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, September 29, 2016

Christ's love the constructive force in life, part 1 of 6

"And they sat and watched him there."—Matthew xxvii. 36.

   "They who represented the world's greatest Strength watched thus heedlessly beside Him who was the world's greatest Love. "They" were of course the soldiers of Rome, the representatives of the mighty empire before whose power all the world was going down, whose iron grip was closing upon nation after nation, and whose career of victory none could stay. And He whom they watched was of course the Christ around whose brief earthly course the grace and beauty of tender kindliness had shone, who had spent Himself in many a ministry of healing and whose whole life had been a ceaseless outpouring of love. But to the Roman soldiers the love which had been the impulse of all Christ's life and the spring of all His activities, was a thing of no account. Something of His marvellous tender-heartedness and grace they must have known, for the story of it must have been ringing so loudly through the city that even through the difference of language some echoes of the tale must have reached their ears; but to them, all of kindness the Christ had done and all of healing His hands had wrought were but unimportant incidents with which they could have no manner of concern. Least of all could it enter into their thought that, as He hung upon the cross before them, His tenderness was holding even them in its embrace. What need of tenderness had they? Proud in their strength, satisfied with their strength, conscious that in them something of the Imperial power of Rome was gathered up—what had they to do with any gracious kindness He might have shown, with any yearning love for men that might have dwelt or that even now, in His agony, might still dwell, within His heart? It was all nothing to them. With the profound indifference of Strength to Love, they only "sat and watched him there."
   Passing quite away in our minds, however, from the circumstances to which the text immediately refers, I want to think, not of the Roman soldiers and their indifference to the love before them, but rather of ourselves and of the indifference which we, in our times of conscious strength, allow ourselves to feel towards that love of Christ which, in our times of weakness, we know we need so much. While we are quick to confess, when through the pressure of sin or the sharp probing of sorrow the sickening sense of helplessness falls upon us, that all our refuge is in the tenderness of Christ, it might be said of us not seldom, when the sense of frailty has ceased to vex our souls and we are self-possessed in our strength, that we forget our need of being loved. And it is of the mistake we make through not realising that we need Christ's tenderness as much as in our times of conscious strength as in our times of oppressing weakness—it is of that mistake I want to think just now."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 187-189)

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