Witchcraft Of New England Explained By Modern Spiritualism

Witchcraft Of New England Explained By Modern Spiritualism Cover

Book: Witchcraft Of New England Explained By Modern Spiritualism by Allen Putnam

MOST history of New England witchcraft written since 1760 has dishonored the dead by lavish imputations of imposture, fraud, malice, credulity, and infatuation ; has been sacrificing past acts, motives, and character to skepticism regarding the sagacity and manliness of the fathers, the guilelessness of their daughters, and the truth of ancient records. Transmitted accounts of certain phenomena have been disparaged, seemingly because facts alleged therein baffle solution by to-day's prevalent philosophy, which discards some agents and forces that were active of old. The legitimate tendency of culture has been reversed ; what it should have availed itself of and honored, it has busied itself in hiding and traducing.

An exception among writers alluded to is the author of the following extract, who, simply as an historian, and not as an advocate of any particular theory for the solution of witchcraft, seems ready to let its works be ascribed to competent agents.

We proposed here an incipient step towards refutation of the sufficiency and justness of a main theory, now long prevalent, for explaining satisfactorily very many well-proved marvelous facts. Some such have been presented on the pages of Hutchinson, Upham, and their followers ; and yet these have been either not at all, or vaguely or ludicrously, commented upon, or reasoned from. Very many others, and the most important of all as bases and aids to an acceptable and true solution of the whole, are not visible where they ought to have conspicuous position. Presentation and proper use of them might have caused public cognizance to topple over the edifices which it has pleased modern builders to erect.

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