On May 19,1780.
NOTES. - "The 19th day of May, 1780, was a remarkably dark day. Candles were lighted in many houses. The birds were silent, and disappeared. The fowls retired to roost. It was the general opinion that the day of judgment was at hand. The Legislature of Connecticut was in session at Hartford, but being unable to transact business, adjourned." President Dwight, in Connecticut Historical Collections. "The greatest darkness was at least equal to what is commonly called candle-lighting in the evening. The appearance was indeed un- common, and the cause unknown." The Connecticut Journal, New Haven, May 25, 1780. "The Dark Day, May 19, 1780, so called on account of a remark- able darkness on that day, extending over all New England. In some places, persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together... The true cause of this remarkable phenomenon is not known." Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, in Explanatory and Pronouncing Vocabulary, art. Dark Day. The inquiry may be raised, Why was the darkening of the sun confined to so limited a district as a portion of the Western Hemisphere, if it was to be a sign of the Lord's coming? To which we reply: God has given to the inhabitants of the Old World many signs of Christ's second coming; and why should not others be favored in this respect? Shall we criticize Him who is too wise to err? The inhabitants of the Old World can say: On our territory mighty kingdoms arose and fell, according to the sure word of prophecy. Here the pope lost his temporal power at a time marked by prophecy a sure indication of the end near; and here great nations are taking the lead in preparing for the last great battle. It is for God to distribute the signs according to His wisdom and good pleasure, and it is for us to accept them with submission and gratitude, whether we witness them ourselves, or whether others witness them and report them to us. The Jews never saw the star that led to the spot where the Saviour was born, nor did most of them witness many of the Saviour's mighty miracles. Were they therefore justified in not believing on Him?
When did the moon refuse to shine? "The night succeeding that day (May 19, 1780) was of such pitchy darkness that in some instances horses could not be compelled to leave the stable when wanted for service." Stone's History of Beverly (Mass.).
NOTE. - The darkness of the night was as supernatural as that of the previous day, from the fact, as stated by Dr. Adams, that "the moon had fulled the day before."
When did the stars fall, as predicted in the prophecy? November 13,1833.
NOTES. - "But the most sublime phenomenon of shooting stars of which the world has furnished any record, was witnessed throughout the United States on the morning of the 13 th of November, 1833. The entire extent of this astonishing exhibition has not been precisely ascertained; but it covered no inconsiderable portion of the earth's surface... The whole heavens seemed in motion, and suggested to some the awful grandeur of the image employed in the Apocalypse, upon the opening of the sixth seal, when 'the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.' " Burritt's Geography of the Heavens, page 163, ed. 1854. "No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; and I hesitate not to say that no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated atone point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted; thousands swiftly followed in the track of thousands, as if created for the occasion." Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833.
When the trees put forth their leaves, what does it indicate?
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh." Matt. 24:32.
What just as surely indicates the Lord's speedy coming? "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Matt. 24:33.
How near is the Lord's coming when these signs have been fulfilled? "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." Matt 24:34, 35.
NOTE. - As though he said, This generation of which I speak; the one that actually sees the last sign, has seen all of them in the sense that we have seen the progress of science. We have not actually lived during its entire development, but we look back and say we have seen it. So in this case. The same original word here used and translated "this," also occurs in Luke 17:34: "I tell you in that night [the night of which I speak] there shall be two in one bed."
Can we know the day and hour of His coming? "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Matt. 24:36.
What will be the moral condition of the world when the Lord comes? "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24:37-39.
If we have knowledge of the Lord's coming, what is our duty? "Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matt. 24:44.
What will be the doom of those who say in their hearts that the Lord is not soon coming?" But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming,... the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder [margin, cut him of], and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth." Matt. 24:48-51.
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