Mount Hekla: The Difference Is Close

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: Mount Hekla: The Difference Is Close

Scripture Reference:

Description: A sailor on a ship that sails on the sea, points to a flaming and smoking mountain in the near distance. 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 Isaiah 66:24.

Two things that differ greatly,
Are often not far apart.

Although the Island is by Nature,
In the middle of cold waves,
It nevertheless has a hidden fire,
As experience has taught:
Although the worldly makeup,
With all its riches and delights,
Seems as far and distant from Hell,
As cold from hot, those great extremes;
So Experience teaches us, however,
That under the cover of every luxury;
Lies Hell’s hidden fire,
That often played through the crevices;
When the worldly Heart,
Now, arrived before the pit of death,
Has suffered unbearable pain,
From its sparks.
So that it appears very clearly,
That many a thing is not inside,
As it seems from the outside,
To dull and inexperienced minds.
Although Nature’s life appears,
A Paradise, without suffering and vexations,
From within stings the hellish fire,
That will arise from its pits.

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

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