Mondays with MacDonald (on God’s primary relation to humanity)

‘Is God then not my Father,’ cries the heart of the child, ‘that I need to be adopted by him? Adoption! that can never satisfy me. Who is my father? Am I not his to begin with? Is God not my very own Father? Is he my Father only in a sort or fashion—by a legal contrivance? Truly, much love may lie in adoption, but if I accept it from any one, I allow myself the child of another! The adoption of God would indeed be a blessed thing if another than he had given me being! but if he gave me being, then it means no reception, but a repudiation.—”O Father, am I not your child?”‘

‘No; but he will adopt you. He will not acknowledge you his child, but he will call you his child, and be a father to you.’

‘Alas!’ cries the child, ‘if he be not my father, he cannot become my father. A father is a father from the beginning. A primary relation cannot be superinduced. The consequence might be small where earthly fatherhood was concerned, but the very origin of my being—alas, if he be only a maker and not a father! Then am I only a machine, and not a child—not a man! It is false to say I was created in his image!

‘It avails nothing to answer that we lost our birthright by the fall. I do not care to argue that I did not fall when Adam fell; for I have fallen many a time, and there is a shadow on my soul which I or another may call a curse; I cannot get rid of a something that always intrudes between my heart and the blue of every sky. But it avails nothing, either for my heart or their argument, to say I have fallen and been cast out: can any repudiation, even that of God, undo the facts of an existent origin? Nor is it merely that he made me: by whose power do I go on living? When he cast me out, as you say, did I then begin to draw my being from myself—or from the devil? In whom do I live and move and have my being?

by George MacDonald
from Unspoken Sermons, vol. 2, “Abba, Father!”

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