The Superstitions of Witchcraft by Howard Williams
Cotton Mather drew up an Apology in the form of a treatise
that you are in some trouble
 'Rara avis in terris.' A mongrel and anomalous species like the German _Meerkatzen_--monkey-cats.
On July 19 five women, and on August 19, six persons, were sent to the gallows, among whom was Mr. George Burroughs, minister, who had provoked his judges by questioning the very existence of witchcraft. At the last moments he so favourably impressed the assembled spectators by an eloquent address, that Dr. Mather, who was present, found it necessary to prevent the progress of a reactionary feeling by asserting that the criminal was no regularly ordained minister, and the devil has often been transformed into an angel of light. So transparently iniquitous and absurd had their mode of procedure become, that one of the subordinates in the service of the authorities, whose office it was to arrest the accused, refused to perform any longer his hateful office, and being himself denounced as an accomplice, he sought safety in flight. He was captured and executed as a recusant and wizard. Eight sorcerers suffered the extreme penalty of the law on September 22. Giles Gory, a few days before, indignantly refusing to plead, was 'pressed to death,' an accustomed mode of punishing obstinate prisoners; and in the course of this torture, it is said, when the tongue of the victim was forced from his mouth in the agony of pain, the presiding sheriff forced it back with his cane with much _sang froid_. At this stage in the proceedings, the magistrates considered that a justificatory memoir ought to be published for the destruction of twenty persons of both sexes, and, at the express desire of the governor, Cotton Mather drew up an Apology in the form of a treatise, 'More Wonders of the Invisible World,' in which the Salem, executions are justified by the precedent of similar and notorious instances in the mother-country, as well as by the universally accepted doctrines of various eminent authors of all ages and countries. Increase Mather, Principal of Harvard College, was also directed to solve the question whether the devil could sometimes assume the shape of a saint to effect his particular design. The reverend author resolved it affirmatively in a learned treatise, which he called (a seeming plagiarism) 'Cases of Conscience concerning Witchcraft and Evil Spirits personating Men,' an undertaking prompted by an unforeseen and disagreeable circumstance. The wife of a minister, one of the most active promoters of the prosecution, was involved in the indiscriminate charges of the informers, who were beginning to aim at more exalted prey. The minister, alarmed at the unexpected result of his own agitation, was now convinced of the falseness of the whole proceeding. It was a fortunate occurrence. From that time the executions ceased.