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 6 of 6

   "And for my last word, let me bring home to you— in order that the effort thus to let Christ's tenderness mould and make all our life for us may be not quite so oppressing as at first it may appear to be—let me bring home to you how, by submitting life to the entire control of Christ's love, life, through this dependence, really grows to independence after all. I said it seems to make such helpless children of us; but it only seems. For by allowing the love that Christ has toward us to be the spring of all our living, we link ourselves directly with the source of all power: in Him who enfolds us with His tenderness dwells the might of empire over all worlds, of sovereignty over all things in heaven and earth ; and as we fall back upon His grace, we are made kings and masters of our fate, because He is King and Master of all. To be moulded by His love, to have no thought or movement in life save what His love inspires, to drop our whole being down upon His love that waits to grip and grasp us—to do that is to make ourselves strong and supreme as He is strong and supreme. Dependent upon Christ's affection, we are independent of all else: the soul that is moved only at the impulse of the Christ who loves it is the soul that can face the world without prick of fear: ringed round by our Lord and Saviour's tenderness, we may stand up in confidence, knowing that nothing of harm or evil can ever pass that barrier by. From being controlled by the loving Lord, comes assurance to us that we can control whatever of threatening circumstance or apparently adverse fate the world may fling against our safely-sheltered life. If every thought and act and word of ours be the result of our drinking-in of Christ's tenderness—if they be Christ's tenderness working itself out, manifesting itself, through us— then every thought and act and word of ours will be calmly confident and strong, stamped with the mark of His royalty from whose gracious inspiration it has come. To be masters of our fate, to stand in unquestioned supremacy over the ebb and flow of circumstance, to gaze out with utter calmness and quietude upon all the changes of the tumultuous present and upon all the possibilities of the uncertain future, to control our own life, let us first turn away from it all and hide ourselves—as much when we feel strong and self-sufficient for it all as when we faint with weakness and despair amid it all—in the love of the Christ.
    Do not think, I ask you, that these experiences of which I speak are shadowy and unsubstantial, impossible in a world made and ordered as is ours. Sure I am that we shall find our forward progress made easy to us when we no more keep the consciousness of our Master's grace in the background of our life as the refuge to flee to when all else fails, but let it be the positive force, the actual impelling power, of all we are and do. Sure I am that the thing we, who are disciples of Christ, most truly need is to realise that the Christ's love is not the medicine to heal us when the soul is sick nor the staff to lean on when the footsteps falter, but rather the breath—the very breath—of all our days, the all-pervading atmosphere apart from which no true life can be. Let us not, when strength is in us, only watch the grace and affection of the Christ as if from far away, but remember even then that only by reclining upon His love may the strength be rightly and purposefully employed. May we be, and rejoice to be, disciples who, not only in the exceptional hours of life, but in life's every hour, are disciples whom Jesus loves and who live by His love, disciples who, even though for a moment they should feel strong enough to leave Him, are still content to lean upon His breast."

- Henry William Clark (Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 197-199)

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