On and On

“With all the reminders of death we have about us, not one of us feels as if he were going to die. We think of other people … dying, and it always seems we are going to be alive when they die; and why? Just because we are not going to die. This thinking part in us feels no symptom of ceasing to be. We think on and on, and death seems far from us, for it belongs only to our bodies–not to us. So the soul forgets it. It is no part of religion to think about death. It is the part of religion, when the fact and thought of death come in, to remind us that we live for ever, and that God, who sent His Son to die, will help us through that fearful strait that lies before us, and which often grows so terrible to those who fix their gaze upon it.”

—From George MacDonald’s ‘Guild Court’

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Into the Unknown

“On either hand we behold a birth, of which, as of the moon, we see but half. We are outside the one, waiting for a life from the unknown; we are inside the other, watching the departure of a spirit from the womb of the world into the unknown. To the region whither he goes, the man enters newly born. We forget that it is a birth, and call it a death. The body he leaves behind is but the placenta by which he drew his nourishment from his mother Earth. And as the child-bed is watched on earth with anxious expectancy, so the couch of the dying, as we call them, may be surrounded by the birth-watchers of the other world, waiting like anxious servants to open the door to which this world is but the wind-blown porch.”

— George MacDonald, Robert Falconer

Smoke of the Sacrifice

‘Eh, Robert! The patience of him! (Jesus) He didn’t quench the smoking flax. There’s little fire about me, but surely I know in my own heart some of the rising smoke of the sacrifice. Eh! such words as they are! And he was going down to the grave himself, not half my age, as peaceful, though the road was so rough, as if he had been going home to his father.’ ‘So he was,’ returned Robert.

—George MacDonald, Robert Falconer

Let us Arise and Live

“Friends, those of you who know, or suspect, that these things are true, let us arise and live–arise even in the darkest moments of spiritual stupidity, when hope itself sees nothing to hope for. Let us not trouble ourselves about the cause of our earthliness, except we know it to be some unrighteousness in us, but go at once to the Life. Never, never let us accept as consolation the poor suggestion, that the cause of our deadness is physical. Can it be comfort to know that this body of ours, because of the death in it, is too much for the spirit–which ought not merely to triumph over it, but to inspire it with subjection and obedience? Let us comfort ourselves in the thought of the Father and the Son. So long as there dwells harmony, so long as the Son loves the Father with all the love the Father can welcome, all is well with the little ones. God is all right–why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside his window? Of course we miss the inness, but there is a bliss of its own in waiting. What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing; what if we stand alone, or, more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness; what even if the window be not shining, because of the curtains of good inscrutable drawn across it; let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, ‘God is; Jesus is not dead; nothing can be going wrong, however it may look so to hearts unfinished in childness.’ Let us say to the Lord, ‘Jesus, art thou loving the Father in there? Then we out here will do his will, patiently waiting till he open the door. We shall not mind the wind or the rain much. Perhaps thou art saying to the Father, “Thy little ones need some wind and rain: their buds are hard; the flowers do not come out. I cannot get them made blessed without a little more winter-weather.” Then perhaps the Father will say, “Comfort them, my son Jesus, with the memory of thy patience when thou wast missing me. Comfort them that thou wast sure of me when everything about thee seemed so unlike me, so unlike the place thou hadst left.”‘ In a word, let us be at peace, because peace is at the heart of things–peace and utter satisfaction between the Father and the Son–in which peace they call us to share; in which peace they promise that at length, when they have their good way with us, we shall share.

Before us, then, lies a bliss unspeakable, a bliss beyond the thought or invention of man, to every child who will fall in with the perfect imagination of the Father. His imagination is one with his creative will. The thing that God imagines, that thing exists. When the created falls in with the will of him who ‘loved him into being,’ then all is well; thenceforward the mighty creation goes on in him upon higher and yet higher levels, in more and yet more divine airs. Thy will, O God, be done! Nought else is other than loss, than decay, than corruption. There is no life but that born of the life that the Word made in himself by doing thy will, which life is the light of men. Through that light is born the life of men–the same life in them that came first into being in Jesus. As he laid down his life, so must men lay down their lives, that as he liveth they may live also. That which was made in him was life, and the life is the light of men; and yet his own, to whom he was sent, did not believe him.”

Excerpt From

Unspoken Sermons: Series I., II., and III.

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unspoken-sermons-series-i-ii-and-iii/id370193463?mt=11

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The Laying of Treasures

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.–MATT. vi. 19, 20, 21.”

“Many a man, many a woman, fair and flourishing to see, is going about with a rusty moth-eaten heart within that form of strength or beauty.

“But this is only a figure.”

True. But is the reality intended, less or more than the figure? Does not the rust and the moth mean more than disease? And does not the heart mean more than the heart? Does it not mean a deeper heart, the heart of your own self, not of your body? of the self that suffers, not pain, but misery? of the self whose end is not comfort, or enjoyment, but blessedness, yea, ecstasy? a heart which is the inmost chamber wherein springs the divine fountain of your being? a heart which God regards, though you may never have known its existence, not even when its writhings under the gnawing of the moth and the slow fire of the rust have communicated a dull pain to that outer heart which sends the blood to its appointed course through your body? If God sees that heart corroded with the rust of cares, riddled into caverns and films by the worms of ambition and greed, then your heart is as God sees it, for God sees things as they are. And one day you will be compelled to see, nay, to feel your heart as God sees it; and to know that the cankered thing which you have within you, a prey to the vilest of diseases, is indeed the centre of your being, your very heart.

Nor does the lesson apply to those only who worship Mammon, who give their lives, their best energies to the accumulation of wealth: it applies to those equally who in any way worship the transitory; who seek the praise of men more than the praise of God; who would make a show in the world by wealth, by taste, by intellect, by power, by art, by genius of any kind, and so would gather golden opinions to be treasured in a storehouse of earth.

“Nor to such only, but surely to those as well whose pleasures are of a more evidently transitory nature still, such as the pleasures of the senses in every direction–whether lawfully or unlawfully indulged, if the joy of being is centred in them–do these words bear terrible warning. For the hurt lies not in this–that these pleasures are false like the deceptions of magic, for such they are not: pleasures they are; nor yet in this–that they pass away, and leave a fierce disappointment behind: that is only so much the better; but the hurt lies in this–that the immortal, the infinite, created in the image of the everlasting God, is housed with the fading and the corrupting, and clings to them as its good–clings to them till it is infected and interpenetrated with their proper diseases, which assume in it a form more terrible in proportion to the superiority of its kind, that which is mere decay in the one becoming moral vileness in the other, that which fits the one for the dunghill casting the other into the outer darkness; creeps, that it may share with them, into a burrow in the earth, where its budded wings wither and damp and drop away from its shoulders, instead of haunting the open plains and the high-uplifted table-lands, spreading abroad its young pinions to the sun and the air, and strengthening them in further and further flights, till at last they should become strong to bear the God-born into the presence of its Father in Heaven. Therein lies the hurt.”

Excerpt From: MacDonald, George. “Unspoken Sermons: Series I., II., and III.” MobileReference, 2010-06-01 09:24:33.168000-04:00. iBooks.

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Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unspoken-sermons-series-i-ii-and-iii/id370193463?mt=11