About the river of sins, and how the Soul must row against the current [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 river of sins, and how the Soul must row against the current [from Part I]

Scripture Reference:

Description: Jesus and the Soul are portrayed in a rowboat. The Soul is rowing against the current of a large waterway, while Jesus is at the helm. 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 rows steadily against the stream of sins.

Although I have tiredly and wearily rowed,
Up this stream of sinful desires,
That steadily flows downward,
I still don’t plan to linger, nor to rest,
For if I did that for a little time,
I would see my work defeated and lost,
We would remain always equally far,
And would never come to the place where we belong.
O Wise Pilot give me strength,
And keep the helm of life in thy hands,
While we row day and night,
Through wind and current, till we land,
At the place where we must be;
Finished work allows for sweet and safe resting,
Resting too early causes sorrow and pain,
And much grief, that allows us no pleasure,
Row on, my spirit, row on with courage,
Steady work will indeed come to an end;
After the bitter, the sweet tastes best,
Joy is most beautiful after sorrow and misery.
Row on, my Soul, row on with vigor,
Till thou has finished the journey here.

God’s Answer:
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13).

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

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