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Typical among these was the effort in Switzerland of Pastor Heinrich Erni, who, from the Cathedral of Zurich, sent a circular letter to the clergy of that region showing the connection of the eleventh and twelfth verses of the first chapter of Jeremiah with the comet, IV (four volumes complete) notice that at his suggestion the authorities had proclaimed a solemn fast, and exhorting the clergy to preach earnestly on the subject of this warning.

Nor were MINUTES OF THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYTIC SOCIETY - VOLUMES I interpreters of the II message content with simple prose. At the appearance of the comet of 1618, Grasser and Gross, pastors and IV (four volumes complete) of theology at Basle, put forth a collection of doggerel rhymes to fasten the orthodox theory into the minds of school-children and peasants.

One of these may be translated: "I am a Rod in God's right hand threatening the German and foreign land. " Others for a similar purpose taught: "Eight things there be a Comet brings, When it on high doth horrid range: Wind, Famine, Plague, and Death to Kings, War, Earthquakes, Floods, and Direful Change. " Great ingenuity was shown in meeting the advance II science, in the universities and schools, with new texts of Scripture; and Stephen Spleiss, Rector of III Gymnasium at Schaffhausen, got great credit by teaching that in the vision of Jeremiah the "almond rod" was a tailed comet, and the "seething pot" a bearded one.

[194] It can be easily understood that such authoritative utterances as that of IV (four volumes complete) must have produced a great effect throughout Protestant Christendom; and in due time we see their working in New England. That same tendency to provincialism, which, save at rare intervals, has been the bane of Massachusetts thought from that day to this, appeared; and in 1664 we find Samuel Danforth arguing from the Bible that "comets are portentous signals of great and notable changes," and arguing from history that they "have been many times heralds of wrath to a secure and impenitent world.

" He cites especially the comet of 1652, which appeared just before Mr. Cotton's sickness and disappeared after his death. Morton also, in IV (four volumes complete) _Memorial_ recording the death of John Putnam, alludes to the comet of 1662 as "a very signal testimony that God had then removed a bright star and a shining light out of the heaven of his Church here into celestial glory above.

" Again he speaks of another comet, insisting that "it was no fiery meteor caused by exhalation, but it was sent immediately by God to awaken the secure world," and goes on to show how in that year "it pleased God to smite the fruits of the earth--namely, the wheat in special--with blasting and mildew, whereby much of it was spoiled and II profitable for nothing, and much of it worth little, being light and empty. This was looked upon by the judicious and conscientious of the land as a speaking providence against the unthankfulness of many.

as also against voluptuousness and abuse III the IV (four volumes complete) creatures of God by licentiousness in drinking and fashions in apparel, for the obtaining whereof a great part of the principal grain was oftentimes unnecessarily expended.

" But in 1680 a stronger than either of these seized upon the doctrine and wielded it with power. Increase Mather, so open always to ideas from Europe, and always so powerful for good or evil in the colonies, IV (four volumes complete) his sermon on "Heaven's Alarm to the World.

wherein is shown that fearful sights and signs in the heavens are the presages of great III at hand. " The texts were taken from the book of Revelation: "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star III heaven, burning, as it were a lamp," and "Behold, the third woe cometh quickly. " In this, as in various other sermons, he supports the theological cometary theory fully.

He insists that "we are fallen into the dregs of time," and that the day of judgment is evidently approaching. He explains away the words of Jeremiah--"Be not dismayed at signs in the heavens"--and shows that comets have been forerunners of nearly every form of evil. Having done full justice to evils thus presaged in scriptural times, he begins a similar display in modern history by citing blazing stars which foretold the invasions of Goths, Huns, Saracens, and Turks, and warns gainsayers by citing the example of Vespasian, who, after ridiculing a comet, soon died.

The general shape and appearance of comets, he thinks, betoken their purpose, and he cites Tertullian to prove them "God's sharp razors on mankind, whereby he doth poll, and his scythe whereby he doth shear down multitudes of sinful creatures. " At last, rising to a fearful height, he declares: "For the Lord hath fired his beacon in the heavens among the stars of IV (four volumes complete) there; the fearful sight is not yet out of sight.

The warning piece of heaven is going off. Now, then, if the Lord discharge his murdering pieces from on high, and men be found in their sins unfit for death, their blood shall be upon them. " And again, in an agony of supplication, he cries out: MINUTES OF THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYTIC SOCIETY - VOLUMES I we see the sword blazing over us. Let it put us upon crying to God, that the judgment be diverted and not return upon us again so speedily.

Doth God threaten our very heavens. O pray unto him, that he would not take away stars and send comets to succeed them. "[195] Two years later, in August, 1682, he followed this with another sermon on "The Latter Sign," "wherein is showed that the voice of God in signal providences, especially when repeated and iterated, ought to be hearkened unto.

" Here, too, of course, the comet comes in for a large share of attention. But his tone is less sure: even in the midst of all his arguments appears an MINUTES OF THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYTIC SOCIETY - VOLUMES I misgiving. The thoughts of Newton in science and Bayle in philosophy were evidently tending to accomplish the prophecy of Seneca.

Mather's alarm at this is clear. His natural tendency is to uphold the idea that a comet is simply a fire-ball flung from the hand of an avenging God at a guilty world, but he evidently feels obliged to yield something to the scientific spirit; hence, in the _Discourse concerning Comets_, published in 1683, he II "There are those who think that, inasmuch as comets may be supposed to proceed from natural causes, there is no speaking voice of Heaven in them beyond what is to be said of all other works of God.

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