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when Chaumonot heard of Garnier's death, he immediately addressed his departed colleague, and promised him the benefit of all the good works which he, Chaumonot, might perform during the next week, provided the defunct missionary would make him heir to his knowledge of the Huron tongue.1 And he ascribed to the deceased Garnier's influence the mastery of that language which he afterwards acquired. The efforts of the missionaries for the conversion of the savages were powerfully seconded from the other world, and the refractory subject who was deaf to human persuasions softened before the superhuman agencies which the priest invoked to his aid.2 It is scarcely necessary to add, that signs and voices from another world, visitations from Hell and visions from Heaven, were incidents of no rare occurrence in the lives of these ardent apostles. To Bre"
1 "Je n'eus pns plutot appris sa glorieuse mort, que je lui promis tout ce qui je ferois de bien pendant huit jours, a condition qu'il me feroit son hcritier dans la connoissance parfaite qu'il avoit du Huron." — Chaumonot, Vie, 61.
2 As these may be supposed to be exploded ideas of the past, the writer may recall an incident of his youth, while spending a few days in the convent of the Passionists, near the Coliseum at Rome. These worthy monks, after using a variety of arguments for his conversion, expressed the hope that a miraculous interposition would be vouchsafed to that end, and that the Virgin would manifest herself to him in a nocturnal vision. To this end they gave him a small brass medal, stamped with her image, to be worn at his neck, while they were to repeat a certain number of Ares and Paters, in which he was urgently invited to join; as the result of which, it was hoped the Virgin would appear on the same night No vision, however, occurred. beuf, whose deep nature, like a furnace white hot, glowed with the still intensity of his enthusiasm, they were especially frequent. Demons in troops appeared before him, sometimes in the guise of men, sometimes as bears, wolves, or wild-cats. He called on God, and the apparitions vanished. Death, like a skeleton, sometimes menaced him, and once, as he faced it with an unquailing eye, it fell powerless at his feet. A demon, in the form of a woman, assailed him with the temptation which beset St. Benedict among the rocks of Subiaco; but Bre"beuf signed the cross, and the infernal siren melted into air. He saw the vision of a vast and gorgeous palace; and a miraculous voice assured him that such was to be the reward of those who dwelt in savage hovels for the cause of God. Angels appeared to him; and more than once St. Joseph and the Virgin were visibly present before his sight. Once, when he was among the Neutral Nation, in the winter of 1640, he beheld the ominous apparition of a great cross slowly approaching from the quarter where lay the country of the Iroquois. He told the vision to his comrades. "What was it like? How large was it?" they eagerly demanded. "Large enough," replied the priest, "to crucify us all."1 To explain such phe
'Quelqiies Remarques sur la Vie du Fire Jean de Bribeuf, MS. On the margin of this paper, opposite several of the statements repeated above, are the words, signed by Ragueneau, "Ex ipsius aiilographu," indicating that the statements were made in writing by Hrebcuf himself.
Still other visions are recorded by Chaumonot as occurring to 1637.] SELF-DEVOTION. 199
nomena is the province of psychology, and not of history. Their occurrence is no matter of surprise, and it would be superfluous to doubt that they were recounted in good faith, and with a full belief in their reality. In these enthusiasts we shall find striking examples of one of the morbid forces of human nature; yet in candor let us do honor to what was genuine in them, — that principle of self-abnegation which is the life of true religion, and which is vital no less to the highest forms of heroism.
Brébeuf, when they were together in the Neutral country. See also the long notice of Brelieuf, written by his colleague, Ragueneau, in the Relation of 1849; and Tanner, Societas Jesu Militans, 533.
Dssossane.— The New Chapel. — A Triumph Op The Faith.— The Nether Powers. — Signs Of A Tempest. — Slanders.— Rage Against The Jesuits. — Their Boldness And PersistEncy.— Nocturnal Council. — Danger Op The Priests.— Brebeuf's Letter. - Narrow Escapes. — Woes And ConsolaTions. The town of Ossossane", or Rochelle, stood, as we have seen, on the borders of Lake Huron, at the skirts of a gloomy wilderness of pine. Thither, in May, 1637, repaired Father Pijart, to found, in this, one of the largest of the Huron towns, the new mission of the Immaculate Conception.1 The Indians had promised Bre"beuf to build a house for the blackrobes, and Pijart found the work in progress. There were at this time about fifty dwellings in the town, each containing eight or ten families. The quadrangular fort already alluded to had now been completed by the Indians, under the instruction of the priests.2 1 The doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin, recently sanctioned by the Pope, has long been a favorite tenet of the Jesuits.
2 Lettres de Garnier, MSS. It was of upright pickets, ten feet high, with flanking towers at two angles.
THE NEW CHAPEL. 201 The new mission-house was about seventy feet in length. No sooner had the savage workmen secured the bark covering on its top and sides than the priests took possession, and began their preparations for a notable ceremony. At the farther end they made an altar, and hung such decorations as they had on the rough walls of bark throughout half the length of the structure. This formed their chapel. On the altar was a crucifix, with vessels and ornaments of shining metal; while above hung several pictures, — among them a painting of Christ, and another of the Virgin, both of life-size. There was also a representation of the Last Judgment, wherein dragons and serpents might be seen feasting on the entrails of the wicked, while demons scourged them into the flames of Hell. The entrance was adorned with a quantity of tinsel, together with green boughs skilfully disposed.1 Never before were such splendors seen in the land of the Hurons. Crowds gathered from afar, and gazed in awe and admiration at the marvels of the sanctuary. A woman came from a distant town to behold it, and, tremulous between curiosity and fear, thrust her head into the mysterious recess, declaring that she would see it, though the look should cost her life.2 1 "Nostrc Chapclle cstoit cxtraordinairement bien ornee, . . . nous anions dressé vn portique entortillé de feiiillage, mesle d'oripeau, en vn mot nous anions estalle tout cc que vostre R. nous a enuoié de beau," etc., etc. — Le Mercier, Relation des Hurons, 1037, 17'), 170. In his Relation of the next year he recurs to the subject, and describes the pictures displayed on this memorable occasion — Relation des Hurons, 1038, 33.
2 Ibid., 1037.170.