I thought meet thus to give you the best assistance I could, to help you out of your distresses. And since the ways of the Lord, in his permissive as well as effective providence, are unsearchable, and his doings past finding out, and pious souls are at a loss what will be the issue of these things, I therefore bow my knees unto the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would cause all grace to abound to you and in you, that your poor place may be delivered from those breaking and ruining calamities which are threatened as the pernicious consequences of Satan’s malicious operations; and that you may not be left to bite and devour one another in your sacred or civil society, in your relations or families, to the destroying much good and promoting much evil among you, so as in any kind to weaken the hands or discourage the heart of your reverend and pious pastor, whose family also being so much under the influence of these troubles, spiritual sympathy cannot but stir you up to assist him as at all times, so especially at such a time as this; he, as well as his neighbors, being under such awful circumstances. As to this discourse, my humble desire and endeavor is, that it may appear to be according to the form of sound words, and in expressions every way intelligible to the meanest capacities. It pleased God, of his free grace, to give it some acceptation with those that heard it, and some that heard of it desired me to transcribe it, and afterwards to give way to the printing of it. I present it therefore to your acceptance, and commend it to the divine benediction; and that it may please the Almighty God to manifest his power in putting an end to your sorrows of this nature, by bruising Satan under your feet shortly, causing these and all other your and our troubles to work together for our good now, and salvation in the day of the Lord, is the unfeigned desire, and shall be the uncessant prayer, of—
Less than the least, of all those that serve,
In the Gospel of our Lord Jesus,
DEODAT LAWSON’S NARRATIVE.
[Appended to his Sermon, London edition, 1704.]
At the request of several worthy ministers and Christian friends, I do here annex, by way of appendix to the preceding sermon, some brief account of those amazing things which occasioned that discourse to be delivered. Let the reader please therefore to take it in the brief remarks following, and judge as God shall incline him.
It pleased God, in the year of our Lord 1692, to visit the people at a place called Salem Village, in New England, with a very sore and grievous affliction, in which they had reason to believe that the sovereign and holy God was pleased to permit Satan and his instruments to affright and afflict those poor mortals in such an astonishing and unusual manner.