Heaven’s Sign: As a Warning

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: Heaven’s Sign: As a Warning

Scripture Reference:

Description: People on a town square at night look at a comet with its tail turned to the right. 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 21:11, 25.

Motto: The Pruning-knife cuts, When the time is ripe.

There is a full measure of sins,
By the wicked people in City and Country,
Thus the Rod is already tied,
And is wielded in a raised hand.
He who is not corrupted should turn to penitence,
Like the disobedient child,
And throw himself before the Father’s feet,
So that he might still find mercy.
When the Very Highest shared wellbeing
Health, peace and abundance,
One forgot him in earthly luxury,
And remained estranged in the heart.
The human heart is diverted,
And turns its back to the Sanctuary,
Where all the world’s confusions are viewed,
If only it had neither sorrow nor want.
Oppression benefits it instead,
And pushes it so from all sides,
That it must leave the extravagance,
And fall into the hand of the Father.
O Man! what favor may happen to thee,
If thou dost leave the evil path,
May God stand with the wide doors
Of his mercy open for thee!

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

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