Systematic Theology - Vol. 2

By Charles Hodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.

ORIGINAL STATE OF MAN.

§ 1. The Scriptural Doctrine.

THE Scriptural doctrine on this subject includes the following particulars. First, That man was originally created in a state of maturity and perfection. By this, however, is not meant that humanity in Adam before the fall, existed in the highest state of excellence of which it is susceptible. It is altogether probable that our nature, in virtue of its union with the divine nature in the person of Christ, and in virtue of the union of the redeemed with their exalted Redeemer, shall hereafter be elevated to a dignity and glory far greater than that in which Adam was created or to which lie ever could have attained. By the maturity of man as at first created is meant that he was not created in a state of infancy. It is a favourite assumption of sceptics that man at first both as to soul and body, was imbecile and unfurnished ; slowly forming for himself an articulate language, and having his moral powers gradually awakened. This, however, is inconsistent not only with the Scriptural account of his creation, but also with the part he was designed to act, and in fact did act. By the perfection of his original state is meant, that he was perfectly adapted to the end for which he was made and to the sphere in which he was designed to move. This perfection as to his body consisted not only in the integrity and due proportion of all its parts, but also in its perfect adaptation to the nature of the soul with which it was united. It is commonly said by theologians that the body was created immortal and impassible. With regard to its immortality, it is certain that if man had not sinned he would not have died. But whether the immortality which would then have been the destiny of the body, would have been the result of its original organization, or whether after its period of probation it would have undergone a change to adapt it to its everlasting condition, is a matter to be subsequently considered. By impassibility is not necessarily meant entire freedom from susceptibility to pain, for

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