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, April 28, 2017

Brief was the interval between His departure and His return

"Dr. Horatius Bonar instructs Christians of to-day to sing:

"The Church has waited long
   Her absent Lord to see;
 And still in friendlessess she waits,
   A friendless stranger she."

    An absent Lord! Think of it; and yet He has said, "Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the age." A friendless stranger! Think of it; and yet He says, " I will not leave you orphans, I will come unto you." Why should the church keep mourning the absence of her Lord when she has the assurance of His abiding presence? Why should the spouse of the Ever-Living Christ sit down in the dust, clad in the weeds of widowhood, bewailing the loss of her Lord when He is really present with her? Why should believers in a risen Christ dolefully sing "Down life's dark vale we wander till Jesus comes," when they ought rapturously to sing, "Joy to the world the Lord is come?" In the ear of the church of to-day let the ancient call be sounded, "Cry aloud and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."
    It is told of a poor peasant in the mountains of Wales that month after month, year after year, through a long period of declining life, every morning as soon as he awoke he opened his window toward the east, and looked to see if Christ was coming. He need not have looked so long. The Christ for whose appearance he strained his eyes was present with him, an unseen guest in his humble cottage, an unimagined power for comfort in his longing heart. The Lord he sought in the skies he might have found in his soul.
    With a like sense of hope deferred, which made the heart sick, St. Bernard exclaimed, "Holy Lord, dost thou call that a little time in which I shall not see thee? O, this little while is a long little while." How quickly would the sorrow of St. Bernard have been turned into joy had he only come to see that Christ kept His parting promise to the very letter. Brief was the interval between His departure and His return. He came again speedily, just as He had promised. After His resurrection His disciples saw Him and their hearts were flooded with a new-found joy that no one could take away from them. After His ascension He was restored to them fully, dwelling in their hearts by the power of His Spirit, reviving their drooping hopes, and inspiring them with courage and strength for the coming conflict. And thus in their experience were the words fulfilled, "Verily I say unto you, there be some of them that stand here who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Indwelling Christ, pgs. 113-116)

*Re-post from 7/21/15

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