The Fog: Be Observant

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 Fog: Be Observant

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men carefully try to find their way in a heavy fog. 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 Matthew 6:22-23.

Motto: May thy foot stand firm, In the darkness.

It is foggy; proceed carefully;
So that thou, through wrong steps
Dost not come where thou dost not belong,
Or dost bump into something, or fall down,
O Fog of corruption!
That brings over the whole earthly kingdom,
On strayed humanity,
A Fog that begot the first sin!
Thou dost demand a calm spirit,
That can keep itself within boundaries,
Thou dost demand a firm and accurate foot,
So as not to wander into great danger.
May the eye not wander here, there and again,
Attracted to other things,
But look only in front of its feet,
And mark the difference of streets,
Note the ground on which one stands,
So that one through the darkness,
Nevertheless follows the path homeward,
And does not miss the right track.
Luckily one is at the hand,
Of him who knows the right streets,
And lanes on all sides,
So that the Dwelling is obtained:
O Jesus! whose all seeing eye
Can never be blinded by mist or fog,
Lead us over low and high,
Until we find our dwelling.
That Dwelling, where Thou art Landlord,
That most pleasing Dwelling,
That Eternal House of Salvation,
O Jesus, our God and King!

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

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