covered with burns and bruises from the falling débris of the comet, surrounded by his trembling fellow-refugees, while chaos rules without and hope has fled the earth, we hear Job, bold, defiant, unshrinking, pouring forth the protest of the human heart against the cruelty of nature; appealing from God’s awful deed to the sense of God’s eternal justice.
We go out and look at the gravel-heap—worn, rounded, ancient, but silent,—the stones lie before us. They have no voice. We turn to this volume, and here is their voice, here is their story; here we have the very thoughts men thought-men like ourselves, but sorely tried—when that gravel was falling upon a desolated world.
And all this buried, unrecognized, in the sacred book of a race and a religion.
GENESIS READ BY THE LIGHT OF THE COMET.
AND now, gathering into our hands all the light afforded by the foregoing facts and legends, let us address ourselves to this question: How far can the opening chapters of the book of Genesis be interpreted to conform to the theory of the contact of a comet with the earth in the Drift Age?
It may appear to some of my readers irreverent to place any new meaning on any part of the sacred volume, and especially to attempt to transpose the position of any of its parts. For this feeling I have the highest respect.
I do not think it is necessary, for the triumph of truth, that it should lacerate the feelings even of the humblest. It should come, like Quetzalcoatl, advancing with shining, smiling face, its hands full of fruits and flowers, bringing only blessings and kindliness to the multitude; and should that multitude, for a time, drive the prophet away, beyond the seas, with curses, be assured they will eventually return to set up his altars.
He who follows the gigantic Mississippi upward from the Gulf of Mexico to its head-waters on the high plateau of Minnesota, will not scorn even the tiniest rivulet among the grass which helps to create its first fountain. So he who considers the vastness for good of this great force, Christianity, which pervades the world down the long course of so many ages, aiding, relieving, encouraging, cheering, purifying, sanctifying humanity, can not afford
to ridicule even these the petty fountains, the head-waters, the first springs from which it starts on its world-covering and age-traversing course.
If we will but remember the endless array of asylums, hospitals, and orphanages; the houses for the poor, the sick, the young, the old, the unfortunate, the helpless, and the sinful, with which Christianity has literally sprinkled the world; when we remember the uncountable millions whom its ministrations have restrained from bestiality, and have directed to purer lives and holier deaths, he indeed is not to be envied who can find it in his heart, with malice-aforethought, to mock or ridicule it.