« НазадПродовжити »
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1837,
BY GEORGE ROGERS,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
NOTE TO THE READER.
MORE than a year elapsed from the time this work was commenced until it was completed; during which the author performed some seven or eight thousand miles of travel, by steamboat, and stages, and on horseback, besides delivering some two or three hundred discourses. It was amidst these employments—in addition to those arising from the charge of a family—that these pages were composed, and that (the reader is assured) without the slightest aid from any kindred publication. With the candid, these facts will form a reasonable apology for some of its defects, of style, or argument, or consistency, from which it will by no means be pretended that it is free.
In saying that he derived no aid from kindred publications, the author would not be understood as setting up a claim to entire originality for his production ; on the contrary, he is full well aware, that on so beaten a theme it is impossible to write so lengthily, without occasionally repeating what others have previously advanced. His purpose, however, was to avoid this as far as practicable, and to add something to the common stock of Universalist literature; something, too, which by its mildness and candor should be adapted to commend our doctrines to the popular notice and approval. How far he has succeeded in this, is left to the reader's decision.
CINCINNATI, Nov. 8th, 1898,
THE PENNSYLVANIA VALLEY:
Showing the influence of certain religious doctrines on individual and social life.
CHAPTER I. Conceive, reader, if you please, a deep and quiet valley, of about five miles in length from the points whence it takes its particular designation, and a mile and a half in medial breadth ; the hills, by which on both sides it is hemmed in, may be some two or three hundred feet in altitude, and are very precipitous, varying indeed but a little from perpendicularity; from their bases to their summits they are covered with a thick natural growth of hemlock-fir-trees, intermingled with stunted hazels and sumachs, save that here and there may be seen a soft spot which has been cleared by the axe of the settler : and how picturesque is the effect of those spots ! they occur mostly in the occasional curvatures and indentations by which Nature, with her usual taste, has varied the monotony of these mountainous ridges; or in the defiles which the rivulets from the interior have scooped out in their journeyings towards the ocean.
I will suppose you standing on one of these acclivities, especially the one on the eastern side, for there the advantage of survey is greatest, and the eye from thence can take in an extent of prospect only bounded by its reach of vision. What a scene of loveliness you now have before you ! it is but little rivalled, if at all, by the far-famed and classic Wyoming. A wide reach of fertile bottom land under excellent cultivation stretches for more than a mile in your front, and for miles on either hand; it varies in its shades of green according to the diversified products with which it is teeming; the rich and extensive pasture grounds are mottled with cattle, and sheep, and lambs, which are feeding very contentedly, apparently conscions that their "lines are fallen to them in pleasant places." The trees which have been spared by the inhabitants for