A great and spasmodic political movement is, at this moment, convulsing Christendom. That good will come of it, we think is beyond a question; but we greatly doubt whether it will come in the particular form, or by the specified agencies, that human calculations would lead us to expect. It must be admitted that the previous preparations, which have induced the present effort, are rather in opposition to, than the consequences of, calculated agencies; overturning in their progress the very safeguards which the sagacity of men had interposed to the advance of those very opinions that have been silently, and by means that would perhaps baffle inquiry, preparing the way for the results that have been so suddenly and unexpectedly obtained. If the course is onward, it is more as the will of God, than from any calculations of man; and it is when the last are the most active, that there is the greatest reason to apprehend the consequences.
Of such a dispensation of the Providence of Almighty God, do we believe Peter to have been the subject. Among the thousand ways that are employed to touch the heart, he had been most affected by the sight of a dying man’s asking benedictions on his enemies! It was assailing his besetting sin; attacking the very citadel of his savage character, and throwing open, at once, an approach into the deepest recesses of his habits and dispositions. It was like placing a master-key in the hands of him who would go through the whole tenement, for the purpose of purifying it.
Thou to whom every faun and satyr flies
For willing service; whether to surprise
The squatted hare, while in half sleeping fits,
Or upward ragged precipices flit
To save poor lambkins from the eagle’s maw;
Or by mysterious enticement draw
Bewildered shepherds to their path again;—
It can easily be understood that the party with the canoes were left by Peter in a state of great anxiety. The distance between the site of the hut and their place of concealment was but little more than a quarter of a mile, and the yell of the savages had often reached their ears, notwithstanding the cover of the woods. This proximity, of itself, was fearful; but the uncertainty that le Bourdon felt on the subject of Peter’s real intentions added greatly to his causes of concern. Of course, he knew but little of the sudden change that had come over this mysterious chief’s feelings; nor is it very likely that he would have been able to appreciate it, even had the fact been more fully stated. Our hero had very little acquaintance with the dogmas of Christianity, and would have, most probably, deemed it impossible that so great a revolution of purpose could have been so suddenly wrought in the mind of man, had the true state of the case been