The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Image of God

All holy beings, inasmuch as they come from God, are, and must be, formed originally in the divine image. It  is thus that angels and all angelic and seraphic natures are formed. They are miniatures of God. It is thus that man himself was originally formed. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image. In the image of God created he him." 

The likeness of God to man is not in form, for God is without form; — not in intellect, for the intellect of God embraces all things, while man can know only a part; — but in that which constitutes, more than anything else, the element, the life, of the divine nature, namely, HOLY LOVE. Man, in the infancy of his existence, was created a love being. Love, as the center of his existence, was not a speculation, but a nature;  not an accessory of life, but the life itself. Spontaneous in its action, acting because it had a principle of movement in itself, it did not wait for the slow deductions of reason, but flowed out in all directions, like a living stream. As man, thus formed in the love spirit, looked around upon the works of nature, he saw all things in the possession of life and beauty, and he rejoiced in all things, because all things had God in them. He loved the tree and the flower, which reflected the divine wisdom and goodness. But far more did he delight in the happiness of everything which had a sentient existence. He  called all animals to him. The birds dropped their wings at the sound of his voice, and came. The beasts of the field and of the forests flocked around him from their near or distant habitations. He loved them; and he gave them their names. When the occasion was presented, when the sentient object, no matter to what scale or degree of sentient being it belonged, was before him, his simple and pure heart flowed out at once. 

It  was thus, beyond all question, that the primitive man was constituted. Such is the representation of Scripture. Love, resting upon faith, was his nature And, coming from God, he could not have been constituted otherwise. God being what he is, he could not have created man otherwise than he did. The principles of right, which apply to the fact of creation as well as to the government of things created, are not susceptible of change.  It is impossible, therefore, to conceive of more than one pattern or model, according to which holy beings were at first created. And this one pattern, which, in being the true pattern, condemns and excludes all others, is that of the Divine Mind itself. The model, in being perfect, can never be altered; in being eternal, can never be broken.

A Treatise on Divine Union, Part 4, Chapter 4.

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