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Lord, why should I doubt any more when thou hast given me such assured pledges of thy love? First, thou art my Creator[1]; I thy creature. Thou my master[2]; I thy servant. Thou art my father[3], I thy child. Ye shall be my sons and daughters[4], saith the Almighty. Christ is my brother[5]: I ascend unto my father and your father, my God and your God[6]. But lest this should not be enough, thy maker is thy husband[7].

Nay more, I am a member of his body[8]; he, my head[9].

Such privileges, had not the Word of Truth made them known, who or where is the man that durst in his heart has presumed to have thought it? So wonderful are these thoughts that my spirit fails in me at the consideration thereof. And I am confounded to think that God, who hath done so much for me, should have so little from me.

But this is my comfort[10], when I come into Heaven, I shall understand perfectly what he hath done for me, and then shall I be able to praise him as I ought.

Lord having this hope, let me purify myself as thou are pure[11], and let me be no more afraid of death[12], but even desire to be dissolved[13] and be with thee which is best of all.

Notes:

This is an example of the content of Christian meditation. First, it must be noted that such meditation is not emptying the mind (as in other forms of meditation) but is actually focused and deliberate attention and consideration. Bradstreet begins with a thought – Why should I ever doubt? She then proceeds to rehearse all of the passages she knows from the Bible which weigh upon the subject.

Second, her thought is not merely her own invention but is rather consideration of Scripture.

Third, her meditation brings her to a place of repentance: she has counseled herself, sees remaining sin, and seeks further purification by means of repentance.

Fourth, her repentance rather than being a final dismal state is an additional step toward greater reconciliation and joy before God.

Fifth, it ends with praise and desire for greater knowledge of and life with God.


[1] Gen. 1:26-27.

[2] Luke 9:33; John 13:14-16.

[3] Matthew 6:9.

[4]  2 Corinthians 6:18.

[5] Mark 3:35; Romans 8:29.

[6] John 20:17.

[7] Isaiah 54:5.

[8] 1 Corinthians 12:27.

[9] Ephesians 4:15.

[10] Heidelberg Cathecism (1563), Question 1:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)

[11] 1 John 3:1-3.

[12] Hebrews 2:14-15.

[13] This is a strange phrasing and easily misunderstood at out distance. There is no reason to understand this in a manner indicating cessation of individual existence and dissolution into a vague greater All. Such an understanding would not only be completely foreign to Bradstreet’s worldview, it runs into the clear prayer elsewhere in this meditation that she will in the future personally praise the Lord in a purer manner.  Thus, the dissolution must reference the removal of the remaining sin, the final putting off of that which gives rise to doubt and sin.