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“In May 19th, 1780, there was a remarkable fulfilment thereof, and in reference to the facts and date, there can be no place for doubts ; for, aside from historical accounts, in which there is found no discrepancy, there are thousands now living who can attest thereto. They say the darkness was supernatural from morning until night, and during most of the night; and although the moon had fulled only the night previous, the Rev. Mr. Tenny, of Exeter, N. H., says, “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.”
In the month of May, 1780, there was a very terrific dark day in New England, when all faces seemed to gather blackness,' and the people were filled with fear. There was great distress in the village where Edward Lee lived ; 'men's hearts failing them for fear that the judgment day was at hand, and the neighbors all flocked around the holy man, for his lamp was trimmed and shining brighter than ever, amidst the unnatural darkness. Happy and joyful in God, he pointed them to their only refuge from the wrath to come, and spent the gloomy hours in earnest prayer for the distressed multitude. His nephew, who was then a little child, in after life retained a lively recollection of that scene, and in his childish feelings are an interesting exhibition of the manner in which Mr. Lee was regarded, for he felt not the least alarm in his presence, thinking that he was perfectly safe where his good uncle was, even if the day of judgment had come. (Tract No. 379 of Am. Tract Society. Life of Edward Lee, of Mass.)
“The 19th of May, 1780, was a remarkably dark day; candles were lighted in many houses ; the birds were silent and disappeared; the fowls retired to rest; It was the general opinion that the day of judgment was at hund. The Legislature of Connecticut was in session, at Hartford, but being unable to transact business, adjourned. A motion for adjournment was before the Council; but when the opinion of Col. Davenport (of Stamford) was requested, he replied, 'I am against the adjournment. The day of judgment is either at hand, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment; if it is, I wish to be found in the line of my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.'” (Pres. Dwight in Ct. Hist. Col.)
“Dark day of May 19, 1780. 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 dark ness was such as to occasion the farmers to leave their work in the fields 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.” (Gage's Hist. of Rowley, Mass.)
2. “Moon darkened, 'Signs in the Moon' fulfilled. Night after the dark day of 1780.”
“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 be more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes, was equally invisible with the blackest velvet.” (Rev. Mr. Tenney, of Exeter, N. H., quoted by Mr. Gage to the Historical Society.)
“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. About midnight the clouds were dispersed, and the moon and stars appeared with unimpaired brilliancy." (Portsmouth Journal, May 20, 1843. Extract from Stone's History of Beverly.)
“Where shall we look for a more literal and exact fulfilment than the above extracts exhibit of those remarkable signs?”
"The third sign is the falling of the stars, which was literally fulfilled on the night of Nov. 13, 1833. I am aware that some view that phenomena an exhibition of meteors and not of stars, and therfore no fulfilment of that sign. I ask what kind of a star piloted the wise men to the birthplace of the Saviour ? Surely no planet or fixed star. How many planets could fall from heaven on this earth without producing its destruction? The distinction between meteors and stars is of modern invention, the discovery of modern astronomers. It is well known the ancients understood by the Greek word astor, (here used) the smaller lights of heaven. It is, therefore, evident that this sign must have a shower of meteors, or small stars, for its fulfilment; and that the phenomena of Nov. 1833 fully exhibit the sign, the following extracts will show.'
“The first, from Henry Dana Ward, of New York, published in the Journal of Commerce, Nov. 15, 1853:
* * * * At the cry, 'Look out of the window,' I sprang from a deep sleep, and with wonder, saw the east lighted up with the dawn and METEORS. The zenith, the north and the west also showed the falling stars, in the very image of one thing, and of only one I ever heard of, I called to my wife to behold; and while robing, she exclaimed, See! how the stars fall!' I replied, “That is the wonder;' and we felt in our hearts that it was a sign of the last days. For truly “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,' (Rev. vi: 13). This language of the prophet has always been received as metaphorical. Yesterday it was literally fulfilled. The ancients understood by astor, in Greek, and stella, in Latin, the smaller lights of heaven. The refinement of modern astronomy has made the distinction between the stars of heaven and the meteors of heaven. Therefore the idea of the prophet, as it is expressed in the original Greek, was literally fulfilled in the phenomena of yesterday, so as no man, before yesterday, had conceived to be possible that it should be fulfilled. The immense size and distance of the planets and fixed stars forbid the idea of their falling unto the earth. Larger bodies cannot fall in myriads unto a smaller body: but most of the planets, and all the fixed stars are many times larger than our earth. They cannot fall unto the earth ; but these fell toward it."
“And how did they fall? Neither myself nor one of the family heard any report; and were I to hunt through nature for a simile, I could not find one so apt to illustrate the appearance of the heavens, as that which St. John uses in the prophecy before quoted. It rained fire,' says one; another, “It was like a shower of fire;' another, 'It was like the large flakes of falling snow,, before a coming storm, or large drops of rain, before a shower.' I admit their fitness for common accuracy; but they come far short of the accuracy of the figure used by the prophet: The stars of heaven fell unto the earth;' they were not sheets, or flakes, or drops of fire; but they were what the world understands by falling stars :' and one speaking to his fellow in the midst of the scene, would say, 'See how the stars fall!' and he who heard would not pause to correct the astronomy of the speaker, any more than he would be so precise as to reply, 'the sun does not move,' to one who should tell him the sun is rising.' The stars fell even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.' Here is the exactness of the prophet. The falling stars did not come as if from several trees shaken, but from one: those which appeared in the east fell toward the east; those which appeared in the north fell toward the north ; those which appeared in the west fell toward the west ; and those which appeared in the south (for I went out
residence into the Park) fell towards the south. And they fell not as the ripe fruit falls. Far from it; but they flew, they were cast like the unripe fruit, which at first refuses to leave the branch; and when under a violent pressure it does break its hold, it flies swiftly, straight off, descending; and in the multitude