The Tannery: Pay Attention Where Thou Dost Join

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 Tannery: Pay Attention Where Thou Dost Join

Scripture Reference:

Description: A worker sits on the edge of a deep pit next to a basked full of bark, while a second basket is being carried to him. A third workman next to him shows him how soft a tanned skin has become. In the background are various sheds and a workman carries a stiff, un-tanned animal skin. 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 Peter 1:4.

With the company one keeps,
One is honored.

The skin, now for a long time, lying next to wood,
Has finally obtained Woods-nature:
What keeps much contact,
(Be it in a good way, or in a bad way,)
That becomes, (to advantage, or disadvantage,)
Frequently united, and married.
The Heart hung upon Worldly-desire,
Has incorporated Worldly-desire,
And has become a mere World’s Heart:
Many, who forget their Eternal Salvation,
Have been cast into that vile pit,
Where life became wholly spoiled.
But those who considered it wisely,
And loved God above all things,
Like their chosen treasure,
Next to which the Heart lived, not in brief bursts,
But all the days of its life,
They become surrounded by God’s strength,
That also penetrated into their Souls,
So that they acquired God’s Nature,
And are therefore inhabitants of Heaven,
Pleasant in his Holy eyes,
Wherefore He will raise them also,
In brilliance, as the Sunshine.

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

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