Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
also very beautiful. Mountains likewise remind us of their streams, which usually form sights of never-to-be-forgotten beauties. The streams of the Yosemite Valley, of Shasta, Hood, Adams and Ranier, of the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, the mountains of Norway, Italy, Austria, etc., with their rapids, rock islets and cascades, their shores decked with fresh and refreshing verdure, are as scenes of beauty, joys forever to the lover of the beautiful. Connected with mountains are some of the most beautiful chasms. Who that has looked upon the Yellowstone Gorge has not stood entranced at the sight? The chasm that some beauty-making glacier, like a marvelous landscape gardener, decked into the Yosemite Valley, defies description from the pen or mouth of the ablest word painter of beauty. The gorges that the mighty Columbia plowed out as it cut its way through the Cascade Mountains, and that the fair Yellowstone River dug out of the Rockies, likewise defy description by beauty experts of most eloquent tongue or pen. Only by degrees are the chasms that the Arkansas, the Green and the Gunnison Rivers in Colorado have plowed out less beautiful than the other gorges just mentioned.
Bodies of water, both great and small, present fine sights of their own as an expression of the Creator's love for, and manifestations of beauty. The great oceans open up before us vistas of loveliness. How beautiful in its way is the mirror that the calm ocean presents, especially when the waters of that mirror are of a deep indigo hue, and more especially when the moon and stars are reflected in this ocean mirror! Then at places its being dotted with islets lit up by the glow of a setting sun makes its beauty fairly dance before us in many entrancing forms. Again, it has cut up rock-bound or mountain-bound coasts into fantastic forms of beauty that seem more like dreams of a fine imagination than the factual essence of created being. And with what a shimmer of glory is the ocean's
bosom lit up by a glorious sunrise or sunset! Indeed, few sights in nature are more glorious than the beauty of a sun's dawn heralding the day by the glow that it sends out before it on the horizon and its adjacent ocean, or than the beauty of the sun's setting like a great ball of glory, as it were, into the chambers of the ocean's depths. Some of its bays, like those of Naples, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Cabello, Port Royal and San Francisco, are dreams of beauty. Some of the ocean's submarine gardens, like those at Santa. Catalina, off the coast of Southern California, are entrancing. The same remarks apply to its coral strands. These features of the ocean's beauty make some beauty lovers admire the ocean's varied scenery above that of every other scenery on earth.
And what shall we say of earth's lakes, some of which are the concentrated essence of beauty? What lover of beauty would not admire the beauties of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, nestling at the foot of a 10,000-foot mountain that stands as a sentinel keeping guard over this beauteous lake, while on its north and south, towering less high, mountains support its tall sentinel, the open west alone preventing the lake from being entirely mountain girt? And when a clear heaven with bright stars and a half or quarter moon canopies it, its bosom reflects the shadows of its mountains and celestial luminaries, while the light of day, bathing it, makes its blue bosom a reflection of the peace and bliss of heaven. Its neighboring Mirror and Agnes Lakes additionally lend their beauties to the enhancement of this scene. Much the same may be said of Lake Tahoe, between California and Nevada, whose clear blue mirrored bosom is a delight to the beholder. Our Adirondack lakes are comparable in beauty with Lakes Louise and Tahoe, Lakes Champlain and George being comparable to Lake Tahoe and the Saranac Lakes and Placid Lake to Lake Louise. Supreme among America's lakes in point of beauty is
Crater Lake, Oregon, whose surface lies from 800 to 2000 feet below the irregularly rimmed top of an extinct volcano, with a circumference of 39 miles, almost everywhere separated from the lake itself by almost precipitous walls. Its color varies from the deepest indigo to the lightest blue, the color changes varying both with the difference of one's position and the angle of the sun's rays. Each hour of the day, by the varied color and shadows that it imparts, changes the appearance of this wondrous sight. The lover of beauty who sees Crater Lake looks upon one of earth's supreme beauty spots. Among the most beautiful lakes in the world are those of Switzerland, liberally scattered over German, French and Italian Switzerland. Most intelligent people have heard of the beauties of Lakes Geneva, Maggiore, Como, Neuchatel, Zurich and Zug.
But supreme among the lakes of Switzerland, perhaps supreme among the world's lakes, from the standpoint of beauty is Lake Lucerne. It is difficult to decide whether it or Crater Lake in Oregon deserves the palm for supremacy in beauty among earth's lakes. Certainly the scenery that can be viewed from some of Lucerne's girding mountains, like Rigi and Pilate, easily surpasses anything visible from the rim of Crater Lake, though as one looks down on these lakes from their surrounding heights Crater Lake by far surpasses Lake Lucerne in beauty. Most of Lake Lucerne and all of Crater Lake are surrounded by eminences of various heights. As viewed from the lakes themselves, the beauties that surround Lake Lucerne by far surpass those that surround Crater Lake. Its verdure is in marked contrast with the barrenness of the crater walls that rise above Crater Lake; but the latter's varicolored rock-ribbed crater walls more than overmatch Lake Lucerne's verdure. On the other hand, there is by far a greater variety in the mountain scenery that surrounds Lake Lucerne
than in that which by its crater walls surrounds Crater Lake. We are glad that we do not have to decide as to which of these is earth's most beautiful lake. We will never forget our visit to each of these sights of beauty. Nor will we ever forget our trip to the top of Rigi and the panorama that there was unfolded to our eyes. Way down below on the side of Rigi away from Lake Lucerne, lay Zug Lake, nestling in rest at Rigi's feet. On the other side of Rigi could be seen three arms and a part of the fourth arm of Lake Lucerne, with all their great variety and beauty of surrounding mountains, while off in the distance the snow clad Alps, with most of their highest peaks clearly and beautifully visible, crowned the scene, one of the finest anywhere visible on earth. We were informed that the view from the top of Pilate is even finer than that beheld from Rigi's top; but we cannot speak from observation, never having been there. If it is, what a sight for the lover of beauty must it be!
Norway and Sweden have some wondrously beautiful lakes. But as beautiful as these are, they are surpassed in beauty by their fjords, particularly those of Norway. While less famed for beauty than Switzerland, because the Norwegians are not given to advertising their scenic wonders, Norway strikes the writer as being at least as beautiful in scenery as Switzerland, if not more so. It has many fjords that in beauty nearly equal Lake Lucerne. Sometimes those fjords present the appearance of rivers, at others that of lakes. Usually they are at the bottom of deep fissures in high plateaus. The walls of these fissures are often almost perpendicular, with great variations of structure; at other times these fissures recede markedly as their sides rise. Not infrequently beautiful waterfalls plunge from their heights in a series of cascades that are most pleasant to the sight. Frequently they shoot off arms from the main fjord, thus forming new ones. When we remember that Norway has about 175
fjords, some of them running inland from the ocean 150 miles and more, and all of them wondrously beautiful, we can form something of an idea of Norway's fjord beauty. Other countries, like Scotland, Ireland, Greenland, Alaska, British Columbia and Chile, have more or less of these, but those of Norway are easily supreme among earth's fjords. One of the most beautiful scenes with which we ever were favored was in connection with one of Norway's fjords. We were riding in a train from Bergen to Oslo (former Christiana) when, about 35 to 50 miles from Bergen, our train reached a fjord and rode a number of miles along its shore. Looking back of us we could see a straight stretch of the fjord for perhaps ten miles. The fissure at the bottom of which the fjord lay reached up probably 800 yards and was 300 yards wide at the water's surface. At its end, visible from our position, the sun was just setting into the fjord and was imparting a gorgeous golden color and several other colors of the rainbow to the water for miles toward us, the bright colors reflecting with ever decreasing brilliancy up the sides of the fissure. The setting of the scene, lit up with gorgeously fine colors, made this sunset the second finest we have ever seen. Certainly, the fjords, especially those of Norway, manifest the beauty of God's creative work!
The sunset just referred to readily suggests to the mind the beauty of God's creative works in the sky, as evidenced by sunrises and sunsets. Certainly, some sunrises and their immediately preceding horizons and some sunsets with their following aglow horizons are among the most beautiful sights in nature. We have seen some glorious sunsets, particularly in Oklahoma, where the atmosphere and the sky seem especially adapted to beautiful sunsets. But by all odds the most beautiful sunset we ever witnessed was, we believe, in 1928, between Cuba and Jamaica, on our way to the latter island. As the sun was setting seven streamers
arose from it; each one at the sun was as wide as a seventh of the upper half of the sun, each one being in one of the different colors of the rainbow. Each of these streamers reached upward, ever widening as it extended upward, and continued straight in the direction in which it left the sun until the seven formed the figure of a huge fan or ever widening banner, consisting of the seven colors of the rainbow, while their background was a gorgeous glow. This phenomenon lasted perhaps ten minutes before it began very slowly to shed its clear-cut colors and lines. Perhaps it was half an hour before it melted away into the soft twilight of the tropics. No painter could have done this scene justice. It was a never-to-be-forgotten sight. How often all of us have stood enraptured at the sight of sunrise or sunset, painting the clouds in brilliant hues of varicolored beauty! Well do we remember the gorgeous glow of a July, 1929, morning upon the snow clad mountain at whose feet Lake Louise nestles, and the glow of the setting sun transfiguring snow-white Mount Hood into a mountain of glory one December evening in 1906! Surely, the sun yields some of the most beautiful sights among God's creative works. The clouds at times alone, at times in connection with the sun, present many lovely sights, especially at some sunrises and sunsets.
Not only the sky gives scenes of delight to our beauty-admiring eyes, but the heavens above it spread out a canopy of beauty of high degree. Few sights are more beautiful to watch on a clear and cool winter night than the stars, one by one, like lovely flowers, blossoming into the galaxy of the complete starry heavens. To what a sight of beauty is the early winter riser treated when the morning stars, especially Venus or Jupiter, the brightest of the planets, quickly rises higher and higher along the Zodiac! What a sight among the stars is Sirius, shining in brightness above the other stars! And what beauties charm the knower
of the main constellations as he beholds them when they are in the best position for observation! Ever is such an one ravished by the beauties of Orion, with its marvelous Betelgeuse, Rigel and Bellatrix, of Taurus, with its bright Aldebaran and with its more famous Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, and of Ursa Major, with its seven stars that constitute the Great Dipper, whose two bowl stars farthest from its handle so faithfully point out the star Polaris to us, enabling us to locate readily the four points of the compass. Surely, the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth forth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech; and night unto night showeth knowledge (Ps. 19: 1, 2); and "the earth is full of Thy riches" O Lord, in beauty (Ps. 104:24). Psalm 104, from which we have just quoted, contains a wonderful description of God's works of creation, among others from the standpoint of beauty. We will not quote it here in full, but will ask our readers to peruse it.
In our discussion of the attributes of God's creative works we now come to its attribute of sublimity. This makes the fourth attribute of creation as a product discussed in this chapter, the other three being: unity, immensity and beauty. As a definition of sublimity we might venture the following: It is the quality by which through grandeur, vastness, majesty and awfulness of things the heart and mind are filled with reverence, solemnity and wonder. Accordingly, the grand, the vast, the great and the awful, are the main elements in sublimity. A merely superficial view of God's creative works impresses one with the idea of their sublimity, as so many of them are grand, vast, great and awful. While practically all sublime objects are more or less beautiful, most beautiful objects are not sublime, e.g., about all animate beautiful things, like birds, butterflies, humans, flowers, trees, etc., and most inanimate beautiful things, like most waterfalls, lakes, snow, etc.
Hence some of the things that above we cited as examples of beauty may be cited as examples of sublimity. Thus almost all of the mountains to which we referred in our last installment as beautiful have in their great heights, in their mighty canyons, in their deep valleys and in their majestic bearings, the quality of sublimity imbedded in them. Great falls, like the Niagara Falls and the Victoria Falls, certainly lean much more to the sublime than to the beautiful, though, of course, they also have beauty as a quality. Their sublimity is seen in the great volume of water that they hurl from their tops, in the great height from which they leap, in the deafening noise that they make, in the boisterous waves and whirlpools that they create and in the mighty power that they exemplify. One viewing such mountains and falls, if at all responsive to the sights brought to his vision, is certainly filled with the sense of reverence, solemnity and wonder, not only at them, but, through them, at their Creator.
From many standpoints the oceans are sublime. Their immensity in length, depth and breadth, certainly are suggestive of sublimity even when calm. But when a hurricane lashes their surface into mountains of furious waves, as seen from the deck of a ship tossed by such waves, their quality of sublimity is greatly heightened. Some of earth's canyons are certainly sublime. Supreme among these is the Grand Canyon of Arizona, as this name applies to that part of the Colorado's canyon in northern Arizona. That portion is over two hundred miles in length and about a mile deep perpendicularly at its most scenic parts. Sublimity marks its varicolored walls and buttes. Here its rock layers are bare. Here, in wall and butte, can be seen better than anywhere else on earth the seven layers of earth's crust, mostly evenly laid one upon another and all resting upon the foundation of the rock bottom granite. Thus it gives a most clear view of the seven successive falls of materials from above
upon the ever cooling earth during its seven ages. The rock walls and buttes vary in color from white and buff to bright red and dull green. The even cut edges of these rock layers, combined with each layer being of a different color from any other, make parts of the walls look like a great flag with seven stripes, averaging about 700 feet thick and many miles long. The buttes themselves, rising from the bottom of the canyon, attain a height nearly level with the canyon's rim, and take up a large part of the chasm itself. As the eye starts at the bottom of these almost cone shaped buttes and gradually reaches higher and higher, each layer of stone, glowing with a different color from that of any other, combines to give the whole a never-to-be-forgotten scenic effect. When one remembers that where the Santa Fe Railroad reaches the rim of the canyon it is about twelve miles wide as well as a mile deep, embellished with these varicolored buttes and walls, he can readily perceive that the sublimity of the sight is overpowering. Especially is this the case when one is at the bottom and looks upward. Here are seen the mighty action of erosion on the buttes, the powerful plowings of the mighty river's waters which once flowed even with the rim, and on the sides the steady wear of waters flowing over the rim down the walls of the canyon. World travelers are a unit in the thought that this canyon is the sublimest object on earth.
The sky during a lightning storm, with mighty thunderings roaring in one's ears, especially when the lightning is of the streak kind, as distinct from the sheet kind, presents many sublime aspects, especially if the streak lightning strikes not far away from one at the end of a long zigzag course. If mountains and water are involved in the storm, the sense of the sublime is much heightened. Our readers will recall our above brief description of Lake Lucerne as an object of beauty. After we had descended from Rigi and had gone to the head of one of the lake's arms, an Alpine
storm arose. About the mountains' heads the storm clouds had gathered dark and threatening. Stroke upon stroke of lightning flashed from them, seemingly against the mountains' sides, while the artillery of the heavens roared, and reverberated with quickly resounding echoes. We had often read of the sublimity of an Alpine storm, but to see one fills one to overflowing with the sense of the sublime. If one has ever stood at a vantage point and watched the mighty waves during a storm dash themselves against a rock-ribbed coast, he has viewed another of earth's sublime sights. A volcano in a great explosive eruption, with its roaring noise, earth-quaking blows, heaven-darkening smoke and ashes and overflowing lava, when viewed from a place of safety, presents one of the sublimest sights afforded in this earth. Only a little less sublime is an Alpine avalanche, or a glacier breaking off, into the sea, huge parts of itself in the form of icebergs. A great earthquake viewed from a safe vantage point must contain many elements of the sublime. Some prairie and forest fires illustrate the same quality.
But the sublimest things are in the heavens. The heavens themselves to one's naked eye convey more the sense of the sublime than of the beautiful. The immensity of the universe is simply sublime, which we believe all of us recognized as we read the part of this chapter that treated of that part of our theme; for the infinity of space in which the universe lies embraced is sublime. The long ages since creation began add to the sense of the universe's sublimity. The immense number of suns in our universe alone, supposed by sober astronomers to be 30,000,000,000, with an average of 10 times as many planets, 27 times as many moons, over 1,000 times as many planetoids and an unnumbered quantity of comets, certainly conveys to our minds and hearts the sense of sublimity, with resultant feelings of reverence, solemnity and wonder. And what shall we say on their sublimity when to our universe
the twelve others so far revealed to our largest telescopes are added? This is heightened when we consider the vast distances of the suns from one another, and the vast territory each sun rules while reigning over its planets, moons and planetoids. The great speed with which the planets move on their orbits and axes increases our sense of the sublime as we contemplate the universe. The precision with which the planets move about their orbits and axes impresses us deeply with the sense of the sublimity of God's creative works. The development of the planets, out of their original gases into what they have become, and into what they are yet to become, as illustrated by that of our earth, certainly is sublime. If our vision were keen enough to take in the mighty processes through which the developing planets are going, the intense heat, the lurid sights, volcanic eruptions, gigantic explosions, wild storms, falling canopies and confused elements in their wild struggles with one another, we would see sights indescribably sublime and awe-inspiring.
Sublime indeed are the operations of nature's laws throughout the universe. When we think of the operation of the law of gravitation, sublimity is one of the qualities that it suggests to our mind. It operates upon every atom of matter throughout the universe. How wide flung, therefore, is its sphere of operation! What majesty is there in its grasp that is great enough to hold all matter securely in its mighty clutches! How inexorable is its rulership, subduing all things to its sway directly in proportion to their bulk and inversely as to their distance! How it keeps the worlds in perfect balance with the aid of centripetal and centrifugal forces! With the aid of centrifugal forces it keeps, e.g., our earth and all other planets of our solar system in their undeviating courses. If it would act alone, without the counteraction of centrifugal forces, all of the planets of our solar system would fall into the sun;
and reversely, if it ceased acting and only centrifugal forces would act upon them, they would leaves their orbits and fall out into space away from the sun. The same things are true of the planets of all other systems. Hence the sublimity of the operation of gravitation's and other forces' laws. The laws underlying the varied cycles, culminating in the precessional cycle about every 26,000 years, wherein the motions of almost infinite numbers of heavenly bodies harmonize with one another better than clock work, convey to us a deep sense of the sublime. Surely sublimity is written everywhere on the face of the universe viewed in its larger aspects as well as in other aspects.
Accordingly, we recognize sublimity to be an attribute of God's work, and this implies that it is an attribute of God; for it is His sense of the sublime that operated in making sublimity a quality of His works. The Bible confirms this. The first chapter of Genesis gives us a sublime, yet simple account of God's creative work. We will quote a few passages that give us the thought of God's works as having sublimity as an attribute: "The pillars [the laws of gravitation, etc.] of the earth are the Lord's and He hath set the world upon them" (1 Sam. 2: 8). "Thou hast made the heaven, the heaven of the heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the seas and all that are therein; and Thou preservest them all" (Neh. 9: 6). "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. By His spirit [power] He hath garnished the heavens" (Job 26: 7, 13). "God looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven, to make the weight of the winds; and He weigheth the waters by measure. When He made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder" (Job 28: 24-26). "Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge? Hast thou with Him spread out the sky, which is strong and as
a molten looking glass" (Job 37:16, 18)? "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, and brake up for it My decreed place and set bars and doors" (Job 38: 4, 8-10)? "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, and the moon and stars, which Thou hast ordained" (Ps. 8: 3). "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. In them He hath set a tabernacle for the sun" (Ps. 19: 1, 4). "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; for He hath founded it upon [above] the seas, and established it upon [above] the floods" (Ps. 24: 1, 2). "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together as an heap; He layeth up the depth in storehouses; for He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33: 6, 7, 9). "Who by His strength setteth fast the mountains, being girded with power" (Ps. 65: 6). "The day is Thine; the night also is Thine. Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth. Thou hast made summer and winter" (Ps. 74: 16, 17). "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Ps. 90: 2). "In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land" (Ps. 95: 4, 5).
"Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands" (Ps. 102: 25). "Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters; who laid the foundation of the earth, that it should not be removed forever. Thou coverest it with the
deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches. Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created; and Thou renewest the face of the earth" (Ps. 104: 2, 3, 5, 6, 24, 30). "To Him that by wisdom made the heavens; to Him that stretched out the earth above the waters; to Him that made great lights—the sun to rule by day, the moon and stars to rule by night" (Ps. 136: 5-9). "Let them [the heavenly bodies] praise the name of the Lord; for He commanded and they were created. He hath also established them for ever and ever. He hath made a decree which shall not pass [away]" (Ps. 148: 5, 6). "While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the field, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a compass upon the face of the depth; when He established the clouds above; when He strengthened the fountains of the deep; when He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; when He appointed the foundations of the earth" (Prov. 8: 26-29). "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out the heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance. Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might; for that He is strong in power, not one faileth. Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding" (Is. 40: 12, 26, 28). "I have made the earth and created man upon it; I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded" (Is. 45:12). "My hand hath also laid
the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens; when I call upon them, they stand up together" (Is. 48: 13). "He hath made the earth by His power; He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion" (Jer. 10: 12). "Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of Hosts is His name" (Jer. 31: 35). "When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures" (Jer. 51: 16). "For, lo, He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind … that maketh the morning darkness and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name" (Amos 4: 13). "Seek Him that maketh the seven stars [Pleiades] and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into morning, and maketh the day dark with night" (Amos 5: 8). "It is He that buildeth His stories in the heaven, and hath founded His troop in the earth; He that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is His name" (Amos 9: 6). So far the main Scriptures that show creation to have the quality of sublimity. And if creation itself is sublime, how much more is God, the grandest, loftiest and most awe-inspiring of all beings, animate and inanimate. Along with creation's sublimity, God's sublimity is indicated in the many Scriptures which we have quoted. We have quoted these in order to give our readers a good list of such Scriptures for their further study.
The next quality of creation, as a product, which we would discuss is order. By order as an attribute of creation we mean that quality whereby a related arrangement and harmony are shown to exist in the
universe amid all sorts of diversities of operations. This order works so nicely that with the most exact precision the motions or positions of the planets in relation to one another and their suns, and of the suns in relation to one another and to their planets, can be measured or located. This is due to the balanced cooperation of the various forces that under Divine manipulation control the universe, like gravitation, centrifugal and centripetal forces, the laws of attraction, repulsion, affinity, cohesion, adhesion, etc., and the relative density of the planets and suns. The universe operates in more than clockwork perfect order, because there is a perfect balance between these forces, laws and heavenly bodies. And this balance keeps its various parts in such perfect adjustment to one another as the grip of gigantic machinery could not effect. When the Scriptures refer to the foundations of the earth and the heavens, they do not refer to literal foundations; for the suns and planets hang out in space on nothing material. What, then, holds these heavenly bodies in their relative positions? Their varying density operated upon by the above-mentioned forces and laws under Divine manipulation. Of these, gravitation is the chief, the main figurative foundation rock of the suns, planets, planetoids, moons and comets. But it is the harmonious cooperation of all these factors that effects the wondrous balance seen in the order underlying the universe as a work of God. And such an order intelligently grasped fills the heart and mind with wonder, awe and reverence. It will be well for us to look at some particulars, remembering that the great Architect of the universe, as the Mathematician of mathematicians, has worked out the relative operations of the various pertinent forces and laws on the heavenly bodies according to the exactest of mathematical formulas, since the formulas of higher mathematicians are mainly the theoretical expressions of the modes of such operations as these are observed in the universe.
We will first note some expressions of order as manifest in our solar system. How remarkable it is that the nearer a planet is to the sun, the greater is its density! Taking water as a measure and counting it as 1, Saturn is 13/32, or less than one-half as dense as water; Jupiter is 1 1/24 times as dense as water; Mars is 3/37 times as dense as water; Earth is 5.7 times as dense as water; Venus is 5 11/15 times as dense as water; and Mercury is 9 9/10 times as dense as water, i.e., about as dense as lead. We do not yet know the density of Vulcan, but it is denser than lead, while Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are, in their order, increasingly much less dense than water. Another marvel underlies the relative distances of the planets from the sun. It is the fact that there is a mathematical relation between these distances. If the following figures are placed in a line, thus: 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, 384, 768, it will be noted that in those figures following 3, each one is double the preceding one. Now, if 4 be added to each figure, the result will give us the exact relative distance of each succeeding planet from the sun. Thus: Mercury—4, Venus—7, Earth—10, Mars—16, Planetoids—28, Jupiter—52, Saturn—100, Uranus—196, Neptune—388, Pluto—772. Before the planetoids were discovered, the first to be discovered being Ceres in 1801, there was an unaccountable gap in the progressional increase of the planets' distances from the sun, between Mars and Jupiter; but since 1801 over 1,000 planetoids have been discovered, and the central point between the nearest one and the farthest one from the sun, making allowance for their differences in density, fills this gap to a nicety, as indicated above. This is indeed fine order!
It is a further interesting fact that these distances bear an exact mathematical relation to the times of their varied revolutions about the sun. The great astronomer, Kepler, discovered this mathematical relation and expressed it as follows: As to any two
planets, the squares of the periods of their revolutions are to each other as the cubes of their mean distance. On this remarkable fact the great astronomer, Sir John Herschel, comments as follows: "When we contemplate the constituents of the planetary system from the point of view that this relation affords us, it is no longer a mere analogy which strikes us, no longer a general relation among them as individuals independent of one another and circulating about the sun, each according to its peculiar nature and connected with it by its own peculiar tie. The resemblance is now perceived to be a true family likeness; they are bound up in one chain; interwoven in one web of mutual relation and harmonious agreement; subjected to one pervading influence which extends from the center to the farthest limits of our great system, of which all of them, the earth included, must henceforth be regarded as members." It will be recalled that above we gave the orbital velocities of the planets to illustrate immensity in speed and distance. We here give again their velocities in miles per second, this time to show the proportions that hold as between them: Vulcan about 45, Mercury 29.75, Venus 21.79, Earth 18.5, Mars 14.97, Jupiter 8.38, Saturn 5.99, Uranus 4.19, Neptune 3.6 and Pluto 2.95. When we remember that these three important facts, the proportionate distances of the planets from the sun, the proportions between the periods of the planets' revolutions and their mean distances from one another, and the proportionate orbital velocities of the planets, apply not only to our solar system, but that either they or some things similar to them apply to all the planets of all solar systems, we are confronted with some amazing mathematical problems worked out not only theoretically, but also practically, on a scale of such immensity and sublimity as to stupify us in wonder and awe.
The attribute of order in God's creation is also evident in the succession of day and night, effected by
the rotatory movement of the earth on its axis, whereby it is continually bringing successive parts of the earth to face the sun and turning the rest of them away from the sun. Its year is effected by its revolution about its orbit, and that with more than clocklike precision. By the simple expedient of the earth's orbit being inclined at the equator to the sun at an angle of 23.5, we in the northern hemisphere are not only given longer days and shorter nights while the sun is north of the equator, but also shorter days and longer nights while the sun is south of the equator. The seasons in their succession are due to the same expedient. And how beneficial to mankind is this order of affairs in the earth's rotation on its axis, giving us the succession of day and night, and the revolution of the earth on its orbit, giving us longer days in summer and longer nights in winter! Yea, how salutary is the regular succession of the seasons, caused by the earth's inclination on its orbit! And it is all done with such perfect order that we can confidently locate our calendars as to the equinoxes and solstices for innumerable years ahead and thousands of years gone by. The other planets also by their rotation on their axes are continually presenting successive parts of themselves to the sun, and by the same token are turning other successive parts of themselves away from the sun, involving the former parts in day and the latter parts in night. Sometime the benefits of the varying times of other planets' rotating on their axes and revolving about their orbits will become manifest to us, together with the pertinent relation of their orbital inclination to the sun. Here we only desire to call attention to the perfect order maintained by each of these planets in the succession of day and night, the varying lengths of these and the succession of their seasons as governed by their orbital inclination to the sun, which facts become all the more impressive when we recognize that
they are, or will be, illustrated in the axial and orbital movements of planets in all solar systems.
This same principle of order is manifest in the other heavenly bodies in our solar system. It is seen in the movements of our moon, at least as concerns its orbital and axial motions. As is well known, we always see the same side of the moon, because its axial movement is as long in making one complete rotation as its orbital movement is in making one revolution. By its orbital and axial motions it is continually and very regularly, barring its eccentricities, making its rounds on its orbit and axis, and that with such prevision that astronomers, knowing the time of its eccentricities, can quite accurately calculate its phases, its quarters and its positions at any given time in the past, present and future. The same principle of order is observed in the other 26 moons so far discovered in our solar system, and doubtless is or will be manifested in those of other solar systems than that of our own. As one after the other of the planetoids has been discovered, the same principle of order manifested variously in the planets is found to exemplify itself in connection with them. Perhaps the other solar systems have, like our own, their portion of planetoids, or will have them. If they now have them, these exemplify order in their orbital and axial movements, their changes of day and night and seasons, all doubtless on a much smaller scale than ours, but dependably regular in their successions. Comets, as far as known, likewise exemplify order in their movements. For this reason astronomers are able to calculate their courses, speed, time of their appearances and the length of their absences. They work in their motions along the lines of mathematical formulas. They either visit other solar systems than ours, or these have sets of them peculiar to themselves. Thus order prevails amid all the heavenly bodies. They work and move with an exactness that does not vary the fraction of a second in tens of thousands of years.