The Interest Note: Seek a Permanent Place

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 Interest Note: Seek a Permanent Place

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a room, a money lender hands money to a merchant against an interest agreement. At the far side of the room two clients wait to be helped. 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 Matthew 19:21.

He has the best Interest-note,
Who lifts his heart and goods to God.

He who may receive Ten per Hundred,
Undertakes to stretch his Money,
That is an Interest on his person:
But he who could get a Hundred for Ten,
How his happy heart would be inclined,
Toward such large and beautiful Comfort!
All who surrender their possessions,
To live Eternally without need,
Put interest on their Soul.
This huge benefit is offered by God,
Freely to everyone,
So that He kept the All for little.
So that the gain filled his hands,
More than ten thousand guilders, for ten,
Even if it were a thousand times increased.
For how unworthy and trifling,
Are all temporal things
For him who eyes the heavenly!
He who then seeks to live prudently,
Must so lend his Money at interest,
So that from him the Root, the Trunk and Fruit,
(When it is only a little while ago),
Would not be cut off through death,
And leave him a nasty desire.

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

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