The Meat-Barrel

Book Title: Het leerzaam huisraad : vertoond in vyftig konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Meat-Barrel

Scripture Reference:

Description: The reader should take a lesson from the household that diligently takes meat to the cellar to preserve it in a large pickling barrel. People should give such attention to the avoidance of sins of the flesh so that they are salted by God and control their earthly concerns. Such belong to Christ and have crucified the sinful nature with its passions (Galatians 5:24). The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and wrote the accompanying poem.

Motto: To preserve.

If one wished to spare the Salt here,
How would one preserve the Meat?
But the human flesh already stinks,
Because forgotten through negligence,
It has not been well coated with salt,
As is done with the flesh of Animals.
What resistance was here available,
To protect the self from ruin?
That is the sharp and penetrating Salt,
That breaks the will and desire of the Flesh,
So that it remains daily deprived,
Of what it dearly loves.
O Worthy Soul! thou art, by God,
Offered the salting of the Flesh;
Thou art the landlord, the command is thine:
Thou must not spare the Salt;
So as not to live in foul smelling Flesh,
That could pull thee to Hell.
For stinking and rotten things,
Decayed in their own dirt,
Belong on a Dung heap.
Therefore, o Soul! suppress thine affliction,
Of earthly-mindedness down here,
That is for thee the very best.

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

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