The Bible: Extremely Valuable

Book Title: De bykorf des gemoeds : honing zaamelende uit allerly bloemen / vervattende over de honderd konstige figuuren ; met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen, door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Bible: Extremely Valuable

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a large room a woman with her child points to an open bible shown to her by second woman. The last page of the Bible contains the words “Bible, which is the entire Holy….” In the background is a view of the hall and the street. 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 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

This Small object contains,
Abundance and Largess.

He who holds this Jewel in his hands,
An illumination of the human mind,
Should make sure that he lives according to its teaching,
In order to gain the Salvation offered.
Otherwise he is like a servant,
Who heard his master’s wishes,
And does not perform the task demanded,
But offers good words instead of deeds.
And he who thus displeases his Lord,
Not only has his wages withheld,
But also is expelled from the house,
As one who is unworthy and unfaithful.
He who then hears and reads the Bible,
And does not act according to its commands,
Has good reason to fear,
Missing out on the reward;
When he so contemplates;
What he himself thinks of Servants without serving,
And words without deeds,
Although they say that they mean it.
Great is the privilege of the The attendant Scripture text is,
To reward faithfulness.
Doing is the Thanks for such a Gift,
Not doing earns punishment instead of rewards.

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

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