Systematic Theology - Vol. 2

By Charles Hodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.

PERSON OF CHRIST.

§ 1. Preliminary Remarks.

1. THE most mysterious and the most familiar fact of consciousness and experience is the union of soul and body in the constitution of our nature. According to the common faith of mankind and of the Church, man consists of two distinct substances, soul and body. By substance is meant that which is. It is the entity in which properties, attributes, and qualities inhere, and of which they are the manifestations. It is therefore something more than mere force. It is something more than a collective name for a certain number of properties which appear in combination. It is that which continues, and remains unchanged under all the varying phenomena of which it may be the subject. The substance which we designate the soul, is immaterial, that is, it has none of the properties of matter. It is spiritual, i. e., it has all the properties of a spirit. It is a self‐ conscious, intelligent, voluntary agent. The substance which we call the body, on the other hand, is material. That is, it has all the properties of matter and none of the properties of mind or spirit. This is the first fact universally admitted concerning the constitution of our nature.

2. The second fact concerns the nature of the union between the soul and body. It is, (a.) A personal union. Soul and body constitute one individual man, or human person. There is but one consciousness. It is the man or person who is conscious of sensations and of thoughts, of affections of the body and of the acts of the mind. (b.) It is a union without mixture or confusion. The soul remains spirit, and the body remains matter. Copper and zinc combined form brass. The constituent elements lose their distinctive characteristics, and produce a third substance. There is no such mixture in the union of the soul and body. The two remain distinct. Neither is there a transfer of any of the properties of the one to the other. No property of the mind is transferred to the body ; and no property of the body is transferred to the mind. (c.) Nevertheless the union is not a mere inhabita

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