The Ideal

“Purely ideal or not, one thing is certain: it will never be reached by one who is so indifferent to it as to believe it impossible. Whether it may be reached in this world or not, that is a question of NO consequence; whether a man has begun to REACH AFTER it, is of the utmost awfulness of import. And should it be ideal, which I doubt, what else than the ideal have the followers of the ideal man to do with?”

–George MacDonald, Thomas Wingfold, Curate

“And we ought always to act upon the ideal; it is the only safe ground of action. When that which contradicts and resists, and would ruin our ideal, opposes us, then we must take measures; but not till then can we take measures, or know what measures it may be necessary to take. But the ideal itself is the only thing worth striving after. Remember what our Lord himself said: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.'”

–George MacDonald, Seaboard Parish

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Heir of Earth and Heaven

With thee on board, each sailor is a king

Nor I mere captain of my vessel then,

But heir of earth and heaven, eternal child;

Daring all truth, nor fearing anything;

Mighty in love, the servant of all men;

Resenting nothing, taking rage and blare

Into the Godlike silence of a loving care.

I cannot see, my God, a reason why

From morn to night I go not gladsome free;

For, if thou art what my soul thinketh thee,

There is no burden but should lightly lie,

No duty but a joy at heart must be:

Love’s perfect will can be nor sore nor small,

For God is light—in him no darkness is at all.

Tis something thus to think, and half to trust—

But, ah! my very heart, God-born, should lie

Spread to the light, clean, clear of mire and rust,

And like a sponge drink the divine sunbeams.

What resolution then, strong, swift, and high!

What pure devotion, or to live or die!

And in my sleep, what true, what perfect dreams!

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

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The Highest Condition of the Human Will

The highest condition of the human will is in sight… I say not the highest condition of the Human Being; that surely lies in the Beatific Vision, in the sight of God. But the highest condition of the Human Will, as distinct, not as separated from God, is when, not seeing God, not seeming to itself to grasp Him at all, it yet holds Him fast.

–George MacDonald

The Dignity of Sonship

Where we do that we ought not, and could have helped it, be moved to anger against us, O Christ! do not treat us as if we were not worth being displeased with; let not our faults pass as if they were of no weight. Be angry with us, holy brother, wherein we are to blame; where we do not understand, have patience with us, and open our eyes, and give us strength to obey, until at length we are the children of the Father even as thou. For though thou art lord and master and saviour of them that are growing, thou art perfect lord only of the true and the safe and the free, who live in thy light and are divinely glad: we keep thee back from thy perfect lordship.

–George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons

Him Who Obeys

To him who obeys, and thus opens the door of his heart, God gives the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit of Himself, to be in him and lead him to the understanding of all truth; the true disciple shall thus always know what he ought to do, though not necessarily what another ought to do. The spirit enlightens by teaching righteousness. No teacher should strive to make men think as he thinks, but to lead them to the living Truth, the Master Himself, who will make them in themselves know what is true by the very seeing of it. To be the disciple of Christ is the end of being; to persuade men to be his disciples is the end of teaching.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Justice