The Wonders of the Invisible World
by Cotton Mather
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Inconsistent or archaic spelling, punctuation, and capitalization have been retained as printed. The spacing of chapters and sections matches that of the physical book, and no attempt has been made to match the Table of Contents. A few obvious misprints, such as missing letters or spaces, have been corrected. They are listed at the end of this document, along with more detailed notes about this transcription.


Library of Old Authors.









The two very rare works reprinted in the present volume, written by two of the most celebrated of the early American divines, relate to one of the most extraordinary cases of popular delusion that modern times have witnessed. It was a delusion, moreover, to which men of learning and piety lent themselves, and thus became the means of increasing it. The scene of this affair was the puritanical colony of New England, since better known as Massachusetts, the colonists of which appear to have carried with them, in an exaggerated form, the superstitious feelings with regard to witchcraft which then prevailed in the mother country. In the spring of 1692 an alarm of witchcraft was raised in the family of the minister of Salem, and some black servants were charged with the supposed crime. Once started, the alarm spread rapidly, and in a very short time a great number of people fell under suspicion, and many were thrown into prison on very frivolous grounds, supported, as such charges usually were, by very unworthy witnesses. The new governor of the colony, Sir William Phipps, arrived from England in the middle of May, and he seems to have been carried away by the excitement, and authorized judicial prosecutions. The trials began at the commencement of June; and the first victim, a woman named Bridget Bishop, was hanged. Governor Phipps, embarrassed by this extraordinary state of things, called in the assistance of the clergy of Boston.

There was at this time in Boston a distinguished family of puritanical ministers of the name of Mather. Richard Mather, an English non-conformist divine, had emigrated to America in 1636, and settled at Dorchester, where, in 1639, he had a son born, who was named, in accordance with the peculiar nomenclature of the puritans, Increase Mather. This son distinguished himself much by his acquirements as a scholar and a theologian, became established as a minister in Boston, and in 1685 was elected president of Harvard College. His son, born at Boston in 1663, and called from the name of his mother's family, Cotton Mather, became more remarkable than his father for his scholarship, gained also a distinguished position in Harvard College, and was also, at the time of which we are speaking, a minister of the gospel in Boston. Cotton Mather had adopted all the most extreme notions of the puritanical party with regard to witchcraft, and he had recently had an opportunity of displaying them. In the summer of the year 1688, the children of a mason of Boston named John Goodwin were suddenly seized with fits and strange afflictions, which were at once ascribed to witchcraft, and an Irish washerwoman named Glover, employed by the family, was suspected of being the witch. Cotton Mather was called in to witness the sufferings of Goodwin's children; and he took home with him one of them, a little girl, who had first displayed these symptoms, in order to examine her with more care. The result was, that the Irish woman was brought to a trial, found guilty, and hanged; and Cotton Mather published next year an account of the case, under the title of "Late Memorable Providences, relating to Witchcraft and Possession," which displays a very extraordinary amount of credulity, and an equally great want of anything like sound judgment. This work, no doubt, spread the alarm of witchcraft through the whole colony, and had some influence on the events which followed. It may be supposed that the panic which had now arisen in Salem was not likely to be appeased by the interference of Cotton Mather and his father.

The execution of the washerwoman, Bridget Bishop, had greatly increased the excitement; and people in a more respectable position began to be accused. On the 19th of July five more persons were executed, and five more experienced the same fate on the 19th of August. Among the latter was Mr. George Borroughs, a minister of the gospel, whose principal crime appears to have been a disbelief in witchcraft itself. His fate excited considerable sympathy, which, however, was checked by Cotton Mather, who was present at the place of execution on horseback, and addressed the crowd, assuring them that Borroughs was an impostor. Many people, however, had now become alarmed at the proceedings of the prosecutors, and among those executed with Borroughs was a man named John Willard, who had been employed to arrest the persons charged by the accusers, and who had been accused himself, because, from conscientious motives, he refused to arrest any more. He attempted to save himself by flight; but he was pursued and overtaken. Eight more of the unfortunate victims of this delusion were hanged on the 22nd of September, making in all nineteen who had thus suffered, besides one who, in accordance with the old criminal law practice, had been pressed to death for refusing to plead. The excitement had indeed risen to such a pitch that two dogs accused of witchcraft were put to death.

A certain degree of reaction, however, appeared to be taking place, and the magistrates who had conducted the proceedings began to be alarmed, and to have some doubts of the wisdom of their proceedings. Cotton Mather was called upon by the governor to employ his pen in justifying what had been done; and the result was, the book which stands first in the present volume, "The Wonders of the Invisible World;" in which the author gives an account of seven of the trials at Salem, compares the doings of the witches in New England with those in other parts of the world, and adds an elaborate dissertation on witchcraft in general. This book was published at Boston, Massachusetts, in the month of October, 1692. Other circumstances, however, contributed to throw discredit on the proceedings of the court, though the witch mania was at the same time spreading throughout the whole colony. In this same month of October, the wife of Mr. Hale, minister of Beverley, was accused, although no person of sense and respectability had the slightest doubt of her innocence; and her husband had been a zealous promoter of the prosecutions. This accusation brought a new light on the mind of Mr. Hale, who became convinced of the injustice in which he had been made an accomplice; but the other ministers who took the lead in the proceedings were less willing to believe in their own error; and equally convinced of the innocence of Mrs. Hale, they raised a question of conscience, whether the devil could not assume the shape of an innocent and pious person, as well as of a wicked person, for the purpose of afflicting his victims. The assistance of Increase Mather, the president or principal of Harvard College, was now called in, and he published the book which is also reprinted in the present volume: "A Further Account of the Tryals of the New England Witches.... To which is added Cases of Conscience concerning Witchcrafts and Evil Spirits personating Men." It will be seen that the greater part of the "Cases of Conscience" is given to the discussion of the question just alluded to, which Increase Mather unhesitatingly decides in the affirmative. The scene of agitation was now removed from Salem to Andover, where a great number of persons were accused of witchcraft and thrown into prison, until a justice of the peace named Bradstreet, to whom the accusers applied for warrants, refused to grant any more. Hereupon they cried out upon Bradstreet, and declared that he had killed nine persons by means of witchcraft; and he was so much alarmed that he fled from the place. The accusers aimed at people in higher positions in society, until at last they had the audacity to cry out upon the lady of governor Phipps himself, and thus lost whatever countenance he had given to their proceedings out of respect to the two Mathers. Other people of character, when they were attacked by the accusers, took energetic measures in self-defence. A gentleman of Boston, when "cried out upon," obtained a writ of arrest against his accusers on a charge of defamation, and laid the damages at a thousand pounds. The accusers themselves now took fright, and many who had made confessions retracted them, while the accusations themselves fell into discredit. When governor Phipps was recalled in April, 1693, and left for England, the witchcraft agitation had nearly subsided, and people in general had become convinced of their error and lamented it.

But Cotton Mather and his father persisted obstinately in the opinions they had published, and looked upon the reactionary feeling as a triumph of Satan and his kingdom. In the course of the year they had an opportunity of reasserting their belief in the doings of the witches of Salem. A girl of Boston, named Margaret Rule, was seized with convulsions, in the course of which she pretended to see the "shapes" or spectres of people exactly as they were alleged to have been seen by the witch-accusers at Salem and Andover. This occurred on the 10th of September, 1693; and she was immediately visited by Cotton Mather, who examined her, and declared his conviction of the truth of her statements. Had it depended only upon him, a new and no doubt equally bitter persecution of witches would have been raised in Boston; but an influential merchant of that town, named Robert Calef, took the matter up in a different spirit, and also examined Margaret Rule, and satisfied himself that the whole was a delusion or imposture. Calef wrote a rational account of the events of these two years, 1692 and 1693, exposing the delusion, and controverting the opinions of the two Mathers on the subject of witchcraft, which was published under the title of "More Wonders of the Invisible World; or the Wonders of the Invisible world displayed in five parts. An Account of the Sufferings of Margaret Rule collected by Robert Calef, merchant of Boston in New England." The partisans of the Mathers displayed their hostility to this book by publicly burning it; and the Mathers themselves kept up the feeling so strongly that years afterwards, when Samuel Mather, the son of Cotton, wrote his father's life, he says sneeringly of Calef: "There was a certain disbeliever in Witchcraft who wrote against this book" (his father's 'Wonders of the Invisible World'), "but as the man is dead, his book died long before him." Calef died in 1720.

The witchcraft delusion had, however, been sufficiently dispelled to prevent the recurrence of any other such persecutions; and those who still insisted on their truth were restrained to the comparatively harmless publication and defence of their opinions. The people of Salem were humbled and repentant. They deserted their minister, Mr. Paris, with whom the persecution had begun, and were not satisfied until they had driven him away from the place. Their remorse continued through several years, and most of the people concerned in the judicial proceedings proclaimed their regret. The jurors signed a paper expressing their repentance, and pleading that they had laboured under a delusion. What ought to have been considered still more conclusive, many of those who had confessed themselves witches, and had been instrumental in accusing others, retracted all they had said, and confessed that they had acted under the influence of terror. Yet the vanity of superior intelligence and knowledge was so great in the two Mathers that they resisted all conviction. In his Magnalia, an ecclesiastical history of New England, published in 1700, Cotton Mather repeats his original view of the doings of Satan in Salem, showing no regret for the part he had taken in this affair, and making no retraction of any of his opinions. Still later, in 1723, he repeats them again in the same strain in the chapter of the "Remarkables" of his father entitled "Troubles from the Invisible World." His father, Increase Mather, had died in that same year at an advanced age, being in his eighty-fifth year. Cotton Mather died on the 13th of February, 1728.

Whatever we may think of the credulity of these two ecclesiastics, there can be no ground for charging them with acting otherwise than conscientiously, and they had claims on the gratitude of their countrymen sufficient to overbalance their error of judgment on this occasion. Their books relating to the terrible witchcraft delusion at Salem have now become very rare in the original editions, and their interest, as remarkable monuments of the history of superstition, make them well worthy of a reprint.



The Author's Defence 3

Letter from Mr. William Stoughton 6

Enchantments encountered 9

An Abstract of Mr. Perkins's Way for the Discovery of Witches 30

The Sum of Mr. Gaules Judgment about the Detection of Witches 33


An Hortatory and Necessary Address, to a Country now Extraordinarily Alarum'd by the Wrath of the Devil 79

A Narrative of an Apparition which a Gentleman in Boston had of his Brother, just then murthered in London 107

A Modern Instance of Witches discovered and condemned in a Tryal, before that celebrated Judge, Sir Matthew Hale 111

The Tryal of G. B. at a Court of Oyer and Terminer, held in Salem, 1692 120

The Tryal of Bridget Bishop, alias Oliver, at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, held at Salem, June 2, 1692 129

The Tryal of Susanna Martin, at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, held by Adjournment at Salem, June 29, 1692 138

The Tryal of Elizabeth How, at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, held by Adjournment at Salem, June 30, 1692 149

The Tryal of Martha Carrier, at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, held by Adjournment at Salem, August 2, 1692 154

A Relation of a Few of the Matchless Curiosities which the Witchcraft presented 159

The First Curiositie 159

The Second Curiositie 161

The Third Curiositie 164

The Fourth Curiositie 165

Testimony of Mr. William Stoughton and Mr. Samuel Sewall 167

Extracts from Dr. Horneck showing the Similarity in the Circumstances attending the Witchcraft in New-England and that in Sweedland 167

Matter omitted in the Tryals 172


Case proposed, What are those Usual Methods of Temptation with which the Powers of Darkness do assault the Children of Men? 174

Remarks upon the Three Remarkable Assaults of Temptations which the Devil visibly made upon our Lord 175

The First Temptation 175

The Second Temptation 183

The Third Temptation 192


A True Narrative, collected by Deodat Lawson, relating to Sundry Persons afflicted by Witchcraft, from the 19th of March to the 5th of April, 1692 201

Remarks of Things more than Ordinary about the Afflicted Persons 211

Remarks concerning the Accused 212

A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches, sent in a Letter from thence, to a Gentleman in London 214


An Address to the Christian Reader by Fourteen Influential Gentlemen 221


The First Case proposed, Whether or not may Satan appear in the Shape of an Innocent and Pious, as well as of a Nocent and Wicked Person, to afflict such as suffer by Diabolical Molestation? 225

The Affirmative proved from Six Arguments:—

1. From Several Scriptures 225

2. Because it is possible for the Devil, in the Shape of Innocent Persons, to do other Mischiefs, proved by many Instances 234

3. Because if Satan may not represent an Innocent Person as afflicting others, it must be either because he wants will or power to do this, or because God will never permit him so to do it; either of which may be affirmed 237

4. It is certain, both from Scripture and History, that Magicians by their Inchantments and Hellish Conjurations may cause a False Representation of Persons and Things 243

5. From the concurring Judgment of many Learned and Judicious Men 250

6. Our own Experience has confirmed the Truth of what we affirm 253

The Second Case considered, viz. If one bewitched be cast down with the look or cast of the Eye of another Person, and after that recovered again by a Touch from the same Person, is not this an infallible Proof that the party accused and complained of is in Covenant with the Devil? 255

Answer. This may be Ground of Suspicion and Examination, but not of Conviction 255

The Judgment of Mr. Bernard and of Dr. Cotta produced 256

Several Things offered against the Infallibility of this Proof:—

1. 'Tis possible that the Persons in question may be possessed with Evil Spirits. Signs of such 258

2. Falling down with the Cast of the Eye proceeds not from a natural, but an arbitrary Cause 260

3. That of the bewitched Persons being recovered with a Touch is various and fallible 262

4. There are that question the Lawfulness of the Experiment 264

5. The Testimony of Bewitched or Possessed Persons is no Evidence as to what they see concerning others, and therefore not as to themselves 266

6. Bewitched Persons have sometimes been struck down with the Look of Dogs 267

7. If this were an Infallible Proof, there would be difficulty in discovering Witches 268

8. Nothing can be produced out of the Word of God to shew, that this is any Proof of Witchcraft 268

9. Antipathies in Nature have Strange and Unaccountable Effects 268

The Third Case considered, Whether there are any Discoveries of Witchcraft, which Jurors and Judges may with a safe Conscience proceed upon to the Conviction and Condemnation of the Persons under Suspicion? 269

Two things premised:—

1. That the Evidence in the Crime of Witchcraft ought to be as clear as in any other Crimes of a Capital Nature 269

2. That there have been ways of Trying Witches long used, which God never approved of. More particularly that of casting the Suspected Party into the Water, to try whether they will Sink or Swim. The Vanity and great Sin which is in that way of Purgation evinced by Six Reasons 270

That there are Proofs for the Conviction of Witches, which Jurors may with a safe Conscience proceed upon, proved from Scripture 275

That a Free and Voluntary Confession is a sufficient Ground of Conviction 276

That the Testimony of confessing Witches against others, is not so clear an Evidence as against themselves 279

That if two Credible Persons shall affirm upon Oath that they have seen the Person accused doing Things, which none but such as have familiarity with the Devil, ever did or can do, that's a sufficient ground of Conviction: and that this has often happened 282

Mr. Perkins his Solemn Caution to Jurors 283

Postscript 285

The Wonders of the Invisible World:

Being an Account of the TRYALS OF Several Witches, Lately Excuted in NEW-ENGLAND:

And of several remarkable Curiosities therein Occurring.

Together with,

I. Observations upon the Nature, the Number, and the Operations of the Devils.

II. A short Narrative of a late outrage committed by a knot of Witches in Swede-Land, very much resembling, and so far explaining, that under which New-England has laboured.

III. Some Councels directing a due Improvement of the Terrible things lately done by the unusual and amazing Range of Evil-Spirits in New-England.

IV. A brief Discourse upon those Temptations which are the more ordinary Devices of Satan.


Published by the Special Command of his EXCELLENCY the Govenour of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England.

Printed first, at Bostun in New-England; and Reprinted at London, for John Dunton, at the Raven in the Poultry. 1693.


'Tis, as I remember, the Learned Scribonius, who reports, That one of his Acquaintance, devoutly making his Prayers on the behalf of a Person molested by Evil Spirits, received from those Evil Spirits an horrible Blow over the Face: And I may my self expect not few or small Buffetings from Evil Spirits, for the Endeavours wherewith I am now going to encounter them. I am far from insensible, that at this extraordinary Time of the Devils coming down in great Wrath upon us, there are too many Tongues and Hearts thereby set on fire of Hell; that the various Opinions about the Witchcrafts which of later time have troubled us, are maintained by some with so much cloudy Fury, as if they could never be sufficiently stated, unless written in the Liquor wherewith Witches use to write their Covenants; and that he who becomes an Author at such a time, had need be fenced with Iron, and the Staff of a Spear. The unaccountable Frowardness, Asperity, Untreatableness, and Inconsistency of many Persons, every Day gives a visible Exposition of that passage, An evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul; and Illustration of that Story, There met him two possessed with Devils, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. To send abroad a Book, among such Readers, were a very unadvised thing, if a Man had not such Reasons to give, as I can bring, for such an Undertaking. Briefly, I hope it cannot be said, They are all so: No, I hope the Body of this People, are yet in such a Temper, as to be capable of applying their Thoughts, to make a Right Use of the stupendous and prodigious Things that are happening among us: And because I was concern'd, when I saw that no abler Hand emitted any Essays to engage the Minds of this People, in such holy, pious, fruitful Improvements, as God would have to be made of his amazing Dispensations now upon us. THEREFORE it is, that One of the Least among the Children of New-England, has here done, what is done. None, but the Father, who sees in secret, knows the Heart-breaking Exercises, wherewith I have composed what is now going to be exposed, lest I should in any one thing miss of doing my designed Service for his Glory, and for his People; but I am now somewhat comfortably assured of his favourable acceptance; and, I will not fear; what can a Satan do unto me!

Having performed something of what God required, in labouring to suit his Words unto his Works, at this Day among us, and therewithal handled a Theme that has been sometimes counted not unworthy the Pen, even of a King, it will easily be perceived, that some subordinate Ends have been considered in these Endeavours.

I have indeed set myself to countermine the whole PLOT of the Devil, against New-England, in every Branch of it, as far as one of my darkness, can comprehend such a Work of Darkness. I may add, that I have herein also aimed at the Information and Satisfaction of Good Men in another Country, a thousand Leagues off, where I have, it may be, more, or however, more considerable Friends, than in my own: And I do what I can to have that Country, now, as well as always, in the best Terms with my own. But while I am doing these things, I have been driven a little to do something likewise for myself; I mean, by taking off the false Reports, and hard Censures about my Opinion in these Matters, the Parter's Portions which my pursuit of Peace has procured me among the Keen. My hitherto unvaried Thoughts are here published; and I believe, they will be owned by most of the Ministers of God in these Colonies; nor can amends be well made me, for the wrong done me, by other sorts of Representations.

* * * * *

In fine: For the Dogmatical part of my Discourse, I want no Defence; for the Historical part of it, I have a Very Great One; the Lieutenant-Governour of New-England having perused it, has done me the Honour of giving me a Shield, under the Umbrage whereof I now dare to walk abroad.


You very much gratify'd me, as well as put a kind Respect upon me, when you put into my hands, your elaborate and most seasonable Discourse, entituled, The Wonders of the Invisible World. And having now perused so fruitful and happy a Composure, upon such a Subject, at this Juncture of Time; and considering the place that I hold in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, still labouring and proceeding in the Trial of the Persons accused and convicted for Witchcraft, I find that I am more nearly and highly concerned than as a meer ordinary Reader, to express my Obligation and Thankfulness to you for so great Pains; and cannot but hold myself many ways bound, even to the utmost of what is proper for me, in my present publick Capacity, to declare my singular Approbation thereof. Such is your Design, most plainly expressed throughout the whole; such your Zeal for God, your Enmity to Satan and his Kingdom, your Faithfulness and Compassion to this poor People; such the Vigour, but yet great Temper of your Spirit; such your Instruction and Counsel, your Care of Truth, your Wisdom and Dexterity in allaying and moderating that among us, which needs it; such your clear discerning of Divine Providences and Periods, now running on apace towards their Glorious Issues in the World; and finally, such your good News of The Shortness of the Devil's Time, that all Good Men must needs desire, the making of this your Discourse publick to the World; and will greatly rejoyce, that the Spirit of the Lord has thus enabled you to lift up a Standard against the Infernal Enemy, that hath been coming in like a Flood upon us. I do therefore make it my particular and earnest Request unto you, that as soon as may be, you will commit the same unto the Press accordingly. I am,

Your assured Friend,


I live by Neighbours that force me to produce these undeserved Lines. But now, as when Mr. Wilson beholding a great Muster of Souldiers, had it by a Gentleman then present, said unto him, Sir, I'll tell you a great Thing: Here is a mighty Body of People; and there is not Seven of them all, but what loves Mr. Wilson. That gracious Man presently and pleasantly reply'd: Sir, I'll tell you as good a thing as that; here is a mighty Body of People, and there is not so much as One among them all, but Mr. Wilson loves him. Somewhat so: 'Tis possible, that among this Body of People, there may be few that love the Writer of this Book; but give me leave to boast so far, there is not one among all this Body of People, whom this Mather would not study to serve, as well as to love. With such a Spirit of Love, is the Book now before us written: I appeal to all this World; and if this World will deny me the Right of acknowledging so much, I appeal to the other, that it is not written with an Evil Spirit: for which cause I shall not wonder, if Evil Spirits be exasperated by what is written, as the Sadduces doubtless were with what was discoursed in the Days of our Saviour. I only demand the Justice, that others read it, with the same Spirit wherewith I writ it.



It was as long ago as the Year 1637, that a Faithful Minister of the Church of England, whose Name was Mr. Edward Symons, did in a Sermon afterwards Printed, thus express himself; 'At New-England now the Sun of Comfort begins to appear, and the glorious Day-Star to show it self;—Sed Venient Annis Saeculae Seris, there will come Times in after Ages, when the Clouds will over-shadow and darken the Sky there. Many now promise to themselves nothing but successive Happiness there, which for a time through God's Mercy they may enjoy; and I pray God, they may a long time; but in this World there is no Happiness perpetual.' An Observation, or I had almost said, an Inspiration, very dismally now verify'd upon us! It has been affirm'd by some who best knew New-England, That the World will do New-England a great piece of Injustice, if it acknowledge not a measure of Religion, Loyalty, Honesty, and Industry, in the People there, beyond what is to be found with any other People for the Number of them. When I did a few years ago, publish a Book, which mentioned a few memorable Witchcrafts, committed in this country; the excellent Baxter, graced the Second Edition of that Book, with a kind Preface, wherein he sees cause to say, If any are Scandalized, that New-England, a place of as serious Piety, as any I can hear of, under Heaven, should be troubled so much with Witches; I think, 'tis no wonder: Where will the Devil show most Malice, but where he is hated, and hateth most: And I hope, the Country will still deserve and answer the Charity so expressed by that Reverend Man of God. Whosoever travels over this Wilderness, will see it richly bespangled with Evangelical Churches, whose Pastors are holy, able, and painful Overseers of their Flocks, lively Preachers, and vertuous Livers; and such as in their several Neighbourly Associations, have had their Meetings whereat Ecclesiastical Matters of common Concernment are considered: Churches, whose Communicants have been seriously examined about their Experiences of Regeneration, as well as about their Knowledge, and Belief, and blameless Conversation, before their admission to the Sacred Communion; although others of less but hopeful Attainments in Christianity are not ordinarily deny'd Baptism for themselves and theirs; Churches, which are shye of using any thing in the Worship of God, for which they cannot see a Warrant of God; but with whom yet the Names of Congregational, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Antipaedobaptist, are swallowed up in that of Christian; Persons of all those Perswasions being taken into our Fellowship, when visible Goodliness has recommended them: Churches, which usually do within themselves manage their own Discipline, under the Conduct of their Elders; but yet call in the help of Synods upon Emergencies, or Aggrievances: Churches, Lastly, wherein Multitudes are growing ripe for Heaven every day; and as fast as these are taken off, others are daily rising up. And by the Presence and Power of the Divine Institutions thus maintained in the Country, We are still so happy, that I suppose there is no Land in the Universe more free from the debauching, and the debasing Vices of Ungodliness. The Body of the People are hitherto so disposed, that Swearing, Sabbath-breaking, Whoring, Drunkenness, and the like, do not make a Gentleman, but a Monster, or a Goblin, in the vulgar Estimation. All this notwithstanding, we must humbly confess to our God, that we are miserably degenerated from the first Love of our Predecessors; however we boast our selves a little, when Men would go to trample upon us, and we venture to say, Wherein soever any is bold (we speak foolishly) we are bold also. The first Planters of these Colonies were a chosen Generation of Men, who were first so pure, as to disrelish many things which they thought wanted Reformation elsewhere; and yet withal so peaceable, that they embraced a voluntary Exile in a squalid, horrid, American Desart, rather than to live in Contentions with their Brethren. Those good Men imagined that they should leave their Posterity in a place, where they should never see the Inroads of Profanity, or Superstition: And a famous Person returning hence, could in a Sermon before the Parliament, profess, I have now been seven Years in a Country, where I never Saw one Man drunk, or heard one Oath sworn, or beheld one Beggar in the Streets all the while. Such great Persons as Budaeus, and others, who mistook Sir Thomas Moor's UTOPIA, for a Country really existent, and stirr'd up some Divines charitably to undertake a Voyage thither, might now have certainly found a Truth in their Mistake; New-England was a true Utopia. But, alas, the Children and Servants of those old Planters must needs afford many, degenerate Plants, and there is now risen up a Number of People, otherwise inclined than our Joshua's, and the Elders that out-liv'd them. Those two things our holy Progenitors, and our happy Advantages make Omissions of Duty, and such Spiritual Disorders as the whole World abroad is overwhelmed with, to be as provoking in us, as the most flagitious Wickednesses committed in other places; and the Ministers of God are accordingly severe in their Testimonies: But in short, those Interests of the Gospel, which were the Errand of our Fathers into these Ends of the Earth, have been too much neglected and postponed, and the Attainments of an handsome Education, have been too much undervalued, by Multitudes that have not fallen into Exorbitances of Wickedness; and some, especially of our young Ones, when they have got abroad from under the Restraints here laid upon them, have become extravagantly and abominably Vicious. Hence 'tis, that the Happiness of New-England has been but for a time, as it was foretold, and not for a long time, as has been desir'd for us. A Variety of Calamity has long follow'd this Plantation; and we have all the Reason imaginable to ascribe it unto the Rebuke of Heaven upon us for our manifold Apostasies; we make no right use of our Disasters: If we do not, Remember whence we are fallen, and repent, and do the first Works. But yet our Afflictions may come under a further Consideration with us: There is a further Cause of our Afflictions, whose due must be given him.

S. II. The New-Englanders are a People of God settled in those, which were once the Devil's Territories; and it may easily be supposed that the Devil was exceedingly disturbed, when he perceived such a People here accomplishing the Promise of old made unto our Blessed Jesus, That He should have the Utmost parts of the Earth for his Possession. There was not a greater Uproar among the Ephesians, when the Gospel was first brought among them, than there was among, The Powers of the Air (after whom those Ephesians walked) when first the Silver Trumpets of the Gospel here made the Joyful Sound. The Devil thus Irritated, immediately try'd all sorts of Methods to overturn this poor Plantation: and so much of the Church, as was Fled into this Wilderness, immediately found, The Serpent cast out of his Mouth a Flood for the carrying of it away. I believe, that never were more Satanical Devices used for the Unsetling of any People under the Sun, than what have been Employ'd for the Extirpation of the Vine which God has here Planted, Casting out the Heathen, and preparing a Room before it, and causing it to take deep Root, and fill the Land, so that it sent its Boughs unto the Atlantic Sea Eastward, and its Branches unto the Connecticut River Westward, and the Hills were covered with the shadow thereof. But, All those Attempts of Hell, have hitherto been Abortive, many an Ebenezer has been Erected unto the Praise of God, by his Poor People here; and, Having obtained Help from God, we continue to this Day. Wherefore the Devil is now making one Attempt more upon us; an Attempt more Difficult, more Surprizing, more snarl'd with unintelligible Circumstances than any that we have hitherto Encountred; an Attempt so Critical, that if we get well through, we shall soon Enjoy Halcyon Days with all the Vultures of Hell Trodden under our Feet. He has wanted his Incarnate Legions to Persecute us, as the People of God have in the other Hemisphere been Persecuted: he has therefore drawn forth his more Spiritual ones to make an Attacque upon us. We have been advised by some Credible Christians yet alive, that a Malefactor, accused of Witchcraft as well as Murder, and Executed in this place more than Forty Years ago, did then give Notice of, An Horrible PLOT against the Country by WITCHCRAFT, and a Foundation of WITCHCRAFT then laid, which if it were not seasonally discovered, would probably Blow up, and pull down all the Churches in the Country. And we have now with Horror seen the Discovery of such a Witchcraft! An Army of Devils is horribly broke in upon the place which is the Center, and after a sort, the First-born of our English Settlements: and the Houses of the Good People there are fill'd with the doleful Shrieks of their Children and Servants, Tormented by Invisible Hands, with Tortures altogether preternatural. After the Mischiefs there Endeavoured, and since in part Conquered, the terrible Plague, of Evil Angels, hath made its Progress into some other places, where other Persons have been in like manner Diabolically handled. These our poor Afflicted Neighbours, quickly after they become Infected and Infested with these Daemons, arrive to a Capacity of Discerning those which they conceive the Shapes of their Troublers; and notwithstanding the Great and Just Suspicion, that the Daemons might Impose the Shapes of Innocent Persons in their Spectral Exhibitions upon the Sufferers, (which may perhaps prove no small part of the Witch-Plot in the issue) yet many of the Persons thus Represented, being Examined, several of them have been Convicted of a very Damnable Witchcraft: yea, more than One Twenty have Confessed, that they have Signed unto a Book, which the Devil show'd them, and Engaged in his Hellish Design of Bewitching, and Ruining our Land. We know not, at least I know not, how far the Delusions of Satan may be Interwoven into some Circumstances of the Confessions; but one would think, all the Rules of Understanding Humane Affairs are at an end, if after so many most Voluntary Harmonious Confessions, made by Intelligent Persons of all Ages, in sundry Towns, at several Times, we must not Believe the main strokes wherein those Confessions all agree: especially when we have a thousand preternatural Things every day before our eyes, wherein the Confessors do acknowledge their Concernment, and give Demonstration of their being so Concerned. If the Devils now can strike the minds of men with any Poisons of so fine a Composition and Operation, that Scores of Innocent People shall Unite, in Confessions of a Crime, which we see actually committed, it is a thing prodigious, beyond the Wonders of the former Ages, and it threatens no less than a sort of a Dissolution upon the World. Now, by these Confessions 'tis Agreed, That the Devil has made a dreadful Knot of Witches in the Country, and by the help of Witches has dreadfully increased that Knot: That these Witches have driven a Trade of Commissioning their Confederate Spirits, to do all sorts of Mischiefs to the Neighbours, whereupon there have ensued such Mischievous consequences upon the Bodies and Estates of the Neighbourhood, as could not otherwise be accounted for: yea, That at prodigious Witch-Meetings, the Wretches have proceeded so far, as to Concert and Consult the Methods of Rooting out the Christian Religion from this Country, and setting up instead of it, perhaps a more gross Diabolesm, than ever the World saw before. And yet it will be a thing little short of Miracle, if in so spread a Business as this, the Devil should not get in some of his Juggles, to confound the Discovery of all the rest.

S. III. Doubtless, the Thoughts of many will receive a great Scandal against New-England, from the Number of Persons that have been Accused, or Suspected, for Witchcraft, in this Country: But it were easie to offer many things, that may Answer and Abate the Scandal. If the Holy God should any where permit the Devils to hook two or three wicked Scholars into Witchcraft, and then by their Assistance to Range with their Poisonous Insinuations among Ignorant, Envious, Discontented People, till they have cunningly decoy'd them into some sudden Act, whereby the Toyls of Hell shall be perhaps inextricably cast over them: what Country in the World would not afford Witches, numerous to a Prodigy? Accordingly, The Kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, yea and England it self, as well as the Province of New-England, have had their Storms of Witchcrafts breaking upon them, which have made most Lamentable Devastations: which also I wish, may be The Last. And it is not uneasie to be imagined, That God has not brought out all the Witchcrafts in many other Lands with such a speedy, dreadful, destroying Jealousie, as burns forth upon such High Treasons, committed here in A Land of Uprightness: Transgressors may more quickly here than elsewhere become a Prey to the Vengeance of Him, Who has Eyes like a Flame of Fire, and, who walks in the midst of the Golden Candlesticks. Moreover, There are many parts of the World, who if they do upon this Occasion insult over this People of God, need only to be told the Story of what happen'd at Loim, in the Dutchy of Gulic, where a Popish Curate having ineffectually try'd many Charms to Eject the Devil out of a Damsel there possessed, he passionately bid the Devil come out of her into himself; but the Devil answered him, Quid mihi Opus, est eum tentare, quem Novissimo die, Jure Optimo, sum possessurus? That is, What need I meddle with one whom I am sure to have, and hold at the Last-day as my own for ever!

But besides all this, give me leave to add, it is to be hoped, That among the Persons represented by the Spectres which now afflict our Neighbours, there will be found some that never explicitly contracted with any of the Evil Angels. The Witches have not only intimated, but some of them acknowledged, That they have plotted the Representations of Innocent Persons, to cover and shelter themselves in their Witchcrafts; now, altho' our good God has hitherto generally preserved us from the Abuse therein design'd by the Devils for us, yet who of us can exactly state, How far our God may for our Chastisement permit the Devil to proceed in such an Abuse? It was the Result of a Discourse, lately held at a Meeting of some very Pious and Learned Ministers among us, That the Devils may sometimes have a permission to Represent an Innocent Person, as Tormenting such as are under Diabolical Molestations: But that such things are Rare and Extraordinary; especially when such matters come before Civil Judicature. The Opinion expressed with so much Caution and Judgment, seems to be the prevailing Sense of many others, who are men Eminently Cautious and Judicious; and have both Argument and History to Countenance them in it. It is Rare and Extraordinary, for an Honest Naboth to have his Life it self Sworn away by two Children of Belial, and yet no Infringement hereby made on the Rectoral Righteousness of our Eternal Soveraign, whose Judgments are a Great Deep, and who gives none Account of His matters. Thus, although the Appearance of Innocent Persons in Spectral Exhibitions afflicting the Neighbour-hood, be a thing Rare and Extraordinary; yet who can be sure, that the great Belial of Hell must needs be always Yoked up from this piece of Mischief? The best man that ever lived has been called a Witch: and why may not this too usual and unhappy Symptom of A Witch, even a Spectral Representation, befall a person that shall be none of the worst? Is it not possible? The Laplanders will tell us 'tis possible: for Persons to be unwittingly attended with officious Daemons, bequeathed unto them, and impos'd upon them, by Relations that have been Witches. Quaery, also, Whether at a Time, when the Devil with his Witches are engag'd in a War upon a people, some certain steps of ours, in such a War, may not be follow'd with our appearing so and so for a while among them in the Visions of our afflicted Forlorns! And, Who can certainly say, what other Degrees or Methods of sinning, besides that of a Diabolical Compact, may give the Devils advantage to act in the Shape of them that have miscarried? Besides what may happen for a while, to try the Patience of the Vertuous. May not some that have been ready upon feeble grounds uncharitably to Censure and Reproach other people, be punished for it by Spectres for a while exposing them to Censure and Reproach? And furthermore, I pray, that it may be considered, Whether a World of Magical Tricks often used in the World, may not insensibly oblige Devils to wait upon the Superstitious Users of them. A Witty Writer against Sadducism has this Observation, That persons who never made any express Contract with Apostate Spirits, yet may Act strange Things by Diabolick Aids, which they procure by the use of those wicked Forms and Arts, that the Devil first imparted unto his Confederates. And he adds, We know not but the Laws of the Dark Kingdom may Enjoyn a particular Attendance upon all those that practice their Mysteries, whether they know them to be theirs or no. Some of them that have been cry'd out upon as imploying Evil Spirits to hurt our Land, have been known to be most bloody Fortune-Tellers; and some of them have confessed, That when they told Fortunes, they would pretend the Rules of Chiromancy and the like Ignorant Sciences, but indeed they had no Rule (they said) but this, The things were then Darted into their minds. Darted! Ye Wretches; By whom, I pray? Surely by none but the Devils; who, tho' perhaps they did not exactly Foreknow all the thus Predicted Contingencies; yet having once Foretold them, they stood bound in Honour now to use their Interest, which alas, in This World, is very great, for the Accomplishment of their own Predictions. There are others, that have used most wicked Sorceries to gratifie their unlawful Curiosities, or to prevent Inconveniencies in Man and Beast; Sorceries, which I will not Name, lest I should by Naming, Teach them. Now, some Devil is evermore Invited into the Service of the Person that shall Practise these Witchcrafts; and if they have gone on Impenitently in these Communions with any Devil, the Devil may perhaps become at last a Familiar to them, and so assume their Livery, that they cannot shake him off in any way, but that One, which I would most heartily prescribe unto them, Namely, That of a deep and long Repentance. Should these Impieties have been committed in such a place as New-England, for my part I should not wonder, if when Devils are Exposing the Grosser Witches among us, God permit them to bring in these Lesser ones with the rest for their perpetual Humiliation. In the Issue therefore, may it not be found, that New-England is not so stock'd with Rattle Snakes, as was imagined.

S. IV. But I do not believe, that the progress of Witchcraft among us, is all the Plot which the Devil is managing in the Witchcraft now upon us. It is judged, That the Devil rais'd the Storm, whereof we read in the Eighth Chapter of Matthew, on purpose to over-set the little Vessel wherein the Disciples of Our Lord were Embarqued with Him. And it may be fear'd, that in the Horrible Tempest which is now upon ourselves, the design of the Devil is to sink that Happy Settlement of Government, wherewith Almighty God has graciously enclined Their Majesties to favour us. We are blessed with a GOVERNOUR, than whom no man can be more willing to serve Their Majesties, or this their Province: He is continually venturing his All to do it: and were not the Interests of his Prince dearer to him than his own, he could not but soon be weary of the Helm, whereat he sits. We are under the Influence of a LIEUTENANT GOVERNOUR, who not only by being admirably accomplished both with Natural and Acquired Endowments, is fitted for the Service of Their Majesties, but also with an unspotted Fidelity applies himself to that Service. Our COUNCELLOURS are some of our most Eminent Persons, and as Loyal Subjects to the Crown, as hearty lovers of their Country. Our Constitution also is attended with singular Priviledges; All which Things are by the Devil exceedingly Envy'd unto us; And the Devil will doubtless take this occasion for the raising of such complaints and clamours, as may be of pernicious consequence unto some part of our present Settlement, if he can so far Impose. But that which most of all Threatens us, in our present Circumstances, is the Misunderstanding, and so the Animosity, whereinto the Witchcraft now Raging, has Enchanted us. The Embroiling, first, of our Spirits, and then of our Affairs, is evidently as considerable a Branch of the Hellish Intrigue which now vexes us as any one Thing whatsoever. The Devil has made us like a Troubled Sea, and the Mire and Mud begins now also to heave up apace. Even Good and Wise Men suffer themselves to fall into their Paroxysms; and the Shake which the Devil is now giving us, fetches up the Dirt which before lay still at the bottom of our sinful Hearts. If we allow the Mad Dogs of Hell to poyson us by biting us, we shall imagine that we see nothing but such things about us, and like such things fly upon all that we see. Were it not for what is IN US, for my part, I should not fear a thousand Legions of Devils: 'tis by our Quarrels that we spoil our Prayers; and if our humble, zealous, and united Prayers are once hindred: Alas, the Philistines of Hell have cut our Locks for us; they will then blind us, mock us, ruine us: In truth, I cannot altogether blame it, if People are a little transported, when they conceive all the secular Interests of themselves and their Families at the Stake; and yet at the sight of these Heartburnings, I cannot forbear the Exclamation of the Sweet-spirited Austin, in his Pacificatory Epistle to Jerom, on the Contest with Ruffin, O misera & miseranda Conditio! O Condition, truly miserable! But what shall be done to cure these Distractions? It is wonderfully necessary, that some healing Attempts be made at this time: And I must needs confess (if I may speak so much) like a Nazianzen, I am so desirous of a share in them, that if, being thrown overboard, were needful to allay the Storm, I should think Dying, a Trifle to be undergone, for so great a Blessedness.

S. V. I would most importunately in the first place, entreat every Man to maintain an holy Jealousie over his Soul at this time, and think; May not the Devil make me, though ignorantly and unwillingly, to be an Instrument of doing something that he would have to be done? For my part, I freely own my Suspicion, lest something of Enchantment, have reach'd more Persons and Spirits among us, than we are well aware of. But then, let us more generally agree to maintain a kind Opinion one of another. That Charity without which, even our giving our Bodies to be burned would profit nothing, uses to proceed by this Rule; It is kind, it is not easily provok'd, it thinks no Evil, it believes all things, hopes all things. But if we disregard this Rule of Charity, we shall indeed give our Body Politick to be burned. I have heard it affirmed, That in the late great Flood upon Connecticut, those Creatures which could not but have quarrelled at another time, yet now being driven together very agreeably stood by one another. I am sure we shall be worse than Brutes if we fly upon one another at a time when the Floods of Belial make us afraid. On the one side; [Alas, my Pen, must thou write the word, Side in the Business?] There are very worthy Men, who having been call'd by God, when and where this Witchcraft first appeared upon the Stage to encounter it, are earnestly desirous to have it sifted unto the bottom of it. And I pray, which of us all that should live under the continual Impressions of the Tortures, Outcries, and Havocks which Devils confessedly Commissioned by Witches make among their distressed Neighbours, would not have a Biass that way beyond other Men? Persons this way disposed have been Men eminent for Wisdom and Vertue, and Men acted by a noble Principle of Conscience: Had not Conscience (of Duty to God) prevailed above other Considerations with them, they would not for all they are worth in the World have medled in this Thorny business. Have there been any disputed Methods used in discovering the Works of Darkness? It may be none but what have had great Presedents in other parts of the World; which may, though not altogether justifie, yet much alleviate a Mistake in us if there should happen to be found any such mistake in so dark a Matter. They have done what they have done, with multiplied Addresses to God for his Guidance, and have not been insensible how much they have exposed themselves in what they have done. Yea, they would gladly contrive and receive an expedient, how the shedding of Blood, might be spared, by the Recovery of Witches, not gone beyond the Reach of Pardon. And after all, they invite all good Men, in Terms to this purpose, 'Being amazed at the Number and Quality of those accused of late, we do not know but Satan by his Wiles may have enwrapped some innocent Persons; and therefore should earnestly and humbly desire the most Critical Enquiry upon the place, to find out the Falacy; that there may be none of the Servants of the Lord, with the Worshippers of Baal.' I may also add, That whereas, if once a Witch do ingeniously confess among us, no more Spectres do in their Shapes after this, trouble the Vicinage; if any guilty Creatures will accordingly to so good purpose confess their Crime to any Minister of God, and get out of the Snare of the Devil, as no Minister will discover such a Conscientious Confession, so I believe none in the Authority will press him to discover it; but rejoyc'd in a Soul sav'd from Death. On the other side [if I must again use the word Side, which yet I hope to live to blot out] there are very worthy Men, who are not a little dissatisfied at the Proceedings in the Prosecution of this Witchcraft. And why? Not because they would have any such abominable thing, defended from the Strokes of Impartial Justice. No, those Reverend Persons who gave in this Advice unto the Honourable Council; 'That Presumptions, whereupon Persons may be Committed, and much more Convictions, whereupon Persons may be Condemned, as guilty of Witchcrafts, ought certainly to be more considerable, than barely the Accused Persons being represented by a Spectre unto the Afflicted; Nor are Alterations made in the Sufferers, by a Look or Touch of the Accused, to be esteemed an infallible Evidence of Guilt; but frequently liable to be abused by the Devils Legerdemains': I say, those very Men of God most conscientiously Subjoined this Article to that Advice,—'Nevertheless we cannot but humbly recommend unto the Government, the speedy and vigorous Prosecution of such as have rendred themselves Obnoxious; according to the best Directions given in the Laws of God, and the wholsome Statutes of the English Nation for the Detection of Witchcraft.' Only 'tis a most commendable Cautiousness, in those gracious Men, to be very shye lest the Devil get so far into our Faith, as that for the sake of many Truths which we find he tells us, we come at length to believe any Lyes, wherewith he may abuse us: whereupon, what a Desolation of Names would soon ensue, besides a thousand other pernicious Consequences? and lest there should be any such Principles taken up, as when put into Practice must unavoidably cause the Righteous to perish with the Wicked; or procure the Bloodshed of any Persons, like the Gibeonites, whom some learned Men suppose to be under a false Notion of Witches, by Saul exterminated.

They would have all due steps taken for the Extinction of Witches; but they would fain have them to be sure ones; nor is it from any thing, but the real and hearty goodness of such Men, that they are loth to surmise ill of other Men, till there be the fullest Evidence for the surmises. As for the Honourable Judges that have been hitherto in the Commission, they are above my Consideration: wherefore I will only say thus much of them, That such of them as I have the Honour of a Personal Acquaintance with, are Men of an excellent Spirit; and as at first they went about the work for which they were Commission'd, with a very great aversion, so they have still been under Heart-breaking Sollicitudes, how they might therein best serve both God and Man? In fine, Have there been faults on any side fallen into? Surely, they have at worst been but the faults of a well-meaning Ignorance. On every side then, why should not we endeavour with amicable Correspondencies, to help one another out of the Snares wherein the Devil would involve us? To wrangle the Devil out of the Country, will be truly a New Experiment: Alas! we are not aware of the Devil, if we do not think, that he aims at inflaming us one against another; and shall we suffer our selves to be Devil-ridden? or by any unadvisableness contribute unto the Widening of our Breaches?

To say no more, there is a published and credible Relation; which affirms, That very lately in a part of England, where some of the Neighbourhood were quarrelling, a Raven from the Top of a Tree very articulately and unaccountably cry'd out, Read the Third of Colossians and the Fifteenth! Were I my self to chuse what sort of Bird I would be transformed into, I would say, O that I had wings like a Dove! Nevertheless, I will for once do the Office, which as it seems, Heaven sent that Raven upon; even to beg, That the Peace of God may Rule in our Hearts.

S. VI. 'Tis necessary that we unite in every thing: but there are especially two Things wherein our Union must carry us along together. We are to unite in our Endeavours to deliver our distressed Neighbours, from the horrible Annoyances and Molestations with which a dreadful Witchcraft is now persecuting of them. To have an hand in any thing, that may stifle or obstruct a Regular Detection of that Witchcraft, is what we may well with an holy fear avoid. Their Majesties good Subjects must not every day be torn to pieces by horrid Witches, and those bloody Felons, be left wholly unprosecuted. The Witchcraft is a business that will not be sham'd, without plunging us into sore Plagues, and of long continuance. But then we are to unite in such Methods for this deliverance, as may be unquestionably safe, lest the latter end be worse than the beginning. And here, what shall I say? I will venture to say thus much, That we are safe, when we make just as much use of all Advice from the invisible World, as God sends it for. It is a safe Principle, That when God Almighty permits any Spirits from the unseen Regions, to visit us with surprizing Informations, there is then something to be enquired after; we are then to enquire of one another, What Cause there is for such things? The peculiar Government of God, over the unbodied Intelligences, is a sufficient Foundation for this Principle. When there has been a Murder committed, an Apparition of the slain Party accusing of any Man, altho' such Apparitions have oftner spoke true than false, is not enough to Convict the Man as guilty of that Murder; but yet it is a sufficient occasion for Magistrates to make a particular Enquiry, whether such a Man have afforded any ground for such an Accusation. Even so a Spectre exactly resembling such or such a Person, when the Neighbourhood are tormented by such Spectres, may reasonably make Magistrates inquisitive whether the Person so represented have done or said any thing that may argue their confederacy with Evil Spirits, altho' it may be defective enough in point of Conviction; especially at a time, when 'tis possible, some over-powerful Conjurer may have got the skill of thus exhibiting the Shapes of all sorts of Persons, on purpose to stop the Prosecution of the Wretches, whom due Enquiries thus provoked, might have made obnoxious unto Justice.

Quaere, Whether if God would have us to proceed any further than bare Enquiry, upon what Reports there may come against any Man, from the World of Spirits, he will not by his Providence at the same time have brought into our hands, these more evident and sensible things, whereupon a man is to be esteemed a Criminal. But I will venture to say this further, that it will be safe to account the Names as well as the Lives of our Neighbors; two considerable things to be brought under a Judicial Process, until it be found by Humane Observations that the Peace of Mankind is thereby disturbed. We are Humane Creatures, and we are safe while we say, they must be Humane Witnesses, who also have in the particular Act of Seeing, or Hearing, which enables them to be Witnesses, had no more than Humane Assistances, that are to turn the Scale when Laws are to be executed. And upon this Head I will further add: A wise and a just Magistrate, may so far give way to a common Stream of Dissatisfaction, as to forbear acting up to the heighth of his own Perswasion, about what may be judged convictive of a Crime, whose Nature shall be so abstruse and obscure, as to raise much Disputation. Tho' he may not do what he should leave undone, yet he may leave undone something that else he could do, when the Publick Safety makes an Exigency.

S. VII. I was going to make one Venture more; that is, to offer some safe Rules, for the finding out of the Witches, which are at this day our accursed Troublers: but this were a Venture too Presumptuous and Icarian for me to make; I leave that unto those Excellent and Judicious Persons, with whom I am not worthy to be numbred: All that I shall do, shall be to lay before my Readers, a brief Synopsis of what has been written on that Subject, by a Triumvirate of as Eminent Persons as have ever handled it. I will begin with,



I. There are Presumptions, which do at least probably and conjecturally note one to be a Witch. These give occasion to Examine, yet they are no sufficient Causes of Conviction.

II. If any Man or Woman be notoriously defamed for a Witch, this yields a strong Suspition. Yet the Judge ought carefully to look, that the Report be made by Men of Honesty and Credit.

III. If a Fellow-Witch, or Magician, give Testimony of any Person to be a Witch; this indeed is not sufficient for Condemnation; but it is a fit Presumption to cause a strait Examination.

IV. If after Cursing there follow Death, or at least some mischief: for Witches are wont to practise their mischievous Facts, by Cursing and Banning: This also is a sufficient matter of Examination, tho' not of Conviction.

V. If after Enmity, Quarrelling, or Threatning, a present mischief does follow; that also is a great Presumption.

VI. If the Party suspected be the Son or Daughter, the man-servant or maid-servant, the Familiar Friend, near Neighbor, or old Companion, of a known and convicted Witch; this may be likewise a Presumption; for Witchcraft is an Art that may be learned, and conveyed from man to man.

VII. Some add this for a Presumption: If the Party suspected be found to have the Devil's mark; for it is commonly thought, when the Devil makes his Covenant with them, he alwaies leaves his mark behind them, whereby he knows them for his own:—a mark whereof no evident Reason in Nature can be given.

VIII. Lastly, If the party examined be Unconstant, or contrary to himself, in his deliberate Answers, it argueth a Guilty Conscience, which stops the freedom of Utterance. And yet there are causes of Astonishment, which may befal the Good, as well as the Bad.

IX. But then there is a Conviction, discovering the Witch, which must proceed from just and sufficient proofs, and not from bare presumptions.

X. Scratching of the suspected party, and Recovery thereupon, with several other such weak Proofs; as also, the fleeting of the suspected Party, thrown upon the Water; these Proofs are so far from being sufficient, that some of them are, after a sort, practices of Witchcraft.

XI. The Testimony of some Wizzard, tho' offering to shew the Witches Face in a Glass: This, I grant, may be a good Presumption, to cause a strait Examination; but a sufficient Proof of Conviction it cannot be. If the Devil tell the Grand Jury, that the person in question is a Witch, and offers withal to confirm the same by Oath, should the Inquest receive his Oath or Accusation to condemn the man? Assuredly no. And yet, that is as much as the Testimony of another Wizzard, who only by the Devil's help reveals the Witch.

XII. If a man, being dangerously sick, and like to dye, upon Suspicion, will take it on his Death, that such a one hath bewitched him, it is an Allegation of the same nature, which may move the Judge to examine the Party, but it is of no moment for Conviction.

XIII. Among the sufficient means of Conviction, the first is, the free and voluntary Confession of the Crime, made by the party suspected and accused, after Examination. I say not, that a bare confession is sufficient, but a Confession after due Examination, taken upon pregnant presumptions. What needs now more witness or further Enquiry?

XIV. There is a second sufficient Conviction, by the Testimony of two Witnesses, of good and honest Report, avouching before the Magistrate, upon their own Knowledge, these two things: either that the party accused hath made a League with the Devil, or hath done some known practice of witchcraft. And, all Arguments that do necessarily prove either of these, being brought by two sufficient Witnesses, are of force fully to convince the party suspected.

XV. If it can be proved, that the party suspected hath called upon the Devil, or desired his Help, this is a pregnant proof of a League formerly made between them.

XVI. If it can be proved, that the party hath entertained a Familiar Spirit, and had Conference with it, in the likeness of some visible Creatures; here is Evidence of witchcraft.

XVII. If the witnesses affirm upon Oath, that the suspected person hath done any action or work which necessarily infers a Covenant made, as, that he hath used Enchantments, divined things before they come to pass, and that peremptorily, raised Tempests, caused the Form of a dead man to appear; it proveth sufficiently, that he or she is a Witch. This is the Substance of Mr. Perkins.

Take next the Sum of Mr. Gaules Judgment about the Detection of Witches. '1. Some Tokens for the Trial of Witches, are altogether unwarrantable. Such are the old Paganish Sign, the Witches Long Eyes; the Tradition of Witches not weeping; the casting of the Witch into the Water, with Thumbs and Toes ty'd a-cross. And many more such Marks, which if they are to know a Witch by, certainly 'tis no other Witch, but the User of them. 2. There are some Tokens for the Trial of Witches, more probable, and yet not so certain as to afford Conviction. Such are strong and long Suspicion: Suspected Ancestors, some appearance of Fact, the Corps bleeding upon the Witches touch, the Testimony of the Party bewitched, the supposed Witches unusual Bodily marks, the Witches usual Cursing and Banning, the Witches lewd and naughty kind of Life. 3. Some Signs there are of a Witch, more certain and infallible. As, firstly, Declining of Judicature, or faultering, faulty, unconstant, and contrary Answers, upon judicial and deliberate examination. Secondly, When upon due Enquiry into a person's Faith and Manners, there are found all or most of the Causes which produce Witchcraft, namely, God forsaking, Satan invading, particular Sins disposing; and lastly, a compact compleating all. Thirdly, The Witches free Confession, together with full Evidence of the Fact. Confession without Fact may be a meer Delusion, and Fact without Confession may be a meer Accident. 4thly, The semblable Gestures and Actions of suspected Witches, with the comparable Expressions of Affections, which in all Witches have been observ'd and found very much alike. Fifthly, The Testimony of the Party bewitched, whether pining or dying, together with the joynt Oaths of sufficient persons, that have seen certain prodigious Pranks or Feats, wrought by the Party accused. 4. Among the most unhappy circumstances to convict a Witch, one is, a maligning and oppugning the Word, Work, and Worship of God, and by any extraordinary sign seeking to seduce any from it. See Deut. 13.1, 2., Mat. 24.24., Act. 13.8, 10., 2 Tim. 3.8. Do but mark well the places, and for this very Property (of thus opposing and perverting) they are all there concluded arrant and absolute Witches. 5. It is not requisite, that so palpable Evidence of Conviction should here come in, as in other more sensible matters; 'tis enough, if there be but so much circumstantial Proof or Evidence, as the Substance, Matter, and Nature of such an abstruse Mystery of Iniquity will well admit. [I suppose he means, that whereas in other Crimes we look for more direct proofs, in this there is a greater use of consequential ones.] But I could heartily wish, that the Juries were empanell'd of the most eminent Physicians, Lawyers, and Divines that a Country could afford. In the mean time 'tis not to be called a Toleration, if Witches escape, where Conviction is wanting.' To this purpose our Gaule.

I will transcribe a little from one Author more, 'tis the Judicious Bernard of Batcomb, who in his Guide to grand Jurymen, after he has mention'd several things that are shrewd Presumptions of a Witch, proceeds to such things as are the Convictions of such an one. And he says, 'A witch in league with the Devil is convicted by these Evidences; I. By a witches Mark; which is upon the Baser sort of Witches; and this, by the Devils either Sucking or Touching of them. Tertullian says, It is the Devils custome to mark his. And note, That this mark is Insensible, and being prick'd it will not Bleed. Sometimes, its like a Teate; sometimes but a Blewish Spot; sometimes a Red one; and sometimes the flesh Sunk: but the Witches do sometimes cover them. II. By the Witches Words. As when they have been heard calling on, speaking to, or Talking of their Familiars; or, when they have been heard Telling of Hurt they have done to man or beast: Or when they have been heard Threatning of such Hurt; Or if they have been heard Relating their Transportations. III. By the Witches Deeds. As when they have been seen with their Spirits, or seen secretly Feeding any of their Imps. Or, when there can be found their Pictures, Poppets, and other Hellish Compositions. IV. By the Witches Extasies: With the Delight whereof, Witches are so taken, that they will hardly conceal the same: Or, however at some time or other, they may be found in them. V. By one or more Fellow-Witches, Confessing their own Witchcraft, and bearing Witness against others; if they can make good the Truth of their Witness, and give sufficient proof of it. As, that they have seen them with their Spirits or, that they have Received Spirits from them; or that they can tell, when they used Witchery-Tricks to Do Harm; or, that they told them what Harm they had done; or that they can show the mark upon them; or, that they have been together in their Meetings; and such like. VI. By some Witness of God Himself, happening upon the Execrable Curses of Witches upon themselves, Praying of God to show some Token, if they be Guilty. VII. By the Witches own Confession, of Giving their Souls to the Devil. It is no Rare thing, for Witches to Confess.'

They are Considerable Things, which I have thus Recited; and yet it must be with Open Eyes, kept upon Open Rules, that we are to follow these things,

S. 8. But Juries are not the only Instruments to be imploy'd in such a Work; all Christians are to be concerned with daily and fervent Prayers, for the assisting of it. In the Days of Athanasius, the Devils were found unable to stand before, that Prayer, however then used perhaps with too much of Ceremony, Let God Arise, Let his Enemies be Scattered. Let them also that Hate Him, flee before Him.

O that instead of letting our Hearts Rise against one another, our Prayers might Rise unto an high pitch of Importunity, for such a Rising of the Lord! Especially, Let them that are Suffering by Witchcraft, be sure to stay and pray, and Beseech the Lord thrice, even as much as ever they can, before they complain of any Neighbour for afflicting them. Let them also that are accused of Witchcraft, set themselves to Fast and Pray, and so shake off the Daemons that would like Vipers fasten upon them; and get the Waters of Jealousie made profitable to them.

And Now, O Thou Hope of New-England, and the Saviour thereof in the Time of Trouble; Do thou look mercifully down upon us, & Rescue us, out of the Trouble which at this time do's threaten to swallow us up. Let Satan be shortly bruised under our Feet, and Let the Covenanted Vassals of Satan, which have Traiterously brought him in upon us, be Gloriously Conquered, by thy Powerful and Gracious Presence in the midst of us. Abhor us not, O God, but cleanse us, but heal us, but save us, for the sake of thy Glory. Enwrapped in our Salvations. By thy Spirit, Lift up a standard against our infernal adversaries, Let us quickly find thee making of us glad, according to the Days wherein we have been afflicted. Accept of all our Endeavours to glorify thee, in the Fires that are upon us; and among the rest, Let these my poor and weak essays, composed with what Tears, what Cares, what Prayers, thou only knowest, not want the Acceptance of the Lord.




Ecclesiastical History has Reported it unto us, That a Renowned Martyr at the Stake, seeing the Book of the REVELATION thrown by his no less Profane than Bloody Persecutors, to be Burn'd in the same Fire with himself, he cryed out, O Beata Apocalypsis; quam bene mecum agitur, qui tecum Comburar! BLESSED REVELATION! said he, How Blessed am I in this Fire, while I have Thee to bear me Company. As for our selves this Day, 'tis a Fire of sore Affliction and Confusion, wherein we are Embroiled; but it is no inconsiderable Advantage unto us, that we have the Company of this Glorious and Sacred Book the REVELATION to assist us in our Exercises. From that Book there is one Text, which I would single out at this time to lay before you; 'tis that in


Wo to the Inhabitants of the Earth, and of the Sea; for the Devil is come down unto you, having great Wrath; because he knoweth, that he hath but a short time.

The Text is Like the Cloudy and Fiery Pillar, vouchsafed unto Israel, in the Wilderness of old; there is a very dark side of it in the Intimation, that, The Devil is come down having great Wrath; but it has also a bright side, when it assures us, that, He has but a short time; Unto the Contemplation of both, I do this Day Invite you.

We have in our Hands a Letter from our Ascended Lord in Heaven, to Advise us of his being still alive, and of his Purpose e're long, to give us a Visit, wherein we shall see our Living Redeemer, stand at the latter day upon the Earth. 'Tis the last Advice that we have had from Heaven, for now sixteen Hundred years; and the scope of it, is, to represent how the Lord Jesus Christ having begun to set up his Kingdom in the World, by the preaching of the Gospel, he would from time to time utterly break to pieces all Powers that should make Head against it, until, The Kingdoms of this World are become the Kingdomes of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall Reign for ever and ever. 'Tis a Commentary on what had been written by Daniel, about, The fourth Monarchy; with some Touches upon, The Fifth; wherein, The greatness of the Kingdom under the whole Heaven, shall be given to the people of the Saints of the most High: And altho' it have, as 'tis expressed by one of the Ancients, Tot Sacramenta quot verba, a Mystery in every Syllable, yet it is not altogether to be neglected with such a Despair, as that, I cannot Read, for the Book is Sealed. It is a REVELATION, and a singular, and notable Blessing is pronounc'd upon them that humbly study it.

The Divine Oracles, have with a most admirable Artifice and Carefulness, drawn, as the very pious Beverley, has laboriously Evinced, an exact LINE OF TIME, from the first Sabbath at the Creation of the World, unto the great Sabbatism at the Restitution of all Things. In that famous Line of Time, from the Decree for the Restoring of Jerusalem, after the Babylonish Captivity, there seem to remain a matter of Two Thousand and Three Hundred Years, unto that New Jerusalem, whereto the Church is to be advanced, when the Mystical Babylon shall be fallen. At the Resurrection of our Lord, there were seventeen or eighteen Hundred of those Years, yet upon the Line, to run unto, The rest which remains for the People of God; and this Remnant in the Line of Time, is here in our Apocalypse, variously Embossed, Adorned, and Signalized with such Distinguishing Events, if we mind them, will help us escape that Censure, Can ye not Discern the Signs of the Times?

The Apostle John, for the View of these Things, had laid before him, as I conceive, a Book, with leaves, or folds; which Volumn was written both on the Backside, and on the Inside, and Roll'd up in a Cylindriacal Form, under seven Labels, fastned with so many Seals. The first Seal being opened, and the first Label removed, under the first Label the Apostle saw what he saw, of a first Rider Pourtray'd, and so on, till the last Seal was broken up; each of the Sculptures being enlarged with agreeable Visions and Voices, to illustrate it. The Book being now Unrolled, there were Trumpets, with wonderful Concomitants, Exhibited successively on the Expanding Backside of it. Whereupon the Book was Eaten, as it were to be Hidden, from Interpretations; till afterwards, in the Inside of it, the Kingdom of Anti-christ came to be Exposed. Thus, the Judgments of God on the Roman Empire, first unto the Downfal of Paganism, and then, unto the Downfal of Popery, which is but Revived Paganism, are in these Displayes, with Lively Colours and Features made sensible unto us.

Accordingly, in the Twelfth Chapter of this Book, we have an August Preface, to the Description of that Horrid Kingdom, which our Lord Christ refused, but Antichrist accepted, from the Devils Hands; a Kingdom, which for Twelve Hundred and Sixty Years together, was to be a continual oppression upon the People of God, and opposition unto his Interests; until the Arrival of that Illustrious Day, wherein, The Kingdom shall be the Lords, and he shall be Governour among the Nations. The Chapter is (as an Excellent Person calls it) an Extravasated Account of the Circumstances, which befell the Primitive Church, during the first Four or Five Hundred Years of Christianity: It shows us the Face of the Church, first in Rome Heathenish, and then in Rome Converted, before the Man of Sin was yet come to Mans Estate. Our Text contains the Acclamations made upon the most Glorious Revolution that ever yet happened upon the Roman Empire; namely, That wherein the Travailing Church brought forth a Christian Emperour. This was a most Eminent Victory over the Devil, and Resemblance of the State, wherein the World, ere long shall see, The Kingdom of our God, and the Power of his Christ. It is here noted,

First, As a matter of Triumph. 'Tis said, Rejoyce, ye Heavens, and ye that dwell in them. The Saints in both Worlds, took the Comfort of this Revolution; the Devout Ones that had outlived the late Persecutions, were filled with Transporting Joys, when they saw the Christian become the Imperial Religion, and when they saw Good Men come to give Law unto the rest of Mankind; the Deceased Ones also, whose Blood had been Sacrificed in the Ten Persecutions, doubtless made the Light Regions to ring with Hallelujahs unto God, when there were brought unto them, the Tidings of the Advances now given to the Christian Religion, for which they had suffered Martyrdom.

Secondly, As a matter of Horror. 'Tis said, Wo to the Inhabiters of the Earth and of the Sea. The Earth still means the False Church, the Sea means the Wide World, in Prophetical Phrasaeology. There was yet left a vast party of Men that were Enemies to the Christian Religion, in the power of it; a vast party left for the Devil to work upon: Unto these is a Wo denounced; and why so? 'Tis added, For the Devil is come down unto you, having great Wrath, because he knows, that he has but a short time. These were, it seems, to have some desperate and peculiar Attempts of the Devil made upon them. In the mean time, we may Entertain this for our Doctrine,

Great Wo proceeds from the Great WRATH, with which the DEVIL, towards the end of his TIME, will make a DESCENT upon a miserable World.

I have now Published a most awful and solemn Warning for our selves at this day; which has four Propositions, comprehended in it.

Proposition I. That there is a Devil, is a thing Doubted by none but such as are under the Influences of the Devil. For any to deny the Being of a Devil must be from an Ignorance or Profaneness, worse than Diabolical. A Devil. What is that? We have a Definition of the Monster, in Eph. 6.12. A Spiritual Wickedness, that is, A wicked Spirit. A Devil is a Fallen Angel, an Angel Fallen from the Fear and Love of God, and from all Celestial Glories; but Fallen to all manner of Wretchedness and Cursedness. He was once in that Order of Heavenly Creatures, which God in the Beginning made Ministering Spirits, for his own peculiar Service and Honour, in the management of the Universe; but we may now write that Epitaph upon him, How art thou fallen from Heaven! thou hast said in thine Heart, I will Exalt my Throne above the Stars of God; but thou art brought down to Hell! A Devil is a Spiritual and Rational Substance, by his Apostacy from God, inclined unto all that is Vicious, and for that Apostacy confined unto the Atmosphere of this Earth, in Chains under Darkness, unto the Judgment of the Great Day. This is a Devil; and the Experience of Mankind as well as the Testimony of Scripture, does abundantly prove the Existence of such a Devil.

About this Devil, there are many things, whereof we may reasonably and profitably be Inquisitive; such things, I mean, as are in our Bibles Reveal'd unto us; according to which if we do not speak, on so dark a Subject, but according to our own uncertain, and perhaps humoursome Conjectures, There is no Light in us. I will carry you with me, but unto one Paragraph of the Bible, to be informed of three Things, relating to the Devil; 'tis the Story of the Gadaren Energumen, in the fifth Chapter of Mark.

First, then, 'Tis to be granted; the Devils are so many, that some Thousands, can sometimes at once apply themselves to vex one Child of Man. It is said, in Mark 5.15. He that was Possessed with the Devil, had the Legion. Dreadful to be spoken! A Legion consisted of Twelve Thousand Five Hundred People: And we see that in one Man or two, so many Devils can be spared for a Garrison. As the Prophet cryed out, Multitudes, Multitudes, in the Valley of Decision! So I say, There are multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of Destruction, where the Devils are! When we speak of, The Devil, 'tis, A name of Multitude; it means not One Individual Devil, so Potent and Scient, as perhaps a Manichee would imagine; but it means a Kind, which a Multitude belongs unto. Alas, the Devils, they swarm about us, like the Frogs of Egypt, in the most Retired of our Chambers. Are we at our Boards? There will be Devils to Tempt us unto Sensuality: Are we in our Beds? There will be Devils to Tempt us unto Carnality; Are we in our Shops? There will be Devils to Tempt us into Dishonesty. Yea, Tho' we get into the Church of God, there will be Devils to Haunt us in the very Temple it self, and there tempt us to manifold Misbehaviours. I am verily perswaded, That there are very few Humane Affairs whereinto some Devils are not Insinuated; There is not so much as a Journey intended, but Satan will have an hand in hindering or furthering of it.

Secondly, 'Tis to be supposed, That there is a sort of Arbitrary, even Military Government, among the Devils. This is intimated, when in Mar. 5.9. The unclean Spirit said, My Name is Legion: they are such a Discipline as Legions use to be. Hence we read about, The Prince of the power of the Air: Our Air has a power? or an Army of Devils in the High Places of it; and these Devils have a Prince over them, who is King over the Children of Pride. 'Tis probable, That the Devil, who was the Ringleader of that mutinous and rebellious Crew, which first shook off the Authority of God, is now the General of those Hellish Armies; Our Lord, that Conquered him, has told us the Name of him; 'tis Belzebub; 'tis he that is the Devil, and the rest are his Angels, or his Souldiers. Think on vast Regiments of cruel and bloody French Dragoons, with an Intendant over them, overrunning a pillaged Neighbourhood, and you will think a little, what the Constitution among the Devils is.

Thirdly, 'tis to be supposed, that some Devils are more peculiarly Commission'd, and perhaps Qualify'd, for some Countries, while others are for others. This is intimated when in Mar. 5.10. The Devils besought our Lord much, that he would not send them away out of the Countrey. Why was that? But in all probability, because these Devils were more able to do the works of the Devil, in such a Countrey, than in another. It is not likely that every Devil does know every Language; or that every Devil can do every Mischief. 'Tis possible, that the Experience, or, if I may call it so, the Education of all Devils is not alike, and that there may be some difference in their Abilities. If one might make an Inference from what the Devils do, to what they are, One cannot forbear dreaming, that there are degrees of Devils. Who can allow, that such Trifling Daemons, as that of Mascon, or those that once infested our New berry, are of so much Grandeur, as those Daemons, whose Games are mighty Kingdoms? Yea, 'tis certain, that all Devils do not make a like Figure in the Invisible World. Nor does it look agreeably, That the Daemons, which were the Familiars of such a Man as the old Apollonius, differ not from those baser Goblins that chuse to Nest in the filthy and loathsom Rags of a beastly Sorceress. Accordingly, why may not some Devils be more accomplished for what is to be done in such and such places, when others must be detach'd for other Territories? Each Devil, as he sees his advantage, cries out, Let me be in this Countrey, rather than another.

But Enough, if not too much, of these things.

Proposition II. There is a Devilish Wrath against Mankind, with which the Devil is for God's sake Inspired. The Devil is himself broiling under the intollerable and interminable Wrath of God; and a fiery Wrath at God, is, that which the Devil is for that cause Enflamed. Methinks I see the posture of the Devils in Isa. 8.21. They fret themselves, and Curse their God, and look upward. The first and chief Wrath of the Devil, is at the Almighty God himself; he knows, The God that made him, will not have mercy on him, and the God that formed him, will shew him no favour; and so he can have no Kindness for that God, who has no Mercy, nor Favour for him. Hence 'tis, that he cannot bear the Name of God should be acknowledged in the World: Every Acknowledgement paid unto God, is a fresh drop of the burning Brimstone falling upon the Devil; he does make his Insolent, tho Impotent Batteries, even upon the Throne of God himself: and foolishly affects to have himself exalted unto that Glorious High Throne, by all people, as he sometimes is, by Execrable Witches. This horrible Dragon does not only with his Tayl strike at the Stars of God, but at the God himself, who made the Stars, being desirous to out-shine them all. God and the Devil are sworn Enemies to each other; the Terms between them, are those, in Zech. 11.18. My Soul loathed them, and their Soul also abhorred me. And from this Furious wrath, or Displeasure and Prejudice at God, proceeds the Devils wrath at us, the poor Children of Men. Our doing the Service of God, is one thing that exposes us to the wrath of the Devil. We are the High Priests of the World; when all Creatures are called upon, Praise ye the Lord, they bring to us those demanded Praises of God, saying, do you offer them for us. Hence 'tis, that the Devil has a Quarrel with us, as he had with the High-Priest in the Vision of Old. Our bearing the Image of God is another thing that brings the wrath of the Devil upon us. As a Tyger, thro his Hatred at man will tear the very Picture of him, if it come in his way; such a Tyger the Devil is; because God said of old, Let us make Man in our Image, the Devil is ever saying, Let us pull this man to pieces. But the envious Pride of the Devil, is one thing more that gives an Edge unto his Furious Wrath against us. The Apostle has given us an hint, as if Pride had been the Condemnation of the Devil. 'Tis not unlikely, that the Devil's Affectation to be above that Condition which he might learn that Mankind was to be preferr'd unto, might be the occasion of his taking up Arms against the Immortal King. However, the Devil now sees Man lying in the Bosom of God, but himself damned in the bottom of Hell; and this enrages him exceedingly; O, says he, I cannot bear it, that man should not be as miserable as my self.

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