How Blessed of God are all you, wo having been at ye Lords table, have had com̄union wth ye Lord at his Table. The Lord bless you, & keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, & be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, & give you Peace. And ye God of Peace ye brought again from ye dead our Lord Jesus, ye great Shepherd of ye sheep, thrô ye blood of ye everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you yt wch is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be Glory for ever & ever. Amen.
My poor & weak Ordination sermon at the Embodying of a Church in Salem Village on the 19.9.1689. The Revd Mr Nicholas Noyse Embodying of us: wo also Ordained my most unworthy Self Pastor, & together with ye Revd Mr Sam: Phillips & the Revd Mr John Hale imposed hands The same Mr Phillips giving me ye right hand of ffellowship with beautifull loveliness & humility.
1 Samuel Parris, Sermon Notebook, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut. See below pp. 196, 202. Henceforth, references to the Notebook will be made parenthetically in the text.
2 Paul Boyer and Paul Nissenbaum, ed., Salem-Village Witchcraft: A Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New England (Belmont, Cal., Wadsworth Pub., 1972), p. 266.
3 Charles W. Upham, Salem Witchcraft (2 vols., New York, Ungar Pub., 1867), i, 312; George Bancroft, The History of the United States of America (1887; rep. Boston, 1962), pp. 394–95; Arther Miller, The Crucible (1954); Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press, 1974); Larry Gragg, The Quest for Security: The Life of Samuel Parris, 1653–1720 (New York, Greenwood Press, 1990). Readers of SP’s sermons should consult Gragg’s biography for detailed accounts of the circumstances surrounding the individual texts.
4 Gragg, Quest for Security, p. 116.
5 Important studies include Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1986); Donald Weber, Rhetoric and History in Revolutionary New England (New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1988); and Teresa Toulouse, The Art of Prophesying: New England Sermons and the Shaping of Belief (Athens, Univ. of Georgia Press, 1987).
6 The book presented here is inscribed “Lib. 3.” At one point SP refers to “Lib. 21.”
7 Gragg, Quest for Security, p. xviii.
8 See Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed, pp. 60–65.
9 Willey, The Seventeenth-Century Background: Studies in the Thought of the Age in Relation to Poetry and Religion (New York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1934), p. 195.
10 The information in the next two paragraphs is taken largely from Michael Winship, “Satan, Cotton Mather, and Transatlantic Puritan Evangelism in the 1690s,” paper read at the Salem Conference on Witchcraft, Salem, Massachusetts, June 1992. The editors would like to thank Dr. Winship for sharing the results of his research with them.
11 See Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England (Harmondsworth, England, Penguin Books, 1978), pp. 576–83; Paul H. Kocher, Science and Religion in Elizabethan England (San Marino, Huntingdon Library, 1953), pp. 127–45.
12 Observing the similarities between the symptoms of the Goodwin children and the afflicted young women of Salem, Kenneth Silverman notes that Mather’s works were widely available and read. The Life and Times of Cotton Mather (New York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1085), p. 87.
13 Larry Gragg (Quest for Security, p. 125) makes the important point that SP did not use isolation therapy, as Cotton Mather had on Martha Goodwin.
14 See, for example, Willey, Seventeenth-Century Background, pp. 194–99, 160–68; Thomas Goddard Wright, Literary Culture in Early New England, 1620–1730 (New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1920), pp. 107, 142–43, 160–61; and Norman Fiering, Moral Philosophy at Seventeenth-Century Harvard (Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1981), pp. 219–20. Among the authors of the five major texts consulted by the Salem judges in their deliberations were Joseph Glanvill, Richard Baxter, and Cotton Mather. Samuel G. Drake, ed., The Witchcraft Delusion in New England (3 vols., New York, Burt Franklin, 1866), 3, 361.
15 Gragg, Quest for Security, p. 134.
16 On the long history of witchcraft proceedings in the colonial period, see John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1982), esp. ch. 12; for SP’s language, see, for example, below pp. 149–52, and Gragg, Quest for Security, pp. 123–25.
17 Another book that SP made some use of was Richard Bernard’s The Bibles Abstract and Epitomie. The Capital Heads, Examples, Sentences and Precepts of all the Principall Matters in Theologie (London, 1642), bound with Thesaurus Biblicus seu Promptuarium (London, 1644). The Abstract and Epitomie was an alphabetical listing of important theological and pastoral topics, with their major proofs and doctrines, biblical examples, and even uses, in effect providing ready-made sermon outlines for the parish minister.
18 Stout, New England Soul, p. 33.
19 Boyer and Nissenbaum, ed., Salem-Village Witchcraft, p. 280.
20 See E. Brooks Holifield, The Covenant Sealed: The development of Puritan Sacramental Theology in Old and New England, 1570–1720 (New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1974).
21 Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 3, 316.
22 Boyer and Nissenbaum, ed., Salem-Village Witchcraft, pp. 278, 280.
23 Of the 38 males cited for delinquent payments in Dec. 1689, none was listed as a member in full covenant as of May 1690, indicating that SP’s supporters were joining the church while his opponents were not. Ibid., pp. 350, 269–72.
24 Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed, pp. 169–70.
25 Boyer and Nissenbaum, ed., Salem-Village Witchcraft, p. 271. The Salem Village church joined a minority of churches in eastern Massachusetts in refusing to adopt the Half-Way Covenant.
26 Gragg, Quest for Security, pp. 98–100.
27 Boyer and Nissenbaum, ed., Salem-Village Witchcraft, p. 307.
28 Gragg, Quest for Security, p. 135. The confessions came mostly from Andover inhabitants.
29 Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed, pp. 176–77.
30 Gragg, Quest for Security, pp. 158–60.
31 See below p. 276. SP may refer, at least in part, to testimonies from the trials that speak of witches’s sabbaths and the observance of a “Bloody Sacrament.” Several witnesses stated that they had heard of or partaken in the sinister parody of the Lord’s Supper. For example, Mary Lacy noted that “The bread was brownish & the wine Red. They had also a table and Erthen Cups & there was so many that there was not bread Enough for them all. Some of them Stole bread and some brought bread with them and some of the bred look’t of a Reddish Color.” Other witnesses confirmed that the “Bloody Sacrament” had been administered on several occasions in SP’s own pasture. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, ed., The Salem Witchcraft Papers (3 vols., New York, Da Capo Press, 1977), p. 523; see also pp. 66, 363, 504, 624, 647. On the perpetuation of occult beliefs in early American popular piety, see David D. Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (New York, Knopf, 1989); Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press, 1990); and Richard Godbeer, The Devil’s Dominion: Magic and Religion in Early New England (New York, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992).
32 Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem-Village Witchcraft, p. 297.
33 Ibid., p. 296.
34 See, for example, Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press, 1953); Robert G. Pope, The Half-Way Covenant: Church Membership in Puritan New England (Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, 1969); and Stephen Foster, Their Solitary Way: The Puritan Social Ethic in the First Century of Settlement (New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1971).
35 Holifield, The Covenant Sealed; Charles Hambrick-Stowe, The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Practices in Seventeenth-Century New England (Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1982); and Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period (Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, 1989).
36 Hall, Worlds of Wonder, pp. 154–61. The fact that the Salem Village brethren voted to limit baptism amidst the first flurry of opposition to SP in Feb. 1689/90 suggests that sacramental privileges became a political weapon in the intra-village struggle, effectively closing out SP’s opponents. The number of baptisms dropped as precipitously after Aug. 1691 as did the number of admissions to full communion. Gragg, Quest for Security, p. 89.
37 However, most of the 62 members admitted during that period were SP’s supporters and remained sympathetic to him. For admissions, see the Salem Church Records in Boyer and Nissenbaum, eds., Salem-Village Witchcraft, pp. 269–76.
38 Ibid., pp. 275–76.
39 See Edmund S. Morgan, “New England Puritanism: Another Approach,” William and Mary Quarterly XVIII (1966), 241; James Hoopes, “Art as History: Perry Miller’s New England Mind,” American Quarterly (1982), 21–22; and Theodore Dwight Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives: The Primitivist Dimension in Puritanism (Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1988), appendix.
40 Edward Taylor, A Treatise Concerning the Lord’s Supper, ed. Norman S. Grabo (East Lansing, Univ. of Michigan Press, 1966).
41 Years later, seven members voted against removing the sentence of excommunication from Martha Kory, demonstrating continuing support for SP’s interpretation of the events.
42 “As to the AUTHOR of this Book, it is better to suspend our judgment than to make random assertions. Those who think that it was JOSHUA, because his name stands on the title page, rest on weak and insufficient grounds.” John Calvin, Commentaries on the Book of Joshua, trans. Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, 1949), p. xvii.
43 At this point SP wrote “1. Prop: Vide pag. 8. latter part*” to cue him to the statement of the first proposition that he neglected to include here and wrote on the next page. The proposition has been shifted in accordance with his directions.
44 SP writes “Vide pag. 7. the last words” to instruct him where to place the misplaced proposition.
45 “It was a memorative, introduttive, demonstrative, prefigurative, and distinctive sign.”
46 SP seems to be referring to Calvin (possibly directly or more likely through a commentary) on the issue of the wicked partaking of the sacraments. In the Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), bk. IV, ch. xiv, §7 (ed. John T. McNeill [Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1977], pp. 1281–82), Calvin argues, “They are not reasoning closely enough when they argue that the sacraments are not testimonies of God’s grace because they are offered to the wicked, who, however, do not find God more favorable but rather incur a heavier condemnation. For by the same argument, because the gospel is heard but rejected by many, and because Christ was seen and recognized by many but very few of them accepted him, nether gospel nor Christ would be a testimony of God’s grace.”
47 A reference to Richard Bernard (c. 1567–1641), an English divine who briefly espoused Separatism and then returned to the Church of England. On SP’s use of Bernard’s works, see above p. 8, n. 17 and below p. 150, n. 31 and p. 321, n. 52; see also Gragg, Quest for Security, p. 58.
48 John Trapp, A Commentary or Exposition Upon All of the Books of the New Testament (London, 1656; rep. 1865), pp. 715–16. “Not for filthy lucre] As your church-choppers and money changers, that take up the ministry only as a trade to pick a living out of it. We preach the gospel amongst us, saith a Popish writer, tantum ut nos pascat et vestiat, merely for food and raiment.” As seen throughout the notebook, SP relied heavily on the works of John Trapp (1601–1669), a minister in the Church of England. Trapp’s commentaries, studded with references to the church fathers and Reformation writers, as well as arcane quotes from a variety of sources, provided the parish minister with manifold anecdotes and appropriate citations. This acquisition of knowledge at second- and third-hand is an illustration of the Puritan penchant for anthologization.
49 SP writes: “Se the. 2d sermon on this subject in page the. 30.” See below, p. 66.
50 John Trapp, A Commentary or exposition upon all the Epistles and the Revelation of John the Divine (London, 1647), p. 35. The Latin phrase, which translates as, “Touch the mountains and they will smoke,” is from the Vulgate, Ps. 103:32: “Qui respicit terram, et faciteam fremere; qui tanget montes, et fumigant.”
51 By “it is noted,” SP is referring to the marginal commentaries that appeared in the KJV of the times. For the significance of such commentary, see Harry S. Stout, “The Word and Order in Colonial New England,” in Nathan O. Hatch and Mark A. Noll, ed., The Bible in America: Essays in Cultural History (New York, Oxford, 1982), pp. 19–38.
52 “Before or preferably during the meal.”
53 “After the meal.”
54 SP writes: “Se the first sermon in page. 16.” See above, p. 52.
55 SP writes: “Se the 1st sermon on Page. 21.” See above, p. 57.
56 Commenting on the portion of the verse that reads, “To be tempted of the devil,” Trapp writes, “No sooner was Christ out of the water of Baptisme, then in the fire of Temptation.” John Trapp, A Commentary or Exposition upon The four Evangelists, And The Acts of the Apostles (London, 1647), p. 56.
57 MS: “Annas.”
58 “He who does not know how to dissimulate, does not know how to live.”
59 “During the meal.”
60 “The faithfulness of a friend is tested in a disputed matter.”
61 “Do not boast of anything that is your own, unless you keep your own eyes on the crucified one.” This seems to be a paraphrase of Gal. 6:14.
62 John Trapp, A Commentary or Exposition upon the four Evangelists, And The Acts of the Apostles, p. 55: “Luther observed of himself, that when God was about to set him upon any speciall service, he either laid some fit of sicknesse upon him before-hand, or turned Satan loose upon him . . . Hence also it was that in his Sermons, God have him such a grace . . . that when he preached, they that heard him thought, every one, his own temptations to be severally touched and noted. Whereof when signification was given unto him by his friends, and he demanded how that could be? Mine own manifold temptations (saith he) and experiences are the cause thereof. For from his tender years he was much beaten and exercised with spirituall conflicts.”
63 “See sermons following for more sustained treatment.”
64 Trapp, Commentary or Exposition Upon All of the Epistles and the Revelation of John the Divine, p. 245. “Became obedient unto death] That is, to his dying day, saith Beza. He went thorow many a little death all his life long, and at length underwent that cursed and painful death of the Crosse, his soul also being heavy to the death, Mat. 26.” The revised ed. (Commentary or Exposition Upon All of the Books of the Old Testament, p. 606) adds, “He suffered the insufferable wrath of God for a season. Ne perderet obedientiam, perdidit vitam, saith Bernard.”
65 Here again SP draws on Trapp, Commentary on the four Evangelists, And The Acts of the Apostles, p. 136: “Possumus etiam hinc asseverare ex latere Christi Fluxisse nostra Sacramenta, saith Calvin, We may safely say that our Sacraments issued out of Christ’s side.” In Commentary on the Gospel According to John (trans. William Pringle [Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1949], p. 133), Calvin discusses how the blood and water symbolize the sacrifice for and the washing away of sin. The sacraments, he argues, have the same design of purification and sanctification. “For this reason, I do not object to what Augustine says, that our sacraments flowed from Christ’s side.”
66 I.e. Job 1:21.
67 SP does not specify whether he omitted merely the preceding sentence or the whole use. He probably decided to leave out part or all of this point because of its confrontational tone. At this time, a portion of the congregation was behind in paying its ministerial rate, and SP was involved in a struggle to obtain parsonage lands. See Gragg, Quest for Security, pp. 87–88, 91–92.
68 “May we follow you, Lord, through you, to you, because you are truth: through you, you are the way; to you, because you are the life.” SP once more uses Trapp, Commentary Upon the four Evangelists, And The Acts of the Apostles, p. 88. Expounding on John 14:6, where Christ says “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Trapp states, “As if he should say, Thou hast no whither to go but to me, nor which way to go but by me, that thou mayest attain eternall life. Which made Bernard say, Sequemur, Domine, te, per te, ad te: Te, quia veritas, per te, quia via, ad te, quia vita. And this was one ofthose sweet sayings, that old Beza had much in his mouth, a little afore his death.”
69 Trapp, Commentary or Exposition Upon All of the Books of the New Testament, p. 680, on Heb. 10:20: “By a new] Fresh, and as effectual at all times, as if Christ were but newly sacrificed for us. Tarns recens mihi nunc Christus est, ac si hac hora fudisset sanguinem, saith Luther. Christ is even now as fresh to me as if this very hour he had shed his precious blood.”
70 MS: “arisise.”
71 “The Master’s victory is the slave’s triumph.” Hieronymus is better known as St. Jerome (d. 420), a biblical translator and commentator and monastic theologian most known for his condemnation of Pelagianism, an early heretical movement that posited that with the resurrection of Christ, humankind was capable of attaining perfect righteousness while yet on earth.
72 SP apparently drew the structure for the remainder of this sermon from Bernard, The Bibles Abstract and Epitomie, p. 13, where the author lists and considers “Christs apparitions after his Resurrection.”
73 MS: “Exhortation.”
74 “Place your faith in heaven and you shall have touched.” SP in all likelihood found this reference to Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (d. 604), in a commentary.
75 Thianthropos: “God-man.”
76 The passage to which SP is here referring is in William Ames’ Medulla Theologica (London, 1623), bk. I, ch. xxiii: “The place from which he ascended was the Mount of Olives, Acts 1:12. It was here also that he suffered his deepest humiliation, Luke 22:39. This occurred so that he might teach that his suffering and ascension pertained to the same thing.” SP, as with virtually all Puritan clergymen, would have had a strong grounding in the works of Ames (1576–1633), whose works were part of the curriculum of Harvard when SP attended. Indeed, he seems to have taken Ames’ structure in the Medulla for his series of sacrament sermons on Christ’s suffering, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation. Sections 21–24 of that book deal with the life of the humiliated Christ, his death, exaltation, and the application of his death and resurrection. In dealing with Christ’s life, for example, Ames divides his discussion of Christ’s humiliation into two parts: his conception and birth, and the period after his birth. SP uses the same organizing concepts, but where Ames treats the passive and active nature of Christ’s obedience, SP deals in great detail with Christ’s physical sufferings.
77 Theos: “God.”
78 Augustine asserted the co-eternality of the Father and Son in criticism of the teachings of Arius (250–336), a Greek-speaking African cleric who held that Christ was not divine, but rather was a super-angelic creature who shared neither the same essence nor nature with God the Father. The ultimate source of this reference may be Augustine’s essay on The Trinity, where, distinguishing between “Father” and “God,” he states, “The Arians, of course, understand these words as though the Son were not the true God. But setting them aside, let us see if, when he [the Lord] says to the Father: ‘that they may know thee, the one true God,’ we are to understand them in this sense, that the Father alone is also the true God, lest we should not understand any to be God except the three together, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Are we, therefore, from the Lord’s testimony to call the Father the one true God, the Son the one true God, and the Holy Spirit the one true God, and at the same time call the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that is, the Trinity itself together, not three gods, but one true God?” The Writings of St. Augustine, in Fathers of the Church (New York, Fathers of the Church, 1959), 45, 211.
79 Here follows the equivalent of about eleven deleted, illegible lines.
80 “The corruption of the very best is the worst wickedness.”
81 Louis XIV ruled France from 1643–1715. In 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had allowed free exercise of religion for French Protestants.
82 “Verse 44. Ye are of your father the devil.] . . . Satan is called the God of this world; because as God at first did but speake the word, and it was done: so if the divel do but hold up his finger, give the least hint, they obey him.” Trapp, A Commentary or Exposition upon The four Evangelists, And The Acts of the Apostles, p. 46.
83 These are quotes from Richard Baxter’s The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits. Fully Evinced by unquestionable Histories of Apparitions and Witchcrafts, Operations, Voices, &c. (London, 1691). The first reference is to Joseph Hall, the Bishop of Norwich (1574–1656); SP then quotes practically verbatim from Baxter (pp. 122–23). The case Baxter cites about the “woman who pretended to have the holy Ghost” is, he tells us, taken from “the Epistle of Finnilianus to Cyprian, Ep. 75, Pag. 238.” It is interesting to note that in the next paragraph (pp. 123–24), Baxter goes on to describe the “case of Mrs. Hutchinson, and Mrs. Dyer in New England.” He concludes, “Though I find no proof of Witch-craft in their Case, there is much of Satanical Delusion, joined with Humane Self-conceit and Pride.”
84 Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588–1638) was a philosopher and theologian who taught at the universities of Herborn and Weissenburg, Germany. SP here refers to Alsted “on this topic,” which could possibly be in Triumphus Bibliorum Sacrorum; seu Encyclopedia Biblica (Frankfurt, 1625), one of Alsted’s many compendiums of philosophical, scientific, theological, and biblical knowledge.
85 MS: “keen”
86 MS: “inudued.”
87 SP deletes: “See farther on this subject Lib. 4. pag. 19.”
88 MS: “thro.”
89 In the margin appears the word “Dagger,” in a different, later hand.
90 SP deletes: “30.”
91 SP deletes: “For this cause many are weak & Sickly among you, & many sleep.”
92 This second notation is to a later repreaching.
93 Here SP draws from Bernard, The Bibles Abstract and Epitomie, p. 54, under the topic “Man what he is.”