About the safest way to go through the dark world to the eternal Fatherland [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 safest way to go through the dark world to the eternal Fatherland [from Part I]

Scripture Reference:

Description: In the dark of the night, Jesus walks along a narrow path lit by his lamp while the Soul follows closely in his footsteps. Jesus wears an aureole while the Soul is depicted as a young woman in a long dress. 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 remains true only to Christ.

Though darkness, caused through craft and strife,
Has covered the worldly Pilgrim’s path so deeply and dismally,
In which mist neither on this nor that side,
Were false lights, which often seduce the Pilgrim,
Besides I have good courage and hope, as I trust,
That if I keep my eyes straight and only on Jesus,
And set my feet only in his footsteps,
And walk in his light, that I with serenity,
Will finally arrive at the wished-for place,
In the true Fatherland of him who has strayed.
Although sometimes a ghastly monster appears,
And scares me to death; and baptizes my hair in sweat,
The closer I keep to JESUS, my total salvation,
And though the narrow path often feels somewhat severe and steep,
Thickly covered with thistles, which flesh and blood do dread,
The sweeter the rest shall be in the other life.

God’s Answer:
“I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). "Walk while ye have the Light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be the children of Light” (John 12:35-36).

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

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