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Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:
The Confessions: Chapter XXII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXII.—He Explains the Divine Image (Ver. 26) of the Renewal of the Mind.

32. For behold, O Lord our God, our Creator, when our affections have been restrained from the love of the world, by which we died by living ill, and began to be a “living soul” by living well; 1369 and Thy word which Thou spakest by Thy apostle is made good in us, “Be not conformed to this world;” next also follows that which Thou presently subjoinedst, saying, “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” 1370 —not now after your kind, as if following your neighbour who went before you, nor as if living after the example of a better man (for Thou hast not said, “Let man be made after his kind,” but, “Let us make man in our image, p. 201 after our likeness”), 1371 that we may prove what Thy will is. For to this purpose said that dispenser of Thine,—begetting children by the gospel, 1372 —that he might not always have them “babes,” whom he would feed on milk, and cherish as a nurse; 1373 “be ye transformed,” saith He, “by the renewing of your mind, that he may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” 1374 Therefore Thou sayest not, “Let man be made,” but, “Let us make man.” Nor sayest Thou, “after his kind,” but, after “our image” and “likeness.” Because, being renewed in his mind, and beholding and apprehending Thy truth, man needeth not man as his director 1375 that he may imitate his kind; but by Thy direction proveth what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of Thine. And Thou teachest him, now made capable, to perceive the Trinity of the Unity, and the Unity of the Trinity. And therefore this being said in the plural, “Let us make man,” it is yet subjoined in the singular, “and God made man;” and this being said in the plural, “after our likeness,” is subjoined in the singular, “after the image of God.” 1376 Thus is man renewed in the knowledge of God, after the image of Him that created him; 1377 and being made spiritual, he judgeth all things,—all things that are to be judged,—“yet he himself is judged of no man.” 1378



As Origen has it: “The good man is he who truly exists.” See p. 190, note 6, above; and compare the use made of the idea in Archbishop Thomson’s Bampton Lectures, lect. i.


Rom. 12.2.


Gen. 1.26.


1 Cor. 4.15.


1 Thess. 2.7.


Rom. 12.2.


Jer. 31.34.


Gen. 1.27.


Col. 3.10.


1 Cor. 2.15.

Next: Chapter XXIII

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