"The image of God"

EVERY student of Christian Science is aware that the first chapter and the first three verses of the second chapter of Genesis relate the truth about the real or spiritual creation, which Mrs. Eddy deals with in the chapter entitled "Genesis" in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." In the first chapter of the Bible occur the words, "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." There we have the truth about the nature of man, about man as God knows him. Man is "the image of God," nothing less. Man has always been the image of God, since God has always known him; and, because God is unalterable, unchangeable, "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever," so shall man, His image, remain forever. There is no getting away from the truth concerning man.

As Christian Science clearly shows, the account of creation given in the second chapter of Genesis is that of material sense. It is an attempt of the carnal or mortal mind (so called) to account for its own misconception. The moment one accepts the fundamental truth that God is infinite Spirit, he is bound to agree that creation, including individual man, must be altogether spiritual. All through her writings, Mrs. Eddy is throwing light on the nature of the real man, as she does on the nature of God, man's creator; but perhaps nowhere is she more explicit than when she answers the question, "What is man?" (Science and Health, p. 475). In her answer she leaves one in no doubt as to man's spiritual nature. She shows the theory as to the duality of man—the theory that he is both spiritual and material—to be a myth; and she reveals man in terms of real consciousness. Thus she writes: "Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas," adding a little way on, "that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker."

It must be obvious from these words of Mrs. Eddy that Christian Science does not confound man with God. In Christian Science God is always the supreme creator, man always the creation. The relationship between them is indicated by such expressions as Father and Son, Principle and idea, cause and effect, man always being dependent upon God. Nowhere in her writings is there the slightest justification for the absurd notion that man is God, a fallacy so crude as to be hardly worth even a moment's notice. God is Spirit, and man is spiritual; but man is not Spirit! In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 46) our Leader has written, "Man is not equal with his Maker; that which is formed is not cause, but effect, and has no power underived from its creator." To understand man's true position relative to the creator is not to minimize the wonderful nature of man; rather does it tend to the cultivation of those spiritual qualities of humility and obedience whereby mortals are enabled to grasp more fully man's divine nature, and to demonstrate their understanding over the flesh.

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Among the Churches
February 10, 1923

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