Obstructions of Man

From a letter George MacDonald wrote to an unidentified man, printed in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 2017: 

“If any man comes to me with theological questions, if I find that they are troubling him, and keeping him from giving himself to God, I do my best to remove any obstructions as are the result of man’s handling of the eternal things: what I count false, I will not spare. But if a man come to me only for the sake of conference on the matter, I will hold none. Let him get what teaching he is capable of receiving from his knowledge of Christ.”

 

But a Fool

Who sets himself not sternly to be good,Is but a fool, who judgment of true things

Has none, however oft the claim renewed.

And he who thinks, in his great plenitude,

To right himself, and set his spirit free,

Without the might of higher communings,

Is foolish also—save he willed himself to be.
— George MacDonald 

Thou Who Knowest

When I am very weary with hard thought,

     And yet the question burns and is not quenched,

     My heart grows cool when to remembrance wrought

     That thou who know’st the light-born answer sought

     Know’st too the dark where the doubt lies entrenched—

     Know’st with what seemings I am sore perplexed,

     And that with thee I wait, nor needs my soul be vexed. 
– George MacDonald

Trifles Over Visions


“We too dull our understandings with trifles, fill the heavenly spaces with phantoms, waste the heavenly time with hurry. To those who possess their souls in patience come the heavenly visions.”
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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Unto the True Alone

They will not, therefore cannot, do not know him.Nothing they could know, could be God. In sooth,

Unto the true alone exists the truth.

They say well, saying Nature doth not show him:

Truly she shows not what she cannot show;

And they deny the thing they cannot know.

Who sees a glory, towards it will go. 

All Will Be Well

To Henry Cecil (1)

 

Dear Old Friend,

What can I say to you, for the hand of the Lord is heavy upon you. But it is his hand, and the very heaviness of it is good…. There is but one thought that can comfort, and that is that God is immeasurably more the father of our children than we are. It is all because he is our father that we are fathers…. It is all well – even in the face of such pain as yours – or the world goes to pieces for me.

It is well to say “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,” but it is not enough. We must add, And the Lord will give again: “The gifts of God are without repentance.” He takes that he may give more closely – make more ours…. The bond is henceforth closer between you and your son….

 

To give a thing and take again

Is counted meanness among men ;

Still less to take what once is given

Can be the royal way of heaven!

 

But human hearts are crumbly stuff,

And never, never love enough;

And so God takes and, with a smile,

Puts our best things away awhile.

 

Some therefore weep, some rave, some scorn;

Some wish they never had been born.

Some humble grow at last and still,

And then God gives them what they will.

 

~ George MacDonald

 

(1) This letter was written on the occasion of the death of Cecil’s eldest son.