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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1 - Contents
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    Mr. Gage says, “The sun rose clear, and shone for several hours; at length the sky became overcast with clouds, and by ten o’clock, A. M., the darkness was such as to occasion the farmers to leave their work in the field, and retire to their dwellings; fowls went to their roosts; and, before noon, lights became necessary to the transaction of business within doors; the darkness continued through the day; and the night, till near morning, was as unusually dark as the day.”PREX1 152.3

    Rev. Mr. Tenny, of Exeter, N. H., quoted by Mr. Gage, in some speculations upon the cause of the darkness, forwarded to “The Historical Society,” in which he says that “no satisfactory solution of it has yet appeared,”-in remarking upon the following evening, says, “The darkness of the following evening was probably as gross as has ever been observed since the Almighty first gave birth to light. I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable darkness, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes, was equally invisible with the blackest velvet.”PREX1 152.4

    The moon to blood.” The following extract of a letter from Mr. Beadle, at Aleppo, and published in the Missionary Herald of June, 1842, page 234, will illustrate this point. It is an account of an earthquake at that place in 1822. He says, “On the night of the earthquake there was something peculiar in the atmosphere, the moon appearing as red as blood. This greatly alarmed the inhabitants, who were continually crying out, ‘Now we shall hear the trumpet sound! and the dead will rise! the day of judgment has arrived!’”PREX1 153.1

    The following description of the forementioned earthquake is from the same writer:PREX1 153.2

    “About ten o’clock the earth began suddenly to move, as if it had been placed upon the waves of the sea. This rapidly undulating motion continued for some seconds, but produced no very serious injury. Some walls cracked, but resumed their places when the earth rested. A moment after the undulating motion ceased, came the dreadful shock. It was strictly vertical, seeming to strike directly beneath the city. The confusion and ruin which succeeded that awful moment, are beyond all description. The crash of falling houses, the shrieks of the dying and wounded, husbands calling for wives, and wives searching for husbands, children entreating help from parents, and parents vainly seeking for their lost children, mingled with prayers and groans in many languages, presented a scene of suffering and wo from which the mind turns instinctively away.PREX1 153.3

    “The first impulse of the surviving inhabitants seemed to be to rush to the gates of the city. Many were crushed in their flight, and those who were permitted to reach a place of comparative safety outside the walls, were compelled to pass over mangled and dead bodies, and fly amidPREX1 154.1

    —‘ten thousand deaths on every side.’”PREX1 154.2

    And in the stars.” The sign in the stars is, that “the stars shall fall from heaven as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when shaken of a mighty wind.” Revelation 6:13, and Matthew 24:29. Has such a phenomenon taken place? The remembrance of the shower of meteors, on the night of Nov. 13, 1833, is fresh in the minds of the present generation. The scene could not be more truly described than it is by the Revelator. Such a scene I find described as having occurred in 1779, on the 12th of November, and as having been visible from South America to Germany and Greenland. From where they were witnessed in South America, on the coast of Brazil, to Weimer, in Germany, is 10,800 miles; and from the same place to Herrenhut, in Greenland, 7,000 miles. This was the earliest shower of meteors, of any considerable magnitude, I can find on record. This was about six months before the dark day. There are several instances of the kind on record since that. Indeed, the 12th and 13th of November seem to be their anniversary. But, it is objected, meteors are not “stars.” I would ask the objector, then, what it was which went before the wise men and guided them to the place of the Saviour’s birth? Was it a fixed star? Can one of these fiery orbs fall on the earth, and not destroy it? Certainly not. Then they must be meteors.PREX1 154.3

    But, admitting it to refer to the fixed stars, will not the conflagration of some of those bodies within a few years, as recorded by astronomers, answer the prediction? The signs have most certainly appeared in the stars.PREX1 155.1

    Recapitulation. 1. The sun has been super-naturally darkened from morning to night: in some places it being cloudy, and the sun entirely invisible, and in others it being visible, but having the same appearance as when totally eclipsed; and the stars being visible. I have both these accounts from many living witnesses, in different parts of the country. It being cloudy in the north and clear in the south of New England.PREX1 155.2

    2. That the moon, although it fulled the 18th, the day before the dark day, and must have arisen soon after sunset, gave no light at all. Also the bloody hue of the moon has appeared.PREX1 155.3

    3. That signs in the stars have appeared, whether it be understood of the showers of meteors, or of the burning of the fixed stars.PREX1 155.4

    Observe:-Each of these events has made a deep impression on the world that it presaged the great and terrible day of the Lord; some in each time believing it had come; others that it would soon come. It was thus on the dark day, when the moon was turned to blood, and during the showers of meteors. To the people, generally, at the time they were witnessed, they were a sign. If they do not fulfil the prophecy, it cannot be fulfilled. For if it is ever done, it must be by just these appearances. If this does not accomplish the prediction, the repetition of the same thing again would not do it, hut would rather produce infidelity by the commonness of the phenomena. I must, therefore, believe the signs to have already appeared.PREX1 155.5

    “Upon earth distress of nations with perplexity.” Beginning with the French Revolution, in 1789, to the close of Bonaparte’s career, in 1815, it is notorious that a time of dreadful trouble prevailed in the four quarters of the globe,-Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. That war, which began in France, ere it ended, involved nearly the whole civilized world. Almost all the governments of Christendom were shaken to their very base. It was the declaration of Bonaparte, at the time of the revolution of Nov., 1799, that “nothing in history resembled the close of the 18th century.” Europe was deluged with blood, and millions of her sons fell upon the field of battle. Almost every sovereign on the continent of Europe was hurled from his throne, or obliged to purchase a dishonorable peace of Europe’s scourge. The intestine broils and civil commotions of the Ottoman empire, were fast bringing it to ruin. There was emphatically “on earth distress of nations, with perplexity.” No nation could foresee for a day, what would be its doom by the next day. All was fear and dismay. More than once, in the midst of the perplexity of the age, and of our other distresses, our own country was startled by the report of Bonaparte’s intention of crossing the Atlantic.PREX1 156.1

    Hear Sir Robert Peel, in the British parliament, on the close of the last and beginning of the present century:—PREX1 157.1

    “We live in an important period in the annals of human events. There may be a natural tendency to overrate the magnitude of the crisis which we witness, or to increase the importance of those occurrences with which we are encompassed; but it is impossible to deny that the period in which our lot and the lot of our fathers have been cast-that period which has elapsed since the first outbreak of the French Revolution-is one of the most memorable periods in the history of the world; and the course which we pursued during that period will attract, for ages to come, the contemplation, and I trust the admiration of posterity. (Loud cheering.) It may be divided into two periods of almost equal importance. First, twenty-five years of continued conflict, the most momentous that ever engaged the energies of a nation; and next, twenty-five years of profound European peace, purchased by the sacrifices which we made for years in maintaining the contest that preceded it.”PREX1 157.2

    “The sea and the waves roaring.” The almost universal testimony of mariners, is, that for a few years past, the sea has been to an unparalleled degree, boisterous. One captain, who crossed the Atlantic for the one hundred and sixth time, last February, declared that he had never experienced anything to be compared to the roughness of the ocean during that voyage. In one storm which happened last winter on the coast of France, between two and three hundred dead bodies were found after the gale, washed up upon the shores of France, beside the multitude who were never found.PREX1 157.3

    The terrible gales of 1839 and 1841, upon the coast of New England, will long be remembered by merchants, whose property perished by millions; and mother, widows, sisters, and orphan children, whose earthly prospects were blasted by the ocean’s rage. The “terrible shipwrecks” of 1841, were altogether unprecedented in the history of New England. From the small town of Truro, on Cape Cod, in one gale, nine vessels were lost, and fifty-six seamen perished; almost from a single neighborhood. The sudden rise of the water among the islands of the Pacific Ocean some three years since, covering, and almost desolating some of the islands in a perfect calm, is another instance of the waves’ roaring.PREX1 158.1

    At the time of the terrible earthquakes in the “West-Indies, last May, a vessel of the United States, a few days out, from Java, in the Indian Ocean, was overtaken by “an earthquake at sea.” The vessel was going at about the rate of one mile per hour, it being almost a perfect calm. Suddenly, the vessel began to shake; and shook, as the captain describes it, as if it would shake out the masts of the ship. Supposing they were upon shoals, they sounded, and by casting out one hundred and twenty fathom, or seven hundred and twenty feet of line, could find no bottom. Thus, on one side of the earth, in the Atlantic, God shook the dry land; and on the opposite side, in the Indian Ocean, the sea.PREX1 158.2

    Verse 26. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Literally “the habitable earth.”PREX1 158.3

    That there is a great excitement at the present time, on the state of the world and the prospects of the future, is undeniable. That some great revolution is soon to take place, all are disposed to concede, whether they belong to the political, civil, commercial, literary, philanthropic, benevolent, moral, or religious organizations and associations of the age. But what that revolution is to be, they are not so well satisfied. It is now, much as at the time of Christ’s first advent; expectation is on tiptoe, looking; for something. The interest on the subject of the second advent is almost universal. From every quarter of the globe from which we hear, it is a topic of interest. It is a theme which excites universal interest in our own country, insomuch that scarcely a paper of any description appears without alluding to the subject; most of them, it is true, with contempt. East, west, north, and south, the press is teeming with books illustrative of the prophecies; so that probably not a week passes without a new work from some quarter on this subject. Thus the world is looking after those things which are coming on “the habitable earth.”PREX1 159.1

    The powers of heaven shall be shaken, and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.”PREX1 159.2

    Shall be shaken.” This is the last sign of the series, and is to take place in immediate connection with the second advent. “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” It signifieth the removing of things that can be shaken, and the leaving a kingdom which cannot he moved.PREX1 159.3

    The signs have all appeared, and it only remains that the coming of Christ should close the scene. “I shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land; I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come.”PREX1 160.1

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