The Salem Journal: Legal News
Prevent Damnation, Destroy all the Witches
By Emma M
Hysteria is sweeping across the community. No one knows who is a witch or who is innocent. Neighbor is turning on neighbor, thinking that killing witches will please God, even if they have to kill innocent people to get them. The Bible preaches against witchcraft and this is fueling the trials.
A few weeks ago, little Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams began to have strange fits. In these fits the girls did odd things: they babble randomly, sometimes shouting or even crying. They see things that are not really there, and they sob and wail in pain saying that some one is poking and pinching them.
When the doctor could not find anything wrong with them, The Reverend Samuel Parris declared that the devil was at work. He was very upset because Elizabeth and Abigail were both members of his family. Samuel Parris even held a period of fasting, in hope that god would take pity on the afflicted girls, and heal them. However, it did not work. He sought the help of other ministers who told him to rely on Bible reading and prayer, but people in the community were scared, and wanted the girls to tell them who was afflicting them.
The bible directly says (Exodus) "thou shall not suffer a witch to live" So naturally, the townspeople started to panic because they are religious. People spend five hours (or more) a week in church, even before the trials. Intermissions and interruptions are forbidden and considered extremely rude. Chattering and talking are also considered to be rude.
More and more people are starting to fall ill to hand of Satan and no one can seem to find a cure. But, Elizabeth and Abigail can point out the witches. Knowing this, people can hang the witches and children can be saved.
Two weeks ago hysteria grew even more when Parris' slave, Tituba, was accused along with Sarah Good, and Sarah Osburn. Both of the Sarahs did not attend church, so they were easy targets for Betty and Abigail's accusations. Tituba confessed there were nine names written into the devil's book, including Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and herself. There were also six other names in the book, but she could not see them. People were afraid of being condemned to hell and immediately started accusing others. Neighbors are turning on each other. People are being forced to confess. More than nine (the number of names Titiba said were in Satan's book.) were accused, so people who may be innocent are being killed. People are using the bible's words to justify killing each other. Some accuse to please god to go to heaven and some for darker reasons such as: for land, property, or maybe because they just don't like the person.
It is known that the bible says in Deuteronomy, " Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft." So in fear of being cast out, people will accuse others, sometimes pretending to be afflicted with fits themselves. It has gotten out of hand. Instead of better, the girls are getting worse and accusing more people. Tons of people are going to jail just if their name was said in one of the fits, and there seems to be no end to these trials.
To sum it up, the Bible probably has fueled and justifies these trials but Satan and his evil angels were the ones who started them. The conclusion of these trials is still yet to be discovered, but what is known is many more will be accused and more people will be killed. Because this is the fate God has set for all of us.