The Dog: The Guard Is Recommended to Everyone

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 Dog: The Guard Is Recommended to Everyone

Scripture Reference:

Description: Three large dogs lie in the forefront of this image. Behind the dogs are a house and a man walking a little dog; in the background, a couple and a dog. 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 scripture text is Proverbs 2:10-11.

Motto: Evil flees, From a good noise.

The watchful Dog, guards his Master’s house and garden,
And barks, and growls fiercely at the stranger’s arrival:
Where is the Guard before the Soul’s house and court,
So that neither murderer, not thief would surprise it?
Or is that well-considered concern for salvation,
Not worth the necessary attention?
So many a house is broken into by surprise attacks
And robbed, and the master killed.
That is shameful neglect: Judgment and reasonableness,
That leads the house of the human heart, into the valley of dangers,
Where many foes lie in wait with cunning,
To carry away the richest insides of the empty hull;
Contemplate thy Soul with respect to much greater harm,
So that one pays better attention to one’s affairs;
And the stinking Pig-sty, of transient things,
(Compared to the everlasting goods so little and trifling,)
Is not futilely cared for, but carefully locked,
And the house and court is not left as loot for the robber:
But that the fear of God may stand guard in front of the heart’s house,
So as not to succumb to the great danger of eternal death.

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

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