Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

i

t ft* ]

** And the Lord Sod formed man of the dust of the ground, and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a "living soul." Although we are here expressly acquainted with the matter of which man was made, yet there is a very clear distinction between the formation of his body and his soul. His body was created of the dust of the ground, but not so the soul.. It was of a much higher, and more dignified origin. It takes it» rise from the breath of heaven. The body was framed from the dust of the ground, but the soul is the breath of God. After the body was duly formed, God breathed into his nostrils, and by thi* man became a living soul.

It may be here properly observed, the formation of man was marked with peculiar distinction from all the other works of creation. Of all other things, the fiat was pronounced, let them be, and they immediately started into existence ; but when this world was compleated and replenished with all its furniture, and a creature was to be made to have superintendancy and dominion over the whole, a council seems to be called, and consultation held. Hence, it is said, " Let us make man." This strongly intimates a plurality of persons in the Godhead; that the holy Trinity is here represented as taking counsel together, how this creature about to be created may be of proper dignity and excellency, so as to be the perfection of the creation, and capable of that universal sway and authority with which he shall be invested. Judgment was in. stautly formed, that he should be made, in their " own image, and * after their own likeness/'

These are terms of the same import, expressive of the same thing, in order to heighten the resemblance of man to the supreme God. These words are used in like manner with respect to Adam. "He begat a son in his own likeness, after [his own image.". And they are separately and indifferently used elsewhere by the sacred historian, when he says, " Man was made in the likeness "of God ;" and again, " In the image of God." These instances sufficiently show us, that these two terms are employed to express the 'same idea, and only to encrease and heighten it; and to show the compleat similitude that man should bear to the glorious Jehovah. But not only should he be made after the divine image and likeness, but he should likewise resemble him in authority and dominion. "Let them have dominion over the fish of "the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over "all the earth, over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the "earth.'" Some have observed, that the plural number being; used in this place, when the direction and government of the1 whole world was to be committed to man, for it is not said, let him [be invested with this great authority, but let them, implies in it an argument in favor of Adam's being the head and representative of all his posterity. This is an undoubted fact, thathtt was to be the federal head of all his progeny, but the present is not a proper place for attending to this subject.

The repetition in our text, "That God created man in his "own image, and in the image of God, created he him,'' holds forth the superior excellency of his form, the dignity of his nature, and happiness of his state. It is often asserted that God created man in his own likeness and image, and that he was hit maker or creator. He was the former of his body, and the father of his immortal spirit. He was a compounded being, partly ef earth, and partly of heaven. Though his body was framed from the earth, yet his soul was immediately created by God, and infused or breathed into him. The special enquiries on this subject, must be these two.

First, Wherein did this image and likeness consist, in which, man was originally created.

Secondly, What was the glory and felicity of his state or condition.——The

First enquiry is, wherein did this divine image consist; or wherein did this man bear that resemblance or likeness to God, 10 much spoken of throughout the holy scriptures.

And in order to be as plain and intelligible upon the sublect ass possible, it may be considered under various particulars. .

First, We may consider the dignified frame of man's body, his elevated appearance, his mein and exalted deportment as wearing in some respects a resemblance of his glorious creator. It is true, God is a spirit, not consisting of body or any compounded parts, so that in this respect, man has no similitude to him whatsoever. Yet as man is more curiously and marvetously formed, erect in his posture, and far superior to all other corporeal creatures in excellency, glory and majesty; therefore, in these things, he may be said to bear a resemblance to his infmitely majestic, excellent, and glorious Maker. Hence the Psalmist, in considering the wonderful workmanship of his body, though exceedingly wicked and impaired by the fall, exclaims, "I will praise th»e, O Lord, "for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy "works, my substance was not hid from thee, when I was made *' in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the *' earth." All animals look to the earth from whence they came, but man alone looks upwards, and can contemplate and survey the celestial world, from whence his superior part descended.

The supreme God is the object of wonder, admiration, and as. tonishment to all intellectual creatures. He is incomprehensibly 'wonderful in his essence, infinitely mysterious in the Trinity, and in all his attributes and operations; so man is the most admirable and wonderful part of all creation. He is as it were the universe in miniature, a compend of the whole world, and an abridgment of all the workmanship of Jehovah. He is material and immaterial, corporeal and spiritual, visible and invisible. He possesses vegetative, animal, and angelic life. Thus man is in all respects a wonderful creature, resembling his wonderful Creator.

Secondly, Man was made like unto God in regard to authority} rule, dominion, and dignified power. The glorious Creator governs all worlds, and has the most absolute dominion over them.

N

kingdom is over all. To him pertains the kingdom, 'the "power, and glory. The Lord's throne is in the heaven, alii "dominion and fear are with him." In the original creation of man, he was invested with a similitude of this divine and extensive government. He was constituted lord of this lower creation. Great and extensive power was given to him. He was cloathed with perfect authority and dominion over all the creatures in this world. In this respect he was made after the likeness of God, and received what might be stiled the governmental or political image of the Most High.

Thirdly, Man was made more eminently in the image, and after the likeness of God, both in the nature of his soul, and in the qualities and endowments of it. The human soul is a substance, a spirit, immaterial,. invisible, and immortal, so also is the un.created Jehovah.

The soul is a substance which can exist without connection with, or dependence upon matter. It can and doth exist without the body—therefore, is a substance distinct from it. It subsists or continues in being, when the body is destroyed or mouldering into dust. Salomon informs us, "When the body returns "to the earth as it was, the soul shall return unto God who gave "it." Christ, who had a real human soul, when expiring on the cross, commended his soul into the hands of his Father ; knowing that it would exist when his body. should be dead. So the proto-martyr Stephen, when dying, prayed to Jesus to receive his spirit; having full assurance, that though his persecutors could kill the body, they could not destroy his soul. Thus we find the souls of the rich man and Lazarus, both in existence after their bodies were dead and buried, the one in torment, and the other in felicity. These things prove to us, that the soul is a substance, and does exist independent of the body. God is a substance independent of all matter—and in this respect, angels and the soul? pf men, bear the imag* of the great Supreme.

'The soul is also a spiritual and immaterial substance. It cor*- sists not of matter or material parts, as blaod, and flesh, and bones. Hence, says our Lord, " A spirit hath not flesh and "bones, as ye see me have.'' It would be endless to cite all the passages in the bible, where the souls of men are termed spirits. Herein does tin soul resemble God, who is ever)- where declared to be a Spirit.

The soul is likewise invisible. This necessarily flows from its immateriality and spirituality. Was there ever mart so weak and foolish as to call into question.the existence of his soul, be.? cMse he could not discern it with his bodily eyes? They might with equal propriety question the existence of angels and of God, for these were never seen. And when we read of Angels, or God himself appearing to men, it was not their real being which was visible, but only the shape of figure which for that season they had assumed. Wherefore, in thir respect, the soul bears the image or likeness of God, who is called" The king invisible,. "Vhom no man hath seen or can see.''

Moreover the soul is immortal. It cannot die with age, orperish by disease. Nothing can extinguish its existence hut God,. who gave it ; and this he pledged himself never to perform; in. his promises of eternal life to believers, and iu his threatnings of everlasting punishment to the finally impenitent and unbelieving. Thus, as the soui lives forever or is immortal, does it not herein wear a resemblance of the ever living and immortal God? It is true the immortality of God is infinitely different from the immortality of men or angels, but the present business is not to show the difference, but the similitude..

Fourthly, The soul.is constituted of understanding, will, and »£i fcctions—and in these, he is eminently created after the likeness of Jehovah. God's understanding is infmite. There is ng' "searching of his understanding." His will is perfect. And aU-' tae things which are, is because he willed their existence. Wl;

« AnteriorContinuar »