The Universal Christ

"The resurrection gives us a Christ who is spiritually present; the Holy Spirit gives us a Christ who is universally present. By the coming of the Holy Spirit the risen Christ is made omnipresent, and the whole process of revelation here and now completed. Nothing higher can be looked for until the veil is dropped on the other side. Momentous consequences follow the acceptance of this truth. If the age of the Spirit under which we are now living marks the final outgoing of God to man; if the God who is manifested in Christ is every-where present in the Spirit; if through the medium-ship of the Spirit he dwells in the inner sanctuary of the soul; if he is not only with man, but in man; if through the Holy Spirit his presence within the soul is realized as the presence of Christ, then the time foretold by Jesus has come when temples and shrines are no longer indispensable, when every man has immediate access to God as the Father, and when every humble receptive soul may become "an habitation of God in the Spirit." "
- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, p. 89)

The New Covenant Gift of the Spirit

"Let us recall the three considerations that have been
mentioned. First, that our Lord Himself in His Divine-human nature was on earth, and is now in heaven, possessed of the fulness of the Spirit, and this in such a manner that the Spirit entered into all He was in the one sphere, and enters into all He is in the other. Secondly, that the Spirit given us by our Lord in His glorified condition is His own Spirit in the most definite and particular meaning of the words. Thirdly, that when the Spirit is bestowed upon us He must be made inwardly and experimentally ours, entering into all that we are in a manner similar to that in which He entered into all that Jesus was and is. Let us fix these three points distinctly in our minds, and it will follow that the Spirit promised as the chief gift of the New Covenant is pervaded by human as well as Divine elements. As the Spirit of the exalted and glorified Lord, He is not the Third Person of the Trinity in His absolute and metaphysical existence, but that Person as He is mediated through the Son, who is human as well as Divine. It is on this particular aspect of His being that He diffuses Himself through the members of Christ's body, and abides in them. Only as human, entering into and coalescing with what is human, can He be also our Spirit dwelling in a living and real way within us."
- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, p. 189)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"What is the real meaning and character of revelation as given by God in Jesus Christ?", part 4 of 5

"The sense of being in this way a revelation of God—a true apocalypse of God, not merely a communication from God—the depositary of God's true creative power—this it was that moved ceaselessly through the consciousness of Jesus Christ Himself. And the idea of revelation here suggested gains support when this is perceived. If you take the conception of an incarnation of God's own veritable creativeness, and hold it up against the inner consciousness of Christ as the records of His earthly life enable us in part to discern it, you find that the conception corresponds with all the deepest words wherein that inner consciousness of His expressed itself, and with that indefinable atmosphere—so wondrous, so majestic, so charged with influences which yielded their secret to no known test in the laboratory of men, and withal so ineffably sacred that halo rather than atmosphere is the name whereby it ought to be called—with that indefinable atmosphere which ceaselessly diffused itself out of that inner consciousness of His as He passed to and fro. I have quoted already that central word of Christ's—that word which surely no man of spiritual sensitiveness can read without seeming to see doors opened in Heaven and God himself coming through— that as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself. And you can crowd words together for witness, if you like—there are so many of them. If, indeed, Christ felt the veritable creative power of God dwelling in Him, then I know how He could say, "I am" (not "I talk about," not "I teach" but "I am") "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life"; I know how He could say that He had come in order that men might have life and might have it more abundantly; I know how He could say that to know Him (implying by the very manner of putting it that to know Him was really to know the only true God) was in itself eternal life. There are words enough. But it is not only nor mainly a matter of words. Such words stand in the Fourth Gospel alone, some tell us—and they tell us, too, that the Fourth Gospel is suspect. Well, such words do not stand in the Fourth Gospel alone; but let that pass. Go to the other three Gospels; and you find in them a Christ who, if He does not utter so profusely there the profundities of the Fourth, is in Himself and in His view of Himself as baptized with uniqueness, as endowed with something for which earthly vocabularies have no adequate name, as the Fourth Gospel displays Him. Certainly it is He Himself—His own personality with the mystic forces that circulate within and radiate from it—that is the central point in the system, if we care to call it so, which He proclaims; and certainly it is by penetrating to, and resting in, the depths of His nature, so far as they can, that men are to find rest unto their souls; and certainly this Christ is conscious, not that out of those common sources within the ordinary system of things whence men draw their endowments of nature He has been more lavishly endowed than the rest, but that from sources far outside the ordinary system of things all that He is has taken its rise and is still sustained; and that which is in Him has somehow shared a glory with God before the foundation of the world. What shall we say of this that He felt to be in Him? How can any—I will not say explanation, but any approach to explanation--be made? If we take the conception of an incarnation of God's actual creativeness in Christ, and lay it close against that consciousness of Christ's which the Gospels reveal, we begin at any rate to see as in a glass darkly. Revelation in Christ—yes, but not merely a fuller revelation about God! That is not how He read Himself. He could not have spoken of Himself as He did speak—could not have felt within Himself and about Himself as He did feel—would have had to put off that robe of majesty which He wears in such fashion as to show that He realised Himself to be, not the highest of a class but One standing absolutely alone—had that been all. I would almost prefer to say that the advent of Jesus Christ signalised the cessation of revelation, and the substitution of immediate personal contact for it; for when I seek after some form of speech sufficient for telling wherein the supremacy of Christ's revelation, as He Himself in His own inmost consciousness conceived it, really consists, I am driven back upon the formula which I have employed more than once before, and can only repeat that God's revelation in Jesus Christ is God moving His actual creativeness itself down to the earthly plane and offering it there for the uses of mankind."

- Henry William Clark (Liberal Orthodoxy, Epilogue, pgs. 301-304)

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