The Pan

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 Pan

Scripture Reference:

Description: As a woman holds a pan over the fire to bake more bread, the family are enjoying the fruits of her labor. All is made possible by the seed that went through a long and arduous process (John 3:3) to become bread. The poem teaches that only through much labor will rewards be gained. 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: Finally and at last.

First it was a Seedling in the soil,
And has, henceforth, through many paths,
Finally reached the status,
Of a prepared and noble station.
And in that status, it has endured,
The cold wind and the rain,
The Sun’s arid drought:
The cutting-knife and treatment
Of fertilizing, and more
Before it was harvested in the barn:
And further, through sifting, and grinding,
The stripping of the hull and shells.
Now it arrives, prepared in the Pan,
Over the fire, to be baked into Bread,
And so to serve, satisfying,
The Child, the Mother, and the Man.
Behold, o Life! how many steps
Went here before the aimed-for End:
And wouldst Thou without blow or shove,
And without one day being reborn,
Want to be so easily chosen,
And become savory bread for God?
Let go of such comforting thoughts,
By studying well and wisely,
What the Man can show thee;
How everyone, who will inherit Better,
Must let his first being die,
Only after struggling is one crowned,
Before thou, through this exalted delusion,
Dost, at the end, find thyself badly deceived.

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

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