The Whole World: Each Person Is Different

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 Whole World: Each Person Is Different

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men overlook a large town square where numerous people are engaged in various occupations. 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 Deuteronomy 5:29.

Each should release his Soul from there,
Like a great treasure.

When we review the World,
One finds it full of poor people,
In the Royal courts,
As well as in the general public,
Of high and low degree,
The idle, and those toiling hard.
How so? Well listen: He who in his chest,
Lacks gold or silver,
Who possesses nothing;
Of land, of sand, of house and yard,
Of status, of honor, of value and praise;
Who is without goods; He is called Poor:
But not serving God, or being unprotected by God,
That draws Poverty’s highest fate,
Though the possessors of it sing;
Since one, as if by magic,
Dreams that he is rich and wealthy,
Like the child seen playing with shells.
One should consider it thoughtfully,
So that one takes a better path:
Naked from the source of all good!
How can he be rich? Although he seems to be;
A rootless being who fades away,
Because he lacks eternal food.
And day in, day out it emerges clearly,
That the world’s goods would not be wealth,
When Death to all ranks,
With fear of its stern hand,
Banishes life from this time,
Where each must leave the all behind:

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

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