"Like Little Paul in Person, Voice, and Grace": a Comparative Study of Edward Taylor and St. Paul.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This study examines correlations between the writings of Edward Taylor and St. Paul to understand more precisely the influence that Taylor's particular theology exercised upon his poetry. Chapter I is an introduction to Taylor and the Puritan debt to Paulinism. A brief sketch of Taylor biography and scholarship precedes a discussion of Reformation and Puritan use of the Pauline epistles. A synopsis of the Pauline paradigm of salvation (man in sin--grace through Christ--man "in Christ") is presented. Chapter II, "Old Adam and the Old Covenant," explores St. Paul's and Taylor's concepts of the Creation, Man's Fall in Adam, Original Sin, the Covenant of Works, Natural Revelation, Scripture, and God's Wrath. St. Paul's typology of "Old Adam" to represent postlapsarian man, later a crucial doctrine of Calvin, helps explain Taylor's scatological view of man. Chapter III, "The Person and Work of Christ," examines the Christology of both writers. Christ's Incarnation, his fulfillment of prophecy and typology, and his designations "Son of God" and "Lord" constitute an analysis of Christ's person. The second half of the chapter compares St. Paul's metaphors of Atonement with Taylor's. Both use metaphors of justification, reconciliation, ransom, purchase, and adoption. Chapter IV, "The New Adam and the New Covenant," examines Taylor's Calvinist doctrine of election with St. Paul's doctrine of election and inclusion "in Christ." Both thinkers present doctrines of Predestination, Regeneration, Sanctification by the Holy Spirit, and Assurance. Although not as confident as St. Paul, Taylor proclaims that one seeking God may achieve some assurance of election through the seeking itself, a stance which practically circumvents the "dark" side of double predestination. Chapter V climaxes this study by arguing that the Pauline paradigm (Sin-Grace-Hope) functions as a structural and conceptual model for Gods Determinations and for sixty-five of the Preparatory Meditations. Chapter VI summarizes the argument and suggests ripe areas for additional research.
Parmer, Phill Warren, ""Like Little Paul in Person, Voice, and Grace": a Comparative Study of Edward Taylor and St. Paul." (1981). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 3650.