The Spinning Wheel

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 Spinning Wheel

Scripture Reference:

Description: A woman summons her companion at the spinning wheel to loftier horizons. The adjacent poem observes that while much effort and time is given before flax has been changed into a garment, humans would like to obtain the garment for eternal comfort by a merely wishing it so. But like the effort expended on the worldly garment for flesh and blood, so should one prepare the garment of the soul from early on, year in and year out. The life spent on earthly garments will be disappointed at death (Isaiah 59:6), but the one who has prepared his garment for the soul can take it with him and wear it in eternity. 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: Look beyond.

How much labor is expended,
Before Flax is changed into a garment:
And the garment to serve as Eternal comfort,
That one the careless human,
Would like to have just by wishing,
To wear as a wedding-garment.
But just as one spends so much effort,
On the earthly garment, for flesh and blood,
So one should, so as to dress the Soul,
Carefully, begin early,
His lifelong, Year in, Year out,
Indeed prepare that garment of the Soul.
And he who is not so inclined,
What good does it do to weave diligently?
His Fabrics, and his Closet full of clothing
Those he will in the other land,
When Death banishes him to the Souls,
Not find to be the proper Covering.
But if he has prepared his Soul’s-garment,
That one he will take with him, out of this Time,
And his effort will thrive,
For that is the durable Garment,
That in Eternity never perishes,
The Jewel of the blessed Angel Choirs.

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

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