Abba, Father !

—the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

— Romans 8:15

The hardest, gladdest thing in the world is to cry Father! from a full heart. I would help whom I may to call thus upon the Father, for there are things in all forms of the systematic teaching of Christianity to check this outgoing of the heart—with some to render it simply impossible. Such a cold wind blowing at the very gate of heaven—thank God, outside the gate!—is the so-called doctrine of Adoption. When a heart hears that it is not the child of God by origin, from the first of its being, but may possibly be adopted into his family, its love sinks at once in a cold faint: where is its own father, and who is this that would adopt it? Whatever any company of good men thinks or believes, is to be approached with respect; but nothing must come between the soul and spirit of the father, who is himself the teacher of his children.  

As no scripture is of private interpretation, so is there no feeling in human heart which exists in that heart alone, which is not, in some form or degree, in every heart; and thence I conclude that many must have groaned like myself under the supposed authority of this doctrine. The refusal to look up to God as our Father is the one central wrong in the whole human affair; the inability, the one central misery: whatever serves to clear any difficulty from the way of the recognition of the Father, will therefore more or less undermine every difficulty in life.

Commentary

by James House

A huge amount of my happiness, my endurance, my peace, comes from knowing that God is my Father - that he wishes me to address him as Father, and that he wishes me to call upon him as Father. If I did not know it, I would still be blessed by him - as he would still be my father, but knowing it brings peace. I feel so blessed for this knowledge, and for it I cry "Father! Thank you!" from a full heart.

Let us all take care to think rightly of our Father, that we may be fully blessed by his nature and nurture, that we not misunderstand his intentions toward and for us. 

George MacDonald is constantly calling upon his readers to think rightly of our Father in Heaven:

"When souls have been ill-taught about God, the true God will not let them gaze too long upon the Moloch which men have set up to represent him. He will turn away their minds from that which men call him, and fill them with some of his own lovely thoughts or works, such as may by degrees prepare the way for a vision of the Father" 
--from Robert Falconer

"The babes must beware lest the wise and prudent come between them and the Father. They must yield no claim to authority over their belief, made by man or community, by church any more than by synagogue. That alone is for them to believe which the Lord reveals to their souls as true; that alone is it possible for them to believe with what he counts belief. The divine object for which teacher or church exists, is the persuasion of the individual heart to come to Jesus, the spirit, to be taught what he alone can teach."
--from The Hope of the Gospel

"you call him, was to be with Jesus in Paradise; and now it was Sunday, and Jesus said he had not yet been up to see his Father. Some would say, I am too literal, too curious; what can Friday and Sunday have to do with Paradise? But words MEAN in both worlds, for they are not two but one—surely at least when Jesus thinks and speaks of them; and there can be no wrong in feeling ever so blindly and dully after WHAT they mean. Such humble questioning can do no harm, even if, in face of the facts, the questions be as far off and SILLY—in the old sweet meaning of the word—as those of any infant concerning a world he has not proved.—But about Mary Magdalene: He must have said the word TOUCH ME NOT. That could not have crept in. It is too hard for an interpolation, I think; and if no interpolation, it must mean some deep-good thing we don't understand. One thing we can make sure of: it was nothing that should hurt her; for see what follows. But for that, when he said TOUCH ME NOT, FOR I AM NOT YET ASCENDED TO MY FATHER, she might have thought—'Ah! thou hast thy Father to go to, and thou wilt leave us for him.'—BUT, he went on, GO TO MY BRETHREN AND SAY UNTO THEM: I ASCEND"  --from Thomas Wingfold, Curate

"He must be our Father, or we are wretched creatures"
--
from The Seaboard Parish

"If we will but let our God and Father work His will with us, there can be no limit to His enlargement of our existence."
--
from Unspoken Sermons, Life