About Humility [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 Humility [from Part I]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul, personified as a young woman wearing a long dress, stands under a tree contemplating the driving rain. In front of her, water pours down in a stream from a high rock. 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 practices the Virtue of humility.

When Heaven gives its blessing;
Of a beautiful Summer-rain,
Then the gift falls everywhere;
But all that is high and lofty,
From there, the water is diverted
and flows into the very lowest valley.
That is a beautiful example, to teach me;
Thus the bountiful Spirit of the Lord flows,
Into the humble and modest heart;
O Humility, so highly to be praised,
How thy ground bears all beautiful flowers!
Alas if only my mountain became a dale!
Alas if I could be small and bent,
And raise God in my Soul,
How would from that height
All lovely water flow into me,
And make my Spirit bloom so blithely,
Like a beautiful Rose-garden.
There would Jesus, my love,
Let himself so sweetly and friendly be found.

God’s Answer:
“These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word" (Isaiah 66:2). “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).

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