The Sand: It Is Clear

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 Sand: It Is Clear

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men walk through a desert, their gaze fixed on the footprints in the sand of those who passed ahead of them. 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 Proverbs 4:25-27.

Motto: Much depends on the right paths.

The sand accepts the footprints,
And shows the meaning publicly,
A trail where someone has passed,
As comfort, to gain the right path.
We find, while we traverse the land,
The sandy desert of temporal things,
Where so many animal feet are,
A trail of true human footprints.
Raise high the good of this discovery!
Let others praise fortunes,
This is salvation; that someone, before our eyes
Came to mark the path home.
That fulfills the wish of one who strayed,
So that he may follow the prepared path
The path of an experienced man,
Because so often the wrong path goes astray.
O Jesus! Who trod before us,
So that thou dost alleviate our grief,
Thou art the man I mean,
And the path of salvation is from thy feet.
Thou art the Word become flesh,
The true man, and the image of God,
Thou hast marked the path of salvation,
And offered the eternal life.
The words of thy wise mouth,
Are, besides the high deeds, and life,
Footprints in the soft ground,
Given us as the correct path.
Our human animal nature,
Fallen away from the right road,
Has tempted us so long and broadly,
Through tracks of animal steps.
We went to, we went fro,
Where robbery and murder awaited us,
We wandered and remained far,
From the house of rest, for foreign guests.
He who then hates the dangerous wandering,
And would rather get safely across,
See to it, that he takes the holy path,
That Jesus Christ laid down for us.

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

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