Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A divine relation higher than belief

Heir of all things when at home in God's presence

God is God to us not that we may say he is, but that we may know him; and when we know him, then we are with him, at home, at the heart of the universe, the heirs of all things. All this is foolishness, I know, to the dull soul that cares only for the things that admit of being proved. The unprovable mystery out of which come the things provable, has for them no interest, they say, because it is unprovable: they take for granted that therefore it is unknowable.

Would they be content it should be unknowable if things were all as they should be within them? When the eyes of those who have made themselves at home in the world of the senses and care for no other are opened, I imagine them saying -- 'Yes, He was after all; but none the less were you fools to believe in him, for you had no proof!' Then I seem to hear the children laugh and say, 'We had himself, and did not want it.' That the unprovable is necessarily the unknowable, a thousand beliefs deny.

'You cannot prove to me that you have a father!' says the blind sage, reasoning with the little child. 'Why should I prove it?' answers the child. 'I am sitting on his knee! If I could prove it, that would not make you see him; that would not make you happy like me! You do not care about my father, or you would not stand there disputing; you would feel about until you found him!'

If a thing be true in itself, it is not capable of proof; and that man is in the higher condition who is able to believe it. In proportion as a man is a fool he is unable to believe what in itself is true. If intellect be the highest power, then the men of proof are the wisest; if there be something deeper than intellect, causing and including it, if there be a creative power of which our intellect is but a faint reflex, then the child of that power, the one who acknowledges and loves and obeys that power, will be the one to understand it.


George MacDonald, "The Parson's Counsel," There and Back Again, 225-6.

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