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George MacDonaldby George Macdonald
Synopses & Reviews
That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and 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."
2 Inexorable Love
Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy... For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected — not in itself, but in the object.... Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. And our God is a consuming fire.
3 Divine Burning
He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakable may remain: he is a consuming fire, that only that which cannot be consumed may stand forth eternal. It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship. He will have purity. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship thus; yea, will go on burning within us after all that is foreign to it has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God.
4 The Beginning of Wisdom
How should the Hebrews be other than terrified at that which was opposed to all they knew of themselves, beings judging it good to honor a golden calf? Such as they were,they did well to be afraid.... Fear is nobler than sensuality. Fear is better than no God, better than a god made with hands.... The worship of fear is true, although very low: and though not acceptable to God in itself, for only the worship of spirit and of truth is acceptable to Him, yet even in his sight it is precious. For He regards men not as they are merely, but as they shall be; not as they shall be merely, but as they are now growing, or capable of growing, toward that image after which He made them that they might grow to it. Therefore a thousand stages, each in itself all but valueless, are of inestimable worth as the necessary and connected gradations of an infinite progress. A condition which of declension would indicate a devil, may of growth indicate a saint.
5 The Unawakened
Can it be any comfort to them to be told that God loves them so that He will burn them clean? ... They do not want to be clean, and they cannot bear to be tortured.
And is not God ready to do unto them even as they fear, though with another feeling and a different end from any which they are capable of supposing? He is against sin: insofar as, and while, they and sin are one, He is against them-against their desires, their aims, their fears, and their hopes; and thus He is altogether and always for them. That thunder and lightning and tempest, that blackness torn with the sound of a trumpet, that visible horror billowed with the voice of words, was all but a faint image ... of what God thinks and feels against vileness and selfishness, of the unrest of unassuageable repulsion with which He regards such conditions.
When we say that God is Love, do we teach men that theirfear of Him is groundless? No. As much as they fear will come upon them, possibly far more.... The wrath will consume what they call themselves; so that the selves God made shall appear.
8 The Law of Nature
For that which cannot be shaken shall remain. That which is immortal in God shall remain in man. The death that is in them shall be consumed. It is the law of Nature-that is, the law of God-that all that is destructible shall be destroyed.
9 Escape Is Hopeless
The man whose deeds are evil, fears the burning. But the burning will not come the less that he fears it or denies it. Escape is hopeless. For Love is inexorable. Our God is a consuming fire. He shall not come out till he has paid the uttermost farthing.
10 The Word
But herein is the Bible itself greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save as leading to HIM.
11 I Knew a Child
12 Spiritual Murder
It may be an infinitely less evil to murder a man than to refuse to forgive him. The former may be the act of a moment of passion: the latter is the heart's choice. It is spiritual murder, the worst, to hate, to brood over the feeling that excludes, that, in our microcosm, kills the image, the idea of the hated.
C. S. Lewis wrote of George MacDonald: "I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself." Lewis also claimed that everything he wrote was influenced by this Scottish pastor and novelist who lived a century before Lewis. George MacDonald serves as an act of appreciation, with Lewis gathering 365 of the best and most profound lines from his mentor as well as providing a preface detailing the impact MacDonald had on Lewis's own literary and spiritual career. Ranging from "Inexorable Love" to "God at the Door," these words will instruct and uplift, like they did for C.S. Lewis himself.
In this collection selected by C. S. Lewis are 365 selections from MacDonald's inspiring and challenging writings.
About the Author
Clive Staples Lewis, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1898. As a child, he was fascinated by the fairy tales, myths, and ancient legends recounted to him by his Irish nurse. The image of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in a snowy wood came to him when he was sixteen. Many years later, the faun was joined by an evil queen and a magnificient lion. Their story became The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. Six further Chronicles of Narnia followed, and the final title, The Last Battle, was awarded the United Kingdom's prestigious Carnegie Award.
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