Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

tions, in such a way as to give no entered a beautiful and interesting particular direction to bis answers, valley called “ Creek Valley," and found his ideas of the country where the land is said to be as good and people were very similar to my as in almost any part of the United own. To a question whether he States. On each side of the road found the Americans more or less were fine large fields, in a high state civil than the Englisb, he replied, of cultivation. One of the pas“ I think they are more accommo- sengers, well acquainted with the dating and friendly, and more ready neighbourhood, mentioned to me to oblige either a stranger or one the value of the several estates as another ;-but, to be sure, they have we passed. The first, rather more always been in the babit of helping than three hundred acres in extent, a neighbour, and have never known with a house, and large and extenthe depravity like of a condition sive barns and stabling, which towhich made them obliged to look to gether cost erecting about 10,000 themselves. I was surprized to see dollars, was sold iwo years since them so friendly to every body.at 260 dollars per acre. It would,

He quite agreed with me that even now, bring 200, the fatal labourers, generally speaking, havé effects of the paper system having no reasonable prospect of improv- been almost entirely averted from jog their condition, however un- this district, either by the prucomfortable, by coming hither,-I dence of the Bank Directors, or, mean to the Atlantic States: in the what is more likely, the inveterate Western country industry and self- habits of the German farmers, denial will force their way. Very which did not readily become resuperior merit, or singular good conciled to a flimsy substitute for fortune, may still raise some to gold. The next farm consisted independence; but five out of ten of twenty-five acres, with a new may wander about for weeks, or brick house, and a decent frame months, in the agricultural districts barn, which together would cost of Pennsylvania, without finding erecting, my informant thought, regular employment, or the means more than 4000 dollars. A gentleof supporting themselves by their man, whom he pointed out to me, labour. One of our passengers, a had just offered 7000 dollars for respectable looking man, said that the whole, wbich were refused. a friend of his had been applied to The next farm was one of a buriby a good labourer of character, dred and fifty acres, without buildwhom he had long known, offering ings, but in high cultivation, oneto work till the Spring for his food, fitih woodland. It had been sold which offer was declined. In the the preceding week at 140 dollars neighbourhood of Philadelphia, I per acre. In this well settled counheard of many instances of less try, woodland is dearer than clearskilful labourers making similar ap- ed land. The next was a large plications in vain.

estate, which a German had just About 3 o'clock we stopped to sold to his sons at 105 dollars per dine at York,'a town not unlike acre, that they might give their Loughborough at a distance. We sisters as a marriage portion their were not expected; and though equal share, as is usual with them. there were only two passengers who The sons in law thought the sale dined, the landlord made many too low. Allibese estates are apologies for producing only a beef- within fifty-five miles of Baltimore, sieak, veal cutlet, and tart, instead which the farmers consider their of the turkey, ham, and two or market, and speak of as very near. three joints of meat usually set on Ten miles from York we passed the table, even for a small party: the beautiful and classical Susque Immediately on leaving York, wé banna, on a fine bridge, a mile and a quarter broad; but the night which give one the idea of being in was closing in, and the clouds, the vicinity of educated, or well which obscured the moon, prevent- bred society. One, between thirty ed our seeing the scenery of this and forty miles from Philadelphia, noble river distinctly. We had exhibited traces of taste and elebeen frequently gratified during gance in the front of the house and the day by the view of a distinct garden : the out-buildings seemed chain of the Blue Mountains in the complete and extensive. My comhorizon. We reached Lancaster, panion said, the whole of the builda fine old town, (all things are by ings might cost, with the house comparison,) at nine o'clock, have furnished, 7,000 dollars; and one ing been eighteen hours in complet- hundred acres of land, in high culing the seventy miles from Balti- tivation, in the viciuity, 5000 dolmore. We left Lancaster at four lars more. Now, I think, with good o'clock the next morning, and pro- management on the farm, a family ceeded in the dark fourteen miles might live comfortably with 18,000 to breakfast.. To my great morti- dollars in addition ; not with less fication, it was so cloudy and misty than that sum, nor with so little, during a great part of the day, if there were boarding school exthat my view was circumscribed. penses to pay, or any charges, exWe still continued, however, to see cept those strictly domestic. Now, handsome barns, substantial houses, let us suppose that Mr. Birkbeck. and beautifully cultivated fields. had settled there :-his family, exFrom the tinie we left Lancaster, cept as regards society, would we were on the great Pittsburgh scarcely have been conscious that road, which leads us to Philadel- they were transplanted: he would phia, through the “ Great Valley,” have felt at home in a cultivated as it is called: the land is for the country, instead of a novice in the most part excellent, yielding from prairies, and his agricultural skill twenty-five to thirty bushels of might have been profitably exerted wheat, and thirty to forty of Indian in a congenial sphere : 30,000 dolcorn to the acre. The farmers in lars, out of the 35,000 which he is the county of Lancaster, unlike said to bave brought with him, would those of York, are, I was told, have been disposed of in a form at deeply in debt; the treacherous least as convertible as at present. paper system baving been incau- I much doubt whether his whole tiously admitted.

2 P 2

property at the end of ten years, The country through which we including the 5000 dollars left to passed during the day's ride, as accumulate with compound intefar as we could see on each side of rest, would not have been of more the road, (the fog contracting our value than it will now prove, and view within narrow limits,) might bave commanded as many cultivatbe compared with the richest part ed and uncleared acres in Illinois, of England, reminding me some- as he will possess at the expiration times of Craven-sometimes of of that period. If he should not Warwickshire--sometimes of Glou- be benefited, or be only partiallyso, cestersbire. The best houses and by the remissions of price proposed barns are of stone, the largest being by the Government to be afforded generally taverns; and the build- to purchasers of public lands ings on the farms (which are from (which will depend on the state of two to three or five hundred acres bis instalmenis,) or if bis settlein extent) are perhaps from 4,000 ment continue unpopular, he may to 20,000 dollars in value. There actually lose by his lands, the were few, (till we reached Phila- reduction from one and a quar. delphia scarcely any,) that could ter to iwo dollars by the Go: be called gentlemen's houses, or vernment for vacant lands of course reducing the value of those favourable representations which I he has entered. This, however, is made, in a letter from Boston last a speculation for which I have no autumn, with respect to opportusufficient data ; but I was led to nities of public worship, and the think a little on the subject on pass- prevalence of evangelical preaching these fine Pennsylvanian farms. ing, as applicable to all the princi. It appears to me that the “ aliquid pal towns and cities from Portland immensum infinitumque,” which to Savannah. played round the youthful imagina- But churches are not religion; tion of Cicero, and conducted that nor are the ministrations of a pastor celebrated orator into regions of an unerring criterion of the piety truth and beauty, had taken posses- of his hearers. In a country, howsion of the mind of Mr. Birkbeck, ever, in which contributions to and led him, less courteously, into places of public worship are for the prairies of Illinois, where I the most part voluntary, a liberal have no doubt it has long since va. dissemination of sacred edifices is nisbed, like an Ignis fatuus, leaving a very favourable symptom; while the agriculturalist not a little morti- the number of faithful ministers, and fied at baving been beguiled by an the frequent occurrence of large insidious phantom, which beckoned congregations listening attentively him to fame and fortune in the to unwelcome truths from pastors Western wilds.

appointed by their own election We reached Philadelphia, 60 and dependent on them for sup. miles from Lancaster, at four o'clock port, afford something more than a in the afternoon, and found our vague presumption of the existence party at the boarding-house in- of no inconsiderable degree of vital creased by the arrival of a gentle- piety in the community. man and lady and three daughters My favourable impressions were from Lexington, Kentucky, who strengthened as I proceeded, by having hastily left a comfortable noticing the attention generally estate in the vicinity of London, paid on the Atlantic coast to the had become tired of the Western external observance of the Sabbath; wilderness, and had returned to by meeting continually with Bibles, the Atlantic States, beginning to and other religious books, in the think that, to persons in their steam-boats and houses of entereasy circumstances at least, there tainment; and by witnessing the was no place like old England after efforts every where apparent for all.

the extension of Christian piety. New York, Feb. 1821. Theological institutions for the A longer residence in the princi- education of ministers, extensive, palities of the United States, and a well-endowed, and respectable, fremore intimate acquaintance with quently arrest the attention of the their inbabitants, have given me a traveller as be passes along the better opportunity than I had pre- road; while a very little interviously enjoyed, of forming the course with society convinces him estimate you request from me of that associations of a more private the present state of religion and nature, for preparing indigent morals on this side of the Atlantic. young men for missionary serYou must, however, make great vices, together with Bible Soallowance for errors in so difficult cieties, Missionary Societies, and and delicate an undertaking, and Sunday School and Tract Societies, will receive with peculiar caution, are liberally scattered. on such a subject, any general con- I felt neither disposed nor called elusions deduced from the obser- upon to deprive myself of the pleavations of an individual traveller. sure I derived from these favour. You may, however, consider the able indications, by reflecting that they were no accurate measure ofthe the institution to the piety, of its degree in which personal religion founders. It is from this establishprevails. I was quite aware that, in ment that the American Board of many cases, and especially where Missions bas drawn nearly all its there is no establishment, churches labourers. After tea we adjourned are sometimes multiplied by the to the college chapel, where relivery dissensions of a congregation; gious intelligence from various that a proportion of the active parts of the United States was effort engaged in the promotion of communicated by the students or religious objects, is often very little professors. We had then prayers, connected with Christian principle; after which we separated. It was and that respect for the form of a beautiful star-light night in au: godliness may survive its power. tumn; and while looking out of my But at the same time I felt per- window, at midnight, on this quiet suaded that, although a love of scene-where many who were iben popularity may enrol the worldly in labouring in distant regions of the the list of contributors to religious globe first felt those ardent ass societies, or engage them as public pirings after extensive future useadvocates in a sacred cause, still fulness, which prompted them to that diligent performance of the encounter the trials of a missionary routine of official duties and self- life, and where many were then denying and persevering efforts, to preparing for the same honourable which religious societies are usually enterprize--I could not but contrast indebted both for their origin and the privileges of a life thus early prosperity, imply, in most cases, and entirely dedicated to the nothe existence of a higher principle, blest cause, with tliose of the most and spring from a purer source,

successful commercial or political My subsequent experience has career, where the flame of piety, if convinced me that I was not incor- not extinguished by the very atrect in the persuasion in which I mosphere which surrounds it, is indulged myself as I passed along, exposed to a thousand blasts from that I was always in the vicinity of which the religious zeal of the missome at least who were united in sionary is sheltered by his peculiar Christian sympathy with the whole situation. church militant on earth, and were At Hartford, in Connecticut, in travelling to a better country amidst a church so richly adorned with the bopes and fears, the trials and " Christmas" (either winding round consolations, wbich chequer the lot the pillars, or hung in festoons), as and form the character, of the to appear almost like a grove, I was Christian in every quarter of the gratified by a sermon in vindication globe. Sometimes, in the course of our Liturgy; and my heart of my soule, some little incident warmed when I heard the minister would give peculiar force to this enumerate among its claims to the persuasion, or the surrounding sce- affectionate regards of the congrenery impart to it a particular in- gation, “ the opportunity wbich it terest.

afforded them of worshipping in the On my return from Canada very words in wbich sainis for centhrough Vermont and New Hamp- turies bad breatbed their devotions shire, I visited the Theological Insti- in the land of their fathers, and of tution at Andover; wbere the hand- still offering their incense in the some collegiate edifice, the spacious same censer with their brethren in grounds, the houses of the profes-" Britain, that brightest star in the sors, and the excellent ind in some firmament of the Reformation." degree attached to the establish- In the afternoon I attended the ment, bore as ample testimony to' Presbyterian chapel, where the mithe munificence, as the object of nister announced, at the close of

[ocr errors]

the service, that it was the wish of balmed the memory of the late many of the congregation that the Mr. Reynolds of Bristol. following Friday should be set At Boston I had the pleasure of apart for prayer and fasting, and an interview with the late venerable that it was expected it should be so. Dr. Worcester, the secretary of the observed by the members of the American Missionary Society, and church. I felt that I was among received much interesting intellithe descendants of the puritanic gence from the Missionary Board, exiles, (for exiles inay many of them and its excellent treasurer. There be considered rather than emi- I found an association of young grants); and I could not but men, who have set apart a portion breathe a wish that the spirit of of their income for the establish an Elijah might linger in the land ment of a missionary press at Jeruwhich still preserved these vestiges salem. There also I had the graof more devotional times.

tification of seeing Henry Martyn At Newhaven, in the same State, in an American dress, going forth after visiting Yale College, -in the in the character of a departed saint, library of which I was pleased to to advance in the West the cause in recognize, under the titles “Berke- which he himself fell so early and ley," and " The Dean's Bounty," lamented a sacrifice in the East; substantial proofs of the liberalityof to fau, in the very scenes where his our celebraied countryman, Bishop beloved though unknown Henry Berkeley, -I spent the evening Brainerd had laboured and expired, with Dr. Morse, whom I found the missionary zeal which that emiengaged in drawing up a report on nent man had kindled; and to the state of the Indians, to be sub- animate every succeeding Ameris mitted to Congress. He had been can missionary by an affecting selected by the President to travel proof, that a ray of fervent picty, among the Indians with reference ihough emanating from the soli!o this object, in consequence of tudes of an American forest, may having been long employed by a penetrate even the cloisters of society in Scotland in the promo- Cambridge, and revive a fainting tion of their benevolent designs bosom in the deserts of Persia or among some of the northern tribes. Hindostan. He has devoted a very long and

(To be continued.) very active life to the interests of literature and religion in his infant country, combining the attainments to the Editor of theChristian Observer. of a scholar with ihe apostolic zeal of a missionary, and often exchang. In reading the account in your ing domestic endearments and lite. Number for September last (which rary ease for the perils of the wil. I did not notice till a few days derness, and the privations of soli- since), of an antiquarian visit to the tary journeys in swamps and forests. Meeting-house in which the celeWhen Mr. Hall's sermon on Infi- brated Joho Bunyan used to preach delity appeared, he printed an edi- to listening muititudes in Zoar, tion at his own expense, although street, Gravel-lane, I was in very moderate circumstances, prised to find your correspondent and has since endeavoured to in- ascribing the liberation of that pertroduce among his countrymen a secuted servant of God from bis high standard of practical excel. long imprisonment in Bedford gaol, lence, by exhibiting to their view to the interposition of Dr. Barlow, that extraordinary combination of the Bishop of Lincolo. As there the lowly and the splendid virtues is clearly an error in your corof the Christian character which respondent's statement, I trust I adorned the life, and has em- shall have both bis and your thanks

sur

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »