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, June 15, 2016

Issuing from the depths at once of divine and human nature

"The Holy Ghost lives in the soul under this dispensation, as the Spirit of Christ; we are not to regard Him in the mere simplicity of His infinite deity, but as sent forth by the God and man, Christ Jesus, as His; nor is the abiding presence of this holy principle less essentially divine because bestowed and operative under special conditions and a special aspect. On this account He is perpetually described by titles, which impress how truly His function is transmissory of perfections that dwell in Christ, and are ours only because His. This Spirit is the "Spirit of the Son," the "Spirit of Christ," the "Spirit of Jesus Christ."... This Holy Spirit, then, proceeding essentially, as the elder Church implicitly held, and the majority of the modern Church expressly maintains, from the eternal Son as well as from the Father, its presence is effectively the presence of the Trinity; and sent, in the fulness of time, by one who was man as well as God, it comes with a superadded tincture of that celestialized humanity, which alone, perhaps, could fit it for its office of addressing our earthly humanity; it transmits, not the incommunicable graces of the pure Godhead, but the graces of "the man Christ Jesus;" and, issuing from the depths at once of divine and human nature (for when the person of Christ became human as well as divine that Spirit which proceedeth eternally from Him, and was sent in time from the same Christ, could not but be mysteriously affected by the change), it is "a living water," because it infuses an essence from "Christ who is our life:" being His hand and seal, whereby we are "sealed unto the day of redemption," it stamps His entire signature; it "forms," as an Apostle expressed it, "Christ within us." Hence it has often been observed, that the two divine Persons are sometimes represented as co-operating, in a way of intimacy which requires faculties beyond ours to dissever. The last Adam is made "a quickening Spirit." The "Spirit giveth life," which Christ is and bestows. So, "if Christ be in us, the Spirit is life;" and our law is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit;" and "by one Spirit we are baptized into one body," which body is Christ's. "The Lord is that Spirit," which yet is "the Spirit of the Lord." And so in other similar complexities of expression, which we have now no time to cite, far less to attempt to classify, but all of which point to an intimate combination of operations that are nevertheless distinct. Indeed it seems to be the very genius of these highest mysteries of our religion, that in them all tends to a mystic unity of action; nothing seems done in which all are not, though diversely, doers. The law of love, which obtains as the master principle of our earthly Christianity, is but the reflection, in the world of time, of the absolute communion that ineffably subsists, in the world of eternity, between the Persons of the threefold Deity. "That they all may be one," said our Lord, "as we are one!" "

- William Archer Butler (Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, pgs. 372, 373-375)

*Re-post from 06/16/15

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