The Thought of a Thinker

The letters he has left behind him, have waked but poor ideas in poor minds; for words, if they seem to mean anything, must always seem to mean something within the scope of the mind hearing them. Words cannot convey the thought of a thinker to a no-thinker; of a largely aspiring and self-discontented soul, to a creature satisfied with his poverty, and counting his meagre faculty the human standard. Neither will they readily reveal the mind of one old in thought, to one who has but lately begun to think.

-George MacDonald

True Education is Truest Kindness

“Those who love certain animals selfishly, pampering them, as so many mothers do their children with worse results, that they may be loved of them in return, betray them to their enemies. They are not lovers of animals, but only of favourites, and do their part to make the rest of the world dislike animals. Theirs are the dogs that inhospitably growl and bark and snap, moving the indifferent to dislike, and confirming the unfriendly in their antagonism. Any dog-parliament, met in the interests of their kind, would condemn such dogs to be discreetly bitten, and their mistresses to be avoided.

And certainly, if animals are intended to live and grow, she is the enemy of any individual animal, who stunts his moral and intellectual development by unwise indulgence.

Of whatever nature be the heaven of the animals, that animal is not in the fair way to enter it. The education of the lower lies at the door of the higher, and in true education is truest kindness.”

– George MacDonald, Hope of the Gospel

To Understand

“We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard not to be. But there is one thing much more necessary.’

What is that, grandmother?’

To understand other people.’

Yes, grandmother. I must be fair – for if I’m not fair to other people, I’m not worth being understood myself. I see.”

― George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

Every Hair and Feather

“There is no escape. There is no heaven with a little of hell in it – no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather”

– George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons II

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.”

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