The Duster

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 Duster

Scripture Reference:

Description: A servant holds a ceiling duster and points to the corner of the room, providing an apt illustration of the biblical concern for moral and spiritual purity (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 3:3). The appended poem observes that the duster seeks out the dirt in the corners, because keeping the house clean is more than getting rid of the dirt on the floors and in the obvious places. Similarly, keeping the soul clean is not just a matter of getting rid of the obvious dirt, but also of getting rid of more subtle dirt. 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: It’s in the corners.

The Duster searches all around,
For dirt in the corners,
Because spotless housekeeping
Is not satisfied only,
When along the floor, and further downstairs,
The house is not a mess:
Likewise the heart’s repentance,
Pushes not only, according to its wishes,
The coarse objects to the side,
But also seeks the subtle things,
Which for dirty eyes are only trifling,
And brushes them away with its hand.
The web of wicked Spiders,
That hangs and sits in all the senses,
Where dust and dirt gather,
Thus is the always attentive life,
Given the name of cleanliness,
And its Honor preserved in the Soul’s-house.

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

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