The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

7:00 AM

Hieronymus Bosch, The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, around 1500

What a fancy table, a true masterpiece of the era.

The table is a masterpiece describing the seven deadly sins: wrath at the bottom (going clockwise on the table), envy, greed, gluttony, laziness, lazy, lust, pride. The seven deadly sins are then surrounded by the four last things: death of a sinner, judgement, hell, and glory. In the center of the table is "god's pupil" with Jesus inside of it. Along the bottom of the pupil lies the Latin phrase "Cave Cave Deus Videt" which means "Beware, beware, God sees."Along the bottom is more Latin from Deuteronomy 32:28-2 meaning, "For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.

I have heard of the seven deadly sins many times but this is my first time hearing of the four last things. The four last things are the consequences the user faces posthumously based on how often they committed the deadly sins. Bosch begins with death of a sinner, a picture of a man dying in his bed while an angel weighs his sin on a scale. the sinner then goes to judgement. based on the verdict in judgement, they either ascend to glory or else catch the escalator down to hell.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with the seven sins. I never knew how the Christian faith justified a soul "heavy with sin" and a soul with barely any. Humans were created with emotions. Everybody in their life feels jealous of another person, it is normal. Does that make everyone a sinner? How much of this feeling of jealousy can I have before my own soul is heavy with sin? Bosch didn't really answer my questions through this culinary masterpiece but he did associate my questions with a very entertaining painting for each sin.

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