The Vessel: After Thou Dost Moor It

Book Title: De bykorf des gemoeds : honing zaamelende uit allerly bloemen / vervattende over de honderd konstige figuuren ; met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen, door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Vessel: After Thou Dost Moor It

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man on the left foreground points to two vessels on the river with sails set in different directions. As a result the same wind propels the vessels in two different directions. On the opposite side of the river two men stand in front of a narrow gate and a windmill is located farther up the hill. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem, as well as for the poem that accompanies it (below). The attendant Scripture text is 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.

If prosperity is offered to thy Soul,
Thou should make good use of it.

By one wind, coming from the north,
The one is driven East, the other West,
As far as the pilot’s course reaches:
Each sail-rigging catches according to arrangement and governing,
And without the work of tacking
Runs its course, after the plan is determined.
Through one Time given generally,
By God’s hand, to the human life,
One person goes well and rapidly towards Heaven,
And the other, conversely towards Hell,
After the Heart has set its course,
In this journey of life’s passage.
The wind is good, according to wishes and pleasure,
And increases freely, on many days:
If someone discovers his incorrect course,
He should turn rudder and sail, and all his affairs,
So as to set a better course in time,
Through the good use of this life’s wind:
Before it stops blowing in his sail,
Before he bangs and breaks to his great surprise,
In a corner, where his wrong choice
And evil desire carried him thoughtlessly,
While destruction, constantly lay in wait for him.
Carefulness prevents great evil.

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

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