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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
fully weigh evidence, upon matters which he regarded as proper subjects of debate and scrutiny, he possessed the power to shut out and banish at will all doubt and misgiving in respect to whatever tended to prove, illustrate, or enforce his settled opinions and cherished doctrines. His credulity at times seems boundless. Hating the Quakers, and prepared to believe all manner of evil of them, he readily came to the conclusion that their leaders were disguised Papists. He maintained that Lauderdale was a good and pious man, in spite of atrocities in Scotland which entitle him to a place with Claverhouse; and indorsed the character of the infamous Dangerfield, the inventor of the Meal-tub Plot, as a worthy convert from popish errors. To prove the existence of devils and spirits, he collected the most absurd stories and old-wives' fables, of soldiers scared from their posts at night by headless bears, of a young witch pulling the hooks out of Mr. Emlen's breeches and swallowing them,