The paragraphs below are excerpted from George MacDonald's great Unspoken Sermon, Justice:
I will tell you what I believe: I believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, my elder brother, my lord and master; I believe that he has a right to my absolute obedience whereinsover I know or shall come to know his will; that to obey him is to ascend the pinnacle of my being; that not to obey him would be to deny him. I believe that he died that I might die like him—die to any ruling power in me but the will of God—live ready to be nailed to the cross as he was, if God will it. I believe that he is my Savior from myself, and from all that has come of loving myself, from all that God does not love, and would not have me love—all that is not worth loving; that he died that the justice, the mercy of God, might have its way with me, making me just as God is just, merciful as he is merciful, perfect as my father in heaven is perfect. I believe and pray that he will give me what punishment I need to set me right, or keep me from going wrong. I believe that he died to deliver me from all meanness, pretense, falseness, unfairness, cowardice, fear, anxiety, self-love, all trust or hope in possession; to make me merry as a child, the child of our father in heaven, loving nothing but what is lovely, desiring nothing I should be ashamed to let the universe of God see me desire. I believe that God is just like Jesus, only greater yet, for Jesus said so; that he is absolutely, grandly beautiful, with the beauty that creates beauty, not merely shows it; that he has always done, is always doing his best for every man; that he is not a God to crouch before, but our father, to whom the child-heart cries exultant, “Do with me as thou wilt.”
I believe that there is nothing good for me or for any man but God, and more and more of God, and that alone through knowing Christ can we come nigh to him. I believe that no man is ever condemned for any sin except one—that he will not leave his sins and come out of them, and be the child of him who is his father. That justice and mercy are simply one and the same thing; without justice to the full there can be no mercy, and without mercy to the full there can be no justice; that such is the mercy of God that he will hold his children in the consuming fire of his distance until they pay the uttermost farthing, until they drop the purse of selfishness with all the dross that is in it, and rush home to the Father and the Son, and the many brethren—rush inside the center of the life-giving fire whose outer circles burn. I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children.
To him who obeys, and thus opens the doors of his heart, God gives the spirit of his son, the spirit of himself, to be in him, and lead him to the understanding of all truth; the true disciple shall thus always know what he ought to do, though not necessarily what another ought to do. The spirit enlightens by teaching righteousness. No teacher should strive to make men think as he thinks, but to lead them to the living Truth, the Master himself, who will make them in themselves know what is true by the very seeing of it. To be the disciple of Christ is the end of being; to persuade men to be his disciples is the end of teaching.