The Fountain: Clear and Pure

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 Fountain: Clear and Pure

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two persons quench their thirst from a fountain with six high spouting streams of water. A third person rests under a tree. 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 14:27 and Isaiah 12:3.

Fountain of all things,
May everyone go to thee!

The drops are worth more,
Than the fountain that bore them,
In the esteem of the human race,
That values these and those trifles,
Of the earthly things that streamed out,
More than their origin.
But he, who hopes to find better,
And knows to restrain his desire,
Prefers to pass thirsty,
A gutter, mixed with the dirt of the earth,
So that he would save his quenching,
Until the pure fountain would be there;
The rich source of all streams,
Where everyone who is thirsty may come,
And freely drink the holy liquid;
That living Water-vein,
That springs up eternally, from the Father,
And is very lovingly called Jesus.
So we are willing to pass the time,
And are consoled to suffer some thirst,
Even though the temporal Sun stings,
We shall speedily run to the end,
Then shall the thirst be eternally quenched,
From God, that pure Fountain of Life.

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

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