, the gift of God, was very dear and difficult to obtain. And when they could get that water, it was not as pure and clean as God intended it to be. Therefore, I vowed before God that I would live but for one purpose, for one end. I would save money, money, money; that I might give it to the city on one condition: that an aqueduct be built to bring fresh, pure water from yonder lake in the hills to Marseilles. That I now make possible by leaving all my hoarded wealth to this city. This is my last will and testament.”

Travelers in Marseilles today hear the poor people say as they drink the pure, sweet water from the lake in the hills, “Ah, when the miser died, we misunderstood him, but he did it all for us! We called him the miser of Marseilles, but he was more than that; he was the savior of Marseilles.”

If we human beings could but learn the one inescapable meaning of that parable, we would know the secret of how to get the most out of life which is to give the most to life. Just as they knew of the miser’s giving, so should the world know of Christ’s selflessness and love that He gave himself to the Cross for us to be saved.

=== Culled from Christian Women Mirror ===


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