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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Diary of an Old Soul, Apr 16 - 22

16. I see a door, a multitude near by,
In creed and quarrel, sure disciples all!
Gladly they would, they say, enter the hall,
But cannot, the stone threshold is so high.
From unseen hand, full many a feeding crumb,
Slow dropping o'er the threshold high doth come:
They gather and eat, with much disputing hum.

17. Still and anon, a loud clear voice doth call--
"Make your feet clean, and enter so the hall."
They hear, they stoop, they gather each a crumb.
Oh the deaf people! would they were also dumb!
Hear how they talk, and lack of Christ deplore,
Stamping with muddy feet about the door,
And will not wipe them clean to walk upon his floor!

18. But see, one comes; he listens to the voice;
Careful he wipes his weary dusty feet!
The voice hath spoken--to him is left no choice;
He hurries to obey--that only is meet.
Low sinks the threshold, levelled with the ground;
The man leaps in--to liberty he's bound.
The rest go talking, walking, picking round.

19. If I, thus writing, rebuke my neighbour dull,
And talk, and write, and enter not the door,
Than all the rest I wrong Christ tenfold more,
Making his gift of vision void and null.
Help me this day to be thy humble sheep,
Eating thy grass, and following, thou before;
From wolfish lies my life, O Shepherd, keep.

20. God, help me, dull of heart, to trust in thee.
Thou art the father of me--not any mood
Can part me from the One, the verily Good.
When fog and failure o'er my being brood.
When life looks but a glimmering marshy clod,
No fire out flashing from the living God--
Then, then, to rest in faith were worthy victory!

21. To trust is gain and growth, not mere sown seed!
Faith heaves the world round to the heavenly dawn,
In whose great light the soul doth spell and read
Itself high-born, its being derived and drawn
From the eternal self-existent fire;
Then, mazed with joy of its own heavenly breed,
Exultant-humble falls before its awful sire.

22. Art thou not, Jesus, busy like to us?
Thee shall I image as one sitting still,
Ordering all things in thy potent will,
Silent, and thinking ever to thy father,
Whose thought through thee flows multitudinous?
Or shall I think of thee as journeying, rather,
Ceaseless through space, because thou everything dost fill?

Blessed Easter! The above is excerpted from George MacDonald's A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul (Public Domain, 1880). For further information see this post. These are the entries for/from April 16 through 22. (I don't know what day Easter fell on in the year when MacDonald wrote this.)


jel said...

thanks for the post, Martin!

and I hope your and your had a great Easter!

take care!
God bless

Julana said...

The last lines in 22 are really interesting, after reading Perelandra.

Martin LaBar said...

I believe that MacDonald connected the last lines you refer to, Julana, with the entry for April 23rd. See See also the first lines from April 23rd. See