April 14th 2010, 08:56 PM #1
George MacDonald: C.S. Lewis Called Him Master
"I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christlike union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined." --C.S. Lewis on George MacDonald
"My own debt to this book is almost as great as one man can owe to another: and nearly all serious inquirers to whom I have introduced it acknowledge that it has given them great help--sometimes indispensable help toward the very acceptance of the Christian faith." --C.S. Lewis on MacDonald's Unspoken Sermons
"...I for one can really testify to a book that has made a difference to my whole existence...Of all the stories I have read, including even all the novels of the same novelist, it remains the most real, the most realistic, in the exact sense of the phrase the most like life. It is called The Princess and the Goblin and is by George MacDonald..." --G.K. Chesterton
"I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him." --C.S. Lewis on MacDonald
Here will follow a collection of MacDonald quotes that I found edifying. They are pulled from C.S. Lewis' book George Macdonald: An Anthology:
"That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weigh of low thoughts, failures, neglects and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, 'Thou art my refuge.'"
"Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy...For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that it may be perfected--not in itself, but in the object...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.
"He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakable may remain: he is consuming fire, that only that which cannot be consumed may stand forth eternal. It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship. He will have purity. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship thus; yea, will go on burning within us after all that is foreign to it has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God."
"How should the Hebrews be other than terrified at that which was opposed to all they knew of themselves, beings judging it good to honor a golden calf? Such as they were, they did well to be afraid...Fear is nobler than sensuality. Fear is better than no God, better than a god made with hands...The worship of fear is true, although very low: and though not acceptable to God in itself, for only the worship of spirit and of truth is acceptable to Him, yet even in his sight it is precious. For He regards men not as they are merely, but as they shall be' not as they shall be merely, but as they are now growing, toward that image after which He made them that they might grow to it. Therefore a thousand stages, each in itself all but valueless, are of inestimable worth as the necessary and connected gradiations of an infinite progress. A condition which of declension would indicate a devil, may of growth indicate a saint."
"Can it be of any comfort to them to be told that God loves them so that He will burn them clean?...They do not want to be clean, and they cannot bear to be tortured."
"Truth is truth, whether from the lips of Jesus or Balaam."
"And when he can no longer feel the truth, he shall not therefore die. He lives because God is true; and he is able to know that he lives because he knows, having once understood the word that God is truth. He believes in the God of former vision, lives by that word therefore, when all is dark and there is no vision."
"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."
"He could not see, could not feel Him near; and yet it is "My God" that He cries. Thus the Will of Jesus, in the very moment when His faith seems about to yield is finally triumphant. It has no feeling now to support it, no beatific vision to absorb it. It stands naked in His soul and tortured, as He stood naked and scourged before Pilate. Pure and simple and surrounded by fire, it declares for God."
"Without this last trial of all, the temptations of our Master had not been so full as the human cup could hold; there would have been one region through which we had to pass wherein we might call aloud upon our Captain-Brother, and there would be no voice or hearing: He had avoided the fatal spot!"
"This is the Faith of the Son of God. God withdrew, as it were, that the perfect Will of the Son might arise and go forth to find the Will of the Father. It is possible that even then He thought of the lost sheep who could not believe that God was their Father; and for them, too, in all their loss and blindness and unlove, cried, saying the word they might say, knowing for them that God means Father and more."
"So long as we have nothing to say to God, nothing to do with Him, save in the sunshine of the mind when we feel Him near us, we are poor creatures, willed upon, not willing...And how in such a condition do we generally act? Do we sit mourning over the loss of feeling? Or worse, make frantic efforts to rouse them?"
"Our Lord never thought of being original."
"But how can we love a man or a woman who...is mean, unlovely, carping, uncertain, self-righteous, self-seeking, and self-admiring?--who can even sneer, the most inhuman of human faults, far worse in its essence than mere murder? These things cannot be loved. The best man hates them mostl the worst man cannot love them. But are these the man?...Lies there not within the man and the woman a divine element of brotherhood, of sisterhood, a something lovely and lovable--slowing fading, it may be--dying away under the fierce heat of vile passions, or the yet more fearful cold of sepulchral selfishness, but there?...It is the very presence of this fading humanity that makes it possible for us to hate. If it were an animal only, and not a man or a woman, that did us hurt, we should not hate: we should only kill."
"The Father was all in all to the Son, and the Son no more thought of His own goodness than an honest man thinks of his honesty. When the good man sees goodness, he thinks of his own evil: Jesus had no evil to think of, but neither does He think of His goodness: He delights in His Father's. 'Why callest thou Me good?'"
"A man is in bondage to whatever he cannot part with that is less than himself."
"Had he done as the Master told him, he would soon have come to understand. Obedience is the opener of eyes."
"'I cannot be perfect; it is hopeless; and He does not expect it.'--It would be more honest if he said, 'I do not want to be perfect: I am content to be saved.' Such as he do not care for being perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect, but for being what they called saved."
"There is endless room for rebellion against ourselves."
"No, there is no escape. There is no heaven with a little of hell in it--no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather!"
"Christ is our righteousness, not that we should escape punishment, still less escape being righteous, but as the live potent creator of righteousness in us, so that we, with our wills receiving His spirit, shall like Him resist unto blood, striving against sin."
"The infinite God, the great one life, than whom is no other--only shadows, lovely shadows of Him."
"'How am I to know that a thing is true?' By doing what you know to be true, and calling nothing true until you see it to be true; by shutting your mouth until the truth opens it. Are you meant to be silent? Then woe to you if you speak."
"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."
"Not fulfilling these relations, the man is undoing the right of his own existence, destroying his raison d'etre, making of himself a monster, a live reason why he should not live."
"How many are there not who seem capable of anything for the sake of the Church or Christianity, except the one thing its Lord cares about--that they should do what He tells them. He would deliver them from themselves into the liberty of the sons of God, make them His brothers: they leave Him to vaunt their Church."
"To say a man might disobey and be none the worse would be to say that no might be yes and light sometimes darkness."
"While a satisfied justice is an unavoidable eternal event, a satisfied revenge is an eternal impossibility."
"What springs from myself and not from God is evil: It is a perversion of something of God's. Whatever is not of faith is sin; it is a stream cut off--a stream that cuts itself off from its source and thinks to run on without it."
"I learned that it was not myself but only my shadow that I had lost. I learned that it is better...for a proud man to fall and be humbled than to hold up his head in pride and fancied innonce. I learned that he that will be a hero, will barely be a man; that he that will be nothing but a doer of his work, is sure of his manhood."
"By obeying one learns how to obey."
"He was...one who did not make the common miserable blunder of taking the shadow cast by love--the desire, namely, to be loved--for love itself; his love was a vertical sun, and his own shadow was under his feet...But do not mistake me through confounding, on the other hand, the desire to be loved--which is neither wrong nor noble, any more than hunger is either wrong or noble--and the delight in being loved, to be devoid of which a man must be lost in an immeasurably deeper, in an evil, ruinous, yea, a fiendish selfishness."
April 14th 2010, 09:03 PM #2
Re: George MacDonald: C.S. Lewis Called Him Master
It is notable that, in The Great Divorce, George MacDonald is Lewis' guide in Heaven, just as Dante used Vergil as his guide to the underworld in Inferno.Disregard the above.
April 14th 2010, 10:10 PM #3
April 15th 2010, 01:30 AM #4
Re: George MacDonald: C.S. Lewis Called Him Master
Poems by George MacDonald (from Diary of an Old Soul]:
"But now the Spirit and I are one in this--
My hunger now is after righteousness;
My spirit hopes in God to set me free
From the low self loathed of the higher me.
Great elder brother of my second birth,
Dear o'er all names but one, in heaven or earth,
Teach me all day to love eternally."
"The worst power of an evil mood is this--
It makes the bastard self seem in the right,
Self, self the end, the goal of human bliss,
But if the Christ-self in us be the might
Of saving God, why should I spend my force
With a dark thing to reason of the light
Not push it rough aside, and hold obedient course?"
"Lord, I have fallen again--a human clod!
Selfish I was, and heedless to offend;
Stood on my rights. Thy own child would not send
Away his shreds of nothing for the whole God!
Wretched, to thee who savest, low I bend:
Give me the power to let my rag-rights go
In the great wind that from thy gulf doth blow."
"I cannot see, my God, a reason why
From morn to night I go not gladsome, free;
For, if thou art what my soul thinketh thee,
There is no burden but should lightly lie,
No duty but a joy at heart must be:
Love's perfect will can be nor sore nor small,
For God is light--in him no darkness is at all."
"Even when their foolish words they turned on him
He did not his disciples send away;
He knew their hearts were foolish, eyes were dim,
And therefore by his side needs must they stay.
Thou wilt not, Lord, send me away from thee.
When I am foolish, make thy cock crow grim;
If that is not enough, turn, Lord, and look on me."
"I would go near thee--but I cannot press
Into thy presence--it helps not to presume.
Thy doors are deeds; the handles are their doing.
He whose day-life is obedient righteousness,
Who, after failure, or a poor success,
Rises up, stronger effort yet renewing--
He finds thee, Lord, at length, in his own common room."
"O Christ, my life, possess me utterly.
Take me and make a little Christ of me.
If I am anything but thy father's son,
'Tis something not yet from the darkness won.
Oh, give me light to live with open eyes.
Oh, give me life to hope above all skies.
Give me thy spirit to haunt the Father with my cries."
"'Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up--
It is the human creative agony,
Though but to hold the heart an empty cup,
Or tighten on the team the rigid rein,
Many will rather lie among the slain
Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain--
Than wake the will, and be born bitterly."
"But he who would be born again indeed,
Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,
And urge himself to life with holy greed;
Now ope his bosom to the wind's free play;
And now, with patience forceful, hard, lie still,
Submiss and ready to the making will,
Athirst and empty, for God's breath to fill."
"So bound in selfishness am I, so chained,
I know it must be glorious to be free
But know not what, full-fraught, the word doth mean.
By loss on loss I have severely gained
Wisdom enough my slavery to see;
But liberty, pure, absolute, serene,
No freest-visioned slave has ever seen."
"Yet hints come to me from the realm unknown;
Airs drift across the twilight border land,
Odored with life; and as from some far strand
Sea-murmered, whispers to my heart are blown
That fill me with a joy I cannot speak,
Yea, from whose shadow words drop faint and weak:
Thee, God, I shadow in that region grand."
"We are a shadow and a shining, we!
One moment nothing seems but what we see,
Or aught to rule but common Circumstance--
Nought is to seek but praise, to shun but chance;
A moment more, and God is all in all,
And not a sparrow from its nest can fall
But from the ground its chirp goes up into his hall."
Last edited by Darfius; April 15th 2010 at 01:35 AM.
April 22nd 2010, 02:14 AM #5
Re: George MacDonald: C.S. Lewis Called Him Master