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§ 3. Original Righteousness.
In the moral image of God, or original righteousness, are included, —
1. The perfect harmony and due subordination of all that constituted man. His reason was subject to God; his will was subject to his reason; his affections and appetites to his will; the body was the obedient organ of the soul. There was neither rebellion of the sensuous part of his nature against the rational, nor was there any disproportion between them needing to be controlled or balanced by ab extra gifts or influence.
2. But besides this equilibrium and harmony in the original constitution of man, his moral perfection in which he resembled God, included knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. The two passages of the New Testament in which these elements of the divine image in which man was created, are distinctly mentioned, are Col. iii. 10, and Eph. iv. 24. In the former it is said, Ye “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον, τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατ᾽ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν. New man (νέον), agreeably to the ordinary distinction between νέος and καινός, means recent, newly made, as opposed to (παλαιός) old. The moral quality or excellence of this recently formed man is expressed in the word ἀνακαινούμενον; as in Scriptural usage what is καινός is pure. This renovation is said to be εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν, not in knowledge, much less by knowledge, but unto knowledge, so that he knows. Knowledge is the effect of the renovation spoken of. The word ἐπίγνωσιν may be connected with the words which immediately follow (κατ᾽ εἰκόνα), knowledge according to the image of God, i.e. Knowledge like that 100which God possesses. It is more common and natural to take ἐπίγνωσιν by itself; and connect κατ᾽ εἰκόνα with the preceding participle, “renewed after the image of God.” The knowledge here intended is not mere cognition. It is full, accurate, living, or practical knowledge; such knowledge as is eternal life, so that this word here includes what in Eph. iv. 24 is expressed by righteousness and holiness. Whether the word κτίσαντος refers to God as the author of the original creation, or of the new creation of which the Apostle is here speaking, is matter of doubt. In the firmer case, the meaning would be, the believer is renewed after the image of his Creator. In the latter, the sense is that the renovation is after the image of the creator of the new man. According to the one mode of explanation the idea is more clearly expressed that man, as originally created, was endowed with true knowledge. According to the other interpretation this may be implied, but is not asserted. All that the Apostle in that case affirms is that the regenerated man is made like God in knowledge. But as the original man was also like God, and as knowledge is included in that likeness, the passage still proves that Adam was created in the possession of the knowledge of which the Apostle here speaks. As the word κτίζειν in the New Testament always refers to the original creation, unless some explanatory term be added, as new creation, or, unless the context forbids such reference; and as κτίσαντος does not express the continuous process of transformation, but the momentary act of creation as already past, it is more natural to understand the Apostle as speaking of the original likeness to God in which man was created, arid to which the believer is restored. The amen, therefore, is not to be understood of τὸν γέον, but of ἀνθρωπον; — after the image of Him who created man. This is the old interpretation as given by Calovius and adopted by De Wette, Rückert. and other modern interpreters. Calovius says: “Per imaginem ejus, qui creavit ipsum, imago Dei, quæ in prima creatione nobis concessa vel concreata est, intelligitur, quæque in nobis reparatur per Spiritum Sanctum, quæ ratione intellectus consistebat in cognitione Dei, ut ratione voluntatis in justitia et sanctitate, Eph. iv. 24. Per verbum itaque τοῦ κτίσαντος non nova creatio, sed vetus illa et primæva intelligitur, quia in Adamo conditi omnes sumus ad imaginem Dei in cognitione Dei.”
The other passage above referred to is Eph. iv. 24: “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true 101holiness.” The new man, τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον, is said to be κατὰ θεὸν, i.e., after the image of God; and that image or likeness to God is said to consist in righteousness and holiness. These words when used in combination are intended to be exhaustive; i.e., to include all moral excellence. Either term may be used in this comprehensive sense, but, when distinguished, δικαιοσύνη means rectitude, the being and doing right, what justice demands; ὁσιότης, purity, holiness, the state of mind produced when the soul is full of God. Instead of true holiness, the words of the Apostle should be rendered “righteousness and holiness of the truth;” that is, the righteousness and holiness which are the effects or manifestations of the truth. By truth here, as opposed to the deceit (ἀπάτη) mentioned in the twenty-second verse, is meant what in Col. iii. 10 is called knowledge. It is the divine light in the understanding, of which the Spirit of truth is the author, and from which, as their proximate cause, all right affections and holy acts proceed.
It is plain from these passages that knowledge, righteousness, and holiness are elements of the image of God in which man was originally created. By knowledge is not meant merely the faculty of cognition, the ability to acquire knowledge, but the contents of that faculty. As knowledge may be innate, so it may be concreated. Adam, as soon as he began to be had self-knowledge; he was conscious of his own being, faculties, and states. He had also the knowledge of what was out of himself, or he had what the modern philosophy calls world-consciousness. He not only perceived the various material objects by which he was surrounded, but he apprehended aright their nature. How far this knowledge extended we are unable to determine. Some have supposed that our first parent had a more thorough knowledge of the external world, of its laws, and of the nature of its various productions, than human science has ever since attained. It is certain that he was able to give appropriate names to all classes of animals which passed in review before him, which supposes a due apprehension of their distinctive characteristics. On this point we know nothing beyond what the Bible teaches us. It is more important to remark that Adam knew God; whom to know is life eternal. Knowledge, of course, differs as to its objects. The cognition of mere speculative truths, as those of science and history, is a mere act of the understanding; the cognition of the beautiful involves the exercise of our æsthetic nature; of moral truths the exercise of our moral nature; and the knowledge of God the exercise of our spiritual and religious nature, The natural man, says the Apostle, receives 102not the things of the Spirit, neither can he k tow them. What is asserted of Adam is that, as he came from the hands of his Maker, his mind was imbued with this spiritual or divine knowledge.
All that has been said with regard to the original state of man is involved in the account of the creation, which declares that he was made like God; and that he was pronounced to be good, good exceedingly. What the goodness is which belongs to man as a rational, immortal, and religious being, and which is necessary to fit him for the sphere in which he was to move, and the destiny for. which he was created, we learn partly from the express declarations of the Scriptures, partly from the nature of the case, and partly from what is involved in humanity as restored by Christ. From all these sources it is plain that the Protestant doctrine concerning the image of God and the original righteousness in which and with which Adam was created includes not only his rational nature, but also knowledge, righteousness, and holiness.
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