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
“THOSE thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it. There is a very real thing which may be called the love of humanity; in our time it exists almost entirely among what are called uneducated people; and it does not exist at all among the people who talk about it.”
~G.K. Chesterton: “Tremendous Trifles,” XXII─The Orthodox Barber.
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.
O God of man, my heart would worship allMy fellow men, the flashes from thy fire;
Them in good sooth my lofty kindred call,
Born of the same one heart, the perfect sire;
Love of my kind alone can set me free;
Help me to welcome all that come to me,
Not close my doors and dream solitude liberty!
“Christ died to save us, not from suffering, but from ourselves; not from injustice, far less from justice, but from being unjust. He died that we might live–but live as he lives, by dying as he died who died to himself that he might live unto God. If we do not die to ourselves, we cannot live to God, and he that does not live to God, is dead. ‘Ye shall know the truth,’ the Lord says, ‘and the truth shall make you free. I am the truth, and you shall be free as I am free. To be free, you must be sons like me. To be free you must be that which you have to be, that which you are created. To be free you must give the answer of sons to the Father who calls you. To be free you must fear nothing but evil, care for nothing but the will of the Father, hold to him in absolute confidence and infinite expectation. He alone is to be trusted.’ He has shown us the Father not only by doing what the Father does, not only by loving his Father’s children even as the Father loves them, but by his perfect satisfaction with him, his joy in him, his utter obedience to him. He has shown us the Father by the absolute devotion of a perfect son. He is the Son of God because the Father and he are one, have one thought, one mind, one heart. Upon this truth–I do not mean the dogma, but the truth itself of Jesus to his father–hangs the universe; and upon the recognition of this truth–that is, upon their becoming thus true–hangs the freedom of the children, the redemption of their whole world. ‘I and the Father are one,’ is the centre-truth of the Universe; and the circumfering truth is, ‘that they also may be one in us.'”
—George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons