George MacDonald


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

Author Quotes

Until we love the Lord so as to do what He tells us, we have no right to an opinion about what one of those men meant; for all they wrote is about things beyond us. The simplest woman who tries not to judge her neighbor, or not to be anxious for the morrow, will better know what is best to know, than the best-read bishop without that one simple outgoing of his highest nature in the effort to do the will of Him who thus spoke.

What can money do to console a man with a headache?

When the agony of death was over, when the storm of the world died away behind His retiring spirit, and He entered the regions where there is only life, and therefore all that is not music is silence.

Why are all reflections lovelier than what we call the reality?—not so grand or so strong, it may be, but always lovelier?

You would not think any duty small, if you yourself were great.

Vengeance is mine, He says: with a right understanding of it, we might as well pray for God’s vengeance as for His forgiveness; that vengeance is, to destroy the sin -to make the sinner abjure and hate it; nor is there any satisfaction in a vengeance that seeks or effects less. The man himself must turn against himself, and so be for himself. If nothing else will do, then hellfire; if less will do, whatever brings repentance and self-repudiation, is God’s repayment. Friends, if any prayers are offered against us; if the vengeance of God be cried out for, because of some wrong you or I have done, God grant us His vengeance! Let us not think that we shall get off!

What distressed me most - more even than my own folly - was the perplexing question - How can beauty and ugliness dwell so near? Even with her altered complexion and face of dislike; disenchanted of the belief that clung around her; known for a living, walking sepulcher, faithless, deluding, traitorous; I felt, notwithstanding all this, that she was beautiful. Upon this I pondered with undiminished perplexity.

When the sons of God show as they are, taking, with the character, the appearance and the place, that belong to their sonship; when the sons of God sit with the Son of God on the throne of their Father; then shall they be in potency of fact the lords of the lower creation, the bestowers of liberty and peace upon it: then shall the creation, subjected to vanity for their sakes, find its freedom in their freedom, its gladness in their sonship. The animals will glory to serve them, will joy to come to them for help. Let the heartless scoff, the unjust despise! the heart that cries Abba, Father, cries to the God of the sparrow and the oxen; nor can hope go too far in hoping what God will do for the creation that now groaneth and travaileth in pain because our higher birth is delayed.

Why don't you go on, Mother dear?' he asked. 'It's such nonsense!' said his mother. 'I believe it would go on forever.' 'That's just what it did,' said Diamond.' 'What did?' she asked.' 'Why, the river. That's almost the very tune it used to sing.

You've got to save your own soul first, and then the souls of your neighbors if they will let you; and for that reason you must cultivate, not a spirit of criticism, but the talents that attract people to the hearing of the Word.

We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard not to be. But there is one thing much more necessary.' What is that, grandmother?' To understand other people.' Yes, grandmother. I must be fair - for if I'm not fair to other people, I'm not worth being understood myself. I see.

What does it all mean?

When we are out of sympathy with the young, then I think our work in this world is over.

With every haunting trouble then, great or small, the loss of thousands or the lack of a shilling, go to God… If your trouble is such that you cannot appeal to Him, the more need you should appeal to him!

To say on the authority of the Bible that God does a thing no honorable man would do, is to lie against God; to say that it is therefore right, is to lie against the very spirit of God.

We are dwellers in a divine universe where no desires are in vain - if only they be large enough.

What God may hereafter require of you, you must not give yourself the least trouble about. Everything He gives you to do, you must do as well as ever you can, and that is the best possible preparation for what He may want you to do next. If people would but do what they have to do, they would always find themselves ready for what came next.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss? Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

With every morn my life afresh must break the crust of self, gathered about me fresh; that thy wind-spirit may rush in and shake the darkness out of me, and rend the mesh the spider-devils spin out of the flesh- eager to net the soul before it wake, that it may slumberous lie, and listen to the snake.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

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