THE effect of mountain scenery upon the mind and heart of man has often been observed, and frequently commented upon, yet no one can fully understand this effect until he has himself experienced it. The quiet beauty of the gentle foot-hills,, the awful grandeur of towering cliffs, and the deep solitude of rugged valleys and winding glens, sink into the soul so silently, and yet with such irresistible certainty, that hard indeed must be the heart that does not respond to their influence, and feel hushed by the presence of the Eternal One.

In the month of December, near the close of 1882, it was my good fortune to spend a few days in South Amherst, Mass., near the foot of the mount Holyoke range. One morning at five, as was my custom, I sallied forth for an early walk.

At once my eyes were attracted by the tall peaks and dark sides of the mountain. Almost unconsciously my steps turned in that direction, and so strong was the impulse that prompted me, and so intently was my mind fixed on the grand object of my contemplation, that before I was aware of any purpose, I had neared the foot of the mountain, and was following up a sled-road which the neighboring farmers had made in bringing their winter's fuel from the forests above.

The snow was crisp under my feet, and the air was so sharp and cold that my beard was soon a mass of frost-work. The road led up the mountain by the side of a dashing brook, whose waters were so warm and fresh from the depths of the hills, that the frost had not yet been able to cool and tame them, and a line of snowy vapor marked the course of the ardent stream.

The moon, large and clear, flooded forest and field, valley and cliff, with that peculiarly soft, copious, and bewitching light which is seldom seen more than once or twice in the year.

The pure white snow, with shining crust and glistening crystals, was too beautiful for description and on its fair surface the scattering trees of the lower slopes cast their phantom shadows in a tracery so delicate and graceful that no artist's pencil could imitate it.

They threw their arms across my path; and as I trod upon their unresisting forms, I felt as if I were moving in a land of spirits.

The stillness was profound, except as it was broken by the gurgling of the brook, or the creaking of the snow as I trod upon it. Beyond was the deep forest, thickly set with dark ever-greens, and ever rising higher and higher as I advanced ; while far up to the right frowned the rugged brow of the mountain.

Such a picture of mingled beauty, solitude, and grandeur, I never beheld until then. The effect upon my feelings it is impossible to describe. I seemed' to be in another world.

The presence of the Infinite appeared to rest on everything. The thought struck me: "I am among the hills of God."

The winding road often presented new views, ever varying, ever delightful and sublime. As I entered the deeper forest, and wound this way and that, continually going up, up, up, and constantly overshadowed by the long branches, I felt shut out from all I had ever seen or known before. The exertion seemed to exhilarate rather than weary me, and my step grew constantly more elastic. So transported was I, that the vigor of perpetual youth seemed to be upon me.

Finally, to my surprise, I found myself almost face to face with the towering granite cliff which from the plain below had seemed utterly unapproachable. The brook was lost to sight, but in the deep, narrow cut just at the foot of the cliff, I could hear it faintly muttering under heavy banks of snow. Here, beneath " the murmuring pines and the hemlocks," I knelt upon the snowy carpet, and poured out my heart to God in praise and adoration. What an insignificant creature I seemed to be ! The greatness of God never was so apparent. A sense of his wisdom, his majesty, and power rested upon me.

Here I remained, lost in revery, till the broad, red sun gave the cliff a crown of glory, and clothed with fire the evergreen spires, as they rose in ever-descending succession, far, far below me, to the beautiful plain beyond; while on a commanding elevation were distinctly seen the towers and domes of Amherst College, peering above the grove that surrounds them.