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them by the firmament. Can you, William, explain what the firmament is ?
William. God called it heaven; and it would seem as if it were the place where the stars are fixed.
Olympas. The firmament here spoken of, being placed between waters, can only indicate the expanse called the atmosphere, in which we live and in which the birds fly: hence the birds are said to fly in the midst of heaven. The waters floating in the clouds, and in form of vapours through the atmosphere are said to be separated from those on the earth.
Edward. Father, will you please tell us when the waters were created ? They were not created on the first day, nor on the second day, and yet they are spoken of as existing when the expanse or air was created.
Olympas. N her the waters nor the earth are included in the details of the six days. First of all, God created the substance of the heavens and the earth. And before the details of creation are given we learn that “the earth was without form and void," or one confused mass of land, water, and all other things ; over which darkness presided, and on which “the Spirit of God moved.” Out of this heterogeneous mass of discordant elements, he first created light; and on the second day he created air: and having separated light and darkness, the waters above and beneath the atmosphere, he made a second pause, or completed a second day. And what, Henry, did God create on the third day?
Henry. He said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree
yielding fruit after its kind." He covered the earth with grass, and herbs, and trees.
Olympas. But was there not before this a farther separation of the waters, Susan ?
Susan. He separated on the first day light from darkness ; on the second he separated the waters above and beneath the firmament; and on the third he again separated the waters from the land; then he clothed the earth with plants and trees.
Olympas. What did he call the dry land, when separated, and the waters when gathered together?
James. He called the dry land earth, and the gathered waters seas.
Olympas. What was created on the fourth day?
Susan. The sun, moon, and stars. These luminaries were placed in the firmament of the heaven. Olympas. For what purpose were
these so placed ?
William. To divide the day from the night, for signs, for seasons, for days, and for years.
Olympas. Can any of you explain these signs and seasons for which so many luminaries were placed in the upper firmament, or in the heavens ?
Edward. You told us, when going through Genesis the first time, that signs mean tokens ; and certainly they are tokens of God's care and goodness, of his wisdom and power, as exercised
They also make seasons for labour and for worship; and then we count on time by the motion and position of these luminaries.
Olympas. What was created the fifth day?
Mary. From the waters. Fish and fowl were formed from the same element.
Oly.npas. Were they only water fowls, or were all sorts of birds formed out of the water ?
Mary. All sorts of fowls that fly in the open firmament of heaven.
Olympaş. This, I presume, is the cause of that peculiar knowledge of the humid changes in the weather, for which all manner of winged fowls are so remarkable. Does any of you remember the remarks made about a year ago on the waters bringing forth abundantly?
Thomas Dilworth. You said that the waters were infinitely prolific of life—that so many as 30,000 animalcules were discovered in one drop. You also said that the fecundity of fish tran: scended any thing on the earth or in the air. A carp, you said, laid 20,000 eggs, and a codfish about 10,000,000. Thus the sea, is capable of sustaining many more individuals than the earth. God blessed the fish, saying, • Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas.
Olympas. And what remained for the sixth day?
Susan. On the sixth day he created all the inhabitants of the earth-beasts, cattle, reptileseverything that liveth and moveth upon the earth; and, last of all, man and woman.
Olympas. Reuben Thom, can you name the different creative acts in order ?
Reuben. I will try sir. Ist. The substance of the heavens and the earth. 2nd. Light. 3rd. The vast expanses, the atmosphere, and the ethereal regions. 4th. The vegetable kingdom. 5th. The luminaries of heaven. 6th. The fowl and the fish. 7th. The animal kingdom that belongs particularly to the earth.
Ołympas. Let me propose this matter in another form : How many distinct commands did God give in all the details of creation? Can you inform us, John ?
John. I find ten distinct imperatives. 1st. Let there be light. 2nd, Let there be a firmament. 3rd. Let the waters be gathered together. 4th. Let the dry land appear.
5th. Let the earth bring forth grass, &c. 6th. Let there be luminaries in the heavens. 7th. Let the waters bring forth abundantly. 8th. Let the earth bring forth living creatures. 9th. Let us make man. 10th. Let him have dominion.
Olympas. Observe especially the order of creation. It is as perfect as the creation itself. Order has respect to the nature and relations of things as regards cause, effect, mechanical force, time, place, circumstance. The creation of the materials is naturally first. Hence the substance of the universe was first made. Out of this mass light is first formed, because of the unsuitableness of darkness to a display of wisdom, power, and goodness; and because in light, associated with heat, as expressed in the Hebrew AUR, is the vital principle of animated nature. After light, the ethereal, as essential to the separation of the various creations, as well as to life; probably itself the effect of the electric principle associated with light. Then the separation of land and water, as prerequisite to vegetable existence; then the clothing of the new formed earth with vegetable apparel ; next the sun, moon, and stars to nourish those plants, and shrubs, and trees; for although they could be made without this influence, they could not live or fourish without it. Then the peopling
of the water sand the air after the vegetable kingdom produced them subsistence. Finally, the earth-borns, when all things were ready for their nourishment and defence. And last of all, for whom, as the ultimate end, all mundane things exist.
John. How could light and darkness alternate so as to produce night and day three days before the sun, moon, and stars were created ?
Olympas. Have you never observed the Aurora Borealis, sometimes called the Northern Lights, irradiate our portion of the earth almost with the brightness of day? Now this is demonstrated to be electric light, or, if you please, primitive light; and we have only to conceive of an increase of said light and of the rotatory motion of the earth on its axis, antecedent to the creation of the celestial luminaries. Terrestrial light, or the light of electricity, was necessarily prior to solar light, as an agent to form the expanse or firmament; the medium through which the “ bright effulgence" of solar light reaches our eyes. Into this light the earth merged as it now merges into solar light, because of its diurnal motion. But, Edward, are we to suppose that the process of creation can be fully comprehended by man?
Edward. God's ways are often inscrutable, and he is said to dwell in light, to which no man can approach.
Olympas. We do not, then, seek to explain the process; but we intend to show that it is as congruous to our reason as any thing we can imagine ; or, in other words, that it cannot be rationally objected to: so far from it, that the more the