in the Heavens
sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great
and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:31.
In the Savior’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing
the long period of trial for the church--the 1260 years of papal persecution,
concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened--He
thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when
the first of these should be witnessed: "In those days, after that tribulation,
the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light." The
1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution
had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words
of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy
if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon
of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780--a most unaccountable
darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England."--
R. M. Devens, Our First Century, p. 89. . . .
darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially
clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black,
heavy mist. "After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew
dark very fast." "Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon
and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full
moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light.
. . ."--Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy: or, American Oracle of Liberty,
vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). . . .
of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the
Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to
their fulfillment: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon
into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."
Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice
as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.