Biblical Influence on Thomas Weld

jonah Thomas Weld makes frequent religious references throughout his piece. In “To His Former Parishioners at Terling, he spends a large amount of time making religious references. Much of his account is attributed to scripture as indicated by bracketed references; on top of that, however, Weld makes flat out comparisons between Biblical occurrences and his current situations. He gives God credit for his positive experiences: “Yet there we shall enjoy together sweet society in all fullness of perfection to all eternity. O blessed forever be his holy Name” (33). Weld also gives the world supernatural qualities in that he personifies nature: “And let the heaven and earth and sea and men, witness of his favor to us and ours and sound out his glorious praises, yea let all within us, without us, yea all that we can ring out the riches of his grace from sea to sea” (33). The account in which he describes their voyage across the ocean involves the supernatural, as well. Weld claims that neither he nor any of his family members faced any kind of seasickness whatsoever, and again attributes this to the work of God: “Stand still and behold the salvation of the Lord” (33). In fact, he claims that their voyage found them in better shape than they were before boarding the boat; this can be paralleled with the spiritual journey that Jonah undertakes in the Bible. He is swallowed by the whale doubting God, with no faith in the plan to save Nineveh; by the time he is spit back out, however, he has spiritually transformed and is ready to do what the Lord demands of him. Similarly, Weld claims that a “woman in our ship of sixty years old who had labored of a consumption and strong cough of the lungs seven years is not only alive but came forth of the ship fully cured of the cough as fresh as [an] eagle that hath cast her bill and renewed her strength” (33). The Biblical influence of the Puritan mindset is evident in this account. What other accounts have similar examples of this influence?

2 Responses to Biblical Influence on Thomas Weld

  1. oatessh February 13, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    As seen in this painting, religion had a great impact on puritans’ views. An example of another account where we see puritans’ greatly influenced by religion is in the Puritan doctrine. Within the Puritan doctrine there was a requirement to be submissive to God’s will. This doctrine consisted of an agreement between God and the people. That agreement stated that the people would be given a chance to perform and complete a mission. Then the people have an agreement between each other to carry out this mission. The puritans believed the bible was God’s will, which influenced their way of life.

  2. Prof VZ February 18, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    Weld certainly does lay it on thick! Entire experiences–entire existences even–were routed trough supernatural religious scripts. This element of American Indian myths surprised us, perhaps because it took a less familiar form. But the world of the Puritans was also utterly enchanted, every sign taken for a wonder.

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