308 The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity the crude idea that the Eternal Word could come into direct association with a human body. He insists that the Word re- quired the mediation of a human soul in order to be incarnate in a human body, nor is the incarnation to be understood as though it imposed limitation upon the Word* Albeit uniquely associated with the human soul and body of Jesus, the Word remains in full possession of His divine character and functions. A main difference of Origen's view from what became the orthodox doctrine of Christ's person arises from his view that all human souls, including the human soul of Jesus, pre-existed. But whereas other human souls had in their pre-existent state fallen from God, the soul of Jesus Christ had remained in full union with God and the Word. This sinless human soul it was which came forth from God and assumed from Mary a human body, maintaining through all the sufferings and temptations which befell him upon earth unbroken unity with the Eternal Word.1 By the resurrection and the ascension into heaven Christ's earthly body was, with his human soul, completely divinized, with the consequence that a way was thereby opened for all believers to share once more in the fellowship of God which had once been theirs. Origen's system leaves no place for the older conceptions of a visible return of Christ to earth and of the establishment of the Kingdom from the New Jerusalem. These conceptions had been the prevailing belief in the second Christian century and they were long to continue to be the prevailing belief in the West; but for Origen the 'second coming' becomes another way of stating the transition from the temporal to the eternal. Even the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we know it is temporal, 'being preached in a world and an age that are destined to pass away', and it will yield place to the 'eternal Gospel'; as the Old Testament Law was but 'a shadow of the good things to come' in Christ, 1 De Principiis, n. cvi. 3 (Engl. trans., G. W. Butterworth, pp. nofL); In Evang. Joan. xx. 19.