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The Wisdom of George MacDonald (2)

June 4, 2009

One of my favourite quotations from George MacDonald is this one from one of his sermons, which holds out hope for us all, even poor Judas.

“But must we believe that Judas, who repented even to agony, who repented so that his high-prized life, self, soul became worthless in his eyes and met with no mercy at his own hand – must we believe that he could find no mercy in such a God? I think, when Judas fled from his hanged and fallen body, he fled to the tender help of Jesus, and found it – I say not how. He was in a more hopeful condition now than during any moment of his past life, for he had never repented before. But I believe that Jesus loved Judas even when he was kissing him with the traitor’s kiss; and I believe that he was his Saviour still.

And how I wish I could live up to this definition of a priest, from the novel “Guild Court”:

“What is the priest,” thought Mr Fuller. “Just a man to be among men what the Sunday is among the working days of the week – a man to remind you that there is a life within this life, or beyond and about it, if you like that mode better – for extremes meet in the truest figures – that care is not of God, that faith and  confidence are truer, simpler, more of common sense than balances at bankers or preference shares. He is a protest against the money-heaping tendencies of men, against the desire of rank or estimation or every kind of social distinction. With him all men are equal, as in the Church all have equal rights, and rank ceases on the threshold of the same, overpowered by the presence of the Son of Mary, who was married to a carpenter.”

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