About the withdrawal of Grace [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 withdrawal of Grace [from Part I]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul, depicted as a young woman in a long dress, is tempted by the devil to abandon Jesus and take the earthly, sinful path. 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 left on her own, experiences her nothingness.

A dark cloud covers the shining sunlight,
Like my Beloved now his friendly countenance;
As long as that shone into me, my heart did beat from joy,
Then I was strong, and sang, and leaped along the path of virtues;
But now that the Godly shine hides itself,
I am a Worm, in substance and in being.
If I encounter anything, that lies across my way,
I feel the old man writhing like a Snake,
Then the enemy, induces me sharply to doubt,
And directs me again to go along the old path.
How fearful I am! And nevertheless, O Lord,
Although it tastes so sour, I do still honor thee!
Thou dost act so right and well, that thou dost make me do without,
That which I hold dear, more than all the world’s goods:
That punishment fits my guilt and many sins,
That I, from day to day, have firmly bound together.
Although then my God, I may neither see nor feel thee,
Thou dost keep, nonetheless, thine eye on me the entire day;
Keep me secretly close, so that I do not escape from thee,
But in resignation, with tears and sighs,
Lament my guilt, and firmly trust, that thy death,
And beloved blood, will release my Soul from her despair.

God’s Answer:
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee" (Isaiah 54:7). "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Revelation 3:19).

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

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