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)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The inward revelation of the indwelling Christ, part 3 of 3

    "To call conscience "the Essential Christ," as Joseph Cook has done, is to confound things that differ. Conscience is not Christ. It is the mouth of the soul through which Christ speaks. It is His secret, inspoken voice witnessing for God in man. It is not the inward revelation of Christ. It is rather the mirror upon which the inward, personal revelation of Christ is reflected.
    All men have a consciousness, more or less dim or distinct, of an ideal character, a character which imbodies the highest moral excellence which they can conceive. Miss Frances Power Cobbe, in her interesting "Reminiscences" quotes a remark of John Stuart Mill, to the effect that "even the most skeptical of men have an inner altar to the Unseen Perfection, while waiting for the true one to be revealed to them." That "Unseen Perfection" is their Christ. By it their conduct is to be tested; to it their lives ought to be conformed. The historical embodiment of that ideal character which floats before the minds of men as a guiding light is found in the life of Jesus Christ. In Him the ethical ideal is fully expressed. Hence, to know perfectly the ideal Christ, we must know the historical Christ; to know the Christ in man, we must know the Christ in the Bible. An ideal is more potent in its influence when embodied in a life, than when it exists in the abstract. Actualized righteousness and incarnated love have a mandatory power, which ideal righteousness and ideal love do not possess. We speak of the power of Christianity, when what we really mean is the power of Christ. Christianity is an abstraction, Christ a potential reality. And the power of Christ over a man will always be in proportion to the measure in which he is known. Those who gain the clearest vision of His glory will be the readiest to recognize the authority with which He is vested, and to yield themselves to it. No authoritative church or dogma will be allowed to come between them and His supreme authority. No crown-rights will by them be acknowledged save those which belong to Him, who, because of the royalty of His character has become King of their lives forever.
    This inward revelation of Christ brings with it a holy impulsion to complete consecration. It supplies not only an inward model, but an inward motive; not only an inward authority but an inward constraint. Truth revealed in a person is dynamic. Illumination touching the secret of a great life is inspirational. The vision of spiritual greatness always fires the heart. Hence, those who have really seen the Lord, experience His power. He lays hold upon them, controls them, compels them. Their hearts are filled with a consuming passion to carry out His will in all things. From a life of glad self-devotion to His interests nothing can hold them back. Bravely do they push out into the world's dark places to tell the wondrous things of Christ, which God hath revealed to them by His Spirit. They have not only a message to proclaim, but a testimony to give. They have seen the King in His beauty; His glories have been inwardly unveiled before their wondering eyes, and they are moved to speak of the entrancing vision, moved to tell forth the praise of Him who by being revealed in them, has, by His heart-compelling love revolutionized and redeemed their lives."

- James Mann Campbell (The Indwelling Christ, pgs. 20-23)

*Re-post from 8/6/15

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