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and prayed, the rocks meanwhile falling thick on both sides of them, but the Lord preserved them.
At Kau it was still worse : one of the Missionaries describes thus what passed there. 1..“ The earth rent, and a volume of rocks, mud and earth was projected, two'or three miles long and as many wide, burying a village and thirty people, with goats, pigs, fowls, and from 500 to 600 bead of cattle and horses. This was as sudden as a springing of a mine, and there was no escape for those in its range. The explosion was- attended with terrific noise, and the whole atmosphere was filled with dust.
“ Looking seaward, all was fear and consternation. A tidal wave came in, some twenty feet high, sweeping off the wreck of houses along the shore. Thus in a few moments that shore was desolated, and all its substance destroyed.
Fearful visitations these. God would teach men something. They speak of the firmness of the earth, and when their affairs are prosperous, they say, “To morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” Both are alike unstable. Earthquakes come, and the stable earth trembles : troubles come, and temporal prosperity is broken up and ruined : we need something more reliable. “ The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on
THE GREAT ECLIPSE. In a most interesting letter lately received from the Rev. F. N. Alexander, our Missionary at Ellore, we find the following account of the great eclipse
Thinking that you would like to hear something of the great eclipse which occurred in these parts on the 18th, I will try and describe it as well as I can. I started from Ellore the day before to go to Bezwara, as that is forty miles nearer the line where totality was greatest. I did not think there was any difficulty in proceeding by canal boat, which is our great mode of conveyance in these parts; but on the morning of our departure I was surprised to find it was nearly impossible to get on, as only one small boat would go that day, and it was doubtful whether even that would go. All the boats were laid up for the occasion, and all the relays of men who tow the boat along the line had departed to their homes. i All this was for fear of the dreaded eclipse on the morrow. The most extraordinary stories were afloat about this. 2; It was rumoured that total darkness would prevail at least for one day. The comities of Ellore gave notice that their shops would not be
the entire day; so the people in the town, and indeed all the country over, provided themselves with sufficient oil to last through so long a night, and also provisions, &c., for their families. The people everywhere were in great fears: "It was said that the dreaded cyclone of 1864 would come again, that the : Godaveri and Krishna would unite their streams, and food the whole country, as on a former occasion long years ago, and
many other suchlike stories. You know the native idea about an eclipse, and it is firmly believed by all classes, is, that a snake swallows the glorious sun, and there is the greatest danger that it may never be disgorged ; so the people kept saying, “If the sun goes, then the earth will float up in the heavens; or the earth, having nothing to sustain it, will tum upside down ; or a mighty wind will rush over the face of the whole earth. These stories were everywhere believed. Wherever you went they formed the one topic of conversation amongst all classes. So you readily understand how unwilling the poor, ignorant boatmen were to run the risk of being caught away from their homes in the midst of such horrors.
However, I persuaded our boatmen to start at a very early hour, by assuring them they would reach Bezwara before the eclipse began. I had fourteen of our school girls with us, and many people said the Padri Sahib is going to Bezwara in order to get up on the high mountains there, and so escape the coming deluge. We had great difficulty to get the boat along, as at every station the pullers had run away ; but after all we arrived in Bezwara by 7 A.M., just an hour before the important time. Mr. Darling had just come in from Ragapur, whither he had gone
with Fenn and Gordon, who were up here to see the great sight. However, they went off to Rondapilli, eight miles from Bezwara, and saw the eclipse there from the highest mountain in all these parts.
All that morning boys from the Church Missionary Society's Anglovernacular school were coming to Mr. Darling for smoked glasses, and several of the village authorities, patiyes, sent messengers to ask him for them, as he had days before explained to them by word of mouth, and by diagram, the real nature and causes of the eclipse, and offered to give them these glasses in order that they might see the progress of the eclipse; and it was curious and interesting to observe these boys showing a total disregard to the slavish fears of the native population. The boys heard from their teacher the true nature of the phenomenon, and, instead of dreading the approach of darkness as a terrible calamity, they were out in the streets and open ways taking observations with their smoked glasses. ( The shadow first crossed the sun, as nearly as we could judge, at 8 8. M., and at first it looked like nothing but a slight scoop taken out of the top of the sun.
It was very remarkable how slowly the obscuration went on at first, compared with the progress afterwards. I think for over an hour it went on the shadow slowly descending from top downwards for over an hour; but we observed that when the sun was a little more than half obscured the darkening process went rapidly on, and the day became quite shady, like a bleak November day in England. For about ten minutes before the total darkness I could easily gaze on the lessened sun with the naked eye, and the beautiful corona, encircled the sun: the colours were, I think, yellow and pink, or perhaps light blue. At that moment the crescent left us of the sun, though quite large to the naked oye, wás, through the smoked glass, like a very thin golden thread, and in another minute, quite suddenly, the moon came right between us and the sum, and there was total darkness.
Usiks oloni 9
It was truly a grand and imposing sight : one could not help gazing up and feeling full of awe, and I thought of the verse, 6. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come;" and the whole thing gave me some idea of what fear there will be when all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him; but I thought "we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,” and as on the day of the eclipse while unbelievers are full of fear, we will be looking up with joy, for the time of our redemption draweth nigh.
“ The time of total darkness with us was, as nearly as possible, five minutes : directly under the centre line it would be eight minutes. It was so dark that Mr. Darling could not see the dial of the watch in his hands, though I could do so, but I could not see the house on the hill close beside us. The stars came out. I think we saw about twenty, and Venus shone as brightly as in the night.
It was a very peculiar darkness. It conveyed the idea that it was material and not like the well-known darkness of night. We could see with the naked eye-for we had no telescope-round the edge of the moon certain little notches of light, as if light were striking into a very dark room through a hole in the shutter, but what these were we did not know. I cannot say I noticed the cattle returning home. Some were grazing on the hillside the whole time, and never stirred; but the birds were certainly silent in the trees, and some large bats and other large birds kept hovering and fluttering low in the air, evidently very much troubled and out of place. Just at the end of five minutes, on the very top of the sun, broke out a most dazzling star of light : it was more like a blue light than anything else, so suddenly and brilliantly did it shine out; and, a second after, there was the same thin cresent of sun, and the beautiful corona round observed before. I think for five minutes I was able to look at the sun, and the shadow continued decreasing, till, at eleven A. M., it was quite gone. Thus ended a most beautiful and imposing sight. The feeling in my mind was that I would not for anything have missed so fair a sight. The whole native population continued fasting till all was over, and the Brahmins went down in great numbers to bathe in the Krishna. When darkness came on, a great shout was set up,
prayers offered up for the restoration of their god, as they called the sun. What a blessed thing that light is now rising in obscurity, and how apt at such a time the prophesy of Isaiah
“Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people ; but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you."
W. M. Watts, 80 Gray's Inn Road.