Page images
PDF
EPUB

COMETS.

PSALM xix. 4.

" Their line is gone out through all the earth, and

their words to the end of the world.”

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]
[merged small][ocr errors]

COMETS.

PSALM xix. 4.

" Their line is gone out through all the earth, and

their words to the end of the world."

THERE is a certain conventional law of proprieties which cannot be broken without giving rise to restlessness, or feeling of discomfort. Suppose a perfect stranger, from another clime, from a distant country, should suddenly present himself in our midst, as we were leisurely pursuing the course of our ordinary occupations. We should, one and all, instinctively turn and gaze upon him. His complexion ; his manner and gait; his every movement; his odd apparel, robed and draped as he would be in the dress of his native land; all would excite our curiosity, and move us with wonder. But not only this; we should experience a measure of restlessness, and a feeling of discomfort, from being in the presence of one so unlike ourselves; and it would be some time, perhaps, before we should have the boldness to question him about whence he came, and what was his mission.

We have been visited by such a stranger, and every eye has turned to look upon him. A few descried him in the distance, and told the many of his coming. A month to day when I saw him first, and Oh ! how has he travelled since then ! small in the distance, his contour was well defined, but as he hastened across the mighty plains, where his path was marked, and he came nearer and nearer to this little cottage in which we live, our astonishment was ever on the increase, until it well nigh turned to ecstasy. We actually forgot our fears. The Sun, king of Day, would not allow him to appear in his dominions ; but the Moon, queen of Night, invited him to her's; and, when this mysterious stranger had robed him in his best, she retired for awhile, to make his passage more marked and glorious. Oh, you all saw him, with his train of silver tissue, move majestically, in grand solemnity of silence, on the causeway of heaven. He will soon leave us, and never shall we see him again; for, if we must give credence to what we are told concerning him, hundreds of years will pass away before he has gone the round of his mighty journey. Perhaps he is one of the watchmen of the skies; one of that patrol which keep watch and ward around the camp'of the Lord of Hosts.

Science is at a loss concerning comets. We have very little knowledge of their nature, or offices. They move in strange and eccentric orbits. They burst upon us suddenly, and as suddenly disappear. Whether

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

they affect us at all, or to what extent they affect us, is matter of debate. Sure, however, we are, that in former times, if not now, they have caused restlessness, and a feeling of discomfort amongst multitudes of people. Superstition, Guilt, and Ignorance are easily scared; one might almost suppose they were ever on the look out for ministers of Justice, and a stranger in the skies might make them tremble dreadfully. The Almighty Creator of the universe has assigned duties to His servants the comets, although we know not, as yet, what those duties are.

What a marvellous scene is presented to us on a starlight night. Suppose there were no other worlds than this, and the sun, and the moon. What an awful blank there would be! As it is, perhaps nothing is so calculated to enlarge the mind, to excite the soul, as the mighty galaxy of the night-heavens; and when, now and then, a stranger sweeps across the view, as if in quest of someone or something; or, as if to guide us to God, as the star guided the Magi to Bethlehem, our interest is quickened. They look like pages moving from one room to another of the palace of the Almighty.

The writers of scripture were affected much by celestial scenery, and they borrowed many an image from the sun, moon, and stars. These heavenly bodies were made to symbolize earthly powers; and a bright tissue of thought, derived from the starry skies, is sometimes woofed into the raiment of truth, which is kept in the wardrobe of Revelation.

« PreviousContinue »