C.S.Lewis "George MacDonald. An Antology"
     Language: English
     Date: Jan 9, 2003
     Изд: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., NEW YORK, 1978
     OCR: Дмитрий Машковский
     Spellcheck: Дмитрий Машковский, Jan 9, 2003




     1 Dryness
     2 Inexorable Love
     3 Divine Burning
     4 The Beginning of Wisdom
     5 The Unawakened
     6 Sinai
     7 No
     8 The Law of Nature
     9 Escape Is Hopeless
     10 The Word
     11 I Knew a Child
     12 Spiritual Murder
     13 Impossibilities
     14 Truth Is Truth
     15 The White Stone
     16 Personality
     17 The Secret in Man
     18 The Secrets in God
     19 No Massing
     20 No Comparing
     21 The End
     22 Moth and Rust
     23 Caverns and Films
     24 Various Kinds of Moth
     25 Holy Scriptures
     26 Command That These Stones Be Made Bread
     27 Religious Feeling
     28 Dryness
     29 Presumption
     30 The Knowledge of God
     31 The Passion
     32 Eli, Eli
     33 The Same
     34 Vicarious Desolation
     35 Creeping Christians
     36 Dryness
     37 The Use of Dryness
     38 The Highest Condition of the Human Will
     39 Troubled Soul
     40 Dangerous Moment
     41 It Is Finished
     42 Members of One Another
     43 Originality
     44 The Moral Law
     45 The Same
     46 Upward toward the Center
     47 No One Loves Because He Sees Why
     48 My Neighbor
     49 The Same
     50 What Cannot Be Loved
     51 Lore and Justice
     52 The Body
     53 Goodness
     54 Christ's Disregards
     55 Easy to Please and Hard to Satisfy
     56 The Moral Law
     57 Bondage
     58 The Rich Young Man
     59 Law and Spirit
     60 Our Nonage
     61 Knowledge
     62 Living Forever
     63 Be Ye Perfect
     64 Carrion Comfort
     65 The Same
     66 How Hard?
     67 Things
     68 Possession
     69 The Torment of Death
     70 The Utility of Death
     71 Not the Rich Only
     72 Fearful Thinking
     73 Miracles
     74 The Sacred Present
     75 Forethought
     76 Not the Rich Only
     77 Care
     78 The Sacred Present
     79 Heaven
     80 Shaky Foundations
     81 Fussing
     82 Housekeeping
     83 Cares
     84 God at the Door
     85 Difficulties
     86 Vain Vigilance
     87 Incompleteness
     88 Prayer
     89 Knowledge That Would Be Useless
     90 Prayer
     91 Why Should It Be Necessary?
     92 The Conditions of a Good Gift
     93 False Spirituality
     94 Small Prayers
     95 Riches and Need
     96 Providence
     97 Divine Freedom
     98 Providence
     99 The Miracles of Our Lord
     100 They Have No Wine
     101 Intercessory Prayer
     102 The Eternal Revolt
     103 They .Say It Does Them Good
     104 Perfected Prayer
     105 Corrective Granting
     106 Why We Must Wait
     107 Gods Vengeance
     108 The Way of Understanding
     109 Penal Blindness
     111 Agree with the Adversary Quickly
     112 The Inexorable
     113 Christ Our Righteousness
     114 Agree Quickly
     115 Duties to an Enemy
     116 The Prison
     117 Not Good to Be Alone
     118 Be Ye Perfect
     119 The Heart
     120 Precious Blame
     121 The Same
     122 Man Glorified
     123 Life in the Word
     124 The Office of Christ
     125 The Slowness of the New Creation
     126 The New Creation
     127 Pessimism
     128 The Work of the Father
     129 The End
     130 Deadlock
     131 The Two Worst Heresies
     132 Christian Growth
     133 Life and Shadow
     134 False Refuge
     135 A Silly Notion
     136 Dryness
     137 Perseverance
     138 The Lower Forms
     139 Life
     140 The Eternal Round
     141 The Great One Life
     142 The Beginning of Wisdom
     143 "Peace in Our Time"
     144 Divine Fire
     145 The Safe Place
     146 God and Death
     147 Terror
     148 False Want
     149 A Man's Right
     150 Nature
     151 The Same
     152 Doubt
     153 Job
     154 The Close of the Book of Job
     155 The Way
     156 Self-Control
     157 Self-Dental
     158 Killing the Nerve
     159 Self
     160 My Yoke Is Easy
     161 We Must Be Jealous
     162 Facing Both Ways
     163 The Careless Soul
     164 There Is No Merit in It
     165 Faith
     166 The Misguided
     167 The Way
     168 The First and Second Persons
     169 Warning
     170 Creation
     171 The Unknowable
     172 Warning
     173 The Two First Persons
     174 The Imitation of Christ
     175 Pain and Joy
     176 "By Him All Things Consist"
     177 "In Him Was Life"
     178 Why We Have Not Christs "Ipsissima Verba"
     179 Warning
     180 On Bad Religious Art
     181 How to Read the Epistles
     182 The Entrance of Christ
     183 The Same
     184 The Uses of Nature
     185 Natural Science
     186 The Value of Analysis
     187 Nature
     188 Water
     189 Truth of Things
     190 Caution
     191 Duties
     192 Why free Will Was Permitted
     193 Eternal Death
     194 The Redemption of Our Nature
     195 No Mystery
     196 The Live Truth
     197 Likeness to Christ
     198 Grace and Freedom
     199 Glorious Liberty
     200 No Middle Way
     201 On Having One's Own Way
     202 The Death of Christ
     203 Hell
     204 The Lie
     205 The Author's Fear
     206 Sincerity
     207 First Things First
     208 Inexorable Love
     209 Salvation
     210 Charity and Orthodoxy
     211 Evasion
     212 Inexorable Love
     213 The Holy Ghost
     214 The Sense of Sin
     215 Mean Theologies
     216 On Believing III of God
     217 Condemnation
     218 Excuses
     219 Impossibilities
     220 Disobedience
     221 The Same
     222 The God of Remembrance
     223 Bereavement
     224 Abraham's Faith
     225 The Same
     226 Perception of Duties
     227 Righteousness of Faith
     228 The Same
     229 Reckoned unto Us for Righteousness
     230 St. Paul's Faith
     231 The Full-Grown Christian
     232 Revealed to Babes
     233 Answer
     234 Useless Knowledge
     235 The Art of Being Created
     236 When We Do Not Find Him
     237 Prayer
     238 On One's Critics
     239 Free Will
     240 On Idle Tongues
     241 Do We Love Light?
     242 Shame
     243 The Wakening
     244 The Wakening of the Rich
     245 Self-Deception
     246 Warning
     247 The Slow Descent
     248 Justice and Revenge
     249 Recognition Hereafter
     250 From Dante
     251 What God Means by "Good"
     252 All Things from God
     253 Absolute Being
     254 Beasts
     255 Diversity of Souls
     256 The Disillusioned
     257 Evil
     258 The Loss of the Shadow
     259 Love
     260 From Spring to Summer
     261 The Door into Life
     262 A Lonely Religion
     263 Love
     264 A False Method
     265 Assimilation
     266 Looking
     267 Progress
     268 Providence
     269 Ordinariness
     270 Forgiveness
     271 Visitors
     272 Prose
     273 Integrity
     274 Contentment
     275 Psychical Research
     276 The Blotting Out
     277 On a Chapter in Isaiah
     278 Providence
     279 No Other Way
     280 Death
     281 Criterion of a True Vision
     282 One Reason for Sex
     283 Easy Work
     284 Lebensraum
     285 Nature
     286 For Parents
     287 Hoarding
     288 Today and Yesterday
     289 Obstinate Illusion
     290 Possessions
     291 Lost in the Mountains
     292 The Birth of Persecution
     293 Daily Death
     294 On Duty to Oneself
     295 A Theory of Sleep
     296 Sacred Idleness
     297 The Modern Bane
     298 Immortality
     299 Prayer
     300 Self
     301 Visions
     302 The Impervious Soul
     303 An Old Garden
     304 Experience
     305 Difficulties
     306 A Hard Saying
     307 Truisms
     308 On Asking Advice
     309 No Heel Taps
     310 Silence Before the Judge
     311 Nothing So Deadening
     312 Rounding and Completion
     313 Immortality
     314 The Eternal Now
     315 The Silences Below
     316 Dipsomania
     317 Reminder
     318 Things Rare and Common
     319 Holy Laughter
     320 The Self
     321 Either-Or
     322 Prayer
     323 A Bad Conscience
     324 Money
     325 Scrubbing the Cell
     326 The Mystery of Evil
     327 Prudence
     328 Competition
     329 Method
     330 Prudence
     331 How To Become a Dunce
     332 Love
     333 Preacher's Repentance
     334 Deeds
     335 Prayer
     336 The House Is Not for Me
     337 Hoarding
     338 The Day's First Job
     339 Obstinate Illusion
     340 The Rules of Conversation
     341 A Neglected Form of Justice
     342 Good
     343 Thou Shall Not Make Any Graven Image
     344 How to Become a Dunce
     345 Our Insolvency
     346 A Sad Pity 14*
     347 On Method
     348 Wishing
     349 Fear
     350 The Root of All Rebellion
     351 Two Silly Young Women
     352 Hospitality
     353 Boredom
     354 Counting the Cost
     355 Realism
     356 Avarice
     357 The Lobster Pot
     358 The First Meeting
     359 Reminder
     360 The Wrong Way with Anxiety
     361 Deadlock
     362 Solitude
     363 Death
     364 The Mystery of Evil
     365 The Last Resource


     all that I know of George MacDonald I  have learned either from his own
books  or from the  biography (George MacDonald and His Wife) which his son,
Dr. Greville MacDonald, published in 1924; nor have I ever, but once, talked
of him to anyone who had met him. For the very few facts which I am going to
mention I am therefore entirely dependent on Dr. MacDonald.
     We have  learned from  Freud  and  others  about  those  distortions in
character  and errors in thought which result  from a  man's early conflicts
with  his  father. Far  the most  important thing we  can know  about George
MacDonald is that his whole life illustrates the opposite process. An almost
perfect relationship with his father was the earthly root of all his wisdom.
From  his own father, he said, he first  learned that Fatherhood  must be at
the  core of the universe. He was thus  prepared in an unusual way  to teach
that religion in  which the relation  of Father and Son is  of all relations
the most central.
     His father  appears to have  been a remarkable  man - a man  hard,  and
tender, and humorous all at once, in the old fashion of Scotch Christianity.
He had had his leg  cut  off above the  knee in  the days before chloroform,
refusing the customary dose of preliminary whisky, and "only for one moment,
when the  knife first transfixed the flesh, did he  turn  his face  away and
ejaculate a faint, sibilant whiff." He had quelled with a fantastic joke  at
his own expense an  ugly riot  in  which he  was being  burned in effigy. He
forbade his son to touch a saddle  until he had learned to ride well without
one. He advised him  "to  give over the  fruitless game of poetry." He asked
from  him,  and obtained, a  promise  to  renounce  tobacco  at  the  age of
twenty-three. On the other hand he objected  to grouse shooting on the score
of cruelty and had in  general a tenderness for animals not very usual among
farmers more than a hundred years ago; and his son reports that he never, as
boy or  man, asked him for anything without getting what he asked. Doubtless
this  tells us as much about the son's character as the  father's and should
be taken  in connection with our extract  on prayer (104). "He who seeks the
Father more than anything He can give, is  likely to  have what he asks, for
he  is  not  likely  to ask amiss." The theological maxim  is rooted  in the
experiences  of  the  author's childhood. This  is  what may  be called  the
"anti-Freudian predicament" in operation.
     George MacDonald's  family  (though  hardly his father)  were of course
Calvinists. On the intellectual  side his  history is  largely a  history of
escape from  the theology in which he  had been  brought up. Stories of such
emancipation are common in the  nineteenth  century;  but George MacDonald's
story belongs to this familiar  pattern only with a difference. In most such
stories the emancipated person, not content  with repudiating the doctrines,
comes also to hate the persons, of his forebears, and even the whole culture
and way  of life with which they  are associated. Thus books like The Way of
All flesh come to  be written; and later generations, if they do not swallow
the  satire  wholesale  as  history,  at  least  excuse  the  author  for  a
one-sidedness  which  a  man  in  his circumstances  could hardly have  been
expected to avoid. Of such personal resentment I find no trace in MacDonald.
It  is  not we who  have to find extenuating circumstances for his  point of
view. On  the  contrary,  it  is  he himself,  in  the  very  midst  of  his
intellectual revolt, who  forces us, whether we will or no, to see  elements
of  real and  perhaps irreplaceable worth  in  the  thing from  which he  is
     All his life he continued to love the rock from which he had been hewn.
All that is best in his novels  carries  us back to that "kaleyard" world of
granite and heather, of bleaching greens beside  burns that look as if  they
flowed not  with water but with stout, to the  thudding of wooden machinery,
the  oatcakes,  the fresh milk, the pride, the  poverty,  and the passionate
love of hard-won  learning. His  best characters are those which reveal  how
much real charity  and spiritual wisdom can coexist with the profession of a
theology that seems  to  encourage neither. His  own  grandmother,  a  truly
terrible old woman wo had burnt his uncle's fiddle as a Satanic snare, might
well  have  appeared  to him  as what is now (inaccurately) called  "a  mere
sadist."  Yet when something very  like her is delineated in Robert Falconer
and  again in What's  Mine's Mine,  we are compelled to  look deeper-to see,
inside  the repellent crust, something that  we can wholeheartedly pity  and
even, with reservations, respect. In this way MacDonald illustrates, not the
doubtful maxim that to know all is to forgive all, but the unshakeable truth
that to forgive is to know. He who loves, sees.
     He  was  born in 1824  at  Huntly  in Aberdeenshire and entered  King's
College at  Aberdeen in 1840. In 1842 he spent some months  in  the North of
Scotland  cataloguing the library of a  great house  which  has  never  been
identified.  I mention the  fact because it made  a lifelong  impression  on
MacDonald. The image of a great house seen  principally from the library and
always through  the eyes of  a  stranger  or  a  dependent (even Mr. Vane in
Lilith never seems  at home  in the library which is  called his) haunts his
books  to the  end. It  is therefore reasonable  to  suppose that the "great
house in the North" was the scene of some important crisis or development in
his life.  Perhaps it was  here  that he first came  under the  influence of
German Romanticism.
     In 1850 he received what is technically known as a "Call" to become the
Minister of a  dissenting chapel in Arundel. By 1852 he was in trouble  with
the "deacons" for heresy, the charges being  that he had expressed belief in
a future state of probation for heathens and that he was tainted with German
theology. The deacons took a roundabout method to be rid of him, by lowering
his  salary-it had been ?150 a year  and he was now married-in the hope that
this would induce him to resign. But they had misjudged their man. MacDonald
merely replied that this was bad enough news for him but that he supposed he
must try to live on  less. And  for  some time he  continued to do so, often
helped by the  offerings of  his poorest parishioners  who did not share the
views of the more prosperous Deacons. In 1853, however, the situation became
impossible. He resigned and embarked on the  career of lecturing,  tutoring,
occasional preaching, writing, and "odd  jobs" which  was his  lot almost to
the end. He died in 1905.
     His  lungs  were  diseased and his  poverty  was  very  great.  Literal
starvation  was  sometimes averted  only by  those  last moment deliverances
which agnostics attribute  to  chance and  Christians  to Providence. It  is
against  this background of reiterated failure and incessant peril that some
of  the  following extracts  can  be  most  profitably  read.  His  resolute
condemnations of anxiety come from one who has a right  to  speak; nor  does
their tone encourage the theory that they owe anything  to the  pathological
wishful thinking-the spes phthisica-of the consumptive. None of the evidence
suggests such  a character. His peace of mind came not  from building on the
future  but  from  resting  in  what  he  called  "the  holy  Present."  His
resignation  to poverty  (see Number 274) was at the opposite pole from that
of  the  stoic.  He appears  to  have  been  a  sunny,  playful  man, deeply
appreciative of all  really  beautiful and delicious things  that money  can
buy,  and  no  less  deeply  content  to do  without  them.  It  is  perhaps
significant-it is  certainly touching-that his chief recorded weakness was a
Highland love of finery; and he was all his life hospitable as only the poor
can be.
     In making these extracts I have been concerned with MacDonald not  as a
writer but as a Christian teacher. If I were to deal with him as a writer, a
man of letters, I should  be faced with a  difficult critical problem. If we
define Literature as  an art whose medium is words, then certainly MacDonald
has  no  place in its first rank- perhaps not even in  its second. There are
indeed  passages, many of them  in this collection,  where the wisdom and (I
would dare to call it)  the holiness that are in him  triumph over  and even
burn  away the baser elements in his style: the expression becomes  precise,
weighty,  economic; acquires a cutting edge.  But he  does not maintain this
level for long. The texture of his writing as a whole is undistinguished, at
times  fumbling. Bad pulpit traditions cling  to  it; there is  sometimes  a
nonconformist  verbosity,  sometimes  an  old  Scotch  weakness  for  florid
ornament  (it  runs right through  them from Dunbar to the  Waverly Novels),
sometimes  an oversweetness  picked up from Novalis. But this does not quite
dispose  of  him  even  for  the  literary critic.  What  he  does  best  is
fantasy-fantasy  that hovers between the allegorical and the mythopoeic. And
this, in my opinion, he does  better than any man. The critical problem with
which we are  confronted is whether this art-the  art  of  myth-making-is  a
species of the literary art. The objection to so classifying it is that  the
Myth does not essentially exist in words at all. We all agree that the story
of  Balder  is a great myth, a  thing  of inexhaustible value. But of  whose
version-whose words-are we thinking when we say this?
     For my  own  part, the answer is  that  I am  not thinking  of anyone's
-words.  No poet, as far as I  know or  can  remember, has told  this  story
supremely  well. I am not thinking of any particular  version of it. If  the
story is anywhere embodied in words, that is almost an accident.
     What  really delights  and  nourishes me  is  a  particular pattern  of
events, which would equally delight and nourish if it had reached me by some
medium which involved no words  at all-say by a mime, or  a film. And I find
this to  be  true  of all  such stories. When  I think  of the story  of the
Argonauts and praise it, I am  not praising Apollonius Rhodius (whom I never
finished) nor Kingsley (whom I have  forgotten) nor even  Morris,  though  I
consider his  version a very  pleasant poem.  In this respect stories of the
mythical type are  at  the opposite pole from lyrical poetry. If  you try to
take the "theme" of  Keats's Nightingale apart from the very words in  which
he has embodied it, you find that you are talking about almost nothing. Form
and content can there be separated only  by  a fake  abstraction.  But in  a
myth-in a story where the mere pattern of events is all that matters-this is
not so. Any means of communication whatever which succeeds in lodging  those
events in our  imagination has,  as we say, "done the trick." After that you
can  throw the  means of  communication  away. To be  sure, if  the means of
communication are words,  it  is desirable  that  a  letter which brings you
important  news  should  be  fairly  written.  But  this  is  only  a  minor
convenience; for the letter will, in any case, go into the wastepaper basket
as soon as you have mastered its contents, and the words (those of Lempriere
would have done) are going to be  forgotten as soon as you have mastered the
Myth. In poetry  the words are the  body and the "theme" or "content" is the
soul.  But  in  myth  the  imagined  events  are  the   body  and  something
inexpressible is the soul: the words, or mime, or film,  or pictorial series
are not even clothes-they are not much more than a telephone. Of this I  had
evidence some years  ago when I  first  heard the  story of  Kafka's  Castle
related in conversation and afterwards read the book for myself. The reading
added nothing. I had already received the myth, which was all that mattered.
     Most  myths were  made  in  prehistoric  times,  and,  I  suppose,  not
consciously made by individuals  at all. But every now and then there occurs
in the modern world a genius-a Kafka or a Novalis-who can make such a story.
MacDonald is the greatest genius of this kind whom I know. But I do not know
how to classify such genius. To call it literary genius seems unsatisfactory
since it can coexist with  great inferiority  in the art of words-nay, since
its connection with words at all turns out  to  be merely external and, in a
sense, accidental.  Nor can it  be  fitted  into  any of the other  arts. It
begins  to  look as if there were an  art, or a  gift,  which  criticism has
largely ignored. It may even be  one of the  greatest arts;  for it produces
works which give us (at the first meeting) as much delight and (on prolonged
acquaintance)  as  much wisdom  and strength  as  the works of  the greatest
poets. It is in some  ways more akin to music than to  poetry-or at least to
most poetry. It goes beyond the expression  of things we have  already felt.
It  arouses  in  us sensations we have never had  before, never  anticipated
having, as though we had broken out of our  normal mode of consciousness and
"possessed joys not promised to our  birth." It gets under our skin, hits us
at a level deeper  than our thoughts or  even  our passions, troubles oldest
certainties till all  questions are  reopened, and in general shocks us more
fully awake than we are for most of our lives.
     It was in this mythopoeic art that MacDonald excelled. And from this it
follows that his best art is least represented in this collection. The great
works  are Phantastes, the Curdie books, The Golden Key, The Wise Woman, and
Lilith. From them, just because they  are  supremely good in their own kind,
there is little to be  extracted. The meaning, the suggestion, the radiance,
is incarnate  in  the whole  story:  it  is only by chance that you find any
detachable  merits.  The novels, on the other hand, have yielded me  a  rich
crop. This does not mean that they are good novels. Necessity made MacDonald
a novelist, but few of his  novels are good and none is very good. They  are
best when they depart most from the canons of novel writing, and that in two
directions. Sometimes  they depart in order to come nearer to fantasy, as in
the whole character of  the  hero  in Sir Gibbie  or the opening chapters of
Wilfred  Cumbermede.  Sometimes  they  diverge  into  direct  and  prolonged
preachments which would be intolerable if a man  were reading for the story,
but which are in fact welcome because the author, though a poor novelist, is
a supreme preacher.  Some of his best things are thus hidden in  his dullest
books: my task here has been almost one of exhumation. I  am speaking so far
of the  novels as  I think  they would appear  if  judged  by any reasonably
objective  standard.  But it  is, no doubt,  true that any  reader who loves
holiness  and loves  MacDonald-yet perhaps he  will  need  to love  Scotland
too-can find even in the  worst of them something that disarms criticism and
will come to feel a queer, awkward charm in their very faults. (But that, of
course, is what happens to us with all favorite authors.) One rare, and  all
but unique, merit  these novels must be  allowed. The  "good" characters are
always  the  best and most convincing.  His  saints  live; his villains  are
     This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald's
literary reputation but  to spread his religious teaching. Hence  most of my
extracts are taken  from the three volumes of  Unspoken Sermons. 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.
     I  will  attempt  no  historical  or  theological   classification   of
MacDonald's thought, partly because I have not the learning to  do so, still
more because I  am no great friend to such pigeonholing.  One very effective
way of silencing the voice of conscience is to impound in an Ism the teacher
through whom  it speaks: the trumpet  no longer seriously disturbs our  rest
when we  have murmured "Thomist,"  "Barthian,"  or  "Existentialist." And in
Mac-Donald  it is always the  voice of  conscience that speaks. He addresses
the will: the demand for obedience,  for "something to be  neither  more nor
less nor other than done" is incessant. Yet in that very voice of conscience
every  other faculty somehow speaks as  well-intellect, and imagination, and
humor, and  fancy,  and all  the affections; and no man  in modern times was
perhaps more aware of the distinction between Law and Gospel, the inevitable
failure of mere  morality.  The Divine Sonship is  the  key-conception which
unites all the different  elements of his thought. I dare not say that he is
never  in error; but  to  speak plainly I know hardly any  other  writer who
seems to  be closer,  or  more continually close,  to  the  Spirit of Christ
Himself.  Hence  his Christ-like  union of  tenderness and severity. Nowhere
else  outside  the  New  Testament  have  I  found  terror  and  comfort  so
intertwined.  The  title "Inexorable  Love"  which I  have given  to several
individual extracts would  serve for the whole collection. Inexorability-but
never the  inexorability  of anything less than love-runs through  it like a
refrain;    "escape     is    hopeless"-"agree     quickly     with     your
adversary"-"compulsion  waits   behind"-"the  uttermost  farthing   will  be
exacted."  Yet  this urgency  never becomes  shrill.  All  the  sermons  are
suffused with a spirit of love and wonder which prevents  it  from doing so.
MacDonald  shows God threatening, but (as Jeremy Taylor says)  "He threatens
terrible things if we will not be happy."
     In many respects MacDonald's thought has, in a high  degree, just those
excellences  which his period  and his personal  history  would lead  us  to
expect least. A romantic, escaping from a drily intellectual theology, might
easily be betrayed into  valuing mere emotion and "religious experience" too
highly:  but in fact few nineteenth-century writers are more firmly catholic
in relegating feeling  to its proper place. (See Numbers 1, 27,  28, 37, 39,
351.) His  whole philosophy  of Nature (Numbers  52, 67, 150, 151, 184, 185,
187, 188,  189, 285) with  its  resolute  insistence on  the concrete,  owes
little  to  the  thought  of  an  age  which hovered  between  mechanism and
idealism; he would obviously have been more at home with Professor Whitehead
than  with  Herbert  Spencer  or  T.  H.  Green.  Number  285  seems  to  me
particularly  admirable. All romantics are vividly aware  of mutability, but
most of  them  are  content to bewail it:  for MacDonald this  nostalgia  is
merely the starting point-he goes  on and discovers what it is made for. His
psychology also is  worth noticing: he is quite as well aware as the moderns
that  the  conscious  self,  the  thing  revealed  by  introspection,  is  a
superficies. Hence  the  cellars  and attics  of  the King's  castle  in The
Princess and the Goblins, and the terror  of his own house which  falls upon
Mr.  Vane in Lilith: hence also his formidable  critique  (201) of our daily
assumptions about the self. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the function-a
low and primitive, yet  often indispensable function-which he allows to Fear
in the  spiritual life  (Numbers 3,  5, 6, 7, 137, 142, 143,  349). Reaction
against early teachings might on this point have very easily driven him into
a shallow liberalism. But it  does not. He hopes, indeed, that all  men will
be  saved; but that is because he hopes that all will repent. He knows (none
better) that even omnipotence cannot save the  uncoverted. He  never trifles
with eternal impossibilities.  He  is as golden and  genial as Traherne; but
also as astringent as the Imitation.
     So  at least  I  have found  him.  In  making  this  collection  I  was
discharging  a  debt  of justice. 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. But it  has not seemed to me that  those who
have received  my books  kindly  take  even now  sufficient  notice  of  the
affiliation.  Honesty drives me  to emphasize it. And even  if  honesty  did
not-well, I am a don, and "source-hunting" (Quellenforschung) is perhaps  in
my marrow.  It  must be more  than  thirty  years  ago  that I bought-almost
unwillingly, for I had looked  at the volume on that  bookstall and rejected
it on a dozen previous occasions-the  Everyman edition of Phantasies.  A few
hours later  I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. I  had already been
waist-deep in  Romanticism; and likely  enough,  at any  moment, to flounder
into  its darker and more evil forms, slithering down the steep descent that
leads from the love of strangeness  to  that of eccentricity  and  thence to
that  of perversity.  Now Phantasies was romantic enough in  all conscience;
but  there  was a  difference.  Nothing  was  at that  time further  from my
thoughts  than  Christianity  and  I  therefore  had  no  notion  what  this
difference really was. I was only aware that if this new  world was strange,
it was  also  homely and humble; that if this was a dream, it was a dream in
which one at least felt strangely vigilant; that the whole book had about it
a sort  of cool, morning innocence, and also, quite unmistakably,  a certain
quality  of  Death, good  Death. What it actually did to me was  to convert,
even to baptize (that was where the  Death came in) my  imagination.  It did
nothing to my intellect nor (at that time) to my conscience. Their turn came
far later  and with the  help  of many other  books and men.  But  when  the
process  was  complete-by  which,  of course,  I  mean  "when  it had really
begun"-I  found that I was still  with MacDonald and that he had accompanied
me all the way and that  I  was now at last ready to hear from him much that
he could not have told me at that first meeting. But in a sense, what he was
now  telling me  was the very same that  he had told me  from the beginning.
There was no question of getting through to the kernel and throwing away the
shell: no question of a gilded pill. The pill was gold all through.
     The quality which had enchanted me in his imaginative works  turned out
to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying, and
ecstatic reality  in which we all live. I  should have  been  shocked in  my
teens if  anyone had told  me that what I learned to  love in Phantastes was
goodness. But now  that I know, I see there was no deception. The  deception
is all the other way round-in that prosaic  moralism which confines goodness
to  the  region of Law  and Duty,  which never lets us feel  in our face the
sweet  air  blowing from  "the land  of  righteousness," never reveals  that
elusive Form which if once seen must  inevitably  be  desired  with all  but
sensuous desire-the thing (in Sappho's phrase) "more gold than gold."
     It is no part of my aim to produce a critical text of MacDonald.  Apart
from my unconscious  errors in transcription, I have "tampered" in two ways.
The  whole  difficulty  of making extracts  is to leave  the sense perfectly
clear while not retaining anything you do  not want. In attempting to do so,
I have  sometimes interpolated  a  word  (always enclosed  in  brackets) and
sometimes altered the punctuation.  I have also  introduced  a capital H for
pronouns that refer to God, which the  printer, in some of my originals, did
not employ; not  because  I  consider this typographical reverence  of  much
importance, but because, in a language where pronouns are so easily confused
as they are in English, it seems foolish to reject such an aid to clarity.
     - C. S. lewis


     [ 1 ] Dryness
      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
weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and
say to Him, "Thou art my refuge."*

     * The source of this quotation and of the subsequent quotations will be
found in "Sources,"

     [ 2 ] Inexorable Love
     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 itself 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.

     [ 3 ] Divine Burning
     He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakable may remain: he
is a 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.

     [ 4 ] The Beginning of Wisdom
     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, or capable of  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  gradations  of  an  infinite progress. A
condition which of declension would indicate a devil, may of growth indicate
a saint.

     [ 5 ] The Unawakened
     Can it be 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.

     [ 6 ] Sinai
     And is not God  ready to  do unto them even as  they  fear, though with
another feeling  and  a different  end from  any  which they  are capable of
supposing? He is against sin: insofar as, and  while, they and sin are  one,
He is against them-against their desires, their aims, their fears, and their
hopes; and thus He is  altogether  and  always for them.  That  thunder  and
lightning and tempest, that blackness torn with the sound of a trumpet, that
visible horror  billowed with the voice of words, was all but a  faint image
... of  what God thinks and feels against vileness  and selfishness, of  the
unrest of unassuageable repulsion with which He regards such conditions.

     [ 7 ] No
     When we say that God is Love, do we teach men that their fear of Him is
groundless? No. As much as they fear will come upon them, possibly far more.
. . . The wrath will consume what they  call themselves; so that the  selves
God made shall appear.

     [ 8 ] The Law of Nature
     For that which cannot be shaken shall remain. That which is immortal in
God shall  remain in man. The death that is in them shall be consumed. It is
the law of Nature- that is, the  law  of  God-that  all that is destructible
shall be destroyed.

     [ 9 ] Escape Is Hopeless
     The man whose deeds are evil,  fears the  burning. But the burning will
not come  the  less that  he fears it or denies it.  Escape is hopeless. For
Love is inexorable. Our God is a consuming fire. He shall not come  out till
he has paid the uttermost farthing.

     [ 10 ] The Word
     But  herein is the Bible itself greatly wronged.  It nowhere lays claim
to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus,
the inexhaustible,  the ever unfolding Revelation of God.  It is  Christ "in
whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save
as leading to Him.

     [ 11 ] I Knew a Child
     I knew a child who believed she had committed the sin against  the Holy
Ghost, because she had, in her toilette, made an improper use of a pin. Dare
not to rebuke me for adducing the diseased  fancy  of a child  in  a weighty
matter  of  theology. "Despise  not one  of these  little  ones." Would  the
theologians were as near the truth in such matters as the children. Diseased
fancy! The child  knew, and was conscious that she knew, that she was  doing
wrong  because she had  been  forbidden. There was  rational ground  for her
fear. .  . . He would not  have told her she was silly, and "never to mind."
Child as she was, might He not have said to her, "I do not condemn thee: and
go and sin no more"?

     [12] Spiritual Murder
     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 microcosm, kills the image, the
idea of the hated.

     [ 13 ] Impossibilities
     No man who  will  not forgive his  neighbor,  can believe  that God  is
willing, yea wanting, to forgive him.... If God said, "I  forgive you" to  a
man who hated his brother, and if (as impossible) that  voice of forgiveness
should  reach  the man, what  would  it mean to him?  How much would the man
interpret it? Would it not mean to him "You may go on  hating. I do not mind
it. You have had great provocation and are justified in your hate"? No doubt
God takes  what  wrong  there  is,  and what provocation there is, into  the
account: but the more provocation, the more excuse that can be urged for the
hate, the more  reason, if possible, that the hater should be delivered from
the  hell of his hate. .  .  .  The man would think, not  that God loved the
sinner, but that he  forgave  the  sin, which God  never does [i.e.  What is
usually called "forgiving the sin" means forgiving the sinner and destroying
the  sin]. Every sin meets with its due  fate-inexorable  expulsion from the
paradise of  God's  Humanity.  He  loves the  sinner so much that  He cannot
forgive him in any other way than by banishing from his bosom the demon that
possesses him.

     [ 14 ] Truth is Truth
     Truth is truth, whether from the lips of Jesus or Balaam.

     [ 15 ] The White Stone (Revelations 2:17)
     The giving of the white stone with the new name is the communication of
what God thinks  about the man  to the man.  It is  the divine judgment, the
solemn  holy doom of  the righteous man, the "Come, thou blessed," spoken to
the individual.  .  . . The true name is one which expresses the  character,
the nature,  the meaning  of  the person who  bears it. It is  the man's own
symbol  -his soul's picture, in a  word-the sign which belongs to him and to
no one else. Who can give a man this,  his own  name? God  alone. For no one
but God sees what the man is.  ... It is  only when the man has  become  his
name that God gives him the stone with the name upon  it, for then first can
he  understand what  his name  signifies. It is the blossom, the perfection,
the completeness, that determines  the  name: and God foresees that from the
first because He made it so: but  the tree  of the soul, before its  blossom
comes, cannot understand what blossom it  is to bear and could not know what
the word meant, which, in representing its own unarrived completeness, named
itself. Such a name cannot be given  until  the man is  the name. God's name
for a man must be the expression of His own idea of the man, that being whom
He  had in His thought when he began to make the  child, and whom He kept in
His  thought through the long  process of  creation that went to realize the
idea. To tell the name is to seal the success-to say "In thee also I am well

     [ 16 ] Personality
     The name is one "which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Not
only then has each man his individual relation to God, but  each man has his
peculiar relation to God. He is to God  a peculiar being, made after his own
fashion, and that of no  one  else. Hence he can worship  God as no man else
can worship Him.

     [ 17 ] The Secret In Man
     For  each,  God has a  different  response.  With every  man He  has  a
secret-the  secret  of a  new name.  In every man there  is a loneliness, an
inner chamber of peculiar life into  which God only can enter. I  say not it
is the innermost chamber.

     [ 18 ] The Secrets in God
     There is a chamber  also (O God, humble and accept my speech)-a chamber
in  God Himself, into  which none can enter but the one, the individual, the
peculiar man-out  of  which chamber  that  man has  to bring  revelation and
strength  for his brethren. This is that for which he was made-to reveal the
secret things of the Father.

     [ 19 ] No Massing
     There is no massing of men with God. When he speaks of gathered men, it
is as a spiritual body, not as a mass.

     [ 2O ] No Comparing
     Here there is no  room for ambition. Ambition is the desire to be above
one's  neighbor; and here there is  no  possibility of comparison with one's
neighbor:  no one knows what the white  stone  contains  except the man  who
receives it.... Relative  worth is not  only unknown -to the children of the
Kingdom it is unknowable.

     [ 23 ] Caverns and Films
     If God sees  that heart  corroded with the rust of  cares, riddled into
caverns and films by the worms of ambition and greed, then your heart  is as
God  sees it,  for God  sees things  as they are. And one  day  you will  be
compelled to see, nay, to feel your heart as God sees it.

     [ 21 ] The End
     "God  has cared to make me for Himself," says the victor with the white
stone, "And has called me that which I like best."

     [ 22 ] Moth and Rust
     What  is with the treasure must fare as  the  treasure.  . .. The heart
which haunts the  treasure house where the moth and  rust corrupt,  will  be
exposed  to the same  ravages  as the treasure.... Many a man, many a woman,
fair  and flourishing to  see, is going about with a rusty  moth-eaten heart
within that  form of strength or beauty. "But this  is only a figure." True.
But is the reality intended, less or more than the figure?

     [ 24 ] Various Kinds of Moth
     Nor  does the lesson  apply  to those only who  worship Mammon.  ... It
applies to those equally who in any way worship the transitory; who seek the
praise  of men  more  than the  praise of God; who would make a show in  the
world by wealth, by taste, by  intellect, by power, by art, by genius of any
kind, and so would gather golden opinions to be treasured in a storehouse of
earth. Nor to such  only, but surely to those as well whose pleasures are of
a  more evidently  transitory nature  still, such as  the  pleasures of  the
senses in every direction- whether lawfully indulged, if the joy of being is
centered in them-do these words bear terrible warning. For the hurt lies not
in this-that these  pleasures  are false like  the deceptions  of magic, for
such they  are not; . . .  nor yet in this-that  they  pass away and leave a
fierce disappointment behind; that is only so much the better; but  the hurt
lies  in this-that the  immortal, the infinite, created in the image of  the
everlasting God, is housed with the fading and the corrupting, and clings to
them as its good-clings to them till it is infected and interpenetrated with
their proper diseases, which assume in it a form more terrible in proportion
to the superiority of its kind.

     [ 25 ] Holy Scriptures
     This story may not be just as the Lord told it,  and yet may contain in
its  mirror as much  of  the truth  as  we are able  to receive, and as will
afford us scope for a life's discovery. The modifying influence of the human
channels may be essential to God's revealing mode.

     [ 26 ] Command That These Stones Be Made Bread
     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.

     [ 27 ] Religious Feeling
     In  the higher aspect of this first  temptation, arising from  the fact
that  a  man  cannot  feel the  things  he  believes  except  under  certain
conditions of physical well-being dependent  upon  food, the  answer  is the
same: A man does not live by his feelings any more than by bread.

     [ 28 ] Dryness
     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.

     [ 29 ] Presumption
     "If ye have faith and doubt not, if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be
thou removed  and cast into the sea, it shall be  done." Good people .  .  .
have  been tempted  to tempt the  Lord their God upon the strength  of  this
saying. . . . Happily for such, the assurance to  which they would  give the
name of faith generally fails them in time. Faith is that which, knowing the
Lord's will, goes and  does it; or, not knowing it, stands and waits...  But
to put God to the question in  any other way than by saying, "What wilt thou
have me to do?" is an attempt to compel God to declare Himself, or to hasten
His work.  . .  . The  man is therein dissociating himself from  God so  far
that,  instead of acting by the divine  will  from  within, he acts in God's
face,  as it were, to  see what He will  do. Man's  first business is, "What
does God want me to do?", not "What will God do if I do so and so?"

     [ 30 ] The Knowledge of God
     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.

     [ 31] The Passion
     It  is with the holiest fear that we  should approach the terrible fact
of the sufferings of Our Lord. Let no one think that these were less because
He was  more.  The more  delicate the nature, the more alive to all  that is
lovely and true, lawful and right, the  more does it feel the antagonism  of
pain, the inroad of death upon life; the more dreadful is that breach of the
harmony of things whose sound is torture.

     [ 32 ] Eli, Eli
     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.

     [ 33 ] The Same
     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!

     [ 34 ] Vicarious Desolation
     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.

     [ 35 ] Creeping Christians
     We  are  and  remain  such  creeping  Christians,  because  we  look at
ourselves and not at Christ; because we  gaze at the marks of our own soiled
feet, and the trail of our own  defiled garments. . .  .  Each,  putting his
foot  in the footprint of  the Master, and  so defacing it, turns to examine
how far his neighbor's footprint corresponds with  that which he  still calk
the  Master's, although it is  but his  own.  Or,  having committed a  petty
fault, I mean a fault such  as only  a petty creature could commit, we mourn
over  the defilement to ourselves, and the  shame  of it before our friends,
children, or servants,  instead  of hastening to make the due confession and
amends to  our fellow,  and then,  forgetting our  own paltry self with  its
well-earned disgrace, lift up our eyes to the glory which alone will quicken
the true man in  us, and kill  the peddling creature we so wrongly call  our

     [ 36 ] Dryness
     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?

     [ 37 ] The Use of Dryness
     God does  not, by the  instant  gift of His Spirit, make us always feel
right, desire  good, love purity, aspire after Him  and His  Will. Therefore
either He will  not,  or He cannot.  If  He will not, it must be because  it
would not  be well  to do so. If He cannot,  then He would not if  He could;
else a better condition than God's is conceivable to  the mind of God. . . .
The truth is this: He wants to make us in His own image,  choosing the good,
refusing the evil. How should He  effect this  if He  were always moving  us
from within, as He does at divine  intervals, toward the beauty of holiness?
. . . For God made our individuality as  well as, and a greater marvel than,
our dependence; made our apartness from Himself, that freedom should bind us
divinely dearer to Himself, with  a new and inscrutable marvel of love;  for
the  Godhead is  still at the root, is the making root of our individuality,
and the freer  the man, the stronger the bond that binds him to Him who made
his freedom.

     [ 38 ] The Highest Condition of the Human Will
     The highest condition  of the human will is in sight.... I say  not the
highest condition  of  the  Human  Being; that surely  lies  in the Beatific
Vision, in the sight of God. But the highest condition of the Human Will, as
distinct, not as separated from God, is when, not seeing God, not seeming to
itself to grasp Him at all, it yet holds Him fast.

     [ 39 ] Troubled Soul
     Troubled soul, thou are not bound to feel  but thou art bound to arise.
God  loves  thee whether thou  feelest or not. Thou canst not love when thou
wilt, but thou art bound to fight the hatred in thee to the last. Try not to
feel good when thou art not good, but cry to Him who is good. He changes not
because thou changest. Nay,  He  has an  especial tenderness  of love toward
thee for that thou art in the  dark and hast no light, and His heart is glad
when thou doest arise and say, "I will go to my Father." . . . Fold the arms
of thy faith, and wait in the quietness until light goes up in thy darkness.
For the  arms of thy  Faith  I say, but not of thy  Action: bethink  thee of
something that thou  oughtest  to  do, and, go to do  it, if  it be  but the
sweeping of a room, or the preparing of a meal, or a visit to a friend. Heed
not thy feeling: Do thy work.

     [ 40 ] Dangerous Moment
     Am  I  going to do a good deed?  Then,  of all  times-  Father into thy
hands: lest the enemy should have me now.

     [ 41 ] It Is Finished
     ... 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...

     [ 42 ] Members of One Another
     We shall never be able, I say, to rest in the bosom of the Father, till
the fatherhood is fully  revealed to us in the love  of the brothers. For He
cannot be our Father, save  as He is their Father; and  if we do not see Him
and feel Him as their Father, we cannot know Him as ours.

     [ 43 ] Originality
     Our Lord never thought of being original.

     [ 44 ] The Moral Law
     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.

     [ 45 ] The Same
     In order to fulfill the commonest law ... we  must  rise into a loftier
region altogether, a region that is above law, because it is spirit and life
and makes the law.

     [ 46 ] Upward toward the Center
     "But  how," says a  man,  who  is willing  to recognize  the  universal
neighborhood, but finds himself unable  to fulfill  the bare law toward  the
woman  even whom  he  loves  best-"How am I then  to  rise into  that higher
region, that empyrean of love?" And, beginning straightaway to  try to  love
his neighbor, he finds that the empyrean of which he spoke  is no more to be
reached in  itself  than the law was to be reached  in itself. As  he cannot
keep  the law without first  rising  into  the love  of his  neighbor, so he
cannot love his neighbor without first rising higher still. The whole system
of the universe works upon this law-the driving  of things upward toward the
center. The man who  will love  his neighbor  can  do so  by no  immediately
operative exercise of the  will. It is the man fulfilled of God from whom he
came and by whom he is,  who alone can as himself love his neighbor who came
from God too and is by God too.  The mystery of individuality and consequent
relation is deep as the beginnings  of humanity, and  the  questions  thence
arising  can be solved only by him who has, practically at least, solved the
holy necessities resulting  from his origin. In God  alone can man meet man.
In Him alone the converging lines of existence touch and cross not. When the
mind of Christ, the life of the  Head,  courses through that atom  which the
man is of the slowly revivifying  body, when he  is alive too, then the love
of the brothers is there as  conscious life. ... It is possible to  love our
neighbor as ourselves. Our Lord never spoke hyperbolically.

     [ 47 ] No One Loves Because He Sees Why
     Where a man does not  love,  the  not-loving must seem rational. For no
one loves because he sees why, but because  he loves. No human reason can be
given for  the highest necessity of divinely  created existence. For reasons
are always from above downward.

     [ 48 ] My Neighbor
     A man must not choose his neighbor:  he must take the neighbor that God
sends  him. . .  . The  neighbor is just the man who  is  next to you at the
moment, the man with whom any business has brought you into contact.

     [ 49 ] The Same
     The love of our neighbor is  the only  door out of the dungeon of self,
where we mope and  mow, striking sparks, and rubbing phosphorescences out of
the  walls,  and  blowing our  own breath  in our  own nostrils,  instead of
issuing to the fair sunlight of God, the sweet winds of the universe.

     [ 50 ] What Cannot Be Loved
     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 most; 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- slowly  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.

     [ 51 ] Love and Justice
     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.

     [ 52 ] The Body
     It  is  by the  body that we  come  into  contact with Nature, with our
fellowmen, with all their revelations to us. It is  through the body that we
receive all the  lessons  of passion, of suffering, of  love,  of beauty, of
science.  It is through  the  body that  we  are both  trained  outward from
ourselves, and driven  inward into our deepest selves to find God.  There is
glory and  might in  this vital evanescence,  this  slow glacierlike flow of
clothing  and  revealing matter, this  ever  uptossed  rainbow  of  tangible
humanity. It  is no less of God's  making than  the  spirit that  is clothed

     [ 53 ] Goodness
     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?"

     [ 54 ] Christ's Disregards
     The Lord cared neither for isolated truth nor for orphaned deed. It was
truth in the inward parts, it was the good heart, the mother of good  deeds,
He  cherished.  ...  It  was good  men  He cared about, not notions of  good
things, or  even good actions, save as  the outcome of  life,  save  as  the
bodies in which the  primary  live actions of love and will in the soul took
shape and came forth.

     [ 55 ] Easy to Please and Hard to Satisfy
     That no keeping but  a perfect one will satisfy God, I hold with all my
heart and strength; but that there is  none else He cares for, is one of the
lies of the enemy. What  father  is not  pleased  with  the  first tottering
attempt  of his little  one  to walk? What father would  be  satisfied  with
anything but the manly step of the full-grown son!

     [ 56 ] The Moral Law
     The immediate end of the commandments never was that men should succeed
in obeying  them, but that, finding they could not do that which yet must be
done, finding the more they tried the more was required of them, they should
be driven to the source of life and law-of their  life and  His law-to  seek
from Him such  reinforcement  of life as should make the fulfillment of  the
law as possible, yea, as natural, as necessary.

     [ 57 ] Bondage
     A man  is in  bondage to whatever he cannot part with that is less than

     [ 58 ] The Rich Young Man (Matthew 19: 16-22)
     It  was time . .  . that  he  should refuse, that  he  should know what
manner  of  spirit he was  of, and  meet  the  confusions  of soul,  the sad
searchings of heart that must follow. A time comes to every man when he must
obey, or  make such refusal-and know it. . . . The time  will come, God only
knows  its hour, when he will see the nature of his deed, with the knowledge
that he was dimly seeing it so even when he did it: the alternative had been
put before him.

     [ 59 ] Law and Spirit
     The  commandments can  never  be kept  while there is  a strife to keep
them: the man is overwhelmed in the weight of  their broken pieces. It needs
a clean heart to  have  pure hands, all the power of a live soul to keep the
law-a  power of life, not of struggle; the strength  of love, not the effort
of duty.

     [ 60 ] Our Nonage
     The  number of  fools  not  yet acknowledging  the  first  condition of
manhood  nowise alters  the fact that he who has begun to recognize duty and
acknowledge  the facts of his being, is but a tottering child on the path of
life.  He is  on  the  path: he is  as wise  as  at the time he can be;  the
Father's arms are  stretched out to  receive him; but  he is not therefore a
wonderful being; not therefore a  model of wisdom;  not at all the admirable
creature his largely  remaining folly would, in his  worst moments (that is,
when he  feels best) persuade him to think himself; he  is just one of God's
poor creatures.

     [ 61 ] Knowledge
     Had  he done as  the Master told  him,  he  would  soon  have  come  to
understand. Obedience is the opener of eyes.

     [ 62 ] Living Forever
     The poor  idea of living forever, all that  commonplace minds grasp  at
for  eternal  life-(is)  its mere concomitant  shadow,  in  itself not worth
thinking about. When a man  is ... one with God, what should he do but  live

     [ 63 ] Be Ye Perfect
     "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.

     [ 64 ] Carrion Comfort
     Or are  you  so well satisfied with what you are, that you  have  never
sought eternal life,  never hungered and thirsted after the righteousness of
God, the perfection of your being? If this latter be your condition, then be
comforted; the Master does not require of you to sell what you have and give
to the poor. You follow Him! You go with Him to preach good tidings!-you who
care not for  righteousness! You  are not one whose company is desirable  to
the  Master. Be comforted, I say: He does not want  you; He will not ask you
to open your purse for  Him; you may give or withhold: it is nothing to Him.
... Go  and  keep the commandments.  It is  not come  to your money yet. The
commandments are enough for you. You are not yet a child in the kingdom. You
do not care for the arms  of your  Father; you value only the shelter of His
roof. As to your money, let the commandments direct you how to use it. It is
in you but pitiable  presumption to  wonder whether it is required of you to
sell all that you have ... for the Young Man to have  sold  all and followed
Him would have been to  accept  God's patent of  peerage: to  you  it is not

     [ 65 ] The Same
     Does this comfort  you? Then alas for you! . . . Your relief is to know
that  the  Lord has no need  of you- does not require  you to part with your
money, does not offer  you Himself instead. You do not  indeed  sell Him for
thirty pieces of silver, but  you are glad not to buy Him with  all that you

     [ 66 ] How Hard?
     This life, this Kingdom  of God, this simplicity of absolute existence,
is  hard to enter. How  hard? As hard as the Master of  salvation could find
words to express the hardness.

     [ 67 ] Things
     The man who for consciousness of  well-being depends upon  anything but
life,  the  life  essential,  is  a  slave; he hangs on  what is  less  than
himself.... Things are given us-this body, first of things-that through them
we may be trained both to independence and true possession of them.  We must
possess them; they must not  possess us. Their use  is to  mediate-as shapes
and manifestations in lower kind of the things that are unseen, that  is, in
themselves unseeable, the things that belong, not to the world of speech but
the world of silence,  not  to the world of showing, but the world of being,
the world that cannot be  shaken, and must remain. These things unseen  take
the form in the things  of time and space- not that they may exist, for they
exist in  and  from eternal  Godhead, but that their  being  may be known to
those  in  training for  the  eternal;  these  things  unseen  the  sons and
daughters of God  must possess. But instead of reaching out after them, they
grasp at their forms, regard the  things seen as the things to be possessed,
fall in love with the bodies instead of the souls of them.

     [ 68 ] Possession
     He who has God, has all things, after the fashion in which He  who made
them has them.

     [ 69 ] The Torment of Death
     It is  imperative on us to  get rid of the tyranny of things.  See  how
imperative: let the young man cling with every fiber to his wealth, what God
can do He will  do; His  child shall not be  left in the Hell of possession.
Comes the angel of death-and where are the things that haunted the poor soul
with such manifold hindrance and  obstruction?  ... Is the man so freed from
the dominion of things? Does Death so serve him-so ransom him? . . . Not so;
for then first, I  presume, does  the  man of  things become aware  of their
tyranny. When a man begins to abstain, then first he recognizes the strength
of his passion: it may be, when a man has not a thing left, he will begin to
know what a necessity he had made of things.

     [ 70 ] The Utility of Death
     Wherein  then lies  the service of  Death? ...  In this: it  is not the
fetters that gall, but the fetters that soothe, which eat into the soul.  In
this way  is the loss of things ... a motioning, hardly toward, yet in favor
of, deliverance. It may seem to a man the first of his slavery when it is in
truth the beginning of his freedom.  Never soul was set free  without  being
made to feel its slavery.

     [ 71 ] Not the Rich Only
     But it is not the rich man only who is  under  the dominion of  things;
they too are slaves who, having no money, are unhappy from the lack of it.

     [ 72 ] Fearful Thinking
     Because we  easily imagine ourselves in want, we  imagine God ready  to
forsake us.

     [ 73 ] Miracles
     The  miracles of  Jesus were the ordinary works of His  Father, wrought
small and swift that we might take them in.

     [ 74 ] The Sacred Present
     The next hour, the next moment, is as much beyond our grasp and as much
in God's  care, as that a hundred years away. Care for  the  next minute  is
just as foolish as  care  for the morrow, or for  a day in the next thousand
years-in neither can we do anything, in both God is  doing everything. Those
claims only of the morrow which have to be prepared today are of the duty of
today: the  moment which coincides with work to be done, is the moment to be
minded; the next is nowhere till God has made it.

     [ 75 ] Forethought
     If a man forget a thing, God  will see to that: man is not  Lord of his
memory or  his  intellect. But man is lord  of his will, his action; and  is
then verily to blame when, remembering a duty, he  does not do it, but  puts
it off, and Jo forgets it. If a man lay himself out to do the immediate duty
of  the  moment,  wonderfully little  forethought,  I suspect, will be found
needful.  That  forethought only  is right which has  to determine duty, and
pass into action. To the foundation of yesterday's work  well done, the work
of the morrow will be sure to fit. Work done  is of more consequence for the
future than the foresight of an archangel.

     [ 76 ] Not the Rich Only
     If it be things that slay you, what matter  whether things you have, or
things you have not?

     [ 77 ] Care
     Tomorrow makes today's whole head sick, its whole heart  faint. When we
should be  still,  sleeping or dreaming, we are fretting about an  hour that
lies a half sun's journey away! Not so doest thou, Lord; thou doest the work
of thy Father!

     [ 78 ] The Sacred Present
     The care that is filling your mind at this  moment, or but waiting till
you lay the book aside to leap upon you -that  need which  is no need,  is a
demon sucking at the spring of your life. "No; mine is a reasonable care- an
unavoidable care, indeed." Is it something you have to do  this very moment?
"No."  Then you  are  allowing it to usurp  the place of something  that  is
required  of you this  moment.  "There  is  nothing required of me  at  this
moment." Nay but there is-the greatest thing  that  can be required of  man.
"Pray, what is it?" Trust in the living God.... "I do trust Him in spiritual
matters." Everything is an affair of the spirit.

     [ 79 ] Heaven
     For the only air of the  soul, in which it can breathe and live, is the
present  God and the spirits of the just: that is our heaven, our  home, our
all-right place.... We shall be God's children  on the  little  hills and in
the  fields of that heaven,  not one desiring  to be before another any more
than to cast that other out; for ambition and hatred will then be seen to be
one and the same spirit.

     [ 80 ] Shaky Foundations
     The things readiest to be done, those which lie, not at the door but on
the  very  table,  of  a man's  mind, are not  merely  in  general  the most
neglected,  but  even by  the thoughtful man,  the oftenest  let  alone, the
oftenest postponed. . .  .  Truth is one, and he who does the  truth in  the
small thing is of the truth; he who will do it only  in  a  great thing, who
postpones the small thing near  him to the great farther from him, is not of
the truth.

     [ 81 ] Fussing
     We, too, dull our understandings with trifles, fill the heavenly spaces
with phantoms, waste  the heavenly  time with hurry. When  I trouble  myself
over a trifle, even a trifle confessed-the loss of some little article, say-
spurring my memory, and hunting the house, not from immediate need, but from
dislike of loss; when a book has been borrowed of me and not returned, and I
have forgotten the borrower, and  fret over the missing volume ... is it not
time I lost a few  things when I care for  them so unreasonably? This losing
of things is of the mercy of  God: it comes to  teach  us to let them go. Or
have I forgotten a thought that came to me, which seemed of the truth? ... I
keep trying and trying to call it back, feeling a poor man till that thought
be recovered- to  be far more  lost, perhaps, in  a  notebook,  into which I
shall never look again to find it! I forgot that it is live things God cares

     [ 82 ] Housekeeping
     I  appeal  especially to all  who  keep  house concerning the  size  of
troubles that suffices to hide word and face of God.

     [ 83 ] Cares
     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!

     [ 84 ] God at the Door
     Nor will God force any  door to enter in. He may send  a tempest  about
the  house;  the wind  of His admonishment may burst doors and windows, yea,
shake the house to its foundations; but not then, not so, will He enter. The
door must be opened by the willing hand, ere the foot of Love will cross the
threshold. He watches to see the door move from within. Every tempest is but
an assault in the siege of Love. The terror of God  is but the other side of
His love; it is love outside, that would be inside-love that knows the house
is no house, only a place, until it enter.

     [ 85 ] Difficulties
     Everything difficult indicates something  more than our  theory of life
yet  embraces, checks some  tendency to  abandon the straight path,  leaving
open only the way ahead. But there is a reality of being in which all things
are easy and plain-oneness, that is, with the Lord of Life; to pray for this
is  the first thing; and to the point of this prayer every difficulty hedges
and directs us.

     [ 86 ] Vain Vigilance
     Do those who  say, "Lo  here or lo there are the signs  of His coming,"
think to be too  keen for Him, and  spy  His approach? When he tells them to
watch lest He find them neglecting their work, they stare this way and that,
and watch lest He  should succeed  in coming like a thief! ... Obedience  is
the one key of life.

     [ 87 ] Incompleteness
     He that is made in the image of God must know Him or be desolate. . . .
Witness  the dissatisfaction, yea, desolation  of  my  soul-wretched, alone,
unfinished, without Him. It cannot act from itself, save in God; acting from
what seems itself without God, is no action at all, it is a mere yielding to
impulse. All within is disorder and spasm.  There is a cry behind me, and  a
voice  before; instincts of betterment tell  me I must rise above my present
self-perhaps even above all my possible self: I see not how to obey, how  to
carry them out! I am shut up in a world of consciousness, an unknown I in an
unknown  world:  surely  this  world  of  my unwilled,  un-chosen, compelled
existence, cannot be shut out from Him, cannot be unknown  to Him, cannot be
impenetrable, impermeable, unpresent to Him from whom I am?

     [ 88 ] Prayer
     Shall I not tell Him  my troubles-how He, even He,  has  troubled me by
making me?-how unfit I am to be that which I am?-that  my being is not to me
a  good thing yet?-that I  need a  law that  shall account to me  for it  in
righteousness-reveal to me how  I am to make it  a good-how I  am  to be* a.
good and not an evil?

     [ 89 ] Knowledge That Would Be Useless
     Why should the question admit of  doubt? We  know that  the wind blows;
why  should we not know that God  answers prayer? I reply,  What if God does
not care  to have you  know it at secondhand? What if there would be no good
in that? There is some testimony on record, and perhaps there might be  much
were it not that, having to do  with  things  so  immediately personal,  and
generally so delicate, answers to prayer would naturally not often be talked
about; but  no testimony concerning the thing  can well  be conclusive; for,
like a reported miracle, there is always some way  to  daff it; and besides,
the conviction  to be got that way is of little value: it avails nothing  to
know the thing by the best of evidence.

     [ 90 ] Prayer
     Reader, if you are in any  trouble,  try whether God will not help you:
if you are in no need, why  should you ask questions about prayer? True,  he
knows  little  of  himself  who  does  not know  that  he  is wretched,  and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; but until  he  begins at least to
suspect a need, how can he pray?

     [ 91 ] Why Should It Be Necessary?
     "But  if God is so  good as you represent Him, and if He knows all that
we need, and better far than we do  ourselves, why should it be necessary to
ask Him for anything?" I  answer, What if He knows Prayer to be the thing we
need first and  most? What if the main object in God's idea of prayer be the
supplying of  our great, our endless need-the need of Himself?  . . . Hunger
may drive  the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but
he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need
of  the  soul  beyond  all  other need:  prayer  is  the  beginning of  that
communion, and  some  need is the  motive of  that prayer.  ... So  begins a
communion, a taking with God, a  coming-to-one with Him, which  is  the sole
end of prayer, yea,  of existence itself in its infinite phases. We must ask
that  we may receive: but that we should  receive what we ask in  respect of
our lower  needs, is  not God's end in making  us pray, for He could give us
everything without that: to bring His child to his knee, God withholds  that
man may ask.

     [ 92 ] The Conditions of a Good Gift
     For  the  real good of every gift is essential first, that the giver be
in the  gift-as God  always is, for He is love-and  next, that  the receiver
know and receive the giver in the gift. Every gift of God is but a harbinger
of   His  greatest  and  only  sufficing  gift-that   of  Himself.  No  gift
unrecognized as coming from God  is at  its own  best: therefore many things
that God would gladly give us, things even that we need because we are, must
wait until we  ask for them, that we may know whence they come: when in  all
gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things.

     [ 93 ] False Spirituality
     Sometimes to one  praying will come the feeling  . .  .  "Were  it  not
better to  abstain? If this  thing be good, will He not give it me? Would He
not be better pleased if I left it altogether to Him?" It comes, I think, of
a lack of  faith and childlikeness  ... it may even come  of  ambition after
spiritual distinction.

     [ 94 ] Small Prayers
     In every  request,  heart  and soul and mind ought  to  supply the  low
accompaniment,  "Thy will be done"; but the making of any  request brings us
near to Him. . . . Anything large enough for a wish to light  upon, is large
enough  to hang a prayer upon:  the thought of Him  to whom that prayer goes
will purify and correct the desire.

     [ 95 ] Riches and Need
     There  could be no  riches but for need.  God Himself  is  made rich by
man's  necessity. By that He is  rich  to give; through  that we are rich by

     [ 96 ] Providence
     "How should any design of the All-wise be altered in response to prayer
of ours? How are we to believe such  a thing?"  By reflecting that He is the
All-wise,  who sees before  Him, and will not block His path. . .. Does  God
care for suns and planets and satellites, for divine mathematics and ordered
harmonies, more than for His children? I venture  to say He  cares more  for
oxen than for those. He lays no plans irrespective of His children; and, His
design  being  that they shall  be free,  active, live things, He  sees that
space shall be kept for them.

     [ 97 ] Divine Freedom
     What stupidity of perfection would  that be which  left no margin about
God's  work, no room for change of  plan  upon change of  fact-yea, even the
mighty change that.. . now at length His child is praying! ... I may move my
arm as I please: shall God be unable so to move His?

     [ 98 ] Providence
     If His  machine interfered with  His answering the prayer  of  a single
child, He would sweep it from Him- not to bring back  chaos but to make room
for  His child..  .. We must remember that God  is not occupied with a grand
toy  of worlds and  suns and  planets,  of attractions  and  repulsions,  of
agglomerations and crystallizations,  of forces  and waves;  that  these but
constitute  a portion of His  workshops and tools  for the bringing  out  of
righteous men and women to fill His house of love withal

     [ 99 ] The Miracles of Our Lord
     In  all His miracles Jesus  did only in miniature  what His Father does
ever in the great. Poor, indeed, was the making of the wine  in the ... pots
of stone, compared with its making in the lovely growth of the vine with its
clusters of swelling  grapes-the live  roots  gathering from the  earth  the
water that had to be borne  in pitchers and poured into the great vases; but
it is precious as the interpreter of the same, even in its being the outcome
of Our Lord's sympathy with ordinary human rejoicing.

     [ 100 ] They Have No Wine (John 2:3)
     At the  prayer of His  mother, He made room in  His plans for the thing
she desired. It was not His wish then to work a miracle, but if  His  mother
wished it, He would. He did for His  mother what for  His own part He  would
rather have left alone. Not  always did He do as His mother  would have Him;
but this was a case in  which He could do  so, for it would interfere nowise
with  the  will of His Father. . . . The Son, then, could  change His intent
and spoil  nothing: so, I say, can the Father; for the Son does nothing  but
what He sees the Father do.

     [ 101 ] Intercessory Prayer
     And why should the good of  anyone  depend  on the prayer of another? I
can only answer with the  return  question, "Why should my love be powerless
to help another?"

     [ 102 ] The Eternal Revolt
     There is endless room for rebellion against ourselves.

     [ IO3 ] They Say It Does Them Good
     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?

     [ 104 ] Perfected Prayer
     And there  is a communion with  God that asks for nothing, yet asks for
everything. . . . He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is
likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.

     [ 105 ] Corrective Granting
     Even such  as ask amiss may sometimes  have their prayers answered. The
Father will never give  the child a stone that asks for  bread; but I am not
sure that He will never give the child a stone that asks for a stone. If the
Father says,  "My child, that is a  stone;  it is no bread,"  and  the child
answer, "I am sure it  is bread;  I  want  it," may  it not be well that  he
should try his "bread"?

     [ 106 ] Why We Must Wait
     Perhaps,  indeed, the  better the gift we pray for,  the more  time  is
necessary for its arrival. To give us the spiritual gift we desire,  God may
have to begin far back in our spirit, in regions  unknown to us, and do much
work  that we can be  aware of only in the results; for our consciousness is
to the extent of our being but as the flame of the volcano to the world-gulf
whence it  issues;  in the gulf of  our unknown  being  God works behind our
consciousness. With His holy influence, with His own presence (the one thing
for which most  earnestly we cry)  He may  be  approaching our consciousness
from  behind, coming forward through regions of our darkness into our light,
long  before we  begin to  be  aware  that  He  is answering our request-has
answered it, and is visiting His child.

     [ 107 ] God's Vengeance
     "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!

     [ 108 ] The Way of Understanding
     He who  does that  which he sees, shall understand; he who is set  upon
understanding  rather than  doing, shall go on stumbling  and mistaking  and
speaking foolishness. ...  It  is  he that runneth that  shall read,  and no
other.  It is  not  intended by the  Speaker of the  Parables that any other
should know intellectually what,  known but intellectually, would be for his
injury-what,  knowing  intellectually, he  would  imagine  he  had  grasped,
perhaps even  appropriated. When  the  pilgrim  of the truth  comes  on  his
journey to the region of the parable, he finds its interpretation. It is not
a fruit or a jewel to be stored, but a well springing by the wayside.

     [ 109 ] Penal Blindness
     Those who by insincerity and  falsehood close their  deeper eyes, shall
not  be capable of  using in the matter the  more  superficial eyes of their
understanding... This will help  to remove  the difficulty that the parables
are plainly for  the  teaching of the truth, and yet the Lord speaks of them
as for the concealing of it. They are for the understanding of that man only
who  is  practical- who  does the  thing  he knows,  who seeks to understand
vitally. They  reveal to  the live conscience, otherwise  not to the keenest

     [ 110 ] The Same
     The  former  are  content  to  have the  light cast upon their way: the
latter will have  it in their eyes and  cannot; if they  had, it would blind
them. For them to know more would be their  worse condemnation. They are not
fit to know more, more shall not be given them yet.... "You choose the dark;
you shall stay in the dark  till the terrors  that dwell  in the dark affray
you, and cause you to cry out." God puts a seal upon the  will of man;  that
seal  is either His great  punishment  or  His mighty  favor:  "Ye  love the
darkness, abide in the darkness":  "O woman great  is thy faith: be it  done
unto thee even as thou wilt!"

     [ 111 ] Agree with the Adversary Quickly
     Arrange what claim lies against you; compulsion waits behind it. Do  at
once what you must do one day. As there is no escape from payment, escape at
least the prison that will  enforce it. Do not drive justice to extremities.
Duty is  imperative; it must be  done. It  is useless to think to escape the
eternal law of things: yield of yourself, nor compel God to compel you.

     [ 112 ] The Inexorable
     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!

     [ 113 ] Christ Our Righteousness
     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.

     [ 114 ] Agree Quickly
     Arrange your matters with those  who have anything  against you,  while
you are yet  together and things have  not gone too far to be arranged;  you
will have to do it, and that under less easy circumstances than now. Putting
off  is of  no use. You must. The  thing has to be done; there  are means of
compelling you.

     [ 115 ] Duties to an Enemy
     It is a very small matter to you whether the man give you your right or
not:  it is life or death to you whether or not you give him his. Whether he
pay you what you count  his debt or no, you will be compelled to pay him all
you owe him. If you owe him  a pound  and he you a million, you must pay him
the  pound  whether  he  pay  you  the million or  not; there is no business
parallel here. If, owing you love, he gives  you hate, you, owing him  love,
have yet to pay it.

     [ 116 ] The Prison
     I think I have seen from afar something of the final prison of all, the
innermost  cell of the  debtor of the universe. ...  It is the vast outside;
the ghastly dark  beyond the gates  of the city of which  God is the  light-
where the evil  dogs go ranging, silent as  the dark, for there is no  sound
any more  than  sight. The time of signs is over.  Every sense has (had) its
signs, and  they were all misused: there is  no sense, no sign  more-nothing
now by means of which to believe. The man wakes  from the final  struggle of
death,  in absolute loneliness as in the most miserable  moment of  deserted
childhood  he  never knew.  Not a hint, not a shadow of anything outside his
consciousness reaches him. . . . Soon misery will beget on his imagination a
thousand shapes of woe, which he will  not  be able to rule, direct, or even
distinguish from real presences.

     [ 117 ] Not Good to Be Alone
     In such evil case I believe the man would  be glad  to come in  contact
with the worst loathed insect: it would be a shape of life, something beyond
and beside his own  huge, void, formless being! I imagine  some such feeling
in the prayer of the devils for leave to go into  the swine.  . . .  Without
the correction, the reflection, the support of other presences, being is not
merely unsafe, it is a horror-for anyone but God, who is His own being.  For
him  whose idea is God's, and  the image  of God, his  own being  is far too
fragmentary and imperfect to be anything like good company. It is the lovely
creatures God has made all around us, in them giving us Himself, that, until
we know Him, save us  from the  frenzy of  aloneness-for  that  aloneness is

     [ 118 ] Be Ye Perfect
     Whoever will live must cease to be a slave and  become a  child of God.
There is  no halfway house of rest, where  ungodliness may be  dallied with,
nor prove quite fatal Be they few or  many  cast into such prison  as I have
endeavored  to imagine, there can be  no deliverance for human soul, whether
in that prison  or  out of it, but in paying the  last farthing, in becoming
lowly, penitent, self-refusing-so receiving the sonship and learning to cry,

     [ 119 ] The Heart
     And no scripture is of private  interpretation,  so is there no feeling
in (a) human  heart which exists in that  heart alone-which is not, in  some
form or degree, in every heart.

     [ 120 ] Precious Blame
     No matter how  His image may have been defaced in me, the thing defaced
is His  image, remains His  defaced  image-an image  yet, that  can hear His
word.  What makes me evil and miserable is that the  thing spoiled in me  is
the image of the  Perfect.  Nothing can be  evil but  in  virtue  of  a good
hypostasis. No, no! Nothing can  make it that I am not the  child of God. If
one say, "Look at  the  animals:  God made them; you  do  not call them  the
children of God!" I answer,  "But  I am to blame:  they are  not to blame! I
cling fast to my  blame: it is the seal of my  childhood." I have nothing to
argue from in the animals, for I do not understand them.  Two  things  I  am
sure of: that God is "a faithful creator" and that the sooner I put in force
my claim to be a child of God, the better for them; for they too are fallen,
though without blame.

     [ 121 ] The Same
     However bad I may be, I am the child of God, and therein lies my blame.
Ah, I would not lose my blame! In my blame lies my hope.

     [ 122 ] Man Glorified
     Everything muse at length be subject to man, as it was to The Man. When
God can do what He will with  a man, the man  may do what  he will with  the
world; he may walk on the sea like his Lord; the deadliest thing will not be
able to hurt him.

     [ 123 ] Life in the Word
     All things  were made through the Word, but  that which was made in the
Word was  life,  and that  life is  the light of men: they who  live by this
light,  that  is live as  Jesus  lived, by obedience, namely, to the Father,
have a share in their own making; the light becomes life in them;  they are,
in  their lower way,  alive with the  life that was first born in Jesus, and
through  Him  has been born in  them-by  obedience they become one  with the
Godhead: "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the  sons
of God."

     [ 124 ] The Office of Christ
     Never  could  we  have known  the heart of the Father,  never  felt  it
possible to love Him  as sons, but for  Him  who cast Himself  into the gulf
that yawned between us.  In and through  Him we  were  foreordained  to  the
son-ship: sonship, even had we  never  sinned, never could we  reach without
Him. We  should  have been  little children  loving the Father  indeed,  but
children far from the son-hood that understands and adores.

     [ 125 ] The Slowness of the New Creation
     As the world must be  redeemed in a few  men to begin with, so the soul
is redeemed in a few of its thoughts,  and works, and ways to begin with: it
takes a long time to finish the new creation of this redemption.

     [ 126 ] The New Creation
     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.

     [ 127 ] Pessimism
     Low-sunk life imagines itself weary of life, but it is death, not life,
it is weary of.

     [ 128 ] The Work of the Father
     All things are possible with  God, but all  things are not easy. ... In
the very nature  of being-that is,  God- it must be hard-and  divine history
shows how hard -to create that which shall be not Himself, yet like Himself.
The problem is, so far to separate from Himself  that which must yet on  Him
be ever and  always and utterly  dependent, that it shall have the existence
of an individual, and be able to turn and regard him, choose Him, and say "I
will arise and go to my Father. ..." I imagine  the difficulty of doing this
thing, of  affecting this  creation, this separation from  Himself such that
Will in the  creature shall be possible-I imagine, I say, that  for  it  God
must  begin   inconceivably  far  back  in  the  infinitesimal  regions   of

     [ 129 ] The End
     The  final end  of the  separation is not  individuality; that is but a
means to it: the final end is oneness-an impossibility without it. For there
can be  no  unity, no  delight  of love, no harmony, no good in being, where
there is but one. Two at least are needed for oneness.

     [ 130 ] Deadlock
     Man finds  it  hard to get what he wants,  because he does not want the
best; God  finds it hard  to give, because He would  give the best,  and man
will not take it.

     [ 131 ] The Two Worst Heresies
     The worst heresy, next to that of dividing religion  and righteousness,
is to divide the Father from the Son;  . . .  to  represent the Son as doing
that which the Father does not Himself do.

     [ 132 ] Christian Growth
     All the  growth of the  Christian is  the  more  and more  life  he  is
receiving. At first his religion may hardly be distinguishable from the mere
prudent desire to save his soul:  but at last he loses that very soul in the
glory of love, and so saves itself; self becomes but  the cloud on which the
white light of God divides into harmonies unspeakable.

     [ 133 ] Life and Shadow
     Life is  everything.  Many  doubtless mistake  the joy of life for life
itself, and, longing after the joy, languish with a  thirst at once poor and
inextinguishable; but even that, thirst points to the one spring. These love
self, not life, and self is  but the shadow  of  life.  When it is taken for
life itself,  and set as the man's  center, it becomes a live  death  in the
man, a devil he worships as his God: the worm of the death eternal he clasps
to his bosom as his one joy.

     [ 134 ] False Refuge
     Of all  things let us avoid  the  false refuge of  a  weary collapse, a
hopeless yielding to  things  as  they  are. It  is  the life in us that  is
discontented: we need more of what is discontented, not more of the cause of
its discontent.

     [ 135 ] A Silly Notion
     No  silly notion  of playing the hero-what have creatures like us to do
with heroism who are not yet barely honest?

     [ 136 ] Dryness
     The true  man trusts in  a strength which is not his, and which he does
not feel, does not even always desire.

     [ 137 ] Perseverance
     To  believe  in  the  wide-awake  real,  through  all  the  stupefying,
enervating, distorting dream:  to will  to wake, when the  very being  seems
athirst for Godless repose:-these are the broken steps up to the high fields
where repose is but a  form of strength, strength but a form of joy, joy but
a form of love.

     [ 138 ] The Lower Forms
     I trust  that life  in its  lowest forms is  on  the way to thought and
blessedness, is in the process of that separation, so to speak, from God, in
which consists the creation of living souls.

     [ 139 ] Life
     He who  has it  not  cannot believe in it: how should death  believe in
life, though all the birds of God are singing jubilant over the empty tomb?

     [ 140 ] The Eternal Round
     Obedience  is the joining of the links  of the eternal round. Obedience
is but the other side of the creative will. Will is God's will, obedience is
man's  will;  the  two  make one. The root life, knowing  well  the thousand
troubles it would bring upon Him,  has created, and  goes on creating, other
lives, that though incapable  of self-being  they may, by willed  obedience,
share in the bliss of His essential self-ordained being. If we  do the  will
of  God, eternal  life is ours-no mere continuity of existence,  for that in
itself is  worthless  as hell, but  a being  that is one with the  essential

     [ 141 ] The Great One Life
     The infinite  God, the  great  one  life,  than  whom is  no other-only
shadows, lovely shadows of Him.

     [ 142 ] The Beginning of Wisdom
     Naturally  the  first emotion of man toward the being he calls God, but
of whom he knows so little, is fear. Where it is  possible that fear  should
exist, it is well it should exist, cause continual uneasiness,  and  be cast
out by nothing less  than love.  . . . Until love, which is the truth toward
God,  is  able to  cast out  far, it is well that  fear should hold; it is a
bond, however poor, between that which is and That which creates-a bond that
must be broken, but a bond that can be broken only by the  tightening  of an
infinitely closer bond. Verily God must  be terrible to  those that are  far
from Him: for they fear He will do, yea, He is doing with them what  they do
not, cannot desire, and can ill endure.

     [ 143 ] "Peace in Our Time"
     While  they are such as  they are, there is much in Him that cannot but
affright  them: they ought, they do well,  to fear,  Him. ... To remove that
fear  from  their  hearts,  save by  letting  them  know His  love with  its
purifying fire, a love which for ages, it may be, they cannot know, would be
to give them up utterly to  the power  of evil. Persuade men that  fear is a
vile  thing, that it is an insult to God, that He will none of it-while they
are  yet  in  love  with their own will,  and  slaves  to  every movement of
passionate impulse, and what will the consequence be? That  they will insult
God as a discarded idol, a superstition, a falsehood, as a thing under whose
evil influence they have too long groaned, a  thing to  be cast out and spit
upon. After that how much will they learn of Him?

     [ 144 ] Divine Fire
     The fire of God,  which is His essential being,  His love, His creative
power, is a fire unlike its earthly  symbol  in this, that it is  only  at a
distance it burns-that the further from Him, it burns the worse.

     [ 145 ] The Safe Place
     If  then any child of the Father  finds that  he is afraid  before Him,
that the thought of God  is  a discomfort to  him, or even a terror, let him
make haste-let him not linger to put on any garment, but rush at once in his
nakedness,  a true child,  for  shelter from his own evil and  God's terror,
into the salvation of the Father's arms.

     [ 146 ] God and Death
      All that is not God is death.

     [ 147 ] Terror
     Endless must  be our  terror, until  we come  heart  to heart with  the
fire-core of the universe, the first and the last of the living One.

     [ 148 ] False Want
     Men  who  would  rather  receive  salvation  from  God than  God  their

     [ 149 ] A Man's Right
     Lest  it  should  be  possible that  any  unchildlike  soul  might,  in
arrogance  and ignorance,  think to stand upon his  rights  against God, and
demand of Him  this or that after the will of the flesh, I will  lay  before
such a possible one some of the things to which he has a right. ... He has a
claim to be compelled to repent; to  be hedged in on every side: to have one
after another  of the strong, sharp-toothed sheep dogs of the Great Shepherd
sent after him, to thwart him in any desire, foil him in any plan, frustrate
him of any hope, until he come  to see at length that nothing will ease  his
pain, nothing make life a thing worth having, but the presence of the living
God within him.

     [ 150 ] Nature
     In  what belongs  to the  deeper  meanings  of nature and her mediation
between us and God, the  appearances of nature are the truths of nature, far
deeper than any  scientific discoveries in and concerning them. The  show of
things is that  for which God cares most, for  their show is the face of far
deeper  things than  they. ... It  is through their show, not  through their
analysis,  that we  enter into  their  deepest truths. What they say  to the
childlike  soul  is  the truest  thing to  be  gathered of  them. To know  a
primrose is a higher thing than to know all the botany of it-just as to know
Christ is an infinitely higher thing than to  know all theology, all that is
said about His person, or  babbled about  His work. The body of man does not
exist  for the sake  of its hidden secrets; its hidden secrets exist for the
sake of  its outside-for the  face and the  form in which dwells revelation:
its outside is the deepest of it. So Nature as well exists primarily for her
face,  her look,  her appeals to the heart and the imagination,  her  simple
service to human need, and  not for the secrets to be discovered  in her and
turned to man's further use.

     [ 151 ] The Same
     By an  infinite  decomposition we  should know  nothing more of  what a
thing really is, for, the moment we decompose  it, it  ceases to be, and all
its meaning is vanished. Infinitely more than astronomy even, which destroys
nothing, can do for us,  is done by the mere aspect and changes of the vault
over our heads. Think for a moment what would  be  our idea of greatness, of
God,  of infinitude, of  aspiration, if, instead  of a blue,  far withdrawn,
light-spangled  firmament,  we  were  born  and  reared under  a flat  white
ceiling! I would not be supposed to  depreciate the labors of science, but I
say its  discoveries are unspeakably  less precious than the merest gifts of
Nature,  those  which, from morning to night,  we  take  unthinking from her
hands.  One day, I trust, we  shall be able to enter into their secrets from
within them-by natural contact. . . .

     [ 152 ] Doubt
     To deny  the existence of God may .  . . involve less unbelief than the
smallest yielding to doubt of His goodness. I say yielding; for a man may be
haunted  with doubts, and  only  grow  thereby  in  faith.  Doubts  are  the
messengers of the Living One to the honest. They are  the first knock at our
door  of things that are not yet, but have to  be, understood.  .  . . Doubt
must precede every deeper assurance; for uncertainties are what we first see
when we look into a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed.

     [ 153 ] Job
     Seeing  God, Job forgets all he  wanted to say, all he thought he would
say if he could but see Him.

     [ 154 ] The Close of the Book of Job
     Job had his desire: he saw the face of God-and abhorred himself in dust
and ashes.  He sought justification;  he  found self-abhorrence. . .  .  Two
things  are  clearly contained in,  and manifest from, this poem:-  that not
every  man  deserves  for  his  sins to be  punished  everlastingly from the
presence  of the  Lord; and that the best of  men, when he sees  the face of
God, will know  himself vile. God is  just,  and will  never deal  with  the
sinner as if he were capable of sinning the pure sin; yet if the best man be
not delivered from himself, that self will sink him into Tophet.

     [ 155 ] The Way
     Christ is the way out, and the way in:  the way from slavery, conscious
or unconscious, into liberty; the way from the unhomeliness of things to the
home we  desire  but do  not  know;  the  way from  the stormy skirts of the
Father's garments to the peace of His bosom.

     [ 156 ] Self-Control
     I  will allow that the  mere effort  of will. . . may add to the  man's
power over his lower nature; but in that very nature it is God who must rule
and not the man, how very well he  may mean. From a man's rule of himself in
smallest opposition, however  devout, to the  law of  his being,  arises the
huge  danger of nourishing, by the pride of self-conquest,  a far worse than
even the unchained animal self-the demoniac self. True victory over self  is
the  victory of God in the man, not of the man alone. It is not  subjugation
that is enough, but subjugation by God. In whatever man does without God, he
must fail miserably-or succeed more miserably. No portion  of a man can rule
another, for God, not the man, created it, and the part is greater than  the
whole.  . . .  The diseased  satisfaction which  some minds  feel  in laying
burdens on themselves, is a pampering, little as they may suspect it, of the
most dangerous appetite of that self which they think they are mortifying.

     [ 157 ] Self-Denial
     The self is given to us that we may sacrifice it: it is ours, that  we,
like Christ, may have somewhat to  offer- not that we should torment it, but
that we should deny it;  not that  we  should cross it, but  that  we should
abandon it utterly:  then it can no more be  vexed. "What  can this mean?-we
are  not to  thwart, but  to abandon?"  ... It  means this:-we must  refuse,
abandon, deny self  altogether as a ruling,  or  determining, or originating
element in  us. It is to be no longer the regent of  our  action.  We are no
more  to think  "What should I like to  do?" but "What would the  Living One
have me do?"

     [ 158 ] Killing the Nerve
     No grasping  or  seeking,  no hungering of the  individual,  shall give
motion to the will: no desire to be conscious  of worthiness shall order the
life; no ambition whatever  shall be a motive of action;  no wish to surpass
another be allowed a moment's respite from death.

     [ 159 ] Self
     Self, I have not to consult you but  Him whose idea is the soul of you,
and of which as yet you  are all unworthy. I have to do, not  with  you, but
with the Source  of you, by whom it is that (at)  any  moment  you exist-the
Causing of you, not the caused you. You may be my consciousness  but you are
not my  being. ... For God is more to me than my consciousness of myself. He
is my life;  you are only  so  much  of  it  as  my poor half-made being can
grasp-as much  of  it as I can now know at  once. Because I  have fooled and
spoiled  you,  treated  you  as  if you were  indeed my own  self,  you have
dwindled  yourself  and have lessened me, till I am ashamed of myself. If  I
were to mind what you say, I should soon be sick of you;  even now I am ever
and anon disgusted with your  paltry mean face, which I  meet at every turn.
No! Let me  have the  company  of the Perfect One, not of you!  Of my  elder
brother, the  Living One! I will not make a  friend of the mere shadow of my
own being! Good-bye, Self!  I  deny you,  and will do  my best every day  to
leave you behind.

     [ 160 ] My Yoke Is Easy
     The will of the Father is the yoke He would have us take, and bear also
with Him. It is of this  yoke that he says It is easy, of this burden, // is
light. He is not saying "The yoke I lay upon you is easy, the burden light";
what He  says is,  "The yoke I carry is easy, the  burden on My shoulders is
light."  With the  garden  of Gethsemane before  Him, with the hour  and the
power of darkness waiting for Him,  He declares His yoke is easy, His burden

     [ 161 ] We Must Be Jealous
     We  must be jealous for God  against  ourselves  and  look  well to the
cunning  and deceitful self-ever cunning and  deceitful until it is informed
of God-until it is thoroughly and utterly  denied. . . . Until then its very
denials, its very turnings from things dear to it  for  the sake  of Christ,
will tend to foster  its self-regard,  and  generate  in  it  a  yet  deeper

     [ 162 ] Facing Both Ways
     Is there not many a Christian  who, having begun  to deny  himself, yet
spends much  strength  in the vain and evil endeavor  to accommodate matters
between Christ  and the dear  Self-seeking to  save  that which  so  he must
certainly lose-in how different  a  way from that in which  the Master would
have him lose it!

     [ 163 ] The Careless Soul
     The  careless  soul receives  the  Father's gifts  as if  it were a way
things had of dropping into his  hand ... yet is  he ever complaining, as if
someone were  accountable for the checks  which meet him  at every turn. For
the good that comes to him, he gives no thanks-who is there to thank? At the
disappointments that befall him he grumbles-there must be someone to blame!

     [ 164 ] There Is No Merit in It
     In the main we love because we cannot help it. There is no merit in it:
how should there be any love? But neither  is it selfish. There are many who
confound  righteousness  with  merit,  and think there  is nothing righteous
where there  is nothing  meritorious. "If it makes you happy  to love," they
say,  "where is your  merit? It is only selfishness."  There is no merit,  I
reply, yet the love that is born in us is our salvation from selfishness. It
is  of the very essence of righteousness. ...  That certain  joys  should be
joys, is the  very denial  of selfishness. The  man  would be a demoniacally
selfish man, whom Love itself did not make joyful.

     [ 165 ] Faith
     Do you ask, "What is  faith in Him?" I answer, The leaving of your way,
your  objects, your self, and the taking of His and Him; the leaving of your
trust  in men, in money, in  opinion, in character, in atonement itself, and
doing  as He tells you.  I can find no words strong enough to  serve for the
weight of this obedience.

     [ 166 ] The Misguided
     Instead of  so knowing Christ  that  they have Him in them saving them,
they lie wasting themselves in soul-sickening self-examination as to whether
they  are believers, whether  they are  really trusting  in  the  atonement,
whether they are truly sorry for their sins-the way to madness of the brain,
and despair of the heart.

     [ 167 ] The Way
     Instead  of asking yourself whether  you believe or not,  ask  yourself
whether you have this day done  one  thing because He said,  Do it, or  once
abstained  because He said,  Do  not do  it. It is simply absurd to say  you
believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells

     [ 168 ] The First and Second Persons
     I worship the Son as the human God, the divine, the only, Man, deriving
His being and power from the Father, equal with Him as a son is the equal at
once and the subject of his father.

     [ 169 ] Warning
     We must not wonder things away into nonentity.
     [ 170 ] Creation
     The  word creation applied  to the  loftiest  success  of human genius,
seems to me a mockery of humanity, itself in process of creation.

     [ 171 ] The Unknowable
     As  to what the life of God is to Himself,  we can  only  know  that we
cannot know it-even  that not  being  absolute ignorance, for no one can see
that, from its  very  nature, he  cannot  understand a thing without therein
approaching that thing in a most genuine manner.

     [ 172 ] Warning
     Let us understand  very plainly, that  a being  whose essence  was only
power would be such a negation of the divine that no righteous worship could
be offered him.

     [ 173 ] The Two First Persons
     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.

     [ 174 ] The Imitation of Christ
     There is no life for  any man other than  the same kind that Jesus has;
His disciples must  live by the same absolute  devotion of his  will  to the
Father's: then is his life one with the life of the Father.

     [ 175 ] Pain and Joy
     The working out of this our salvation must be pain, and the handling of
it down to them that are below must ever be in pain; but the eternal form of
the will of God in and for us, is intensity of bliss.

     [ 176 ] "By Him All Things Consist"
     The bond of  the universe ... is the devotion of the Son to the Father.
It  is  the life of the universe.  It is  not the fact  that God created all
things, that makes the universe a whole; but that He through Whom He created
them loves Him  perfectly, is eternally content  in His Father, is satisfied
to be  because His Father is with Him. It is not the fact that God is all in
all that unites the  universe: it is the love of the Son to the  Father. For
of no onehood  comes unity; there can be no oneness where there is only one.
For the very beginnings of unity there must be two. Without Christ therefore
there could be no universe.

     [ 177 ] "In Him Was Life"
     We too must have life in ourselves. We too must, like the Life Himself,
live. We can live in no way but that in which Jesus lived, in which life was
made in Him. The way is, to give up  our life.  . . .  Till then we  are not
alive; life is not made  in us.  The whole strife and labor and agony of the
Son with  every man is to get him to die as He died. All preaching that aims
not at this is a building with wood, and hay, and stubble.

     [ 178 ] Why We Have Not Christ's "Ipsissima Verba"
     God has not  cared that we should anywhere have assurance  of His  very
words; and that not merely perhaps, because of the  tendency in His children
to word-worship, false logic, and corruption of  the  truth, but  because He
would  not have  them  oppressed  by words, seeing that  words, being human,
therefore but  partially  capable, could  not absolutely  contain or express
what the Lord meant, and that  even He must depend for being understood upon
the spirit of His disciple. Seeing it could not give life, the letter should
not be throned with power to kill.

     [ 179 ] Warning
     "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.

     [ 180 ] On Bad Religious Art
     If the Lord were to appear this day in England as once in Palestine, He
would  not  come  in the halo of the painters or with that wintry  shine  of
effeminate beauty, of sweet weakness,  in  which it is their helpless custom
to represent Him.

     [ 181 ] Row to Read the Epistles
     The  uncertainty lies always in the intellectual region,  never  in the
practical. What Paul cares  about is plain enough to the true heart, however
far  from  plain to the  man whose desire to  understand goes ahead  of  his

     [ 182 ] The Entrance of Christ
     When we receive His image into our spiritual mirror, He enters with it.
Our thought is not cut off from His. Our open receiving thought  is His door
to come in. When our hearts  turn to Him, that  is opening the  door to Him,
that is holding  up our mirror to Him; then He comes in, not by  our thought
only,  not in  our idea only, but He comes Himself and of His own will-comes
in as we could not take Him, but as He can come.

     [ 183 ] The Same
     Thus the Lord ... becomes the  soul of  our  souls, becomes spiritually
what He always was creatively;  and as our spirit  informs, gives shape  to,
our bodies, in like manner His soul informs, gives shape to, our souls.  The
deeper soul that  willed and  wills our souls  rises  up, the infinite Life,
into  the Self we call 7 and me, but which lives immediately from Him and is
His very own property and nature-unspeakably  more His than ours . . . until
at  length the glory of our existence flashes upon  us, we face full  to the
sun that enlightens  what  it sent  forth, and  know ourselves alive with an
infinite  life, even the Life of the Father;  know that our existence is not
the  moonlight of a mere consciousness of being but  the sun-glory of a life
justified by having  become one with its  origin, thinking and feeling  with
the primal Sun of life, from whom it was dropped away that it might know and
bethink itself and return to circle forever in exultant harmony around Him.

     [ 184 ] The Uses of Nature
     What notion should we have of the unchanging  and unchangeable, without
the solidity  of matter?  . . .  How  should we imagine  what we may  of God
without the  firmament over our  heads,  a visible  sphere,  yet  a formless
infinitude? What idea could we have of God without the sky?

     [ 185 ] Natural Science
     Human science is but the backward undoing of the tapestry-web of  God's
science, works with its back to Him, and  is always  leaving Him-His intent,
that is, His perfected work-behind it, always going farther and farther away
from the point where His work culminates in revelation.

     [ 186 ] The Value of Analysis
     Analysis is well, as death is well.

     [ 187 ] Nature
     The truth of the flower is,  not the facts about it, be they correct as
ideal science itself, but the shining,  glowing, gladdening,  patient  thing
throned on its stalk -the compeller  of smile and tear. ... The idea  of God
is the flower: His idea is not the botany of the flower. Its botany is but a
thing of ways and means-of  canvas  and color  and brush in relation to  the
picture in the painter's brain.

     [ 188 ] Water
     Is oxygen-and-hydrogen the  divine  idea  of  water? God  put  the  two
together only that man might separate and find them out? He allows His child
to pull  his toys to pieces: but were they  made that he might pull them  to
pieces?  He  were a  child not to be envied for  whom  his inglorious father
would make toys to such an end! A school examiner might see therein the best
use of a toy, but  not a father! Find for us what in the constitution of the
two  gases makes  them  fit and  capable  to be  thus honored in forming the
lovely thing,  and  you  will give us  a  revelation about more  than water,
namely  about the  God  who made  oxygen  and hydrogen. There is no water in
oxygen, no water in hydrogen; it comes bubbling fresh from  the  imagination
of the living God, rushing from under the great white throne of the glacier.
The very thought of it makes one gasp with an elemental joy no metaphysician
can  analyze.  The  water  itself, that  dances and  sings, and  slakes  the
wonderful thirst- symbol and picture of that draught for  which the woman of
Samaria  made  her  prayer to  Jesus-this lovely  thing itself,  whose  very
witness  is a delight to  every inch  of the  human body in its embrace-this
live thing  which, if I might, I would have  running through my  room,  yea,
babbling along my  table-this  water is its own self  its own truth,  and is
therein a  truth  of  God.  Let him  who would know the truth  of the Maker,
become sorely athirst, and drink of the brook by  the way-then  lift up  his
heart-not at that  moment to  the Maker  of  oxygen and hydrogen, but to the
Inventor  and  Mediator of thirst and water, that man might foresee a little
of what his soul might find in God.

     [ 189 ] Truth of Things
     The truth of a  thing, then, is the blossom of it, the thing it is made
for,  the topmost stone set on with rejoicing; truth in a man's  imagination
is the power to recognize this truth of a thing.

     [ 190 ] Caution
     But far higher will the  doing of  the  least, the most  insignificant,
duty raise him.

     [ 191 ] Duties
     These  relations are facts of man's nature. ... He is so constituted as
to understand them  at first more than he  can love them, with the resulting
advantage of having thereby  the opportunity of choosing them purely because
they are true: so doing he chooses to love them, and is enabled to love them
in the  doing, which alone can truly reveal them to him and  make the loving
of them possible. Then  they cease to show themselves in the form of  duties
and appear  as they more  truly are, absolute truths,  essential  realities,
eternal  delights. The man is a true man who chooses duty: he is  a  perfect
man who at length never thinks of duty, who forgets the name of it.

     [ 192 ] Why Free Will Was Permitted
     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.

     [ 193 ] Eternal Death
     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.

     [ 194 ] The Redemption of Our Nature
     When  (a man) is aware of an  opposition in  him, which is not harmony:
that, while he hates it,  there is yet  present  with him, and seeming to be
himself,  what  sometimes  he  calls  the  old Adam,  sometimes  the  flesh,
sometimes  his  lower  nature,  sometimes  his  evil   self;  and  sometimes
recognizes as simply that part of his being where God is not; then indeed is
the man in  the region of  truth, and beginning to come true in himself. Nor
will it be long ere he discover that there  is no part in him with which  he
would be at strife, so God were there, so that  it  were true, what it ought
to  be-in right relation to the whole; for, by whatever name called, the old
Adam, or antecedent horse, or dog, or tiger,  it would then fulfill its part
holily, intruding  upon nothing, subject utterly to the rule of  the higher;
horse, or dog, or tiger, it would be good horse, good dog, good tiger.

     [ 195 ] No Mystery
     Man bows down before a power that can account for  him, a power to whom
he is no mystery as he is to himself.

     [ 196 ] The Live Truth
     When  a man is, with his whole nature, loving and willing the truth, he
is then a live truth. But this he has not originated in himself. He has seen
it and striven for it, but not originated it.  The more originating, living,
visible truth, embracing all truths in all relations, is Jesus Christ. He is
true: He is the live Truth.

     [ 197 ] Likeness to Christ
     His  likeness to Christ  is the truth  of a  man, even as  the  perfect
meaning of a flower is the truth of a flower.... As Christ is the blossom of
humanity, so the blossom of every man is the Christ perfected in him.

     [ 198 ] Grace and Freedom
     He gives  us the will  wherewith to will,  and the power to use it, and
the  help needed to supplement the  power: . . . but we ourselves  must will
the truth and for that the Lord is waiting. .  . .  The work  is His, but we
must take our  willing share. When the  blossom breaks forth in us, the more
it is ours the more it is His.

     [ 199 ] Glorious Liberty
     When a man is true, if he were in hell he could not be miserable. He is
right with himself because right with  Him whence he came. To be  right with
God is to be right with the universe: one with the power, the love, the will
of  the mighty Father, the cherisher of joy, the Lord of laughter, whose are
all  glories,  all  hopes,  who  loves  everything  and  hates  nothing  but

     [ 200 ] No Middle Way
     There is, in truth, no mid way between absolute harmony with the Father
and the condition of slaves-submissive  or rebellious. If  the latter, their
very rebellion is by the strength of the Father in them.

     [ 201 ] On Having One's Own Way
     The liberty of the God who would have his creatures free, is in contest
with the  slavery of the creature who would cut  his own  stem from his root
that  he  might  call  it his  own and love  it;  who  rejoices  in his  own
consciousness, instead of the life of that consciousness; who poises himself
on the tottering wall of  his own being, instead of the rock  on which  that
being is built. Such a one regards his own dominion over himself-  the  rule
of the  greater by the less-as a freedom infinitely larger than the range of
the universe of  God's  being. If  he says, "At  least I  have  it in my own
way!", I answer, you do not know  what is your way and what is not. You know
nothing of whence your impulses, your desires, your tendencies, your likings
come. They may  spring now from some chance, as of nerves diseased; now from
some roar of a wandering bodiless devil; now  from  some infant hate in your
heart; now  from  the  greed  of lawlessness of  some  ancestor you would be
ashamed of if you knew him; or, it  may be, now from some far-piercing chord
of  a heavenly orchestra: the moment  comes up  into your consciousness, you
call it your own way, and glory in it.

     [ 2O2 ] The Death of Christ
     Christ  died  to save us, not from suffering,  but  from ourselves; not
from injustice, far less from  justice, but from being unjust. He died  that
we might live-but live as He lives, by dying as He died who died to Himself.

     [ 203 ] Hell
     The one principle of hell is-"I am my own!"

     [ 204 ] The Lie
     To all  these principles of hell, or of  this world-they  are the  same
thing, and it matters nothing  whether they are asserted or defended so long
as they are acted upon -the Lord, the King, gives the direct lie.

     [ 205 ] The Author's Fear
     If  I mistake, He will forgive me. I do not fear Him: I fear only lest,
able to see and write  these things, I should  fail of witnessing and myself
be, after all, a castaway- no king but a talker; no disciple of Jesus, ready
to go with Him to the death, but an arguer about the truth.

     [ 206 ] Sincerity
     We are not bound to say all we think but  we are bound not even to look
what we do not think.

     [ 207 ] First Things First
     Oh the folly  of  any mind  that  would explain God before obeying Him!
That would  map out  the  character  of  God instead of  crying,  Lord, what
wouldst thou have me to do?

     [ 208 ] Inexorable Love
     A man might flatter, or bribe, or coax a tyrant; but there is no refuge
from  the love  of God;  that  love will,  for  very  love,  insist upon the
uttermost  farthing.-"That is  not the sort  of  love I care about!"-No; how
should you? I well believe it.

     [ 209 ] Salvation
     The  notion  that the  salvation  of  Jesus  is a  salvation  from  the
consequences of our sins is a  false, mean, low notion. . .  . Jesus did not
die to save us from punishment;  He was called Jesus because  He should save
His people from their sins.

     [ 210 ] Charity and Orthodoxy
     Every man who tries to obey the Master is my brother, whether he counts
me such or not,  and I revere him; but dare I give quarter to what I  see to
be a lie because my  brother believes it? The lie is not of God, whoever may
hold it.

     [ 211 ] Evasion
     To put off obeying Him till we find a credible theory concerning Him is
to set aside the potion we know it our duty to  drink, for  the study of the
various schools of therapy.

     [ 212 ] Inexorable Love
     Such  is  the  mercy  of God that  He  will hold  His  children  in the
consuming fire of His distance until they pay the  uttermost farthing, until
they drop the purse of selfishness  with all the  dross  that is in  it, and
rush home to the Father and the  Son and the  many  brethren-rush inside the
center of the life-giving fire whose outer circles burn.

     [ 213 ] The Holy Ghost
     To him who obeys, and thus opens  the door of his  heart to receive the
eternal gift, God gives the Spirit  of His Son, the Spirit of Himself, to be
in  him, and  lead  him to the understanding of all truth.  .  .  . The true
disciple shall thus always know what he ought  to do, though not necessarily
what another ought to do.

     [ 214 ] The Sense of Sin
     Sense of  sin is not  inspiration, though it may lie not  far from  the
temple door. It is indeed an opener of the eyes, but  upon home  defilement,
not upon heavenly truth.

     [ 215 ] Mean Theologies
     They regard the Father of  their  spirits as their governor! They yield
the  idea  of ... "the  glad Creator," and  put in  its stead  a  miserable,
puritanical, martinet of a God,  caring not for righteousness  but  for  His
rights:  not  for  the  eternal purities, but  the  goody  proprieties.  The
prophets  of such a  God take all the glow, all the hope, all the color, all
the worth,  out  of life  on earth,  and  offer  you  instead what they call
eternal bliss-a pale, tearless hell. . . . But if you are straitened in your
own mammon-worshipping soul, how shall you believe in a God any greater than
can stand up in that prison chamber?

     [ 216 ] On Believing 111 of God
     Neither let thy cowardly  conscience receive any word as  light because
another call it light, while it looks to thee dark. Say  either the thing is
not what  it seems, or  God  never said  or  did  it. But of  all  evils, to
misinterpret what God does, and then say the thing, as interpreted, must  be
right  because God does  it, is of the devil. Do not try to believe anything
that affects thee as darkness.  Even if  thou  mistake and  refuse something
true  thereby, thou wilt do less wrong to Christ by such a refusal than thou
wouldst  by accepting  as His what thou canst see only as darkness .  .. but
let thy words  be  few,  lest  thou  say with  thy  tongue what  thous  wilt
afterward repent with thy heart.

     [ 217 ] Condemnation
     No man  is condemned for  anything  he has  done: he  is  condemned for
continuing to do wrong. He is condemned for not coming out of the  darkness,
for not coming to the light.

     [ 218 ] Excuses
     As soon as a man begins to make excuse, the time has come when he might
be doing that from which he excuses himself.

     [ 219 ] Impossibilities
     "I thank thee,  Lord, for forgiving  me, but  I  prefer staying  in the
darkness: forgive me that  too."-"No;  that  cannot be.  The one  thing that
cannot be  forgiven  is  the  sin  of  choosing  to  be  evil,  of  refusing
deliverance. It is  impossible to  forgive that. It would be to take part in

     [ 22O ] Disobedience
     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.

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

     [ 222 ] The God of Remembrance
     I  do not mean that God would  have even His closest  presence  make us
forget or cease to desire that of our friend. God forbid! The Love of God is
the perfecting of every love. He is  not  the God of oblivion but of eternal
remembrance. There is no past with Him.

     [ 223 ] Bereavement
     "Ah, you little know my loss!"-"Indeed it is great! It seems to include
God! If you knew  what  He knows  about  death you would clap  your listless
hands.  But why  should I seek  in vain  to comfort you?  You  must be  made
miserable  that you may wake from  your sleep to know that you  need God. If
you  do not  find Him, endless life with  the living (being) whom you bemoan
would become and remain to you  unendurable. The knowledge of your own heart
will teach you this:-not the knowledge you  have, but the knowledge that  is
on  its way  to you  through suffering.  Then  you will feel that  existence
itself is  the prime of evils  without  the righteousness that is  of God by

     [ 224 ] Abraham's Faith
     The  Apostle says that a  certain  thing  was  imputed  to Abraham  for
righteousness: or, as the revised version has it, "reckoned  unto him": what
was  it that was thus imputed to Abraham? The  righteousness of another? God
forbid! It was  his own faith. The faith of Abraham is  reckoned  to him for

     [ 225 ] The Same
     Paul says faith in God was counted righteousness before Moses was born.
You  may  answer, Abraham was  unjust in many  things, and  by  no  means  a
righteous  man. True: he was not a righteous man  in any complete sense. His
righteousness would never have satisfied Paul; neither, you may be sure, did
it satisfy Abraham. But his faith was nevertheless righteousness.

     [ 226 ] Perception of Duties
     You may say  this is not one's first  feeling  of duty.  True:  but the
first in reality is seldom the first perceived.  The  first duty is too high
and too  deep to come first into consciousness. If anyone were born  perfect
... the  highest  duty would come  first into  the consciousness. As  we are
born, it is the doing of, or  at least the honest  trying to do many another
duty,  that will  at length lead a  man to see that his duty  to God  is the
first  and  deepest  and  highest  of  all,  including  and   requiring  the
performance of all other duties whatever.

     [ 227 ] Righteousness of Faith
     To  the  man  who  has no faith in God, faith in  God  cannot look like
righteousness; neither  can  he  know  that  it  is  creative of  all  other
righteousness toward equal and inferior lives.

     [ 228 ] The Same
     It  is not  like some single  separate act of righteousness:  it is the
action of  the whole man, turning to good  from evil-turning his back on all
that is opposed to righteousness, and starting  on a road on which he cannot
stop, in  which he must  go on growing  more and more righteous, discovering
more and  more what  righteousness is, and more and more what is unrighteous
in himself.

     [ 229 ] Reckoned unto Us for Righteousness
     With what life and  possibility  is  in him, he  must  keep turning  to
righteousness  and abjuring iniquity, ever aiming  at  the righteousness  of
God. Such an  obedient faith is most  justly  and fairly, being all that God
Himself can require of the  man,  called by God righteousness in the man. It
would not be enough for the righteousness of God, or Jesus, or any perfected
saint, because they are capable of perfect righteousness.

     [ 230 ] St. Paul's Faith
     His faith was  an act  recognizing God as  his  law, and that is not  a
partial act,  but  an  all-embracing  and  all-determining  action. A single
righteous  deed  toward one's  fellow could  hardly be  imputed  to a man as
righteousness. A man who is not trying after righteousness may yet do many a
righteous  act: they will not  be forgotten to  him,  neither  will they  be
imputed to him as righteousness.

     [ 231 ] The Full-Grown Christian
     He does not take his joy from himself. He feels joy  in himself, but it
comes  to him  from  others,  not from  himself-from  God  first,  and  from
somebody, anybody, everybody next.. .. He  could do without knowing himself,
but he  could not know  himself and spare one of the brothers or sisters God
has given him. . . . His consciousness of himself is the  reflex from  those
about him, not the result of his own turning in of his regard  upon himself.
It is not the  contemplation of what God had made him, it is the  being what
God has made him, and the contemplation of what God  himself is, and what He
has made his fellows, that gives him his joy.

     [ 232 ] Revealed to Babes
     The wise and prudent must make a system and arrange  things to his mind
before  he can say, / believe. The child sees,  believes, obeys-and knows he
must be perfect  as his Father in heaven is perfect. If an angel, seeming to
come from heaven, told him that God had let him off, that He did not require
so much of him, but  would be content  with less ... the child would at once
recognize, woven  with  the  angel's starry brilliancy,  the flicker of  the
flames of hell.

     [ 233 ] Answer
     "But how can God bring this about in me?"-Let Him do it and perhaps you
will know.

     [ 234 ] Useless Knowledge
     To teach  your intellect  what has  to be learned by your whole  being,
what cannot be understood without the whole being, what it  would do you  no
good to understand save you understood it in your whole being-if this be the
province  of any man, it is not mine. Let  the dead bury their dead, and the
dead teach their dead.

     [ 235 ] The Art of Being Created
     Let patience  have her  perfect  work. Statue under the chisel  of  the
sculptor, stand steady to the blows of  his mallet. Clay  on  the wheel, let
the fingers of the divine potter model you at  their will. Obey the Father's
lightest word: hear the Brother who knows you and died for you.

     [ 236 ] When We Do Not Find Him
     Thy hand be on the latch to open the door at  His first knock. Shouldst
thou open  the  door and  not  see Him,  do  not say  He did  not knock, but
understand that He is  there, and wants thee to go out to Him. It may be  He
has something for thee to do for Him. Go and do  it,  and  perhaps thou wilt
return with a new prayer, to find a new window in thy soul.

     [ 237 ] Prayer
     Never wait for fitter time or place  to talk to Him. To wait till  thou
go to church  or to thy closet is to make  Him wait. He  will listen as thou

     [ 238 ] On One's Critics
     Do not heed much if men mock you and speak lies  of you, or in goodwill
defend you unworthily. Heed not much if even the  righteous turn their backs
upon you. Only take heed that you turn not from them.

     [ 239 ] Free Will
     He gave  man the power to  thwart His will, that, by means of that same
power, he might come  at last to  do His will in a higher kind and way  than
would otherwise have been possible to him.

     [ 240 ] On Idle Tongues
     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.

     [ 241 ] Do We Love Light?
     Do you so love the  truth and  the right that you welcome, or  at least
submit willingly to, the idea of an  exposure of  what in you is yet unknown
to yourself-an exposure that may redound to the glory of the truth by making
you ashamed and humble? .  . . Are you willing to be made glad that you were
wrong when you thought others were wrong?

     [ 242 ] Shame
     We may trust God with our past as heartily as with  our future. It will
not hurt us so long as we do not try to hide things, so long as we are ready
to bow our heads  in  hearty shame where it is fit we should be ashamed. For
to be ashamed  is a holy and blessed thing.  Shame is a  thing to shame only
those who want to appear, not those who want to be. Shame is to shame  those
who want to pass their  examination, not those  who would get into the heart
of things. ... To be humbly ashamed is to be  plunged in the cleansing  bath
of truth.

     [ 243 ] The Wakening
     What  a horror  will it not be to  a  vile man ..  .  when his eyes are
opened to  see himself as the pure see him, as God sees him!  Imagine such a
man waking all at once, not only to see the eyes of  the universe fixed upon
him with loathing  astonishment, but to  see himself at  the  same moment as
those eyes see him.

     [ 244 ] The Wakening of the Rich
     What  riches  and  fancied  religion,  with  the self-sufficiency  they
generate between them, can make man or woman capable  of,  is appalling. ...
To many of the religious rich in that day, the great damning revelation will
be their behavior to the poor to whom they thought themselves very kind.

     [ 245 ] Self-Deception
     A  man may  loathe  a thing in the abstract for years, and find at last
that all the time  he has been, in his own  person, guilty of it. To carry a
thing under our cloak caressingly, hides from us its identity with something
that stands before us  on the public pillory. Many a man might read this and
assent to it, who cages in his own bosom  a carrion bird that he never knows
for what it  is, because  there are points of difference in its plumage from
that of the bird he calls by an ugly name.

     [ 246 ] Warning
     "Oh God," we think, "How terrible if it were I!" Just so terrible is it
that it should be Judas. And have I not done  things with the  same  germ in
them, a germ which, brought  to its evil perfection, would have shown itself
the cankerworm,  treachery? Except  I love  my neighbor as myself, I may one
day betray him! Let us  therefore be compassionate and  humble, and hope for
every man.

     [ 247 ] The Slow Descent
     A man may  sink by such slow degrees that, long after he is a devil, he
may go on being a  good churchman or a good dissenter and thinking himself a
good Christian.

     [ 248 ] Justice and Revenge
     While a  satisfied justice is an unavoidable eternal event, a satisfied
revenge is an eternal impossibility.

     [ 249 ] Recognition Hereafter
     Our  friends  will  know  us  then; for their joy, will it be, or their
sorrow?  Will  their hearts  sink  within them  when  they look  on the real
likeness of us? Or will they rejoice to find that we were not so much  to be
blamed as they thought?

     [ 250 ] From Dante
     To have a share in any earthly inheritance is to diminish the share  of
the other inheritors. In the inheritance of the saints, that which each  has
goes to increase the possession of the test.

     [ 251 ] What God Means by "Good"
      "They are good"; that is, "They are what I mean."

     [ 252 ] All Things from God
     All things are God's,  not as being in  His power-that of course-but as
coming from Him. The darkness  itself becomes light around Him when we think
that  verily He hath  created the  darkness,  for there  could have  been no
darkness but for the light.

     [ 253 ] Absolute Being
     There is no  word to represent that which  is not God, no  word for the
where without God in it; for it is not, could not be.

     [ 254 ] Beasts
     The  ways of  God go down into  microscopic  depths  as  well  as up to
telescopic heights. ... So with mind; the ways of God go into the depths yet
unrevealed  to us: He  knows His horses and  dogs  as we  cannot  know them,
because we are not yet  pure  sons of God. When through our sonship, as Paul
teaches, the redemption of these lower brothers and sisters shall have come,
then we shall understand each other better. But now the Lord  of Life has to
look on at the willful torture of  multitudes of  His  creatures. It must be
that offenses come, but woe  unto that man by  whom they come! The Lord  may
seem not to heed, but He sees and knows.

     [ 255 ] Diversity of Souls
     Every one of us is something that the other is not, and therefore knows
something-it  may  be  without knowing that he knows  it-which no  one  else
knows: and ... it is everyone's business, as one of the kingdom of light and
inheritor in it all, to give his portion to the rest.

     [ 256 ] The Disillusioned
     Loving but the body of Truth, even here they come to call it a lie, and
break out in maudlin moaning over the illusions of life.

     [ 257 ] Evil
     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.

     [ 258 ] The Loss of the Shadow
     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 innocence. 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.

     [ 259 ] Love
     It is by loving and not by being loved that one can come nearest to the
soul of another.

     [ 260 ] From Spring to Summer
     The  birds  grew  silent, because  their  history  kid  hold  on  them,
compelling them to turn their words into deeds, and keep eggs warm, and hunt
for worms.

     [ 261 ] The Door into Life
     But the door into  life generally opens  behind us,  and a hand is  put
forth which draws us in backwards.  The  sole wisdom  for man or boy  who is
haunted with the hovering of unseen wings,  with the scent of  unseen roses,
and the subtle enticements of "melodies unheard," is work. If  he follow any
of those, they will vanish. But if he work, they will come unsought.

     [ 262 ] A Lonely Religion
     There is one kind  of religion  in which the more devoted a man is, the
fewer proselytes he makes: the worship of himself.

     [ 263 ] Love
     Love makes everything lovely: hate concentrates itself on the one thing

     [ 264 ] A False Method
     It is not by driving away our brother that we can be alone with God.

     [ 265 ] Assimilation
     All wickedness  tends to  destroy individuality  and declining  natures
assimilate as they sink.

     [ 266 ] Looking
     "But  ye was  luikin'  for  somebody,  auntie."-"Na.  I  was only  jist
luikin'." ...  It is this formless idea of  something at hand that keeps men
and women striving to tear from  the  bosom of the world the secret of their
own hopes. How little they know that what they look for in  reality is their

     [ 267 ] Progress
     To tell the truth, I feel a  good deal younger. For then  I  only  knew
that a man had to take  up his  cross; whereas now I  know that a man has to
follow Him.

     [ 268 ] Providence
     People  talk about special  providences. I believe in the  providences,
but not  in the  specialty.  . . . The so-called  special providences are no
exception to the rule-they are common to all men at all moments.

     [ 269 ] Ordinariness
     That which is best He gives  most plentifully,  as is reason  with Him.
Hence the quiet fullness of  ordinary nature; hence the Spirit  to them that
ask it.

     [ 270 ] Forgiveness
     I prayed to God that He would make me . . . into a rock which swallowed
up the  waves  of  wrong in its  great caverns and  never threw them back to
swell the commotion of the angry sea whence they came. Ah,  what it would be
actually to annihilate wrong in this way-to be able to say, "It shall not be
wrong against  me, so utterly do I forgive it!"  . . . But the  painful fact
will show itself, not less  curious than painful, that it is more  difficult
to forgive  small wrongs than great ones. Perhaps, however,  the forgiveness
of  the great wrongs  is  not so true as it seems.  For do we not think it a
fine thing to forgive such wrongs and so do it rather for our own sakes than
for the sake of the wrongdoer?  It  is dreadful not to be good, and to  have
bad ways inside one.

     [ 271 ] Visitors
     By all means tell people, when you  are busy about something  that must
be done, that you cannot spare  the  time for them except they want  of  you
something of  yet more pressing necessity; but tell them, and do not get rid
of them by the use of the  instrument  commonly called the cold shoulder. It
is a wicked instrument.

     [ 272 ] Prose
     My own conviction is that the poetry is far  the deepest in us and that
the prose is only broken-down  poetry;  and likewise that to this our  lives
correspond. ... As you will hear some  people read poetry so that no  mortal
could tell it was poetry, so do  some  people read their own lives and those
of others.

     [ 273 ] Integrity
     I would not favor a fiction to keep a whole world out of hell. The hell
that  a lie  would keep any man out of is  doubtless the very best place for
him to go to. It is truth . . . that saves the world!

     [ 274 ] Contentment
     Let  me, if I may, be ever welcomed to my  room  in winter by a glowing
hearth, in summer by a vase of flowers; if I may not, let me  think how nice
they  would be,  and bury myself in my work. I do not think that the road to
contentment lies in despising what we have  not got. Let us  acknowledge all
good, all delight that the world holds, and be content without it.

     [ 275 ] Psychical Research
     Offered the Spirit of God for the asking .. . they betake themselves to
necromancy  instead, and raise the dead to  ask their advice, and follow it,
and will  find some day  that Satan had not  forgotten how to  dress like an
angel of light. . . .  What religion is there in being convinced of a future
state?  Is that to worship God?  It is no more religion than the belief that
the sun will rise tomorrow is religion. It may  be a source of  happiness to
those who could not believe it before, but it is not religion.

     [ 276 ] The Blotting Out
     If He pleases  to forget anything, then He can  forget it.  And I think
that is what He does with our sins- that is, after He has got them away from
us, once we are clean from them altogether. It would be  a dreadful thing if
He forgot them before that. . . .

     [ 277 ] On a Chapter in Isaiah
     The power of God is put side by side with the weakness of men, not that
He, the perfect, may glory over His feeble children ... but  that He may say
thus: "Look,  my children, you will never be strong with my strength. I have
no other to give you."

     [ 278 ] Providence
     And  if we believe that God is everywhere, why should  we not think Him
present even in the coincidences that sometimes seem so strange? For, if  He
be  in  the things  that  coincide, He must be in the  coincidence  of those

     [ 279 ] No Other Way
     The Old  Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave,  raised a
huge stone,  and left  it leaning.  It  disclosed  a  great  hole that  went
plumb-down. "That is the way," he  said. "But there are no stairs.  You must
throw yourself in. There is no other way."

     [ 280 ] Death
     "You have tasted of death now," said the Old Man. "Is it  good?" "It is
good," said Mossy. "It is better than life."  "No," said the Old Man. "It is
only more life."

     [ 281 ] Criterion of a True Vision
     This made  it the more  likely  that he had  seen a  true  vision;  for
instead of  making common things look commonplace,  as  a false vision would
have  done, it had  made common things  disclose  the wonderful that was  in

     [ 282 ] One Reason for Sex
     One of the great goods that come of having two parents is that the  one
balances and rectifies the motions of the other. No one is  good but God. No
one holds the truth, or can hold it,  in one and the same thought, but  God.
Our human life is often, at best, but an  oscillation  between the  extremes
which together make the truth.

     [ 283 ] Easy Work
     Do you think the work God  gives us to do is never easy? Jesus says His
yoke is easy, His burden is light. People sometimes  refuse to do God's work
just  because it is easy. This is sometimes because they cannot believe that
easy work is His work;  but there may be  a very bad pride in it.  ... Some,
again, accept it with half a heart  and  do it with half a hand. But however
easy any  work may be, it cannot be  well  done without taking thought about
it.  And such people,  instead of taking thought about their work, generally
take thought about the morrow, in which no work can be done any more than in
yesterday. The Holy Present!

     [ 284 ] Lebensraum
     It is only in  Him that the  soul has  room. In knowing Him is life and
its gladness. The secret of your  own heart you can never know; but  you can
know Him who knows its secret.

     [ 285 ] Nature
     If the  flowers were  not perishable,  we should  cease  to contemplate
their beauty, either blinded by the passion for hoarding the bodies of them,
or dulled by  the hebetude of  commonplaceness that the constant presence of
them would occasion. To compare great things with small, the flowers wither,
the  bubbles  break,  the clouds  and sunsets pass,  for the very same  holy
reason (in the  degree  of  its  application to  them)  for which  the  Lord
withdrew from  His disciples  and  ascended  again to  His  Father-that  the
Comforter,  the Spirit of  Truth, the Soul of things, might come to them and
abide with  them,  and so, the Son return, and the  Father be  revealed. The
flower is not its loveliness, and its loveliness we must love, else we shall
only treat them as  flower-greedy children, who  gather and gather, and fill
hands and baskets from a mere desire of acquisition.

     [ 286 ] For Parents
     A parent must respect the spiritual  person of his  child, and approach
it  with reverence, for that too looks the Father  in the  face  and  has an
audience with Him into which no earthly parent can enter even if he dared to
desire it.

     [ 287 ] Hoarding
     The  heart of  man cannot hoard. His brain or his  hand may gather into
its  box and hoard, but the  moment the  thing has passed into the  box, the
heart has lost  it and is hungry again. If a man would have, it is the Giver
he must have; . ..  Therefore all that He makes must be  free to come and go
through the heart of His child; he can enjoy it only as it passes, can enjoy
only its life, its soul, its vision, its meaning, not itself.

     [ 288 ] Today and Yesterday
     This day's  adventure,  however, did  not  turn  out like  yesterday's,
although  it began like it; and indeed today  is very seldom like yesterday,
if people would note the differences. . . . The princess ran through passage
after passage, and could not find the stair of the tower.  My own  suspicion
is  that she had  not gone  up high enough, and was searching on  the second
instead of the third floor.

     [ 289 ] Obstinate Illusion
     He  jumped up, as he thought,  and began to dress, but, to  his dismay,
found  that he was still  lying  in bed. "Now then I  will!" he  said. "Here
goes! I am up now!" But yet again he found himself snug in bed. Twenty times
he tried, and twenty  times he failed; for  in fact  he was not  awake, only
dreaming that he was.

     [ 290 ] Possessions
     Happily for our blessedness, the joy of possession soon palls.

     [ 291 ] Lost in the Mountains
     The fear  returned. People had died in the  mountains  of hunger, and I
began  to make up my mind to meet the worst. I had  not yet learned that the
approach of any  fate is  just  the  preparation for that fate.  I  troubled
myself with the care  of that which was not impending  over me.  . . . Had I
been wearier and fainter, it would have appeared less dreadful.

     [ 292 ] The Birth of Persecution
     Clara's words appeared to  me quite irreverent . . . but what to answer
here  I  did not  know. I  almost  began  to  dislike her; for  it is  often
incapacity  for  defending  the  faith  they  love  which  turns  men   into

     [ 293 ] Daily Death
     We die daily. Happy those who daily come to life as well.

     [ 294 ] On Duty to Oneself
     "But  does a man owe nothing to himself?"-"Nothing that I know of. I am
under no obligation to myself. How can I divide  myself and say that the one
half of me  is indebted to the other? To my mind,  it is a  mere fiction  of
speech."-"But  whence,  then,  should such  a  fiction arise?"-"From the dim
sense of a  real  obligation,  I suspect-the  object of which is mistaken. I
suspect it really springs from  our  relation to the unknown God, so vaguely
felt that a false form is readily accepted for its embodiment. .

     [ 295 ] A Theory of Sleep
     It may  be said of the body in regard of sleep as well as  in regard of
death, "It is sown  in weakness, it is  raised in  power. . . ."  No one can
deny  the power  of  the wearied  body to  paralyze the  soul;  but I have a
correlate theory which I love, and which  I expect to find true-that,  while
the  body wearies the mind, it is the mind that restores vigor  to the body,
and then, like the man who has built him a stately palace, rejoices to dwell
in  it. I believe that, if there be a living, conscious love at the heart of
the universe, the  mind, in the quiescence  of its  consciousness in  sleep,
comes into a less  disturbed contact  with its  origin,  the  heart  of  the
creation; whence gifted with calmness and strength for itself, it grows able
to impart comfort and restoration to the weary frame. The cessation of labor
affords  but the necessary occasion; makes it possible, as it were, for  the
occupant of an outlying station in  the wilderness to return to his Father's
house  for fresh supplies. .  . . The child-soul  goes home  at  night,  and
returns in the morning to the labors of the school.

     [ 296 ] Sacred Idleness
     Work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred
idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.

     [ 297 ] The Modern Bane
     Former  periods   of   the   world's   history   when   that   blinding
self-consciousness which is the bane of ours was yet undeveloped. . .

     [ 298 ] Immortality
     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.

     [ 299 ] Prayer
     "O God!"  I cried and that  was  all.  But what are  the prayers of the
whole universe  more than expansion of that one  cry? It is not what God can
give us, but God that we want.

     [ 300 ] Self
     I sickened  at the sight of Myself; how  should I  ever  get rid of the
demon?  The  same instant I saw  the one escape: I must offer it back to its
source-commit it to Him who had made it. I  must live  no more from  it  but
from the  source of it; seek  to know nothing  more of it than He gave me to
know by  His presence therein... . What flashes  of self-consciousness might
cross me, should  be God's gift, not of my seeking, and offered again to Him
in every new self-sacrifice.

     [ 301 ] Visions
     A man may  see visions manifold, and believe them all; . . .  something
more is needed-he must  have that presence of God in his soul of  which  the
Son of Man  spoke, saying "If a man  love  me, he will keep my words; and my
Father will  love  him, and we will  come unto  him, and make our abode with

     [ 302 ] The Impervious Soul
     As for any  influence from the public officers of religion, a contented
soul may glide  through  them all  for a long life,  unstruck  to the  last,
buoyant and evasive as a bee among hailstones.

     [ 303 ] An Old Garden
     Not  one  of the family  had ever cared  for  it on the  ground of  its
old-fashionedness; its preservation was owing merely to the fact  that their
gardener was blessed with a wholesome stupidity  rendering  him incapable of
unlearning what his father, who had been  gardener there before him, had had
marvelous difficulty in teaching him. We do not half appreciate the benefits
to the race that spring from honest dullness. The clever people are the ruin
of everything.

     [ 304 ] Experience
     Those who gain no experience are those who shirk the King's highway for
fear of encountering the Duty seated by the roadside.

     [ 305 ] Difficulties
     It  often seems to  those in  earnest about  the right as if all things
conspired to prevent their progress. This, of course, is  but an appearance,
arising  in part from this, that the pilgrim  must be  headed  back from the
side-paths into which he is constantly wandering.

     [ 306 ] A Hard Saying
     There are those who in their very first seeking of it are nearer to the
Kingdom of Heaven than many who have for years believed themselves of it. In
the former there is  more of the mind of Jesus, and  when He calls them they
recognize Him at once  and  go after Him; while the others examine  Him from
head  to  foot, and  finding Him  not sufficiently like the Jesus  of  their
conception, turn  their backs and go to church or chapel or chamber to kneel
before a vague form mingled of tradition and fancy.

     [ 307 ] Truisms
     A mere truism,  is it? Yes, it is, and more  is the pity; for what is a
truism, as most men count truisms? What is it but a truth that ought to have
been buried long ago in the lives of men-to send up forever the corn of true
deeds  and  the  wine  of  loving kindness-but,  instead of being  buried in
friendly soil, is allowed to lie about, kicked hither and thither in the dry
and empty garret of their brains, till they are sick of the sight and  sound
of it and, to be rid of the thought of it, declare it  to be no living truth
but only a lifeless truism? Yet in their brain that truism must rattle until
they shift to  its rightful quarters in their heart, where it will rattle no
longer but take root and be a strength and loveliness.

     [ 308 ] On Asking Advice
     When  people seek advice it  is  too  often in  the hope of finding the
adviser side with  their  second familiar self instead of  their awful first
self of which they know so little.

     [ 309 ] No Heel Taps
     It must be remembered  that a little  conceit is no more  to be endured
than a great one, but must be swept utterly away.

     [ 310 ] Silence Before the Judge
     Think  not about thy  sin so  as to make it either less  or  greater in
thine own eyes. Bring  it to Jesus and let Him show thee how vile a thing it
is. And leave it to Him to judge thee, sure that He will judge  thee justly;
extenuating nothing, for He hath to cleanse thee utterly; and yet forgetting
no smallest excuse that may cover  the amazement of thy guilt or witness for
thee that not with open eyes didst thou do the deed. . . . But again, I say,
let it be  Christ  that excuseth  thee. He will  do  it to more purpose than
thou, and will not wrong thy soul by excusing thee a hair too much.

     [ 311 ] Nothing So Deadening
     Nothing  is so deadening  to the divine as an habitual dealing with the
outsides of holy things.

     [ 312 ] Rounding and Completion
     The only perfect  idea of life is  a unit, self-existent  and creative.
That is God, the only One. But to this idea,  in its  kind, must every life,
to  be  complete  as  life, correspond;  and  the  human  correspondence  to
self-existence is that the man should round  and complete himself  by taking
in to himself his Origin; by going back and in  his own  will adopting  that
Origin..  . . Then has  he  completed  the  cycle by turning back  upon  his
history, laying hold  of his Cause, and willing his own being in the will of
the only I AM.

     [ 313 ] Immortality
     "I cannot see what harm would come of letting us know a little-as  much
at least as might serve to assure us that there was more of something on the
other  side"-Just  this;  that,  their fears allayed, their hopes encouraged
from any lower quarter, men would (as usual) turn away from the Fountain, to
the  cistern of life. . . . That there are thousands who would forget God if
they could but  be  assured of such a  tolerable  state of things beyond the
grave as even this wherein we  now  live, is  plainly to be anticipated from
the fact  that the doubts of so  many  in  respect  of  religion concentrate
themselves nowadays upon the question whether there is any  life  beyond the
grave; a question  which .  . .  does  not immediately belong to religion at
all. Satisfy such people, if  you can, that  they shall live, and what  have
they gained? A little  comfort perhaps-but a  comfort  not  from the highest
source, and possibly gained too soon  for  their well-being.  Does  it bring
them any nearer to God than they were before? Is He  filling one cranny more
of their hearts in consequence?

     [ 314 ] The Eternal Now
     The bliss of the animals lies in this, that, on their lower level, they
shadow the bliss of those-few at  any  moment on the  earth-who do not "look
before  and  after,  and  pine  for  what is  not"  but  live  in  the  holy
carelessness of the eternal now.

     [ 315 ] The Silences Below
     Even the damned must at  times become aware of  what they are, and then
surely a terrible though momentary hush must fall upon the forsaken regions.

     [ 316 ] Dipsomania
     It is a human soul still,  and wretched in the midst of all that whisky
can do  for it. From the pit of hell it  cries out. So long as there is that
which can  sin, it  is  a  man. And  the  prayer of misery  carries its  own
justification, when the sober petitions of the self-righteous and the unkind
are  rejected. He  who forgives not is not  forgiven,  and the prayer of the
Pharisee is as the weary beating  of the  surf of hell, while  the  cry of a
soul out of its fire sets the heartstrings of love trembling.

     [ 317 ] Reminder
     But the sparrow and the rook are just as respectable in reality, though
not in the eyes of the henwife, as the egg-laying fowl, or the dirt-gobbling

     [ 318 ] Things Rare and Common
     The  best things are the commonest, but the highest types  and the best
combinations of them are  the rarest. There is  more love in the world  than
anything else, for instance; but the  best love and the individual  in  whom
love is supreme are the rarest of all things.

     [ 319 ] Holy Laughter
     It is the heart that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh
in His presence.

     [ 320 ] The Self
     Vain  were the fancy,  by  treatise,  or sermon, or poem,  or tale,  to
persuade  a man  to  forget himself.  He cannot if he would.  Sooner will he
forget the presence of a  raging tooth. There  is no forgetting of ourselves
but in  the finding of our deeper,  our true self-God's idea  of  us when He
devised us-the Christ in  us. Nothing but that self can  displace the false,
greedy, whining self, of which most of us are so  fond and  proud. And  that
self no man can find for himself . . . "but as many as received Him, to them
gave He power to become the sons of God."

     [ 321 ] Either-Or
     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.

     [ 322 ] Prayer
     So thinking, she began to pray to what dim, distorted reflection of God
there was  in  her mind. They alone pray  to the real  God, the Maker of the
heart that prays, who know His son Jesus.  If our prayers were heard only in
accordance  with the idea of God to which we seem to ourselves to pray,  how
miserably  would  our infinite  wants be met! But every honest cry,  even if
sent into the deaf ear of an idol, passes on to the ears of the unknown God,
the heart of the unknown Father.

     [ 323 ] A Bad Conscience
     She was sorely troubled with what is, by huge discourtesy, called a bad
conscience-being  in  reality a conscience  doing its  duty so well  that it
makes the whole house uncomfortable.

     [ 324 ] Money
     He  had a great respect  for  money and much overrated  its value  as a
means of doing even what he called good: religious people generally do.

     [ 325 ] Scrubbing the Cell
     The things  that come out of a man are they that defile him, and to get
rid of them a man must go into himself, be a convict, and scrub the floor of
his cell.

     [ 326 ] The Mystery of Evil
     Middling people are shocked at the  wickedness of  the  wicked; Gibbie,
who knew both so well, was shocked  only at the wickedness of the righteous.
He never came quite to understand Mr. Sclater: the inconsistent never can be
understood.  That only which has absolute reason in it can be  understood of
man. There is a bewilderment about the very nature of evil which only He who
made up capable of evil that we might be good, can comprehend.

     [ 327 ] Prudence
     No man can order his life, for it comes flowing over him from behind. .
. . The one secret of life and  development is not to devise and plan but to
fall in with the forces at  work-to do every moment's duty aright-that being
the part  in the process allotted  to  us: and let come-not  what will,  for
there is no such thing -but what the eternal thought  wills  for each of us,
has intended in each of us from the first.

     [ 328 ] Competition
     No work noble or lastingly good can come of emulation any  more than of
greed: I think the motives are spiritually the same.

     [ 329 ] Method
     By obeying one learns how to obey.

     [ 330 ] Prudence
     Had he had more of the wisdom of  the serpent ... he would perhaps have
known that  to try  too  hard to  make people  good is one way  to make them
worse;  that  the only way to make them good is  to be good-remembering well
the beam and the mote; that the time for speaking comes rarely, the time for
being never departs.

     [ 331 ] How to Become a Dunce
     Naturally capable, he had already made of himself rather a dull fellow;
for  when  a man spends his energy on appearing to  have, he is all the time
destroying  what he  has,  and therein  the very means  of becoming  what he
desires to seem. If he gains his end, his success is his punishment.

     [ 332 ] Love
     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

     [ 333 ] Preacher's Repentance
     O Lord, I have been talking to the people;
     Thought's wheels have round me whirled a fiery zone,
     And the recoil of my word's airy ripple
     My heart heedful has purled up and blown.
     Therefore I cast myself before thee prone:
     Lay cool hands on my burning brain and press
     From my weak heart the swelling emptiness.

     [ 334 ] Deeds
     I would go near thee-but I cannot press
     Into thy presence-it helps not to presume.
     Thy doors are deeds.

     [ 335 ] Prayer
     My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;
     I think thy answers make me what I am.
     Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,
     But the still depth beneath is all thine own,
     And there thou mov'st in paths to us unknown.
     Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;
     If the lion in us pray-thou answerest the lamb.

     [ 336 ] The House Is Not for Me
     The house is not for me-it is for Him.
     His royal thoughts require many a stair,
     Many a tower, many an outlook fair
     Of which I have no thought.

     [ 337 ] Hoarding
     In holy things may be unholy greed.
     Thou giv'st a glimpse of many a lovely thing
     Not to be stored for use in any mind,
     But only for the present spiritual need.
     The holiest bread, if hoarded, soon will breed
     The mammon-moth, the having pride....

     [ 338 ] The Day's First Job
     With every morn my life afresh must break
     The crust of self, gathered about me fresh.

     [ 339 ] Obstinate Illusion
     Have pity on us for the look of things,
     When blank denial stares us in the face.
     Although the serpent mask have lied before
     It fascinates the bird.

     [ 340 ] The Rules of Conversation
     Only no word of mine must ever foster
     The self that in a brother's bosom gnaws;
     I may not fondle failing, nor the boaster
     Encourage with the breath of my applause.

     [ 341 ] A Neglected Form of Justice
     We should never wish our children or friends to do what we would not do
ourselves if we were in their positions. We must accept righteous sacrifices
as well as make them.

     [ 342 ] Good
     "But if a body was never to do anything but what he knew to be good, he
would have to live  half his  time doing nothing"-"How little you  must have
thought! Why, you don't  seem  even  to know the good  of the things you are
constantly doing. Now don't mistake me. I don't mean  you are good for doing
them.  It  is a good thing to eat your  breakfast, but you  don't fancy it's
very good of  you to do  it. The  thing is good-not  you.  . . . There are a
great many more good things than bad things to do."

     [ 343 ] Thou Shalt Not Make Any Graven Image
     "Could you not give me some sign, or tell  me  something about you that
never changes, or some other way to know you, or thing to know you by?"-"No,
Curdie: that would be to keep you from knowing me. You must know me in quite
another way from that. It would not be the least  use to you or me either if
I were to make you know me in that way.  It would be but to know the sign of
me-not to know me myself."

     [ 344 ] How to Become a Dunce
     A beast does not know  that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to
being a beast the less he knows it.

     [ 345 ] Our Insolvency
     If we spent our  lives in charity, we  should  never overtake neglected
claims-claims neglected from the very begining of the relations of men.

     [ 346 ] A Sad Pity
     "If  ever  I prayed, mother, I certainly have not given  it  up."-"Ever
prayed,  Ian! When a  mere child  you  prayed like an aged  Christian!"-"Ah,
mother, that was a sad pity!  I asked for things of  which I felt no need. I
was a hypocrite. I ought to have prayed like a little child."

     [ 347 ] On Method
     "Can  a conscience ever get too fastidious, Ian?"-"The only way to find
out is always to obey it."

     [ 348 ] Wishing
     She  sometimes  wished  she  were  good;  but there  are  thousands  of
wandering ghosts who would be good if they might without taking trouble; the
kind of goodness they desire would not be worth a life to hold it.

     [ 349 ] Fear
     Until a man has love, it  is well he should have fear. So long as there
are wild beasts about, it is better to be afraid than secure.

     [350] The Root of All Rebellion
     It is because we are not near enough to  Thee to partake of thy liberty
that we want a liberty of our own different from thine.

     [ 351 ] Two Silly Young Women
     They had  a feeling, or  a feeling  had them, till another feeling came
and took its place. When a feeling was there, they felt as if it would never
go;  when it was gone they felt as  if it had never been;  when it returned,
they felt as if it had never gone.

     [ 352 ] Hospitality
     I  am proud  of a race  whose social relations are the  last upon which
they will  retrench,  whose latest yielded pleasure is their hospitality. It
is a common feeling that  only the well-to-do have a right to be hospitable.
The ideal flower of hospitality is almost unknown to the rich; it can hardly
be grown save in the gardens of the poor; it is one of their beatitudes.

     [ 353 ] Boredom
     It is  not the banished demon only that wanders seeking rest, but souls
upon  souls in ever growing numbers. The world  and Hades swarm  with  them.
They long  after a repose  that is not mere cessation of  labor; there  is a
positive,  an active rest.  Mercy was only  beginning to  seek it, and  that
without  knowing what it was  she needed. Ian sought it in silence with God;
she  in  crepitant intercourse with her  kind. Naturally ready to fall  into
gloom, but healthy enough to avoid it, she would rush at anything to do- not
to keep  herself from thinking, for  she had hardly begun to  think,  but to
escape that heavy sense of non-existence, that weary and testless want which
is the only form life can take to the yet unliving.

     [ 354 ] Counting the Cost
     I  am sometimes almost terrified at  the scope of the demands made upon
me, at the perfection of the self-abandonment required of me; yet outside of
such absoluteness can be no  salvation. In  God we live every commonplace as
well as most exalted moment of our being. To  trust in Him when  no need  is
pressing, when things seem going  right  of  themselves, may be harder  than
when things seem going wrong.

     [ 355 ] Realism
     It is when  we are most aware of the j'attitude of things  that we  are
most aware  of our  need of  God, and most able to  trust in Him. . .  . The
recognition  of inexorable reality in any shape, or  kind, or  way, tends to
rouse the soul to the yet more real, to its relations with higher and deeper
existence.  It is not the hysterical alone for whom  the  great dash of cold
water is good. All who dream life instead of living it, require some similar

     [ 356 ] Avarice
     "Did  you ever  think of  the origin of  the word  Avarice?" -"No."-"It
comes-at  least it seems to me to come- from the same root as the verb have.
It is the desire to call things  ours-the desire of  company which is not of
our kind-company such as,  if small enough, you would put in your pocket and
carry about with you. We call  the holding in the hand, or the house, or the
pocket,  or the  power,  having: but things  so held cannot  really be  had;
having  is but an illusion in  regard to things.  It is only what we  can be
with  that we really possess-that is, what  is of our kind, from God to  the
lowest animal partaking of humanity."

     [ 357 ] The Lobster Pot
     She had not learned  that the look of things  as you go,  is not  their
look when you turn to  go back; that with your attitude their mood will have
altered. Nature is  like a  lobster  pot: she lets you easily go on, but not
easily return.

     [ 358 ] The First Meeting
     And all the time it was God near her that  was making  her unhappy. For
as the  Son of Man came  not to send peace on the earth  but a sword, so the
first visit of God to  the  human soul is generally in  a cloud of  fear and
doubt, rising  from the soul itself at His  approach.  The sun  is the cloud
dispeller, yet often he must look through a fog if  he would visit the earth
at all.

     [ 359 ] Reminder
     Complaint against God is far nearer to God than indifference about Him.

     [ 360 ] The Wrong Way with Anxiety
     All the morning he  was busy . . . with his heart  in trying to content
himself beforehand with whatever fate the Lord might intend for him.  As yet
he was more of  a Christian philosopher than a  philosophical Christian. The
thing  most disappointing  to him he would treat as the will of God for him,
and  try to make up his  mind to it, persuading himself it was the right and
best thing-as if he knew it  (to be) the will of God. He was thus working in
the region of supposition and not of  revealed duty: in his own imagination,
and not in the  will 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

     [ 361 ] Deadlock
     We are often unable to tell people what they need to know, because they
want to know something else.

     [ 362 ] Solitude
     I began to learn that it was impossible to live for oneself even,  save
in  the presence  of others-then,  alas, fearfully  possible.  Evil was only
through good; selfishness but a parasite on the tree of life.

     [ 363 ] Death
     You will be dead so long as you refuse to die.

     [ 364 ] Tbe Mystery of Evil
     The darkness knows neither the light  nor itself;  only the light knows
itself and the darkness also. None but God hates evil and understands it.

     [ 365 ] The Last Resource
     "Lilith," said Mara, "you will not  sleep, if you lie there a  thousand
years,  until you have opened  your hand and yielded that which is not yours
to give or to withhold."  "I cannot," she answered, "I would if I could, for
I  am weary, and the shadows of death  are  gathering about me."-"They  will
gather  and  gather, but they cannot infold you while yet your hand  remains
unopened. You  may think you are dead, but it will only be a dream;  you may
think you have come  awake,  but it will  still be  only a dream. Open  your
hand,  and  you will sleep indeed- then wake indeed."-"I am trying hard, but
the fingers  have grown together  and  into the palm."-"I pray you put forth
the strength of your will. For the love of  life, draw together your  forces
and break its bonds!"
     The princess turned her eyes upon Eve, beseechingly. "There was a sword
I once saw in your husband's hands," she murmured.  "I fled when I saw it. I
heard  him  who  bore  it say it  would  divide  whatever  was  not one  and
     "I have  the  sword," said Adam. "The angel gave it me when he left the
     "Bring it, Adam," pleaded Lilith, "and  cut me off this hand that I may
     "I will," he answered.


     1 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Child in the Mist
      2-9 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Consuming Fire
      10 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Higher Faith
      11-13 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, // Shall Not be Forgiven
      14-21 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The New Name
      22-24 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Heart with the Treasure
      25-30 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Temptation in the Wilderness
      31-39 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Eloi
      40-42 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The Hands of the Father
      43-49 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, Love Thy Neighbor
      50-51 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, Love Thine Enemy
     52 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, First Series, The God of the Living
      53-62 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Way
      63-71 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Hardness of the Way
       72-84  UNSPOKEN  SERMONS,  Second  Series,  The  Cause  of  Spiritual
      85-95 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Word of Jesus on Prayer
       96-107  UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second  Series, Man's Difficulty Concerning
      108-118 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Last Farthing
      119-126 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, Abba, Father
     127-141 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, Life
      142-147 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Fear of God
      148-154 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Voice of Job
     155-164 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, Self-Denial
      165-167 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Second Series, The Truth in Jesus
      168-177 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Creation in Christ
      178-180 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Knowing of the Son
      181-183 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Mirrors of the Lord
      184-199 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Truth
     200-202 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, Freedom
      203-206 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, King-ship
      207-215 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, Justice
     216-219 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, Light
     220-223 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Displeasure of Jesus
     224-238 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, Righteousness
     239-249 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Final Unmasking
     250-257 UNSPOKEN SERMONS, Third Series, The Inheritance
     258 Phantasies, Chapter 22
     259 Phantasies, Chapter 23
     260 Alec Forbes, Volume I, Chapter 32
     261 Alec Forbes, Volume I, Chapter 33
     262 Alec Forbes, Volume II, Chapter I
     263 Alec Forbes, Volume II, Chapter 10
     264 Alec Forbes, Volume II, Chapter 12
     265 Alec Forbes, Volume III, Chapter 4
     266 Alec Forbes, Volume III, Chapter 26
     267-268 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter I
     269 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 3
     270-271 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 5
     272 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 7
     273 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 9
     274 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter n
     275 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 15
     276 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 28
     277-278 Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, Chapter 30
     279-280 The Golden Key
     281 The Shadows
     282 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 2
     283 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 3
     284 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 13
     285 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 19
     286 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 23
     287 The Seaboard Parish, Chapter 32
     288 The Princess and the Goblin, Chapter 5
     289 The Princess and the Goblin, Chapter 27
     290 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter n
     291 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 17
     292 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 18
     293 Wilfred, Cumbermede, Chapter 22
     294 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 42
     295 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 48
     296 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 55
     297 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 57
     298 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 58
     299-300 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 59
     301 Wilfred Cumbermede, Chapter 60
     302-303 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 7
     304 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 17
     305-306 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 36
     307 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 39
     308 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 54
     309 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 66
     310 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 67
     311 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 74
     312 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 76
     313 Thomas Wingfold, Curate, Chapter 94
     314-315 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 2
     316 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 6
     317 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 7
     318 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 8
     319 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 23
     320 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 24
     321 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 25
     322 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 29
     323 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 37
     324 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 39
     325 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 40
     326 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 41
     327-328 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 44
     329-330 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 47
     331 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 50
     332 Sir Gibbie, Chapter 59
     333 Diary of an Old Soul, January 31
     334 Diary of an Old Soul, May 16
     335 Diary of an Old Soul, May 26
     336 Diary of an Old Soul, July 16
     337 Diary of an Old Soul, August 7
     338 Diary of an Old Soul, October 10
     339 Diary of an Old Soul, November 3
     340 Diary of an Old Soul, November 9
     341 The Princess and the Curdie, Chapter I
     342 The Princess and the Curdie, Chapter 3
     343 The Princess and the Curdie, Chapter 7
     344 The Princess and the Curdie, Chapter 8
     345 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 5
     346 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 7
     347 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 9
     348-349 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter n
     350 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 15
     351-352 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 16
     353 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 17
     354 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 22
     355 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 30
     356 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 32
     357-358 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 33
     359 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 39
     360 What's Mine's Mine, Chapter 41
     361 Lilith, Chapter 9
     362 Lilith, Chapter 16
     363 Lilith, Chapter 31
     364 Lilith, Chapter 39
     365 Lilith, Chapter 40

     Within and Without, a Poem 1855
     Poems 1857
     Phantastes: a Faerie Romance for Men and Women 1858
     David Elginbrod. 3 vols. 1863
     Adela Cathcart. 3 vols. 1864
     The Portent: a story of the Inner Vision of the
     Highlanders commonly called the Second Sight 1864
     Alec Forbes of Howglen. 3 vols. 1865
     Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood. 3 vols. 1867
     Dealings with the Fairies 1867
     The Disciple and other Poems 1867
     Unspoken Sermons, 1st Series 1867
     2nd Series 1885
     3rd Series 1889
     Guild Court. 3 vols. 1868
     Robert Falconer. 3 vols. 1868
     The Seaboard Parish. 3 vols. 1868
     The Miracles of our Lord. 1 vol. 1870
     At the Back of the North Wind 1871
     Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood 1871
     Works of Fancy and Imagination (chiefly reprints)
     10 vols 1871
     The Princess and the Goblin 1872
     The Vicar's Daughter. 3 vols. 1872
     Wilfrid Cumbermede. 3 vols. 1872
     Gutta Percha Willie: the Working Genius 1873
     England's Antiphon 1874
     Malcolm. 3 vols. 1875
     The Wise Woman, a Parable 1875
     Thomas Wingfold, Curate. 3 vols. 1876
     St. George and St. Michael. 3 vols. 1876
     Exotics: a Translation (in verse) of the Spiritual
     Songs of Novalis, the Hymn Book of Luther and
     other Poems from the German and Italian 1876
     The Marquis of Lossie. 3 vols. 1877
     Sir Gibbie. 3 vols. 1879
     Paul Faber, Surgeon. 3 vols. 1879
     A Book of Strife, in the form of the Diary of an
     Old Soul 1880
     Mary Marston. 3 vols. 1881
     Castle Warlock, a homely romance. 3 vols. 1882
     Weighed and Wanting. 3 vols. 1882
     The Gifts of the Christ Child, and other Tales.
     2 vols. 1882
     Afterwards published with title of Stephen Archer
     and Other Tales. 1 vol. n.d.
     Orts 1882
     Donal Grant. 3 vols. 1883
     A Threefold Cord. Poems by Three Friends,
     edited by George MacDonald 1883
     The Princess and Curdie 1883
     The Tragedie of Hamlet-with a study of the
     text of the Folio of 1623 1885
     What's Mine's Mine. 3 vols. 1886
     Home Again, a Tale. 1 vol. 1887
     The Elect Lady, 1 vol. 1888
     Cross Purposes, and The Shadows: Two Fairy
     Stories (reprinted from Dealings with the
     Fairies) 1886
     A Rough Shaking, a Tale 1890
     The Light Princess and other Fairy Stories
     (reprinted from Dealings with the Fairies) 1890
     There and Back. 3 vols. 1891
     The Flight of the Shadow. 1 vol. 1891
     A Cabinet of Gems, cut and polished by Sir Philip
     Sidney, now for their more radiance presented
     without their setting by George MacDonald 1891
     The Hope of the Gospel 1892
     Heather and Snow. 2 vols. 1893
     Lilith, a Romance, 1 vol. 1895
     Rampolli: Growths from a Long-planted Root,
     being translations chiefly from the German,
     along with A Year's Diary of an Old Soul
     (Poems) 1897
     Salted with Fire, a Tale, 1 vol. 1897
     Poetical Works of George MacDonald. 2 vols. 1893
     The Portent and Other Stories (reprints) n.d.
     Fairy Tales of George MacDonald (reprints) 1904
     Scotch Songs and Ballads (reprints) 1893

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