"...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other." ~ George MacDonald
"...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other." ~ George MacDonald


What is it, father dear,
That he would have me do?
I'd ask himself, but he's not near,
And so I must ask you!

The Father answers.

Me 'tis no use to ask,
I too am one of his boys!
But he tells each boy his own plain task;
Listen, and hear his voice.

Willie speaks.

Father, I'm listening so
To hear him if I may!
His voice must either be very low,
Or very far away!

The Father answers.

It is neither hard to hear,
Nor hard to understand;
It is very low, but very near,
A still, small, strong command.

Willie answers.

I do not hear it at all;
I am only hearing you!

The Father speaks.

Think: is there nothing, great or small,
You ought to go and do?

Willie answers.

Let me think:-I ought to feed
My rabbits. I went away
In such a hurry this morning! Indeed
They've not had enough to-day!

The Father speaks.

That is his whisper low!
That is his very word!
You had only to stop and listen, and so
Very plainly you heard!

That duty's the little door:
You must open it and go in;
There is nothing else to do before,
There is nowhere else to begin.

Willie speaks.

But that's so easily done!
It's such a trifling affair!
So nearly over as soon as begun.
For that he can hardly care!

The Father answers.

You are turning from his call
If you let that duty wait;
You would not think any duty small
If you yourself were great. (From the poem, Willie’s Question by George MacDonald)1


The Importance of Prayer

“The impossibility of doing what we would as we would, drives us to look for help.”

This is how the following little book on prayer begins.

Prayer : Three "Unspoken Sermons" by the man who inspired C S Lewis

Prayer must be our first resort, and our last resort. Without God, we are lost. Without God, we will be forever slaves to sin. We need God's help, if we are to do his will. But simply doing is not enough. 

We have to move from doing, to being.

“It needs a clean heart to have pure hands, all the power of a live soul to keep the law—a power of life, not of struggle; the strength of love, not the effort of duty.” (Unspoken Sermons Vol 2, by George MacDonald)

But the only way to become is to believe (see What is the Gospel?) and then obey (though some must choose to obey before they can begin to believe).

“Had he done as the Master told him, he would soon have come to understand. Obedience is the opener of eyes.” (Unspoken Sermons Vol 2, by George MacDonald)

After a while we will begin to do good things because of the kind of people we have become. Goodness is its own reward. When Jesus said his food was to do his Father’s will, he meant it literally. There is no life without doing God’s will.

We are not losing something when we do what Jesus asks, we are gaining something. From the world’s perspective we are giving something up, but not from God’s. And it’s God’s perspective we should adopt. If we think we are giving something up, we have already lost our way.

“When my child would serve me," he went on,“ he spies out some need I have, springs from his seat at my knee, finds that which will meet my necessity, and is my eager, happy servant, of consequence in his own eyes inasmuch as he has done something for his father. His seat by my knee is love, delight, well-being, peace—not service, however pleasing in my eyes.—'Why do you seat yourself at my knee, my son?' 'To please you, father.' 'Nay then, my son! go from me, and come again when it shall be to please thyself.'—'Why do you cling to my chair, my daughter? 'Because I want to be near you, father. It makes me so happy!' 'Come nearer still—come to my bosom, my child, and be yet happier.' (Taken from Thomas Wingfold, Curate by George MacDonald)

There is no greater joy, there is no higher form of self-service, than trusting and obeying Jesus.2 

Saving Knowledge

Postmodernism and Slave Morality


What is the Gospel?


Free Will



1. The entire poem can be read here.

2. Obedience to Jesus never requires one to go against their conscience. See Conscience.