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The Wisdom of George MacDonald (1)

June 1, 2009

I know I finished my mini-series of posts about the writings and theology of George MacDonald, and I hope this has sent some of you  to his books to read his wisdom for yourselves. But I thought I might now and then post some of my favourite quotations from MacDonald, most of which I collected in an anthology of his Christian thinking. It is called “The Wind from the Stars” and was published by Harper Collins in 1992. It has now been remaindered, but I have a dozen or two copies, and would be glad to let anyone have one. They are pocket-sized hardbacks and very attractively printed. Since I see that copies are selling on Amazon for $20. I’d appreciate a small donation for my “Help the Needy” fund, and I’ll mail one to you.

Here is a famous one from  his “Unspoken Sermons” which C.S.Lewis liked to quote:

“It may be an infinitely less evil to murder a man than to refuse to forgive him. The former may be the act of a moment of passion; the latter is the heart’s choice. It is spiritual murder, the worst, to hate, to brood over the feeling that excludes, that, in our neighbour, in our microcosm, kills the image, the idea of the hated.”

And this, from “The Elect Lady”, on love as dependence:

“We wrong those near us in being independent of them. God himself would not be happy without his Son. We ought to lean on each other, giving and receiving  – not as weaklings, but as lovers. Love is strength as well as need.”

And this lovely poem about Our Lady (the Elders of the Kirk must have winced!)

“Mary, to thee the heart was given

For infant hand to hold,

And clasp thus, an eternal heaven,

The great earth in its fold.


He seized the world with tender might

By making thee his own;

Thee lowly queen, whose heavenly height

Was to thyself unknown.


He came, all helpless, to thy power,

For warmth, and love, and birth;

In thy embraces, every hour

He grew into the earth.”

And finally, a lovely tale from my favourite of all MacDonald’s novels, “David Elginbrod”

“I have read a story somewhere of a poor child that dropped a letter into the post-office, addressed to “Jesus Christ in Heaven”. And it reached him, and the child had her answer. For was it not Christ present in the good man or woman – I forget the particulars of the story – who sent the child the help she needed?”

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