BLTC Press Titles

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

Nature's wonders

by Richard Newton


It is a very large world. We think our world is pretty large. We know that its diameter, i. e., a line drawn right through the centre of it, measures more than eight thousand miles. But the sun is more than a hundred times larger than this. The diameter of the sun, or a line drawn through its centre, would measure more than eight hundred and eighty thousand miles. This is so large a world that we can hardly form any idea of it.

But let us take an illustration, that may help us in thinking how large the sun is. Suppose we had a ball, or globe, as big as the sun is, but with the inside all hollow. Let the circle A B represent this globe. A line drawn through it, from A to B, is, we suppose, like the diameter of the sun, more than eight hundred and eighty thousand miles long. In the centre of this great empty globe we put our earth. We may suppose that the ball E stands for our earth. Remember, it is more than eight thousand miles in diameter. Now let us bring the moon into the great empty globe too. Do you know how far the moon is from the earth? It is two hundred and forty thousand miles. Well, let us set the moon that far off from the earth. The little ball, marked M, stands for the moon. Suppose it goes round the earth in the circle marked C D. Well, the sun is so large that it could take our earth in the centre, and let the moon go round it, in a line two hundred and forty thousand miles from it, without touching the outside of the sun. The sun is said to be a million and a half times larger than our earth. What a very large world the sun must be!

But it is a very sdid, heavy world, too, as well as a very large one. Now suppose we try to weigh the sun, and find out how heavy it is. You may think that this is a very hard thing to do. But it can be done. Well, suppose we have here an immense pair of scales. Sup pose they are big enough for us to put the sun in one of the scales. These scales are so large. and so heavy, that nobody could hold them up but God himself. We will suppose God hold? the beam in his own hand. Well, there is the sun in the scale on one side. Now what shall we put into the scale, on the other side, for weights? We must put worlds in, as large, and heavy, as this on which we live. How many such worlds shall we need to balance the sun? Put ten such worlds in. Put ten times ten in. This makes a hundred. Put ten times a hundred in. This make a thousand. Put ten—twenty—fifty thousand in. Put a hundred thousand in. Put two hundred thousand in. Put three hundred thousand in. Put fifty thousand more in. Now we have three hundred and fifty thousand worlds like ours in the other scale. And now, look, the scale just begins to turn. The beam stands even. The sun is so large, and so heavy, that it weighs as much as three hundred and fifty thousand worlds like ours. And yet God hangs that great sun on nothing. O, how wonderful the power of God is! The sun shows his power. And thus the sun praises God, in the first place, by what it is.

But in the second place, the sun praises God, BY WHAT IT DOES.

In speaking of what the sun does, all we have to say may be said under two words: viz., governing, and giving.

The sun is a great governor, and by what he does in this way he praises God. A good father always governs his children well. And the better children are governed, the happier and more useful they will be. And the sun is like a good father, in this respect. These different worlds about him, are like his children and he governs them well. He keeps them all in just the places that God wants them to be in; and at the same time he keeps them all going round, each in his own path, just as God wants them to do.

Let us look again at our orrery. Here you see that each ball, representing a world, is held hi its place by a brass rod. If these rods were broken, the balls, attached to them, would all fall to the ground. These balls can only be kept in motion by turning the machinery inside of the orrery. But there are no rods, stretching out from the sun to the worlds around him, to hold them in their places. There is no machinery in the sun, that needs winding and turning, to keep the worlds of our family in motion. God gave the sun power to hold all these worlds about him in their proper places, and to keep them in motion all the time, wheeling around him at a wonderful rate. No one ever saw this power. No one but God knows what it is. Men call it gravitation; but no one knows what gravitation is. The sun has kept these worlds in motion for thousands of years, without ever stopping for a single moment, night or day. And it is wonderful indeed how fast those great worlds move. We think it is very rapid motion when we see a locomotive flying along at the rate of a mile a minute, or sixty miles an hour. But our great solid earth, with all its mountains, and oceans, and continents, is flying round the sun more than a thousand times faster than such a locomotive. Our world travels all the time, at the rate of sixty-eight thousand miles an hour. If we had a car which could travel as fast as this, we could go from New York to San Francisco, and back again, about eight or nine times in an hour. And yet, though our earth is rushing on, all the time, at such a rate, the sun governs it so well that it never gets off the track; is never out of place, and never behind time. How wonderful this is! And when we think how well the sun governs this great family of worlds about him, we can truly say that he praises God by what he does. The sun is a great governor, and in this way he praises God.

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