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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Salem Witchcraft Comprising More Wonders Of The Invisible World

Salem Witchcraft Comprising More Wonders Of The Invisible World Cover

Book review: Salem Witchcraft Comprising More Wonders Of The Invisible World by Cotton Mather

we are told in Wonders of the Inviftble Worlds "that the devils were walking about our ftreets with lengthened chains, making a dreadful noife in our ears; and brimftone (even without a metaphor) was making a horrid and helliih flench in our noftrils ; " and, " that the devil, exhibiting himfelf ordinarily as a black man, had decoyed a fearful knot of proud, froward, ignorant, envious and malicious creatures, to lift themfelves in his horrid fervice, by entering their names in a book tendered unto them ; and that they have had their meetings and facraments, and affociated themfelves to deftroy the kingdom of our Lord Jefus Chrift, in thefe parts of the world; having each of them their fpedres, or devils, commiffioned by them, and reprefenting of them to be the engines of their malice, by thefe wicked fpedlres feizing poor people about the country, with various and bloody torments, and of thofe evidently preternatural torments fome have died ; and that they have bewitched fome even fo far as to make them felf-deftroyers, and others in many towns here and there languifhed under their evil hands — the people, thus afBided, miferably fcratched and bitten ; and that the fame invifible furies did ftick pins in them, and fcald them, diftort and difjoint them, with a thoufand other plagues; and fometimes drag them out of their chambers, and carry them over trees and hills, miles together, many of them being tempted to fign the devil's laws — thofe furies, whereof feveral have killed more people perhaps than would ferve to make a village " — If this be the true ftate of the afflidions of this country, it is very deplorable, and beyond all other outward calamities miferable. But if, on the other fide, the matter be, as others do underftand it, that the devil has been too hard for us by his temptations, figns, and lying wonders, with the help of pernicious notions, formerly imbibed and profefled ; together with the accufations of a parcel of pofleffed, diftradled or lying wenches,* accufing their innocent neighbours, pretending they fee their fpeftres, i. e. devils in their likenefs, afflidling of them ; and that God in righteous judgment (after men had afcribed his power to witches, of commiflioning devils to do thefe things) may have given them over to ftrong delufions to believe lies, &c., and to let loofe the devils of envy, hatred, pride, cruelty and malice againfl: each other, yet ftill difguifed under the mafk of zeal for God, and left them to the branding one another with the odious name of witch ; and upon the accufation of thofe above mentioned, brother to accufe and profecute brother, children their parents, paftors and teachers their immediate flock, unto death ;

Download Cotton Mather's eBook: Salem Witchcraft Comprising More Wonders Of The Invisible World

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