George MacDonald

George
MacDonald
1824
1905

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

Author Quotes

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 cease to wonder is to fall plumb-down from the childlike to the commonplace—the most undivine of all moods intellectual. Our nature can never be at home among things that are not wonderful to us.

It may seem strange that one with whom I had held so little communion should have so engrossed my thoughts, but benefits conferred awaken love in some minds, as surely as benefits received in others.

Let us understand very plainly, that a being whose essence was only power would be such a negation of the divine that no righteous worship could be offered him.

Men who would rather receive salvation from God than God their salvation.

Not one of the family had ever cared for it on the ground of its old-fashionedness; its preservation was owing merely to the fact that their gardener was blessed with a wholesome stupidity rendering him incapable of unlearning what his father, who had been gardener there before him, had had marvelous difficulty in teaching him. We do not half appreciate the benefits to the race that spring from honest dullness. The clever people are the ruin of everything.

One day [the prince] lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this they have the advantage of the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes.

Primarily, God is not bound to punish sin; he is bound to destroy sin. The only vengeance worth having on sin is to make the sinner himself its executioner.

She sometimes wished she were good; but there are thousands of wandering ghosts who would be good if they might without taking trouble; the kind of goodness they desire would not be worth a life to hold it.

That’s a poet. I thought you said it was a boat. Stupid pet! Don’t you know what a poet it? Why, a thing to sail on the water in. Well, perhaps you’re not so far wrong. Some poets do carry people over the sea... A poet is a man who is glad of something, and tries to make other people glad of it too.

The giving of the white stone with the new name is the communication of what God thinks about the man to the man. It is the divine judgment, the solemn holy doom of the righteous man, the “Come, thou blessed,” spoken to the individual. . . . The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man’s own symbol -his soul’s picture, in a word-the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. For no one but God sees what the man is. … It is only when the man has become his name that God gives him the stone with the name upon it, for than first can he understand what his name signifies. It is the blossom, the perfection, the completeness, that determines the name: and God foresees that from the first because He made it so: but the tree of the soul, before its blossom comes, cannot understand what blossom it is to bear and could not know what the word meant, which, in representing its own unarrived completeness, named itself. Such a name cannot be given until the man is the name. God’s name for a man must be the expression of His own idea of the man, that being whom He had in His thought when he began to make the child, and whom He kept in His thought through the long process of creation that went to realize the idea. To tell the name is to seal the success-to say “In thee also I am well pleased.”

The notion of suffering as an offset for sin, the foolish idea that a man by suffering borne may get out from under the hostile claim to which his wrong-doing has subjected him, comes first of all, I think, from the satisfaction we feel when wrong comes to grief. Why do we feel this satisfaction? Because we hate wrong, but, not being righteous ourselves, more or less hate the wronger as well as his wrong, hence are not only righteously pleased to behold the law's disapproval proclaimed in his punishment, but unrighteously pleased with his suffering, because of the impact upon us of his wrong. In this way the inborn justice of our nature passes over to evil. It is no pleasure to God, as it so often is to us, to see the wicked suffer. To regard any suffering with satisfaction, save it be sympathetically with its curative quality, comes of evil, is inhuman because undivine, is a thing God is incapable of. His nature is always to forgive, and just because he forgives, he punishes. Because God is so altogether alien to wrong, because it is to him a heart-pain and trouble that one of his little ones should do the evil thing, there is, I believe, no extreme of suffering to which, for the sake of destroying the evil thing in them, he would not subject them. A man might flatter, or bribe, or coax a tyrant; but there is no refuge from the love of God; that love will, for very love, insist upon the uttermost farthing.

The two pillars of 'political correctness' are: (a) willful ignorance (b) a steadfast refusal to face the truth.

There is an aching that is worse than any pain.

They utter but a feeble part: hear thou the depths from which they call, the voiceless longing of my heart.

To have a share in any earthly inheritance is to diminish the share of the other inheritors. In the inheritance of the saints, that which each has goes to increase the possession of the test.

It needs brains to be a real fool.

Life and religion are one, or neither is anything.

Middling people are shocked at the wickedness of the wicked; Gibbie, who knew both so well, was shocked only at the wickedness of the righteous. He never came quite to understand Mr. Sclater: the inconsistent never can be understood. That only which has absolute reason in it can be understood of man. There is a bewilderment about the very nature of evil which only He who made up capable of evil that we might be good, can comprehend.

Not only then has each man his individual relation to God, but each man has his peculiar relation to God.

One of my greatest difficulties in consenting to think of religion was that I thought I should have to give up my beautiful thoughts and my love for the things God has made. But I find that the happiness springing from all things not in themselves sinful is much increased by religion. God is the God of the Beautiful—Religion is the love of the Beautiful, and Heaven is the Home of the Beautiful—-Nature is tenfold brighter in the Sun of Righteousness, and my love of Nature is more intense since I became a Christian—-if indeed I am one. God has not given me such thoughts and forbidden me to enjoy them.

Progress is the real cure for an over­estimate of ourselves.

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
MacDonald
Birth Date
1824
Death Date
1905
Bio

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