The Sparrow: How Much More the Man

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 Sparrow: How Much More the Man

Scripture Reference:

Description: A young man is surrounded by sparrows—on the ground, in the tree and in the sky. 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 Luke 12:6-7.

Motto: The higher the good, The more it is preserved.

Little grey Sparrow that, among the small creatures,
In the sky and on the earth,
Thrives so lively and cheerfully,
Although thou art of very little value:
Thou art of high value, when the mind observes,
How thou, so low in rank,
Art remembered by the very highest,
And by him art not forgotten.
That comforts the human heart,
So that it learns from that example,
How it would be much less forgotten,
Or disregarded by the Lord.
O Soul do not forget him,
He will nevermore forget thee,
He, who sees all from nearby,
And is the source of all knowledge.
Acknowledge that great value,
And the benefit of such a great blessing,
That the very highest Majesty,
Has his eyes on thy ways.
The King who rules the country,
May know neither thy name, nor thy status,
So that thou wouldst be honored,
And highly esteemed by him:
But God, who has no one higher,
Knows thy entire style of life,
If thou dost live with a just heart,
That Father will never forsake thee.

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

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