Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Philosophical Works.: That man is a likeness of the Divine sovereignty.
V. That man is a likeness of the Divine sovereignty 1599 .
1. It is true, indeed, that the Divine beauty is not adorned with any shape or endowment of form, by any beauty of colour, but is contemplated as excellence in unspeakable bliss. As then painters transfer human forms to their pictures by the means of certain colours, laying on their copy the proper and corresponding tints, so that the beauty of the original may be accurately transferred to the likeness, so I would have you understand that our Maker also, painting the portrait to resemble His own beauty, by the addition of virtues, as it were with colours, shows in us His own sovereignty: and manifold and varied are the tints, so to say, by which His true form is portrayed: not red, or white 1600 , or the blending of these, whatever it may be called, nor a touch of black that paints the eyebrow and the eye, and shades, by some combination, the depressions in the figure, and all such arts which the hands of painters contrive, but instead of these, purity, freedom from passion, blessedness, alienation from all evil, and all those attributes of the like kind which help to form in men the likeness of God: with such hues as these did the Maker of His own image mark our nature.
2. And if you were to examine the other points also by which the Divine beauty is expressed, you will find that to them too the likeness in the image which we present is perfectly preserved. The Godhead is mind and word: for “in the beginning was the Word 1601 ” and the followers of Paul “have the mind of Christ” which “speaks” in them 1602 : humanity too is not far removed from these: you see in yourself word and understanding, an imitation of the very Mind and Word. Again, God is love, and the fount of love: for this the great John declares, that “love is of God,” and “God is love 1603 ”: the Fashioner of our nature has made this to be our feature too: for “hereby,” He says, “shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another 1604 ”:—thus, if this be absent, the whole stamp of the likeness is transformed. The Deity beholds and hears all things, and searches all things out: you too have the power of apprehension of things by means of sight and hearing, and the understanding that inquires into things and searches them out.
In the Bodleian Latin ms. the title is:—“How the human soul is made in the image of God.”391:1600
λαμπρότης. The old Latin version translates this by “purpurissus.”391:1601
S. John i. 1391:1602
Cf. 1 Cor. 2:16, 2 Cor. 13:31 Cor. ii. 16; and 2 Cor. xiii. 3391:1603
1 John 4:7, 8John 4:7, 8.391:1604
S. John xiii. 35 (not verbally).
Next: An examination of the kindred of mind to nature: wherein, by way of digression, is refuted the doctrine of the Anomœans.
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