ePub Pillars of Salt ePub

by Cotton Mather

A minister at the end of the 1600's, Mather writes the discourses of people on their way to their execution. Meant to be historical since court summaries were brief and had little sympathy for the condemned, he writes the final words for people moments from death's door. Of course, they all convert to Jesus at the final moments, Mather is operating with an agenda, andthe historical accuracy is clearly suspect; it makes for an interesting read into not only the condemned, but Mather himself. The exchanges can be dramatic (The drunken murderer Jospeh Morgan, for example) but they show how the ministers, authorities, and idealistic Puritans viewed the lowly drunks, women, and Indians of the time, as well as how this echelon of society views its own values when they are so close to their final moments. Often their speech is bizarre, and flies around emotion and conviction and faith at headturning speeds.

Particluarly great lines from Elizabeth Emerson who murdered her twin bastard children:

"At length, when they were Born, I was not unsensible, that at least, One of them was alive; but such a Wretch was I, as to use a Murderous Carriage towards them, in the place where I lay, on purpose to dispatch them out of the World. I acknowledge that I have been more Hard hearted than the Sea Monsters, and yet for the Pardon of these my Sins, I would Fly to the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the only Fountain set open for Sin and Uncleanness."

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