The following are extracts from letters George MacDonald wrote, quoted in the book, George MacDonald and His Wife, by Greville MacDonald.
My dearly loved son, It puzzles me a little that you, to whom God has given more insight than many have into the necessities of the spiritual relations, should be so changeable and troubled by the appearances of things. "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." "Wait on the Lord." You are so impatient! You will hardly give him time to do anything for you! As you are so easily troubled, as your faith in him seems so much in the abstract, and when it comes to the matter of next month or next year you are full of doubt - as if what the day was to bring forth must be evil and not good, notwithstanding that perfect goodness is at the heart of your affairs - this being the case, I see why you should be troubled and tossed about as you are. Do not be always speculating on your future and thinking what you shall do. You are not a bit nearer knowing for that; and it is a great waste of brain tissue, to say nothing of spiritual energy left dormant....There is more action in dismissing a useless care than in a month's brooding over the possible or the probable..When the hour for decision arrives, one moment's clear untroubled thought will do what weeks and weeks of brooding beforehand will only make more uncertain and difficult.
Page 534 - a poem included in a letter to W Carey Davies
When I look back upon my life nigh spent,
Nigh spent although the feeble stream flows on,
I more of follies than of sins repent,
Less for offence than Love's shortcomings moan,
With self, O Father, leave me not alone,
Leave not with the beguiler the beguiled;
Besmirched and ragged, Lord, take back thy own;
A fool I bring thee to be made a child.