The Giver

Creation seems to be delegation through and through. He will do nothing simply by Himself which can be done by creatures. I suppose this is because He is a giver. And He has nothing to give but Himself. And to give Himself is to do His deeds – in a sense, and on varying levels to be Himself- through the things He has made.

–CS Lewis, Letters To Malcolm; chapter 13

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The Father of Hope

From a report of George MacDonald’s sermon, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Winter 2015:

“If we were wise we would never mourn over our troubles. If we had a clearer insight into things we would go down upon our knees and thank God for our troubles. The Lord spoke here to everybody who had something that made him uncomfortable, who had anything in heart or mind, that just wanted Him. Every discontent in the human heart was just a cry after God.”

“We should not say hope was delusive, for we might have chosen the wrong hope. God was the father of hope in our hearts, and he had never had so much hope as now in his heart; it grew and grew till it was infinite.”

Lol, Chesterton.

Now Carlyle had humour; he had it in his very style, but it never got into his philosophy. His philosophy largely remained a heavy Teutonic idealism, absurdly unaware of the complexity of things; as when he perpetually repeated (as with a kind of flat-footed stamping) that people ought to tell the truth; apparently supposing, to quote Stevenson’s phrase, that telling the truth is as easy as blind hookey. Yet, though his general honesty is unquestionable, he was by no means one of those who will give up a fancy under the shock of a fact.

Excerpt From: Gilbert Keith Chesterton. “The Victorian Age in Literature.”

How interesting that Chesterton’s humor definitely got into his philosophy.

The Spirit of Love

There breathes not a breath from the morning air,

But the Spirit of Love is moving there,

Not a trembling leaf on the shadowy tree

Mingled with thousands in harmony;

But the Spirit of God doth make the sound.

And the thoughts of the insect that creepeth around

And the sunshiny butterflies come and go.

Like beautiful thoughts moving to and fro;

And not a wave of their busy wings

Is unknown to the Spirit that moveth all things.

And the long-mantled moths, that sleep at noon-

All have one being that loves them all;

Not a fly in the spider’s web can fall,

But He cares for the spider and cares for the fly;

And He cares for each little child’s smile or sigh.

How it can be, I cannot know;

He is wiser than I; and it must be so.

– George MacDonald

Good Tidings

“His parents found him in the temple; they never really found him until he entered the true temple—their own adoring hearts. The temple that knows not its builder, is no temple; in it dwells no divinity.

But at length he comes to his own, and his own receive him;—comes to them in the might of his mission to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance, and sight, and liberty, and the Lord’s own good time.”

Excerpt From

Hope of the Gospel

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=361696556

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How Shall I Find Him?

“The cry of the human heart in all ages and in every moment is, ‘Where is God and how shall I find him?’ — No, friend, I will not accept your testimony to the contrary — not though you may be as well fitted as ever one of eight hundred millions to come forward with it. You take it for granted that you know your own heart because you call it yours, but I say that your heart is a far deeper thing than you know or are capable of knowing. Its very nature is hid from you.

“I use but a poor figure when I say that the roots of your heart go down beyond your knowledge — whole eternities beyond it — into the heart of God. If you have never yet made one discovery in your heart, your testimony concerning it is not worth a tuft of flue; and if you have made discoveries in it, does not the fact reveal that it is but little known to you, and that there must be discoveries innumerable yet to be made in it?

“To him who has been making discoveries in it for fifty years, the depths of his heart are yet a mystery—a mystery, however, peopled with loveliest hopes. I repeat whether the man knows it or not, his heart in its depths is ever crying out for God.”

–George MacDonald, Weighed and Wanting (Ch. 5)

The Only Comfort

God is the only comfort. He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger—according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way. . . Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.

From Mere Christianity

Compiled in Words to Live By