Secondly, It is contrary to the Devil’s nature, or common practice, to accuse witches. They are a considerable part of his kingdom, which would fall, if divided against itself (Matt. xii. 26); except we think he that spake the words understood not what he said (which were blasphemy to think); or that those common principles or maxims are now changed; or that the Devil have changed his nature, and is now become a reformer to purge out witches out of the world, out of the country, and out of the churches; and is to be believed, though a liar and a murtherer from the beginning, and also though his business is going about continually, seeking whom he may destroy (1 Pet. v. 8); and his peculiar subject of his accusation are the brethren: called the accuser of the brethren.
Objection.—God do sometimes bring things to light by his providence in a way extraordinary.
Answer.—It is granted God have so done, and brought hidden things to light, which, upon examination, have been proved or confessed, and so the way is clear for their execution; but what is that to this case, where the Devil is accuser and witness?
EXTRACTS FROM MR. PARRIS’S CHURCH RECORDS.
[The following passages are taken from the records of the Salem Village Church, as specimens of Mr. Parris’s style of narrative in that interesting document, and as shedding some light upon the subject of these volumes:—]
Sab: 4 Nov. .—After sermon in the afternoon, it was propounded to the brethren, whether the church ought not to inquire again of our dissenting brethren after the reason of their dissent. Nothing appearing from any against it, it was put to vote, and carried in the affirmative (by all, as far as I know, except one brother, Josh: Rea), that Brother Jno. Tarbell should, the next Lord’s Day, appear and give in his reasons in public; the contrary being propounded, if any had aught to object against it. But no dissent was manifested; and so Brother Nathaniel Putnam and Deacon Ingersoll were desired to give this message from the church to the said Brother Tarbell.
Sab: 11 Nov.—Before the evening blessing was pronounced, Brother Tarbell was openly called again and again; but, he not appearing, application was made to the abovesaid church’s messengers for his answer: whereupon said Brother Putnam reported that the said Brother Tarbell told him he did not know how to come to us on a Lord’s Day, but desired rather that he might make his appearance some week-day. Whereupon the congregation was dismissed with the blessing: and the church stayed, and, by a full vote, renewed their call of said Brother Tarbell to appear the next Lord’s Day for the ends abovesaid; and Deacon Putnam and Brother Jonathan Putnam were desired to be its messengers to the said dissenting brother.