The Brook: What Will Keep It Stagnant?

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 Brook: What Will Keep It Stagnant?

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men regard the boulders over which a brook flows. 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 104:10-12.

Through the steady giving,
Is it driven.

The Brook that poured out of the spring,
And flowed there through the valley,
Encounters in its urgency a large rock,
But it does not let its course be hindered,
Rather it flows around it,
Over it, or to the side of it.
So also the flood of the clear mind,
Arisen from a love of God:
Whatever constraint it encounters,
To foil its flow,
It makes sure to break through,
And continue its course steadily.
Blessed are those brooks,
That streaming through the World’s valley,
Do not mix with the earth,
Like the ponds and marshes,
Where vermin originate,
But run over it with their flow.
So their clearness will flow eternally,
Through the Paradise of Eternal flowering,
Receiving in its crystal,
The reflection of the holy presence,
And all the beauty never fully praised,
As a delight, in the Blessed Valley.

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

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