and the inference was that ‘all devils are not alike
The vanity of Cotton Mather
was further gratified; for the bewitched girl would say that the
demons could not enter his study, and that his own person was shielded by God against blows from the
The revolution in New England
seemed to open,
once more, a career to the ambition of ministers.
Yet great obstacles existed.
The rapid progress of free inquiry was alarming.
‘There are multitudes of Sadducees in our day,’ sighed Cotton Mather
‘A devil, in the apprehension of these mighty acute philoso-
C. M.'s Discourse, p. 14.
phers, is no more than a quality or a distemper.’— ‘We shall come,’ he adds, ‘to have no Christ
but a light within, and no heaven but a frame of mind.’— ‘Men counted it wisdom to credit nothing but what they see and feel.
They never saw any witches; therefore, there are none.’—‘How much,’ add the ministers of Boston
, ‘how much this fond opinion has gotten ground, is awfully observable.’ —‘Witchcraft,’ shouted Cotton Mather
from the pulpit, ‘is the most nefandous high treason against the Majesty on high;’ ‘a capital crime.’
‘A witch is
C. M.'s Discourse, p. 10.
not to be endured in heaven or on earth.’
And, because men were skeptical on the subject, ‘God is pleased,’ said the ministers, ‘to suffer devils to do such things in the world, as shall stop the mouths of gainsayers, and extort a confession.’
The Discourse of Cotton Mather
was therefore printed, with a copious narrative of the recent case of witchcraft.
The story was confirmed by Goodwin
, and recommended by all the ministers of Boston
as an answer to atheism, proving clearly that ‘there is both a God and a devil, and witchcraft;’ and Cotton Mather