Samuel Davies – Lessons From the Great Earthquake – 1755

Let imagination form a lively idea of the destruction of Lisbon the ground trembling, and heaving, and roaring with subterranean thunders towers, palaces, and churches tottering and falling  the flames bursting from the ruins, and setting all in a blaze  the sea roaring, and rushing over its banks with resistless impetuosity  the inhabitants running from place to place in wild consternation, in search of safety; or falling on their knees, and rending the air with their wild shrieks and cries  flying to the strongest buildings for shelter but crushed in their ruins; or to the sea, and there swept away by the rushing waves. Walls falling upon thousands in their flight; or the earth opening her jaws, and swallowing them up. Can human imagination represent anything more shocking? In other calamities, whatever else we lose, we have still the earth to support us: but when that is gone, we are helpless indeed, and must sink into immediate destruction!

Lessons From the Great Earthquake