This is one in a series from Bossuet’s Elevations on the Mysteries. The previous post is here. More information on the Bossuet Project is here.
We no longer count the admirable singularities of the creation of man, so great are the number. But the last is immortality. O God, what a marvel! All the animals I see beyond me are subject to death; I alone, with a body composed of the same elements, I am immortal by my origin.
I could die, however, since I could sin; I have sinned, and I am dead; But I could not die, because I could not sin, and it was sin alone that deprived me of the use of the tree of life.
What happiness! What perfection of man! Made in the image of God by a particular design of his wisdom, established in a paradise, in a delightful garden, where all the goods abounded, under a sky always pure and always benign. In the midst of the rich waters of four rivers, without having to fear death, free, happy, tranquil, without any deformity or infirmity, either on the side of the mind or on the side of the body, without any need of clothes, with pure and innocent nakedness, having my salvation and my happiness in my hand. The heaven opens before me, to be transported there when God wished, without passing through the dreadful shadows of death! Cry endlessly miserable man, who has lost all his possessions, and console yourself only in Jesus Christ, who has restored them to you, and yet in greater abundance.