The Castle: Hide Thyself Properly

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 Castle: Hide Thyself Properly

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men seated in the foreground view a huge, beautifully and strongly built castle that is outfitted with numerous towers and a large, closed gate. 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 Psalm 18:2-3.

Virtue is the wall,
Against sword and fire.

It is a Castle, that firmly built,
With strong towers, wall and ramparts,
Keeps the earthly enemy outside,
So that one is not attacked:
Yet the Castle for our poor Soul,
Is not put together from mortar and stone,
So that the Soul would keep itself behind there
And thus be free from the arrow of sins.
But, he who holds fast to God,
And hides himself in his will,
He has built the Soul’s castle,
And lets the enemy waste arrows.
He who mixes the mortar of Repentance with tears,
And, well strewn with heart-felt sighs,
Brings richly to the Building requirement,
The stone of virtuous fruits;
He encloses himself in the right castle,
And covers himself against the dangerous open field,
And stands firmly in his God,
Surrounded with Belief and Hope.
How many a one builds a Castle,
So as to live freely and safely,
And so may enjoy the part,
To which his desire is raised;
And if, afterwards, one would pass by it,
Where its firm towers stood,
Then one would find everything to the side,
Scattered, demolished and totally ruined.
But the imperishable Castle,
Fixed in God with firm walls,
Braves the open throat of Hell,
And can endure the storm of Death.
Thus each is advised to build this one,
To spare the true life,
So that it keeps itself behind these walls,
And lives eternally without harm.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.