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A GREAT solar-myth underlies all the ancient mythologies. It commemorates the death and resurrection of the sun. It signifies the destruction of the light by the clouds, the darkness, and the eventual return of the great luminary of the world.

The Syrian Adonis, the sun-god, the Hebrew Tamheur, and the Assyrian Du-Zu, all suffered a sudden and violent death, disappeared for a time from the sight of men, and were at last raised from the dead.

The myth is the primeval form of the resurrection.

All through the Gothic legends runs this thought--the battle of the Light with the Darkness; the temporary death of the Light, and its final triumph over the grave. Sometimes we have but a fragment of the story.

In the Saxon Beowulf we have Grendel, a terrible monster, who comes to the palace-hall at midnight, and drags out the sleepers and sucks their blood. Beowulf assails him. A ghastly struggle follows in the darkness. Grendel is killed. But his fearful mother, the devil's clam, comes to avenge his death; she attacks Beowulf, and is slain.[1] There comes a third dragon, which Beowulf kills, but is stifled with the breath of the monster and dies, rejoicing, however, that the dragon has brought with him a great treasure of gold, which will make his people rich.[2]

[1. Poor, "Sanskrit and Kindred Literatures," p. 315.

2. Ibid.]

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Here, again, are the three comets, the wolf, the snake, and the dog of Ragnarok; the three arrows of the American legends; the three monsters of Hesiod.

When we turn to Egypt we find that their whole religion was constructed upon legends relating to the ages of fire and ice, and the victory of the sun-god over the evil-one. We find everywhere a recollection of the days of cloud, "when darkness dwelt upon the face of the deep."

Osiris, their great god, represented the sun in his darkened or nocturnal or ruined condition, before the coming of day. M. Mariette-Bey says:

"Originally, Osiris is the nocturnal sun; he is the primordial night of chaos; he is consequently anterior to Ra, the Sun of Day."[1]

Mr. Miller says:

"As nocturnal sun, Osiris was also regarded as a type of the sun before its first rising, or of the primordial night of chaos, and as such, according to M. Mariette, his first rising--his original birth to the light under the form of Ra--symbolized the birth of humanity itself in the person of the first man."[2]

M. F. Chabas says:

"These forms represented the same god at different hours of the day. . . . the nocturnal sun and the daily sun, which, succeeding to the first, dissipated the darkness on the morning of each day, and renewed the triumph of Horus over Set; that is to say, the cosmical victory which determined the first rising of the sun--the organization of the universe at the commencement of time. Ra is the god who, after having marked the commencement of time, continues each day to govern his work. . . . He succeeds

[1. "Musée de Boulaq," etc., pp. 20, 21, 100, 101.

2. Rev. O. D. Miller, "Solar Symbolism," "American Antiquarian," April, 1881, p. 219.]

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to a primordial form, Osiris, the nocturnal sun, or better, the sun before its first rising."[1]

"The suffering and death of Osiris," says Sir G. Wilkinson, "were the great mystery of the Egyptian religion, and some traces of it are perceptible among other people of antiquity. His being the divine goodness, and the abstract idea of good; his manifestation upon earth, his death and resurrection, and his office as judge of the dead in a future state, look like the early revelation of a future manifestation of the Deity, converted into a mythological fable."[2]

Osiris--the sun--had a war with Seb, or Typho, or Typhon, and was killed in the battle; he was subsequently restored to life, and became the judge of the under-world.[3]

Seb, his destroyer, was a son of Ra, the ancient sun-god, in the sense, perhaps, that the comets, and all other planetary bodies, were originally thrown out from the mass of the sun. Seb, or Typho, was "the personification of all evil." He was the destroyer, the enemy, the evil-one.

Isis, the consort of Osiris, learns of his death, slain by the great serpent, and ransacks the world in search of his body. She finds it mutilated by Typhon. This is the same mutilation which we find elsewhere, and which covered the earth with fragments of the sun.

Isis was the wife of Osiris (the dead sun) and the mother of Horus, the new or returned sun; she seems to represent a civilized people; she taught the art of cultivating wheat and barley, which were always carried in her festal processions.

When we turn to the Greek legends, we shall find

[1. "Revue Archæologique," tome xxv, 1873, p. 393.

2. Notes to Rawlinson's "Herodotus," American edition, vol. ii, p.:219.

3. Murray's "Mythology," p. 347.]

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Typhon described in a manner that clearly identifies him with the destroying comet. (See page 140, ante.)

The entire religion of the Egyptians was based upon a solar-myth, and referred to the great catastrophe in the history of the earth when the sun was for a time obscured in dense clouds.

Speaking of the legend of "the dying sun-god," Rev. O. D. Miller says:

"The wide prevalence of this legend, and its extreme antiquity, are facts familiar to all Orientalists. There was the Egyptian Osiris, the Syrian Adonis, the Hebrew Tamheur, the Assyrian Du-Zu, all regarded as solar deities, vet as having lived a mortal life, suffered a violent death, being subsequently raised from, the dead. . . . How was it possible to conceive the solar orb as dying and rising from the dead, if it had not already been taken for a mortal being, as a type of mortal man? . . . We repeat the proposition: it was impossible to conceive the sun as dying and descending into hades until it had been assumed as a type and representative of man. . . . The reign of Osiris in Egypt, his war with Typhon, his death and resurrection, were events appertaining to the divine dynasties. We can only say, then, that the origin of these symbolical ideas was extremely ancient, without attempting to fix its chronology."

But when, we realize the fact that these ancient religions were built upon the memory of an event which had really happened--an event of awful significance to the human race--the difficulty which perplexed Mr. Miller and other scholars disappears. The sun had, apparently, been slain by an evil thing; for a long period it returned not, it was dead; at length, amid the rejoicings of the world, it arose from the dead, and came in glory to rule mankind.

And these events, as I have shown, are perpetuated in the sun-worship which still exists in the world in many

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forms. Even the Christian peasant of Europe still lifts his hat to the rising sun.

The religion of the Hindoos was also based on the same great cosmical event.

Indra was the great god, the sun. He has a long and dreadful contest with Vritra, "the throttling snake." Indra is "the cloud-compeller"; he "shatters the cloud with his bolt and releases the imprisoned waters";[1] that is to say, he slays the snake Vritra, the comet, and thereafter the rain pours down and extinguishes the flames which consume the world.

"He goes in search of the cattle, the clouds, which the evil powers have driven away."[2]

That is to say, as the great heat disappears, the moisture condenses and the clouds form. Doubtless mankind remembered vividly that awful period when no cloud appeared in the blazing heavens to intercept the terrible heat.

"He who fixed firm the moving earth; who tranquillized the incensed mountains; who spread the spacious firmament; who consolidated the heavens--he, men, is Indra.

"He who having destroyed Ahi (Vritra, Typhon,) set free the seven rivers, who, recovered the cows, (the clouds,) detained by Bal; who generated fire in the clouds; who is invincible in battle--he, men, is Indra."

In the first part of the "Vendidad," first chapter, the author gives an account of the beautiful land, the Aryana Vaejo, which was a land of delights, created by Ahura Mazda (Ormaz). Then "an evil being, Angra-Manyus, (Ahriman,) pill of death, created a mighty serpent, and winter, the work of the Devas."

"Ten months of winter are there, and two months of summer."

[1. Murray's "Mythology," p. 330.

2. Ibid.]

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Then follows this statement:

"Seven months of summer are there; five months of winter were there. The latter are cold as to water, cold as to earth, cold as to trees. There is the heart of winter; then all around falls deep snow. There is the worst of evils."

This signifies that once the people dwelled in a fair and pleasant land. The evil-one sent a mighty serpent; the serpent brought a great winter; there were but two months of summer; gradually this ameliorated, until the winter was five months long and the summer seven months long. The climate is still severe, cold and wet; deep snows fell everywhere. It is an evil time.

The demonology of the Hindoos turns on the battles between the Asuras, the irrational demons of the air, the comets, and the gods:

"They dwell beneath the three-pronged root of the world-mountain, occupying the nadir, while their great enemy Indra," (the sun;) "the highest Buddhist god, sits upon the pinnacle of the mountain, in the zenith. The Meru, which stands between the earth and the heavens, around which the heavenly bodies revolve, is the battlefield of the Asuras and the Devas."[1]

That is to say, the land Meru--the same as the island Mero of the ancient Egyptians, from which Egypt was first colonized; the Merou of the Greeks, on which the Meropes, the first men, dwelt--was the scene where this battle between the fiends of the air on one side, and the heavenly bodies and earth on the other, was fought.

The Asuras are painted as "gigantic opponents of the gods, terrible ogres, with bloody tongues and long tusks, eager to devour human flesh and blood."[2]

And we find the same thoughts underlying the myths

[1. "American Cyclopædia," vol. v, p. 793.

2. Ibid.]

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of nations the most remote from these great peoples of antiquity.

The Esquimaux of Greenland have this myth:

"In the beginning were two brothers, one of whom said, 'There shall be night and there shall be day, and men shall die, one after another.' But the second said, 'There shall be no day, but only night all the time, and men shall live for ever.' They had a long struggle, but here once more he who loved darkness rather than light was worsted, and the day triumphed."

Here we have the same great battle between Light and Darkness. The Darkness proposes to be perpetual; it says, "There shall be no more day." After a long struggle the Light triumphed, the sun returned, and the earth was saved.

Among the Tupis of Brazil we have the same story of the battle of light and darkness. They have a myth of Timandonar and Ariconte:

"They were brothers, one of fair complexion, the other dark. They were constantly struggling, and Ariconte, which means the stormy or cloudy day, came out worst."

Again the myth reappears; this time among the Norsemen:

Balder, the bright sun, (Baal?) is slain by the god Hodur, the blind one; to wit, the Darkness. But Vali, Odin's son, slew Hodur, the Darkness, and avenged Balder. Vali is the son of Rind--the rind--the frozen earth. That is to say, Darkness devours the sun; frost rules the earth; Vali, the new sun, is born of the frost, and kills the Darkness. It is light again. Balder returns after Ragnarok.

And Nana, Balder's wife, the lovely spring-time, died of grief during Balder's absence.

[1. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 200.]

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We have seen that one of the great events of the Egyptian mythology was the search made by Isis, the wife of Osiris, for the dead sun-god in the dark nether world. In the same way, the search for the dead Balder was an important part of the Norse myths. Hermod, mounted on Odin's horse, Sleifner, the slippery-one, (the ice?) set out to find Balder. He rode nine days and nine nights through deep valleys, so dark that he could see nothing;[1] at last he reaches the barred gates of Hel's (death's) dominions. There he found Balder, seated on a throne: he told Hel that all things in the world were grieving for the absence of Balder, the sun. At last, after some delays and obstructions, Balder returns, and the whole world rejoices.

And what more is needed to prove the original unity of the human race, and the vast antiquity of these legends, than the fact that we find the same story, and almost the same names, occurring among the white-haired races of Arctic Europe, and the dark-skinned people of Egypt, Phœnicia, and India. The demon Set, or Seb, of one, comes to us as the Surt of another; the Baal of one is the Balder of another; Isis finds Osiris ruling the underworld as Hermod found Balder on a throne in Hel, the realm of death.

The celebration of the May-day, with its ceremonies, the May-pole, its May-queen, etc., is a survival of the primeval thanksgiving with which afflicted mankind welcomed the return of the sun from his long sleep of death. In Norway,[2] during the middle ages, the whole scene was represented in these May-day festivals: One man represents summer, he is clad in green leaves the other represents winter; he is clad in straw, fit picture of the

[1. "Nome Mythology," p. 288.

2. Ibid., p. 291.]

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misery of the Drift Age. They have each a large company of attendants armed with staves; they fight with each other until winter (the age of darkness and cold) is subdued. They pretend to pluck his eyes out and throw him in the water. Winter is slain.

Here we have the victory of Osiris over Seb; of Adonis over Typhon, of Balder over Hodur, of Indra over Vritra, of Timandonar over Ariconte, brought down to almost our own time. To a late period, in England, the rejoicing over the great event survived.

Says Horatio Smith:

"It was the custom, both here and in Italy, for the youth of both sexes to proceed before daybreak to some neighboring wood, accompanied with music and horns, about sunrise to deck their doors and windows with garlands, and to spend the afternoon dancing around the May-pole."

Stow tells us, in his "Survey of London":

"Every man would walk into the sweet meddowes and green woods, there to rejoice their spirits with the beauty and savour of sweet flowers, and with the harmony of birds praising God in their kindes."[2]

Stubbs, a Puritan of Queen Elizabeth's days, describing the May-day feasts, says:

"And then they fall to banquet and feast, to leape and dance about it," (the May-pole), "as the heathen people did at the dedication of their idolles, whereof this is a perfect picture, or rather the thing itself."[3]

Stubbs was right: the people of England in the year 1550 A. D., and for years afterward, were celebrating the end of the Drift Age, the disappearance of the darkness and the victory of the sun.

[1. "Festivals, Games," etc., p. 126.

2. Ibid., p. 127.

3. Ibid.]

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The myth of Hercules recovering his cows from Cacus is the same story told in another form:

A strange monster, Cacus, (the comet,) stole the cows of Hercules, (the clouds,) and dragged them backward by their tails into a cave, and vomited smoke and flame when Hercules attacked him. But Hercules killed Cacus with his unerring arrows, and released the cows.

This signifies that the comet, breathing fire and smoke, so rarefied the air that the clouds disappeared and there followed an age of awful heat. Hercules smites the monster with his lightnings, and electrical phenomena on a vast scale accompany the recondensation of the moisture and the return of the clouds.

"Cacus is the same as Vritra in Sanskrit, Azbidihaka in Zend, Python in Greek, and the worm Fafnir in Norse."[1]

The cows everywhere are the clouds; they are white and soft; they move in herds across the fields of heaven; they give down their milk in grateful rains and showers to refresh the thirsty earth.

We find the same event narrated in the folk-lore of the modern European nations.

Says the Russian fairy-tale:

"Once there was an old couple who had three sons."

Here we are reminded of Shem, Ham, and Japheth; of Zeus, Pluto, and Neptune; of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; of the three-pronged trident of Poseidon; of the three roots of the tree Ygdrasil.

"Two of them," continues the legend, "had their wits about them, but the third, Ivan, was a simpleton.

"Now, in the lands in which Ivan lived there was never any day, but always night. This was a snake's doings. Well, Ivan undertook to kill the snake."

[1. Poor, "Sanskrit Literature," p. 236.]

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This is the same old serpent, the dragon, the apostate, the leviathan.

"Then came a third snake with twelve heads. Ivan killed it, and destroyed the heads, and immediately there was a bright light throughout the whole land."[1]

Here we have the same series of monsters found in Hesiod, in Ragnarok, and in the legends of different nations; and the killing of the third serpent is followed by a bright light throughout the whole land--the conflagration.

And the Russians have the legend in another form. They tell of Ilia, the peasant, the servant of Vladimir, Fair Sun. He meets the brigand Soloveï, a monster, a gigantic bird, called the nightingale; his claws extend for seven versts over the country. Like the dragon of Hesiod, he was full of sounds--"he roared like a wild beast, bowled like a dog, and whistled like a nightingale." Ilia bits him with an arrow in the right eye, and he tumbles headlong from his lofty nest to the earth. The wife of the monster follows Ilia, who has attached him to his saddle, and is dragging him away; she offers cupfuls of gold, silver, and pearls--an allusion probably to the precious metals and stones which were said to have fallen from the heavens. The Sun (Vladimir) welcomes Ilia, and requests the monster to howl, roar, and whistle for his entertainment; he contemptuously refuses; Ilia then commands him and he obeys: the noise is so terrible that the roof of the palace falls off, and the courtiers drop dead with fear. Ilia, indignant at such an uproar, "cuts up the monster into little pieces, which he scatters over the fields"--(the Drift).[2]

Subsequently Ilia hides away in a cave, unfed by

[1. Poor, "Sanskrit and Kindred Literatures," p. 390.

2. Ibid., p. .281.]

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Vladimir--that is to say, without the light of the sun. At length the sun goes to seek him, expecting to find him starved to death; but the king's daughter has sent him food every day for three years, and he comes out of the cave hale and hearty, and ready to fight again for Vladimir, the Fair Sun.[1] These three years are the three years of the "Fimbul-winter" of the Norse legends.

I have already quoted (see chapter viii, Part Ill, page 216, ante) the legends of the Central American race, the Quiches, preserved in the "Popul Vuh," their sacred book, in which they describe the Age of Darkness and cold. I quote again, from the same work, a graphic and wonderful picture of the return of the sun

"They determined to leave Tulan, and the greater part of them, under the guardianship and direction of Tohil, set out to see where they would take up their abode. They continued on their way amid the most extreme hardships for the want of food; sustaining themselves at one time upon the mere smell of their staves, and by imagining they were eating, when in verity and truth they ate nothing. Their heart, indeed, it is again and again said, was almost broken by affliction. Poor wanderers! they had a cruel way to go, many forests to pierce, many stern mountains to overpass, and a long passage to make through the sea, along the shingle and pebbles and drifted sand--the sea being, however, parted for their passage. At last they came to a mountain, that they named Hacavitz, after one of their gods, and here they rested--for here they were by some means given to understand that they should see the sun. Then, indeed, was filled with an exceeding joy the heart of Balam-Quitzé, of Balam-Agab of Mahucutah, and of Iqui-Balam. It seemed to them that even the face of the morning star caught a new and more resplendent brightness.

"They shook their incense-pans and danced for very gladness: sweet were their tears in dancing, very hot

[1. Poor, "Sanskrit and Kindred Literatures," p. 883.]

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their incense--their precious incense. At last the sun commenced to advance; the animals small and great were full of delight; they raised themselves to the surface of the water; they fluttered in the ravines; they gathered at the edge of the mountains, turning their beads together toward that part from which the sun came. And the lion and the tiger roared. And the first bird that sang was that called the Queletzu. All the animals were beside themselves at the sight; the eagle and the kite beat their wings, and every bird both great and small. The men prostrated themselves on the ground, for their hearts were full to the brim."[1]

How graphic is all this picture! How life-like! Here we have the starving and wandering nations, as described in the preceding chapter, moving in the continual twilight; at last the clouds grow brighter, the sun appears: all nature rejoices in the unwonted sight, and mankind fling themselves upon their faces like "the rude and savage man of Ind, kissing the base ground with obedient breast," at the first coming of the glorious day.

But the clouds still are mighty; rains and storms and fogs battle with the warmth and light. The "Popul Vuh" continues:

"And the sun and the moon and the stars were now all established"; that is, they now become visible, moving in their orbits. "Yet was not the sun then in the beginning the same as now; his heat wanted force, and he was but as a reflection in a mirror; verily, say the historians, not at all the same sun as that of to-day. Nevertheless, he dried up and warmed the surface of the earth, and answered many good ends."

Could all this have been invented? This people could not themselves have explained the meaning of their myth, and yet it dove-tails into every fact revealed by our latest science as to the Drift Age.

[1. Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii, p. 46.]

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And then, the "Popul Vuh" tells us, the sun petrified their gods: in other words, the worship of lions, tigers, and snakes, represented by stone idols, gave way before the worship of the great luminary whose steadily increasing beams were filling the world with joy and light.

And then the people sang a hymn, "the song called 'Kamucu,'" one of the oldest of human compositions, in memory of the millions who had perished in the mighty cataclysm:

"We see;" they sang, "alas, we ruined ourselves in Tulan; there lost we many of our kith and kin; they still remain there! left behind! We, indeed, have seen the sun, but they--now that his golden light begins to appear, where are they?"

That is to say, we rejoice, but the mighty dead will never rejoice more.

And shortly after Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Agab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, the hero-leaders of the race, died and were buried.

This battle between the sun and the comet graduated, as I have shown, into a contest between light and darkness; and, by a natural transition, this became in time the unending struggle between the forces of good and the powers of evil--between God and Satan; and the imagery associated with it has,--strange to say,--continued down into our own literature.

That great scholar and mighty poet, John Milton, had the legends of the Greeks and Romans and the unwritten traditions of all peoples in his mind, when he described, in the sixth book of "Paradise Lost," the tremendous conflict between the angels of God and the followers of the Fallen One, the Apostate, the great serpent, the dragon, Lucifer, the bright-shining, the star of the morning, coming, like the comet, from the north.

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Milton did not intend such a comparison; but he could not tell the story without his over-full mind recurring to the imagery of the past. Hence we read the following description of the comet; of that--

        "Thunder-cloud of nations,
Wrecking earth and darkening heaven."

Milton tells us that when God's troops went forth to the battle--

        "At last,
Far in the horizon, to the north, appeared
From skirt to skirt, a fiery region stretched,
In battailous aspect, and nearer view
Bristled with upright beams innumerable
Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged and shields
Various, with boastful arguments portrayed,
The banded powers of Satan, hasting on
With furious expedition. . . .
High in the midst, exalted as a god,
The apostate, in his sun-bright chariot, sat,
Idol of majesty divine, inclosed
With flaming cherubim and golden shields."

The comet represents the uprising of a rebellious power against the supreme and orderly dominion of God. The angel Abdiel says to Satan:

        "Fool! not to think how vain
Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;
Who out of smallest things could without end
Have raised incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or, with solitary hand,
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided, could have finished thee, and whelmed
Thy legions under darkness."

The battle begins:

"Now storming fury rose,
And clamor such as heard in heav'n till now
Was never; arms on armor clashing brayed {p. 248}
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged; dire was the noise
Of conflict; overhead the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
And, flying, vaulted either host with fire. . . .
Army 'gainst army, numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring and disturb
Though not destroy, their happy native seat.
        . . . Sometimes on firm ground
A standing fight, then soaring on main wing
Tormented all the air, all air seemed then
Conflicting fire."

Michael, the archangel, denounces Satan as an unknown being a stranger:

"Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnamed in heaven . . . how hast thou disturbed
Heav'n's blessed peace, and into nature brought
Misery, uncreated till the crime
Of thy rebellion! . . . But think not here
To trouble holy rest; heav'n casts thee out
From all her confines: heav'n, the seat of bliss,
Brooks not the works of violence and war.
Hence then, and evil go with thee along,
Thy offspring, to the place of evil, bell,
Thou and thy wicked crew! "

But the comet (Satan) replies that it desires liberty to go where it pleases; it refuses to submit its destructive and erratic course to the domination of the Supreme Good; it proposes--

        "Here, however, to dwell free
If not to reign."

The result, of the first day's struggle is a drawn battle.

The evil angels meet in a night conference, and prepare gunpowder and cannon, with which to overthrow God's armies!

"Hollow engines, long and round,
Thick rammed, at th' other bore with touch of fire {p. 249}
Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth
From far, with thund'ring noise, among our foes
Such implements of mischief, as shall dash
To pieces, and overwhelm whatever stands

Thus armed, the evil ones renew the fight. They fire their cannon:

        "For sudden all at once their reeds
Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied
With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
But soon obscured with clouds, all heav'n appeared,
From these deep-throated engines belched, whose roar
Emboweled with outrageous noise the air,
And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul
Their devilish glut, chained thunder-bolts and hail
Of iron globes."

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.

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Next: Chapter X. The Fall Of The Clay And Gravel