George MacDonald


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

Author Quotes

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.

Love makes everything lovely: hate concentrates itself on the one thing hated.

Never was there a more injurious mistake than to say it was the business only of the clergy to care for souls.

O, lack and doubt and fear can only come because of plenty, confidence, and love! They are the shadow-forms about their feet, because they are not perfect crystal-clear to the all-searching sun in which they live. Dread of its loss is Beauty’s certain seal!

Only he knew that to be left alone is not always to be forsaken.

Remember, then, that whoever does not mean good is always in danger of harm. But I try to give everybody fair play and those that are in the wrong are in far more need of it always than those who are in the right: they can afford to do without it.

Some natures will endure an immense amount of misery before they feel compelled to look there for help whence all help and healing come. They cannot believe that there is verily an unseen, mysterious power, till the world and all that is in it has vanished in the smoke of despair; till cause and effect are nothing to the intellect, and possible glories have faded from the imagination. Then, deprived of all that made life pleasant or hopeful, the immortal essence, lonely and wretched and unable to cease, looks up with its now unfettered and wakened instinct to the source of its own life -- to the possible God who, notwithstanding all the improbabilities of His existence, may yet perhaps be, and may yet perhaps hear His wretched creature that calls. In this loneliness of despair, life must find The Life: for joy is gone, and life is all that is left; it is compelled to seek its source, its root, its eternal life. This alone remains a possible thing. Strange condition of despair into which the Spirit of God drives a man -- a condition in which the Best alone is the Possible!

The commandments can never be kept while there is a strife to keep them: the man is overwhelmed in the weight of their broken pieces. It needs a clean heart to have pure hands, all the power of a live soul to keep the law-a power of life, not of struggle; the strength of love, not the effort of duty.

The kingdom of heaven is not come even when God's will is our law; it is fully come when God's will is our will.

The pure eye for the true vision of another's claims can only go with the loving heart. The man who hates can hardly be delicate in doing Justice, say to his neighbor's love, to his neighbor's predilections and peculiarities. It is hard enough to be just to our friends; and how shall our enemies fare with us?

Then the Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down. That is the way, he said. But there are no stairs. You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.

There is no water in oxygen, no water in hydrogen: it comes bubbling fresh from the imagination of the living God, rushing from under the great white throne of the glacier. The very thought of it makes one gasp with an elemental joy no metaphysician can analyze. The water itself, that dances, and sings, and slakes the wonderful thirst--symbol and picture of that draught for which the woman of Samaria made her prayer to Jesus--this lovely thing itself, whose very wetness is a delight to every inch of the human body in its embrace--this live thing which, if I might, I would have running through my room, yea, babbling along my table--this water is its own self its own truth, and is therein a truth of God.

Those are not the tears of repentance! ... Self-loathing is not sorrow. Yet it is good, for it marks a step in the way home, and in the father's arms the prodigal forgets the self he abominates.

To realize that you are safe and happy standing at God's side, with His love encompassing you because you are forgiven; too happy to take offense anymore; too much in love with life to want to be made miserable with an unforgiving heart, and knowing that now every conflict is a chance to learn more of the exceeding beauty of Love: that is worth living for, and surely worth dying to this misery-making self for. [Continued tomorrow] ... The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn February 5, 1998 And let us be grateful beyond words for this: that God will not let us alone until we have learnt it and stand by His side. He troubles us, He brings His disturbing light back and back to us, showing us how coarse and heavy the dying self, seeking her own, is; how horrible it is that any feeling of unforgiveness, accepted and held on to, towards our brother, drives God from our side; how quickly we must do all we can to heal the separation, because we are out in the cold and the dark indeed, if divorced from that Love. ... The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn February 6, 1998 Commemoration of Martyrs of Japan, 1597 Prayer is the expression of a good desire. The human heart is full of restless desires, and the prayers of men consist for the most part of the unsifted petitions which are urged by their varying passions. To desire what is right, and to desire it consistently, and passionately, is the first condition of true living; the desires can be corrected only by truth, the mind must apprehend God, and then it will say, "There is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.".

It is so silly of people to fancy that old age means crookedness and witheredness and feebleness and sticks and spectacles and rheumatism and forgetfulness! It is so silly! Old age has nothing whatever to do with all that. The right old age means strength and beauty and mirth and courage and clear eyes and strong painless limbs.

I've been thinking about it a great deal, and it seems to me that although one sixpence is as good as another sixpence, not twenty lambs would do instead of one sheep whose face you knew. Somehow, when once you've looked into anybody's eyes, right deep down into them, I mean, nobody will do for that one anymore. Nobody, ever so beautiful or so good, will make up for that one going out of sight.

Love me, beloved; Hades and Death shall vanish away like a frosty breath; these hands, that now are at home in thine, shall clasp thee again, if thou art still mine; and thou shalt be mine, my spirit's bride, in the ceaseless flow of eternity's tide, if the truest love thy heart can know meet the truest love that from mine can flow. Pray God, beloved, for thee and me, that our souls may be wedded eternally.

No man can make haste to be rich without going against the will of God, in which case it is the one frightful thing to be successful.

Obedience is the joining of the links of the eternal round. Obedience is but the other side of the creative will. Will is God’s will, obedience is man’s will; the two make one. The root life, knowing well the thousand troubles it would bring upon Him, has created, and goes on creating, other lives, that though incapable of self-being they may, by willed obedience, share in the bliss of His essential self-ordained being. If we do the will of God, eternal life is ours-no mere continuity of existence, for that in itself is worthless as hell, but a being that is one with the essential life.

Our life is no dream; but it ought to become one, and perhaps will.

Right gladly would He free them from their misery, but He knows only one way: He will teach them to be like himself, meek and lowly, bearing with gladness the yoke of His Father's will. This in the one, the only right, the only possible way of freeing them from their sin, the cause of their unrest.

Somehow, I can't say how, it tells me that all is right; that it is coming to swallow up all cries.

The darkness knows neither the light nor itself; only the light knows itself and the darkness also. None but God hates evil and understands it.

The liberty of the God who would have his creatures free, is in contest with the slavery of the creature who would cut his own stem from his root that he might call it his own and love it; who rejoices in his own consciousness, instead of the life of that consciousness; who poises himself on the tottering wall of his own being, instead of the rock on which that being is built. Such a one regards his own dominion over himself- the rule of the greater by the less-as a freedom infinitely larger than the range of the universe of God’s being. If he says, “At least I have it in my own way!”, I answer, you do not know what is your way and what is not. You know nothing of whence your impulses, your desires, your tendencies, your likings come. They may spring now from some chance, as of nerves diseased; now from some roar of a wandering bodiless devil; now from some infant hate in your heart; now from the greed of lawlessness of some ancestor you would be ashamed of if you knew him; or, it may be, now from some far-piercing chord of a heavenly orchestra: the moment comes up into your consciousness, you call it your own way, and glory in it.

The region of the senses is the unbelieving part of the human soul.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

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