God looks at the heart.
May 21st, 2006
Santa Cruz, California
Received by F.A.B.
I am here, Cotton Mather.
Let me tell you what you want to know. Yes, I did suffer for what I did in relation to witchcraft. I had to confront the fact that my intense desire to serve God did not mitigate the torment I went through, knowing that I was the means of other people losing their life. This was a very serious sin, for which I atoned. That is what I meant in my previous message.
You of the 21st century can very easily judge my condemnation of witchcraft as evil, intolerant, and ignorant. But for those of us who experienced these circumstances, it was an ever present reality which demanded a response. And respond I did.
Of course, as I have said, I was not excused from the penalty just because I was sincere in wanting to serve God. But, as Abraham Lincoln once told you, humanity cannot just condemn acts of violence without taking into account the whole person and the motives. God looks at the heart, and that is the basis of His judgment.1
Suffice it to say that, yes, I did suffer for what I did. This is helping you to be less judgmental of people like me. I was only trying my honest best to serve God in the way I perceived it.
Of course, I am the first to say now that persecuting and killing people in the name of God is all wrong and completely contrary to God’s intentions with humanity.
Love, Cotton Mather.
1 Note. Strictly speaking, Father does not judge. He has created Spiritual Laws that dispense whatever compensation is required, and He does not judge us in any personal sense. It is uncertain if this is just loose language by Cotton Mather, or if he has not yet learned that Truth. Clearly what he is commenting on is that in spite of the fact that people died as a direct result of his personal actions, because his motives were pure, the compensation that was required was less than might have been the case. Cotton Mather was involved in the Salem Witch Trials, and was responsible for the notion that dreams (spectral evidence) could be entered in as evidence in the trial of witchcraft. Nineteen men and women were hanged, one man was crushed by stones, and four others died in jail awaiting trial in the period June to September 1692 in Massachusetts.