Man, the Image of God

The Psalmist says, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;" but how we misinterpret this statement, applying it to the human body! How strikingly is spiritual man described by Mrs. Eddy on page 475 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," when she says: "Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin." Think of the qualities which must go to make up man, incapable of sin! Must he not have knowledge of good alone, never desiring to do evil; and must not his every thought and action be pure? Can the real man have an angry thought, a thought of resentment or hatred, an irritable nature, or be touched with greed or sensuality of any description? Can he be a thief or a murderer? The answer must be an emphatic "No"; and those of us who may have been battling for some time with one or more of the above traits can take heart, for they cannot be part of man, so "fearfully and wonderfully made" that he is "incapable of sin" and "cannot depart from holiness."

Take the question of sickness. The complex nature of the human body leaves little room for wonder at its many disorders and diseases; but with what joy we can realize that it is not the real man. A wonderful fact about the real man is that he is incapable of sickness. Why? Because, as Mrs. Eddy says on the same page, "Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness." And a few lines farther on she continues, "Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique." The main basis of sickness is belief in material so-called law. This belief holds that certain results must follow certain supposititious causes; that there are laws of heredity which bind disease on one before one is born; that there are cases which can never be cured. But again mortal mind, so called, has proved itself a counterfeit; for what do we find in the Bible? In the seventh chapter of Romans Paul says, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Can we conceive of sickness as being part of a law that is "holy"? Our Leader writes (Science and Health, p. 381): "God is the lawmaker, but He is not the author of barbarous codes. In infinite Life and Love there is no sickness, sin, nor death, and the Scriptures declare that we live, move, and have our being in the infinite God."

Mrs. Eddy does not, however, confine her marvelous definition of man to the declaration that he is free from sin and sickness; she says further that he is "incapable of ... death." And what a wonderful statement is that! Have we not all thought that even if sin and sickness could ever be overcome—something we have looked upon as a doubtful proposition—death was inevitable? But this is not so. Death is "the last enemy" which shall be overcome, because the educated belief of life in matter seems so deeply rooted; but as we overcome the lesser things, namely, sin and sickness, through a proper understanding of our true spiritual selves as "fearfully and wonderfully made," we shall prove that man is not mortal, but immortal.

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The Children's Hour
October 4, 1930

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