In earlier installments, I had made it through Ridges introductory comments and discussion, and the first 40 signs. This time, I will summarize the 41st through 50th signs:
When telegraphs did come back on line, many were filled with vivid accounts of the celestial light show that had been witnessed the night before. Newspapers from France to Australia featured glowing descriptions of brilliant auroras that had turned night into day. One eyewitness account from a woman on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina ran in the Charleston Mercury: “The eastern sky appeared of a blood red color. It seemed brightest exactly in the east, as though the full moon, or rather the sun, were about to rise. It extended almost to the zenith. The whole island was illuminated. The sea reflected the phenomenon, and no one could look at it without thinking of the passage in the Bible which says, ‘the sea was turned to blood.’ The shells on the beach, reflecting light, resembled coals of fire.”
The sky was so crimson that many who saw it believed that neighboring locales were on fire. Americans in the South were particularly startled by the northern lights, which migrated so close to the equator that they were seen in Cuba and Jamaica. Elsewhere, however, there appeared to be genuine confusion. In Abbeville, South Carolina, masons awoke and began to lay bricks at their job site until they realized the hour and returned to bed. In Bealeton, Virginia, larks were stirred from their sleep at 1 a.m. and began to warble. (Unfortunately for them, a conductor on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad was also awake and shot three of them dead.) In cities across America, people stood in the streets and gazed up at the heavenly pyrotechnics. In Boston, some even caught up on their reading, taking advantage of the celestial fire to peruse the local newspapers.
On the night of the 12th, many sky watchers noticed that there seemed to be an unusually high number of meteors in the sky heading into the morning of the 13th. Suddenly, as if someone turned on a switch, the sky filled with meteors to the tune of, according to some estimates, over 200,000 per hour! That translates to over 3,000 per minute or, even more mind boggling, 50 meteors per second. All across North America, people were woken by their bedrooms suddenly becoming filled with light thanks to the light of all the meteors. Now, the kicker: this lasted for 4 hours until the Sun started to rise.
Update (11/21/2013): One thing I wanted to mention about the building of temple in Jerusalem. Currently Israel does not allow proselytizing, and there is currently an agreement that the Church will not baptize an Israeli citizens. So why will this change so dramatically before the Second Coming. As I read various commentators, the more recent consensus is that Christ will appear to people prior to The Second Coming. The Second Coming is the end of the wicked, when Christ returns in his full power and majesty. However, we know that he has appeared since his resurrection and ascension without it being his Second Coming. This may very well be the case with his appearance to the Jews when the Mount of Olives splits to provide an escape for the Jews. That is, this event may occur some time prior to the Second Coming, leading to the conversion of Jews and building of a temple. This is speculation, and may be completely wrong, but may be worthy of some consideration. I'm open to comments (even opposing views on this), so let me know what you think--am I barking up the wrong tree?