The Rich One: Imperfect and Fleeting

Book Title: Beschouwing der wereld : bestaande in hondert konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken.

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Rich One: Imperfect and Fleeting

Scripture Reference:

Description: In an open hall, a man, wearing fur hat and fur-lined coat, sits at a table counting coins from a bag full of coins, while two men stand in front of him. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712) was responsible for drawing this emblem and composed the poem that accompanies it. The etching was executed by Jan Luiken or his son Casper Luiken (1672–1708) who adapted this image from one used in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scripture text is Matthew 16:26-27.

Motto: The true Good, Leads to the Soul.

The Wealth esteemed by the flesh,
That is not the true wealth,
As it consists of Metal from the earth,
And various kinds of comfort,
Of the vain things of this time,
However enjoyable and valuable.
Since what disperses like a stream,
And what vanishes like a dream,
How greatly are those things esteemed!
Though the desire for Wealth said,
It covers the Life of this time:
But it is a roof with the strength of straw.
The storm-wind, from the corner of Death,
That sweeps it away, and leaves them bare,
Who sit safely under it.
Then the bold spirit becomes scared,
So nakedly overcome and plagued,
By deathly cold and heat.
Where then is the better Kingdom?
Open the eyes and look at it:
That is the noble status of virtue.
Gold and silver become dull,
Compared to the gleam of the rich Faith,
And Hope for God and eternal joy.
While the well contented soul,
Friendly with God, the highest good,
Sits under the wished-for blessing,
Of the favor from the Highest-Majesty,
A Wealth, that in eternity shall not be,
Swept away by a random event.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.