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Textbooks and astronomical works thereupon began to count it as fully established that every thirty-three years the displays would be repeated. It was confidently predicted that 1899 would witness a repetition, possibly on the scale of 1833.
Professor Langley's "New Astronomy" (published in 1888)
"The great November shower, which is coming once more in this century, and which every reader may hope to see toward 1899, is of particular interest to us as the first whose movements were subject to analysis."
Chambers's Astronomy, published in 1889, said:
"The meteors of November 13 may be expected to reappear with great brilliancy in 1899."- Volume I, p. 635.
But the November date passed in 1899, and the years have passed; and the wondrous scene of 1833 has not been repeated. Clerke's "History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century" says:
"We can no longer count upon the Leonids [as the meteorites of 1833 were called, because they seemed to fall from a point in the constellation of Leo]. Their glory, for scenic purposes, is departed."- Page 338.
The Lord's Signal to Watch
Thus the wisest astronomical predictions made shortly before 1899, based upon the apparently recurrent regularity of the phenomenon, failed; but the predictions of the sure word of prophecy, set down on the sacred record eighteen centuries before, were fulfilled to the letter.
At the close of the days of the predicted tribulation of the church, the signs began to appear the sun was darkened, the moon withheld its light, and the stars of heaven fell.
The series began at the time specified, the signs came in the order given in Christ's prophecy. The record of history bears witness that the prophecy was fulfilled.
It may be that on a yet more awful and universal scale these phenomena will be seen again in that last shaking of the powers of heaven which is to attend the rolling back of the heavens as a scroll, the immediate prelude to Christ's glorious appearing. But Christ's prophecy, at this point, was not giving a description of events at the very end of the world, but signs by which it might be known when the end was drawing near.
As the signs should be recognized, the Saviour intended that those who loved His appearing should be quickened with hope, and inspired to hasten to the world with the gospel message preparing the way of the Lord. The Lord's word for His children was,
"When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28.
Long ago these signs began to come to pass. Now may the Lord's believing children well look up and rejoice, knowing that the day of eternal redemption is indeed nigh at hand.
He Will Come for His Own
IN the glad time of the harvest,
When the King shall claim His own.
O the rapture of His people!
Long they've dwelt on earth's low sod,
They will know as they are known,
When the King shall claim His own.
Long they've toiled within the harvest,
They will share the bliss of heaven,
We shall greet the loved and loving,
When the Saviour shall appear;
O, we long for that glad morrow
-L. D. Santee.
SATAN OFFERS GOLD, AND THE WORLD
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. James 5:1.
"THERE SHALL BE SIGNS... UPON THE EARTH"
FROM the specific signs in the heavens, which were to herald the coming of the latter days and awaken the church to look for its coming Lord, our Saviour's prophecy passed on to designate certain general conditions in the world which were to continue until the great day of God comes:
"There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Luke 21:25-27.
Among the developments here foretold, and which contribute to the "distress of nations, with perplexity," we may list the following: