Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about Oak Openings.
expectation of this extraordinary being that the wife might be permitted to escape with the husband.  The effect of The Weasel’s cunning has been described.  Such was the state of Peter’s mind when he met the band in the scenes last described.  There he had been all attention to the demeanor of the missionary.  A hundred times had he seen warriors die uttering maledictions on their enemies; but this was the first occasion on which he had ever known a man to use his latest breath in asking for blessings on those “who persecuted him.”  At first, Peter was astounded.  Then the sublime principles had their effect, and his heart was deeply touched with what he heard.  How far the Holy Spirit aided these better feelings, it might be presumptuous, on the one hand, to say; while, on the other, it will be equally presuming to think of denying the possibility—­nay, the probability--that the great change which so suddenly came over the heart of Peter was produced by more than mere human agencies.  We know that this blessed Spirit is often poured out, in especial cases, with affluent benevolence, and there can be no sufficient reason for supposing this savage might not have been thus signally favored, as soon as the avenues of his heart opened to the impulses of a generous humanity.  The very qualities that would induce such a being to attempt the wild and visionary scheme of vengeance and retribution, that had now occupied his sleeping and waking thoughts for years, might, under a better direction, render him eminently fit to be the subject of divine grace.  A latent sense of right lay behind all his seeming barbarity, and that which to us appears as a fell ferocity, was, in his own eyes, no less than a severe justice.

The words, the principles, the prayers, and, more than all, the example of the missionary, wrought this great change, so far as human agencies were employed; but the power of God was necessary to carry out and complete this renewal of the inner man.  We do not mean that a miracle was used in the sudden conversion of this Indian to better feelings, for that which is of hourly occurrence, and which may happen to all, comes within the ordinary workings of a Divine Providence, and cannot thus be designated with propriety; but we do wish to be understood as saying, that no purely human power could have cleared the moral vision, changed all the views, and softened the heart of such a man, as was so promptly done in the case of Peter.  The way had been gradually preparing, perhaps, by the means already described, but the great transformation came so suddenly and so powerfully as to render him a different being, as it might almost be, in the twinkling of an eye!  Such changes often occur, and though it may suit the self-sufficiency of the worldling to deride them, he is the wisest who submits in the meekest spirit to powers that exceed his comprehension.

In this state of mind, then, Peter left the band as soon as the fate of the missionary was decided.  His immediate object was to save the whites who remained, Gershom and Dorothy now having a place in his good intentions, as well as le Bourdon and Margery.  Although he moved swiftly, and nearly by an air-line, his thoughts scarce kept company with his feet.  During that rapid walk, he was haunted with the image of a man, dying while he pronounced benedictions on his enemies!

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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