The Cripple: Only for a Time

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 Cripple: Only for a Time

Scripture Reference:

Description: On a town square, two men look at a cripple, whose right foot is cut off and walks with the aid of crutches. 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 Matthew 18:8.

Put up with privation,
To inherit more.

The one goes crippled by nature,
Another, because he knows of the fire of hell,
That he tries to avoid,
While he wisely and thoughtfully,
Considers the advice of wisdom,
To cut off hands and feet.
How lively and healthy are they,
Who go crippled in this way,
And do not rest on flesh;
Casting away from their soul,
The bad Eye, the hand and the foot
Of the base and destructive desires.
So they limp, in this time,
Before the world’s eye of vanity,
But at the end of earthly things,
Before eternity’s open door,
Then one finds at the highest choice,
That they went well-formed before God.
The path that leads to the land of Salvation,
Demands this course of being crippled,
How did walking and jumping help,
The firm support and rest,
On feet of fleshly desire,
If we went with those feet to hell!

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

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