The Medicinal Herb: From Destruction Raised

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 Medicinal Herb: From Destruction Raised

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man sits at an outside table while two servants show him a number of plants. In the background is a large garden with several people looking at plants. 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 John 12:25.

He who seeks the fruit of good hope,
Should untie the tangible knot.

As the herb’s Noble virtue first appears,
When its husk and shell are lost,
Why, O man! (who art such a Doctor,)
Dost thou not consider, how the truly happy life,
Of the Noble Spirit, is sought, and elevated,
Out of the destruction of life of this time?
All we see with fleshly eyes,
Is covered with a Coat of coarseness,
Thus must he, who wants to be truly wise,
According to Christ’s teaching, forsake the all for Him,
So as to become happy along that way,
In clear possession, of the very noblest Purity.
The Soul and Spirit, are both his hands,
Bound with fleshly ties,
And so are stuck, as in a Dungeon:
When flesh and blood, a Dwelling of sins,
According to God’s order, are untied and loosened,
Then are they freed from the heavy Yoke.
The Earth is by nature thick and dark,
With its mankind and close neighbors;
Heaven is the right Soul and strength.
God’s Day of Judgment, will separate the bad from the good,
And what is not good, remove from his view,
Therefore he does well, who seeks Heaven.

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

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