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, September 30, 2016

Christ's love the constructive force in life, part 2 of 6

   "We seem possessed by the idea that what Christ's love is to do for us—and about all that Christ's love is to do for us—is to be the repairing and renewing influence for our lives. It is to be the solace of our souls when the world has disquieted us: it is the medicine that brings back the lost health of the spirit when the thousand ills whereby the spirit may be attacked have sapped the spirit's strength: it is the last and surest support whereon our lamed and helpless lives, as all other supports are found to fail, may confidently fall back and fearlessly lean. Of course the existence and reality of Christ's great love is always to us a fact set far beyond possibility of question: we carry with us, through all our changeful hours and our winding ways, the assurance that, come what may, that love at any rate will be waiting to receive and shelter us if all our resources should prove unequal to the strain life may bring; and we see, held ready to embrace us if the pressure of hostile circumstance or the threatenings of fate should frighten us into utter inability to do anything for ourselves, the arms of Him who is strong to save. But seldom is it realised that Christ's tenderness is to be the main supporting force of life even in the normal condition of things—when there are no terrors, no insoluble difficulties, no threatening foes that make the heart tremble and the cheek blanch with fear. When the sense of strength pulses in us, when the step is light along an easy road, when all oppositions appear to have withdrawn and no enemies molest—then comes upon us too often the indifference which Strength is apt to feel for Love, and we think of and look upon the tenderness of the Christ as a thing afar off. It is still there, we know; and when the need recurs we shall fling ourselves upon it again, we know; but, for the time being, the power that lives in us puts us beyond the need of reclining upon the help it can afford. The love of Christ is taken to be our rest when we are weary, not the very inspiration by which we live when we are strong. It comes in to set things right for us when all has gone to chaos and disaster, but is not the influence wherein we live and move and have our being when no sign of danger presents itself and the sky is clear.
    And we need to learn that Christ's love, and our resting upon it, is not only the compensation for the things wherein we fail, but the actual strength of all we have and are. His love set on us is the positive force that makes us: even when we think ourselves able to master our fate and to prove ourselves lords over the circumstances of life, it is only because Christ loves us that we can do so; and in our times of strength we need to be casting ourselves upon Christ's tenderness in order that the strength may be rightly used, just as truly as in our times of weakness we need to cast ourselves upon Christ's tenderness in order that the weakness may be relieved. It is not that we need to be loved by Christ when all power is gone from us, and can do without His love—at any rate without so real and profound an experience of it—when power returns. When we think that we can manage life, make something out of life, control life, go straight ahead, so to say, through life—then do we still need to remember that it is only because the Christ loves us we can do these things; and only as we remember that shall we do them to the full. In the moments of felt power must we recognise that from the love of Christ set upon us does all the power come, and even then must we seek to yield ourselves to His love, knowing that by His love and by our yielding to it must all our life be built and made."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 189-191)

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