Being Such

“Does she never try to teach them any thing, Ethel?” “She is constantly teaching them, whether she tries or not,” I answered. “If you can make any one believe that there is something somewhere to be trusted, is not that the best lesson you can give him? That can be taught only by being such that people cannot but trust you.”

George MacDonald, The Vicar’s Daughter

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By All Your Actions

TO MISS GLADDING

59 Magdalen College, Oxford.

June 7th 1945

Dear Miss Gladding I am afraid I don’t know any books more elementary than my own wh. wd. help. The truth is that when a person (not herself v. bookish or philosophical) has lost faith under so v. great and bewildering a trial, no intellectual approach is likely to avail. But where people can resist and ignore arguments they may be unable to resist lives. I am afraid, my dear lady, the only hope lies in you and in any other Xtian friends she has. It is in so far as you succeed in representing Christ to her by all your actions and words that she may, even unconsciously, come to know Him. This is a terrible thing to say to you, but He will make you able to be what you need to be.

CS Lewis

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

True Education is Truest Kindness

“Those who love certain animals selfishly, pampering them, as so many mothers do their children with worse results, that they may be loved of them in return, betray them to their enemies. They are not lovers of animals, but only of favourites, and do their part to make the rest of the world dislike animals. Theirs are the dogs that inhospitably growl and bark and snap, moving the indifferent to dislike, and confirming the unfriendly in their antagonism. Any dog-parliament, met in the interests of their kind, would condemn such dogs to be discreetly bitten, and their mistresses to be avoided.

And certainly, if animals are intended to live and grow, she is the enemy of any individual animal, who stunts his moral and intellectual development by unwise indulgence.

Of whatever nature be the heaven of the animals, that animal is not in the fair way to enter it. The education of the lower lies at the door of the higher, and in true education is truest kindness.”

– George MacDonald, Hope of the Gospel

Cleverness Kills Wisdom

“It has decided, rightly or wrongly, that this specialism and this universalism shall be divided between the sexes. Cleverness shall be left for men and wisdom for women. For cleverness kills wisdom; that is one of the few sad and certain things.”

GK Chesterton, What’s Wrong With the World

Curiouser and curiouser… Why does Chesterton make me feel like Alice?

Every Hair and Feather

“There is no escape. There is no heaven with a little of hell in it – no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather”

– George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons II

Help You, Help Me

“In thinking lovingly about others, we think healthily about ourselves.”

– from Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood by George MacDonald

Yes- having to focus on the good of and for other people can take away some of the insanity that blinds us regarding our own situation. But if we are biased and really intent on gaining some good or ground for a personal cause, that can blind us to the good we ought to grant and teach to others. Take slavery for example.