A Beam-hook: With Help from That

Book Title: De Bykorf des Gemoeds : Honing zaamelende uit allerley Bloemen / Vervattende over de Honderd konstige Figuuren ; Met Godlyke Spreuken En Stichtelyke Verzen, Door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: A Beam-hook: With Help from That

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two workmen use beam-hooks to move a heavy beam. In the right background is a shipyard. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem, as well as for the poem that accompanies it (below). The attendant Scripture text is Philippians 4:6-7.

If you use the right method,
Your work will not be hindered.

Thou who art burdened and loaded down,
With difficulty, that hampers thee,
And if thou thyself canst not guess,
How best to remove it:
Take a look at the lumberyard,
And see what the workman does,
To overcome heavy weights,
More through experience, than strength and spirit.
With empty hands it won’t succeed,
Although one wants to get to work,
To convey such large and heavy pieces,
To where one needs them.
Take thou the Hope for God in thy hands,
And put it under all the loads,
So as thus to conquer them,
As befits a wise Man.
That will serve thee like a Beam hook,
Which through a moderate force,
Will cure thee from despair,
And accompany thee with great help.
O Hope for God! each one should seize
Thee to be his help and assistance,
So that he under all burdens,
May undertake his work.

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

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