The Hill: So as Not to Go Astray

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 Hill: So as Not to Go Astray

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a valley, two hikers point to a man standing on a hill from which he surveys his surroundings. 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 scriptures are Proverbs 5:23 and Proverbs 16:25.

One walks with care,
Along his life’s path through this time.

Should the trail of the route be wrong for one,
The hill, raised above the ground,
Lets him look out, where he is,
So that he will correct his perspective.
He who has lost his way through the wasteland,
Of the world’s heath and wilderness,
Whose course is in a wretched state,
Through missing the right path for a long while:
Climb the height of the soul,
The hill of thoughtfulness,
So that it becomes clear for thee
How far thy foot has trod in error.
How far and wide thou art astray,
From the garden where thou shouldst end up,
How thou hast turned around and around,
Through thicket, forest, and wild trees.
How thy path more and more
Would lead thee from the place of rest,
And bring thee finally also so far,
So far, so far, on barren heath,
That from thee, in the last review,
The chance to once again come home
Through indecision, perhaps,
Was wrested and taken away.
Where the dismalness of the night
On the desolate field came to overtake thee,
Where carelessness had brought thee,
Unto the valley of the vale of tears.
Yes, also so far, so far, so far,
That thou never again didst come to tell the tale,
Fallen away without return,
As far as the abyss of hell.
Do not then walk past this hill,
The height, of deliberation,
So that one perceives where one is,
So as to gain the path to eternal salvation.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.