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which nothing was made that was made,”-is it not taught us that that Word, 4000 years afterwards, became man, led the life of a man, died as a man, went up again to heaven as a man, and is to come again on the last day to sit on the throne of God as a man, to judge the living and the dead ?
Well, dear children, all these reflections should suffice, I think, to make you understand what a great and sublime moment in the creation that was in which God placed man on the earth. Here too, you observe, he does not speak as in the case of his other works. He does not say, “Let there be man,” as he had said previously : “ Let there be light ; let there be a sun ; let there be a sea.” He does not say, “Let the earth bring forth man," as he had said of the plants and animals : “ Let the earth bring forth grass ; let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind !” No; but he says, “Let us make man in our image." It is God who deliberates ; it is God who speaks to himself, who enters into a solemn and mysterious consultation with his Eternal Wisdom; or rather it is the Holy Trinity which consults with itself-it is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who unite to create man, as they will afterwards unite to save him.
Pay attention, dear children, to that expression : “ Let us make man in our image." Here the sacred text, which elsewhere attributes the creation of man sometimes to the Father, sometimes to the Son, tells us in a very clear and precise manner that more than one Divine person has concurred to the creation of man, and that he who speaks addresses himself to another, or to some other persons. There is here you see, in the very beginning of the Bible, a declaration of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
This extraordinary and mysterious language of a God taking counsel is never employed in the Bible, but when it refers to man (see Gen. i. 26 ; ii. 18 ; iii. 22 ; vi. 3 ; xi. 7 ; Exod. xiii. 17; 1 Kings xxi. 20 ; Isa. vi. 8).
There are some men very much to be pitied, dear children, who will not acknowledge the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who, to escape the force of this testimony, pretend that this plural is applied to the angels, as if God consulted with them. Do you not see what a wretched idea that is ? Can the angels create can they take part in the peerless and altogether Divine work of the creation ? And besides, did God create man in the image of angels? No, without doubt,—but in the image of God.
There are others who, to explain this passage, pretend that in it God speaks the language of the modern kings of earth ; who often say,—"we decree,—we will." What do you think of this? Is this evasion reasonable ? Certainly not ; for ancient kings never spoke thus. This use of the plural was not the wont of eastern kings either in the time of Moses, or after him. Besides, what places the meaning of this expression beyond a doubt, is this,-a little below, in the twenty-second verse of the third chapter, God says again, “ Man is become as one of us." Would a king speak in this way; would he say, “ as one of us," instead of " as me ?”
And further, dear children, observe that Jesus Christ put the meaning of this use of the plural beyond a doubt, since he himself frequently adopted this language to express the union of the Father and the Son. For example, when he says, in speaking of his divinity and addressing the Father, “That they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, ... that they may be one, even as we are one.”1
Thus, then, you see, God deliberates with his Divine Wisdom " to make man in his image, after his likeness.” But what, then, is that image of God in man? In what does it consist ? I believe that it consists 1st, In the spirit of man having been created to be, like God,
"John xvii. 21, 22.
an immaterial substance. God is a spirit; the soul of man is a spirit. Solomon, too, says :
“ Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was;
And the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”ı
2d, This image consists in immortality. If man had not sinned, he would never have died.
3d, This image consists in spiritual intelligence. Plants live ; animals think ; but they are not made in the image of God, for they do not know God. And it is said of a regenerated man, that he is renewed in knowledge after the image of him who created him.2
4th, This image consists in holiness, that is to say, in that state of our affections in which our soul loves what God loves. And we see that, according to Paul, the image of God in man, when it is reproduced in him by conversion, consists in this, that he is after God created in righteousness and true holiness.3
5th, This image of God in man consists partly in dominion. That is told us very clearly in the twenty-sixth verse. “Let us make man in our image, and let him have dominion over all the earth,” &c. Man had originally, before sinning, a dominion over all nature, which we cannot now easily understand. All the creatures had been subjected to him.
6th, In fine, this image consists in happiness. God is called the blessed God, and man, in his image, enjoyed in Eden a happiness without bounds.
Ah, dear children, where is now the image of God in us ? Where is immortality ? Where is holiness ? Where is happiness? In our souls-separation from God, pollution, selfishness, wickedness, pride, worthlessness ; in our bodies—weakness, anguish, degradation, destruction. We come into this world with cries and tears ; we leave it with sighs and clammy sweats, with groans and the agony of a terrible combat, till, after having Eccles. xii. 7. 2 Col. iii. 10.
8 Eph. iv. 24.
been the subjects of so many evils, we fall back, exhausted by suffering, into that earth whence we were taken, there to be devoured by worms, dissolved by corruption, and reduced to some handfuls of dust. Ah, let us ever remember that a Second Adam has come to this earth!
“ Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” 1
1 Jude 24, 25.
“ And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”—GEN. i. 29-32.
Do you quite understand that expression of the last verse, “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day ?" I wish to see that you do before proceeding to explain to you the words which go before ; to be quite sure that you have not forgotten my explanations of last Lord's day.
The evening. Where do you place this evening ? I ask you -the second in the third bench. Is it at the end of the sixth day?
Oh, no! take care of that. It is, on the contrary, according to usage of the Hebrews, at its beginning ; it is before the birth of the animals of the earth ; it is at the end of the fifth day, that is to say, at the end of the epoch of the creation of the fish of the sea, of shell-fish of every kind, of the great seamonsters, and of the birds of the air.
Remember well, I beg of you, that it is during this night indicated in the thirty-first verse, that the calcareous mountains of our land were formed, and that then ancient fish,