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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The whole animal world has been made subject to it; and as it affects all living souls alike, bringing them back to the dust again, no one species can claim pre-eminence over the other; for "one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other".

Man, however, differs from other creatures in having been modelled after a divine type, or pattern.

In form and capacity he was made like to the angels, though in nature inferior to them.

This appears from the testimony that he was made "in their image, after their likeness," and "a little lower than the angels," or Elohim.

I say, he was made in the image of the angels, as the interpretation of the co-operative imperative, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

The work of the six days, though elaborated by the power of Him "who dwelleth in the light," was executed by "his angels, that excel in strength, and do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word".

These are styled Elohim, or "gods," in numerous passages.

David says, "Worship him, all ye gods"; which Paul applies to Jesus, saying, "Let all the angels of God worship him".

Man, then, was made after the image and likeness of Elohim, but for a while inferior in nature.

But the race will not always be inferior in this respect.

It is destined to advance to a higher nature; not all the individuals of it; but those of the race "who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that age (aijw;n mevllwn, the future age) and the resurrection from among the dead (ejc necrw`n) - who can die no more; for they are equal to the angels (ijsavllegoi); and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection".

The import of the phrase "in the image, after the likeness" is suggested by the testimony, that "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth".

In this respect, Seth stands related to Adam, as Adam did to the Elohim; but differing in this, that the nature of Adam and Seth was identical; whereas those of Adam and the Elohim were dissimilar.

Would any one be at a loss to know the meaning of Seth's being in the image of his father?

The very same thing is meant by Adam being in the image of the Elohim.

An image is the representation of some form or shape; metaphorically, it may signify the exact resemblance of one character to another.

But in the case before us, the parties had no characters at the time of their birth.

They were simply innocent of actual transgression; no scope having been afforded them to develop character.

The Elohim, however, were personages of dignity and holiness, as well as of incorruptible, or spiritual, nature.

The resemblance, therefore, of Adam to the Elohim as their image was of bodily form, not of intellectual and moral attainment; and this I apprehend to be the reason why the Elohim are styled "men" when their visits to the sons of Adam are recorded in the scriptures of truth.

In shape, Seth was like Adam, Adam like the Elohim, and the Elohim, the image of the invisible Increate; the great and glorious archetype of the intelligent universe.

Seth was also "in Adam's own likeness".

While image, then, hath reference to form or shape, "likeness" hath regard to mental constitution, or capacity.