Pot to Extinguish Burning Coals

Book Title: Het leerzaam huisraad : vertoond in vyftig konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: Pot to Extinguish Burning Coals

Scripture Reference:

Description: As a young woman is instructed in placing coals into a kettle, where they will be smothered. According to the attendant scripture (Matthew 24:12-13), the insightful understand that while wickedness cools the love of most, those who are steadfast will endure. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and wrote the accompanying poem.

Motto: Darkens through enclosing.

The coal, that’s brightly glowing,
So beautifully, with gilded radiance,
Must be smothered rapidly in the pot,
And quickly become as black as soot.
Thus is it also with the human heart,
When glowing in heavenly love,
Out of the thorn bush of pain,
It blossoms like a beautiful Rose;
When it, alas, is surrounded,
By the earthly Pot called luxury,
The light loses its glowing life,
And its glory will come to naught.
O Worthy Soul remain fearful,
And let not thy noble glow,
Be shamefully smothered
By the futile Things of this Time.
O Flesh and blood and earthly life,
Thou dark Pot of the heart,
How thou hast surrounded many a Soul,
To the detriment of its Heavenly glow!
O Noble Soul remain uncovered,
And draw thy life’s air from God,
So the Eternal light will be enjoyed,
And will escape the Pot of Hell.

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

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