I'm prepping up to moderate a book group this summer reading Anne Bradstreet's work. I've enjoyed the remembrance of reading "On the Burning of My House" in high school. I have been heartily enjoying reading, "Anne Bradstreet: A Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Puritan Poet" edited by Heidi L. Nichols in prep for this group. Here is just one nugget of timely (in all times) wisdom from her book of maxims:
"We see in orchards some trees so fruitful, that the weight of their burden is the breaking of their limbs; some again are but meanly loaden; and some have nothing to shew but leaves only; and some among them are dry stocks: so is it in the Church, which is God's orchard, there are some eminent Christians that are so frequent in good duties, that many time the weight thereof impairs both their bodies and estates; and there are some (and they sincere ones too) who have not attained to that fruitfulness, although they aim at perfection: And again there are others that have nothing to commend them but only a gay proffession, and these are but leavie christians, which are in as much danger of being cut down as the dry stock, for both cumber the ground."
God save us all from being but "leavie Christians" rather than true, fruitful stock.