Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Peter Cartwright- Backwoods Preacher (4)

A Character story about creativity.

Peter Cartwright tells of two rather humorous ways the Lord brought people to salvation through his ministry. The first took place early in his ministry as he was trying to get home.
"When I came to the first (inn), my money was out. What to do I did not know, but I rode up and asked for quarters. I told the landlord I had no money; had been three years from home, and was trying to get back to my father's. I also told him I had a little old watch, and a few good books in my saddle-bags, and I would compensate him in some way. He bade me alight and be easy.
On inquiry I found this family had lived here from an early day, totally destitute of the Gospel and all religious privileges. There were three rooms in this habitation. The kitchen was separated from the other lower rooms by a thin, plank partition, set up on end; and the planks had shrunk and left considerable cracks between them.
When we were about to retire to bed, I asked the landlord if he had any objection to our praying before we laid down. He said, 'None at all,' and stepped into the kitchen, as I supposed, to bring in the family. He quickly returned with a candle in his hand, and said, 'Follow me.' I followed into the back bedroom. Whereupon he set down the candle, and bade me good-night, saying, 'There, you can pray as much as you please.'
I stood, and felt foolish. He had completely ousted me; but it immediately occurred to me that I would kneel down and pray with a full and open voice; so down I knelt, and commenced praying audibly. I soon found, from the commotion created in the kitchen, that they were taken by surprise as much as I had been. I distinctly heard the landlady say, 'He is crazy, and will kill us all this night. Go, husband, and see what is the matter.' When I ceased praying he came in, and asked me what was the cause of my acting in this strange way. I replied, 'Sir, did you not give me the privilege to pray as much as I please?' 'Yes,' said he, 'but I did not expect you would pray out.' I told him I wanted the family to hear prayer, and as he had deprived me of that privilege, I knew of no better way to accomplish my object than to do as I had done, and I hoped he would not be offended.
I found he thought me deranged, but we fell into a free conversation on the subject of religion, and, I think I fully satisfied him that I was not beside myself, but spoke forth the words of truth with soberness. Next morning I rose early, and (the landlord) insisted that I should not leave till after breakfast. I yielded, but he would not have any thing for my fare, and urged me to call on him if ever I traveled that way again. I will just say here, that in less than six months I called on this landlord, and he and his lady were happily converted, dating their conviction from the extraordinary circumstances of the memorable night I spent with them."
The second story took place many years later. As he rode along, Peter approached a uncovered wagon in which were two young men and a young lady. "As I drew near them, they began to sing one of our camp meeting songs, and they appeared to sing with great animation. Presently the young lady began to shout, and said, 'Glory to God! Glory to God' and the driver cried out, 'Amen! another sinner's down! Glory to God.' My first impressions were, that they had been across the Sangamon river to a camp meeting and had obtained religion, and were happy. But as I neared the wagon, I saw some glances of their eyes at each other, and at me, and the thought occurred to me that they suspected or knew me to be a preacher, and that they were carrying on in this way to make a mock of sacred things, and to fool me. A rush of indignant feeling came all over me, and I thought I would ride up and horsewhip both of these young men; and if the woman had not been in company, I think I should have done so; but I forbore. It seemed to me that I was delivered over to be tormented by the devil and his imps. Just at this moment I thought of a desperate mud-hole about a quarter of a mile ahead; it was a long one, and dreadful deep mud. Near the center of this mud-hole there was a place of mud deeper than any where else. On the right stood a stump about two feet high; all the teams had to be driven as close to the stump as possible to avoid a deep rut on the left, where many wagons had stuck; I knew there was a small bridle way that wound round through the brush to avoid the mud, and it occurred to me that when we came near this muddy place I would take the bridle way, and put my horse at the top of his speed, and by this means get away from these wretched tormentors, as I knew they could not go fast through this long reach of mud. When we came to the commencement of the mud I took the bridle path, and put spurs and whip to my horse. Seeing I was rapidly leaving them in the rear, the driver cracked his whip, and put his horses at almost full speed, and such was their anxiety to keep up with me, to carry out their sport, that when they came to this bad place they never saw the stump on the right. The fore wheel of the wagon struck centrally on the stump, and as the wheel mounted the stump, over went the wagon. Fearing it would turn entirely over and catch them under, the two young men took a leap into the mud, and when they lighted they sunk up to the middle. The young lady was dressed in white, and as the wagon went over, she sprang as far as she could, and lighted on all-fours; her hands sunk into the mud up to her armpits, her mouth and whole of her face immersed in the muddy water, and she certainly would have strangled if the young men had not relieved her. As they helped her up and out, I had wheeled my horse to see the fun. I rode up to the edge of the mud, stopped my horse, reared in my stirrups, and shouted at the top of my voice, 'Glory to God! Glory to God! halleluiah! another sinner's down! glory to God!' When I became tired of shouting over them, I said to them, 'Now you poor, dirty, mean sinners, take this as a just judgment of God upon you for your meanness, and repent of your dreadful wickedness; and let this be the last time that you attempt to insult a preacher for the next time God will serve you worse, and the devil will get you.' They felt so badly that they never uttered one word of reply. Now I was very glad that I did not horsewhip them, as I felt like doing; but that God had avenged his own cause, and defended his own honor without my doing it with carnal weapons; and I may here be permitted to say, at one of these prosperous camp meetings, I had the great pleasure to see all three of these young people converted to God."