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)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The chief blessing bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ as High-priest of His people is the gift of the Spirit, part 10 of 11

    "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.
    One insuperable difficulty may be thought to attach to what has now been said. The effect, it may be objected, is to incarnate the Third as well as the Second Person of the Trinity. Not so. It is only to allow that there is a difference between the Third Person of the Trinity in Himself, and in the form in which He is promised as the gift of the New Covenant. Incarnation implies the assumption by a Divine Being of both a human soul and a human body: “The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us.” There is no thought of such assumption here. The Spirit remains the Spirit. He is only modified by partaking of that element of the human Spirit which exists in the Church's exalted Head. “God is Spirit” (not “a Spirit”), “and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit.” Some similarity of nature must exist between God and us, or we could not be asked to worship God in that frame of mind which, in its purest and most perfect form, is the essence of His being. There must, in fact, be a Divine side in man constituting the ground upon which the obligation of religion rests. We cannot ask the lower animals to be religious: they want the religious element in their nature. We ask man to be so, because thus alone can he do justice to that part of his nature which fits him for converse with the spiritual, the infinite, and the eternal. How is it possible, indeed, to think that the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity should not affect the Trinity as a whole As the Son is not only Divine, but human, and as God is the Father of the not only Divine but human Son, it seems evident that the bond uniting the Father and the Son, and the Son and the Father, must partake of both the Divine and human elements, and that the Spirit cannot otherwise be given us as the Spirit of the Son. If it be part of a true definition of the Spirit that “through the Spirit interpenetrating and embracing the Father and the Son, there is a mutual co-inherence and eternal fellowship between the Divine Persons,”1 that co-inherence and fellowship must have been effected by the changed condition of the now and for ever Incarnate Son.2"

- William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, pgs. 189-191)

*See link for footnotes.

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