What is the truth of water? Is it that it is formed of hydrogen and oxygen? Is oxygen and hydrogen the divine idea of water? Or has God put the two together only that man might separate and find them out? He allows his child to pull his toys to pieces; but he were a child not to be envied for whom his inglorious father would make toys to such an end! Find for us what in the constitution of the two gases makes them fit and capable to be thus honored in forming the lovely thing, and you will give us a revelation about more than water, namely about the God who made oxygen and hydrogen. The water itself, that dances, and sings, and slakes the wonderful thirst—symbol and picture of that draught for which the woman of Samaria made her prayer to Jesus—this lovely thing itself, whose very wetness is a delight to every inch of the human body in its embrace—this water is its own self its own truth, and is therein a truth of God. Let him who would know the love of the maker, become sorely athirst, and drink of the brook by the way—then lift up his heart to the inventor and mediator of thirst and water, that man might foresee a little of what his soul may find in God. Let a man go to the hillside and let the brook sing to him till he loves it, and he will find himself far nearer the fountain of truth than the triumphal chemist will ever lead the shouting crew of his half-comprehending followers. He will draw from the brook the water of joyous tears, “and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
by George MacDonald
Truth, Not Form!
I came upon a fountain on my way
When it was hot, and sat me down to drink
Its sparkling stream, when all around the brink
I spied full many vessels made of clay,
Whereon were written, not without display,
In deep engraving or with merely ink,
The blessings which each owner seemed to think
Would light on him who drank with each alway.
I looked so hard my eyes were looking double
Into them all, but when I came to see
That they were filthy, each in his degree,
I bent my head, though not without some trouble,
To where the little waves did leap and bubble,
And so I journeyed on most pleasantly.
--from A Threefold Cord