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PART FOUTH.
ON THE LOVE OF GOD, AND THE UNION OF GOD AND MAN IN LOVE.



CHAPTER IV.


THOUGHTS ON THE CREATION OF HOLY EXISTENCES.


All holy beings formed in the divine image.— The divine image in man constituted chiefly by holy love. — Such love necessarily the gift of God. — On loving God with the whole heart. — Remarks.

WHAT has been said is perhaps all that is necessary to be said in relation to the nature of love, and the existence of love as a central element of the Divine Mind. Man must be born again into the posession of this love, and thus be restored to, and reassociated with, the divine element. And we shall the better understand the necessity of this regeneration and reunion, by considering still further what man was in the beginning. And our first remark is this.

All holy beings, inasmuch as they come from God, are, and must be, formed originally in the
divine image. It is thus that angels and all angelic and seraphic natures are formed. They are miniatures of God. It is thus that man himself was originally formed. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image. In the image of God created he him."

2. The likeness of God to man is not in form, for God is without form; — not in intellect, for the intellect of God embraces all things, while man can know only a part; — but in that which constitutes, more than anything else, the element, the life, of the divine nature, namely, HOLY LOVE. Man, in the infancy of his existence, was created a
love being. Love, as the centre of his existence, was not a speculation, but a nature; not an accessory of life, but the life itself. Spontaneous in its action, acting because it had a principle of movement in itself, it did not wait for the slow deductions of reason, but flowed out in all directions, like a living stream. As man, thus formed in the love spirit, looked around upon the works of nature, he saw all things in the possession of life and beauty, and he rejoiced in all things, because all things had God in them. He loved the tree and the flower, which reflected the divine wisdom and goodness. But far more did he delight in the happiness of everything which had a sentient existence. He called all animals to him. The birds dropped their wings at the sound of his voice, and came. The beasts of the field and of the forests flocked around him from their near or distant habitations. He loved them; and he gave them their names. When the occasion was presented, when the sentient object, no matter to what scale or degree of sentient being it belonged, was before him, his simple and pure heart flowed out at once.

3. It was thus, beyond all question, that the primitive man was constituted. Such is the representation of Scripture. Love, resting upon faith, was his nature And, coming from God, he could not have been constituted otherwise. God being what he is, he could not have created man otherwise than he did. The principles of right, which apply to the fact of creation as well as to the government of things created, are not susceptible of change. It is impossible, therefore, to conceive of more than one pattern or model, according to which holy beings were at first created. And this one pattern, which, in being the true pattern, condemns and excludes all others, is that of the Divine Mind itself. The model, in being perfect, can never be altered; in being eternal, can never be broken.

Holy beings are created after the divine model; but it is worthy of notice, here as elsewhere, that the existence, which stands for the model, is itself the
creating power. — God is their Father. Man, in not being able to make himself, is not able to make that holy love, which is the centre of himself. On the contrary, holy love is a gift, as divine in its source as it is divine in its nature. It is just as impossible for men to originate, by their own action, the principle of pure or holy love within them, as it is to originate their own existence, or the power of perception and memory. Pure love cannot be created on the basis of prudential calculations; nor can it be originated by any other human device. Device, calculation, cannot raise itself to that divine height. And the reason is, it is a constituent, something inherent and organic, something without which reason itself, in its pure and unbiased forms, could not have been brought into action; something which does not and cannot by any possibility exist, except as a nature. In God it is nature eternal; in all other holy beings it is nature given.

4. Original truth is aphoristic. Its declaration is its argument. It carries conviction in its simplest affirmations. It is enough, therefore, merely to affirm, that the created must flow out of the uncreated; that the temporal must flow out of the eternal. God is the uncreated; God is the eternal. God, therefore, God alone, God beyond time, beyond and above all creating power, is the " living" or perpetual fountain. He has the true life in himself, and that life is Love. — All other life is from him and by him.

5. Hence it is said, in the language of Scripture,— language not more simply eloquent and affecting than it is true: — "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken ME,
the fountain of living waters, and hewn out broken cisterns that can hold no water." [Jer. 2: 13] And it is here, more than anywhere else, that we find the source of trouble with men. God, in creating men, not only gave them the principle of faith, but opened also the eternal fountain of love in their hearts; but men, in an evil hour, stopped it by ceasing to believe in the source from which it came. Satan, reminding them that God had made them moral agents, maliciously whispered that they would do well to avail themselves of their power by hewing out cisterns of their own, — in other words, that they should try to live as originators, and not as recipients; that they should try to live without living in and from God. They made the attempt; turned away from God, and, in striving to live in their own strength, found, in their sins and sorrows, that they had exchanged the living fountain for "broken cisterns, which could hold no water."

6. The doctrine of man's creation in the image of God involves, as one of its consequences, that, in his true and normal state, he loves and must love God with all his heart. And the reason is this. The law of love's movement, all other things being equal, is the amount of being, or existence in the object beloved. Accordingly, it can be said of love, that it notices and rejoices in everything which exists. It loves each insect that floats in the summer's sun; it delights in the happiness of the birds that sing in the branches; it wipes the tears and binds up the wounds of man, however degraded and fallen; but it is
God, the infinite Being, who represents in himself all other existences, that supremely attracts and absorbs it. In him all love centers, as all streams and waters centre in the parent ocean. In God, uniting and consolidating all things in himself, we love the infinitude of being, the Life of the universe, the everywhere present, the silent but universal Operator, the All-in-all.