The Packaged Goods: Unity Preserves

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 Packaged Goods: Unity Preserves

Scripture Reference:

Description: A heavily loaded two-wheel pack wagon is pulled by two horses, one in front of the other. The driver who sits on the horse in front uses his whip to urge the horses on. In the background is a second, equally loaded wagon. 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 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

He who doesn’t fasten his Heart,
Loses much more than he gains.

The Merchant packs his goods together;
So they would arrive safely,
Since, if they were thrown together loose,
They would easily be scattered:
He who would like to win with his deeds,
Should see to it that his divided wits,
Are gathered, ordered and coaxed,
Redirected with the fear of God,
Fastened with straps of the hatred of sins,
And tightly bound together.
So that the most valuable goods,
From a righteous and pious heart,
However it rolled and tossed, on the way to the End,
With carrying, turning and swinging,
Would not be lost, on the way,
Or accidently receive serious damage,
But would indeed arrive safely,
So a large profit is taken,
That surpassed all things,
However large, however beautiful, however expensive.
Since, what are all the Merchant’s parcels,
And all the filled bags,
Compared to the inestimable large good,
Of a righteous, peaceful heart!

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

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