While faced with various hardships and tragedies, many early Americans turn to their belief in God’s active role in their daily lives in order to better understand and survive numerous difficulties. For example, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft depicts her firm belief in God’s active role in her daily life in her poem “Sweet Willy,” which illustrates the sorrow she faces in the wake of losing her young son, William. Throughout her poem, Schoolcraft describes that she believes God is exercising his active role in her daily life through providing her with relief and comfort while she grieves.
Likewise, Anne Bradstreet conveys her faith in God’s constant influence in her poem “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666;” through poetry, Bradstreet demonstrates her belief in God’s persistent role in her life even during the burning of her home and all her possessions through providing her with an understanding of the hardships she faces as well as the strength she needs to survive them. Although Schoolcraft and Bradstreet experience different hardships, they both share a similar faith in God’s powerful influence in their daily lives.
In order to endure their different hardships, both Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Anne Bradstreet utilize their faith that God maintains an active role in their daily lives through comparing their situations to the those of Biblical characters, hope in God’s promise of an afterlife, and turning to God for feelings of strength and comfort. To begin, both Schoolcraft and Bradstreet justify their belief in God’s active role in their daily lives through comparing the stories God provides in the Bible to their burdens and hardships.
For example, Schoolcraft compares the loss of her son to the many losses Job endures by explaining that “He, that giveth gifts to men / may take away the same / and righteous is the holy act / and blessed be his name” (Schoolcraft 21-24). In other words, although she feels God takes her child, Schoolcraft reacts in a similar manner as Job and blesses the Lord for blessing her with the precious gift of a child.
Similarly, Anne Bradstreet compares her home burning to the suffering Job faces through depicting while the flames “[consumed her] dwelling place / and when [she] could no longer look / [she] blest His name that gave and took” (Bradstreet 12-14). To explain, although she is watching her home burn, Bradstreet follows the example God provides in the Book of Job by thanking the Lord for not only blessing her with her home, but also allowing her to escape with her family and health.
Additionally, Schoolcraft further compares her state while grieving the death of her son to the emotional state Job expresses by describing her son’s death as “a mercy / and a mercy we can view / for whom the Lord chastiseth / He love regardeth too” (Schoolcraft 25-29). Schoolcraft compares her situation to the story of Job in order to illustrate her faith in God’s role in her life through her belief that God is testing her faith and showing love and mercy to her by providing her with the strength she needs to endure her difficult loss.
Both women compare the hardships they face to the stories God offers in the Bible, especially the story of Job, in order to help them understand the reasons God gives them such difficult hardships and as a model of how they should react to these hardships. Moreover, both Bradstreet and Schoolcraft display their belief that God maintains an active role in their daily lives through depicting their faith in God’s promises and description of an afterlife.
To explain, Bradstreet illustrates how she finds slight comfort while watching her home and all of her possessions burn due to her belief that she has a “house on high erect, / framed by that mighty Architect” (Bradstreet 43-44). Bradstreet describes how her belief in God’s powerful role in her life provides her with feelings of relief and comfort through His promises of the rewards she will reap during her afterlife. Bradstreet further depicts the extent of her faith in God’s influence over both her daily life and her afterlife by describing that her “hope and treasure lies above” (Bradstreet 54).
In other words, Bradstreet describes feeling relief and comfort while watching her home burn due to her belief in God’s promises of and afterlife and the riches that await. Additionally, Schoolcraft expresses a similar faith in God’s active role in her life by depicting how she looks “up to mansions / which are builded in the sky” (Schoolcraft 34-35). Due to her belief in God’s active interest and promise of an afterlife for both her and her son, Schoolcraft finds comfort while grieving the loss of her son when she looks to the Heavens.
Both Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Anne Bradstreet describe how their strong beliefs in God’s active role in their lives and promise of an afterlife provides them with feelings of comfort and relief even during trying tragedies. Furthermore, both women depict their faith in God’s active interest in their lives through conveying the feelings of relief they feel God directly brings them. For example, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft describes when she remembers her “darling little boy / bethink [she] still, that sorrow’s tears / shall spring again in beds of joy” (Schoolcraft 30-32).
Schoolcraft illustrates her belief that the Lord directly brings her comfort and relief while she mourns the loss of her son by reminding her that she will be reunited with her son. Additionally, Schoolcraft further illustrates God’s direct influence on her emotional state by explaining that her son “seeketh for that better home / where truly there is life” (Schoolcraft 39-40). In other words, Schoolcraft feels that God offers her relief and strength while she grieves her son’s death through reminding her that her son is safe and well with Him.
Moreover, Bradstreet depicts similar feelings of relief she believes God directly provides her with in order to endure her home burning. To explain, Bradstreet depicts while she watches her home and all of her possessions burn, she turns to “God where [her] heart did cry / to strengthen [her] in [her] distress” (Bradstreet 8-9). Bradstreet feels that God is exercising his active role in her life in order to bring her the strength she needs to endure the devastating loss of her home.
Both Anne Bradstreet and Jane Johnston Schoolcraft feel that God utilizes his active role in their daily lives to provide feelings of relief, strength, and comfort while they are faced with devastating tragedies. In order to survive the overwhelming tragedies they both face, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Anne Bradstreet depict their faith in God’s active involvement in their lives by comparing their situations to the Biblical characters and stories God provides them, through illustrating perceived feelings of comfort God provides to help them endure their sufferings.
Both Schoolcraft and Bradstreet feel God provides Biblical stories and characters, which depict similar situations and tragedies, in order for them better understand why God presents them with such tragedies as well as a model for how they should react to their hardships. Additionally, both women feel God exercises his active role in their lives through reminding them of His promises of an afterlife for both them and their families.
Schoolcraft and Bradstreet depict their belief in God’s active role in their daily lives through illustrating feelings of strength and relief they feel God provides them to endure their devastating losses. Both women use poetry as a method to depict their belief in God’s active role in their daily lives and His influence and assistance in helping them endure various hardships, such as the loss of a child or a home.