Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 440 pages of information about Ragnarok .

The angels of God were at first overwhelmed by this shower of missiles and cast down; but they soon rallied: 

     “From their foundations, loos’ning to and fro,
     They plucked the seated hills, with all their load,
     Rocks, waters, woods, and by their shaggy tops
     Uplifted bore them in their hands.”

The rebels seized the hills also: 

So hills amid the air encountered hills,
Hurled to and fro with jaculation. dire.

. . . .  And now all heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread,”

had not the Almighty sent out his Son, the Messiah, to help his sorely struggling angels.  The evil ones are overthrown, overwhelmed, driven to the edge of heaven: 

             “The monstrous sight
     Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
     Urged them behind; headlong themselves they threw
     Down from the verge of heav’n; eternal wrath
     Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. . . .{p. 250}
     Nine days they fell:  confounded Chaos roared
     And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
     Through his wide anarchy, so huge a rout
     Encumbered him with ruin.”

Thus down into our own times and literature has penetrated a vivid picture of this world-old battle.  We see, as in the legends, the temporary triumph of the dragon; we see the imperiled sun obscured; we see the flying rocks filling the appalled air and covering all things with ruin; we see the dragon at last slain, and falling clown to hell and chaos; while the sun returns, and God and order reign once more supreme.

And thus, again, Milton paints the chaos that precedes restoration: 

     On heav’nly ground they stood; and from the shores
     They viewed the vast immeasurable abyss,
     Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
     Up from the bottom, turned by furious winds
     And surging waves, as mountains to assault
     Heav’n’s height, and with the center mix the poles.”

But order, peace, love, and goodness follow this dark, wild age of cold and wet and chaos:—­the Night is slain, and the sun of God’s mercy shines once more on its appointed track in the heavens.

But never again, they feel, shall the world go back to the completely glorious conditions of the Tertiary Age, the golden age of the Eden-land.  The comet has “brought death into the world, and all our woe.”  Mankind has sustained its great, its irreparable “Fall.”

This is the event that lies, with mighty meanings, at the base of all our theologies.

{p. 251}



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Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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