The Candlewick Trimmer

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 Candlewick Trimmer

Scripture Reference:

Description: As the family gathers around the table at night, the father trims the candle so that it burns more brightly. Similarly, the disciples of Jesus are to trim away their possessions in order to follow him more faithfully (Luke 14:33). 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: Less is more.
Trim from the Wick the Dead-end,
Thus thou dost brighten thy Candle-light:
Pinch from thy Heart the Excess,
That for the clear brilliance of life,
Is neither useful nor necessary,
But only hindrance and harm:
For all that is more than necessity,
Causes darkness in the Soul;
Here one finds lazy hands,
So that many in this time,
Are sitting in gloom,
Because their candle can’t burn right.
The Light that is pure and Simple,
And free from all darkness,
Teaches us to get rid of all things,
That between God, the highest Good,
And the human heart,
Cause darkness and separation.

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

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