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" And God said : Let us make man in our image, after our


A TRADITION exists in almost every nation upon earth, of which the poets have availed themselves to present to the human imagination, wearied with the evils of life, the beautiful and attractive images of an age in which the most perfect happiness reigned, combined with unsullied innocence. Man, it is said, at that time free from the bondage of his passions and from all restraint, and ignorant of the art of war, lived in peace, without laws and without judges, happy in the midst of an eternal spring, and in the enjoyment of the rich


gifts which the earth yielded him in abundance, without culture or labour. Alas! it is but too natural for thinking beings, imaginations weighed down by the innumerable sorrows and afflictions incident to human nature, creatures that are ignorant of the mystery of their existence, and have forgotten their origin and their destination, thus to rush into an ideal world, that they may escape, even but for a moment, a heart-rending reality!

But had this idea, the fable of a golden age, never any existence, except in the imagination of the poet, or in a few souls thirsting after happiness, which they considered lost for ever?

And does this interesting question meet with no solution in that book which contains the key to the history of man, to his origin and his destinies?

Yes, my brethren, the Bible also has its golden age; and here it is no fable; it is a reality. Here we are, in a manner, present at the council of Him, who, “in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth;" we are witnesses of the astonishing spectacle of a universe springing up into existence out of nothing, at the voice of the Eternal.

“ God says: Let there be light, and there is light.”

The earth, made fruitful by the breath of the Lord, is clothed with verdure; Lebanon waves its majestic cedars, and the blade of grass shades with a thousand colours the depths of the valley. A thousand different flowers display, in the fields of Eden, the brightness of their hues, and spread abroad the balm of their perfume; a thousand delicious fruits are ready for the nourishment of man, who is about to be created, and of the other creatures which have already been called into being. The bird of the air, happy in its existence, warbles its Creator's praise; the beasts of the field wait upon their lord, in whom they have not yet learned to see an enemy. The mighty deep has received into its bosom the tumultuous waters, to which the Almighty has assigned the limits where their proud waves shall be stayed. Even in the lowest recesses of the vast ocean, innumerable living creatures spread animation and life. Radiant luminaries, hung out from the firmament, sparkling with stars, promise the earth warmth and fertility as well as light. The majestic temple is finished; and nothing is now wanting to it but the being by pre-eminence, who is to be, as it were, its


divinity, to whom every thing evidently has reference, and who, in his turn, is to refer every thing to the eternal glory of his Creator. Here the historian of the universe changes his method of narrating; he is not satisfied with merely showing us a last creature coming into existence at the command of the Eternal. He stops, and contemplates the Creator enter ing into solemn deliberation with himself, at the moment of His giving being to the lord of this lower world. “ And God said : Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it was brought to pass; and thus we behold man surrounded with all the pleasures of Eden, where every thing breathed life and happiness; man, the lord of the earth, enriched with all the beauties and perfections of the divine image; man, and the companion whom God had given him, that they might admire together the wonders of creation; that with one heart, and one mouth,

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they might bless the goodness of their God, and make Eden resound with the song of glory and of praise.

O my God! do Thou enlighten our minds, that we may know our origin! Present before our hearts the bright portrait of Thine own image, which shone forth in the soul of man, when he issued from Thy creating hand. And since, in Thine infinite mercy, Thou hast not left the evil without a remedy; the ruin without hope; oh! do Thou kindle in our hearts a sincere desire to regain Thy lost likeness!

Wherein can the image of God, in a finite creature, consist? Such is the question which shall occupy us this day.

To this question some answer, that the image of God consisted in the superiority of man's physical faculties, in the admirable conformation of his body. This answer is unworthy of our text and God. Is God a material being ?" Has He a body, in the image of which He could create man? Others, on hearing the question, answer, that the image of God in man consisted in the dominion which was given him over all created beings. But can this be the whole of God's image? In this

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