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 5 of 6

   "I cannot make it clearer by multiplying words. But I want you to take the thought and hold it; for I say again that this is the thing which the Christian Church has been, half unconsciously, straining after for so long. I suppose that there could not be a more entire divorce than that which exists, even for Christian people, between the ordinary activities of life and the sense of Christ's tenderness : were one to ask any man, upon the ordinary round of business and duty, whether it be at the dictation and under the inspiration of the love of Christ that the business and the duty are discharged, he would scarce know what the inquiry meant: the dividing line is drawn, clear and sharp, sheer down between the common hours when we manage things for ourselves and the uncommon hours when Christ and His graciousness take up their sway. Yet I suppose, too, that never has there been so much talk (and a great deal of it to very little purpose) about the deeper spiritual life, larger blessings, and the like. And what it all comes to is this—if we could only see it—that we have been taking Christ's grace as the relieving and restoring and healing power for our life, but not as the constructive force by which all our life, down to the smallest details of it, is to be built and made. And we shall never, never enter into the deepest experiences of Christ's tenderness so. The deeper life is this, and nothing else than this—to let all our life be the loving Christ translating Himself in the activities of our strength. In all, we are to be but children under the care of His love. In all, His love is not only to lift us up when we fall, but to prescribe the whole way. In all, we are to do the things we do only because we have abandoned ourselves to His love, and He, the Loving One, takes us and, through us, does these things so. In Christ's tenderness we are to live and move and have our being. Even though strength should seem to wake in us, and there be little apparent need of any love whereon to lean, His love is to be still the staff and the stay.
    An impossible thing!—do you say? An impracticable ideal, is it? Not a light matter, I know. It is not always an easy thing to submit ourselves to be loved, to let all our life be shaped and fashioned by a tenderness which every moment bears us within its embrace. To take all our life from the gracious inspiration of Him who loves us—to bring ourselves to that is to subject ourselves to a discipline which we cannot always find an easy thing to endure. There is a selfishness which will not receive, you know, as well as a selfishness which will not give: there is a self-absorption which will not be loved, as well as a self-absorption which will not love. And to find that the secret of true and strong living is this— just to let Christ love us, and by the magnetic, uniting, absorbing power of His love make His life and ours one—to find that if we do let Christ love us and make us we have done all there is to do—that comes with something like a shock of surprise upon the soul. It seems to make such helpless children of us; and we shrink from that. It means a real, positive effort for us thus to submit our hearts to the enfolding of a heart recognised as greater and stronger than our own. Yet that effort must be made; and, subduing every touch of reluctance to bring ourselves so low, suppressing all rising rebellion against having to accept, in humility, a higher love's ordaining, we have to set all we are—even the strength that is in us—at the disposal of the all- knowing and all-powerful love of our Lord."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 195-197)

No comments:

Post a Comment