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 15, 2016

The experience of the Holy Spirit

   "6. As a practical mystic Paul valued inward experiences in proportion as they generated spiritual force.--He had no morbid craving for ecstasies; for he knew that in themselves they did not make him better or worse, and that they were of value only as they served to promote ethical ends. This has ever been the mark of the true mystic. His search after God has had behind it an ethical impulse; his effort to enter into the divine unity has been at bottom an effort to be morally one with God; he has sought for hidden things, that with them he might enrich his life; he has gone to spy out the land of promise, that he might bring back clusters of the grapes of Eschol. The words of Paul in I Cor. xii. 7, "To each one has been given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal," which have been freely rendered in the Twentieth Century New Testament, "Spiritual illumination is in each instance given for some good purpose," show that God has a practical object in view in every experience of the Spirit's presence and power which He gives. And this practical object the true mystic seeks to realise. With him the end of religion does not consist in getting experiences, but in getting more of God into his life through whatever experiences may come to him. Mystical experiences are means, not ends. If they do not serve an ethical purpose they are a snare and a delusion.
    If we accept Dr. Moberly's definition of mysticism as "the experience of the Holy Spirit," or "the realisation of the spirit of holiness," (Atonement and Personality, p. 312) its ethical aim is at once apparent. But, unfortunately, attention has been generally fixed upon its outward forms,--and especially upon its aberrant forms,--and its essential spirit has in consequence been overlooked. Essential mysticism is not something separate and apart from ordinary Christian experience, but is merely a phase of it. It is the interior side of religion. It expresses itself in a constant struggle to free the soul from everything that alienates it from God; and it is valued just in so far as it purifies motive, quickens love, elevates character, and brings the moral life into oneness with the mind, and heart, and will of God."

- James Mann Campbell (Paul, the Mystic, pgs. 187-189)

*Re-post from 01/27/15

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