The revulsion of feeling after the witchcraft delusion undermined his authority greatly, and Robert's Calef's More Wonders of the Spiritual World (1700) was a personal blow to him as well as to his son.
He had much to do with the witchcraft persecution of his day; in 1692 when the magistrates appealed to the Boston clergy for advice in regard to the witchcraft cases in Salem he drafted their reply, upon which the prosecutions were based; in 1689 he had written Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions, and even his earlier diaries have many entries showing his belief in diabolical possession and his fear and hatred of it.
But to these were quickly added subjects of allegory, of classical learning, of witchcraft and superstition and of daily life; scenes of the parlour and the cloister, of the shop, the field, the market and the camp; and lastly portraits of famous men, with scenes of court life and princely pageant and ceremony.
Drake, Annals of Witchcraft (Boston, 1869) and The Witchcraft Delusion in New England (3 vols., Roxbury, 1866), this last a reprint of accounts of the time by Cotton Mather and R.
They constitute the E-ser-e or ordeal beans of the negroes of Old Calabar, being administered to persons accused of witchcraft or other crimes.
While hoping for a better fate in their next birth, the poor turned for succour and advice in this to the aid of astrology, witchcraft and animism - a belief in which seems to underlie all 1 Note on the Date of the Buddha.
The history of witchcraft in Europe and its attendant horrors, so vividly painted in Lecky's Rise of Rationalism, are but echoes of this universal refusal of savage man to accept death as the natural end of life.
The witchcraft delusion of 1692 centred about Salem Village, now in the township of Danvers, but then a part of Salem.
Set forth the doctrine of lecherous demons as an indisputable fact; and in the history of the Inquisition and of trials for witchcraft may be found the confessions of many who bore witness to their reality.
After the adoption of Christianity, and possibly to a certain extent even before, such persons came to be regarded with disfavour - whence the persecutions for witchcraft - but it is clear from Tacitus's works and other sources that their influence in early times must have been very great.