Thou art my knowledge and my memory,

No less than my real, deeper life, my love.

I will not fool, degrade myself to trust

In less than that which maketh me say Me,

In less than that causing itself to be.

Then art within me, behind, beneath, above—

I will be thine because I may and must.

Thou art the truth, the life. Thou, Lord, wilt see

To every question that perplexes me.

I am thy being; and my dignity

Is written with my name down in thy book;

Thou wilt care for it. Never shall I think

Of anything that thou mightst overlook:—

In faith-born triumph at thy feet I sink.

Thou carest more for that which I call mine,

In same sort—better manner than I could,

Even if I knew creation’s ends divine,

Rousing in me this vague desire of good.

Thou art more to me than my desires’ whole brood;

Thou art the only person, and I cry

Unto the father I of this my I.

Thou who inspirest prayer, then bend’st thine ear;

It, crying with love’s grand respect to hear!

I cannot give myself to thee aright—

With the triumphant uttermost of gift;

That cannot be till I am full of light—

To perfect deed a perfect will must lift:—

Inspire, possess, compel me, first of every might.

– George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul

Of Two, to Make One

I think this is true of brotherhood, marriage, and also of God’s plan for bringing free individuals to love what He loves:

“Of two to make one, which yet two shall be,

Is thy creation’s problem, deep, and true,

To which thou only hold’st the happy, hurting clue.”

Excerpt From

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

George MacDonald

This material may be protected by copyright.

Hearted Throughout with Thee

From thine, as then, the healing virtue goes

Into our hearts—that is the Father’s plan.

From heart to heart it sinks, it steals, it flows,

From these that know thee still infecting those.

Here is my heart—from thine, Lord, fill it up,

That I may offer it as the holy cup

Of thy communion to my every man.

When thou dost send out whirlwinds on thy seas,

Alternatest thy lightning with its roar,

Thy night with morning, and thy clouds with stars

Or, mightier force unseen in midst of these,

Orderest the life in every airy pore;

Guidest men’s efforts, rul’st mishaps and jars,—

‘Tis only for their hearts, and nothing more

This, this alone thy father careth for—

That men should live hearted throughout with thee—

Because the simple, only life thou art,

Of the very truth of living, the pure heart.

For this, deep waters whelm the fruitful lea,

Wars ravage, famine wastes, plague withers, nor

Shall cease till men have chosen the better part.

But, like a virtuous medicine, self-diffused

Through all men’s hearts thy love shall sink and float;

Till every feeling false, and thought unwise,

Selfish, and seeking, shall, sternly disused,

Wither, and die, and shrivel up to nought;

And Christ, whom they did hang ‘twixt earth and skies,

Up in the inner world of men arise.

Excerpt From

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

George MacDonald

This material may be protected by copyright.

So Chained

“So bound in selfishness am I, so chained,

I know it must be glorious to be free

But know not what, full-fraught, the word doth mean.

By loss on loss I have severely gained

Wisdom enough my slavery to see;

But liberty, pure, absolute, serene,

No freëst-visioned slave has ever seen.”

George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul

How interesting that the things we feel are chains that bind are often our very gateways to freedom… Why is it always said we must die to live? And that he that would rule many must first learn to serve? Any kind of self discipline is like this. The process of the discipline is hard, and often we don’t see the good fruits of our labors for years after. But once we are there at the end of the day, with our labors so laid out we can see them in hindsight, our heart finds peace and joy at the wonderful outcome of our long labors.

Conversely, some of the things we hardly feel as binding at all, but really appear to us as “freedoms,” grow up stealthily from the tiny threads of whim, to chains of steel about our necks- chains that would choke out the very life and spirit of our own souls. And these we do not hardly recognize at first sight, and in the end once their weight is felt, we are drugged so by their poison that we cannot hardly even rouse ourselves to seek deliverance.

It is truly said that things are not always as they appear, and some deeper sight is necessary to finding the truth in life, and the joy of existence.

Wake His Soul

“Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up—

It is the human creative agony,

Though but to hold the heart an empty cup,

Or tighten on the team the rigid rein.

Many will rather lie among the slain

Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain—

Than wake the will, and be born bitterly.

But he who would be born again indeed,

Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,

And urge himself to life with holy greed;

Now ope his bosom to the Wind’s free play;

And now, with patience forceful, hard, lie still,

Submiss and ready to the making will,

Athirst and empty, for God’s breath to fill.”

–George MacDonald,

The Diary of an Old Soul

Welcome All

“O God of man, my heart would worship all

My 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!”

Excerpt From

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

George MacDonald

This material may be protected by copyright.


Even thou canst give me neither thought nor thing,

Were it the priceless pearl hid in the land,

Which, if I fix thereon a greedy gaze,

Becomes not poison that doth burn and cling;

Their own bad look my foolish eyes doth daze,

They see the gift, see not the giving hand—

From the living root the apple dead I wring.

–George MacDonald, A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

This material may be protected by copyright.