And Darkness came over the Earth. The stars of Heaven and the constellations thereof gave not their light: the Sun was darkened in his going forth, and the Moon did not cause her light to shine. The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of Heaven fell to the Earth.
Nation rose against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there were great earthquakes in divers places, and floods and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs from Heaven.
And upon the Earth there was great distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which were coming to pass on the Earth: for truly the powers of Heaven were shaken.
Then the days came, in which there was not left one stone upon another, that was not thrown down. The cities became piles of rubble, the beautiful woodland scenes flattened by the might of terrible storms. Great earthquakes ripped the mantle of the planet asunder, in a patchwork of destruction never before seen in the entire history of civilization.
The atmospheric storms, which roared across the surface, tore down forests of trees at a single stroke, and raised water out of lake and ocean to spread destruction and inundation far inland from the shores. Nothing would remain of the once-vaunted civilization that men had built for themselves.
Continents, sunk thousands of years ago, began to rear up out of the ocean to show man that his civilization is not the first, and that this is not the first time his efforts have been crushed by catastrophe.
Finally, the light of the Sun and the Moon were shrouded out completely for long periods, and the very air that is breathed turned to a foul miasma in the lungs.
When all seemed to be undone, when the world had become unrecognizable, when there was no way to escape being washed away in storms and floods, or picked up bodily by hurricane winds….
….then look up, and lift up your head,
for your redemption draws nigh.