The Truth

I am the truth
— John 14:6

The truth of a thing is the blossom of it, the thing it is made for, the topmost stone set on with rejoicing; truth in a man’s imagination is the power to recognize this truth of a thing; and wherever, in anything that God has made, in the glory of it, be it sky or flower or human face, we see the glory of God, there a true imagination is beholding a truth of God. We have seen that the moment whatever goes by the name of truth comes into connection with man; the moment that, instead of merely mirroring itself in his intellect as a thing outside of him, it comes into contact with him as a being of action; the moment the knowledge of it affects his sense of duty, it becomes a thing of far nobler import; the question of truth enters upon a higher phase, looks out of a loftier window. A fact which in itself is of no value, becomes at once a matter of life and death—moral life and death, when a man has the choice, the imperative choice of being true or false concerning it. When the truth of a thing is perceived by a man, he approaches the fountain of truth whence the thing came, and perceiving God by understanding what is, becomes more of a man, more of the being he was meant to be. In virtue of this truth perceived, he has relations with the universe undeveloped in him till then. But far higher will the doing of the least, the most insignificant duty rise him. He begins thereby to be a true man. A man may delight in the vision and glory of a truth, and not himself be true. The man whose vision is weak, but who, as far as he sees, and desirous to see farther, does the thing he sees, is a true man.

Commentary

by Leah Bond

What came to mind when MacDonald says we approach the fountain of truth, is one of my favorite verses.

     He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its
     season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

     Psalm 1:3

    The imagery MacDonald casts of our physical contact with the truth, and taking action internally and outwardly, in and with the world around us, is refreshing. We approach the truth with a choice of life and death in our hands. What power there is in our choice. 

     MacDonald says, "In virtue of this truth perceived, he has relations with the universe undeveloped in him till then. But far higher will the doing of the least, the most insignificant duty rise him. He begins thereby to be a true man."

    We may in this way partake in a mystery, Christ in our receiving, and blossoming to truth, Christ the corner stone in our growing up into Him, the true Man. 

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artwork by Leah Bond