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Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and thout 1
Again, God said, Let there be firmament 261
265 In circuit to the uttermolt convex Of this great round: partition firm and sure,
The to view one after another, in such 261. Again, God said, &c.] When a manner, that the reader seems he makes God speak, he adheres present at this wonderful work, and closely to the words of Scripture. to afsift among the quires of Angels, And God said, Let there be a firmament who are the spectators of it. How in the midf of the waters, and let it glorious is che conclusion of the firft divide the waters from the watersa day! Addison
Gen. 1. 6. But when he says that 256.
with joy and shout God made the firmament he explains The hollow universal orb they fill'd,] what is meant by the firmament, The angels singing and shouting for The Hebrew word, which the Greeks joy at the creation of the world render by sepsww.c, and our trans, seeins to be founded upon Job lators by firmament, fignifies expan XXXVIII. 4, 7. Where was thou fron; it is render'd expansion in the when I laid the foundations of the margin of our bibles, and Milton tarih; when the morning fars yang rightly explains it by the expanse of together, and all tbe fons of God elemental air, freuted for joy? And with this joy 264.---liquid air,] Virg. Æn. VI. and thout i bey fill'd the hollow uni- 202. liquidumque per aera. versal orb, the great round (as it is 267 - partition form and fure, cali'd ver. 267.) of the universe, For its certainty not folidity. So, hollow as being concave and having Auguftin upon Genesis. It is not no creatures to inhabit it.
call'd firmament as being a solid body,
The waters underneath from those above
The but because it is a bound or term be- fembling water. Who layeth the beams tween the upper and nether waters; of his chambers in the waters. Plal. a partition firm and immoveable, not CIV. 3. Praise him' ye
Heavens of upon account of its flation, but of its Heavens, and ye waters above the firmness and intransgressibility: Heavens. Pfal. CXLVIII.
infers, that as God built the earth, 268. The waters underneath from and founded it on waters (fretched those above
out the earth above the waters. Psal. Dividing :] They who understand CXXXVI. 6. By the word of God the firmament to be the vast air, ex- the Heavens were of old, and the earth panded and stretch'd out on all consisting out of the water and in the lides to the starry Heavens, esteem water. 2 Pet. III. 5.) so also he the waters above it to be those ge- establish'd the whole frame of the nerated, in the middle region of heavenly orbs, in a calm crystallin the air, of vapors exhaled and drawn sea furrounding it, left the neighup thither from the steaming earth bourhood of the unruly Chaos should and nether waters; which descend disturb it. But all search in works again in such vast showers and mighty so wonderfill, so dijiant and undisfoods of rain, that not only rivers, cernable, as well as undemonstrable, but seas may be imaginable above, is quite confounded. Hume. as appeared when the cataracts came down in a deluge, and the flood-gates 274. And Heav'ni be nam'd the of Heaven were open' d. Gen. VII.11. firmament:) So Gen I 8. Others, and those many, by these Ar.d God called the firmament Heaven. waters above understand the crystal. But it may seem ftrange if the firlin Heaven (by Gafsendus made moment means the air and a mosphere, double) by our author better named that the air sould be called Heaven: cryftallin ocean, by its clearness re. but so it is frequently in the lan
The earth was form’d, but in the womb as yet
Into guage of the Hebrews and in the Be gather'd now ze waters under file of Scripture. In this very chap Heaven ter, ver. 20. it is faid fowl that may Into one place, and let dry land apfy above tbe earth in the open firma pear.] This is again exactly ment of Heaven. So in Psal. CIV. copied from Mofes ; And God said, 12. By them shall the fowls of the Let the waters under the Heaven be Heaven have their habitation, which gathered together into one place, and fing among the branches. And Mat let the dry land appear; and it was VI. 26. what we translate the fowls fo. Gen. I. 9. And it was so is very of the air is in the original the fowls sort in Moses ; Milton inlarges upon of Heaven, 70 TETIVE TOU deart. it, as the subject will admit fome So again, Rev. XIX. 17. the fowls fine ftrokes of poetry, and seems to that fiy in the midst of Heaven. And have had his eye upon the CIVth we read often in Scripture of the Psalm, which is likewise a divine rain of Heaven, and the clouds of hymn in praise of the creation, 6th Heaven, The truth is there were and following verfes. Thou covered three Heavens in the account of the the earth zvith the deep; the waters Hebsows. Mention is made of the food above the mountains. At thy third Heaven 2 Cor. XII. 2.. The rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy first Heaven is the air, as we have thunder they hafted away. They go shown, wherein the clouds move up by the mountains, they go down by and the birds fly; the second is the the valleys unto the place which thou starry Heaven, and the third Heaven has founded for them, &c. We supis the habitation of the Angels and pose that we need nor desire the the seat of God's glory. Milton reader to remark the beautiful numis speaking here of the firft Heaven, bers in the following verses of the as he mentions the others in other poem, how they seem to rise with places.
the rising mountains, and to sink 282. God said
again with the falling waters.
Into one place, and let dry land appear.
slime and mud. In this soft earth deep 299. If steep, with torrent rapture,] channels were easily worn by the I have seen a marginal reading with streaming water, 'till 'twas dry every
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain,
Desert *here but within the banks, the to be found in our aithor and all bounds set to the rivers, where they good poets.' Richardson. now perpetually draw along after 307. The dry land, earth, &c.] them their moiết train. The rivers These are again the words of Geare imagin'd as persons of great nefis form’d into verse. Gen. I. 10, quality, the length of their robe 11. And God called the dry land earth, training after them;
and the gathering together of the waters where rivers now
called he feas: and God saw that it Stream, and perpetual draw their bring forth grass, the herbyielding feed,
was good. And God said, Let the earth humid train.
and the fruit-trre yielding fruit after You cannot read it otherwise than his kind, whose feed is in itself upon flowly, and so as to give your mind the earth. But when he comes to the 2 picture of the thing describ’d. defcriptive part, he then opens a finer Many examples of the like kind are vein of poetry. VOL. II.