Danforth insists that John sign a written confession that will be posted on the church door. He claims that he must have concrete evidence of John's confession to be used for the instruction others convicted of witchcraft so that they would see his confession and perhaps follow with their own.
John initially signs the confession, but then rips it, saying he cannot give up his good name. To confess would not only harm his own reputation, but that of his children. Also, to confess and lie in order to live would be an insult to those who have died for telling the truth.