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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/354

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

an acquisition. Between reason and religion lies a domain of common ground upon which both may meet and join hands, but beyond the boundaries of which neither may pass. The moment the intellect attempts to penetrate the domain of the supernatural, all intellectuality vanishes, and emotion and imagination till its place. There can be no real conflict between the two, for neither, by any possibility, can pass this neutral ground. Before the mind can receive Christianity, Mohammedanism, or any other creed, it must be ready to accept dogmas in the analysis of which human reason is powerless. Among the most brilliant intellects are found Protestants, Romanists, Unitarians, deists, and atheists; judging from the experiences of mankind in ages past, creeds and formulas, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, have no inherent power to advance or retard the intellect. Some claim, indeed, that strong doctrinal bias stifles thought, fosters superstition, and fetters the intellect; still, religious thought, in some form, is inseparable from the human mind, and it would be very difficult to prove that belief is more debasing than non-belief.

 

THUNDER-SHOWERS.
By J. W. PHELPS.

THE thunder-shower of Southeastern Vermont generally comes from the southwest. To understand why it should take this course instead of any other, we must examine the topographical character of the country.

The chain of Green Mountains extends throughout the State from south to north, inclining some degrees to the east of north. It presents a barrier to the prevailing general current of southwest wind, and in summer condenses the vapor which that wind bears, thus forming piles of cumulus cloud over the higher summits, or most wooded districts. The deeper ravines, or river-beds, on the eastern slopes of the mountains, run to the southeast, and open out on the wider valley of the Connecticut River.

In order to convey a more definite idea of our theory, we will choose a certain locality which may serve the purpose of a diagram to our demonstration; and this locality shall be the region of West River, This river takes its rise among the forests near the summit of the Green Mountains, at a height of some 2,000 feet above the level of the sea, and, flowing southeasterly forty or fifty miles, empties into the Connecticut River about ten miles from the southern boundary of the State.

During a hot summer day the sides of the deep valley of this river reek with intense heat, and cause a flow of moist air upward toward