The Precious Stone: Who Would Say That

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 Precious Stone: Who Would Say That

Scripture Reference:

Description: In front of a house, two men sit at a table. One of the men shows precious stones to a third man standing next to the table. 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 8:11-12.

Motto: A Miracle, Lies Beneath.

The Precious Stone in the Rough state,
Through skill gradually polished,
Makes a beautiful and splendid appearance:
The Noble Spirit surrounded by flesh,
Stripped of this miserable life,
Becomes more beautiful than one might think.
Therefore, O Man! set your mind
Not to love the bark of objects,
But to search for what is hidden.
The least worth is turned to the outside,
Thou must open the wooden case,
Therein lies the true marrow and kernel.
Therefore the appetite and desire must,
Turn their preference and their reach,
From all that the eye views,
For that is coarse, and dust and earth,
A thing that is good for nothing,
And long since not the true being.
But what is lying behind there,
And is gained through Faith
That is devoted to hidden beings,
Which do not perish, but remain eternally,
And adhere to their owners,
That is the true treasure for Man.

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

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