Man as Image

Certain fundamental words in the Scriptures also used by Mrs. Eddy in the elucidation of Christian Science are so meaningful that a deep study of them is necessary in order to learn their full significance. For example, comprehensive examination of the word "image" is necessary in order to gain adequate understanding of man; in fact, a clear concept of God's idea is scarcely possible without such consideration. So frequently is this term used in Christian Science to describe the divine idea, that one is forced to conclude that by it our Leader conveys an exact meaning which must be grasped in order to gain a clear concept of spiritual man.

Webster's definition of "image" as "an imitation of a person or thing in the solid form, as a sculptured or modeled figure" seems to conform to the fundamental meaning of the word, which is derived from the same root as imitari, to imitate. As the most accurate imitation is that which most nearly represents all the qualities of the original, the word "image," as commonly used, is best comprehended in the concept which includes the substantial representation of a person or thing. That is to say, a statue which conforms to the outline and figure more fully represents a person than does either a portrait, a photograph, or a silhouette. By analogy, the use of the term "image" to represent man, God's idea, takes cognizance of the substance of man, which is Spirit. Thus "image" takes on a significance somewhat variant to that conveyed by the word "likeness." That is to say, "image" and "likeness" are not exactly repetitive, are not quite redundant; but rather each conveys its own meaning, differing somewhat from the other; each complements the other, and thus aids in conveying a clear comprehension of spiritual man.

June 9, 1928

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