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, October 14, 2016

The Apostle Paul's practical Christian mysticism

   "Nowhere is the practical bent of Paul's mysticism more clearly seen than in his appreciation of the outwardness of religion. He lived by the things that flowed out as well as by the things that flowed in. While keeping the heart with all diligence, because out of it were the streams of life, he kept watch of his conduct with all diligence, because in it his inner life was expressed. Well he knew that the surest way to dissipate feeling is to become absorbed in its contemplation, and that the surest way to nourish and strengthen it is to translate it into deeds. The feeling that is not turned to practical account soon evaporates. It was upon this rock that the mysticism of Amiel was split. He had distinct mystical experience, of the value of which he was far from satisfied. Let him describe its nature: "Like a dream which trembles and dies at the first glimmer of dawn, all my past, all my present, dissolve in me, and fall away from my consciousness at the moment when it returns upon itself. I feel myself stripped and empty, like a convalescent who remembers nothing. My travels, my reading, my studies, my projects, my hopes have faded from my mind. It is a singular state. My faculties drop away from me like a cloak that one takes off, like the chrysalis case of a larva. I behold my own unclothing; I forget, still more than I am forgotten; I pass gently into the grave while still living, and I feel as it were the indescribable peace of annihilation, and the divine quiet of Nirvana." (Amiel, Journal Intime, pp. 90, 91.) This was the experience of one who dived into his soul and rose unhealed; one who withdrew from the world instead of trying to improve it; one who kept gnawing at his heart instead of going out into the world battling like a giant with its living problems. He consumed his own smoke instead of giving the pent-up fires vent in beneficent activities. No wonder his ecstatic experience was unsatisfactory; and it did not make things better that he had the insight to see the reason for its unsatisfactoriness, and to look upon the pleasure of it as deadly, like the use of opium or hasheesh, "a kind of slow suicide, inferior in all respects to the joys of action, to the sweetness of love, to the beauty of enthusiasm, to the sacred savour of accomplished duty." The experience of Amiel shows that it is a perilous thing to separate doing from feeling. The emotion that is unexpressed in action dies. The overt act is needed to strengthen the secret feeling."

- James Mann Campbell (Paul, the Mystic, pgs. 186-187)

*Re-post from 01/26/15

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