Hermes Trismegistus (circa 1st Century CE)
“There will come a time when it will have been in vain that Egyptians have honored the Godhead with heartfelt piety and service; and all our holy worship will be fruitless and ineffectual. The Gods will return from earth to heaven; Egypt will be forsaken, and the land which was once the home of religion will be left desolate, bereft of the presence of its deities.
“They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which he has built, this sum of good made up of many diverse forms, this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which he has made, ungrudgingly favoring man’s welfare.
“Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven; the pious will be deemed insane, the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.
“As for the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you; all this they will mock, and even persuade themselves that it is false. No word ofreverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven, will be heard or believed.
“And so the Gods will depart from mankind, — a grievous thing! — and only evil angels will remain,who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches into all manner of reckless crime, into wars,and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul.
“Then will the earth tremble, and the sea bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, all voices of the Gods will be forced into silence; the fruits of the Earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken with sullen stagnation; all things will be disordered and awry,all good will disappear.
“But when all this has befallen, then God the Creator of all things will look on that which has come to pass, and will stop the disorder by the counterforce of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world of evil, washing it away with floods, burning it out with the fiercest fire, and expelling it with war and pestilence.