Wigglesworth and Rowlandson, Pt. II

Wigglesworth describes the process of judging as Christ the Judge divides the "sheep," or the righteous ones, and the "goats," or the wicked ones. He describes those on Christ's right as divided even more so. One group is comprised of holy martyrs who "For his dear name, suffering shame, calamity and woe." The second group is that of those believers who "loved much, that had not such a trial," meaning that they had not suffered like the martyrs, but had great faith. The third group is that of the lambs "whose faith was weak, yet true."
Standing at his left hand are the goats, "all whining hypocrites,/Who for self ends did seem Christ's friends, but fostered guileful sprites,"and "now must not come near" the sheep and lambs, for fear of dirtying the lambs. He also goes into detail about the many sinners and then how both sheep and goats approach the throne and how each is judged, some calling upon the graciousness and clemency of God.
While Wigglesworth's tale may be chilling and drive fear into the hearts of many, Rowlandson writes a stirring tale called "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson," in which she describe how her family and those surrounding her are murdered by the Indians and she and her only surviving child (who later dies) become captives of the tribe. While her account was written weeks after the events that occurred, she is able to somehow describe everything in great detail: the bloodied bodies, babies being taken from their mothers, etc., which makes one wonder if she did have ulterior motives in writing this. Did she really record all of this information just for her own personal memory, or did she really mean for this to be published for the community to see and use as a tool from which to learn and develop a stronger faith in God?

1 comment:

  1. I don't feel Rowlandson wrote this piece just for the intent of the community to see & for them to use as a tool to learn and develop a stronger faith in God. Though I do feel this was a huge part of her writing. I also personally think she wrote this to bring healing and closure to a huge event in her life. For how else could she describe the horrors of captivity to people without breaking down? However she could pen it all on paper to bring closure and healing for herself first and foremost, and then she could use it for as a tool to the community, which she did.