Book: Lectures On Witchcraft Comprising A History Of The Delusion In Salem In 1692 by Charles Wentworth UphamThe following Lectures were originally prepared for delivery in the Salem Lyceum. They have been repeated before similar associations in Marblehead, in Beverly, in South Danvers, in North Danvers, in Waltham, in Gloucester, in Haverhill, in Lynn, and in Topsfield. A large part of what appears in this volume, was necessarily omitted in the delivery. Several considerations, in co-operation with requests made from various quarters, both in public and in private, have induced the author to offer them to the community at large through the press.
The subject of which they treat is intimately connected with the history, not merely of New England, but of the imagination of man, as it has been developed in various regions and ages. Very inadequate and unjust views are entertained of the scene in our annals, which they illustrate, and of the persons who acted or suffered in that scene. The principal inducement, however, to give them a permanent circulation, is a conviction that the facts they relate, and the reflections they naturally suggest, are full of the most important instruction. No one, it is thought, can ponder upon them without receiving useful lessons to guide and influence him with reference to the cultivation and government of his own moral and intellectual faculties, and to the obligations that press upon him as a member of society to do what he may to enlighten, rectify and control public sentiment. In the hope that they may contribute, in combination with the great variety of other means now employed, to diffuse the blessings of knowledge, to check the prevalence of fanaticism, to accelerate the decay of superstition, to prevent an unrestrained exercise of imagination and passion in the individual or in societies of men, and to establish the effectual dominion of true religion and sound philosophy, they are now presented to the public.
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