Tag Archives: George MacDonald (1824-1905)

Life

George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, vol. II

‘I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.’—ST JOHN x. 10.

I

In a word, He came to supply all our lack—from the root outward; for what is it we need but more life? What does the infant need but more life? What does the bosom of his mother give him but life in abundance? What does the old man need, whose limbs are weak and whose pulse is low, but more of the life which seems ebbing from him? Weary with feebleness, he calls upon death, but in reality it is life he wants. It is but the encroaching death in him that desires death. He longs for rest, but death cannot rest; death would be as much an end to rest as to weariness: even weakness cannot rest; it takes strength as well as weariness to rest. How different is the weariness of the strong man after labour unduly prolonged, from the weariness of the sick man who in the morning cries out, ‘Would God it were evening!’ and in the evening, ‘Would God it were morning!’ Continue reading

I Would I Were a Child

I would I were a child,
That I might look, and laugh, and say, My Father!
And follow Thee with running feet, or rather
Be led thus through the wild.

How I would hold thy hand!
My glad eyes often to thy glory lifting,
Which casts all beauteous shadows, ever shifting,
Over this sea and land.

If a dark thing came near,
I would but creep within thy mantle’s folding,
Shut my eyes close, thy hand yet faster holding,
And so forget my fear.

O soul, O soul, rejoice!
Thou art God’s child indeed, for all thy sinning;
A trembling child, yet his, and worth the winning
With gentle eyes and voice.

The words like echoes flow.
They are too good; mine I can call them never;
Such water drinking once, I should feel ever
As I had drunk but now.

And yet He said it so;
‘Twas He who taught our child-lips to say, Father!
Like the poor youth He told of, that did gather
His goods to him, and go.

Ah! Thou dost lead me, God;
But it is dark; no stars; the way is dreary;
Almost I sleep, I am so very weary
Upon this rough hill-road.

Almost! Nay, I do sleep.
There is no darkness save in this my dreaming;
Thy Fatherhood above, around, is beaming;
Thy hand my hand doth keep.

This torpor one sun-gleam
Would break. My soul hath wandered into sleeping;
Dream-shades oppress; I call to Thee with weeping,
Wake me from this my dream.

And as a man doth say,
Lo! I do dream, yet trembleth as he dreameth;
While dim and dream-like his true history seemeth,
Lost in the perished day;

(For heavy, heavy night
Long hours denies the day) so this dull sorrow
Upon my heart, but half believes a morrow
Will ever bring thy light.

God, art Thou in the room?
Come near my bed; oh! draw aside the curtain;
A child’s heart would say Father, were it certain
That it did not presume.

But if this dreary bond
I may not break, help Thou thy helpless sleeper;
Resting in Thee, my sleep will sink the deeper,
All evil dreams beyond.

Father! I dare at length.
My childhood, thy gift, all my claim in speaking;
Sinful, yet hoping, I to Thee come, seeking
Thy tenderness, my strength.

George MacDonald.