Vol.XV No.XI Pg.6
January 1979

The Fortunate Man

Robert F. Turner

In 1919 "The Wit and Wisdom of Safed the Sage" was published by Pilgrim Press, Chicago. The author, William E. Barton, was a denominational preacher. He also wrote "Parables of Safed the Sage," and "Safed and Keturah" (his wife). We propose to print a series of his articles, but must edit and digest to fit our space.


There spake unto me a man who said, My income is not enough.

And I said, Thou Fortunate Man! And he said, Why dost thou say so? And I said, Because thou hast the choice either of Earning More or of Spending Less; and when there be two ways of solving a problem, a man is Fortunate. Whereas I know a Poor Man who Owneth a Railroad and Earnestly Coveth Another; he is Poor for he cannot get it.

And he said, When I was a lad, I drove my father's cow to an Hired Pasture, for we lived in a Little Town. And other men in the same town besought me to drive their cows, and they gave me every one of them Ten Cents a Week; and I drove Five Cows. And I thought How Happy I should be if there were Ten Cows and I could earn Every Week an Whole Dollar.

And when I became older, of about the age of Fourteen, then did I hire myself in the springtime to a Farmer to Plant Potatoes; and we cut them so that on Every Piece there were Two Eyes, and we planted Forty Acres of them. And I worked for him Eleven Days, and received Five Dollars and the Half of a Dollar; and I reflected that if Potato Planting could last All Summer then might I earn Thirteen Dollars every Month.

And I said to him, What is thine Income Now?

And he said, The Government of the United States hath lately asked me the same Question, and when I told them, they struck me for a sum that made mine Hair Stand on End. I knew not till then how Poor is the man who is as Rich as I.

And I said, The Holy Scriptures call down a Blessing on the man who Considereth the Poor; I will bless also the man who, however Poor he is, Considereth himself Rich. For thou wast Rich when thou dravest cows to Pasture, and hast been rich ever since if thy Mind hath been at peace with God and man and thou hast had enough to pay thine Honest Debts.

And I spake to him this proverb of the men of Arabia; Who is richer, he that hath a Million Dollars or he that hath Seven Daughters?

And he said, Tell me the answer. And I said, The man who hath Seven Daughters is the Richer; for he hath enough, and knoweth it.


As "Safed" says in his introduction, "There are deeper joys and larger lessons in common experiences if we know how to find them." We hope you will profit by what he found.