Mather was named after his maternal grandfather John Cotton. He attended Boston Latin Schoolwhere his name was posthumously added to its Hall of Fameand graduated from Harvard in at age InMather assumed full responsibilities as pastor of the church. He set the moral tone in the colonies, and sounded the call for second- and third-generation Puritans to return to the theological roots of Puritanismwhose parents had left England for the New England colonies of North America.
He combined a mystical strain he believed in the existence of witchcraft with a modern scientific interest he supported smallpox inoculation. At 18 he received his M.
For a while, he feared he could not enter the ministry because of a speech impedimentand he considered becoming a physician; the subject of medicine was of lifelong interest to him. He devoted his life to praying, preaching, writing, and publishing and still followed his main purpose in life of doing good.
His book, Bonifacius, or Essays to Do Goodinstructs others in humanitarian acts, some ideas being far ahead of his time: He established societies for community projects. He was also a leader in the fight for inoculation against smallpoxincurring popular disapproval. When Cotton inoculated his own son, who almost died from it, the whole community was wrathful, and a bomb was thrown through his chamber window.
Satan seemed on the side of his enemies; various members of his family became ill, and some died. Worst of all, his son Increase was arrested for rioting. He corresponded extensively with notable scientists, such as Robert Boyle. His Christian Philosopher recognizes God in the wonders of the earth and the universe beyond; it is both philosophical and scientific and, ironically, anticipates 18th-century Deism, despite his clinging to the old order.
Cotton Mather wrote and published more than works. His magnum opus was Magnalia Christi Americanaan ecclesiastical history of America from the founding of New England to his own time. His Manuductio ad Ministerium was a handbook of advice for young graduates to the ministry: His ambitious year work on biblical learning was interrupted by his death.
He died only five years after his father, whose colleague he had been for 40 years.
Like them, he had an active mind and the will to use it. He lived in the shadow of their greatness and expected to carry on the tradition and to assume their role in the Puritan community.
Unfortunately, he could not see that the old order was passing. As colonial communities became more secure from earlier hardships of settlements, they also became more complacent and less in need of a confining spiritual leadership.
Cotton fought for the continuance of the old order of the ruling clergy, sometimes with frustration, sometimes in anger. His Diary was edited by W.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Miscellaneous manuscript materials VI. Sermons, essays, and other works, This series contains the historical and religious works of Cotton Mather, written between and , including sermons on Biblical figures and studies of apocalypticism, millennialism, .
Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials of took place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts. Cotton Mather, a clergyman in Salem, emerged throughout the course of the trials as a pillar of support and, ultimately, as a witch-hunter.
Free cotton mather papers, essays, and research papers. Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials of - Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials of took place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts. Joshua H. Read & Response Essay: Cotton Mather's "The Wonders of the Invisible World" February 26, Cotton was the eldest son of Increase Mather, the pastor of the Second Church of Boston, and as such, it was assumed he would become one himself.
Mather was born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, the son of Maria (née Cotton) and Increase Mather, and grandson of both John Cotton and Richard Mather, all also prominent Puritan attheheels.com was named after his maternal grandfather John Cotton.