The Fire: See Where the Finger Points

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 Fire: See Where the Finger Points

Scripture Reference:

Description: People flee with their families and their belongings from the burning houses in the background. 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 Jeremiah 50:32.

Motto: A Sample, or Part, shows the Whole.

When being totally consumed threatens the human abode,
Then one hurries, and saves before everything one’s life.
But whether or not the dear possessions are disrupted and consumed,
For those again a safe place still needs to be found.
But when the great House, of the visible Universe,
Will through the terrible fire of Judgment dissolve to nothing,
Where to then with the flight? Where will life retreat?
Having escaped, to behold this from afar?
It must be found totally outside the realm of time,
In the other world of the Realm of eternity:
There is indeed a chance, for them, who considered this ahead of time
And sought friendship with the Lord of the Kingdom of charity,
That his dwelling would be open for friends,
And life would escape this danger in safety.
But others, who do not bother,
At ease in the nest of time from one morning to the next,
Find on that side, of the friendly loving-light
The door closed and the escape path shut.
And on the other side of Eternity in wrath,
There is the root from which the fire is born.
Where else to go then? For there is no longer any existence;
O wise deliberation, seest thou this evil from afar;
So as to carry all thy best goods away from this fire,
That will drive all life out of the house of Time:
Thy best good, thyself, thy Soul, thine eternal part
Be then attentive to this, or thou will be greatly damaged.

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

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