About the watchfulness of the Mind [from Part II]

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 watchfulness of the Mind [from Part II]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul lies on the ground asleep while holding up a heart with a watchful eye. Jesus, wearing an aureole, walks past her and looks at her. 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 resting from all external abundance, keeps watch with the heart’s internal eye.

Though I appear dead before the world,
And cut off from life,
Oh no! Oh no! that is no agony,
I sleep in my external limbs.
I rest from all the earthly action,
From all worldly riches
And pleasure, for the animal body,
From abundance and images;
Thus I sleep, but my heart keeps watch,
For God and Godlike things,
So that if the Lord approaches me,
He will not find me slumbering.
I sleep, but the eye of my heart
Is always open and elevated,
And sees in God the eternal good,
The eternal light, and eternal life.
Oh! yes my flesh continues sleeping so,
And sinks still deeper into forgetfulness,
Of all that does not belong in the heart,
And that the Spirit should not know.
Alas! would with me the world be dead,
In an oblivion of sins!
The entire human race would be deified,
And the true life would be found.

God’s Answer:
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation" (Matthew 26:41).

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

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