The Scrub-Brush

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 Scrub-Brush

Scripture Reference:

Description: The biblical admonition to moral purity in James 4:8 is illustrated in this domestic scene, where one maid busily scrubs the paving stones of an interior courtyard, as a second brings more water. The poem nearby observes, though, that though a scrub-brush cleans the dirty footsteps, the feet of much that is evil tramp through the open court yard of the house of the soul and so leave dirty footprints. 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: The courtyard is perfect.

The dirty footsteps,
Require, the Scrub-brush to clean:
But, alas! how the feet tread there,
Through the open unlocked court,
Of the Heart’s House,
Of many who should not be there!
From, the front, the back, the side,
With Mud, Dirt, and stains,
From untrodden and deep paths;
From East, from West, from here and there,
The whole day back and forth,
From the Market, from streets and alleys.
And not only from the world’s quarter,
But feet from hell’s realm,
Yes claws and dragon feet,
Dirtied and filthy from devil’s dung,
Make a stain with each step,
From Satan and his partners.
And this Ground, made so filthy,
Remains unscrubbed and unclean:
That must be a sight for God’s eyes!
While man keeps the House built for the Flesh,
Neat, clean, and tidy,
How the poor man is deceived!

(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.