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The Divine Likeness in Man

THE LIKENESS OF GOD IN MAN.
Sec. II.

Scripture nowhere says of any one of the visible creatures that surround us, that it is created after the image of God. They are works of divine wisdom, and therefore realized thoughts of God (Prov. iii. 1, 9; Ps. xcii. 5). To intelligent and profound consideration they are emblems of the divine aopara, and substantial proofs of the eternal power and Godhead of their Author (Rom. i. 20); and especially the starry heaven at night rays forth bright characters of the divine name (Ps. viii.); while, in face of the universe, the sun manifests and proclaims God's glory in more distinct, and generally more intelligible, announcement (Ps. xix.). But although, in Scripture, God is compared to the sun, and His spiritual operation to the light of the sun (Ps. lxxxiv. 11; Mic. iii. 6; Mal. iii. 10), yet we read nowhere that God created the sun after His image. Scripture says this only of man, and indirectly of the angels. For in Scripture the angels are called Qw^n '31, sons of God (Gen. vi. 2; Ps. xxix. 1, Ixxxix. 6; Job i. 2, xxxviii. 7); but it is characteristic of a son to be the likeness of him who begat him.1

Being, if not precisely by means of the lost hierarcliiaf 2. Whence is there a fully sufficient explanation of the &pxou Tow xoofiov xoa/ioxpeiropi;, and of the appearance of Satan in the history of temptation, as generally in the New Testament, except by means of this hypothesis? The above reply will show, as far as it is here permitted, to what result further inquiry has led me since the second edition of my Genesis, and after manifold correspondence with Kurtz. On the other hand, Strbbel, in his criticism of this very psychology (Luth. Zeitschrift, 1857, p. 759), throws out, with reference to sec. ii., the question, "What think ye? DoeB the ancient Moses teach his modern interpreters, or do they teach him?" We answer: The Mosaic history of creation proceeded from revelation; and since knowledge of salvation, and generally knowledge of the truth, has endured subsequent to Moses for a period of thirty centuries, we are certainly in a position to read tilings which transcended the intelligence of Moses, between the lines of the Mosaic history of creation.

1 The counter argumeuts of Keerl have not yet appeared, as vol. i. of his work upon man as the image of God (1861) only treats in a preparatory way of the history of creation and of the doctrine of Paradise. The contra"

But the angels were already created, as we said in Sec. I., when God determined on the creation of man. It is thus possible, and—looking at other events recorded in Scripture, e.g. Isa. vi., as well as the extra-Israelitish traditions of creation—more than probable, that God, in saying umors ucfaa D1K nvyii, uses the plural number to comprehend the angels with Himself; as, moreover, Philo explains it certainly according to the tradition, SiaXeyeriu 6 Twv oKiav irarrjp rat? eavrov 8vvdfieaiv. Man must therefore have been created after the image of God, and of those who already by creation bore the image of God; for which reason, in Ps. viii. 5, these two things are both asserted, as well that man is a nearly godlike, as that (according to the LXX. and Targum translations) he is a nearly angel-like, being.1 This is a matter of the deepest psychological importance. For (1) if man be created after the image of God and of the angels, it follows that the image of God in man refers primarily to his invisible nature.2 And yet from this premiss an opposite conclusion has also been drawn. Because man in God's likeness has a bodily form, some have presumed to infer backwards therefrom that God also has a bodily form like to man, which had been related by way of prototype to the human form. This confessedly in the fourth century was the doctrine of the sect of the Andseans or Anthropomorphites, and probably also prediction of Keil, Genesis, sec. xxvii., is merely a counter-assertion. We abide by the view that, in asserting that the angels are sons of God, Scripture declares at the same time that they are in the likeness of God, for that which is begotten always resembles him which begot (comp. e.g. John iii. 6).

1 The words of the Psalm run: Thou hast made him fall a little short of the Elohim (p partitivum), i.e. of the nature of the Elohim (derogasti ei paullum Deorum = numinis Deorum), but the nature of Elohim is divine and angelic: God is Elohim, and the angels may equally be called so, for they are sons of Elohim, and form with God the heavenly—one heavenly— family (xxrpi'tt.).

: Man, says Philipp Nicolni, is semi-angelus and semi-mundus—of angelic nature in respect of the soul, and worldly in respect of the body. And: Because man was finally prepared for the possession of the world and for angelic fellowship, he has therefore a twofold nature also—he is half angelic and half of the world. For God has endowed him with body and soul; and as he subsists in these two natures, he is related by his soul to the angels, and by his body to the world wherein he dwells. Vid. R. Rocholl's communications from Ph. Nicolai, in the Litth. Zeitschrifl, I860, p. 193.

viously of Melito of Sardis, in his work, irepl Ivaw^wrov Qeov. In the beginning of the fifth century, a portion of the Egyptian monks who dwelt in the desert of Scetys, maintained this doctrine against those of the Nitrian mountains who, with the so-called four Long Brethren at their head, maintained the doctrines of Origen. The church rejected this humanizing of God. We said in the third section of the foregoing division, that what Scripture calls the form of God is something wholly different from a human form. Tertullian thinks substantially as we do, although he speaks of a corporeity of God; for when, for example, Adv. Prax. c. vii., he exclaims with a certainty of conviction, "quis negavit Deum corpus esse etsi Deus spiritus est," he adds, by way of absolute confirmation: "spiritus enim corpus sui generis in su& effigie." We may, in a certain sense, speak of a corporeity of God; but as the idea of the material, of the elaborated, and of the articulated, after the manner of man, is so easily associated with this expression, this mode of naming the divine doxa is apt to mislead.1 Certainly Scripture appropriates to God human members, but still without anywhere speaking of a body of God; and certainly such anthropomorphic expressions are more deeply founded, than when it speaks of the eyes and wings of the sun, of the womb and of the eyelashes of the morning; for God, indeed, appears to the seers in human form: nevertheless, the thought of an everlasting self-investing of the divine nature in a human corporeity is absolutely foreign to it. The oft-repeated remark, that man thinks that God is anthropomorphic, because God created man theomorphic, retains its truth even although the human corporeity be not regarded as a copy of a divine one: it partakes only in its degree of the divine likeness of the entire man. But when God Himself represents Himself in visions anthropomorphically, it implies, according to John—for example, in his Gospel, xii. 41—an anticipation of the future incarnation of the Son. The anthropomorphic inference back from Gen. i. 26 is, moreover, proved to be false, from the consideration that its just consequence would be, that the angels also must have been

1 For this reason I purposely avoid the expression, which has become a shibboleth in the use of J. Hamberger and others, just as, moreover, I do not name the doxa God's " nature," because the conception of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1-4, is a different one.

formed like men. The biblical appearances of angels have in this respect misled many, although, e.g., from Gen. xviii. we can as little conclude that the angels are formed in the likeness of men, as from Matt. xxviii. 3 we should be entitled to assert that they all wear raiment white as snow.1 The angels have no bodies; but, by the miraculous power of their will, they might be able to make themselves visible, and to take what forms they pleased, according to the object of their mission, and the subjectivity of the beholder. In the view entertained by the ancient church, and now again very much ventilated,—that the angels are not absolutely incorporeal,—the truth intended is merely this, that their spiritual nature is not essentially hidden from sight, but, like the divine nature, it is capable of manifestation, and, moreover, is actually revealed by way of manifestation. They have a oofa external to themselves, and essential, which, however, is not to be called aSfia, for the awfiara eirovpdvia (1 Cor. xv. 40) are not—as Meyer, De Wette, and others affirm they are—meant of angels' bodies in this sense.2 Corporeity, whether it be material or spiritual, is, within the range of personal beings, absolutely only the specific peculiarity of twofold-natured man. The assertion of Kurtz,3 that a creature without corporeity is absolutely inconceivable, does not bear consideration. Certainly, as being spirit-embodied men, we can form to ourselves no clear representation of pure spirits, but we are able to conceive of pure spirits without bodies; and if, in respect of the angels, we do not avail ourselves of this capability, we derange the limits of the creation, in tbat we confound one with another the several classes of being: for Scripture distinguishes the impersonal bodily world, and the personal bodiless spirits, and the spirit-embodied man, who stands between the two, and who, being at once exalted above the bodily world, and yet not purely spiritual, is the connecting link of all created things (Ps. viii. 5). His corporeity is, and

1 Tltplh; ov» xvrol; u /3ovXn xeei ioDi^x tei/xw, says Jo. Philoponos (rfe mundi creat. i. 9), defending the view of Basilios, that the angels are absolutely incorporeal, and that while they have a vrtpiypxQr i (circunucriptio) xxrd lv»xfii», they have none xxroi roirot or xaerx fityiDof, which view was opposed by Theodore of Mopsuestia.

2 The heavenly bodies there referred to are the bodies of heaven;— moon, sun, and stars; s. von Hoffmann, Schriftb. i. 317, and Burger in lot:

Bibel und Astronomic, iv. sec. xviii. p. 142 (ed. 4).

continues to be, a material one; and—because the monistic representation of the spirit itself forming to itself its own body is unknown to Scripture—it is a compacted one. Even as a risen body it remains a composite thing, although thenceforth withdrawn from the region of birth and death (the yeveais Kal <f>Oopd), and therefore relatively an angelic being (Matt. xxii. 30; Luke xx. 35).1 If, then, the nature of God and of the angels be one, not indeed incapable of manifestation, but yet incorporeal and purely spiritual, the divine likeness in man is primarily, as we now repeat, referred to his spirit and his soul; and only so far to his body, as his body is formed adequately for becoming the organ of that life of the spirit and soul which resembles the divine, and is comprehended in the unity of the entire man.2 We now conceive also (2) on what ground, and with what meaning, man is called D"JK. Surprise has of late been expressed, that inasmuch as D"JK imports one that is formed from the earth, the Hebrew language possesses no name of man which expresses the characteristic dignity of his nature. For the Indo-Germanic appellation Mensch, Sanscr. manu, mdnusa, from man, to think, denotes him according to his spiritual part; and the Greek avOpwros = 6 avw uOpo)v, the up-looking one, at least characterizes him by his external appearance, as exalted above the brutes; but DlK, whether it be represented by homo, from humus, or by %a/io in ^afiai, ^afia^e, ^afidOev, only denominates him by the earthly side of his origin and condition. Even the Lapp language has two names for man, of which one (plbmuk) designates him by his spiritual, the other (suddogas) by his perishable nature. The Old Testament language has no word besides and B'i3K to denominate man according

1 From these very texts Kurtz infers the corporeity of the angels. The point of the proof, he says, is found (see on the place referred to, 187) in the fact that there are also creatures which are bodily, and still do not marry. But it is found rather in the fact that the Sadducsean question is, as such, absurd, because the risen natures, like the heavenly spiritual natures, neither marry nor die. We abide in this matter on the side of Philippi (Dogm. ii. 289-293)', only there is wanted to him the truly reconciling conception of the doxa (Luke ii. 9; Matt. xxii. 30, comp. xiii. 43).

2 Thus, for example, Sell also, Die Gottbildlickkeit des Menschen, 1856, p. 52. The likeness of God is concentrated in the spirit, as the deepest foundation of the human life, and is expanded in the soul and body for operations which exercise a power that transforms matter.

to his more exalted dignity. A Jewish scholar (Einhorn) and a Christian one (Richers) have therefore, independently of one another, both chanced on the conjecture that might be derived from (Ezek. xix. 10) = niD1!, and might thus indicate man as made in the likeness of God. But this is a notion just as verbally and practically untenable as when the firstnamed scholar derives the name of the earth, px, in favour of Copernicus, from p"i, to run. Man has his name, from no other source than from the earth, nD'iK, because it is not this which is his characteristic dignity, that God created him after His image; but this, that God created him the earthly one,—the foundation of whose natural condition was taken from the earth,—after His image. Man has the likeness of God in common with the angels; but that he is in his likeness of God, is the peculiarity which constitutes him the point of union of two worlds,—the spiritual and the corporeal—the centre, the copula, or, as Ph. Nicolai happily expresses it, the heart (focus vitce) of all created being—the final member of the work of creation, and the moving principle of the world's history. It is just in the fact proclaimed in Ps. viii., according to LXX. version (apart from the application to Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews), that man is made fipaxy T i vap ayyeXow, u a little lower than the angels," in that he bears his likeness of God in an earthen vessel; it is just in this fact that consists his exalted position in the universe above the angels. A third consequence which follows from the fact that man is made after the image of God and of His angels, respects the reciprocal relations of men and angels to one another in time and in eternity. For (3) in virtue of their common likeness to God, angels and men exercise upon one another an attractive power, in consequence whereof, from the beginning of human history, a close and active intercourse has subsisted between the two races, for the most part without the consciousness of men themselves, who have become, for supramundane things, dull and obtuse; and as fallen angels also make an evil use of this reciprocal relation established at creation, it has often resulted in the destruction of men. Further, because the likeness of God in man was in a mediate manner the likeness of angels, and his position antecedent to the fall was a position similar to that of angels,—as Ezek. xxviii. 13-15 does not teach, but presupposes,—the Holy Scripture indicates and describes the future condition of blessed men as a condition of likeness to the angels. They are laarfyeXoi, and, like the angels, viol rov Qeov, and that, not because they are disembodied, but actually as viol T^? avaarciaem (Luke xx. 36). For it is peculiar to man, as distinguished from the angels, that, as an earthly corporeal nature, he bears in himself and on himself the image of God; and therein will subsist the future restoration and completion of that which was originally begun in paradise, that even man's corporeity will then be the same thing perfected, for which God from the beginning had destined it, in associating it with spirit. The body of man was appointed to be glorified into the image of God, and thus, to speak with Gregory of Nyssa, to become KaOdirep riva eiKova eUovos. Originally it was not God's image, although it was God's likeness; but by means of the resurrection it attains also rtjv eiKova Tow eirovpaviov (1 Cor. xv. 49), in that it is transfigured into the image of the God-man.

If, therefore, the likeness of God be something common to men and angels, it is sufficiently obvious, and, moreover, is in general not erroneous, with the doctors of the ancient church, to regard the spiritual, and as such the self-conscious and free, nature of man (to voepov Ktu aire^ovawv) as the image of God; not (as only few among the fathers) the bodily formation, and not the dominion over the earthly world, which is only an effluence of the divine likeness, and not the likeness itself. But this is far from being the true perception of that wherein the image of God subsists. The image of God in this sense is indeed incapable of being lost; but Scripture passages, such as Col. iii. 10, Eph. iv. 24,1 take it for granted that we have lost the image of God. Our ecclesiastical creed, in what it asserts of the image of God, keeps to such clear apostolical words; and even our dogmatists will only know of the image of God as of a likeness absolutely lost through sin. Gerhard in the

1 V. Hofmann, indeed, seeks to evade the force of proof contained in Col. iii. 10, by connecting "knowledge after the image of Him that created him" (Schriftb. i. 289); but it is contrary to the plain literal sense presented in Gen. i. 27. In the other quotation (Eph. iv. 24), xxrd ©eo» might mean " in a divine manner;" but in the plan of the contents of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Zeitschrift fiir Protest. 1860, p. 340), the author of the Schriftbeweis submits to the most natural meaning, without doubt—" the new man, which is created in the likeness of God." These

locis, and Calovius in the Synopsis controv., actually deny that the image of God subsists in Us quce ad essentiam animce pertinent et quce etiam post lapsum naturaliter ei insunt.1 Moreover, the same Gerhard says in the Confessio catholica, that the likeness of God might be conceived as generalis qucedam congruentia, qua anuria hominis Tcl deia exprimit; and thus conceived, it is incapable of being lost. Other dogmatists, moreover, express themselves thus, but almost only in the way of accommodation, that the divine likeness in its deeper meaning involves ipsum esse spirituals animw.1 It is this distinction of a divine likeness in a broader (physical) meaning which cannot be lost, and a divine likeness in a narrower (ethical) meaning which has been lost by the fall, which is subject to the charge of an unmodified dualism that has been felt even by our dogmatists themselves. Scripture only knows of one likeness of God in man, which is at once moral and physical, and which cannot be lost morally without being at the same time physically ruined. Scripture nowhere says that fallen man possesses the image of God still in living reality: it places the dignity of man as he is now, only in the fact that he is created after the image of God (Gen. ix. 6; Jas. iii. 9). If we adopt the view of the fathers, that the divine likeness subsists in the voepbv Kal aire^ovaiov, or, as we say, in the personality, then the case is otherwise. The fallen man is a person also. But this definition of the divine likeness, with which the later theology rests satisfied, is insufficient. Personality is only the basis of the substance of the divine likeness, but it is not this likeness itself. Personality is only the unity of consciousness which comprehends the entire condition of the being in the likeness of God, and which is appropriate to it.

But this entire condition is a created representation of the entire absolute life of the triune God, and not merely of the Logos. For certainly it is true of man in particular, as of the whole universe, that he is created through Him and to Him who

Scripture testimonies claim for the divine likeness of the first created man, although only looking back indirectly to him, an ethical destination, with the loss of which the divine likeness itself, in the very essence of its nature, and the brightness of its manifestation, faded away. To this effect, Thomasius, Dogm. 24th sec. (p. 221), and Philippi, Glaubensl. ii. 365.

1 Vid. Gottlieb Wernsdorf, Disputationes, vol. i. Disp. vii. (de reliquiis imaginis divinse).

1 Tbomasius, Dogmatik, i. 174.

is the image of the invisible God, and has from God an origin which precedes that of all creatures (Col. i. 16); and if the Logos be the ultimate purpose of the world, it must also in some measure be its type. The world, and especially man, is actually created Kar' elKova Tov et'/eoVo?, i.e. after the image of the Logos, who is the express image, as from the oldest1 even to the latest2 times has been unanimously taught. Scripture does not directly say so. It only says directly that God created all things by the Logos, not that He created them after the image of the Logos. It says in general only of man directly, that he was created after God's image, but not of the world. But from the biblical premises, and from the facts of the history of redemption, result both the propositions, that the world was created as a figure of God, and that in a certain sense it was created as a figure of the Logos. As the Son of God is the brightness of the Father's glory, so also within creature limits the world is a representation of the Father's glory; and the God-man laid in the grave is the grain of wheat, whence not alone proceeds a new humanity, but moreover a new heavens and a new earth. But if we should thence conclude that the world and man were created after the image of the Son, and not of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, it would be a mistake. We can only conclude thence, that God the triune created the world after the image of Himself, in such a manner that it, and especially man, stands to the Godhead in similar relations of likeness, as those in which, within the Godhead itself, the Son of God stands to the Father. Upon the subject of this essential relation, no scripture leads us further. Everywhere Scripture says only that man was created after the image of the Elohim, or of the Godhead. And man, as distinguished from the woman mediately coming into existence, is called (1 Cor. xi. 7) elKwv Kal Sofa 0eoO, not Xparrov. The idea of humanity stands certainly in closest relation to the

1 Not without the influence of Philo (and mediately also of Plato), but which does not in itself render the truth of the matter suspicious.

2 So, for example, Staudenmaier (Dogm. in. 474); Liebner; v. Hofmann, "Man, the image of God, the archetypal purpose of the world" (Schriftbeweis, i. 290); Thomasius (Dogm. sec. xx.); Philippi (Glaubenslehre, ii. 361); R. Lbber (Lehre torn Gebet, p. 12); Schbberlein (art. "Ebenbild" in Herzog's R.E.; and appendix on the essence of the spiritual nature and corporeality, in the Jahrbb. fiir deutsche Theologie, 1861.

Logos, which in all directions is the Mediator of its realization; but it is not exclusively reduced, as manifestly is seen from this constant mode of scriptural expression, (for example, in Jas. iii. 9, Kad' ifuUwaaf Seov), to the likeness of the Logos. It is the entire living fulness of the triune Godhead which is reflected1 in man; and this reflection is at once2 physical and moral, and by sin it is not only morally, but also physically corrupted.

We are still speaking in enigmas. What we mean, and indeed, not as our meaning, but as the sense of Scripture, will become more clear when we now proceed to consider the story of creation.