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lost in the light of day. The meteors did not fly at random over all parts of the sky, but appeared to emanate from a point in the constellation Leo, near a star called Gamma Leonis, in the bend of the sickle.
“A similar phenomenon was witnessed on the 12th of Nov., 1799, and at the same season of the year in 1830, 1831, and 1832. The meteoric shower was repeated on the morning of Nov. 13th or 14th, for several years, but on a scale constantly diminishing until 1838, since which period the exhibitions have been too little remarkable to be worthy of particular notice.
I feel assured that this is no atmospheric or terrestrial phenomenon, but that these fiery meteors come to us from the regions of space, and reveal to us the existence of worlds of a nebulous or cometary nature, existing in the solar system, and forming constituent parts of that system. Nor are these conclusions built on mere hypothesis, but are necessary inferences from certain facts.
“Those who were so fortunate as to witness the exhibition of shooting stars on the morning of Nov. 13th, 1833, probably saw the GREATEST DISPLAY of celestial fire-works that has ever been seen since the creation of the world, or at least within the annals covered by the pages of history.”
"This is no longer to be regarded as a terrestrial, but as a celestial phenomenon; and shooting stars are now to be no more viewed as casual productions of the upper regions of the atmosphere, but as visitants from OTHER WORLDS, or from the planetary voids."
“ Subsequent inquiries have led me to the belief, that the body was so distant as hardly to exhibit any apparent parallax, but was projected on very nearly the same part of the sky by all observers. This fact at once shows that the source of the meteors was far beyond the atmosphere, and confirms the preceding conclusion that it was wholly independent of the earth.”
That this shower of falling stars was just such a display as ancient writers expected to witness, in the fulfilment of this prophecy, is proved by the following quotation from Thomas Burnet's 6 Theory of the Earth," printed in London, A. D. 1697. Speaking of the signs which will precede the coming of Christ, he quotes Matt. xxiv. 29, and after speaking of the darkening of the sun and moon, he says, “the last sign we shall take notice of, is that of the falling stars. And the stars shall fall from heaven,' says our Savior.” He then shows that the fixed stars can never fall, neither the planets, and that the only stars which will ever fall, will be meteoric, or shooting stars, and adds, “ No doubt there will be all sorts of fiery meteors at that time; and amongst others those called falling stars, which, though they are not considerable, singly, yet if they were multi
plied in great numbers, falling, as the prophet says, as leaves from the vine, or figs from the fig-tree, they would make an astonishing sight." He says that we need not look upon these things as hyperbolical and poetic strains, but as barefaced prophecies, and things that will literally come to pass ;” and that 6 we are not to recede from the literal sense without necessity, or where the nature of the subject will admit of a literal interpretation."
If it be objected that meteors are not stars, I ask whether the objector thinks that the star which went before the wise men of the east to the place where the infant Savior lay, was a fixed star? Or does he think that when the stars fall from heaven to the earth, as the fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when shaken of a mighty wind,” (Rev. vi.,) they will be those fixed stars; one of which would drown our globe in a sea of fire? If not, they must be just what we have witnessed; and the text has been filfilled.
Thus the question, "What shall be the sign of thy coming ?” is answered, and when those events are witnessed, is seen the sign of the Son of man in heaven.
The wonderful appearances in the heavens are spoken of in many places in the prophecies, as signs of the last days. One of the most remarkable predictions of the kind, is found in Joel ii. 30, 31 : “And I will show
wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
This and similar predictions have been strikingly fulfilled, in the astonishing displays of the AURORA BOREALIS of these last day's.
Prof. Olmsted says of such displays in the heavens, that " The present generation may consider itself privileged in having witnessed grander displays of fiery meteors, than are to be found recorded on the pages of history." “In displays of the Aurora Borealis, also, we have been similarly favored. Such visitations of this spectacle, as we have enjoyed since Aug., 1827, to the present time, are by no means of constant occurrence.”
The Aurora Borealis seems to be of modern origin. The Rev. Henry Jones, of New York city, says:
“There appears to be no real ancient history of these phenomena, or none anciently written and published, recording their previous existence. For several years, I have sought at the most probable places, and of the supposed most probable individuals, for some such history which was ancient, and especially in a book which was itself ancient; but have not yet been able to find one of the character. And why not, if these phenomena have been on record in all ages? As soon
as they have been seen in modern times, they are found in history! And why not before, if they had been witnessed ?
“There are, to be sure, many apparent authentic histories of the wonderful appearance of these lights in London, March, 1716, and for aught I know, as Dr. Halley and others say, they may have been seen in some places still farther back, yet the book printed farther back, which speaks of them, is not found. A large “ Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,” in one volume, published about eighty years ago, which gives a full account of these phenomena, records their first occurrence at London, March, 1716, as above, and states that the oldest inhabitants there, bad not previously seen or heard of them. The author of the Dictionary concludes his account, by giving a long list of the writings he had found on the subject, the oldest of which was a magazine in London, for 1716, and the next were files of the same magazine for ten years following, with other works afterwards written. If these things were so, could the Northern Lights have been common in all ages ? Certainly not.
"After all that can be said against the modern origin of these wonders,' &c., as 'great signs of the Lord's now near coming to judgment, we have his own immutable testimony, that they are not the common events even of the first ages, but that they are rather wonders of the last days,' and