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, August 25, 2016

The Christ-force

   "We shall be prepared, if this be understood, to find John's purpose influencing the character of his argument, and giving a particular tone and colour to all the process of his thought and word.  The presence of an active force is not proved through logical syllogisms: it is nothing to the point to say that this Gospel affords no reasoned demonstration--starting from universally accepted premises, and reaching at last to a conclusion irresistible by the mind--of the divineness of Jesus Christ: John's business is not the logical unfolding of what certain admitted general principles contain.  The complaint that such an unfolding is not provided is really really what lies behind many refusals, made confessedly on philosophic grounds, to recognise Christ as "the Son of God."  But purely logical demonstration can find no place in this field.  It is not by pure logic that men are brought to believe in the presence and activity of force.  A force proves it's presence by producing it's appropriate effects; and the only exercise the mind can have to perform in such matters as these is to reason back from the character of the effects to the character of the force behind them.  We perceive certain things, and conclude that electricity is at work: we feel certain things, and they amply demonstrate to us that heat is there: in some fashion results announce themselves, and we know what cause is passing by: we start, in fact, not with a priori reasonings, but with that which the eye can see and the hands can handle; and the purely logical faculty, working as it does in the abstract realms, could never establish the actual existence of a concrete and energising force.  In this field, the effect is the premiss.  Of course, reason may go on to show how, within a universe ordered in all things and sure, such a power as that whose presence we have been led to suspect may well find a home.  How the working of such a power is entirely in harmony with a philosophically satisfactory and complete scheme of things may be made clear, to the further confirming of a new-born faith.  But this is not included in John's plan, although the prologue to his Gospel gives sufficient token that on this point, also, his conviction was firm.  The first and primary operation of the mind, as some power strikes into it's field of vision, is to gather the nature of the power at work from the nature of the seen results.  To demonstrate that the power is there, the demonstrator must bid his hearers attend to what the power has wrought: the hearers' minds, then, must take or refuse the last step.  John's whole dealing with his readers is the definite recording of definite things accomplished by the force which dwelt in Jesus Christ.  His pages can only carry, not syllogisms and arguments and logical proofs piled high until the mind is compelled to say "Amen," but concrete signs which indicate that out of this Christ some power was reaching forth to touch the world.  And from the consideration of these signs, from the uniform character which amid all their variety they bore, from the unique impress stamped upon every one, John hoped that those who read would be brought to call this Christ-force the very creative life of God."

- Henry William Clark (The Christ from Without and Within: A Study of the Gospel by St. John, pgs. 9-11)

*Re-post from 12/03/14

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