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A Rough Shaking

by George Macdonald

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George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer a household name, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired deep admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". Even Mark Twain, who initially despised MacDonald, became friends with him. MacDonald grew up influenced by his Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. But MacDonald never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine. Later novels, such as Robert Falconer (1868) and Lilith (1895), show a distaste for the Calvinist idea that God's electing love is limited to some and denied to others. Especially in his Unspoken Sermons (1867-89) he shows a highly developed theology. His best-known works are Phantastes (1858), At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and The Princess and the Goblin (1872), all fantasy novels, and fairy tales such as - The Light Princess (1867), The Golden Key (1867), and The Wise Woman (1875).

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The sight enhanced the wonder and hope of the two honest good souls in the treasure they carried. Out of the bosom of the skeleton Death himself, had been given them--into their very arms--a germ of life, a jewel of heaven! At the thought of what lay up the hill behind them, they felt their joy in the child almost wicked; but if God had taken the child's father and mother, might they not be glad in the hope that he had chosen them to replace them? That he had for the moment at least, they were bound to believe.



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