The Father of Hope

From a report of George MacDonald’s sermon, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Winter 2015:

“If we were wise we would never mourn over our troubles. If we had a clearer insight into things we would go down upon our knees and thank God for our troubles. The Lord spoke here to everybody who had something that made him uncomfortable, who had anything in heart or mind, that just wanted Him. Every discontent in the human heart was just a cry after God.”

“We should not say hope was delusive, for we might have chosen the wrong hope. God was the father of hope in our hearts, and he had never had so much hope as now in his heart; it grew and grew till it was infinite.”

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The Great Race

No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, & the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.

C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters, Volume II

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

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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On the Human Mind

The great human dogma, then, is that the wind moves the trees. The great human heresy is that the trees move the wind. When people begin to say that the material circumstances have alone created the moral circumstances, then they have prevented all possibility of serious change. For if my circumstances have made me wholly stupid, how can I be certain even that I am right in altering those circumstances?

The man who represents all thought as an accident of environment is simply smashing and discrediting all his own thoughts—including that one. To treat the human mind as having an ultimate authority is necessary to any kind of thinking, even free thinking. And nothing will ever be reformed in this age or country unless we realise that the moral fact comes first.

— Tremendous Trifles (1909).