“The part of philanthropist is indeed a dangerous one; and the man who would do his neighbour good must first study how not to do him evil, and must begin by pulling the beam out of his own eye.”
Lilith, a romance
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From "David Elginbrod": the prayer at the cottage:
“O thou, wha keeps the stars alicht, an’ our souls burnin’ wi’ a licht aboon that o’ the stars, grant that they may shine afore thee as the stars for ever and ever. An’ as thou hauds the stars burnin’ a’ the nicht, whan there’s no man to see, so haud thou the licht burnin’ in our souls, whan we see neither thee nor it, but are buried in the grave o’ sleep an’ forgetfu’ness. Be thou by us, even as a mother sits by the bedside o’ her ailin’ wean a’ the lang nicht; only be thou nearer to us, even in our verra souls, an’ watch ower the warl’ o’ dreams that they mak’ for themsels. Grant that more an’ more thochts o’ thy thinkin’ may come into our herts day by day, till there shall be at last an open road atween thee an’ us, an’ thy angels may ascend and descend upon us, so that we may be in thy heaven, e’en while we are upo’ thy earth: Amen.”
— George MacDonald
So beautiful, so loving and gentle. May we learn to be more like that. 🌸
And the joke, or tragedy, of it all is that these golden moments in the past, which are so tormenting if we erect them to a norm, are entirely nourishing, wholesome, and enchanting if we are content to accept them for what they are, for memories. Properly bedded down in a past which we do not miserably try to conjure back, it will send up exquisite growths. Leave the bulbs alone, and the new flowers will come up. Grub them up and hope, by fondling and sniffing, to get last year’s blooms, and you will get nothing.
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.