…taking pity, I say, on the race of men, inasmuch as he is good, he did not leave them destitute of the knowledge of himself, lest they should find no profit in existing at all. For what profit to the creatures if they knew not their maker? or how could they be rational without knowing the Word [and reason] of the Father, in whom they received their very being? For there would be nothing to distinguish them even from brute creatures if they had knowledge of nothing but earthly things. Nay, why did God make them at all, as he did not wish to be known by them? Whence, lest this should be so, being good, he gives them a share in his own image, our Lord Jesus Christ, and makes them after his own image and after his likeness: so that by such grace perceiving the image, that is, the Word of the Father, they may be able through him to get an idea of the Father, and, knowing their maker, live the happy and truly blessed life.
— Athanasius, On the Incarnation, para. 11. (emphasis added).