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Michael Wigglesworth. Claire Galbraith. Biography. Born in Yorkshire, England on Oct. 18 1631 Moved to America at the age of seven (New Haven) Went to Harvard- graduated in 1651 but remained a tutor for 3 years. Moved to Malden, MA

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michael wigglesworth

Michael Wigglesworth

Claire Galbraith


Born in Yorkshire, England on Oct. 18 1631

Moved to America at the age of seven (New Haven)

Went to Harvard- graduated in 1651 but remained a tutor for 3 years.

Moved to Malden, MA

In 1663, he lived in Bermuda for 7 months to study medicine.

more biography
More Biography

Married 3 times and had 8 children.

He was a frail, sick man most of his life so he had a lot of leisure time– began writing.

Most famous writing The Day of Doom

Second famous writing was Meat Out of the Eater.

the day of doom
The Day of Doom

Published in 1662- becomes America’s first best seller.

224 stanzas

Inspired by a dream that Wigglesworth had that God was seated on his throne on the dreadful Day ofJudgement.

The Bible is the only source of reference.

  • The Day ofJudgementis the day that God will decide the fate of men (Heaven or hell)
  • The theme of theological idealism of Calvinism(4 doctrines)
    • Total depravity: all men were born corrupt & prone to evil (stanzas 167-168)
    • Limited atonement: Jesus’ sacrifice earned God’s forgiveness for only a few (stanza 25)
    • http://www.puritansermons.com/poetry/wiggindx.htm
more theme
More Theme
  • Irresistible grace: one can’t win nor loose salvation by his acts. (stanza 134)
  • Predestination: God predicted all events; who shall go to heaven, who shall go to hell.
    • When ever Wigglesworth mentions a sheep or goat, he’s referring to the people of heaven and the people of hell. Also, the judge symbolizes Christ.

Had medical problems all his life which limited his preaching as a minister.

Cotton Mather is said to have called him “a little feeble shadow of a man.”-describing his health

Died on June 10, 1705 in Malden, MA

“His pen did once Meat from the Eater take

And now he’s gone beyond the Eater’s reach.

His body once so thin was next to none

From hence he’s to unbodied spirits flown.

Once his rare skill did all diseases heal

And he doth nothing now uneasy feel.

He to his paradise is joyful come

And waits with joy to see his Day of Doom.”

works cited
Works Cited

Noll, Mark A. "Wigglesworth, Michael." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web.  6 Oct. 2010.



Trent, William P., and Benjamin W. Wells. "The Beginnings of Americanism: 1650-1710." 2. (1901): 3-6. Web. 25 Oct 2010. <http://www.bartleby.com/163/203.html>.

Supardjana , Joseph. "The Apocalyptic Theme in Michael Wigglesworth's The Day of Doom." 1. (2001): 34-44. Web. 25 Oct 2010. <www.unej.ac.id/fakultas/sastra/sastra_en/jurnal/vol-01/josep.pdf>.