George MacDonald


Scottish Author, Poet and Minister known for his fairy tales and fantasy works

Author Quotes

To say Thou art God, without knowing what the Thou means-of what use is it? God is a name only, except we know God.

We are often unable to tell people what they need to know because they want to know something else.

What his soul might find in God.

Whence then came thy dream? answers Hope.

With wandering eyes and aimless zeal, she hither, thither, goes; her speech, her motions, all reveal a mind without repose. She climbs the hills, she haunts the sea, by madness tortured, driven; one hour's forgetfulness would be a gift from very heaven! She slumbers into new distress; the night is worse than day: exulting in her helplessness; Hell's dogs yet louder bay. The demons blast her to and fro; she has not quiet place, enough a woman still, to know a haunting dim disgrace. A human touch! a pang of death! And in a low delight thou liest, waiting for new breath, for morning out of night. Thou risest up: the earth is fair, the wind is cool; thou art free! Is it a dream of hell's despair dissolves in ecstasy? That man did touch thee! Eyes divine make sunrise in thy soul; thou seest love in order shine:- his health hath made thee whole! Thou, sharing in the awful doom, didst help thy Lord to die; then, weeping o'er his empty tomb, didst hear him Mary cry. He stands in haste; he cannot stop; home to his God he fares: 'Go tell my brothers I go up to my Father, mine and theirs.' Run, Mary! lift thy heavenly voice; cry, cry, and heed not how; make all the new-risen world rejoice- its first apostle thou! What if old tales of thee have lied, or truth have told, thou art all-safe with Him, whate'er betide dwell'st with Him in God's heart!

To some minds the argument for immortality drawn from the apparently universal shrinking from annihilation must be ineffectual, seeing they themselves do not shrink from it. … If there is no God, annihilation is the one thing to be longed for, with all that might of longing which is the mainspring of human action. In a word, it is not immortality the human heart cries out after, but that immortal, eternal thought whose life is its life, whose wisdom is its wisdom. . . . Dissociate immortality from the living Immortality, and it is not a thing to be desired.

We die daily. Happy those who daily come to life as well.

What honest boy would pride himself on not picking pockets? A thief who was trying to reform would. To be conceited of doing one's duty is then a sign of how little one does it, and how little one sees what a contemptible thing it is not to do it. Could any but a low creature be conceited of not being contemptible? Until our duty becomes to us common as breathing, we are poor creatures.

Where did you come from baby dear? Out of the everywhere into the here... Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the skies as I came through.

Within the man and the woman a divine element of brotherhood, of sisterhood, a something lovely and lovable- slowly fading, it may be-dying away under the fierce heat of vile passions, or the yet more fearful cold of sepulchral selfishness, but there? … It is the very presence of this fading humanity that makes it possible for us to hate. If it were an animal only, and not a

To the dim and bewildered vision of humanity, God's care is more evident in some instances than in others; and upon such instances men seize, and call them providences. It is well that they can; but it would be gloriously better if they could believe that the whole matter is one grand providence.

We must do the thing we must before the thing we may; we are unfit for any trust till we can and do obey.

What makes it yours?

Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through.

Work done is of more consequence for the future than the foresight of an angel.

To try to be brave is to be brave.

We shall never be able, I say, to rest in the bosom of the Father, till the fatherhood is fully revealed to us in the love of the brothers. For He cannot be our Father, save as He is their Father; and if we do not see Him and feel Him as their Father, we cannot know Him as ours.

What should I think of my child, if I found that he limited his faith in me and hope from me to the few promises he had heard me utter! The faith that limits itself to the promises of God seems to me to partake of the paltry character of such a faith in my child -- good enough for a Pagan, but for a Christian a miserable and wretched faith. Those who rest in such a faith would feel yet more comfortable if they had God's bond instead of His word, which they regard not as the outcome of His character but as a pledge of His honor. They try to believe in the truth of His word, but the truth of His Being they understand not. In His oath they persuade themselves that they put confidence: in himself they do not believe, for they know Him not.

Where every day is not the Lord's, the Sunday is his least of all. There may be a sickening unreality even where there is no conscious hypocrisy.

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.

To try too hard to make people good is one way to make them worse. The only way to make them good is to be good, remembering well the beam and the mote.

We should teach our children to think no more of their bodies when dead than they do of their hair when cut off or of their old clothes when they have done with them.

What stupidity of perfection would that be which left no margin about God’s work, no room for change of plan upon change of fact-yea, even the mighty change that.. . now at length His child is praying! … I may move my arm as I please: shall God be unable so to move His?

Where people know their work and do it, life has few blank spaces for boredom and they are seldom to be pitied. Where people have not yet found their work, they may be more pitied than those that beg their bread. When a man knows his work and will not do it, pity him more than one who is to be hanged tomorrow.

Yes,' he answered; 'and you will be dead, so long as you refuse to die.

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Scottish Author, Poet and Minister known for his fairy tales and fantasy works