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, August 4, 2017

Christ is here to save, part 3 of 3

"It is said that men are saved by the work of
Christ, meaning by that the work which he accom-
plished on earth. Ought it not, rather, to be said
that men are saved by Christ through the work
accomplished on earth — the work consummated in
his death upon the cross? The atonement is a
method of personal influence. Life is imparted
through truth. Revelation is for redemption. The
written Word is a direct attempt on the part of
God to influence men. The manifestation of holy, 
suffering, atoning love in the life and death of 
Jesus is for the purpose of drawing men unto him- 
self. Religion, which is at bottom the personal 
influence of God upon man, is the same in nature, 
although not in degree, as the influence of man upon 
men. In no other way can Christ save than through 
the power of his personal influence. And whatever 
be the means by which that influence is conveyed, 
it is Christ himself, the living, personal, and present 
Christ, who saves. 
This view is corroborated by the experience of 
men in conversion. Every one who is saved 
ascribes his salvation to the personal influence of 
Christ. He heard of what Christ had done for 
him. The story of the earthly life of Christ brought 
into view his wondrous love. He beheld Christ 
dying upon the cross to take away his sins. But 
his thoughts quickly passed from the dead to the 
living Christ. He saw him at his side, as a present 
Saviour. He did not rest upon some abstract thing 
called his work; he rested upon Christ himself. He 
found a Saviour, and in him he found salvation. 
He found the Atoner, and in him he found at-one- 
ment. He came to the living Christ, had personal 
contact with him, personal experience of his saving 
power. As he looked upon him he felt like the 
Knight of the Round Table, who said, 

"The sweetest vision of the Holy Grail 
Drove me from all vain glories, rivalries, 
And earthly heats." 

This is the vision which brought salvation to Saul 
of Tarsus. It is the vision which brings salvation 
to every one who beholds it. A striking modern 
instance of its power is found in the case of Pastor 
Hsi. Although a scholar, and a man of influence, 
he had become an opium slave. One day a New 
Testament was given him, and he retired to read it. 
So fascinated was he that he sank upon his knees 
still reading, when he became conscious of a 
strange mystical power around him, which grew 
into an overpowering sense of the presence of 
Christ. Suddenly the flower of faith burst open, 
and he exclaimed, "He has enthralled me, and I 
am his forever." For anyone to behold the vision 
of that face of grace is to become his everlasting 
thrall. 
"O, Iole," said one of the beautiful princesses of 
Attica, "how did you know that Hercules was a 
god?" "Because I was content," was the reply, 
"the moment my eyes rested upon him. He con- 
quered whether he stood, or walked, or sat." "

- James Mann Campbell (The Presence, pgs. 165-167)

*Re-post from 9/26/15

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