In act three of The Crucible, Reverend Hale returns to Salem. Deputy Governor Danforth asks him if he has preached in Andover in the last month to which Hale responds, “Thank God they have no need of me in Andover.”
Andover is a neighboring town of Salem, and this seemingly random comment actually reveals a lot about the knowledge and motives of the characters.
Andover also had a witch hunt that resulted in a trial, which shows the universality of the witchcraft hysteria. This was not a singular event in Salem but rather an issue that affected multiple towns.
In Andover, there was an uprising from the citizens who recognized that the trial was a sham. They threw out the court and saved the lives of those accused of witchcraft.
Danforth and Judge Hawthorne are aware of these events and do not want the same to happen in Salem. This reveals their deep desire to hold power and the lengths they will go to maintain that power. They are willing to move forward with the trial while being aware of how other communities have rebelled against it because they are afraid of losing the power they currently hold.
This also reveals the guilt that Hale feels and explains his reason for returning to Salem.