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[313] of their ethical righteousness still endures. The prophecy of Samuel Sewall that Christians should be found in Newbury so long as pigeons shall roost on its oaks and Indian corn grows in Oldtown fields remains still true, and we trust will always remain so. Yet, as of old, the evil personage sometimes intrudes himself into company too good for him. It was said in the witchcraft trials of 1692 that Satan baptized his converts at Newbury Falls, the scene, probably, of one of Hawthorne's weird Twice Told Tales; and there is a tradition that, in the midst of a heated controversy between one of Newbury's painful ministers and his deacon, who (anticipating Garrison by a century) ventured to doubt the propriety of clerical slaveholding, the Adversary made his appearance in the shape of a black giant stalking through Byfield. It was never, I believe, definitely settled whether he was drawn there by the minister's zeal in defence of slavery or the deacon's irreverent denial of the minister's right and duty to curse Canaan in the person of his negro.

Old Newbury has sometimes been spoken of as ultra-conservative and hostile to new ideas and progress, but this is not warranted by its history. More than two centuries ago, when Major Pike, just across the river, stood up and denounced in open town meeting the law against freedom of conscience and worship, and — was in consequence fined and outlawed, some of Newbury's best citizens stood bravely by him. The town took no part in the witchcraft horror, and got none of its old women and town charges hanged for witches,

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