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 4 of 6

   "But to let Christ's love really make us! Ah! it is that experience, I believe, that the Christian Church has been, half unconsciously, straining after for so long! So much of the unrest and unsatisfactoriness whereby the more thoughtful members of the Christian Church have been feeling themselves oppressed, has come just from this—though they may not have been able to interpret the oppression so—from the necessity of having the love and grace of Christ run through and pervade the whole of life as the all-enfolding and all-inspiring influence of it all, rather than be, as it so often has been, the occasional and additional influence brought into life for an infrequent hour. Life would be a great and rich thing if the love of Christ made it all, instead of only relieving and healing it in part. To let the love of Christ make us—how can I set into words what it means? It means that in the ordinary activities of our life—even in those matters which look, in the outward aspect of them, as if they had nothing at all to do with Christ and our relation to Him—even in these we are to do the things we do only because we are yielding ourselves to Him who is the Lover of our souls, and because He, as His all-wise love takes hold of us, has lovingly inspired us to do them. To let the love of Christ make us—it means that we are to yield ourselves to Him who is the Lover of our souls so that He, in His all-wise love, may, so to say, have the employment, the use of us, that at every moment the mind may think and the voice may speak and the hands may move only because He lovingly makes His mind think through ours and His voice speak through ours and His hand move ours. To let the love of Christ make us—it means that we are to yield ourselves to Him who is the Lover of our souls so that from His all-wise love the initiative of our life, the beginning, the impulse, of everything may come. To let the love of Christ make us—it means— but do you remember how Browning's lover speaks to the one he loves? So, transferring the language to a higher relationship than the relationship of the highest human love can be, so should we speak ever to Him who is the Lover of our souls—

                                              "I would I could adopt your will,
                                                   See with your eyes, and set my heart
                                                Beating by yours, and drink my fill
                                                   At your soul's springs,—your part my part
                                                In life, for good and ill."

Only we should not need to add "for good and ill," since for the soul that is gripped in the great Loversoul, ill there cannot be. But so to lean upon Christ's tenderness, to lose ourselves in it, to let it overflow us, to have every movement and thought and word of our days come, not out of ourselves, but from out of the gracious affection that has hold of all we are—that is to let the love of Christ be the positive and actual force whereby our life is made."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 193-195)

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