“The Day of Doom” by Michael Wigglesworth
The Day of Doom is not just any ordinary poem. Michael Wigglesworth, the poet, wrote this poem in such a way that the reader in the end should ask themselves this question, what must I do to be saved? The words of each stanza are crafted in ordinance with scriptures of the Bible. “The Puritans believed that the Bible was God’s true law, and that it provided a plan for living” (Kizer). Wigglesworth’s ultimate goal in writing this poem as a Puritan minister was to stress the ramifications of sin but also to glorify the reward of salvation. “Words of hell fire and brimstone flowed from the mouths of eloquent ministers as they warned of the persuasiveness of the devil’s power” (Kizer).
Puritans viewed sin as vile in the eye sight of God. “The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God’s law” Wigglesworth describes in stanza 2 how comfortable men and women became with sin in their life. “Wallowing in all kind of sin, /vile wretches lay secure:/The best of men had scarcely then/ their lamps kept in good ure. /Virgins unwise, who through disguise/amongst the best were number’d, /Had closed their eyes: yea, and the wise/ through sloth and frailty slumber’d” (9-16). The tone of this particular stanza is an attention getter because of three particular words that are used. Frailty, sloth, & vile all describe moral demeanors which Wigglesworth carefully placed at the beginning of this poem to capture foreshadow of something unexpected to come. Sloth in particular is a sign of an unexpected outcome because according to “Christian moral tradition, it is one of the seven deadly sins” (Spain). Wigglesworth is telling us that sin is apparent but the soul must be ready at all times because no man knows the hour or the day when God would come back to Judge his people. He illustrates this revelation in stanza 4 which states “They put away the evil day,/and drowned their cares and fears,/Til drowned were they, and...
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