George MacDonald


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

Author Quotes

Relative to getting rid of it, a fault is serious or not in proportion to the depth of its root rather than the amount of its foliage.

So, then, as darkness had no beginning, neither will it ever have an end. So, then, is it eternal. The negation of aught else, is its affirmation. Where the light cannot come, there abideth the darkness. The light doth but hollow a mine out of the infinite extension of the darkness. And ever upon the steps of the light treadeth the darkness; yea, springeth in fountains and wells amidst it, from the secret channels of its mighty sea. Truly, man is but a passing flame, moving unquietly amid the surrounding rest of night; without which he yet could not be, and whereof he is in part compounded.

The care that is filling your mind at this moment, or but waiting till you lay the book aside to leap upon you -that need which is no need, is a demon sucking at the spring of your life. “No; mine is a reasonable care- an unavoidable care, indeed.” Is it something you have to do this very moment? “No.” Then you are allowing it to usurp the place of something that is required of you this moment. “There is nothing required of me at this moment.” Nay but there is-the greatest thing that can be required of man. “Pray, what is it?” Trust in the living God…. “I do trust Him in spiritual matters.” Everything is an affair of the spirit.

The ideal is the only absolute real; and it must become the real in the individual life as well, however impossible they may count it who never tried it.

The poetry of life, the inner side of nature, rises near the surface to meet the eyes of the man who makes. The advantage gained by the carpenter of Nazareth at his bench is the inheritance of every workman as he imitates his maker in the divine - that is, honest - work.

The world is full of resurrections. Every night that folds us up in darkness is a death; and those of you that have been out early, and have seen the first of the dawn, will know it--the day rises out of the night like a being that has burst its tomb and escaped into life.

There is no inborn longing that shall not be fulfilled. I think that is as certain as the forgiveness of sins.

This is another to be added to the many proofs that verisimilitude is not in the least an essential element of verity.

To love righteousness is to make it grow, not to avenge it. Throughout his life on earth, Jesus resisted every impulse to work more rapidly for a lower good.

It would hardly be kindness if he didn't punish sin, not to use every means to put the evil thing far from us. Whatever may be meant by the place of misery Mr. Sutherland, it's only another form of his love. Love shining through the fogs of evil, and thus made to look very different.

Love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. 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.

Never could we have known the heart of the Father, never felt it possible to love Him as sons, but for Him who cast Himself into the gulf that yawned between us. In and through Him we were foreordained to the son-ship: son-ship, even had we never sinned, never could we reach without Him. We should have been little children loving the Father indeed, but children far from the son-hood that understands and adores.

O Lord, I have been talking to the people; thought's wheels have round me whirled a fiery zone and the recoil of my word's airy ripple my heart unheedful has puffed up and blown. Therefore I cast myself before thee prone: lay cool hands on my burning brain and press from my weak heart the swelling emptiness.

One who went to the truth by mere impulse would be a holy animal, not a true man. Relations, truths, duties, are shown to the man away beyond him, that he may choose them and be a child of God, choosing righteousness like Him. Hence the whole sad victorious human tale and the glory to be revealed.

Religion is life essential.

Some misapprehension, I say, some obliquity, or some slavish adherence to old prejudices, may thus cause us to refuse the true interpretation, but we are none the less bound to refuse and wait for more light. To accept that as the will of our Lord which to us is inconsistent with what we learned to worship in Him already, is to introduce discord into that harmony whose end is to unite our hearts, and make them whole. "Is it for us," says the objector who, by some sleight of will, believes in the word apart from the meaning for which it stands, "to judge the character of our Lord?" I answer, "This very thing He requires of us." He requires of us that we should do Him no injustice. He would come and dwell with us, if we would but open our chambers to receive Him. How shall we receive Him is, avoiding judgement, we hold this or that daub of authority or tradition hanging upon our walls to be the real likeness of our Lord?

The church grew very lonely about him, and he began to feel like a child whose mother has forsaken it. Only he knew that to be left alone is not always to be forsaken.

The immediate end of the commandments never was that men should succeed in obeying them, but that, finding they could not do that which yet must be done, finding the more they tried the more was required of them, they should be driven to the source of life and law-of their life and His law-to seek from Him such reinforcement of life as should make the fulfillment of the law as possible, yea, as natural, as necessary.

The possession of wealth is, as it were, prepayment, and involves an obligation of honor to the doing of correspondent work.

Then came the reflection, how little at any time could a father do for the wellbeing of his children! The fact of their being children implied their need of an all-powerful father: must there not then be such a father? Therewith the truth dawned upon him, that first of truths, which all his church-going and Bible-reading had hitherto failed to disclose, that, for life to be a good thing and worth living, a man must be the child of a perfect father, and know him. In his terrible perturbation about his children, he lifted up his heart—not to the Governor of the world; not to the God of Abraham or Moses; not in the least to the God of the Kirk; least of all to the God of the Shorter Catechism; but to the faithful creator and Father of David Barclay. The aching soul which none but a perfect father could have created capable of deploring its own fatherly imperfection, cried out to the father of fathers on behalf of his children, and as he cried, a peace came stealing over him such as he had never before felt.

There is no slave but the creature that wills against its Creator.

This made it the more likely that he had seen a true vision; for instead of making common things look commonplace, as a false vision would have done, it had made common things disclose the wonderful that was in them.

To put off obeying Him till we find a credible theory concerning Him is to set aside the potion we know it our duty to drink, for the study of the various schools of therapy.

It is precious as the interpreter of the same, even in its being the outcome of Our Lord’s sympathy with ordinary human rejoicing.

It’s right to trust in God; but, if you don’t stand to your halliards your craft’ll miss stays, and your faith’ll be blown out of the bolt-ropes in the turn of a marlinspike.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

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