age; and, as the spirit of the reformation, which was but a less perfect form of freedom of mind, was advancing, reason was summoned to interpret the records of the past, and to separate time-hallowed errors from truths of the deepest moment.
The statute-book, in obedience to this adoration of the letter, had asserted the existence of witchcraft by establishing death as its penalty; sustaining both the superstition and its pun ishment by reference to the Jewish records.
New England, like Canaan, had been settled by
Chap. XIX.} fugitives.
Like the Jews, they had fled to a wilderness; like the Jews, they looked to heaven for a light
1688. to lead them on; like the Jews, they had no supreme ruler but God; like the Jews, they had heathen for their foes; and they derived their legislation from the Jewish code.
But, for the people of New England, the days of Moses and of Joshua were past; for them there was no longer a promised land—they were in possession.
Reason now insisted on br