The Earth: For That Which It Brings Forth

Book Title: Beschouwing der wereld : bestaande in hondert konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken.

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Earth: For That Which It Brings Forth

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man talks to a workman who digs a hole in the ground with a spade; a second worker brings materials in a wheelbarrow. The scene is set in a hilly landscape. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712) was responsible for drawing this emblem and composed the poem that accompanies it. The etching was executed by Jan Luiken or his son Casper Luiken (1672-1708), who had used this image in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scripture text is Psalm 67:6-7.

The Means are indeed good,
If they have their effect.

The child’s nature is nobler,
Than his Mother who gives birth to him;
Who can eat the rough Earth?
But its desired beautiful fruit,
Which life’s appetite longs for and desires,
That is eaten by each with relish:
The noble fruit of the new heart,
Growing out of flesh and blood,
That rough lump of dust and earth,
Is the child, that to a high degree,
Surpasses his mother in status,
He is precious and rich in value.
O Earth, that would be unworthy,
If thou didst lack fertility,
Thou shouldst work to make sure,
That rain and Sunshine,
Will not be fruitless on thee,
But will witness thy Harvest in the light.
The Harvest that pleases the Almighty,
For which his wish and desire ask,
That worthy Harvest of Virtue,
Whereto thou dost sow in thy resolve,
For the Almighty calls for it,
To become the one fruit of eternal joy.

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

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