These narratives of witchcraft are no fairy tales. Weird though they seem to us, they were to thousands of men and women in seventeenth-century America the intensest of realities. They were the bulletins of a war more actual, more cruel, more momentous, than any fray of flesh and blood. Nor were they bulletins alone, these messages of each latest skirmish in that age-long war of Heaven with Hell. To those enlisted in that war they were instruction, encouragement, appeal, as well; and as, in our day, to men once fascinated by world-politics, so in that to those awakened to these vaster interests of a universe, all pettier concerns seemed trivial and provincial. To count the matter a panic local to New England, or even a passing madness of the Christian world, is to take a narrow view of history.
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