Perhaps Parris sought to comfort himself as well as the congregation with those words. It is hard to imagine a more difficult position for a clergyman than the one he faced. He labored in a village divided by factional strife, one vainly seeking greater independence from Salem. As Parris attempted to transform his personal struggle into one with cosmic consequences, the villagers turned again to the mundane task of seeking an exemption from taxes to maintain the roads in Salem. Even if there appeared to be some cooperation between the village's leading families in this effort -- Joseph Porter served with Nathaniel and John Putnam on the committee to negotiate with town officials -- there was no evidence that they were ready to work together to lighten Parris's burden. While the Putnams, Porters, and Parris worried about the affairs of everyday life, there emerged an even greater crisis. Just as Parris assured the congregation that their situation would improve, the scourge of witchcraft appeared in his household, a terror that would engulf not only the village but also much of the province of Massachusetts Bay in 1692. Do you seek to evaluate if your curriculum vitae meets style of cv services?