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)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Valuing both the body and the soul of truth

   "7. As a practical mystic Paul did not substitute the concrete for the abstract, the indefinite for the infinite.--He valued both the body and the soul of truth.
    The prevailing tendency has been to overvalue the body of truth. For it is with the body and soul of truth as it is with the body and soul of a man, the body gets the first attention, because it is more tangible and more in evidence than the soul; yet the body of truth is of value only because of the soul which it contains and by which it is animated. Forms of truth, from which the spirit has fled, are like the clothes from which the child has slipped out into the unseen--precious mementoes of a life that is gone. But there are forms of truth which are like the clothes which cover the living child. They are precious not for uses which they once served, but for uses which they are now serving.
    There is in the present day, in some quarters, a strong tendency to undervalue the body of truth. All the concrete forms in which the truth has been expressed and preserved, and by which it is communicated, are treated as of small account. Now to some, visible signs are less necessary than to others, but no one can dispense with them altogether. God is present everywhere, and we do not need the Bible in order to reach Him; but we do need it in order to know Him. Men cry to God as Jacob did to the angel, "I beseech thee, tell me thy name." To know his name is to know his nature. What would we really know of God's nature, if Jesus had not made known His name of "Father"?
....But the search after the spiritual must be sympathised with, for it is the search after reality. Men want to be brought into contact with the eternal verities; they want to get through the evanescent form to the abiding substance; they want to get through the loam, and sand, and gravel to the living water that flows beneath....The Church of the Christ who said, "I am the truth"; that is, the whole truth, the universal truth, is not fulfilling her ministry to the soul if she does not embrace in her teaching what St. Paul calls the pleroma, or fulness of truth. Nor is she fulfilling her mission unless she holds the balance between the body and soul of truth, giving to each its proper emphasis, and mediating between the extreme which ignores the concrete, and the extreme which holds that exactness as to outward form is the essential thing. Men cannot always be satisfied with a vague and nebulous philosophy which has usurped the place of religion. They need the concrete, that out of it they may construct at the beginning crutches upon which to lean, and afterwards wings with which to fly. And the Church will best fulfil her mission to all classes when she unites in one the body and soul of truth; subordinating the body to the soul; and leading the thought of men through the outward symbol to the spiritual reality of which it is the temporary expression."

- James Mann Campbell (Paul, the Mystic, pgs. 189-193)

*Re-post from 01/28/15

No comments:

Post a Comment