Sensitive as a Child to Rebuke

“But Richard imagined that something in his look had displeased her, and was ashamed, for he had ever been, and ever would be, sensitive as a child to rebuke. Even when it was mistaken or unjust he would always find within him some ground whereon it MIGHT have alighted.”
—George MacDonald, St. George and St. Michael

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Only the True Heart Sees Another

He had himself tried to do the truth, and no one but he who tries to do the truth can perceive the grandeur of another who does the same.

“He had himself tried to do the truth, and no one but he who tries to do the truth can perceive the grandeur of another who does the same. Alive to his own shortcomings, such a one the better understands the success of his brother or sister: there the truth takes to him shape, and he worships at her shrine. He saw more clearly than before what he had been learning ever since she had renounced him, that it is not correctness of opinion—could he be SURE that his own opinions were correct?—that constitutes rightness, but that condition of soul which, as a matter of course, causes it to move along the lines of truth and duty—the LIFE going forth in motion according to the law of light: this alone places a nature in harmony with the central Truth. It was in the doing of the will of his Father that Jesus was the son of God—yea the eternal son of the eternal Father.

Nor was this to make little of the truth intellectually considered—of the FACT of things. The greatest fact of all is that we are bound to obey the truth, and that to the full extent of our knowledge thereof, however LITTLE that may be. This obligation acknowledged and OBEYED, the road is open to all truth—and the ONLY road. The way to know is to do the known.

Excerpt From: MacDonald, George. “St. George and St. Michael.”

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The Shadow of Self


“I know well what aileth you, for I am myself but now recovering from a similar sickness, brought upon me by the haunting of the same evil one who torments you.’
‘You think, then, that I am possessed?’ said Rowland, with a faint smile and a glance at Dorothy.

‘That verily thou art, and grievously tormented. Shall I tell thee who hath possessed thee?—for the demon hath a name that is known amongst men, though it frighteneth few, and draweth many, alas! His name is Self, and he is the shadow of thy own self. First he made thee love him, which was evil, and now he hath made thee hate him, which is evil also. But if he be cast out and never more enter into thy heart, but remain as a servant in thy hall, then wilt thou recover from this sickness, and be whole and sound, and shall find the varlet serviceable.”

Excerpt From: MacDonald, George. “St. George and St. Michael.” iBooks. 

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The Thing that Hurts

“…While one’s good opinion of himself remains untroubled, confesses no touch, gives out no hollow sound, shrinks not self-hurt with the doubt of its own reality, hostile criticism will not go very deep, will not reach to the quick. The thing that hurts is that which sets trembling the ground of self-worship, lays bare the shrunk cracks and wormholes under the golden plates of the idol, shows the ants running about in it, and renders the foolish smile of the thing hateful. But he who will then turn away from his imagined self, and refer his life to the hidden ideal self, the angel that ever beholds the face of the Father, shall therein be made whole and sound, alive and free.”
Excerpt From: MacDonald, George. “St. George and St. Michael.” iBooks. 

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A Particular Light

“So far this LIGHT the Raies extends,    As that no place IT comprehends.

    So deepe this SOUND, that though it speake,

    It cannot by a Sence so weake

    Be entertain’d. A REDOLENT GRACE

    The Aire blowes not from place to place.

    A pleasant TASTE, of that delight

    It doth confound all appetite.

    A strict EMBRACE, not felt, yet leaves

    That vertue, where it takes it cleaves.

    This LIGHT, this SOUND, this SAVOURING GRACE,

    This TASTEFULL SWEET, this STRICT EMBRACE,

    No PLACE containes, no EYE can see,

    My GOD is; and there’s none but Hee.”
Excerpt From: MacDonald, George. “St. George and St. Michael.” iBooks. 

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The Wind of the Living God

To the marquis alone of the mourners the storm came as a relief to his overcharged spirit. He had again opened his New Testament, and tried to read; but if the truths which alone can comfort are not at such a time present to the spirit, the words that embody them will seldom be of much avail. When the thunder burst he closed the book and went to the window, flung it wide, and looked out into the court. Like a tide from the plains of innocent heaven through the sultry passionate air of the world, came the coolness to his brow and heart. Oxygen, ozone, nitrogen, water, carbonic acid, is it? Doubtless—and other things, perhaps, which chemistry cannot detect. Nevertheless, give its parts what names you will, its whole is yet the wind of the living God to the bodies of men, his spirit to their spirits, his breath to their hearts. When I learn that there is no primal intent—only chance—in the unspeakable joy that it gives, I shall cease to believe in poetry, in music, in woman, in God. Nay, I must have already ceased to believe in God ere I could believe.
 MacDonald, George. “St. George and St. Michael.”