The Sheep: Neither Tusk, nor Claw

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 Sheep: Neither Tusk, nor Claw

Scripture Reference:

Description: One sheep stands and one lies next to a tree that provides shelter with the aid of a cane mat attached to it. In the middle of a rocky landscape a shepherd herds a wide-spread flock of sheep. 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 John 10:27-28.

Motto: Not wild but tame, Like a lamb.

Scattered along the bleak heath,
So long governed by the world’s spirit,
That finally leaves the cattle of its meadow,
As prey for the ferocious beast,
A better state may come to pass for thee,
Flee away from the treachery,
A more faithful shepherd comes forward,
Place thyself under his staff.
He is concerned with neither thy wool, nor worthy life,
He does not do it for thy profit,
It’s only to give thee his favor,
To feed and protect thee.
His staff will move thee gradually,
Along mountains and valleys through the land of time,
Unto a Valley to remain eternally,
That valley of blessed eternity.
There neither grass nor herb will ever be lacking,
Nor coolness of the pleasant Sun,
Nor water from Crystal brooks,
Welling up from life’s spring.
There no vermin will plague thee,
There thou goest safely up and down,
There no cruel person will ambush thee,
Nor anything that would cause imperfection.
There thou dost arise, there thou dost lie down,
In the thriving and fragrant field,
Shaded by the Palm and Cedar tree,
Around thee it is well appointed.
Come down, come down, strayed sheep,
From Adam’s renowned stable,
Which are attracted to great danger,
To a bleak meadow, the vale of tears.
Where the butcher-knife is daily sharpened,
And the one before, and the other after,
Is snatched from the large flock,
To be bound and bloodily slaughtered.
Flee in time at the friendly bidding,
While the good shepherd beckons,
And eternal Salvation is offered,
So that his love brings thee there,
While it now comes to thine ears,
So accept the glad tidings,
Let such a meadow entice thy desire:
To go to thine eternal Salvation:
O Sheep from Adam’s stable and meadow,
Let Christ guide thee from now on.

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

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