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shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun ; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever! Come Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen!"



Then God said, let us make man in our own image, after

our likeness."

1. As we have devoted one of our Meditations to the consideration of this verse, with a view to examine the scriptural accounts of the primitive state of man, previous to laying before you the history of the fall, it may not be unprofitable for us here to add some proofs and illustrations on the subject. It would have been unnecessary to dwell upon the first part of the verse, and we might have commenced at once with the explanation of the two words, image and likeness, which alone enter into our subject, were it not that a false interpretation of the deliberative language of the passage has led some interpreters to absurd views with regard to the image of God in which man was created. Some Jewish writers have supposed, that God, in thus speaking in the plural number, “ Let us make man,"

&c. meant to address the earth from whence He was going to draw the materials which were to serve for the creation of man; who, in consequence, was to bear in his weakness the image of the earth from whence he was taken, and in his strength and beauty the image of his Creator. Other Rabbins suppose, as we see from their Targums,* (Chaldaic paraphrases upon certain parts of the Old Testament,) that God here addresses the angels, whose image He designed to impart to His new creature. It is scarcely possible to conceive how men, with the Bible before them, could adopt these opinions, since, in the following verse, it is twice repeated, that “ God created man in His own image.To avoid these absurdities, two different interpretations have been adopted, accounting for this use of the plural number. 1st. A great many interpreters see, in this form of expression, nothing more than what they call the plural of majesty, in imitation of the manner of kings. But this custom of speaking in the plural number was unknown in the time of Moses, and even for a considerable period after him, so that he could not have met with it in any ancient documents which he may have referred to in writing the history of the creation. And, besides, even this interpretation would not explain the fifth

* The Targums of Eben Ezra, Sol. Jarchi, and Jonathan, in loco.

verse of chap. iii. where God says,

“ Behold man is become as one of us,” 2dly. This last expression has led most of the fathers, the ancient interpreters, and almost all the English commentators, to admit, in the plural of our verse, an indication of a plurality of persons in the Godhead.* Whether this idea be expressed in the verse in question or not, there can be no doubt, at least, that it is scriptural, and that it is clearly stated by St. John in the commencement of his Gospel. Already Jews begin to talk of an Adam Kadmon,+ or Ancient Adam, who, according to them, took part in the creation, and is spoken of in Prov. viii. 22, et seqs. They call this Ancient Adam the cause of causes, to whom God said in the beginning, “ Let us make man," &c. Now, modern critics have established beyond dispute, that this eternal nis

The ancient theologians have discovered indications of the Trinity also in the first verse of the Bible, both in the plural form of the word Elohim, God, (literally, Gods,) as also in the word to created, which contains the initials of =ş Father, a Son, and 17 Spirit. Though this play upon words, and even letters, is quite natural to the Hebrews, yet we must examine such interpretations with diffidence, and receive them with more sobriety than the ancients and the Catholic theologians. See on this verse, the notes of a critical work of a Catholic Doctor, Professor of Theology at Breslau: Die Heilige Schrift des Alten Test. aus dem hebræischen übersetzt und erklært von T. A. Dereser. Frankfort, 1820.

+ In the Book of Zoar, fol. 98, 2.

dom, which the Lord possessed in the beginning of His way, before His works of old, and which was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was, &c. (Prov. viii.) is a personification of the Logos (the Word of St. John. (i. 1.)* That word, the angel of God's face, who appeared to the patriarchs, the Wisdom of the Book of. Proverbs, the Shechina (tabernacle of God among men) of the Jews, the Logos of St. John, that Word personified in the Messiah, has been the medium of all the revelations which God has made to mankind. We lay down this fact (for the establishment of which we refer to the authors cited below) at the outset of our explanation of the third chapter of Genesis ; it will throw much light upon it, and remove the difficulties, which some have found in the communications of the Lord God with his creature in Eden. Calvin discovers in this verse, both the doctrine of the Trinity and a solemn deliberation of God with His eternal wisdom,t the object of which was, to show the dignity and importance of the being whom

* See Commentaries of Olshausen, Lücke, and Tholuck, upon John i. 1.

+ Christiani igitur appositè plures subesse in Deo personas ex hoc testimonio contendunt. Neminem extraneum advocat Deus. Hinc colligimus, intùs cum aliquid distinctum invenire : ut certe, æterna ejus sapientia et virtus in ipso residunt. Com. in h. 1.

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