I May Not Fondle Failing

“Only no word of mine must ever foster

The self that in a brother’s bosom gnaws;

I may not fondle failing, nor the boaster

Encourage with the breath of my applause.

Weakness needs pity, sometimes love’s rebuke;

Strength only sympathy deserves and draws—

And grows by every faithful loving look.

Tis but as men draw nigh to thee, my Lord,

They can draw nigh each other and not hurt.

Who with the gospel of thy peace are girt,

The belt from which doth hang the Spirit’s sword,

Shall breathe on dead bones, and the bones shall live,

Sweet poison to the evil self shall give,

And, clean themselves, lift men clean from the mire abhorred.

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

This material may be protected by copyright.

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The Desire of Their Soul

“To what end do men gather riches, but to multiply more? Do they not like Pyrrhus, the King of Epire, add house to house and lands to lands; that they may get it all? It is storied of that prince, that having conceived a purpose to invade Italy, he sent for Cineas, a philosopher and the King’s friend: to whom he communicated his design, and desired his counsel. Cineas asked him to what purpose he invaded Italy? He said, to conquer it. And what will you do when you, have conquered it? Go into France, said the King, and conquer that. And what will you do when you have conquered France? Conquer Germany. And what then? said the philosopher. Conquer Spain. I perceive, said Cineas, you mean to conquer all the World. What will you do when you have conquered all? Why then said the King we will return, and enjoy ourselves at quiet in our own land. So you may now, said the philosopher, without all this ado. Yet could he not divert him till he was ruined by the Romans. Thus men get one hundred pound a year that they may get another; and having two covet eight, and there is no end of all their labour; because the desire of their Soul is insatiable. Like Alexander the Great they must have all: and when they have got it all, be quiet. And may they not do all this before they begin? Nay it would be well, if they could be quiet. But if after all, they shall be like the stars, that are seated on high, but have no rest, what gain they more, but labour for their trouble? It was wittily feigned that that young man sat down and cried for more worlds to conquer. So insatiable is man, that millions will not please him. They are no more than so many tennis-balls, in comparison of the Greatness and Highness of his Soul.”

Excerpt From

Centuries of Meditations

Thomas Traherne

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/centuries-of-meditations/id1113136323?mt=11

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Thou Art Making Me

But thou art making me, I thank thee, sire.

What thou hast done and doest thou know’st well,

And I will help thee:—gently in thy fire

I will lie burning; on thy potter’s-wheel

I will whirl patient, though my brain should reel;

Thy grace shall be enough the grief to quell,

And growing strength perfect through weakness dire.

—George MacDonald

But did They Want to Know God?

“They all wanted to be at peace with God; but did they want to know God? Did they want to know God a their Father as Christ knew and felt God to be His Father? To be at peace with God, that was a poor phrase. It was one which could never satisfy; neither would it satisfy them. One must come to rejoice in the very thought of God, in the thought of knowing God, and delight in the hope that they could get back to the Father.”

From a report on a sermon by George MacDonald

Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature… — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The Spirit Strives With Our Spirit

A man will please God better by believing some things that are not told him, than by confining his faith to those things that are expressly said-said to arouse in us the truth-seeing faculty, the spiritual desire, the prayer for the good things which God will give to them who ask him.

"But is this not dangerous doctrine? Will not a man be taught thus to believe the things he likes best, even to pray for that which he likes best? And will he not grow arrogant in his confidence?"

If it be true that the Spirit strives with our spirit, if it be true that God teaches men, we may safely leave those dreaded results to him. If the man is of the Lord's company, he is safer with him than with those who would secure their safety by hanging on the outskirts and daring nothing. if he is not taught of God in that which he hopes for, God will let him know it. He will receive something else than he prays for. If he can pray to God for anything not good, the answer will come in the flames of that consuming fire. These will soon bring him to some of his spiritual sense. But it will be far better for him to be thus sharply tutored, than to go on a snail's pace in the journey of the spiritual life. And for arrogance, I have seen nothing breed it faster or in more offensive forms than the worship of the letter.

—George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons

Thou Art my Home

"That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and his desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to him, 'Thou art my refuge, because thou art my home.'"

-George MacDonald