Things to remember while reading Remarkable Providences

• Mather's purpose in writing Remarkable Providences was that he feared the Puritans were becoming too interested in sci ence, commercialism, and individualism, and were therefore forgetting the importance of their religious beliefs.

• Those who had held onto Puritan ideals felt that King Philip's War (1675-76), a bloody conflict with the Native Americans, and recent smallpox epidemics were judgments from God upon the moral decline in New England. Remarkable Providences was meant to serve as a graphic reminder of the evil forces at work in the colonies. After hearing about numerous incidents of witchcraft, Mather was inspired to compile this record of eyewitness accounts.

• Like all Puritans, Mather believed that the colonies were a battleground of good and evil, and that evil was winning. He also believed Remarkable Providences would provide the proof.

preternatural: beyond what is normal diabolical: devilish or satanic providence: the control and protection of God piety: religious devotion integrity: honesty esteemed: respected as daemon: demon fawn: a baby deer affrighted: frightened carnal knowledge: to know someone sexually concurrent: at the same time 102

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