The Mirror

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 Mirror

Scripture Reference:

Description: While a woman sits in front of a mirror intent on correcting facial blemishes, the pious are devoted to Scripture and attentive to leading reflective, thoughtful lives (2 Corinthians 7:1). The poem urges the reader to first please the holy eye of God that sees the body as well as the deeds and so find salvation. 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: Know thyself.

He who stands often before the Mirror,
To inspect his appearance,
Out of desire for vain pleasure,
Is warned, so that he knows,
And above all does not forget,
To carry God’s Word before his Heart:
That clear Mirror, in which one sees,
Whether one is clean or not,
And where blemishes are located,
So that the flaws can be removed,
Through sorrow, remorse and Tears of Penance,
And the face will appear clear;
Before the Holy Eye, (that sees all,
Of what exists and happens,)
To His pleasure and delight:
That will bring thee Salvation, not in Part,
But Salvation, of everything, and totally,
That is the greatest Honor of all.
But, what is done to humankind,
That will dissolve and decay,
And its odor will change to stench:
This demands careful consideration,
As the benefit leads us,
To learn to look Correctly at ourselves.

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

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