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[258] the good-wife's platters or soiling her newwashed linen, and anon riding the storm-cloud and pointing its thunder-bolts; for, as the elder Mather pertinently inquires, ‘how else is it that our meeting-houses are burned by the lightning?’ What was it, for instance, but his subtlety which, speaking through the lips of Madame Hutchinson, confuted the ‘judges of Israel and put to their wits' end the godly ministers of the Puritan Zion? Was not his evil finger manifested in the contumacious heresy of Roger Williams? Who else gave the Jesuit missionaries—locusts from the pit as they were—such a hold on the affections of those very savages who would not have scrupled to hang the scalp of pious Father Wilson himself from their girdles? To the vigilant eye of Puritanism was he not alike discernible in the light wantonness of the May-pole revellers, beating time with the cloven foot to the vain music of obscene dances, and in the silent, hat-canopied gatherings of the Quakers,’ the “most melancholy of the sects,” as Dr. Moore calls them Perilous and glorious was it, under these circumstances, for such men as Mather and Stoughton to gird up their stout loins and do battle with the unmeasured, all-surrounding terror. Let no man lightly estimate their spiritual knight-errantry. The heroes of old romance, who went about smiting dragons, lopping giants' heads, and otherwise pleasantly diverting themselves, scarcely deserve mention in comparison with our New England champions, who, trusting not to car. nal sword and lance, in a contest with principalities and powers,—

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