The reason why these two documents were chosen was because of my beliefs in witches, and my interest in the contradiction between good versus evil. Also, another reason why this subject was chosen was because I have study the Salem witch trials back in high school, so I already knew something about the subject matter. The theme that connects both “Insufficiency of Evidence Against Witches” and “Wonder of the Invisible World” is that both Increase and Cotton Mather were both puritan ministers that participated in the Salem witch trials. In addition, both father and son had different views on how the trials should be handled.
The author of “Insufficiency of Evidence Against Witches” was Increase Mather. The purpose of writing this document was to argue that there was lack of evidence linking innocent individuals to witchery and prosecuting these individuals maliciously. The intended group of audience at the time was the puritan society that increase was trying to target.
The first major idea the author states in the document is how a person can be unjustly convicted of a crime from the lack of evidence; however, people who do the most vulgar crimes get a slap on the wrist. “The evidence in this crime ought to be as clear as in any other crimes of a capital nature. The Word of God does nowhere intimate that a less clear evidence, or that fewer or other witnesses may be taken as sufficient to convict a man of sorcery, which would not be enough to convict him were he charged with another evil worthy of death. If we may not take the oath of a distracted person, or of a possessed person in a case of murder, theft, felony of any sort, then neither may we do it in the case of witchcraft” (pg. 1). The second major idea the author states in the document is how the villagers who were religious were being mind tricked by the devil in order to kill innocent people that they believed were witches. “The devil is in it, all superstition is from him; and when secret things or...
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