Essays On Edward Taylor

Essays On Edward Taylor-35
His work reveals a powerful intellect and a technical proficiency surprising for a Puritan minister in the American colonies.Like his Puritan predecessor Anne Bradstreet, Taylor wrote much of his poetry for private purposes.

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This is partly a reflection of his Puritan sensibility in that seeking to cleanse obstructions to soul which might impede God’s grace, but it is also a very artistic and aesthetic response to the problem of application of his own sermon to daily life.

To be an effective minister, one must believe in the words they are preaching.

Taylor discovered an effective means of filling the gap that too often exists between preaching what to practice and practicing what is preached by using the poetry as a sort of distancing device in which he could receive a sermon to work out for himself like a member of the congregation in order to attain the necessary self-confidence to tell others how to live.

A theme that invariably and irregularly recurs through the canon of Taylor’s poetry is the revelation a profound and sincere anxiety—really verging on an outright fear—that all the hardships and personal tragedies he has overcome and faced will eventually and inexorably lead toward a hardening of his heart toward God.

As its title indicates, this series of poems depicts in military terms the struggle of good against evil throughout the expanse of human history.

It may well have been influenced by the morality plays that were common in England during his childhood.Perhaps if Edward Taylor had allowed his poetry to be published during his lifetime or in the event of his death, course of how Puritanism would come to be viewed might have forever changed.Until the bulk of Taylor’s truly prodigious output was discovered in the 1930’s the words “Puritan poetry” remained practically oxymoron.Although Westfield suffered no major attacks, Edwards was pressed to help in preparing the town's defences and served, as well, as teacher and physician during the following decade.As a result, he was not formally ordained as minister in Westfield until 1682.Taylor was born into the family of a yeoman farmer in Leicestershire, near Coventry, during the English Civil War and received a Nonconformist education which prepared him to be a Dissenter.Although he became a schoolmaster in the town of Sketchley, near his birthplace, his refusal to sign an oath of loyalty to the Church of England meant that his prospects for the future would be limited.Then, through contemplating a passage from the Bible - usually from the Song of Songs or the Psalms - he transforms his sadness into a joyful praise of the Lord.Thus, the typical Puritan themes to be found in these poems are the recognition of man's essential unworthiness and the shining promise of an everlasting life, for the Elect, in God's divine glory..In 1689 Elizabeth passed away and three years later, in 1692, Taylor married Ruth Wyllys, who bore him another six children, in addition to caring for the three surviving children from his previous marriage.Their fifth child, Kezia, was to be the mother of Ezra Stiles.


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