Elizabeth Major: Part 2, Volume6: Printed Writings 1641-1700

Elizabeth Major was inspired to write Honey on the Rod (1656) as a result of lameness brought on by a bout of fever in her mid-twenties. The experience left her fiercely devoted to her Christian religion, but also filled with indignation against the sins of nominal Christians. Honey on the Rod was written to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The work is in two parts. The first is a lengthy prose meditation in the form of a dialogue between a 'Soul' and 'Consolation'. The second is a sequence of poems on conventional Calvinistic themes, scourging common vices and praising the humble soul that accepts God's rod of affliction. The speaking voice of Honey on the Rod is unmistakeably that of a woman and as such the work contributes a woman's voice to the devotional literature dominated by men in the seventeenth century. This facsimile edition reproduces the copy held in the British Library.