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)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Christ is witness and leader and commander to mankind, part 1 of 4

"Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples."—Isaiah lv. 4.

   "WHETHER these words were originally spoken of Christ or not, they may at any rate be legitimately applied to Him in our thought. Whatever may have been the immediate meaning and intention of them, it is of Christ that they are pre-eminently true. He appears before all peoples as witness to clearest truth, and as leader who inspires most unfaltering confidence, and as commander to whose authority obedience must be most unquestioning and quick. The prophet speaks to his nation of some one who is to come to satisfy the nation's need, who would bring to the people water which would quench their thirst, wine and milk without money and without price; and whether or no his insight was keen enough and his foresight far-reaching enough to discern how perfectly his prophecy was to be fulfilled in the Christ whom the future years would bring, we, looking back upon the Christ from the standpoint of our later time, can see that the prophecy's entire fulfilment has been in Him. Partially, perhaps, it may have been fulfilled in others whom Israel knew: others there may have been who gave to the people satisfaction and rest in a measure, and who in their degree were witnesses and leaders and commanders to them; but of the Christ we have to confess that none who went before and none who came after have been and done these things in so great a degree as He. As we think of Him and look upon Him, the message appears as it were to be written by God's own hand in letters of light round about Him, "Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples."
    And these three titles indicate in a manner the way in which Christ progressively reveals Himself to men. He is first witness, bearing testimony to certain spiritual realities: then, when we have heard and received the witness, He comes to us as the leader who will guide us in the way by which we may reach those spiritual realities; and then, when by His loving guidance of us He has awakened and confirmed within us a trust and confidence in Him, He appears as commander who, because He has thus helped us and proved His faithfulness, has rightful claim to our obedient service.
    Christ is witness and leader and commander to mankind."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 40-41)

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