Partakers of the Divine Patience

‘Of one thing I am pretty sure,’ he (Falconer) resumed, ‘that the same recipe Goethe gave for the enjoyment of life, applies equally to all work: “Do the thing that lies next you.” That is all our business. Hurried results are worse than none. We must force nothing, but be partakers of the divine patience. How long it took to make the cradle! and we fret that the baby Humanity is not reading Euclid and Plato, even that it is not understanding the Gospel of St. John! If there is one thing evident in the world’s history, it is that God hasteneth not. All haste implies weakness. Time is as cheap as space and matter. What they call the church militant is only at drill yet, and a good many of the officers too not out of the awkward squad. I am sure I, for a private, am not. In the drill a man has to conquer himself, and move with the rest by individual attention to his own duty: to what mighty battlefields the recruit may yet be led, he does not know. Meantime he has nearly enough to do with his goose-step, while there is plenty of single combat, skirmish, and light cavalry work generally, to get him ready for whatever is to follow. I beg your pardon: I am preaching.’
‘Eloquently,’ I answered.
George MacDonald, ‘Robert Falconer.’

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