The Lantern

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 Lantern

Scripture Reference:

Description: While it becomes dark outside, a woman sets on the table a lantern that shines brightly through clean glass panes. As Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), so his disciples should maintain healthy souls, uncorrupted by the desires of the flesh, so that a clear conscience may shine through the earthly body. 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: In order not to go wrong.

Were it made entirely of tin, and closed all around
The Lantern would give no light;
But now, that its windows
Are covered with clear glass,
The candle gives its light,
And penetrates through all its sides.
Man, consisting of flesh and blood,
In which the candle of the soul,
(Lit to light and guide
Through the favor of the highest hand)
Burns in the innermost part of the heart,
Could be like this object.
For when the coarse flesh encloses it,
It is a Lantern without light:
That one sees in times of sickness,
When the dirty and thick glass,
(Or to hear it, it was even worse,)
Is thinned through the fire of suffering.
Then one detects a small ray of the glimmer
Although the light seemed almost out.
But if the flesh can recover again,
And regain its healthy strength,
Then it makes it night again,
And covers those clear rays.
Here one has evidence
How the flesh is the enemy of the Soul;
Thus one must oppose this on healthy days
With Darkness always present,
With the fire of the Soul,
And one must drive out its lust, rest, and Desire.
So the Light of the clear Soul,
Can shine through the flesh and blood.

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

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