The darkest hour has long been used figuratively to mean the lowest ebb.
The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller appears to be the first person to commit the notion that the darkest hour is just before the dawn to print. His religious travelogue A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, 1650, contains this view:
It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.
September 5th, 2012
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