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I

That we were created in the Image and Likeness of God.

AWAKE, my soul, awake! show thy spirit, arouse thy senses, shake off the sluggishness of that deadly heaviness that is upon thee, begin to take care for thy salvation. Let the idleness of vain imaginations be put to flight, let go of sloth, hold fast to diligence. Be instant in holy meditations, cleave to the good things which are of God: leaving that which is temporal, give heed to that which is eternal. Now in this godly employment of thy mind, to what canst thou turn thy thoughts more wholesomely and profitably than to the sweet contemplations of thy Creator’s immeasurable benefits toward thee. Consider therefore the greatness and dignity that He bestowed upon thee at the beginning of thy creation; and judge for thyself with what love and reverence He ought to be worshipped. For when, as He was creating and ordering the whole world of things visible and invisible, He had determined to create the 56nature of man, He took high counsel6969   Gen. i. 26. The plural used in this sentence was often referred to the plurality of Persons in the Holy Trinity. concerning the dignity of thy condition, forasmuch as He determined to honour thee more highly than all other creatures that are in the world.

Behold therefore to what greatness thou wast created, and again consider what manner of love thou oughtest to render therefore. Let Us make man, saith God, in Our image, after Our likeness. If thou art not aroused by this word of thy Creator, if thou art not at so unspeakable a goodness of condescension in Him towards thee, set all on fire of love towards Him, if thy whole heart is not inflamed with longing after Him, what shall I say? Shall I count thee asleep, or rather dead?

Hearken then diligently what this meaneth, that thou wast created in the image and likeness of God. Thou hast here assured to thee sweet matter for devout meditation, wherein to exercise thy thoughts. Note therefore that the likeness of God is one thing, the image another. Thus a horse, an ox, and every other like creature hath some likeness to a man; but none hath the image of a man, except another man. A man eateth, so doth a horse; here is a certain likeness, that is, something in common between natures that are different. But the image of a man none can express, except another man of 57the same nature as that whose image he is. Thus the image is higher than the likeness.

Thus we may have in the way we have said, some likeness to God if, considering that He is good, we study to be good; if, knowing that He is righteous, we endeavour to be righteous; if, beholding His mercy, we give ourselves to mercy.

But how can we be in His image. Hearken. God is mindful of Himself, understandeth Himself, loveth Himself.7070   See above, Proslogion, ch. i. p. 9, n. 2. And thou too, if thou after thy measure art mindful of God, understandest God, lovest God, then wilt thou be in His image; for thou wilt be striving to do that which God ever doth. Man ought to make this the end of all his life, to be mindful of the Chief Good, to understand it and to love it; to this should every thought, every motion of the heart be bent, be whetted, be conformed, that with an unwearying love thou shouldst be mindful of God, understand God, love God, and so for thy health set forth the dignity of thy creation, wherein thou wast created after the image of God. But why say I that thou wast created after the image of God, when, as the Apostle witnesseth, thou art thyself the image of God. A man, saith the Apostle, ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.7171   1 Cor. xi. 7.

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