Anne Bradstreet

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Student Question

What is the meaning of Anne Bradstreet's quote?

"There is no object that we see, no action that we do, no good that we enjoy, no evil that we feel of fear, but we may make some spiritual advantage of all."

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Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan poet whose writing reflects the struggles Puritans faced and the way they used their faith to stay strong. Such themes are evident in this quote from her first collections of meditations. Here she explains that every single thing human beings do and experience is a gift from God. She is urging her reader to take “spiritual advantage” of all of these gifts, which means they should marvel in God's power and use this realization of his greatness to fuel their faith. Bradstreet feels that if people truly understand the spiritual aspect of every thing, they would be wise to be pious and loyal to God.

It is interesting to note how Bradstreet states that humans can even take spiritual advantage of the evil and fear they feel. This is important because she is thus not only saying that God brings people the good things in life but that he is responsible for every aspect of life.

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