The Turbulent Weather: For a Good Escape

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 Turbulent Weather: For a Good Escape

Scripture Reference:

Description: In turbulent weather a family hastens to escape inside a house through a welcoming open door, while two men and a woman try to find shelter under an awning. 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 Zephaniah 2:3.

Well to him, who, when the gust of death rages,
Finds an open door for the soul.

When one finds stormy weather,
A mixture of rain and wind,
While the chilly gusts howl,
And water beats against everything,
Then each one flees from path and street,
To escape from the hardship into the house.
Easy Life that so retreats,
From what does not seem pleasant,
Shalt thou then never awaken?
As so many fingers, before and after,
Point out to us, that we should go wisely,
So we do not take the wrong course.
The Soul lives in flesh and blood,
A House that soon must break apart,
One does not have to ask why,
Since no one lasts forever,
But all life dies
As seen each day.
Does then mature Reasoning not demand,
That each one look for a dwelling,
With diligence of heart and mind?
So that, when the Body must perish,
The poor Soul will not stand naked,
Locked outside the Blessed inside.
But see, a difficult time will come,
Of a turbulent Eternity,
That should always be avoided;
How does it help if the transient flesh,
Dwelt here in a Palace,
And the poor Soul must wander eternally.

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

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