It is only in Him that the soul has room. In knowing Him is life and gladness. The secret of your own heart you can never know; but you can know Him who knows its secret.
— George MacDonald
The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 13
“They all wanted to be at peace with God; but did they want to know God? Did they want to know God a their Father as Christ knew and felt God to be His Father? To be at peace with God, that was a poor phrase. It was one which could never satisfy; neither would it satisfy them. One must come to rejoice in the very thought of God, in the thought of knowing God, and delight in the hope that they could get back to the Father.”
From a report on a sermon by George MacDonald
We are such poor and miserable beasts – rooting and clawing for satisfaction and cessation of the raging emptiness and hunger in our souls. And yet we cannot have at first, the very things our souls are dying for – cessation of strife, satisfaction of desire, and joy. We must first learn discipline and be brought to good health. The first thing is to clean the mangy beast, to heal the diseases, to wash the hair and skin, and to make the little beast less “beastly,” and more fit for living among other real human beings… So that at long last, we may be capable of humanity, of strength, of knowledge, of beauty, and of ultimate peace and joy. But the road is hard, and the wait is long. God grant us the patience to persevere, and to not give up before the bell is rung.
“We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear—the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.”
~ C.S. Lewis, Man or Rabbit
“Only one thing I have to say, and that always; and if I did not believe it, why should I trouble myself? Jesus Christ is the way to God. You cannot get that by any theological system. It is no use talking about Jesus Christ, using any set of terms, however systematic and well-fitting. You must know Him. How to do this? By studying His words, His will . . . We cannot get to know Him till we have given up seeking self . . . So long as we seek self, we shall not find the Way, the Truth, or the Life.”
As the author of the ‘Theologia Germanica’ says, we may come to love knowledge—our knowing—more than the thing known: to delight not in the exercise of our talents but in the fact that they are ours, or even in the reputation they bring us.
Every success in the scholar’s life increases this danger. If it becomes irresistible, he must give up his scholarly work. The time for plucking out the right eye has arrived.