The Hospital: Dangerously Ill

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 Hospital: Dangerously Ill

Scripture Reference:

Description: This two story large hall in a hospital holds numerous beds against the left and the back walls and on a second floor gallery; they are all filled with ill people. In the foreground two men discuss this scene. 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 1 John 5:19-20.

The illness of the sick Heart,
Is more severe, than that of flesh and blood.

Dost thou wish to enter the great Hospital,
Just take a look at the wide world,
With all its chambers and rooms;
There are many people, yes, a huge number,
Who suffer in their best part,
Thou wilt discover thousands of them.
Remain a while near them,
Thou wilt hear them rave,
With sick and scattered wits,
In various wanderings,
Of vanities of this Time,
Because of high fever from Worldly love.
If their hearts were healthy,
One would hear it from their mouths,
How their words and thoughts,
(Moved through moderation,
That sweeps Vanities away,)
Would always consider the Eternal things.
However, he who takes the Lord Jesus,
As his Treasure, above all things,
Has found a Medicine,
That relieves his illness,
So that he leaves the Hospital,
Counted among the very healthy.

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

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