The tragic month of April

The month of April 1692 ushered in an even greater tide of accusations and trials, each case fueling panic, social strife, and hysteria. By the end of April twenty-three more suspects were targeted in Salem Village, along with several others in neighboring towns. On April 3, Samuel Parris read a sermon in which he condemned both Nurse and Corey, who were members of his own congregation. Stressing the Puritan notion of predestination (that one's fate is already sealed), he suggested that the accused "witches" had been chosen by God, even before birth, to go to Hell, in the Christian concept of eternal punishment after death. Parris went on to say that the worst crime against the church was to serve the devil from within the congregation itself. During the service a parishioner named Sarah Cloyce got up and stormed from the room, slamming the door behind her.

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