One of my Dad's favorite authors was George MacDonald. When Dad passed away I inherited quite a few volumes of his works. Recently I read The Laird's Inheritance. Following are some beautiful quotes from this book that I thought worthy to put in my commonplace book.
"If men's wishes are not always for what the kingdom of heaven would bring them, their miseries at least are all for the lack of that kingdom."
"...But generally, the rich do not have the same opportunity of knowing God-nor the same conscious need of him--that the poor man has.
And when, so far as things to have and to hld are concerned, everyone is poor alike, and so far as any need of them is concerned, everyone is poor alike, and so far as any need of them is concerned, all are rich alike, the advantage will be all on the side of such as, neigher having nor needing, do not desire them. In the meantime, the rich man who, without pitying his friend that he is not rich also, cheerfully helps him over a stone where he cannot carry him up the hill of his difficulty rejoicing to do for him what God allows, is like God himself. The great lover of his children gives infinitely, though he will not take from man his suffering until strength is perfected in his weakness."
"Let us hold by our hopes; all colors are shreds of the rainbow. There is the rainbow of the waterfall, of teh paddle wheel, of the falling wave: none of them is the rainbow, yet they are all of it. But even should they vanish and even should the rainbow in the sky vanish, that hope which set it there, and will set it there again, will never vanish. By our hopes are we saved. There is many a thing we could do better without than hope, for our hopes ever point beyond the thing hoped for, the bow is the damask flower on the woven teardrops of the world; hope is the shimmer on the dingy warp of trouble, shot with the golden woof of God's intent."
"...Those who will not be taught through eye or ear must be taught through the skin, and that is generally a long as well as a painful process."
"To say that anything is too small to matter is of the devil; to say anything is too great to forgive is not of God."
"Cosmo had changed since first he sat behind such horses on his way to the university seven years earlier. It was the change of growth, but to him at this moment it felt like the growth of decay--as if he had been young then and was old now. Little could he yet imagine at twenty-three, what age means! Devout youth as he was, he little understood how much more than he his father felt his dependence on God, though his faith was real, many years had yet to pass before his faith knew the silent depths of his father's. It is the strength of God that gives life to every muscle and skill of the youth. But it looks so natural to him, seems so much his own, that in the glory of its possession, he does not feel it as the presence of the life-giving God. But when weakness begins to show itself--a shadow-background against which the strength is known and outlined--and the earthly begins to press against not only its own part but also upon the spirit within, then indeed a man must believe in God with an entireness independent of feeling. In the growing feebleness of old age, weakness is the matrix of divine strength, from which a great gladness shall before long be born--the life which it is God's intent to share with his children."
There were many more wonderful passages, these are the ones I happened to record. Lot's for deep reflection! Maybe you'd like to read George MacDonald's The Laird's Inheritance.