Sunday Letter: We live in the endless story
Prefatory Note: I hope to begin a series of George MacDonald quotes on a schedule, sort of a weekly devotional thought; some with my comments, some standalone. MacDonald-specific posts can be found here, and unsubscribed separately from my main newsletter here.
What man can judge his neighbour right save him whose love makes him refuse to judge him ? Therefore are we told to love, not judge. . . . The love that is more than law lives in the endless story, — coming out in active kindness, that is, the recognition of kin, of kind, of nighness, of neighbourhood ; yea, in tenderness and loving kindness.
“The love that is more than law lives in the endless story”
This theme—in the context of Holy Matrimony—comes up in MacDonald’s Donal Grant.
The love that is within law has an end—implied even in the vows of Sacrament of Matrimony: till death do us part. While the oaths—laws—to which one binds and through which one expresses love are released upon death, the bond of love itself is not. Some choose to operate under the law, and so law becomes the constraint—the master—of love.
Love that transcends law—more than law—is different. While it is consistent with law—scripture does establish clear boundaries for the good of all souls—but its source is different. Transcendent love finds in God the source of all love, and out of that one can act on kindness, not out of obligation to the law, but out of abundance of supply from the Source.
This is a different topography. It is a river that flows—twists and turns; through peak, through valley. The course it runs gradually changes the landscape, sustaining life with its own abundance. It is not a fenced garden where water has to be trucked in to keep things alive. (see also St. Teresa of Ávila’s Garden Analogy in The Interior Castle for a more extended metaphor on gardening and water supply)
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