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)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Christ's love the constructive force in life, part 3 of 6

   "Now as concerns the mere statement, I suppose we should all agree so far. We should all confess in word, and the confession would have no hesitancy in it, that from the tenderness of our Lord and Master we must every moment draw our inspiration and our support. But how little we comprehend what is involved in allowing Christ's love to be the positive force that makes our life for us, and how little, as a matter of practice, we do allow it to be the positive force that makes our life for us! It means something more than carrying with us the knowledge and memory of Christ's love: to lean ourselves upon the graciousness of Christ is not simply to be reminding ourselves, ever and again, how great and how constant that graciousness is known to be: we are not letting Christ's tenderness make us if we, as it were, just pause every now and then in the midst of our life's hurry to press upon our souls the sweetness of His grace. For, if that be the sum of our abandonment to the love of the Christ—that more or less frequent self-reminding of its reality and its greatness—it will be just when we need it most that the recollection may fail to return. When the pressure of care is heavy upon us, when varied anxieties make their tumult round about us, the mind may be too confused and distracted to remember then the love which precisely then it needs so sorely; and the effort to fling itself upon that tenderness which it has only now and again remembered may prove too much for its overtasked strength. So long as we only recur every now and then—be it never so frequently —to the knowledge and recollection of Christ's love toward us, we are but watching that love with something of indifference in the watching, and are not related to it as we ought to be. And to allow Christ's love to be the positive force that makes our life means something more, too, than praying for its help, be the prayer passionate and oft-repeated as it may. For the very idea of prayer somehow implies the idea of distance: the tenderness of Christ is not the very breath of our being, the very substance of our life, if we have to call and strain for it, to compel it across to us from a Christ who is outside our life. It is not the ideal relationship between our souls and the gracious affection of our soul's Lord, that our souls should have to wait, even though the delay were brief, for the advent of that affection, that they should have to call, even though it were with certainty that the calling will be heard, for that affection to be bestowed. So long as we only connect ourselves with Christ's tenderness by the frequent supplication for its presence and its upholding, we are only watching that tenderness with something of separateness in the watching, and are not related to it as we ought to be. The remembrance of it, the prayer for it—all this is but using the tenderness of Christ as the reinforcement of life, the outside support of life, not allowing it to be the very positive force whereby our life is made."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 191-193)

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