"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  

  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

Luke 21:25-26


"In the single year 1868 over 100,000 persons perished by earthquakes. In January, 1869, there were eleven, earthquakes, two of them great and destructive."  

7. The prophet Joel (2:30), quoted by Peter (Acts 2:19), predicted "wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke," "before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come." Again the response of history is, Fulfilled. The only difficulty is to give in small space an adequate idea of the many wonderful occurrences within the past fifty years. Sights have been witnessed which the papers have described in terms, a summary of which would read something like the following: "Extraordinary - singular - alarming - intense brightness - terrific fire - dark crimson vapor - most gorgeous - tremendous conflagration - volumes of smoke," etc. A work called "Modern Phenomena of the Heavens," by H. Jones, describes a scene Jan. 25, 1837, when "the very heavens seemed to be on fire." "The snow resembled blood and fire." "In one place near a mountain the people informed me that on the snow there was the appearance of 'waves of fire rolling down the mountain.' " 

1884 UrS, SYNPT 226 



8. The Aurora Borealis. This wonderful phenomenon has greatly increased within the last few years. The effect of its appearance in both Europe and America has been to fill the people with great alarm. It is looked upon as the precursor of the Judgment fires which are to consume the world.   

9. The sea and the waves roaring. Luke 21:25. The great tidal waves are peculiar to this last half of the nineteenth century. Harper's Magazine for 1869 says: "That most horrible phenomenon, the tidal wave, how many struggling mortals has it swept back into the deep! What countless ships has it crushed against the shores! What mighty cities has it plundered of life and wealth, strewing their streets with ocean sand, and peopling their palaces with sea monster!" Our readers will remember the awful catastrophes at Lima and Arica, Peru. The N.Y. Tribune of Nov. 12, 1868, said:-   

"The tidal disturbances are the most remarkable and extensive of which there is any record. It is said that their velocity is about a thousand miles an hour. Both the great ocean waters of the Atlantic and Pacific have been agitated in their whole extent. We mention in particular the tidal waves at St. Thomas and all the neighboring islands, which were full fifty feet in height. . . . It is said by those who have witnessed these waves that the ocean's roar is exceedingly frightful."   

Under this head would also come the long and rapidly augmenting list of ocean disasters. These will be sufficiently indicated by the fact that between the year 1865 and 1875, the United States marine suffered the loss of 2,821 vessels, valued at $129,067,700. During the one year 1870, the losses throughout the world were 1,887 vessels.  




Corresponding to these disturbances on the ocean are the tornadoes, cloudbursts, and cyclones on the land, which have of late reached such frequency and destructiveness. And to these may be added the great fires, which are acknowledged to be entirely phenomenal. The reader will at once recall Chicago, Peshtigo, Manistee, White Rock, and many towns on Lakes Michigan and Huron. The "air seemed to be on fire. Great sheets of flame enveloped them like a cloud, and moved with the rapidity of a hurricane." Clouds of fire seemed to burst and scatter death around. Balls of fire were seen revolving and bursting in every direction. Many thought the last day had come, and perished without being undeceived. And now, as if in mocking contrast, come the unparalleled floods of today, floods in Europe and floods in America, swallowing thousands in a watery grave, driving other thousands from their homes, and sweeping away millions of property. 

1884 UrS, SYNPT 226-228