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AJA Review 1: Satan’s War against the Covenant in Salem Village, 1692 I have chosen to write a review about an article called “Satan’s War against the Covenant in Salem Village, 1692” by Benjamin C. Ray because I believe that the spiritual world is real and am interested in learning how the forces of evil are being manifested in the lives of people. Therefore, it gives me a different perspective on the events in history and the way they are similar or different to present-day life. The purpose of the author writing this article was to investigate the cause of the outbreak of witchcraft and what factors and people have impacted that. He was trying to figure out the connections between the controversy and the outbreak of the witchcraft accusations. The thesis of this article is stated at the beginning of it: “A chronological and geographical analysis of this pattern and its significance will, I believe, appreciably advance our understanding of the early phase of the nine-month witchcraft episode, the three and a half months from February 1692 through mid-May, when the accusations began to spread beyond Salem village to twenty-two other towns in the Bay Colony.”(Ray 71) Some of the primary sources of this article include declarations and teachings of Samuel Parris, official court records, letters written by the various people involved in the trials, etc. For instance, Cotton Mather goes on to say that the absence of The Halfway Covenant was the cause of the conversion of people into witchcraft: “I have seen that the Divels have been Baptising so many of our miserable Neighbours, in that horrible Witchcraft… I cannot be well at Ease, until the Nursery of Initiated Beleevers ... bee duely Watered, with Baptism… I would mark [with baptism] as many as I should, that the Destroying Angels may have less claim to them." (Ray 93) This article challenges me to be aware that church leaders, like Samuel Parris who put restrictions on the people who can or cannot become members of a church, is not following the simple biblical truths and therefore disobeying God himself. In the book of Galatians, it is written very clear:” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:28) From this, it is easy to conclude that Samuel Parris was not rooted in the scripture and was not fulfilling his call as a pastor and head of the church. Another interesting detail that surprised me was the order of rituals that had to be performed to become a member of the congregation of the Salem village church, which included “public confessions of “faith and repentance wrought in their souls”. I find it unnecessary to do this publicly because it is not the people who decide whether to forgive the person’s transgressions and whether that person is worthy of forgiveness, but God does. The reason why Parris’s church stopped growing and people were eager to drive him from his post was that he wanted to be the main focus of attention. He was desiring to be in authority, rule over people, and possess property. The most ridiculous thing is that he was using scripture out of context to manipulate the people of Salem village to join his congregation: “If you are ashamed to own Christ now, to profess the World… hereafter Christ will be ashamed of you”. (Ray 77) The people of Salem village were not ashamed to own Christ. They turned away because of Parris’s greed and lack of leadership skills. “Never before, however, had the minister been so intransigent nor the village so unwilling to support him. As Boyer and Nissenbaum characterize it in Salem Possessed”. (Ray 79) The thing that I found very disturbing was the fact that Parris beat his slave Tituba because of what she did to his daughters: “Whether reacting to Parris's supposed beating or not, Tituba had aligned her testimony with Parris's cosmic vision of a struggle between God and Satan”. (Ray 83). However, later on, Tituba recanted and told the magistrate that she had made up everything after her master beat her. This article gives a lot of information on the geographical and chronological analysis of the pattern of the events in the Salem village and what has impacted the witchcraft outbreak. It was really helpful to see the maps of the village chronologically change over time. Also, the use of primary sources like the sermons of Parris or the testimonials of the accused people made the article more credible. However, if this article had more analysis, personal thoughts from the author, and images, it would be easier to trace the ideas and events of the story. Puritan New England is fundamental to understanding American culture and identity. Puritanism in Colonial America helped shape American culture, politics, religion, society, and history well into the 19th century. The people who should read the information in the article are theologians or anyone interested in the early history of puritanism.