Monday, January 14
The Puritan pastors and churches of New England were unanimously opposed the Salem witch trials. Indeed, the awful spectacle of the trials was only halted because of their persistent pressure. The trials were seen by them all as a terrible example of misdirected zeal. Nevertheless, they did not seek to escape the blame for such public sin so at their urging, in December, 1696, the General Court passed a resolution calling for a general fast day. The fast was to be held on this day in 1697, "So that 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, repenting of their error and imploring God's forgiveness and further direction.