February 24 (February 14, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Samuel Parris, minister in Salem Village, preaches another two sermons in his series on Psalm 110:1.  In these sermons he talks about God’s chastisement of people for their neglect of His faith, and how the faithful must accept such punishment as part of God’s plan to guide them.  He also talks about how Satan tries to take the souls of Christians away from God, but that this will never succeed because of the promise of eternal life granted to the saved.

There is significant background to these sermons, in addition to the previous social cleavages in the village and the ongoing war with the French and their allied Indians.  About a month ago, Parris’s nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth and his slightly older niece, Abigail Williams, began to have strange fits, as if they were suffering from an unknown disease.  Parris consulted the only doctor in Salem Village, William Griggs, who upon examining the girls concluded that they were likely bewitched.  This diagnosis was quickly accepted by Parris’s neighbors.  Parris himself, believing the girls’ afflictions, even if directly caused by witchcraft, to be a punishment by God of him and his family for their sins, spends much of his time in fasting and prayer, both alone and with others, including the ministers of neighboring towns.

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on February 24 (February 14, o.s.)  
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