The Retirement Community: One Time for Ever

Book Title: De Bykorf des Gemoeds : Honing zaamelende uit allerley Bloemen / Vervattende over de Honderd konstige Figuuren ; Met Godlyke Spreuken En Stichtelyke Verzen, Door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Retirement Community: One Time for Ever

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two old men talk with each other while sitting on a bench in front of the retirement community to which they surrendered their possessions in return for lifetime care. Several women enter the institution with platters of food. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem, as well as for the poem that accompanies it (below). The attendant Scripture text is Isaiah 49:10.

Whoever hopes for good days,
Should ensure that he buys his cost of living for Eternity.

He who wants to surrender his Possessions,
Has room and board for his entire life:
Yet, it is only for the short Time:
But he who want to surrender his self-willed life,
To God’s will,
Has room and board in Eternity.
Where are they, who know something better?
Where are they, who can measure something larger?
They show themselves with that in public:
But since no one was found,
Who could demonstrate a better well-being,
Why does one then still hesitate so long?
Since the clearest of reasons,
Tells us to proceed there,
Or is the whole world deaf?
And has the human heart no ears,
To listen to such an important matter?
That is a miserable plunder,
Brought by pillaging Fellows,
Sent by the Envy of hell,
Which begrudges us the Bliss.
Wake up to approaching noises,
In order to escape its confusion,
And mark you well this point.

(Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker)

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