THIS too is proof of divine pity; at times God forearms our ignorance by the warning of signs. It is indeed believed that the appearance of a comet proclaims the imminence of comitia [assemblies]. We all recall the line:
The comet that portends the fall of thrones. Lucan, Phars. i. 529 (L. C. L., p. 40).
Anyone with a mere smattering of historical knowledge is aware of the signs that occurred also when destruction threatened Italy. Volumes written by historians treating of memorable events are filled with accounts of prodigies and portents. Finally under Elijah and Elisha you are aware that many true and miraculous signs were in evidence. The Men of Nineveh repented (Matt. xii. 41; Luke xi. 32) because of the disclosure of signs at the preaching of Jonah. Infidelity is halted by the evidence of signs, and wavering faith is strengthened. Hence the saying, "What sign showest thou unto us?"(John ii. 18) and "Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom." (1 Cor. xxii.) - Policraticus of John of Salisbury