when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake.
Prophecy not only foretells the manner and object of Christ's coming, but
presents tokens by which men are to know when it is near. . . . The revelator
thus describes the first of the signs to precede the second advent: "There
was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and
the moon became as blood."
were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfillment
of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake
that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon,
it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt
in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and
Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than
four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in
Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco,
a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A
vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa, engulfing cities, and
causing great destruction.
in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz
the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, "some of
the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very
foundations." . . .--Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495.
. . . "The earthquake happened on a holy day, when the churches and convents
were full of people, very few of whom escaped."-- Encyclopedia Americana,
art. "Lisbon," note (ed. 1831). . . It has been estimated that ninety
thousand persons lost their lives on that fatal day.
we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with
great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious
outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the
control of man; but in them all, God's purpose may be read. They are among
the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their
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