The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
The Creation of Man
The Creation of Man.
We read in Genesis i. 26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Here we must consider that when God made man in His image, after His likeness, He was prepared to uphold man in the state he made him, although he should fall; for if God could not do this He would prove to be a weak and imperfect .Being. He would prove to be a Being without love to His mortal creature, whom He thus exposed to temptation for his ruin, whilst he was unable to render him the necessary assistance to set him upon his feet again, after he had fallen in the temptation to which he had been exposed. This would bring shame and contempt upon God before His host of holy angels, in the triumph of the devil and his angels; in fact it would be the overthrow of His Almighty Power, Majesty, and Kingdom, and cause the corruption of the whole universe. As God, however, knew what would happen when man should be tempted by Satan, there was held that great Council of God's Trinity (Tri-unity—Father. Son, and Holy Ghost); the object being to appoint a means by which man could and should be upheld, perfect as he was made, though he should fall. And how that mysterious fact was to be brought about, that God should uphold man in the state in which He created him, and that he should come out victorious at the trial of man by the devil, the angels even desire to look into (1 Peter i. 18).
In that great Council of "Tri-unity," the Son and the Holy Ghost were ordained and appointed to their respective offices by God the Most High before man was created, and thus all precautions were taken for his safety. The risk, on God's side, was very great, as we should judge. But God never makes a mistake, nor can He be baffled or entangled by the skill of the devil; what God undertakes He is sure to carry it out to perfection. Blessed, and well secured, is the man who puts his trust in God, though he may have to suffer for a while.
When man was formed of earth, "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Gen. ii. 7). Where God breathes. His breath is a substance—a substantial Life. Wherefore man's soul is not a created being, as some take it to be. Man's soul is a substance, and the life of God Himself; of His own nature and substance : and thus are we God's image and likeness, as far as it concerns our soul; and are "God's offspring," (Acts xvii. 28, 29,)—God's children, as a son is the offspring of his father; for if it were otherwise we could never become God's children. Hence it follows that man's soul is immortal, as God himself is immortal, without exception. Still there is a void in our heart, the seat of the soul, which cannot remain unoccupied, and that void God occupied before man fell, in order to rule man, and to supply all his spiritual wants with himself; but since the fall that void is occupied by the unclean spirit, who rules man by his unclean lusts, until man turns to God again, when he gets set free from that evil spirit, i.e. the devil (John viii. 36).