The Lighter (Tinderbox)

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: The Lighter (Tinderbox)

Scripture Reference:

Description: The ordinary, domestic lighter or tinderbox reminds the spiritual person that God’s word is powerful and like a fire (Jeremiah 23:29). The poem urges the reader to acquire God’s light now, while the hand of God still makes the heart beat. 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: May it adhere.

Although many sparks came,
Tinder was not at hand,
For them to find a home,
And make a desired fire,
Thus neither fire nor light could be kindled,
In order that the dismal darkness
Would avoid the eye with its covering,
And what is needed would then happen.
The hard Heart is indeed struck,
Out of it also spring sparks,
From convincing sad fits,
Of woe and weeping:
But again and again they vanished,
And the Souls’ Eye remains sightless,
Because that spark, ready to kindle,
Finds no Tinder around the Heart.
How long then wilt thou remain heedless
And fail to make a prepared ground,
Where the Spark of fear of the Lord
Would find its food and abode?
Does anxiety not creep upon thee,
That if thy neglect waits too long,
Thou might miss the Eternal light,
And so would sit in the infernal night?
Now it is thy time to acquire light,
While God’s Hand still strikes thy Heart,
Now must thou catch life’s spark,
And benefit thy Soul.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.