About the pull of the Lord, and how man must follow that [from Part I]

Book Title: Jezus en de ziel : Een geestelyke spiegel voor 't gemoed : Bestaaende in veertig aangenaame en stichtelyke zinnebeelden : Nevens Het Eeuwige Vaderland en deszelfs vreugde / [Jan Luiken]; in three parts

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: About the pull of the Lord, and how man must follow that [from Part I]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul and the Flesh sit on opposite sides of a table underneath a trellis that is covered with leaves. The Soul is portrayed as a young woman in a long dress; the Flesh as a man with the ears of an ass and a star on top of his head. The Flesh holds a glass of wine in his right hand and a piece of meat in his left hand, while the Soul points to a large piece of meat on the table. Under the table are two kegs of wine. The trunk of a tree is seen behind the table, and a large thistle grows just outside the trellis. The Dutch artist and poet, Jan Luiken (1649-1712) was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and composing the poem that accompanies it.

Poem: The Soul awakened by the pull of the Father.

Although it is here so mild in this land,
For the external life’s fire,
An abundance to burn carelessly,
And give flesh and blood, that coarse beast,
Full reign to his earthly lust;
Yet, I often feel, in my mind,
A sparkling fire, a deeply hidden life,
That hungers after a higher good;
And speaks: We are not at home on this earth;
I thirst for my Fatherland,
And Father, who gave birth to me from his being,
Against which the Ass pits itself:
Still time enough; away with all too serious worries:
Carry out still this last lust.
This drives the Flesh, from one morning to the next,
And puts the Spirit into a false rest.
Now not longer. Now is the time to awaken:
Before the Soul turns into a Thistle,
And may nevermore gain mercy,
O Lord! give me a different heart.

God’s Answer:
"Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation" (Hebrews 3:15). "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him" (Isaiah 55:7).

(Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker and Clazien van den Bergh)

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