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)

Monday, May 22, 2017

The consummated Presence

    "Here, then, is what the consummated Presence
means: it means that in the Holy Spirit the com-
forting, helping Christ stands by men forever; it
means that in place of the "sweet Galilaean vision,"
which appeals to the imagination and the heart,
but which was only temporary, we have a spiritual
Presence which is eternal. The spiritual Christ
is ever with us. Although we cannot see him with
our bodily eyes, he is present to our faith. When
he commissioned his disciples to go forth and
preach the good tidings to all the nations, he
encouraged them with the assurance, "And lo, I
am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world," or, more literally, "Lo, I am with you all
the days, even unto the consummation of the age"
(Matt. 28. 20, marginal reading, Rev. Ver.). This
promise in its primary application was special and
temporary. It stretched across a period so brief
that the expression used is "to the end of the days."
To the end of these approaching days of trial, down
to the consummation of the age then closing, the
Lord promised to be with his messengers. The
promise of his presence was not, however, to be
annulled at the consummation of the age then
closing. Contrariwise, it was to be confirmed and
enlarged in the new age. What Christ was to be to
a few down to the time when the destruction of the
Jewish theocracy made the world-wide kingdom
possible, he was thereafter to be to all. The con-
tents of this promise, therefore, no longer rest
upon a temporary guaranty of his personal pres-
ence, to be given to a few, but upon something
given in himself to all. Having returned in spirit,
and in the Spirit, he is present everywhere and
always to the world-encircling body of his follow-
ers. He will be with us all the days; in the day
of gladness when the world is bathed in sunshine,
and in the day of sorrow when the world is draped
in black; in the day when the heart is light and toil
a joy, and in the day of weariness, when the back
is bending under its heavy burden; in the day of
victory, and in the day of humiliating defeat; in the
day when we dwell in some peaceful retreat, shel-
tered from the noontide sun, and in the day when
we cross the wold facing the bitter blast; in the
day when we are rejoicing over some surprise of
happiness, and in the day when we are smarting
from the pain of a secret wound; in the day when
we are glad because the treasures of the heart have
been preserved to us, and in the day when in desola-
tion of soul we sit beside our dead, or go to the
grave to weep there. Yes, ''all the days" he is
with us!
    We are not, therefore, to pray for the coming
of the Comforter, but for his incoming; we are
not to pray for the return of Christ, but for the
realization of his presence. To discern the pres-
ence of the Comforter as the presence of Christ
within us is to be brought at once into contact with
the source of life and power; it is to have an
Almighty arm upon which to lean; it is to have
the darkness of despair changed into the sunshine
of eternal hope."

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 96-98)

*Re-post from 8/2/15

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