Truth is a very different thing from fact; it is the loving contact of the soul with spiritual fact, vital and potent. It does not work in the soul independently of all faculty or qualification there for setting it forth or defending it. Truth in the inward parts is a power, not an opinion.
God Himself--His thoughts, His will, His love, His judgments are men's home. To think His thoughts, to choose His will, to judge His judgments, and thus to know that He is in us, with us, is to be at home. And to pass through the valley of the shadow of death is the way home, but only thus, that as all changes have hitherto led us nearer to this home, the knowledge of God, so this greatest of all outward changes--for it is but an outward change--will surely usher us into a region where there will be fresh possibilities of drawing nigh in heart, soul, and mind to the Father of us all.
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It was part of war; men died, more would die, that was past, and what mattered now was the business in hand; those who lived would get on with it. Whatever sorrow was felt, there was no point in talking or brooding about it, much less in making, for form's sake, a parade of it. Better and healthier to forget it, and look to tomorrow.The celebrated British stiff upper lip, the resolve to conceal emotion which is not only embarrassing and useless, but harmful, is just plain commons sense
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Except the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus make a man sick of his opinions, he may hold them to doomsday for me; for no opinion, I repeat is Christianity, and no preaching of any plan of salvation is the preaching of the glorious gospel of the living God.
[God desires] not that He may say to them, "Look how mighty I am, and go down upon your knees and worship," for power alone was never yet worthy of prayer; but that He may say thus: "Look, my children, you will never be strong but with my strength. I have no other to give you. And that you can get only by trusting in me. I can not give it you any other way. There is no other way."
How many people would like to be good, if only they might be good without taking trouble about it! They do not like goodness well enough to hunger and thirst after it, or to sell all that they have that they may buy it; they will not batter at the gate of the kingdom of heaven; but they look with pleasure on this or that aerial castle of righteousness, and think it would be rather nice to live in it.
The region belonging to the pure intellect is straitened: the imagination labours to extend its territories, to give it room. She sweeps across the boarders, searching out new lands into which she may guide her plodding brother. The imagination is the light which redeems from the darkness for the eyes of the understanding. Novalis says, 'The imagination is the stuff of the intellect' -affords, that is, the material upon which the intellect works.
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Love me, beloved; Hades and Death Shall vanish away like a frosty breath; These hands, that now are at home in thine, Shall clasp thee again, if thou art still mine; And thou shalt be mine, my spirit's bride, In the ceaseless flow of eternity's tide, If the truest love thy heart can know Meet the truest love that from mine can flow. Pray God, beloved, for thee and me, That our sourls may be wedded eternally.
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What God may hereafter require of you, you must not give yourself the least trouble about. Everything He gives you to do, you must do as well as ever you can, and that is the best possible preparation for what He may want you to do next. If people would but do what they have to do, they would always find themselves ready for what came next.
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 worlds holds, and be content without it.
In very truth, a wise imagination, which is the presence of the spirit of God, is the best guide that man or woman can have; for it is not the things we see the most clearly that influence us the most powerfully; undefined, yet vivid visions of something beyond, something which eye has not seen nor ear heard, have far more influence than any logical sequences whereby the same things may be demonstrated to the intellect. It is the nature of the thing, not the clearness of its outline, that determines its operation. We live by faith, and not by sight.
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Why are all reflections lovelier than what we call reality? -- not so grand or so strong, it may be, but always lovelier? Fair as is the gliding sloop on the shining sea, the wavering, trembling, unresting sail below is fairer still...All mirrors are magic mirrors. The commonest room is a room in a poem when I turn to the glass...There must be a truth involved in it, though we may but in part lay hold of the meaning.
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It is vain to think that any weariness, however caused, any burden, however slight, may be got rid of otherwise than by bowing the neck to the yoke of the Father's will. There can be no other rest for heart and soul than He has created. From every burden, from every anxiety, from all dread of shame or loss, even loss of love itself, that yoke will set us free.
When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; when I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire- O, be thou then the first, the one thou art; be thou the calling, before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire.
It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over over any soul be loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.
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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.
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.
The ruin of a man's teaching comes of his followers, such as having never touched the foundation he has laid, build upon it wood, hay, and stubble, fit only to be burnt. Therefore, if only to avoid his worst foes, his admirers, a man should avoid system. The more correct a system the worse will it be misunderstood; its professed admirers will take both its errors and their misconceptions of its truths, and hold them forth as its essence.
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With every morn my life afresh must break The crust of self, gathered about me fresh; That thy wind-spirit may rush in and shake The darkness out of me, and rend the mesh The spider-devils spin out of the flesh- Eager to net the soul before it wake, That it may slumberous lie, and listen to the snake. George MacDonald
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I would I were in the kingdom of heaven if it be as you and Mr. Graham take it for!" said Clementina. "You must be in it, my lady, or you couldn't wish it to be such as it is." "Can one be in it and yet seem to himself to be out of it. Malcolm?" "So many are out of it that seem to be in it, my lady, that one might well imagine it the other way around with some.
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 unheedful has puffed 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.
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I would never speak about faith, but speak about the Lord himself - not theologically, as to the why and wherefore of his death - but as he showed himself in his life on earth, full of grace, love, beauty, tenderness and truth. Then the needy heart cannot help hoping and trusting in him, and having faith, without ever thinking about faith. How a human heart with human feelings and necessities is ever to put confidence in the theological phantom which is commonly called Christ in our pulpits, I do not know. It is commonly a miserable representation of him who spent thirty-three years on our Earth, living himself into the hearts and souls of men, and thus manifesting God to them.
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But, sir, isn't death a dreadful thing?" asked Malcolm. "That depends on whether a man regards it as his fate or as the will of a perfect God. Its obscurity is its dread. But if God be light, then death itself must be full of splendor-a splendor probably too keen for our eyes to receive." "But there's the dying itself; isn't that fearsome? It's that I would be afraid of." "I don't see why it should be. It's the lack of a God that makes it dreadful, and you would be greatly to blame for that, Malcolm, if you hadn't found your God by the time you had to die.
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That's a poet.' 'I thought you said it was a bo-at.' 'Stupid pet! Don't you know what a poet it?' 'Why, a thing to sail on the water in.' 'Well, perhaps you're not so far wrong. Some poets do carry people over the sea... '... 'A poet is a man who is glad of something, and tries to make other people glad of it too.
I learned that it is better, a thousand-fold, for a proud man to fall and be humbled, than to hold up his head in his 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. In nothing was my ideal lowered, or dimmed, or grown less precious; I only saw it too plainly, to set myself for a moment beside it. Indeed, my ideal soon became my life; whereas, formerly, my life had consisted in a vain attempt to behold, if not my ideal in myself, at least myself in my ideal.
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To trust in the strength of God in our weakness; to say, 'I am weak: so let me be: God is strong;' to seek from him who is our life, as the natural, simple cure of all that is amiss with us, power to do, and be, and live, even when we are weary, -this is the victory that overcometh the world. To believe in God our strength in the face of all seeming denial, to believe in him out of the heart of weakness and unbelief, in spite of numbness and weariness and lethargy; 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 a 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. 'I am weak, ' says the true soul, 'but not so weak that I would not be strong; not so sleepy that I would not see the sun rise; not so lame but that I would walk! Thanks be to him who perfects strength in weakness, and gives to his beloved while they sleep!
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A library cannot be made all at once, any more than a house or a nation or a tree; they must all take time to grow, and so must a library. I wouldn't even know what books to go and ask for. I dare say, if I were to try, I couldn't at a moment's notice tell you the names of more than two score of books at the outside. Folk must make acquaintance among books as they would among living folk.