The Writing-Slate

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 Writing-Slate

Scripture Reference:

Description: Just as one bears down hard when writing something intended to endure and not be erased, so one must store deeply in the heart those things that must not be forgotten (Proverbs 4:20-21). This will serve one well at the last judgment. 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.

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So that Things to be Viewed,
And necessary affairs,
Would perhaps not escape from memory,
This Tablet has been prepared:
Write on your heart all Things,
That are most important,
So that they will never escape,
From the steadfast memory.
Especially, how thou must one day die,
And stand before the Eternal Judgment,
So as to inherit from the Judge’s hand,
According to what thou hast done here.
So that this will not be forgotten,
Through all sorts of occupation,
And thus the very best be thrown away,
For trifles of this time.
Yes, it is so necessary to watch out here,
That thou dost not simply write it down,
But must scratch it deep with a burin,
So that no one rubs it out;
For it is the concern of all your concerns,
If someone is mistaken therein,
He may do and make, what he makes
But all his strokes will have failed.

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

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