that man, made in God?s image, cannot be a Material thing. By virtue of his possession of this first possession of the image of God, namely, personality, Materialism is excluded.
This first element of the divine image man can never lose until he ceases to be man. Even insanity can only obscure this natural image ? it cannot destroy it. St. Bernard well said that it could not be burned out, even in hell. The lost piece of money ( <421508>Luke 15:8) still bore the image and superscription of the king, even though it did not know it and did not even knew that it was lost. Human nature is therefore to be reverenced and he who destroys human life is to be put to death: <010906>Genesis 9:6 ? ?for in the image of God made he man?; <461107>1 Corinthians 11:7 ? ?a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God?; <590309>James 3:9 ? even men whom we curse ?are made after the likeness of God?; cf . <190805>Psalm 8:5 ? ?thou hast made him but little lower than God?; <600217>1 Peter 2:17 ? ?Honor all men.? In the being of every man are continents, which no Columbus has ever yet discovered, depths of possible joy or sorrow, which no plummet has ever yet sounded. A whole heaven, a whole hell, may lie within the compass of his single soul. If we could see the meanest real Christian as he will he in the great hereafter, we should bow before him as John bowed before the angel in the Apocalypse, for we should not be able to distinguish him from God (Revelations 22:8, 9).
Sir William Hamilton: ?On earth there is nothing great but man; In man there Is nothing great but mind.? We accept this dictum only if ?mind? can be understood to include man?s moral powers together with the right direction of those powers. Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2:2 ? ?What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how Infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!? Pascal: ?Man is greater than the universe; the universe may crush him, but it does not know that it crushes him.? Whiton, Gloria Patri, 94 ? ?God is not only the Giver but the Sharer of my life. My natural powers are that part of God?s power which is lodged with me in trust to keep and use.? Man can be an instrument of God, without being an agent of God. ?Each man has his place and value as a reflection of God and of Christ. Like a letter in a word or a word in a sentence, he gets his meaning from his context but the sentence is meaningless without him; rays from the whole universe converge in him.? John Howe?s Living Temple shows the greatness of human nature in its first construction and even in its redo. Only a noble ship could make so great a wreck. Aristotle, Problem, sec. 30 ? ?No excellent soul is exempt
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