Manuscript Passages from the Greek Testament, with English Translations by Cotton Mather Undated
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Cotton Mather was born in 1663 to Increase Mather (1639-1723) and Maria Cotton (1642-1714). Cotton Mather had a talent for languages. He learned to read before attending formal school, quickly learned the Latin and Greek languages, and, by the age of 11, took notes in Latin on sermons given in English. He graduated from Harvard in 1678, at the age of 16. After his ordination at Boston's Old North Church, he preached alongside his father until Increase Mather's death in 1723. As a prominent New England minister, Cotton Mather is remembered for his involvement in the ousting of the Royal Governor Edmund Andros in 1689, and for his public support of the persecution of persons alledged to be witches in New England, 1692-1693.

Cotton Mather wrote extensively. Included among his works are Declaration of the Gentlemen, Merchants, and Inhabitants of Boston and the County Adjacent (1689), justifying the revolt against Edmund Andros; The Wonders of the Invisible World (1692), justifying the witch trial proceedings; and Magnalia Christi Americana: or, The Ecclesiastical History of New-England… (1702).