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In such evil case I believe the man would be glad to come in contact with the worst loathed insect: it would be a shape of life, something beyond and beside his own huge, void, formless being! I imagine some such feeling in the prayer of the devils for leave to go into the swine….Without the correction, the reflection, the support of other presences, being is not merely unsafe, it is a horror — for anyone but God, who is His own being. For him whose idea is God’s, and the image of God, his own being is far too fragmentary and imperfect to be anything like good company. It is the lovely creatures God made all around us, in them giving us Himself, that, until we know Him, save us from the frenzy of aloneness — for that aloneness is self.

— “Not Good to Be Alone,” An Anthology

George MacDonald (1824–1905) was a Scottish writer and Christian minister known for being the forerunner of today’s fantasy writers. His fairy tales and fantasy novels influenced J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Madeleine L’Engle, among others. MacDonald also persuaded friend and fellow fantasy writer Lewis Carroll to submit his
Alice tales for publication. After rejecting the Calvinist doctrine of elective predestination (those who will be saved know they will be saved), MacDonald went on to write fantastic tales that sought to show Christ’s universal love.

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