THE LAST SHALL BE THE FIRST
2. The worker of the last hour has a right to his wages; nevertheless, it is important that his lateness be not due to either laziness or reluctance, but to the fact that, although willing to work, he had been patiently waiting for someone to employ him. He has a right to his wages because, being hardworking, he has waited anxiously since dawn for someone who would finally offer work. It was only that he lacked opportunity.
However, if he had refused to work at any time during the day, or if he had said: "Wait a while, rest is very agreeable to me; when the last hour sounds then I will think about the day's wages; what necessity have I to be bothered by an employer I have no regard for and don't even know? The later the better!" Then this person, my friends, would not have received the wages of work but of laziness.
What would you say then of someone who, instead of remaining inactive, utilized those hours destined for the day's labour to practice culpable acts; who blasphemed against God, spilt the blood of his brothers, launched perturbation amongst families, ruined those who trusted in him by abusing their innocence; who, in short, satiated himself with all the ignominies of human nature? What would become of him? Is it enough for him to say at the last hour: "Master, I used my time badly. Take me on till the end of the day so l do some work, although it will be very little of what was my share, and give me the wages of a good worker"? No! No! The Lord will say to him: "I have no work for you at present. You squandered away your time; you forgot what you had learnt; you can no longer work in my vineyard. Consequently, you must recommence your learning, and when you are better disposed come again to me and I will throw open my vast fields to you, where you may work at any time."
Good Spiritists, my dearly beloved, you are all workers of the last hour. The one who says: “I began work at dawn and will only finish at nightfall," is very conceited. All of you came when you were called, some a little earlier, some a little later, to this incarnation whose shackles you now carry. For how many centuries has the Lord called you to His vineyard without you wishing to enter it? Here is the moment to pocket your wages, so put to good use the time that is left and never forget that your existence, however long it may appear to be, is nothing but a fleeting moment in the immensity of time which forms eternity. - CONSTANTINE, a Protecting Spirit (Bordeaux, 1863).
3. Jesus liked the simplicity of symbols and in His virile language the workers who arrived at the first hour were the prophets, Moses and all the initiates, who have marked the steps of progress which continued to be signposted throughout the ages by the apostles, the martyrs, the founders of the Church, the wise men, the philosophers and finally by the Spiritists. These, who are the last to come, were announced and prophesied from the dawn of the advent of the Messiah and they will receive the same recompense or, I should say, a larger recompense. Being the last to arrive, the Spiritists take advantage of all the intellectual labours of their predecessors, because Man must inherit from Man and because human work and the subsequent results are collective: God blesses solidarity. Moreover, many who relive today, or who will relive tomorrow, are terminating work begun previously. More than one patriarch, more than one prophet, more than one disciple of Christ is to be found amongst these; nevertheless, more enlightened, more advanced, working now not at the base but at the summit of the edifice. These then will receive wages according to the value of the undertaking.
The beautiful doctrine of reincarnation is perpetual and needs spiritual affiliation. A Spirit, when called upon to give an account of its earthly mandate, sees for itself the continuity of an interrupted task, which is always resumed. It sees, it feels, it intuitively grasps the thoughts of those who have preceded. It begins the lesson anew, matured by experience, to advance yet further. And all of them, the workers of the first and last hours, with their eyes fully open to the profound justice of God, murmur no more: they simply adore.
This is one of the true meanings of this parable which holds, as do all those utilized by Jesus when speaking to the people, the rudiments of the future and also, in all forms and from all aspects, the revelation of the magnificent unity which harmonizes all things in the Universe and the solidarity which joins all present beings to the past and to the future. HENRI HEINE (Paris, 1863).