The Mountain: Towards Heaven

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 Mountain: Towards Heaven

Scripture Reference:

Description: A traveler looks with amazement at the high mountain located in the distance. 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 had used this image in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scripture text is Isaiah 40:9.

Lift thine eye,
To the holy height.

If there was also a Mountain situated on the Earth,
Which one would climb, along discovered narrow paths,
To have a healthy and beautiful Climate,
That was conducive to a long life, while enjoying all luxuries,
That the human judgment can imagine leading to wellbeing,
That would for all men be a very desirable state:
Well then; Should someone desire to travel out of his land,
One will show him such a mountain to be fully possessed:
It leads to the holy land, called Gospel,
Its name is Heavenly-desire, its crown is raised high:
One climbs it, along the Trail of Christ’s Teaching and Life,
That brings the hiker, in the glorious enjoyment
Where no hundred Years of luxury appear before him,
But the Eternal life is provided in perfection.


O Mountain of virtue raised so high,
(Raised so high out of the ground,
Of the deep valley of the fleshly life,)
The firmness of which never changed.
We have heard talk of thee,
Therefore we started walking,
And left the land of Sins behind,
To go there in Pilgrimage.
O High Mountain of Salvations!
Thine Entrance is not too steep for us,
We approach steadily with broad strides,
O Spiritual Zion! Mountain of salvation
Desired garden, toward which we walk,
We see thee already in the distance,
With eyes of faith and hope,
Exalted goal, to which the heart looks.
We plan, to meet thee,
The most-worthy crown of life,
With which thy crown will lift us,
To the high heavenly-throne
Come on, come on, O Human life,
Climb this mountain of goods,
So wilt thou be raised from the dust,
Into the eternal Eden of the heart.
The Valley of hot Sunshine,
Which life passed straight through,
Will finally disappear completely,
From the eye of the salvation-climber.
Men should then stream, from all quarters,
To this firm mountain of virtue,
So that many will achieve the Possession,
Of Eternal welfare, peace and joy.

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

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