“Stop! stop!” cried the Pulpit; and it seemed to rise higher than before, and to tremble from head to foot with excitement, and the banisters to twist as if to fly in indignation at the Pew, and the plush on the book-board to look red as fire; and seeing there was going to be a collision between Pulpit and Pew, I ran up the aisle and got between them (they were wide enough apart to allow me to get in), and I cried, “Silence! This is great talk for a church. Pulpits ought not to scold, and Pews ought not to grumble. As far as I can see, you are both to blame. Better shake hands and pray for a better spirit. It wants more than a bishop to settle this difficulty. The Lord Almighty alone can make Pulpit and Pew what they ought to be. You both need to be baptized over again!” Then, taking up a silver bowl that stood on the communion table, half full of the water yesterday used at a babe’s christening, I stood between the belligerents, and sprinkled Pew and Pulpit with a Christian baptism, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And when I got through, I could not tell whether Pew or Pulpit said Amen the louder.
The devil’s grist-mill.
The above name has been given to one of the geysers of California, that group of boiling springs, now famous. Indeed, the whole region has been baptized with Satanic nomenclature.
The guide showed us what he called the “Devil’s Mush-pot,” the “Devil’s Pulpit,” the “Devil’s Machine Shop,” and, hearing a shrill whistle in the distance, we were informed it was the “Devil’s Tea-kettle.” Seeing some black water rushing from a fountain, from which the people of the neighborhood and tourists dip up genuine ink, we were told it was the “Devil’s Ink-stand.” Indeed, you are prepared for this on the Pacific Railroad, as your guide book points you to the “Devil’s Gate,” and the “Devil’s Slide,” and the “Devil’s Peak.”
We protest against this surrender of all the geysers to the arch demon. All the writers talk of the place as infernal. We do not believe this place so near to hell as to heaven. We doubt if Satan ever comes here. He knows enough of hot climates, by experience, to fly from the hiss of these subterraneous furnaces. Standing amid the roaring, thundering, stupendous wonder of two hundred spouting water springs, we felt like crying out, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God almighty!”
Let all the chemists and geologists of the world come and see the footstep of God in crystals of alum and sulphur and salt. Here is the chemist’s shop of the continent. Enough black indelible ink rushes out of this well, with terrific plash, to supply all the scribes of the world. There are infinite fortunes for those who will delve for the borax, nitric and sulphuric acid, soda, magnesia and other valuables. Enough sulphur here to purify