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)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All that the Spirit moulds is after the pattern of Christ

    "As the Spirit has been sent into the world by Christ, and evermore is and will be sent (procedit a patre filioque, John xv. 26), He, the Holy Ghost, reveals Himself as the Spirit of Gospel history,--the Spirit of Tradition handed down to us pure and unfalsified. Were it conceived possible that the Spirit could separate himself from sacred history, He would cease to be the Spirit of Revelation, and would become only a mythical, mystical, and apocryphal spirit. In opposition to this it must be affirmed that the Holy Ghost is far more than the Spirit of Tradition. He is not only the Spirit of Recollection, but the Spirit of Illumination; He not only puts us in remembrance of Christ (John xiv. 26) as an historical person who once lived on earth, but He ever proceeds from Christ as from the ever-living Saviour, and glorifies Him, as the object of the soul's contemplation, and as in the soul itself. "He shall glorify me, for he shall take of mine, and shew it unto you" (John xvi. 14.) Thus it is that while the Spirit represents Himself in a dependent relation to Christ, this relation is nevertheless one of freedom and individuality, so that He never ceases to be the free creating Spirit. If the Holy Ghost were merely the Spirit of tradition, the Church could never have sung Veni Creator Spiritus ! But as He is the Spirit not of Tradition only, but of enlightenment and glory, He is the life-giving, liberating, and plastic Spirit. All that the Spirit moulds is after the pattern of Christ; and speaking after the manner of men, we may say, that as the human artificer regards in every work some eternal and ideal pattern which is ever in his mind, and embodies this his fundamental thought in his manifold productions, so the Holy Spirit, the great invisible Master-builder and Artificer of the temple, has ever before Him the model and pattern of Christ, and does nothing but what He seeth the Son doeth. But inasmuch as the Spirit ever moulds human nature according to the one original type, yet into ever new forms, ever new repetitions and varieties, He reveals Himself as the Spirit of freedom, who displays eternal truth. The principle of free development, continually creating the new upon earth, He renews and restores to youth and vigour the life of Christ in individual souls, and in the entire kingdom of Christ; He moulds the Christian doctrine and worship into new forms. He devises and finds out new means and plans for the spread of the kingly empire of Christ. He, the holy, ever-present principle of Providence, reveals Himself as the PARACLETE, who, on the one hand, convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John xvi. 8;) and, on the other hand, as the Comforter not only of individual souls, but of the Church, wherein all the promises of history find their accomplishment. As the ever-present principle of renewal and of living development, He proves Himself the Spirit of power; and thus through Him the kingly dominion of Christ never dies away, never grows old."

- Hans Lassen Martensen (Christian Dogmatics, pgs. 334-335)

*Re-post from 2/18/15

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