In the early Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, a merchant surnamed Jin from Jiangsu County set up a pawnshop in his town. Because he was kindhearted and honest, his customers had fair access to good prices and longer deadlines, especially elderly relatives and neighbors, who often had the interest on their loans waived.
Once, a farmer’s wife became very ill. Because the farmer lived in poverty and could not afford to see a doctor or buy medicine, he had to pawn his winter coat for some money to treat his wife. Not long after, the cold winter was coming, but the farmer still had no money to redeem his coat, and he often shivered from the cold.
Suspecting the farmer had no money to redeem his coat and fearing the farmer would freeze, Jin asked the farmer to take his coat back for an interest-free redemption. The farmer was so deeply touched that he was speechless.
In this way, with interest-free clothing in winter and interest-free clothes in summer, Jin’s pawnshop provided a lot of material assistance to the poor farmers in the area. Over time, it was not known how many people had benefited from this generosity and were helped out in their lives.
Strange to say, far from losing money, his pawnshop became even more and more prosperous, making Jin one of the very few wealthy locals.
Not surprisingly, Jin’s good reputation and popularity spread quickly by word of mouth and the pawnshop was always crowded. Of course, business was exceptionally good. Apparently, a person’s good character is the capital of fortune, which exceeds business ads by many times! This is the real way to make money in the right way.
A moral person who accumulates merit cannot only become rich, but also have his life and property protected. One year, a group of bandits came to the town and a lot of rich men were robbed. Strangely, as wealthy as Jin was, the robbers bypassed his pawnshop. Jin’s entire family and their property remained safe and sound.
The county magistrate constantly had a question on his mind while hunting for the bandits. There must be no lack of ruffians among the poor people who frequently visited the pawnshop. Could it be possible that Jin collaborated with these robbers? Otherwise, it was hard to explain the reason why his pawnshop was left untouched even though he was renowned far and wide for his riches.
Later, the robbers were finally captured by the county detective. During the rigorous interrogation, the robbers denied that they colluded with Jin. The magistrate made a further extensive investigation, which confirmed that Jin really was an honest man who not only dealt fairly with people, but also often helped people in distress.
To unlock the mystery, the magistrate questioned the robbers with the force of justice: “You believe in unscrupulously having an eye out for any opportunity to steal money, so why didn’t you rob Jin’s pawnshop? Make a clean breast of your criminal motives to me!”
The robbers hadn’t told the real story until this moment. It turned out that the robbers had planned to rob the pawnshop many times, but every time they came to the pawnshop at night-time, they always saw numerous divine beings in shining gold armor standing on the roof of the pawnshop, holding swords and arms in their majestic-looking combative power.
The robbers dared not rob the pawnshop, but were quickly scared away one by one. The magistrate and other authorities suddenly realized that the daily good deeds of Jin were not done for nothing.
The gods were touched by his deeds and offered protection for him from the misfortune of being robbed. Soon afterwards, the magistrate presented Jin with a plaque that said “God Bless This Benevolent House” to encourage Jin to keep up his daily high moral deeds.
As long as one does not “neglect good because it is small,” one’s charities will gradually be accumulated into virtue and that virtue will bring one tremendous power.