God’s Word in the World Metaphor

“As an orthodox Puritan, Bradstreet could not adumbrate the French symbolists by arguing that her words created meaning; the meaning of the sensible world was in the things of the sensible world themselves. It had been put there by god before all time; it was seen and uttered by the poet. To follow the latter course she would have to ignore the tradition that the world was a message sent to man from God; she would have to ignore Paul’s admonition in Romans 1:20 to seek the invisible things of god through the visible things that He made; she would have to ignore Calvin, Richarson, and the preachers of her own time . . . It was, of course, possible though unlikely for a Puritan poet to take this latter course. I know of only one who did so (Michael Wigglesworth). And he wrote terrible poetry” (Daly, p. 96).

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