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It was a rich and gorgeous sunset an American sunset; and the ruddy glow of the sky was reflected from some extensive pools of water among the shadowy copses in the meadow below.
Not a breath of air stirred over the free and open prairie; the clouds were like light piles of cotton; and where the blue sky was visible, it wore a hazy and languid aspect.
Four men are missing; R., Sorel and two emigrants. They set out this morning after buffalo, and have not yet made their appearance; whether killed or lost, we cannot tell.
Here society is reduced to its original elements, the whole fabric of art and conventionality is struck rudely to pieces, and men find themselves suddenly brought back to the wants and resources of their original natures.
Riding in advance, we passed over one of these great plains; we looked back and saw the line of scattered horsemen stretching for a mile or more; and far in the rear against the horizon, the white wagons creeping slowly along.
The great medley of Oregon and California emigrants, at their camps around Independence, had heard reports that several additional parties were on the point of setting out from St. Joseph's farther to the northward.
The reader need not be told that John Bull never leaves home without encumbering himself with the greatest possible load of luggage. Our companions were no exception to the rule.
A military road led from this point to Fort Leavenworth, and for many miles the farms and cabins of the Delawares were scattered at short intervals on either hand.
Many of the Iroquois and Huron houses were of similar construction, the partitions being at the sides only, leaving a wide passage down the middle of the house.
We were in all four men with eight animals; for besides the spare horses led by Shaw and myself, an additional mule was driven along with us as a reserve in case of accident.
We were now, as I before mentioned, upon this St. Joseph's trail. It was evident, by the traces, that large parties were a few days in advance of us; and as we too supposed them to be Mormons, we had some apprehension of interruption.
If thou desire the love of God and man, be humble, for the proud heart, as it loves none but itself, is beloved of none but itself. Humility enforces where neither virtue, nor strength, nor reason can prevail.
Fear nothing but what thy industry may prevent; be confident of nothing but what fortune cannot defeat; it is no less folly to fear what is impossible to be avoided than to be secure when there is a possibility to be deprived.
Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms, considering the language and thought forms of that setting.
Doctrinal rightness and rightness of ecclesiastical position are important, but only as a starting point to go on into a living relationship and not as ends in themselves.
For a believer, Christian faith is true to the human heart, not in the sense that any old thing we fancy believing in will become conveniently true but because the complicated truth about our hearts, as we struggle to perceive it, tells us what we are and where we are, and consequently what we need.