The Mustard Seed: There Is Life

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 Mustard Seed: There Is Life

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man throws the dirt on the side from the deep ditch he is digging, while a couple views the mustard seed that grows on the side. A church can be seen in the 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 2 Corinthians 5:10.

Although it seems dead,
It has no distress.

The Mustard-seed preserves its strength,
Even though it lay in a dirty ditch;
Thrown up after many years,
It had not forgotten its growth,
Since with the Act it shows,
That its soul still lives within:
More often the Human, the Head of all things,
That received status from the Creator,
Now long, since olden times,
Having lain under sand and dirt,
Has in his departure taken along his soul,
To appear again,
When the highest hand,
Will throw him out on the land,
To live through the power of his soul,
So that God will Judge him,
After he here, in the First time,
Has prepared his own Self,
By doing Evil or Good deeds.
Each then should nourish himself in the present,
With power and virtue into Salvation,
Before he departs from the world,
So as, in the return after this one,
To be a good and fruitful herb,
Of unchanging Duration,
While the Weed goes into the Fire.

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

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