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by Dr. John Thomas
From the shape of his head, as compared with other creatures, it is evident that man has a mental capacity which distinguishes him above them all.
Their likeness to him is faint.
They can think; but their thoughts are only sensual.
They have no moral sentiments, or high intellectual aspirations; but are grovelling in all their instincts, which incline only to the earth.
proportion as their heads assume the human form in the same ratio do they excel each other in sagacity; and, as in the monkey tribe, display a greater likeness to man.
But, let the case be reversed; let the human head degenerate from the godlike perfection of the Elohim, the standard of beauty in shape and feature; let it diverge to the image of an ape's, and the human animal no longer presents the image and likeness of the Elohim; but rather, the chattering imbecility of the creature most resembling it in form.
Adam's mental capacity enabled him to comprehend and receive spiritual ideas, which moved him to veneration, hope, conscientiousness, the expression of his views, affections, and so forth.
Seth was capable of the like display of intellectual and moral phenomena; and of an assimilation of character to that of his father.
He was therefore in the likeness as well as in the image of Adam; and, in the same sense, they were both "after the likeness of the Elohim".
But, though Adam was "made in the image and after the likeness" of the "Holy Ones," the similitude has been so greatly marred, that his posterity present but a faint representation of either.
The almost uncontrolled and continuous operation of "the law of sin and death," styled by philosophers "the law of nature," which is an indwelling and inseparable constituent of our present economy, has exceedingly deformed the image, and effaced the likeness of God, which man originally presented.
It required, therefore, the appearance of a New Man, in whom the image and likeness should re-appear, as in the beginning.
This was "the man Christ Jesus," whom Paul styles "the last Adam".
He is "the Image of the invisible God" ( eijcw;n tou` Qeou` ); "the effulgent mirror of the glory, and the exact likeness of his person," ( ajpauvladma th`" dovxh" cai caracth;or th`" uJpostavsew" aujtou` Hence, in another place, Paul says, he was "in the form of God" (ejn morfh`/ Qeou`) and also "made in the likeness of men, and in the form of a man".
Being thus the image and likeness of the invisible God, as well as of man, who was created in the image and likeness of the Elohim, he made himself equal with God in claiming God for his Father, though born of "sinful flesh".
Though thus highly related in paternity, image and character, he was yet "made a little lower than the angels"; for he appeared not in the higher nature of Elohim, but in the inferior nature of the seed of Abraham.
This was the first stage of his manifestation, as the present is of the saints who are his brethren.
But he is the appointed "heir of all things, on account of whom" (di?
ou|), "the ages were rearranged (cathrti;sqai tou;" aijw`na") by the word of God, so that the things seen exist not from things apparent".
But, says the apostle, "we do not yet see all things put under him: but we see.
Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that by the grace of God he should taste death for every man".
Having been thus laid low, and for this gracious purpose, he is no longer "lower than the angels".
He is equal to them in body: and made so much superior to them in rank, dignity, honour, and glory, "as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they" In Jesus, then, raised from the dead incorruptible, and clothed with brightness as when he was transfigured upon the Holy Mount, we behold the image and likeness of the invisible God.