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Vii.

TUESDAY.

WR

E are next informed by Moses that "God said Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters; and that "God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.”

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What did the writer mean by the word firmament? Theologians now tell us that he meant an expanse." This will not do. How could an expanse divide the waters from the waters, so that the waters above the expanse would not fall into and mingle with the waters below the expanse? The truth is that Moses regarded the firmament as a solid affair. It was where God lived, and where water was kept. It was for this reason that they used to pray for rain. They supposed that some angel could with a lever raise a gate and let out the quantity of moisture desired. It was with the water from this firmament that the world was drowned when the windows of heaven were opened. It was in this

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firmament that the sons of God lived-the sons who "saw the daughters of men that they were fair and took them wives of all which they chose." The issue of such marriages were giants, and "the same became mighty men which were of old, men of

renown.'

Nothing is clearer than that Moses regarded the firmament as a vast material division that separated the waters of the world, and upon whose floor God lived, surrounded by his sons. In no other way could he account for rain. Where did the water come from? He knew nothing about the laws of evaporation. He did not know that the sun wooed with amorous kisses the waves of the sea, and that they, clad in glorified mist rising to meet their lover, were, by disappointment, changed to tears and fell as rain.

The idea that the firmament was the abode of the Deity must have been in the mind of Moses when he related the dream of Jacob. "And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon the earth and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it; and behold the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God."

So, when the people were building the tower of Babel "the Lord came down to see the city, and the tower which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language: and this they begin to do; and nothing will be restrained from them which they imagined to do. Go to, let us go down and confound their language that they may not understand one another's speech."

The man who wrote that absurd account must have believed that God lived above the earth, in the firmament. The same idea was in the mind of the Psalmist when he said that God "bowed the heavens and came down."

Of course, God could easily remove any person bodily to heaven, as it was but a little way above the earth. "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." The accounts in the bible of the ascension of Elijah, Christ and St. Paul were born of the belief that the firmament was the dwellingplace of God. It probably never occurred to these writers that if the firmament was seven or eight miles away, Enoch and the rest would have been frozen perfectly stiff long before the journey could have been completed. Possibly Elijah might have made

the voyage, as he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire “by a whirlwind."

The truth is, that Moses was mistaken, and upon that mistake the christians located their heaven and their hell. The telescope destroyed the firmament, did away with the heaven of the New Testament, rendered the ascension of our Lord and the assumption of his Mother infinitely absurd, crumbled to chaos the gates and palaces of the New Jerusalem, and in their places gave to man a wilderness of worlds.

WR

VIII.

WEDNESDAY.

E are next informed by the historian of Creation, that after God had finished making the firmament and had succeeded in dividing the waters by means of an "expanse," he proceeded "to gather the waters on the earth together in seas, so that the dry land might appear."

Certainly the writer of this did not have any conception of the real form of the earth. He could not have known anything of the attraction of gravitation. He must have regarded the earth as flat and supposed that it required considerable force and power to induce the water to leave the mountains and collect in the valleys. Just as soon as the water was forced to run down hill, the dry land appeared, and the grass began to grow, and the mantles of green were thrown over the shoulders of the hills, and the trees laughed into bud and blossom, and the branches were laden with fruit. And all this happened before a ray had left the quiver of the sun, before a glittering beam had thrilled the bosom of a

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