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Cotton Mather
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The Wonders of the Invisible World

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The two very rare works reprinted in the present volume, written by two of the most celebrated of the early American divines, relate to one of the most extraordinary cases of popular delusion that modern times have witnessed. It was a delusion, moreover, to which men of learning and piety lent themselves, and thus became the means of increasing it. The scene of this affair ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published September 4th 2009)
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Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wonders of this book are no longer wonders but a sense of firm beliefs of a man desperately trying to save his people from the "invisible world." ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy shit
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A scummy man making excuses for his brutality. Well-written, but will make you sick to read his smug self-satisfaction.
I have only read three of the trials/accounts in this book, and I doubt I will read any more. If not for the module I am doing in university I would not have known about this book, and would have ignorantly ignored it, but I am glad I have read it. It is well written, even if I dislike the writer and the trials and everything about it makes me angry and sad, it is still an interesting read. I may read the others at a later date, yet I cannot at the moment.
Äsruþr Cyneaþsson
Cotton Mather's has been harshly misjudged by many historians. This treatise is a fair and extremely valuable account of the events of 1692. What is more, this treatise clearly indicates a learned man who was attempting to calm the social hysteria of his spatio-temporal locality -- without casting suspicion upon himself as a sympathiser with the accused.

An invaluable historic text.
J.M. Brister
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Eh, this may be good as a supplement for when my students read The Crucible. However, it is certainly NOT light reading. ...more
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get beyond the language and you see a fascinating (and, frankly, scary) look into Puritan ideology and theology...and how these inform their worldview.
Charles Wagner
Sep 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Same old, same old

This tract (16920) is difficult reading because it was reproduced directly from original documents and because typefaces have changed substantially since the original printing, and because Mather rambled on about the devil so.

Apparently, the title was based upon Saduscismus Triumphatus by Joseph Granvill and shortly thereafter denounced by Robert Calef in his publication More wonders of the invisible world.

In a rambling way, Mather (1663- 1728) warned of the devil’s one tho
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

fine, Have there been Faults on any Side fallen into? Surely,
They have at worst been but the Faults of a well-meaning Ignorance

Sound familiar? Sound, maybe, like something the US President said about a protest where one of the protestors was murdered by a neo-Nazi?

In other words, a justification for the Salem witch trials.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, family-research
Normally, I wouldn't think of reading this book. Through Genealogy research, I discovered that the author is a 1st cousin 10 times removed. I also learned that both my mother and fathers side had ancestors who were "all up and in" the Salem witch trials. I wanted to get a better idea of the mindset during and after the trials. This book is really thick and to be honest I had to DL an audiobook edition because the words were making my eyes go crossways.

Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without passing judgment on the accuracy of the text (either conceptually, the witch-determining methods, or specific events), the book was actually quite fascinating & an interesting look into a certain mindset & the historical period.
Nate Meshau
“Mathers as a spiritual barometer” 🥱
Daniel Reads
Gustavo Cruz
Blinded by the beliefs of the era.
Not the lightest of reading material, but an important historical document.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
A few years ago I read Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". In the climatic Van Tassel Halloween party Ichabod Crane is reading Cotton Mather's "The Wonders of the Invisible World" to scare the wits out of the young women (and himself) at the party. I was intrigued by the reference and decided that I wanted to read it someday too.

Having just finished "The Wonders of the Invisible World" I can definitely see why it scared the pants off Ichabod Crane and was prime fodder
Christopher Gage
Truthfully different

I must say that the book is having an impact on the environment and the book is of course a good idea. It was going to be a good thing. You must not be biased towards the reading of the book.
This was very disturbing to read - to see injustice presented like something logical and reasonable. Mostly for me, it was about how the place and time in which one lives influences their moral judgement.
Matthew McKenna
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deeply disturbing.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I just wanted to read the justification for these events. This book will have to be read again after some time. Hard to read. Got kind of boring, yet still interesting in some weird way!Lol
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fucking ridiculous...
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Cotton Mather A.B. 1678 (Harvard College), A.M. 1681; honorary doctorate 1710 (University of Glasgow), was a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. Cotton Mather was the son of influential minister Increase Mather. He is often remembered for his connection to the Salem witch trials.

Mather was named after his grandfathers, both paternal

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“The New-Englanders are a People of God settled in those, which were once the Devil's Territories; and it may easily be supposed that the Devil was exceedingly disturbed, when he perceived such a People here accomplishing the Promise of old made unto our Blessed Jesus, That He should have the Utmost parts of the Earth for his Possession.” 1 likes
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