All Does not Yet Gleam

This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

― Martin Luther

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Life, and its Majesty…

I felt that something was not right with me, that something was required of me which I was not rendering. I could not, however, have told you what it was. Possibly the feeling had been for some time growing; but that day, so far as I can tell, I was first aware of it; and I presume it was the dim cause of my turning at the sound of a few singing voices, and entering that chapel.

I found about a dozen people present. Something in the air of the place, meagre and waste as it looked, yet induced me to remain. An address followed from a pale-faced, weak-looking man of middle age, who had no gift of person, voice, or utterance, to recommend what he said. But there dwelt a more powerful enforcement in him than any of those,–that of earnestness.

I went again, and again; and slowly, I cannot well explain how, the sense of life and its majesty grew upon me. Mr. Walton will, I trust, understand me when I say, that to one hungering for bread, it is of little consequence in what sort of platter it is handed him. This was a dissenting chapel,–of what order, it was long before I knew,–and my predilection was for the Church-services, those to which my father had accustomed me; but any comparison of the two to the prejudice of either, I should still–although a communicant of the Church of England–regard with absolute indifference. “It will be sufficient for my present purpose to allude to the one practical thought which was the main fruit I gathered from this good man,–the fruit by which I know that he was good.

[Footnote: Something like this is the interpretation of the word: “By their fruits ye shall know them” given by Mr. Maurice,–an interpretation which opens much.–G.M.D.]

It was this,–that if all the labor of God, as my teacher said, was to bring sons into glory, lifting them out of the abyss of evil bondage up to the rock of his pure freedom, the only worthy end of life must be to work in the same direction,–to be a fellow-worker with God. Might I not, then, do something such, in my small way, and lose no jot of my labor? I thought. The urging, the hope, grew in me. But I was not left to feel blindly after some new and unknown method of labor.

My teacher taught me that the way for me to help others was not to tell them their duty, but myself to learn of Him who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. As I learned of him, I should be able to help them. I have never had any theory but just to be their friend,–to do for them the best I can. When I feel I may, I tell them what has done me good, but I never urge any belief of mine upon their acceptance.

George MacDonald

The Vicar’s Daughter, Chapter Nineteen

Reparagraphed

The Secret of All Wisdom

He was not a man of much education, in the vulgar use of the word; but he was a good way on in that education, for the sake of which, and for no other without it, we are here in our consciousness—the education which, once begun, will, soon or slow, lead knowledge captive, and teaches nothing that has to be unlearned again, because every flower of it scatters the seed of one better than itself.

The main secret of his progress, the secret of all wisdom, was, that with him action was the beginning and end of thought.

He was not one of that cloud of false witnesses, who, calling themselves Christians, take no trouble for the end for which Christ was born, namely, their salvation from unrighteousness—a class that may be divided into the insipid and the offensive, both regardless of obedience, the former indifferent to, the latter contentious for doctrine.

– George MacDonald, Mary Marston, XI

He Always Knew

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once.”

“He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Strength Inexhaustible

The man has begun to be strong who knows that, separated from life essential, he is weakness itself, that, one with his origin, he will be of strength inexhaustible. Donal was now descending the heights of youth to walk along the king’s highroad of manhood: happy he who, as his sun is going down behind the western, is himself ascending the eastern hill, returning through old age to the second and better childhood which shall not be taken from him! He who turns his back on the setting sun goes to meet the rising sun; he who loses his life shall find it. Donal had lost his past—but not so as to be ashamed. There are many ways of losing! His past had but crept, like the dead, back to God who gave it; in better shape it would be his by and by! Already he had begun to foreshadow this truth: God would keep it for him.

Excerpt From

Donal Grant, by George MacDonald

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/donal-grant-by-george-macdonald/id498702854?mt=11

I Must Be Pure

Keep me from wrath, let it seem ever so right:

My wrath will never work thy righteousness.

Up, up the hill, to the whiter than snow-shine,

Help me to climb, and dwell in pardon’s light.

I must be pure as thou, or ever less

Than thy design of me—therefore incline

My heart to take men’s wrongs as thou tak’st mine.

Lord, in thy spirit’s hurricane, I pray,

Strip my soul naked—dress it then thy way.

Change for me all my rags to cloth of gold.

Who would not poverty for riches yield?

A hovel sell to buy a treasure-field?

Who would a mess of porridge careful hold

Against the universe’s birthright old?

Excerpt From

A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-book-of-strife-in-the-form-of-the-diary-of-an-old-soul/id499797732?mt=11