"The Firmament" 


"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork." Psalms 14:1.   

Did you ever watch the steam rising out of the teakettle and floating off in the air? If you look at it closely it looks very much like little tiny drops of water floating about. And that is really what it is, for if you hold a cold tin over it, the tin soon will be covered with water. When the sun comes out bright and warm after a rain, you can see steam or vapour, like this, rising from the wet pavements; in a few moments the water that was on them has all gone up in the air, and the pavements are dry. Some mornings when you look out of the window the air is so full of fog, or vapour, that you cannot see across the street.   

When the earth was first created, you remember it was all covered with water. Part of this water was in vapours and fogs, like that which you have seen, only very much thicker. 

Job 38:9.   

On the second day, the next day after the heavens and earth and light were made, God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters," that is, Let there be a space between the waters. It was the same as though He had said, "Waters, do not stay together any more, but let there be a space between you." And it was so! Part of the waters (those which were in vapours) rose right up, away from the other waters (Jeremiah 10:13), and there was a great space between them and the others! And God filled this great space or firmament with air.   

Some of these waters, which rose up, God bound in thick clouds (Job 26:8), and others float around in such fine specks that we cannot see them. Even in a bright clear day, there is a great deal of water mixed up with the air. And God balances these clouds full of water and keeps them from breaking, and causes them to be driven by wind from one place to another where rain is needed. Then he causes them to let the rain come gently down in small round drops upon the thirsty plants and trees.     

When we look up through this great firmament, which God made, it looks blue, almost like a blue curtain or roof above our heads. We call it the "sky." This beautiful space or firmament above us which looks so blue, which is lighted with the twinkling stars, and in which are the air and the wonderful clouds,-this we call the "heavens." How grand and beautiful!   

We cannot see the air, but we know there is air and wind because we see what it does. In just the same way we know there is a God. We cannot see Him, but we know that God is, for we see all around us and over us the wonderful things that He has done-things that no one else could do. No wonder that the Bible says, "The heavens declare [or tell of] the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork." In other words, the wonderful things in the firmament show us some of the glory of God, and some of the work that He is able to do.” 

September 14, 1893 EJW, PTUK 380


“Whether the school was held in the church, or elsewhere, no one tells us. The tiny church might contain the congregation, well packed in, but it would hardly seem adequate for a school full of children. And remember, those Buck's Bridge people "had a lot of children." We do not know how many pupils Miss Martha had, nor how long the school continued, but it was the first. John Byington, with his family, removed to Michigan in 1858. Buck's Bridge church continued for many years, but evidently, according to the testimony of Mr. Haley, it had ceased to exist in the early 1900's.  

We crossed the bridge, too, to look at the "baptizing place." Across a rail fence, the meadow slopes gradually down to the still waters; and through the misty rain we beheld as it were a great company assembled, standing on the gentle slope, the townspeople mingled with the church members, to watch the candidates-children, youth, and new converts-going down into the water to be buried with their Lord in baptism, while the congregation sang: 

1947 AWS, FOPI 137


"I will follow Thee, my Savior," and

"Just as I am without one plea," and

"Shall we gather at the river?"

Where bright angel feet have trod, 

With its crystal tide forever

Flowing by the throne of God?

"Yes, we'll gather at the river,

The beautiful, the beautiful river; 

Gather with the saints at the river

That flows by the throne of God."