The Winter: Cold Is the Death

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 Winter: Cold Is the Death

Scripture Reference:

Description: A warmly dressed man and a woman look at the activities on a frozen lake, such as skaters and people entering the frozen lake in a horse drawn sled. 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 adapted this image from one used in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scriptures are Psalm 74:16 and Psalm 147:16-17.

When it is cold, may nonetheless our heart,
Not become cold to God.

The winter time, now arrived,
Bares the land of green trees,
And turns water into stone;
It threatens to chill all life to death,
When it truly takes hold,
And makes the bareness universal.
If we here also in our thoughts,
Try to imagine its severity,
As far as the terrible North Pole;
Then we should think of it,
As resembling Hell,
And learn wisdom from this School.
What wisdom would we learn here?
Not to turn our paths,
On roads to a dark Valley;
Located so far from the Eternal light,
That there Summer is never attained,
But where Winter will be eternal.
He who then in the good times,
Enjoys himself in the world’s Summer,
And is not concerned about the distress,
That makes the undressed naked life,
So greatly shiver and tremble,
With the arrival of the cold death,
Even though he is called clever,
His wisdom in this case is little.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.