Teach by Inspiring

The real way of mending a man’s taste is not to denigrate his present favourites but to teach him how to enjoy something better.

— C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

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The Nursery, and the Tale of Paradise

It comes to this then, after the grand theory of the apostle:–The world exists for our education; it is the nursery of God’s children, served by troubled slaves, troubled because the children are themselves slaves–children, but not good children. Beyond its own will or knowledge, the whole creation works for the development of the children of God into the sons of God. When at last the children have arisen and gone to their Father; when they are clothed in the best robe, with a ring on their hands and shoes on their feet, shining out at length in their natural, their predestined sonship; then shall the mountains and the hills break forth before them into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid and the calf, and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. Then shall the fables of a golden age, which faith invented, and unbelief threw into the past, unfold their essential reality, and the tale of paradise prove itself a truth by becoming a fact. Then shall every ideal show itself a necessity, aspiration although satisfied put forth yet longer wings, and the hunger after righteousness know itself blessed. Then first shall we know what was in the Shepherd’s mind when he said, ‘I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Excerpt From

Unspoken Sermons: Series I., II., and III.

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unspoken-sermons-series-i-ii-and-iii/id370193463?mt=11

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The Truly Wise

The truly wise talk little about religion, and are not given to taking sides on doctrinal issues. When they hear people advocating or opposing the claims of this or that party in the church, they turn away with a smile such as men yield to the talk of children. They have no time, they would say, for that kind of thing. They have enough to do in trying to faithfully practice what is beyond dispute.

~ George MacDonald

The Security We Crave

The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, he has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: A few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

— C.S. Lewis

Faith in love

For Sunday, from an account of George MacDonald preaching, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 2017:

“Faith in God, he is careful to explain, is not faith in opinions about God. It is faith in God’s love; while the doing of what we believe to be right is the chief if not the only means of finding out–of attaining to a belief in this love.”

On the Wrong Side of the Door

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When humans souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects. — C.S. Lewis