George MacDonald


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

Author Quotes

The man that feareth, Lord, to doubt, in that fear doubteth thee.

The response to self-existent love is self-abnegating love. The refusal of Himself is that in Jesus which corresponds to the creation in God... When he died on the cross, He did that, in the wild weather of His outlying provinces, in the torture of the body of His revelation, which He had done at home in glory and gladness.

There are many things in which one and the other loses; but if it is essential to any transaction that only one side shall gain, the thing is not of God.

There is something in the very presence and actuality of a thing to make one able to bear it; but a man may weaken himself for bearing what God intends him to bear, by trying to bear what God does not intend him to bear. . . . We have no right to school ourselves to an imaginary duty. When we do not know, then what he lays upon us is not to know.

Those who gain no experience are those who shirk the King’s highway for fear of encountering the Duty seated by the roadside.

To say a man might disobey and be none the worse would be to say that no might be yes and light sometimes darkness.

It is vain to think that any weariness, however caused, any burden, however slight, may be got rid of otherwise than by bowing the neck to the yoke of the Father's will. There can be no other rest for heart and soul than He has created. From every burden, from every anxiety, from all dread of shame or loss, even loss of love itself, that yoke will set us free.

Learn these two things: never be discouraged because good things get on so slowly here, and never fail daily to do that good which lies next to your hand. Do not be in a hurry, but be diligent. Enter into the sublime patience of the Lord. Be charitable in view of it. God can afford to wait; why cannot we, since we have Him to fall back upon? Let patience have her perfect work, and bring forth her celestial fruits. Trust to God to weave your little thread in to a web, though the patterns show it not yet.

Man is not made for justice from his fellow, but for love, which is greater than justice, and by including supersedes justice. Mere justice is an impossibility, a fiction of analysis…. Justice to be justice must be much more than justice. Love is the law of our condition, without which we can no more render justice than a man can keep a straight line, walking in the dark.

No one can say he is himself, until first he knows that he is, and then what himself is. In fact, nobody is himself, and himself is nobody.

Of all teachings that which presents a far distant God is the nearest to absurdity. Either there is none, or He is nearer to every one of us than our nearest consciousness of self.

Past tears are present strength.

Seek not that your sons and your daughters should not see visions, should not dream dreams; seek that they should see true visions, that they should dream noble dreams. Such out-going of the imagination is one with aspiration, and will do more to elevate above what is low and vile than all possible inculcations of morality.

Suppose you didn't know him, would that make any difference?' 'No,' said Willie, after thinking a little. 'Other people would know him if I didn't.' 'Yes, and if nobody knew him, God would know him, and anybody God has thought worth making, it's an honor to do anything for.

The Father said, ‘That is a stone’. The Son would not say, ‘That is a loaf’. No one creative Fiat shall contradict another. The Father and the Son are of one mind. The Lord could hunger, could starve, but would not change into another thing what His Father had made one thing. There was no such change in the feeding of the multitudes. The fish and the bread were fish and bread before... There was in these miracles, and I think in all, only a hastening of appearances: the doing of that in a day, which may ordinarily take a thousand years, for with God time is not what it is with us. He makes it… Nor does it render the process one whit more miraculous. Indeed, the wonder of the growing corn is to me greater than the wonder of feeding the thousands. It is easier to understand the creative power going forth at once- immediately-than through the countless, the lovely, the seemingly forsaken wonders of the cornfield.

The man who grounds his action on another's cowardice, is essentially a coward himself.

The road is difficult. - But come; loss now will be gain then! To wait is harder than to run, and its meed is the fuller.

There are those even who, not believing in any ear to hear, any heart to answer, will yet pray. They say it does them good; they pray to nothing at all, but they get spiritual benefit. I will not contradict their testimony. So needful is prayer to the soul that the mere attitude of it may encourage a good mood. Verily to pray to that which is not, is in logic a folly: yet the good that, they say, comes of it, may rebuke the worse folly of their unbelief, for it indicates that prayer is natural, and how could it be natural if inconsistent with the very mode of our being?

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. One of the latter sort comes at length to know at once whether a thing is true the moment it comes before him; one of the former class grows more and more afraid of being taken in, so afraid that he takes himself in altogether, and comes at length to believe in nothing but his dinner: to be sure of a thing is to have it between his teeth.

Thou art beautiful because God created thee, but thou art a slave to sin... wickedness has made you ugly.

It is when people do wrong things willfully that they are the more likely to do them again.

Let a man do right, not trouble himself about worthless opinion; the less he heeds tongues, the less difficult will he find it to love men.

Many a thief is a better man than many a clergyman, and miles nearer to the gate of the kingdom.

No one is likely to remember what is entirely uninteresting to him.

Of what use then is the Law? To lead us to Christ, the Truth-to waken in our minds a sense of what our deepest nature, the presence, namely, of God in us, requires of us-to let us know, in part by failure, that the purest efforts of will of which we are capable cannot lift us up even to the abstaining from wrong to our neighbor.

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