The Cannon: Distress Makes Speed

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 Cannon: Distress Makes Speed

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men stand on a hill next to a cannon that is directed at a fortified castle on the far side of the valley. A cannon ball lies on the ground next to the cannon. 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 Philippians 2:12.

If thou dost put thyself into Tightness,
The Enemy will suffer huge violence.

The cannonball, stuck in the narrow Cannon,
Travels fast and is powerfully destructive,
As Tightness explodes with power into space:
The Human Heart enclosed in God’s Command,
And shot to the Kingdom of Heaven,
Is not stopped by the Enemy’s wall.
But he who does not want to put himself in the Narrow Path,
But wants to live in the Spaciousness of his desires,
Has no impelled pressure behind him,
So the force finds a way on the sides,
To slide to the right and to the left past the Heart,
Thus he does not progress to the Kingdom of God.
And Satan’s wall remains firm and undamaged,
Behind which he sits cleverly hunched down,
While the Soul forgets its Eternal Salvation,
And flails against the wind, as if it accomplished great things,
In matters that erelong would perish as smoke,
That is the fruit of the earthly Spaciousness and Breadth.
Learn then, o Man! who wishes to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven,
To be deprived of the world’s kingdom with its Spaciousness,
So the Tightness impels the compressed heart,
To sweep the enemy’s wall located before the Kingdom of God,
With huge force out of thy way,
So as to enter the City of Salvation.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.