The Moor: The Hidden Is Like the Visible

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 Moor: The Hidden Is Like the Visible

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two white men discuss a black servant who passes by them with a basket on his arm. 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 Psalm 24: 3-4.

Is the Moor too black for thee,
Take heed thyself of the Moor’s heart.

Even if the Moor went around in white Satin,
He would nevertheless be a Moor:
Many are clothed in white skins.
And are underneath, in the heart,
Much blacker than the Black;
What could that miracle mean?
It is because the European,
Has renounced the desire for Heaven,
From which the white Soul was born,
And with the love of the Soul,
Fell on this black Earth,
A true Mother of the Moors.
And God, who sees into the hidden,
And takes no notice of the body’s white skin,
But of those whose souls are white,
Washed in obedience,
To that in which God has guided them,
Those are the ones who of old pleased Him.
Everyone should then be ashamed,
To be satisfied with the name,
Of belonging to the white Race;
(Which one calls Christians,
And praises above all people,)
But was born from the spirit of Christ.
So he comes into the rightful possession,
Of the true Christian white,
Even when of the Black Race.
The Exterior be what it may be,
That falls into the grave and passes,
Everyone should therefore seek a pure heart.

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

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