Often when writers write about God, it is from a rather lofty position. In celebrating what is divine, some writers seem to forget their own human qualities and understanding. Humanity is on the opposite end of the spectrum, often at war with spirituality (Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and the Spirit,” for example).
What makes Edward Taylor’s poetry and mediations unique is that his relationship with God is deeply rooted in the physical world. In incorporating God even into his own corporal body, Taylor marries together both the human and the divine, celebrating the best of both worlds in a manner that is both accessible to the reader and deeply, unabashedly personal.
In his poem “Huswifery,” Taylor gets straight to the human point even in the title, telling us that we are about to read about housework and domesticity. What an odd thing for a minister to write about; not only household tasks, but tasks typically assigned to women. Wouldn’t a minister be occupied with loftier goals? To quote George Eliot’s Mr. Tulliver, “My notion o’ the parsons was as they’d got a sort o’ learning as lay mostly out o’ sight” (20).
This is what makes Taylor’s poem extraordinary. By asking God to use him as a woman would use a mundane, everyday object (in this case, a spinning wheel), Taylor greatly humbles himself, his metaphors knowing no such gender restrictions. The subject of “Huswifery” is Taylor petitioning God to make him a tool of sorts, namely a spinning wheel, then later, a loom (1, 7).
... living of the one who obeys and hears God. Hudson Taylor was a calm, peaceful man, who learned ... thing for Hudson, as God molded and shaped Hudson for His will. Hudson Taylor was just that sort of ... today. Likewise from reading the account of Hudson Taylor, I realize that life is to important to ... many things about God and became closer to Him through ...
Taylor gives an account of each working part of a spinning wheel, each line adding a new layer to his metaphor in order to make him a “spinning wheel complete” (my emphasis) (1).
To start, the distaff is what holds the raw wool or flax into place when spinning; Taylor asks God to make His “Holy Word” his own distaff so that he can be guided into the proper places presumably to lead a virtuous life (2).
The flyers are what regulate the action of the spinning, and Taylor wants God’s “Swift Flyers” to regulate and/or temper his own “Affections” and actions (3).
On a spinning wheel, the spool twists the yarn into a cord of consistent thickness (or weight”); in asking God to make his soul a “holy spool,” Taylor is perhaps asking that his soul be a medium through which God’s doctrine is interpreted in a consistent manner (4).
The next two lines say, “My conversation make to be Thy Reel / And reel the yarn thereon spun of Thy Wheel” (5-6).
The reel gathers together the finished thread; Taylor wants his own conversation to be God’s reel, to hold together the metaphorical thread of God’s Word, and through him and his conversation, God can gather together what he has spun on his Taylor-turned-spinning-wheel. In just six lines, Taylor has effectively equated each way a spinning wheel works with a way in which he can takes God’s Word and doctrines, interpret them, and give them back to his congregation in a fashion that is both pleasing to God and understandable by his parishioners.
The complicated metaphor doesn’t end there. Now that he has transformed God’s Word into yarn, Taylor wants to weave it into cloth by asking, “Make me Thy Loom then, knit therein this Twine” (7).
As a spool or bobbin guides the thread when sewing or weaving, Taylor entreats God to let the Holy Spirit guide him like “wind quills” during this weaving process (8).
... of the situation. Throughout Gods and Generals the words of these men seem to influence and make an impact on any situation ... reveal their personalities and their leadership through the words they speak. Their unforgettable words have been carried on throughout history and ... . These lines bring out the characteristics and personality traits of each man. These words ...
However, in line 9, Taylor pulls back just slightly from his man-made metaphor. Even while putting the divine into earthly, understandable terms, he realizes that some things are too delicate for human understanding. “The yarn is fine,” he writes, meaning it’s too fragile and precious for him (or any person) to handle (9).
Taylor gives over to God, asking Him to “weave the Web Thyself” (9).
God’s decrees (“Ordinances”) will then cleanse (“Fulling Mills”) the unique cloth that Taylor and God are making together, afterwards dyeing it in “Heavenly Colors Choice” (10-11).
The last stanza is Taylor clothing not only himself in these newly-made “Holy robes,” but also
mine Understanding, Will,
Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory,
My Words, and Actions” (13-14).
Everything about his person will be filtered through his ecclesiastical wardrobe so that he may always walk “with glory and  glorify [God] (16).
That’s a heady statement for a humble, pious, (Puritan) man of God, but he has achieved his purpose in his poem without becoming irreverent or blasphemous. From the mundane and humble beginnings of a simple spinning wheel, Taylor spins a magnificent praise of God, ending in “Varnished” glory (12, 18).
He (nearly literally) knits together everyday human experience with the glory of God, producing fine raiment that the Catholics would call “divinely human.”