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 21, 2017

Christ's Love the constructive force in life, part 5 of 6

   "I cannot make it clearer by multiplying words.
But I want you to take the thought and hold it; for
I say again that this is the thing which the Christian
Church has been, half unconsciously, straining after
for so long. I suppose that there could not be a
more entire divorce than that which exists, even for
Christian people, between the ordinary activities of
life and the sense of Christ's tenderness : were one to
ask any man, upon the ordinary round of business
and duty, whether it be at the dictation and under
the inspiration of the love of Christ that the business
and the duty are discharged, he would scarce know
what the inquiry meant: the dividing line is drawn,
clear and sharp, sheer down between the common
hours when we manage things for ourselves and the
uncommon hours when Christ and His graciousness
take up their sway. Yet I suppose, too, that never
has there been so much talk (and a great deal of it to
very little purpose) about the deeper spiritual life,
larger blessings, and the like. And what it all comes
to is this—if we could only see it—that we have been
taking Christ's grace as the relieving and restoring
and healing power for our life, but not as the
constructive force by which all our life, down to the
smallest details of it, is to be built and made. And
we shall never, never enter into the deepest ex-
periences of Christ's tenderness so. The deeper life
is this, and nothing else than this—to let all our life
be the loving Christ translating Himself in the
activities of our strength. In all, we are to be but
children under the care of His love. In all, His love
is not only to lift us up when we fall, but to prescribe
the whole way. In all, we are to do the things we
do only because we have abandoned ourselves to His
love, and He, the Loving One, takes us and, through
us, does these things so. In Christ's tenderness we
are to live and move and have our being. Even
though strength should seem to wake in us, and there
be little apparent need of any love whereon to lean,
His love is to be still the staff and the stay.
    An impossible thing!—do you say? An imprac-
ticable ideal, is it? Not a light matter, I know. It
is not always an easy thing to submit ourselves to be
loved, to let all our life be shaped and fashioned by a
tenderness which every moment bears us within its
embrace. To take all our life from the gracious
inspiration of Him who loves us—to bring ourselves
to that is to subject ourselves to a discipline which
we cannot always find an easy thing to endure.
There is a selfishness which will not receive, you
know, as well as a selfishness which will not give:
there is a self-absorption which will not be loved, as
well as a self-absorption which will not love. And to
find that the secret of true and strong living is this—
just to let Christ love us, and by the magnetic, uniting,
absorbing power of His love make His life and ours
one—to find that if we do let Christ love us and
make us we have done all there is to do—that comes
with something like a shock of surprise upon the
soul. It seems to make such helpless children of us;
and we shrink from that. It means a real, positive
effort for us thus to submit our hearts to the enfolding
of a heart recognised as greater and stronger than
our own. Yet that effort must be made; and, sub-
duing every touch of reluctance to bring ourselves so
low, suppressing all rising rebellion against having to
accept, in humility, a higher love's ordaining, we have
to set all we are—even the strength that is in us—at
the disposal of the all- knowing and all-powerful love
of our Lord."

- Henry William Clark (The Meanings and Methods of the Spiritual Life, pgs. 195-197)

*Re-post from 6/24/15

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