Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
steam and vapors and in the canopies above the earth] stood above the mountains [which formed in part in the scum of the boiling cauldron of the molten matter, whose boiling substance irregularly raised this scum in places into small mountains]." In the book of Proverbs we find several references to this same subject. This naturally comes in the description of the Logos, as the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1: 24, 30), partly before and partly after His pre-human existence, as we find it set forth in Prov. 8: 14-36, particularly vs. 22-31, wherein His pre-existence is set forth. In this section Jesus is pointing out how He preceded various of the creative processes and their products.
Among other things, He speaks of matters as they were before the first creative day in vs. 27, 28, which we will now quote with comments: "I was there when He set a compass upon the face of the deep" (v. 27). This statement takes us back before the first creative day, and that to a time between the times of the two facts stated in the first and second clauses of Gen. 1: 2, i.e. between the time of the condition set forth by the words, "the earth was waste and empty," and the time of the condition set forth by the words, "and darkness covered the face of the deep." We know this, because the expression, setting a compass upon, rather for, the face of the deep, means that God adjusted by measure the spaces for this deep, and that forming our present seas. Hence, this was done before the deep was laid down upon those spaces. Whence came this deep? Surely not as such directly out of the molten mass, whose heat was too intense for water as such to exist therein. Doubtless the water that later formed it was produced first by the heat of the molten mass driving out of it, among others, hydrogen and oxygen gases, each separate and distinct as they were expelled from the heated substance of the earth; then by these gases uniting in proper proportions of weight and bulk to produce water formed steam which changed later
into water; for as chemically demonstrated water is a certain weight and bulk combination of these two gases. The water as such and as steam, therefore, formed above and about the entire molten mass, which means that canopies cushioned as above described formed above and about the molten mass. The lower parts of the steam condensing into water would from time to time precipitate themselves on that mass, contributing to its cooling, yet being again and again dashed off as steam from the earth's hot surface, until after perhaps many thousands of years this process cooled off the earth sufficiently for ever increasing amounts of water less hot than the scum of our figurative cauldron remaining on the earth's surface. Thus the great deep was formed and the process of that formation, especially the process that preceded it, implies the prior creation of the cushioned canopies.
In v. 28 further proof is given: "I was there … when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep." The connection between vs. 27 and 28 indicated by the terms "established the clouds above" prove that the clouds that formed since the flood cannot be meant; for the connection shows that the word above applies to the expression of v. 27, "the face of the deep," which was the water which covered the entire earth before the first and into the third creative day. Hence, the clouds of v. 28 mean the steam that was as a cushion, "beams of His chambers," between each successive set of the canopies. That this interpretation is true is further proven by the rest of v. 28: "When He strengthened the fountains of the deep." We have seen above, when commenting on Gen. 7: 11; 8: 2, that the fountains of the great deep there referred to are the topmost of earth's canopies, the last one to fall, i.e., in the time of the deluge. That canopy was called the fountains of earth's lakes, seas, oceans, because it acted as a source whence waters for them came. For the same reason the
rest of the canopies, those that fell before the Noachian canopy fell, were also fountains of the great deep. In v. 28 all of these are evidently meant, as the connection with the preceding clause and with the last clause of v. 27 proves. God strengthened these fountains of the deep by the intensely hot steam that acted as a ceiling for the lower and as a foundation for the upper parts—beams—cushions of Jehovah's workshops, inter-canopy spaces.
We will offer but one other passage, one from the New Testament, in proof of the canopy, ring, annular or Vailian theory, according to which the earth was clothed with figurative garments, 2 Pet. 3: 5, which we will quote from the Improved Version: "The heavens were of old, and the earth [was] standing, harmoniously with the Word of God, separate from water [that in the canopies and in their cushions] and within water [that which covered the entire earth (Gen. 1: 2, 6-10) which made the earth stand, exist, inside of the water that covered its entire surface]." This passage, rendered poorly in the A. V. and in the other versions whose translators did not understand the thought that St. Peter was expressing, is properly and literally rendered in the Improved Version, as given above. It teaches more clearly than any other of the passages that we have quoted that the earth was for ages encompassed by an annular system, as well as was entirely covered with water. Having finished our Scriptural proofs for this theory we will give a number of proofs found in God's book of nature.
Having finished the study of the Biblical proof in favor of the canopy theory, it would now be in order to consider the proofs for it found in the book of nature. And in the book of nature we find several proofs for it that are both interesting and cogent. The first of these is the fact that the molten mass (that the earth was while it was in its spiral and for sometime afterwards) created conditions out of which the canopies
enveloping this earth were formed. Such a molten mass would automatically discharge from itself immense quantities of smoke, which would be heavily laden with thick charcoal-like soot and heavier solids consisting of chemical elements as well as many gases and acids. Out of these the canopies would naturally form. The heat as well as other forces of the molten mass caused these discharges. Sometimes the violence of the discharge caused mighty explosions which sometimes assumed immense volcanic proportions. Whoever has stood near an active volcano like Vesuvius, Etna, etc., can see how such conditions necessarily were in evidence in the molten mass. Various of the components of the charcoal-like soot, compounding, produced diamonds and crystals, and such soot combining with other elements produced certain precious stones. Chemical elements variously compounding produced gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and iron dust and larger examples of these. Much of the discharges from the molten mass consisted of various kinds of slime, sand, mud, clay-like fluids, etc. Some of these combinations occurred within the molten mass itself; and some of them occurred after the gases and acids had left the boiling caldron, which this earth then was. We know that oxygen and hydrogen gases combine and thus produce water, which is brought into existence by certain proportions of these in weight and bulk uniting. After these gases had left the boiling caldron such combination of them occurred, since water could not exist in such heat as permeated the molten mass. Other gases combined to produce other forms of matter and the same principle of combination of acids produced still other forms of matter.
These substances left the molten mass in very attenuated forms. This is evident, because the effect of such great heat would be to disintegrate and to attenuate the more or less solids of which the molten mass largely consisted. This is also evident from the fact that they
left the molten mass in large part as soot, mineral dusts, gases and acids. Hence, under the influence of the heat and other expelling forces in the molten earth these expelled things were in more or less volatile condition and naturally would ascend, the lighter and more volatile and attenuated substances being thrown higher up and settling there and the heavier and less volatile and attenuated substances being thrown less high and thus settling nearer the earth. Hence, we may factually infer that the top layer or canopy was at first nothing but steam, which is first of all produced by the combination of oxygen and hydrogen, and which in its top parts as they cooled off more quickly, turned into water. It was this top layer that fell as the flood rains and snows in the days of Noah. Then next under this top layer was another of somewhat heavier substances than the one above kept in place by steam and the lighter acids and gases. Below this was a third layer, counting the layers from top to bottom, consisting of still heavier substances than the one above it and held in place by denser steam, acids and gases than the pillars of the next canopy above. And so on the density increased until the lowest of the canopies, the seventh from the top and the first from the bottom, was reached, the intense heat from below and other forces coming from the molten mass and the dense steam, acids and gases temporarily acting as pillars to keep it up. Evidently the highest canopy formed first, the lowest last.
We just said that there were seven of such canopies enveloping our earth. This was the condition before the first creative day set in (Gen. 1: 3). By a variety of considerations we arrive at the conclusion that there were seven of such canopies surrounding the earth. The first of these is the layers of the earth, its strata, deposited one after another upon one another, and that upon the original foundation of granite, basalt, gneiss and crystalline rock; for there are exactly six of such
strata or layers lying successively upon these. The seventh canopy, being pure water made no stratum deposit, hence there are not seven but six such strata to be found. These strata are not discernible everywhere in their chronological order; for due to the buckling of the earth and mighty explosions of the molten mass some of these layers, while those above them were yet soft, broke through some of the latter and forced their way between and above them; so that parts of earlier ones often overlap higher ones and lie between or above them. We saw the buckling process without any breaking through of the various layers of earth's strata illustrated at the Century of Progress Exhibition at Chicago in 1933 as follows: Six strips of as many different colored rubber were laid severally on top of one another in a specially constructed machine; then by ball bearings these were subjected to irregular pressure, which made the six layers of rubber buckle very irregularly among one another. This produced a very uneven, interwoven series of layers of rubber. At places the lowest strip of rubber was higher than the highest layer was at other places, and that without breaking through any of the upper layers. This illustrates those irregular layers of earth's strata where they have not burst through those above them; but it does not illustrate those layers of earth's strata where such bursting has occurred, which is not an infrequent natural phenomenon. But there are places on the earth where neither the buckling nor the bursting process has acted, but where each stratum is regularly and fairly evenly laid one above the other; and in such cases there are exactly six of such strata above the granite, basalt, gneiss and crystalline rock "scum" that is immediately above the molten mass. These six strata prove that each of them was laid by the falling of the pertinent earth's canopy, which proves that there were six of such canopies as deposited solid matter, while the seventh, consisting of pure water, of course could not
deposit a rock stratum. The Bible also implies this by its six symbolic creative days, ages, at the end of each of which a canopy fell to earth and deposited the matter that formed its pertinent stratum. These two proofs we offer for there having been seven canopies about our earth before the first creative day set in.
While giving in the preceding paragraph the proof that there were seven canopies or rings about our earth before the first creative day of Gen. 1 set in, we anticipated somewhat our second proof from the book of nature for the canopy or annular theory. It is this: The regular layers of earth's strata prove the annular theory; for each of these was formed by the precipitation of such a ring on the earth, whereby it deposited its solid, liquid and gaseous contents on the earth. As we stated above and as one can see on many mountain and canyon sides, these layers are often not regular and often penetrate through one another; but there are places where these layers are almost as regular and even in their being deposited upon one another as though a gigantic mason had built these strata upon one another by placing a level upon each one, making it, generally speaking, level before depositing upon it the next stratum. In that part of the Grand Canyon of Arizona where the Bright Angel Trail leads from the Canyon's rim to the Colorado flowing on its way almost a full mile deeper than the canyon's rim, not only does the river plow its way in a course that it has made in the granite base, but it has also plowed its way through the six layers of vari-colored rocks almost as regularly and evenly laid down as though built to the test of a mason's level. This canyon with its many river-plowed-up and erosion-carved buttes, as varicolored and as regularly built up as the canyon's sides from which through the ages the mighty Colorado plowed them loose, is by world travelers universally considered the sublimest object on earth. It is such and more than such: It is God's clearest revelation in His
book of nature of the six ages of Earth's creative ordering and of its prior sevenfold canopied condition. The walls there look like a huge flag made up of six stripes of unequal width, abutting rather evenly.
To give us this view God caused the plateau here to be on an average of over 7,000 feet above sea level, and has caused the Colorado to plow through this plateau a canyon nearly a mile deep—so deep that it has cut out a course about 150 feet deep in the basal granite and gneiss. We will quote from the Encyclopedia Americana a description of it
"The term Grand Canyon is applied to that portion of the canyon of the Colorado River which lies in northern Arizona. It is in the midst of a wilderness and is inaccessible from most directions, but the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad has a branch line to its southern rim at a locality where some of the finest features are visible. Here are hotels; and [here are] trails down to the river's edge. … The altitude here is 6,866 feet above sea-level; at the river just north it is 2,355 feet; on the farther rim to the north it is 8,000 feet. Few persons can realize on first view that the canyon is nearly a mile deep and from 8 to 10 miles wide. The cliffs descending from the rim form a succession of huge steps, each 300 to 500 feet high, with steep rocky slopes between. These cliffs are the edges of hard beds of limestone or sandstone, while the intervening slopes mark the outcrops of softer shale. These beds are more than 3,500 feet thick and they lie nearly horizontal. Far down in the canyon is a broad shelf caused by a basal hard sandstone; it is deeply trenched by the narrow inner canyon cut a thousand feet or more into the underlying Archaean 'granite.' The rocks of the canyon walls vary in color from white and buff to bright red and dull green. They present a marvelous variety of picturesque forms fashioned mainly from erosion by running water, the agent which has excavated the canyon. … The rocks exposed in the
walls of the Grand Canyon underlie a wide area of the Arizona Plateau and most of them extend far beyond. The first 3,700 feet of beds, all of which lie nearly horizontal, are as follows:
Feet Limestone, light colored,
partly cherty, mostly massive
Sandstone, light gray, massive,
Sandstones and shales, all red
Limestone, massive, light blue-gray,
mostly stained red (Redwall) ……….550
Shale, with limestone and
sandstone layers …………………….800
Sandstone, hard, dirty gray
to buff (on granite)……………………150
These formations are readily recognized by their color or character as they are practically uniform in aspect and relative position from all points of view. … The top limestone, Kaibab, caps the plateaus on both sides and highest buttes. The outcropping edge of the Coconino sandstone is marked by a distinct band of light gray all along the canyon walls and capping some buttes 700 to 800 feet below the top. The red beds, of the Supai formation everywhere constitute the middle slopes and many buttes, usually presenting a series of relatively small terrace-like steps. The conspicuous cliff below these, and stained red by their wash, is the hard massive Redwall limestone. It projects in many flat topped spurs, buttresses and outliers isolated by erosion. The Tonto group, next below, forming slopes and platform, is recognized by its greenish color. For many miles the shelf of this sandstone of the Tonto group is cut through by a steep inner gorge which descends to the river 800 to 1,000 feet below, and exposes granite and gneiss of the original earth crust …"
This canyon is a veritable Rosetta Stone for geology. It will be noted that in the nearly even edges of these layers of stone as they rest upon one another in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, we have a decidedly different phenomenon from that which presents itself to
view in the bent, twisted, knarled, interwoven, interlocked and interspersed strata that huge bulging and earth-tearing action and strata mixing on many a mountain and canyon side have brought to our view. On such twisted, broken, interspersed and interwoven formations the average geologist has based his calculations and inferences on Scripture-contradictory hypotheses. It seems never to have occurred to them to regard such formations as abnormal, and therefore as unsuitable examples on which to base logical conclusions as to scientific theories, while on the other hand the easily read and plain story graven in the generalized rocks of the Grand Canyon's walls they have most strangely overlooked as basic for general inductions as to the science of the earth's history as set forth in text books on geology. In this they resemble an imaginary Martian who, visiting the earth, and seeing only the Amazonian swamp lands with their vast poisonous insect life and their few, uncivilized and blood-thirsty Indians on a warpath of plunder and devastation, returning to Mars, told its imaginary inhabitants that earth was one vast miasmic swamp infested with disease-bearing insects and predatory savages without sense enough to enable them to seek one another's good. and with ferocity enough to make them more predatory than Mars' wildest imaginary beasts of prey. If our imaginary Martians would thus form their opinions of our earth and its insect and animal life, they would hardly have gone further wrong as to fact on the subject than the average geologist has on his theories of the earth's strata and its geological ages and history. Why form conclusions from abnormal and abstruse exceptions and ignore the orderly, simple and easily deciphered rule, especially since we have God's inspired revelation as a key that beautifully, harmoniously and simply opens the door to the geological ages' processes and history. The six strata of rocks in the Grand Canyon of Arizona are an irrefutable and factual proof
of the six canopies of more or less mixtures of solids and liquids; and the ices and glaciers of the glacial age in the extreme north of the northern and in the extreme south of the southern hemisphere are good evidence that the seventh and highest canopy was of pure water.
The ices and glaciers of the glacial period with the geological evidences of a contemporaneous flood of water south of the ice and glacial fields of the northern and north of the same kind of fields in the southern hemisphere are a factual proof that the highest, the seventh canopy, was of pure water, which falling in the days of Noah produced the vast rains of the deluge, roughly speaking, in the middle half of the earth and the snows of the deluge in the extreme fourths of the earth. Geologists are practically a unit in the thought that, roughly speaking, north of the 50th degree of latitude North America was anciently covered by glaciers and that Europe and Asia in the same latitude was contemporaneously covered with ice, while, roughly speaking, south of that parallel the earth's surface points to a vast, ocean covering these continents. "This should be more than a Rosetta Stone in the path of the geologist." It should not only tell him of the universality of the Noachian deluge, but should point out to him the source of this deluge as having been a canopy of water about this earth acting as a figurative swaddling band, breaking up and falling in the northern and southern parts of the earth as vast cosmic snows and in the central part as torrential rains. Before it fell such a canopy of water would maintain evenness of temperature over the entire earth; for it would have produced a hot house condition of mild climate everywhere on this earth, accordingly making the temperature at the poles the same as at the equator and at all intervening places. This natural conclusion is corroborated by facts that are continuing in ever increasing numbers to come to light. But apart from these,
other facts increasingly coming to light, and the facts of a universal deluge evidenced by the ice and glacial fields and the flood water deposits imply that the last canopy to drop to the earth was one of pure water, which as the seventh canopy left no rock stratum to make a seventh layer of rock upon the original granite, basalt, gneiss and crystalline rock that as vari-formed scum the molten mass threw out of its internals as a surface basal for the strata that were to fall upon it from the first six canopies above. Furthermore, the gradual and increasing recession northward and southward of the fields of ice and glaciers is a proof that such were not always on the earth, but came upon it by some external force suddenly in regions whose climate would melt them.
Animals of the kinds that now inhabit the tropics, as well as the temperate and frigid zones, have been found embedded in the ices of northern Siberia. Among these are mastodons, mammoths, elephants, lions, tigers, antelopes, etc. Certainly such tropical animals have never lived so far north since the dawn of secular human history; for those regions have ever since then been too inhospitably cold for a habitat of such animals. How did they get there and how did they become embedded in ice? Certainly the climate there must have been either tropical or semitropical when they lived there; for such is the climate suited to such animals; hence such ice fields did not there exist when they roamed those lands. And their being embedded in solid ice tells the story of a sudden downpour of water which drowned them and a quick freezing of such waters, which left them embedded in the ice. Whence came this rain, since we read that from man's creation to the flood no rain fell (Gen. 2: 5, 6)? It evidently came during the deluge. And these facts are in harmony with the thought that the first rainbow came after the flood, since no clouds could form under the watery canopy; and hence no rain could fall; and
hence no rainbow could form. This fact enables us also to see why the rainbow could be God's unchangeable pledge never again to destroy society with a flood; because there could not enough water become clouds to make a universal deluge. (Gen. 9: 8-17.) Moreover the great climatic changes that immediately followed the flood (Gen. 8: 22) must have had some competent cause, which we recognize to be the breaking up of earth's hothouse condition incident to the falling of the watery canopy. The process of fermentation, of which Noah was ignorant, and which occasioned his involuntary drunkenness was due to the climatic changes incidental to the same cause, the fall of the watery canopy that enveloped the earth (Gen. 9: 20, 21.) So, too, the great and sudden shortening of the span of human life following the flood bespeaks the same story. And to cap the climax we need only say that several antelopes and other animals have been found embedded in Siberian ice with undigested grass in their stomachs, which betrays a sudden watery death immediately followed by freezing within solid ice in which as in a cold storage, the antelopes, etc., and the grass have been preserved intact for over 4,300 years. Not only do all these facts prove the reality of the deluge, but prove that there was a canopy of water that enveloped this earth, and that it fell after six others had fallen, composed of such solids, gases and acids as to form the six great strata of rocks whose best example is the Grand Canyon.
Another fact corroborates the canopy theory: the appearance of the sun, moon and stars only after the third creative day was over. Many mistake the Lord's Word in Gen. 1: 14-18 to refer to the creation of the sun, moon and stars as occurring on the fourth creative day. These by such an interpretation, of course, make vs. 14-18 contradict v. 1, where the creation of the heavens, including as it does the creation of our sun, moon and the stars is set forth as occurring before
the first creative day. It will be noted that vs. 14-18 do not state that God (on the fourth day) created (bara) the sun, moon and stars. These verses teach that they were on the fourth day made to shine on the earth. This is evident from two facts: (1) from v. 2 onward the creative work is described as respects this earth alone; hence in vs. 14-18 only the relations of the sun, moon and stars to this earth are taken into consideration and described; but their creation as heavenly bodies is not there taken into consideration and described; (2) in vs. 14-18 not the creation, but the work and uses of the sun, moon and stars are set forth, "let there be lights in the expanse of heaven to separate between day and night [nothing here is said of their creation, here their work as to day and night is described]. And let them be for signs [symbols, i.e., the sun symbolizes God, Christ, the New Testament, the glorified church, etc.; the moon, the law, the Old Testament, fleshly Israel; the stars, the Apostles and special teachers of the general Church, false teachers, religious systems, Ancient and Youthful Worthies]; for appointed times [like the four seasons designated by the sun, festivals and holidays designated usually by the moon and its phases] days [like literal 12 and 24 hour periods, 7 of these as a week of days and 30 of these as a month of days designated by both sun and moon, then these symbolically considered] and years [literal and symbolic designated by both sun and moon, the stars cooperating in designating these appointed times, days and years; here again we see that not the creation but the uses of these heavenly bodies are set forth].
"And let them be as lights in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth [here again in v. 15 the work and uses of these heavenly bodies are set forth, not their creation] and it was so." [In v. 16 again the mission of the sun, moon and stars are expressed]. God made two great lights [to shine on the
earth], the greater light [the sun] to rule [by shining] the day, the lesser light [the moon] to rule [by shining] the night. In other words, this verse teaches, not the creation of these bodies, but that God caused the sun to shine on the earth by day, the moon and stars by night; hence the work and uses of these, not their creation are set forth in this verse. The same comment applies to vs. 17, 18. Since both Gen. 1: 1 and science teach that the heavens [sun, moon, planets, asteroids, stars] were made before the first creative day, Gen. 1: 14-18, which describes things done on the fourth day, cannot mean the creation of the sun, moon and stars, but their being made to shine upon the earth. How did this occur? Certainly not by making these bodies intrinsically brighter; for if any change in their brightness is to occur, it would be rather a diminishing than an increasing of their brightness that we should expect with the lapse of time. Accordingly, we should understand that something that hindered the light of these bodies from penetrating to the earth was removed and the hindrance being removed in sufficient degree, the light of these bodies penetrated through to the earth and thus these shone on the earth. What was this hindering thing? The four lowest of the canopies each one falling at the end of its pertinent age, day, gradually and increasingly let the light of these bodies in on the earth. Thus at the end of the first day the first canopy dropped and this allowed the first dim rays of light (Gen. 1: 3-5) to penetrate the gloom described in v. 2. The end of the second day witnessed the dropping of the second canopy, which occasioned a slight increase of light; but this was so dim compared with our light that to us it would seem to be little difference between the darkness of its nights and the light of its days. The third day ended with the dropping of the third canopy with its still larger increase of light, whose nights, however, were perhaps as dark as a rather light moonless and
starless night of ours, while its days were perhaps like a moon and starlit night of ours. But with the falling of the fourth canopy on the fourth creative day (age), it was light enough to distinguish very clearly between day and night, both being fairly light as such, but not so light as our day and night, since the other three canopies still dimmed for the earth the days and nights, when compared with ours. Thus we see that the canopy theory is implied in the gradual increase of light from the first up to and including the fourth day, and into and including the rest of the creative days.
As our final proof of the canopy or annular theory we offer the analogies found in our sun and in several of the planets of our system. Vulcan, Mercury and Venus, Earth and Mars do not now have such canopies. They have progressed so far in the creative process connected with their cooling off as to have advanced beyond the possession of these; for their possession is a sign of immaturity, a sign of earlier stages of development. But our sun has these as can be seen from photographs and from dark and telescopic observation and during eclipses. The rings about Saturn are clearly seen by telescopes slightly stronger than opera glasses. Uranus has them; and doubtless Neptune and Pluto have them. We desire in this connection to quote from Mr. Ackland's book the Story of Creation, pp. 173-179, the accounts of the discovery of Jupiter's topmost canopy as an analogous proof of the reality of canopies swaddling our earth in its pristine condition:
"In 1828 a very remarkable phenomenon was observed simultaneously, but independently, by three astronomers, Admiral Smyth, Mr. Maclean, and Mr. Pearson, who were watching a transit of Jupiter's second satellite from stations several miles apart. Admiral Smyth's account of it is as follows: 'On Thursday, the 26th of June, 1828, the moon being nearly full, and the evening extremely fine, I was watching the second satellite of Jupiter as it gradually approached
to transit the disc of the planet. My instrument was an excellent refractor of 3¾ inches aperture, and five feet focal length, with a power of one hundred. The satellite appeared in contact at about half past ten, and for some minutes remained on the edge of the limb, presenting an appearance not unlike that of the lunar mountains which come into view during the first quarter of the moon, until it finally disappeared on the body of the planet. At least twelve or thirteen minutes must have elapsed when, accidentally turning to Jupiter again, I perceived the same satellite outside the disc. It was in the same position as to being above a line with the lower belt, where it remained distinctly visible for at least four minutes, and then suddenly vanished. A somewhat similar phenomenon, but of shorter duration, was witnessed by Messrs. Gorton and Wray, during an occultation of the same satellite, April 26, 1863. In this case the satellite reappeared after passing behind the apparent disc of the planet. So lately as 1868 this phenomenon was regarded as inexplicable. (See Webb's Celestial Objects, p. 141.)
"In the winter of 1868-9 the attention of astronomers was called to the fact that rapid and extensive changes were taking place in the appearance of Jupiter's belts, and they have consequently been watched from that time with unremitting attention by astronomers furnished with telescopes of the best quality. The results of these observations are given in two very interesting papers, communicated to the Popular Science Review, by Mr. Webb. (Issues of April, 1870, and July, 1871.) Very curious markings and variations in the depth of shade have been seen, accompanied by equally curious changes of color. Mr. Browning compares these changes to those which are seen when a cloud of steam of varying depth and density is illuminated from behind by a strong light, as when we look through the steam escaping from the safety valve of a locomotive at a gas-lamp immediately behind it.
This appears to be the true explanation of the phenomenon. (Popular Science Review, 1871, p. 307.) These belts are probably due to vast masses of steam, poured forth with great force from the body of the planet. As the atmosphere of Jupiter is probably of enormous depth, the rotatory velocity of its upper portions would be much greater than that of the surface of the planet, hence the steam would arrange itself in belts [canopies] parallel to the equator of the planet. But this view leads us to wonderful conclusions with reference to the condition of the planet.
"Processes of the most amazing character are taking place beneath that cloudy envelope, which forms the visible surface of the planet as seen by the terrestrial observer. The real globe of the planet would seem to be intensely heated, perhaps molten, through the fierceness of the heat which pervades it. Masses of vapor streaming continually upward from the surface of this fiery globe would be gathered at once into zones [canopies] because of their rapid change of distance from the center. That which is wholly unintelligible when we regard the surface of Jupiter as swept like our earth by polar and equatorial winds, is readily interpreted when we recognize the existence of rapidly uprushing streams of vapor. (Mr. Proctor in Monthly Packet, October, 1870.)
"Supposing then that the atmosphere of Jupiter is of very great depth, and thus laden with masses of watery vapor, the effect of a sudden current of heated, but comparatively dry, air or gas would be the immediate absorption of the whole or a large portion of the vapor, and the consequent transparency of the portion of the atmosphere affected by it. We see this result continually on a small scale in our own atmosphere, when a heavy cloud comes in contact with a warm air current, and rapidly melts away. Many of the rapid changes which have been witnessed in Jupiter's appearance are readily explained, if this view is admitted.
Supposing such a thing to have happened near the edge of the disc, the phenomenon recorded by Admiral Smyth is at once satisfactorily explained. When the satellite appeared to pass on to the disc, and to be lost in the light of the planet, it would for sometime, proportional to the depth of Jupiter's atmosphere, have behind it a background of clouds only, it would not have entered upon the actual disc of the planet. If then these clouds were suddenly absorbed, the atmosphere behind the satellite would become transparent and invisible, the background would be gone, and the satellite would reappear. In the case of the occultation witnessed by Messrs. Gorton and Wray, the satellite would at first be hidden by cloud only, and would reappear if the cloud were removed. Such seems to be the true explanation of these hitherto mysterious phenomena."
When Mr. Ackland wrote his book  the canopy theory was in its infancy. Probably he knew nothing of its existence, though he described a phenomenon that by analogy proves that theory as to earth's infant swaddling bands. We believe that in the above subject matter we have submitted enough proof from the Bible and nature to demonstrate the truthfulness of the canopy or annular theory as correctly explaining our earth's pristine condition.
With the proof of the canopy theory from the Bible and from nature we have finished our discussion of the middle statement of Gen. 1: 2, "and darkness was upon the face of the deep." Our investigations have given the two causes of this darkness: (1) the figurative scum that as granite, basalt, gneiss and crystalline rock gradually arose from, and covered the molten mass; and (2) the seven canopies with their figurative beams of steam, vapor, gases and acids. The former hid the light that was in the fiery molten mass; and the latter prevented the light of the sun, moon and stars from penetrating to the earth. Hence the dense darkness that covered the deep, the shoreless
ocean that then covered and hid the entire basal earth. All of v. 2 treats of conditions on the earth before the first creative day, whose description begins with v. 3. Having with considerable detail discussed the first and second clauses of v. 2, we will now proceed to the discussion of the last clause of v. 2: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The word waters in this clause is the equivalent of the word deep in the middle clause of v. 2. In this third clause of v. 2 the energizing activity of God's Spirit on the surface of the shoreless ocean that covered our earth before the first creative day is set forth. Both the expressions, "Spirit of God" and "moved upon" require some explanation in this connection in order to make the thought of this clause clear to our understandings.
The expression, "Spirit of God," will first receive our attention. In the Bible this expression may mean either one or the other of two things: (1) the power or influence of God; and (2) the disposition of God. The former is impersonal, the latter personal in its operation. Of course God in operating either acts as a person. But considered in themselves the former acts impersonally and the latter personally. In the Old Testament the second sense acted personally in God, the angels and in Adam and Eve before they sinned, as it did in Jesus up to the time of His baptism. Its personal action in Adam, Eve (before they sinned) and in Jesus before His baptism was that of human personality, not of spiritual personality, as in God and in angels. In the sense of spiritual personality the Spirit of God did not act in any human being during the entire Old Testament period, i.e., from Adam's creation to Jesus' baptism. First, at Jesus' baptism of the Spirit (Matt. 3: 16, 17), then at the Church's baptism of the Spirit (Matt. 3: 11; Acts 2: 1-4) did the Spirit of God act personally in any human being. This Jesus and John expressly state (John 7: 38, 39)