I love it when one of these posts provokes some of you folks to take action, like commenting, but in this case — sharing a relevant scan.
This page shows the quote of Emerson's that inspired the story:
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!"
John Campbell, the editor at the time, of Astounding Science-Fiction responded to Asimov, "I should think they would go mad."
Kolliker — Astounding Science-Fiction— interior pulp illustration