In the early periods of our religious experience, we are chiefly interested in what Christ was by SITUATION, his birth in the manger, the incidents of his childhood, his temptations and labors, his betrayal and his crucifixion.
At a later period we are interested, in a still higher degree, in what Christ was and is by CHARACTER, his purity, his condescension, his forbearance, his
readiness to do and suffer his Father's will, his love.
The first method of contemplating Christ is profitable; the second still more so. The tendency of the one is to lead to a Christ outward, to Christ of the times of Herod and of Pilate, to a Christ with blood-stained feet and with a crown of thorns; who is now gone, and who never can exist again, as he was then. The tendency of the other is to lead us to a Christ inward; who lives unchanged in his unity and likeness with his Father; forever the same in himself, and forever the same in the hearts of those who are born in his image.
Christ outward is precious, and always will be precious, historically; "THE STAR OF MEMORY."
Christ inward, who can never die, and who reproduces himself in the hearts of his followers, is still more precious, by present realization; the star, the sun of the affections.
edited from Religious Maxims (1846) CLV by Thomas Cogswell Upham. You can find more of his work at the blog, The Hidden Life, managed by Craig L Adams at: http://thomascupham.blogspot.com