The Gospel of Matthew's homily on the signs connected with the imagined return of christ, features an element of the sign that seems to really scare superstitious people.
Matthew 24:29 reads: "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;"
In the nineteenth century such an even occurred twice in the 19th century and apparently became part of Charlie Russell's conviction that the end of the world was nigh, Charlie, of course, was a 'man of faith' accepting the bible as true and not willing to search for alternative explanation for such events. If Charlie R. had been the sort of person that continually asks why, his life and ours may have taken a different course.
I cannot quote where in his mass of writings he cites those 19th C events (its a long time since I've bothered to be interested in his writings), but mention them he did, and saw these events as proof of the imminent return of jesus christ.
So let's look at these two 19th C.natural occurrences, and compare them to another occurrence some 1400 years ago.
The 19th C events occurred in 1814-16 and again circa, 1883. The reason for the sun and moon being darkened was volcanic activity, easy for us to appreciate, but more difficult for religiously superstitious people.
The Wikipedia encyclopedia notes the 1814-16 event: Quote."The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.
Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) . This eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years (after the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer )
Charlie was, of course, not an eye-witness to that event, but was alive for the second, 1883 event: An eye-witness account describes the after affects - "The air grew steadily darker and darker, and at 10:30 a.m. we were in total darkness, just the same as on a very dark night. The wind was from the west-ward, and began to increase till it reached the force of a hurricane.So we let down both anchors and kept the screw turning slowly at half speed in order to ride over the terribly high seas which kept suddenly striking us presumably in consequence of a "sea quake," and made us dread being buried under them. Awnings and curtains from forward right up the main-mast, three boat covers, and the uppermost awning of the quarter deck were blown away in a moment. Some objects on desk which had been lashed got loose and were carried overboard; the upper deck hatchways and those on the main deck were closed tightly, and the passengers for the most part were sent below.
The lightning struck the mainmast conductor six or seven times, but no damage. The rain of pumice-stones changed to a violent mud rain, and this mud rain was so heavy that in the space of ten minutes the mud lay half a foot deep. Kept steaming with the head of the ship as far as possible seawards for half an hour when the sea began to abate, and at noon the wind dropped away entirely. Then we stopped the engine. The darkness however remained as before, as did also the mud rain." (from VanSANDICK)