Nothing I have seen or known of sonship comes near the glory of the thing; but there are thousands of sons and daughters who are siding with the father of their spirits against themselves, against all that divides them from him from whom they have come, but out of whom they have never come, seeing that in him they live and move and have their being. Such are not slaves; they are true though not perfect children; they are fighting along with God against the evil separation; they are breaking at the middle wall of partition. Only the rings of their fetters are left, and they are struggling to take them off. They are children—with more or less of the dying slave in them; they know it is there, and what it is, and hate the slavery in them, and try to slay it. The real slave is he who does not desire to end his slavery; who looks upon the claim of the child as presumption; who cleaves to the traditional authorized service of forms and ceremonies, and does not know the will of him who made the seven stars and Orion, much less cares to obey it; who never lifts up his heart to cry, “Father, what wouldst thou have me to do?” When they are sons and daughters, they will no longer complain of the hardships, and miseries, and troubles of life; no longer grumble at their aches and pains, at the pinching of their poverty; no longer be indignant at their rejection by what is called Society. Those who believe in their own perfect father can ill blame him for anything they do not like. Ah, friend, it may be you and I are slaves, but there are such sons and daughters as I speak of.
by James House
Ian's prayer about liberty, from What's Mine's Mine:
"O God, let my mother see that thou art indeed true-hearted; that thou dost not give us life by parings and subterfuges, but abundantly; that thou dost not make men in order to assert thy dominion over them, but that they may partake of thy life. O God, have pity when I cannot understand, and teach me as thou wouldst the little one whom, if thou wert an earthly father amongst us as thy son was an earthly son, thou wouldst carry about in thy arms. When pride rises in me, and I feel as if I ought to be free and walk without thy hand; when it looks as if a man should be great in himself, nor need help from God; then think thou of me, and I shall know that I cannot live or think without the self-willing life; that thou art because thou art, I am because thou art; that I am deeper in thee than my life, thou more to my being than that being to itself. Was not that Satan's temptation, Father? Did he not take self for the root of self in him, when God only is the root of all self? And he has not repented yet! Is it his thought coming up in me, flung from the hollow darkness of his soul into mine? Thou knowest, when it comes I am wretched. I love it not. I would have thee lord and love over all. But I cannot understand: how comes it to look sometimes as if independence must be the greater? A lie cannot be greater than the truth! I do not understand, but thou dost. I cannot see my foundations; I cannot dig up the roots of my being: that would be to understand creation! Will the Adversary ever come to see that thou only art grand and beautiful? How came he to think to be greater by setting up for himself? How was it that it looked so to him? How is it that, not being true, it should ever look so? There must be an independence that thou lovest, of which this temptation is the shadow! That must be how 'Satan fell!—for the sake of not being a slave!—that he might be a free being! Ah, Lord, I see how it all comes! It is because we are not near enough to thee to partake of thy liberty that we want a liberty of our own different from thine! We do not see that we are one with thee, that thy glory is our glory, that we can have none but in thee! that we are of thy family, thy home, thy heart, and what is great for thee is great for us! that man's meanness is to want to be great out of his Father! Without thy eternity in us we are so small that we think ourselves great, and are thus miserably abject and contemptible. Thou only art true! thou only art noble! thou wantest no glory for selfishness! thou doest, thou art, what thou requirest of thy children! I know it, for I see it in Jesus, who casts the contempt of obedience upon the baseness of pride, who cares only for thee and for us, never thinking of himself save as a gift to give us! O lovely, perfect Christ! with my very life I worship thee! Oh, pray, Christ! make me and my brother strong to be the very thing thou wouldst have us, as thy brothers, the children of thy Father. Thou art our perfect brother—perfect in love, in courage, in tenderness! Amen, Lord! Good-night! I am thine."