Cotton Mather: The Puritan Priest

Cotton Mather: The Puritan Priest

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Cotton Mather: The Puritan Priest

Cotton Mather: The Puritan Priest

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Two hundred years ago there was living in Boston a man whose name is still remembered. Few nowadays know why we have heard of Cotton Mather; but even in this last decade of the nineteenth century few Yankees do not know his name. My object is to tell what manner of man he was, what manner of world he lived in, why -- with all the oddities and failings that are to us so grotesque -- he seems well worth remembering. For this Cotton Mather was of those who take life in earnest; and the life he took in earnest was, throughout the sixty-five years he passed on earth, the life of that New England which we who come of it like to believe the source of what is best in our own America. If, for a while, we can make ourselves see life as he saw it, we shall have done what I have in view.

Cotton Mather's diaries, together with his published works, express his views of life with rare completeness. So far as may be, then, I shall tell his story in his own words. In so doing, I shall doubtless expose myself to little less than the contempt of many serious students of Colonial history. The man's veracity has been seriously . . .

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