Faith in love

For Sunday, from an account of George MacDonald preaching, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 2017:

“Faith in God, he is careful to explain, is not faith in opinions about God. It is faith in God’s love; while the doing of what we believe to be right is the chief if not the only means of finding out–of attaining to a belief in this love.”

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On the Wrong Side of the Door

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When humans souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects. — C.S. Lewis

The Sole Wisdom — To Work

“The sole wisdom for man or boy who is haunted with the hovering of unseen wings, with the scent of unseen roses, and the subtle enticements of ‘melodies unheard,’ is work. If he follow any of those, they will vanish. But if he work, they will come unsought, and, while they come, he will believe that there is a fairy-land, where poets find their dreams, and prophets are laid hold of by their visions. The idle beat their heads against its walls, or mistake the entrance, and go down into the dark places of the earth”

-George MacDonald, Alec Forbes

A Real Child

From a description of George MacDonald preaching, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Winter 2012, written by a man who had attended three worship services that day: “‘We are all born from the inmost heart of Him in the first place’ (I could not help thinking of Mr. Spurgeon’s half sneer, that very morning, at ‘the universal fatherhood people,’ as he called them), ‘and yet we do not become really His children until we obey Him, just as no child is in the true sense a real child of his father until its will works with the father’s will.'”

A Joyous Thing

“To be sorrowful about money, was not a high state of religious feeling at all, for religion was a joyous, and not a gloomy thing. If they believed in God as a child believes in its father, they would have no fear for the future. They would do their work, and God would do His. No man needed more than God gave him . . . They should never close their hearts to divine things because they had no bread.” Report of George MacDonald’s sermon.

A Purpose Far Higher

“Dr. MacDonald is not only the most poetic, but also the most suggestive, of living writers of fiction. In no other author do we get the same wealth of moral and spiritual thought. He seems to have a special faculty for getting at the heart of man and nature. He has many moods, but even in the saddest and the deepest–and those who wish for pathos will find the highest and truest in his stories–there breaks across the page the light of genius. Looking back upon the whole range of his works we are constrained to say that there is not one which is not charged with an elevating influence–none that has not a purpose far higher than that which is served by the mass of ephemeral literature now current . . . Yet with all this he combines the best qualities of the novelist.” Review of ‘Paul Faber, Surgeon,’ reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 1997. Donated by David Neuhouser.