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the element of life in itself as an essential feature in its very structure, consequently it is a living subsistence and immortal. God is a living being and immortal ; so is the soul of man, therefore herein is the likeness of God reflected.
3. In all the faculties of the soul. Man has an understanding by which he discerns things and relations, and a judgment by which he reasons and draws conclusions, and a will by which he determines and decides on doing or leaving undone, and a moral sense acquiescing in the right and detesting whatever is wrong. We presume, that none will deny that the mind of Jehovah is possessed of wisdom, judgment, will and holiness, by which he knows, reasons, and determines righteousness and uprightness. As we find an impress of the mind of God in the mind of man, therefore his intellectual powers remind him of his great Origi- : nal, and from each power of mind, distinct or combined, we may see the image of God more or less completely re
flected. . 4. In the tendencies, passions or inclinations of the mind.
The Almighty has no communion with evil, and no inclination to sin, therefore He has no passion of mind to delight in wickedness; but every tendency of His mind is toward right, holiness and truth. Man was made in the image of God, therefore he had no bias to sin and folly ; but every tendency and passion of his mind was strictly adapted to goodness and justice, right and truth. The mind was constituted to derive supreme delight in the contemplation of God and his works. Every tendency and bias of mind giving rise to affection and action were completely and wholly inclined to good by the wise design of God. Nothing but an act of the will could pervert the passions, tendencies and inclinations of the mind to evil and sin. Here then we may discern the image of God cast over the entire surface of the soul of man, in the adaptation
of the mind to whatever is lovely, good and honest in the sight of God. · All this is the natural image of God in which man was created, and which constituted him a living soul, qualified and adapted to move in conformity with the will of his Creator. 'Notwithstanding that God created man with this very nature and image, yet this crowning glory impressed on man cannot secure necessarily holiness and happiness, for holiness consists in a moral character conformed to the will, or law of the Most High, and happiness is its legitimate result. But what moral character is there in the natural image of God in which man was created? Character is made up of the course of human actions, and it is either moral or immoral as it accords or is repugnant to the will of God. A man may be a spiritual being, yet this fact will neither make him a good or a bad man. He may possess essential life in his soul, yet it gives no character. He may possess a judgment, will, understanding and moral sense, yet this fact will give no character; but their exercise will, either good or bad, depending on the manner he shall cultivate and employ the powers of mind, in doing good or evil. His bias or inclination of heart may be pure and good and will result in what heaven approves, if rightly controlled.' If therefore the relation which the Lord sustains to all his rational creatures, growing out of the fact, that He created them in his own image, did not, and does not communicate morality and holiness, how shall this paternal relation even effect the final holiness and happiness of the human race? To suppose this, is absurd, for it would be an effect without a corresponding cause.
Now we readily acknowledge that the natural image of God in man is permanent, and that in this respect the Creator will ever sustain the same relation to man; but we do not believe that it will ever exercise any influence directly
over the characters of men, or effect, in the least, the future destiny of the human race.
As the natural image can have no influence on the future destiny of intelligent creatures, being without character, and only designed as the means to work out a character, when employed and exercised, therefore its retention 'can never secure, of itself, future holiness to any of the human race. This image man never lost by the fall, or by transgression. We recollect of no instance, recorded in the Bible, where it is declared, that sin has effaced the image in which man was created. Though such expressions are used in popular speaking, and may be allowable for certain reasons; yet philosophically and metaphysically it is not true. In popular teaching, the loss of the moral image of God, and human depravity is the only import of the declaration, that man has lost the image of God. But when we speak of the divine image in man in a close and metaphysical sense, we should make a clear distinction between the natural and moral image; the former in which man was created, and which he still retains, and the latter, the product of the natural image when exercised, which is effaced by sin.
The natural image is as permanent in man as his being, when he loses this, he shall cease to be, or sink into annihilation. So long as man continues capable of knowledge and free agency, he must retain this image. This is also evident from Scripture. The law declaring vengeance on the destroyer of a man's life, goes to establish this point. The criminality of the act of murder, and the inviolability of human life, depends on the crowning truth, that man was created in the image of his God. “Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he him." Gen. ix. 6. This declara. tion was made after the fall of man, yet the sacredness of human life depends on the image of God in man, therefore he must still retain it. “Man is the image and glory of God.” . 1 Cor. xi. 7. This cannot refer to any moral purity, for that man has lost; but that man still possesses the natural image of God, which reflects the brightness and glory of God more than all other created things. -“ Men, which are made after the similitude of God.” James iii. 9. All these passages teach that man still retains the image of God, therefore we conclude that the natural image of God is permanent in man. ..
This natural image of God is the foundation of his moral. There was a time antecedent to our first parents' having a moral character, when they were rational beings only. The rational part of man, the soul, the intellect, the man himself, is the foundation of all moral actions. The use of the rational in man, gives and creates character. · When man obeys God, he acquires' a good moral character, and reflects the holy, praiseworthy, and moral image of God. Were it not that man is a spiritual being with an understanding mind, and capable of free-agency and of choice, he could not be either a holy, or an unholy being, happy or miserable. Without voluntary action, man cannot with any more justice and propriety be called a holy or an unholy being, than the stone of the field or the clod of the valley. The will of God is the standard of holiness, and man's voluntary obedience or disobedience constitutes either his holiness or unholiness, as the case may be. Therefore we conclude that the natural'image is the foundation of the moral, as a letter is formed by the type, for so soon as Adam in the garden of Paradise, had received the natural image and became a living soul, he began to live and act, forming that moral image, which constituted him righteous and holy; and so long as he lived in conformity to the will of his" Maker, he retained and enjoyed a holy charaeter; but no sooner did he disobey, than he blotted out the moral image, destroyed his righteous character and with it his felicity. Therefore regeneration implies to be created anew in righteousness and true holiness. As sin raised its hammer and smote the moral mirror of God in man, leaving nothing but the framework, so grace must restore the beauty of holiness to the heart.
When man lost his moral image by sin, he merged into the dark abyss of corruption and woe; he became like a lonely mariner on a tempestuous sea, driven at the mercy of the infuriated storm. His actions are all supremely selfish, and maliciously opposed to God. The idol SELF controls the whole man; his judgment decides amiss, and all the intellectual powers move in a wrong direction, though they remained undestroyed by depravity. The mainspring of all this perversion lies away back of a corrupted will. The man lives and acts but in opposition to the law of God and to the chief end of his being, therefore he is unholy, miserable and obnoxious to divine displeasure.
Had man retained his moral image as well as his natural, he would still possess holiness and unmingled felicity, for in his primitive state, there was not a breeze to ruffle his calm and serene bosom. He could recline his head on nature's lap and no horrid dreams played fantastically before his vision-no fearful forebodings beclouded his future prospect of bliss—no angry thunders muttered in accents of sullen wrath, and darted gleaming fires across his pathno swelling flood dashed against his peaceful habitationno rude blast nipped the evergreen of life or scattered in ruin the sweets of human existence—no surreptitious hand of injustice and disabolic wrong seized and brake the glittering crown of manhood, and rent into fragments the equal and mutual obligations of human society.
We have been precise and extended in the discussion of this subject, in consequence of its important bearing on the