On and On

“With all the reminders of death we have about us, not one of us feels as if he were going to die. We think of other people … dying, and it always seems we are going to be alive when they die; and why? Just because we are not going to die. This thinking part in us feels no symptom of ceasing to be. We think on and on, and death seems far from us, for it belongs only to our bodies–not to us. So the soul forgets it. It is no part of religion to think about death. It is the part of religion, when the fact and thought of death come in, to remind us that we live for ever, and that God, who sent His Son to die, will help us through that fearful strait that lies before us, and which often grows so terrible to those who fix their gaze upon it.”

—From George MacDonald’s ‘Guild Court’

Advertisements

Into the Unknown

“On either hand we behold a birth, of which, as of the moon, we see but half. We are outside the one, waiting for a life from the unknown; we are inside the other, watching the departure of a spirit from the womb of the world into the unknown. To the region whither he goes, the man enters newly born. We forget that it is a birth, and call it a death. The body he leaves behind is but the placenta by which he drew his nourishment from his mother Earth. And as the child-bed is watched on earth with anxious expectancy, so the couch of the dying, as we call them, may be surrounded by the birth-watchers of the other world, waiting like anxious servants to open the door to which this world is but the wind-blown porch.”

— George MacDonald, Robert Falconer

Smoke of the Sacrifice

‘Eh, Robert! The patience of him! (Jesus) He didn’t quench the smoking flax. There’s little fire about me, but surely I know in my own heart some of the rising smoke of the sacrifice. Eh! such words as they are! And he was going down to the grave himself, not half my age, as peaceful, though the road was so rough, as if he had been going home to his father.’ ‘So he was,’ returned Robert.

—George MacDonald, Robert Falconer

The Love That Healeth

 

It was evening. The sun was below the horizon; but his rosy beams yet illuminated a feathery cloud, that floated high above the world. I arose, I reached the cloud; and, throwing myself upon it, floated with it in sight of the sinking sun. He sank, and the cloud grew gray; but the grayness touched not my heart. It carried its rose-hue within; for now I could love without needing to be loved again. The moon came gliding up with all the past in her wan face. She changed my couch into a ghostly pallor, and threw all the earth below as to the bottom of a pale sea of dreams. But she could not make me sad. I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, and not the being loved by each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul beloved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad. This is possible in the realms of lofty Death. “Ah! my friends,” thought I, “how I will tend you, and wait upon you, and haunt you with my love.”

“O pale-faced women, and gloomy-browed men, and forgotten children, how I will wait on you, and minister to you, and, putting my arms about you in the dark, think hope into your hearts, when you fancy no one is near! Soon as my senses have all come back, and have grown accustomed to this new blessed life, I will be among you with the love that healeth.”

 

~George MacDonald, Phantastes