University of Virginia Library

Upon the Day of the Fast in the full Assembly, at the South Meeting-House in Boston, one of the Honourable Judges, who had sat in Judicature in Salem, delivered in a Paper,[341] and while it was in reading stood up, But the Copy being not to be obtained at present, It can only be reported by Memory to this effect, viz. It was to desire the Prayers


of God's People for him and his, and that God having visited his Family, etc., he was apprehensive that he might have fallen into some Errors in the Matters at Salem, and pray that the Guilt of such Miscarriages may not be imputed either to the Country in general, or to him or his family in particular.

Some that had been of several Jewries, have given forth a Paper, Sign'd with their own hands in these words.

We whose names are under written, being in the Year 1692 called to serve as Jurors, in Court at Salem, on Tryal of many, who were by some suspected Guilty of doing Acts of Witchcraft upon the Bodies of sundry Persons:

We confess that we our selves were not capable to understand, nor able to withstand the mysterious delusions of the Powers of Darkness, and Prince of the Air; but were for want of Knowledge in our selves, and better Information from others, prevailed with to take up with such Evidence against the Accused, as on further consideration, and better Information, we justly fear was insufficient for the touching the Lives of any, Deut. 17. 6, whereby we fear we have been instrumental with others, tho Ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon our selves, and this People of the Lord, the Guilt of Innocent Blood; which Sin the Lord saith in Scripture, he would not pardon, 2 Kings 24. 4, that is we suppose in regard of his temporal Judgments. We do therefore hereby signifie to all in general (and to the surviving Sufferers in especial) our deep sense of, and sorrow for our Errors, in acting on such Evidence to the condemning of any person.

And do hereby declare that we justly fear that we were sadly deluded and mistaken, for which we are much disquieted and dis


tressed in our minds; and do therefore humbly beg forgiveness, first of God for Christ's sake for this our Error; And pray that God would not impute the guilt of it to our selves, nor others; and we also pray that we may be considered candidly, and aright by the living Sufferers as being then under the power of a strong and general Delusion, utterly unacquainted with, and not experienced in matters of that Nature.

We do heartily ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended, and do declare according to our present minds, we would none of us do such things again on such grounds for the whole World; praying you to accept of this in way of Satisfaction for our Offence; and that you would bless the Inheritance of the Lord, that he may be intreated for the Land.

Foreman, Thomas Fisk, William Fisk, John Batcheler, Thomas Fisk, Junior John Dane, Joseph Evelith, Thomas Perly, Senior John Pebody, Thomas Perkins, Samuel Sayer, Andrew Elliott, Henry Herrick, Senior.[342]