About the treasure of the Soul, and the coarseness of worldly mankind [from Part III]

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 treasure of the Soul, and the coarseness of worldly mankind [from Part III]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul and the World are both portrayed as young women who face each other. The World carries the globe, while the Soul has her right foot on top of the globe as an angel looks on from heaven. Next to the Soul grows a thistle. 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 against the world.

Yes, it is equal; so foolish as I am before thine eyes,
So foolish, oh world! art thou again for me.
So foolish as thou dost consider me, because I hate luxury,
And forsake all things for the only good;
So foolish I rate thee again, that thou dost keep all,
Instead of the only true treasure, and dost choose dirt instead of gold.
Yes, thou dost say, thine is air, I touch my treasure with hands,
Oh ignorant beast! Hide thyself for shame,
Art thou wise enough, and dost not let a beautiful diamond,
Though thou dost revile it for wind, float out of thy hand;
Much less shalt thou rob from me; though thou didst call it smoke and wind,
The pearl I find in my heart.
Oh foolish beast! The living soul
Grasps much firmer than thou ever dost with hands;
But it’s in vain to fight with thee, oh blind wit!
As day and night differ, so we are also separated;
I am a fruit in light, thou in darkness,
Each grows from his ground until it ripens
Then each gathers its fruit with delight into his barn.
Thy treasure shall fall away from thee, while mine shall last eternally.

God’s Answer:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

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

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