Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

saying, “ Let us make man;" and which the evangelist John more expressly thus asserts, “ For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” The verity of which record, Christ the Word made flesh attests and confirms, by directing baptism to be performed as a sacred rite, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

We will now, in the Second Part of this small work, seek for the meanings of the words “image” and “likeness," in such different parts of Scripture as may appear most applicable for that purpose, without here adding more on the subject of our Saviour's inherent right to the highest acts of divine adoration.

Part the Second.

CHAP. XI.

The meaning of the words “ Image” and “Likeness” further

examined, and taken in connexion with different parts of Sacred Writ.

SACRED and profane history sufficiently prove that reason, unaided by revelation, must have continued perpetually to wander in the mazes of inextricable ignorance and error; and that man, although endued with, and pre-eminently distinguished by, the possession of a rational soul, could attain by the possession and exercise of his natural mental faculties, neither a correct knowledge of the divinity of Jehovah, the only true God, nor even the least sense of his own origin, or purposed object of his creation. The immortality of the soul of man receives indubitable evidence of its eternal, indestructible, and divine similarity to that of the same spiritual likeness of Jehovah, in those very particulars whereon the most confirmed and hardened atheists, and unregenerated minds of sceptical men at large, have earnestly and unremittingly sought to build their unwise, impious, and untenable arguments of unbelief, concerning the diversified opinions of human faith. Man, however remotely separated, savage, and untutored as he has been found to be in distant and newly discovered regions, is always possessed with the firm and internal conviction of a Supreme and Infinite Being; and in all the extensive and endless difference shown by the natural ignorance of man in spiritual wisdom, yet by one universal, unpremeditated, and untaught impulse and assent, and where no kind of previous communication or intercourse ever existed; an universal proof of the divinity of God, and of the immortality of the soul or spirit presents itself, to prove by universal acknowledgment, the eternal and selfexisting divinity of the Lord God Jehovah, and the immortality and indivisibility of the soul of man, from its same and eternal spiritual essence, the divinity of the Godhead. With a record of this, the Sacred Volume has furnished

us, and that nothing might be wanting to build us up in our most holy, and alone true christian faith, the eternally-begotten of the Father has declared the triune divinity, by directing that admission by baptism, as a proof of offered entrance into the church of God, must be performed in the distinct names of the persons constituting the triune Godhead, which is consonant with the tenour of Scripture, and the early, because ordained, usage of the primitive Catholic church.

It having been deemed requisite in some points of view to offer these considerations to the reader's notice, we will now return to examine the meaning of the words Image and Likeness, spoken of by Moses ; first, however, observing, that when Jehovah had finished his creations, by bestowing the gift of life on our first parents, He made an evident and intentional display of the divine rationality of man, (which was also clearly indicative of the indivinity of all sentiment and merely instinctive life), by conferring a blessing in this importantly-significant form of speech :

“ And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and re

plenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Now Jehovah had, as we have already elsewhere seen in the prophetical writings, given to our Messiah or Immanuel the most direct declaration of his divine and human natures in this unequivocally prophetical form of words : “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him : male and female created he them.”

With particulars like these, the declared purpose of Christ's incarnation present to our minds, we have only the task of tracing the sacred history to the fall of man, and there we shall be assured, that the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, that in his wrath he forgets not his infinite love to our debased, benighted, and fallen race; and that in Christ, the promised seed of the woman, the divine and human natures of the Son of God are plainly and prominently brought before

us.

The sacred writings inform us, that God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there

« ForrigeFortsæt »