Monday, January 15
Salem Witch Trials
Though the Puritan clergy of Massachusetts had unanimously opposed the Salem witch trials, the episode was seen by them all as a terrible example of misdirected zeal. Thus, in December, 1696, they resolved among themselves to call for a general fast day to be held on January 15, 1697, "That so all of God's people may offer up fervent supplications unto him, that all iniquity may be put away, which hath stirred God's holy jealousy against this land; that He would show us what we know not, and help us, wherein we have done amiss, to do so no more." Judge Samuel Sewell and the jury of the trials all confessed their error and implored God's forgiveness and further direction. Though modern skeptics love to point to the Salem witch trials as a special blight on the church's character, rarely is the end of the story told in full.