The words of the highest Wisdom; and about the vanity of all external things [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: The words of the highest Wisdom; and about the vanity of all external things [from Part III]

Scripture Reference:

Description: The Soul and Vanity watch four little boys at play. The Soul is portrayed as a young woman with a long dress, Vanity as a woman with a fancy dress and hat holding bags of money in one hand and a crown and scepter in the other. 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 likens all earthly actions to child’s play.

Do you wonder that, oh wise world ling,
I do not rejoice in any worldly thing!
So little as thou canst be delighted about thine heart,
And true satisfaction hast from the least of things,
And trifles, with which the simple child plays,
Who imagines from something trifling and small something large,
So little can all earthly things give to me,
With which thou dost pass the time of the entire life,
The money and goods, the gold and silver, the precious stone,
The tasty food and drinks, the graceful clothes,
The power and respectability served and adored,
The school knowledge, art and worldly morals,
The wealth and pleasure, and the comfort of the flesh,
And other things, that also increase the load,
Of the coarse heavy burden of the Soul.
All that I observe, when thou the marbles of the children,
And lesser playthings, with which the little boy amuses himself,
In his folly, dost consider respectable;
But praise God, we have already outgrown that childishness,
The delight of child’s play would not fit us well,
Before the eyes of the Father, who called us to something higher,
When he created the Soul so beautifully as his female friend,
He himself is the treasure of the Soul, and they who find him,
Consider with me everything as vanity and air.

God’s Answer:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

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

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