Anne Bradstreet's In Memory of My Dear Grandchild

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Puritans, like Anne Bradstreet, had views that were unlike anyone else. Even though they believed in God their views on him and the beliefs of the Christians varied greatly. Of their thirty-nine articles, five are well known. The first one is that of Original Sin, the belief that since the fall of Adam that all of mankind is born with sin in his heart. The second article states that of Unconditional Depravity, basically saying that God predetermines who are the chosen ones for salvation before they are even born. The third article, and probably the one that is further from Christian views is Jesus died for only the chosen and not for everyone. The fourth article states that God's grace is freely given but that you cannot earn nor deny it. The fifth article says that if one goes against God's grace then it is like going against God himself, which is something that does not happen in Puritanism. Also a major belief in Puritan way of thinking is that nature gives signs as to our life, present and future. The basic mind-set of Puritans is that everything happens for a reason and that everything just is just because. Anne Bradstreet's, "In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet" is a good example of Calvinism. The references to nature are very pronounced in the writing, making comparisons that it was seen that the child was going to die before she did. As her beliefs states, nature coincides with the life of man. Just as fruit ripens on a tree and falls to the ground and rots away, man dies as he ages (hence the ripening). Also, the belief that our lives are predestined shows here. Basically, as it is common knowledge that the fruit will eventually fall from the tree, it is also known that we are all predestined to die at a certain time, usually at a ripe, old age, and cannot change this fact. I have a hard time believing that before we are born that God knows exactly when we are going to die and that if we watch nature that we can determine when we are going to die. Man has free will to choose his life, even though I do think to an extent that God plays a part in helping us makes those choices.
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