Some Old Puritain Love Letters

From: American literature: a study of the men and the books that in the earlier and later times reflect the American spirit , William Joseph Long, (1913)

“As a supplement to the public records of the Colonists, we venture to present here a few old letters — dearer, and perhaps more significant, because they were never intended for publication. Here is life indeed, life that retains its sweetness and serenity in the midst of peril and hardship, as a flower retains its perfume though beaten by the wind and the rain. A fragrance as of lavender greets us as we open them, and their yellow pages seem to treasure the sunshine of long ago. Reading them, we forget the narrowness and stern isolation of the Puritans; we remember that ideals are eternal; that the hearts of men have not changed since the first settlers landed at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock; and that in their log cabins, as in our modern homes and workshops, love, faith and duty were the supreme incentives to noble living.

These letters, with many others, may be found in the Appendix to Winthrop’s History of New England (edition of 1853), in Robert C. Winthrop’s Life and Letters of John Winthrop (1864-1867), and in Some Old Puritan Love Letters (1894). In our selections we have abridged the missives and slightly modernized the spelling, keeping enough of the old forms, however, to preserve the flavor of the original.”

{Nov. 26, 1624)

My sweet Wife, — I blesse the Lorde for his continued blessings upon thee and our familye; and I thank thee for thy kinde lettres.But I knowe not what to saye for myself. I should mende and prove a better husband, havinge the helpe and example of so good a wife; but I growe still worse. I was wonte heretofore, when I was longe absent, to make some supplye with volumes of lettres; but now I can scarce afforde thee a few lines. Well, there is no helpe but by enlarging thy patience, and strengtheninge thy good opinion of him who loves thee as his owne soul and should count it his greatest affliction to live without thee. . . . The Lorde blesse and keepe thee, and all ours, and sende us a joyful meetinge. So I kisse my sweet wife and rest

Thy faithful husband

Jo. Winthrop


My most sweet Husband, — How dearely welcome thy kinde letter was to me I am not able to expresse. The sweetnesse of it did much refresh me. What can be more pleasinge to a wife than to heare of the welfayre of her best beloved, and how he is pleased with her poore endeavors. I blush to hear my selfe commended, knowinge my owne wants; but it is your love that conceives the best and makes all thinges seem better than they are. I wish that I may be allwayes pleasinge to thee, and that those comforts we have in each other may be dayly increased, as far as they be pleasing to God. I confess I cannot doe ynough for thee, but thou art pleased to accept the will for the deede, and rest contented.

I have many reasons to make me love thee, whereof I will name two: first because thou lovest God, and secondly because that thou lovest me. If these two were wantinge, all the rest would be eclipsed. But I must leave this discourse and goe about my household affayers. I am a bad huswife to be so long from them; but I must needs borrowe a little time to talke with thee, my sweet heart. It will be but two or three weekes before I see thee, though they be longe ones. God will bring us together in his good time, for which time I shall pray. Farewell my good Husband; the Lord keep thee.

Your obedient wife

Margaret Winthrope


Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 12:27 am  Leave a Comment  

My Collection of Antique Books


I just thought I’d share with you some of the neat little antique books I have in my collection, how I came by them, any particular comments I might have concerning them, with names and inscriptions or writing found inside.

Please view this post on My Media Meanderings blog.

Published in: on February 20, 2007 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Hymn Writer ~ Anna Laeticia Waring

Born: Ap­ril 19, 1823, Plas-y-Velin, Neath, Gla­mor­gan­shire, South Wales.

Died: May 10, 1910, Clif­ton (near Bris­tol), Eng­land.

Daughter of Eli­jah War­ing, An­na was raised a Quak­er, but was bap­tized in­to the Church of Eng­land in 1842 at St. Mar­tins, Win­nall, Win­ches­ter. She was deep­ly in­volved in phil­an­thro­pic work, es­pe­cial­ly the Dis­charged Pri­son­ers’ Aid So­ci­e­ty. War­ing mas­tered He­brew as a young girl, to be able to stu­dy Old Tes­ta­ment po­e­try, and dai­ly read the origin­al He­brew psal­ter through­out her life. Her works in­clude:

  • Hymns and Me­di­ta­tions, 1850
  • Additional Hymns, 1858

Dictionary of Hymnology

More about Anna L. Waring

Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 4:22 pm  Comments (2)  

The Life of George MacDonald

George MacDonald (1824-1905)

A reference about the life and works of the Scottish, Victorian author George MacDonald featuring a list of his most famous works.



George MacDonald was born on 10 December, 1824 in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland – the home of Gaelic myths. The second son of George MacDonald and Helen MacKay, he was raised along with his four brothers in Huntly and in nearby Pirriesmill on his father’s farm. A prominent family in the community in both His father, one of the MacDonalds of Glen Coe, was a direct descendant the Clan Donald whom suffered at the hands of the Cambells in a 1692 massacre. The Doric Dialect of the area, frequently appeared in the dialogue of some of his non-fantasy novels, such as Alec Forbes.

Although his family had be prosperous, running a linen mill, thread-spinning and bleaching works, and a bank, several events eventually devastated the family fortune including increasing competition from mills in southern Scotland, technological advances, and a town flood. George became well acquainted with poverty which he continued to know throughout the rest of his life, despite his success as an author.

Educated in country schools as a child, he went on to King’s College, Aberdeen University in the early 1840’s at 15, having received a scholarship. He attended from 1840-41 and 1844-45 received a Master of Arts and was awarded prizes in Sciences and Moral Philosophy. (Later in his life he was granted an honorary doctorate from this esteemed institution.) It was during this period where he began to write poetry. His first work was published in 1846, anonymously, in the “Scottish Congregational Magazine”. He spent three years as a tutor in London and then studied for the Congregationalist ministry at Highbury College, London.

George was made pastor at Arundel, West Sussex, England in 1850. In 1851 Louisa Powell became his wife and they eventually had six sons and five daughters together. After about three years of having not meeting the congregational authorities’ expectations of preaching more dogmatic sermons, he resigned from the pulpit there. George had taught and felt that everyone was capable of redemption, rejecting his family’s Calvinistic influence. He believed in God’s divine presence but not divine providence. He believed that often too much emphasis was placed on strictly being saved from damnation in hell, and not enough on bearing the fruit of a Christian life in the present.






George MacDonald authored Within and Without (1855), a religious poem, followed by Phantastes (1858), one of the defining works of his career, an adult fantasy and moral allegory. Plagued by ill health throughout his life time, suffering from tuberculosis, he went to Algiers with the intent of gaining back his health at the benevolence of Lady Byron, who remained his patron until she died in 1860. He returned to England in 1859 resolved to further pursue his literary ambitions. He converted to the Church of England in 1860 as a lay member, but continued to preach independently as time allowed. To provide for his growing family he tutored and continued to publish his works. Yet, despite his success, he was unable to support his family and turned to writing novels in the 1860’s. MacDonald later accepted a professorship of English Literature at Bedford College, holding the post until 1867. He also lectured at King’s College, London.

MacDonald’s Scottish country life stories such as David Elginbrod (1862), Alec Forbes (1865), Robert Falconer (1868), The Princess and the Goblin (1871), and At the Back of the North Wind (1871) met with great success. He became widely known throughout Great Britain and the United States. His British literary connections were impressive and included Matthew Arnold, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Lewis Carroll. In fact, MacDonald was a mentor to Carroll, encouraging him to publish Alice and Wonderland, whom MacDonald’s wife had the priviledge of reading the original manuscript to their children, which met with much enthusiasm. John Ruskin also became a good friend and benefactor whose donations would often be the only source of income to the MacDonalds.

In 1872, between the tours of noted authors Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde, MacDonald was invited to tour and lecture in America. He was received with honor and great audiences. He established relationships with his American peers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Mark Twain (although after a somewhat tumultuous beginning). He also developed friendships with G. K. Chesterton, Henry Longfellow, and Madeleine L’Engle. A well paying ministerial position was offered him but he chose to return to England. In 1877 he was pensioned at the request of Queen Victoria.During the 1870’s MacDonald wrote such favorites as Paul Faber (1879) and Sir Gibbie (1879).


Despite their financial situation and health problems the MacDonalds were a happy family and often entertained friends and neighbors with concerts and amateur plays. In 1877 one of his daughters was ailing and was taken to Bordighera, Italy, “Heaven of the English”, for a cure. Though she died, the MacDonald’s remained as he found the climate to benefit his own maladies. Most of the years between 1881 to 1902 were spent there. Among the titles published around during this time were Donal Grant (1883), Gifts of the Child Christ (1882), The Light Princess (1893), and his last novel, another moral allegory, the adult fantasy Lilith (1895).

George Macdonald suffered a stroke in 1899 and was not able to speak or write again. He was a complete invalid now and a complacent patient, yet held the look of expectation in his gentle face. Though his voice was gone, his eyes held their full expression as his only means of communicating. Like little Diamond in At the Back of the North Wind – those blue eyes that seemed rather made for other people to look into than for himself to look our of.” On their golden wedding anniversary in 1901 Louisa Powell died after being her husbands caretaker for nearly two years and closest confidant and cherished wife for fifty. After a long illness MacDonald died at Ashstead, Surrey, England on 18 September, 1905.

Although realism was the prevailing form of writing during much of the Victorian era, MacDonald held that realism and science constrained and damaged the imagination, placing limitations on the inner life and the world of the spirit. George Macdonald published over fifty volumes of fiction in some forty-two years, verse, novels, sermons, and children’s stories which rank high among the classics of juvinille literature. He remains on of the most beloved storytellers of all time and has affected the hearts of many, myself included.


George MacDonald was a visionary and was a major influence on many authors who considered him as their mentor.

While reading a copy of Phantastes (1858) one day in a train station, “a few hours later,” said Lewis Carroll of his future mentor, “I knew I had crossed a great frontier.” “I know hardly any other writer who seems closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ himself.”

C. S. Lewis said, “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.”

Elizabeth Yates wrote of Sir Gibbie that “it moved me the way books did when as a child … Now and then a book is read as a friend, and after it life is not the same … Sir Gibbie did this to me.”

G. K. Chesterton wrote, “…I for one can really testify to a book that has made a difference to my whole existence…Of all the stories I have read, including even all the novels of the same novelist, it remains the most real, the most realistic, in the exact sense of the phrase the most like life. It is called The Princess and the Goblin and is by George MacDonald…”

W. H. Auden said that George MacDonald was “one of the most remarkable writers of the nineteenth century” equal to, if not superior to Edgar Allan Poe.

“Surely, George MacDonald is the grandfather of us all – all of us who struggle to come to terms with truth through fantasy.” – Madeleine L’Engle

J.R.R. Tokien called his fairy tales “stories of power and beauty.”


The Life and Works of George MacDonald

Sermons, Non-Fiction, Anthologies, Biographies



Knowing the Heart of God


Knowing the Heart of God

Knowing the Heart of God has been carefully put together by editor Michael Phillips. Combining thematically relevant portions of poetry, sermons, and fiction, each title will help lead serious readers into deeper regions of faith in God. Knowing the Heart of God presents MacDonald’s philosophy for discovering life’s great truths. He insisted this could be done in a simple two-step process by first realizing who God is, and then obeying him. MacDonald trumpets obedience as the door in knowing God intimately. A challenging work, Knowing the Heart of God ultimately brings readers to the very feet of a loving father who wants to be known by his faithful.




George MacDonald Quotes

Quotes from the works of master storyteller, George MacDonald

“I write, not for children,” he wrote, “but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.”

“Alas! how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too deep or a kiss too long,
And then comes a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.”

“We are often unable to tell people what they need to know, because they want to know something else.”

“Where did you come from baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.
Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the skies as I came through.”
–At the Back of the North Wind

“So perfectly like other people had she been in the water, that even yet the prince could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw her ascend slowly, grasp the balcony, and disappear through the window. He turned, almost expecting to see her still by his side. But he was alone in the water. So he swam away quietly, and watched the lights roving about the shore for hours after the princess was safe in her chamber. As soon as they disappeared, he landed in search of his tunic and sword, and, after some trouble, found them again.”
–The Light Princess

“Children are not likely to trouble you about meaning. They find what they are capable of finding, and to do more would be too much. For my part, I do not write for children, but for the childlike, whether five, or fifty, or seventy-five.+
–The Gifts of the Child Christ

“As the thoughts move in the mind of a man, so move the worlds of men and women in the mind of God, and make no confusion there, for there they had their birth, the offspring of his imagination. Man is but a thought of God.”
–The imagination:
its function and its culture

“Better to be damned, doin’ the will o’ God, than saved doin’ nothing!”
–Alec Forbes of Howglen

“Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it.”

More Quotes by George MacDonald


The Poetry of George MacDonald

* Within and Without (1856)
* Poems (1857)
* The Disciple and Other Poems (1867)
* Exotics (1876)
* A Threefold Cord (1883)
* Poetical Works (1893)
* Approaches
* Lost and Found


Other Works of George MacDonald

* The Portent (1864)
* Unspoken Sermons (1867)
* The Golden Key (1867)
* England’s Antiphon (1868)
* The Miracles of Our Lord (1870)
* Works of Fancy and Imagination (1871)
* The History of Gutta Percha Willie: The Working Genius (1873)
* The Wise Woman or the Obstinate Princess (1875)
* The Diary of an Old Soul (1880)
* Dish of Orts (1883)
* The Tragedie of Hamelt, Prince of Denmark: A Study of the Text of the Folio of 1623 (1885)
* The Hope of the Gospel (1892)
* George MacDonald: An Anthology (1947)


The Renaissance of George MacDonald

“These books will assuredly be read yet again when the world has grown wise enough to appreciate their writer’s singleness of vision and the open road between him and God.” — Greville MacDonald, George’s son, 1924

After lying dormant for many decades and new interest in the works of George MacDonald emerged. In 1963, Elizabeth Yates edited “Sir Gibbie” in a more readable version. In the late 1970’s, Wheaton professor Rolland Heins issued four volumes of edited sermons and quotations attempting to simplify MacDonald’s works so they would have a more widespread interest. Then in the 1980’s, 100 years after the height of MacDonald’s popularity, author and editor Michael R. Phillips edited and trimmed many of his novels, translating them from MacDonald’s Scottish dialect into common English. These were reprinted by Bethany House Publishers. Many other publishing houses later followed suit, especially in the reprinting of his children’s fiction.


The Fiction of of George MacDonald

* Phantastes (1858)
* David Elginbrod (1862)
* Adela Cathcart (1864)
* Alec Forbes of Howglen (1865)
* Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood (1866)
* Robert Falconer (1868)
* Guild Court: A London Story (1868)
* The Seaboard Parish (1868)
* Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood (1871)
* The Vicar’s Daughter (1872)
* Wilfred Cumbermede (1872)
* Malcolm (1875)
* Thomas Wingfold (1876)
* Saint George and Saint Michael (1876)
* The Marquis of Lossie (1877)
* Paul Faber (1879)
* Sir Gibbie (1879)
* Mary Marston (1881)
* Castle Warlock (1882)
* Gifts of the Child Christ (1882)
* Weighed and Wanting (1882)
* Donal Grant (1883)
* What’s Mine’s Mine (1886)
* Home Again (1887)
* The Elect Lady (1888)
* A Rough Shaking (1890)
* The Flight of the Shadow (1890)
* There and Back (1891)
* Heather and Snow (1893)
* Lilith (1895)
* Salted With Fire (1897)
* The Curate of Glaston (2002)


“Lilith is equal if not superior to the best of Poe,” the great 20th-century poet W.H. Auden said of this novel, but the


One of nineteenth-century novelist George MacDonald’s most important works, Phantastes tells the story of its narrator’s dreamlike adventures in fairyland, masterfully recounted to convey a sense of profound sadness and a poignant longing for death.

Amazon Price: $9.60 (as of 01/22/2007)


The Curate of Glaston


The Curate of Glaston

This unforgettable trilogy depicts the spiritual awakening of curate Thomas Wingfold and the lives of those he touches. Surgeon Paul Faber believes in nothing but his own goodness until a beautiful patient reveals her secret past. Richard Tuke searches for the truth behind his mysterious heritage with the help of a thoughtful and independent woman. Filled with suspense and love, these novels reveal God’s intimate and loving means of drawing hearts near.

Previously released as The Curate’s Awakening, The Lady’s Confession, and The Baron’s Apprenticeship.

Amazon Price: $11.35 (as of 01/22/2007)


The Gentlewoman's Choice


The Gentlewoman’s Choice



The Children’s Books of George MacDonald

* Dealings With the Fairies (1867)
* At the Back of the North Wind (1871)
* The Princess and the Goblin (1871)
* The Princess and Curdie (1883)
* The Light Princess (1893)
* The Day Boy and the Night Girl (1988)
* The Complete Fairy Tales (1999)


George MacDonald Children’s Fiction



The Princess and the Goblin (Dover Juvenile Classics (Paperback))


The Princess and the Goblin (Dover Juvenile Classics (Paperback))

I read this book to my sons when they were both under six and they really loved it!



Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands (George Macdonald Classics for Young Readers)


Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands (George Macdonald Classics for Young Readers)



The Complete Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics)


The Complete Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics)

Amazon Price: $10.65 (as of 01/22/2007)


His Legacy

    “For whatever the significance of the many literary contributions he made, that legacy is primarily a spiritual one. It is in the spiritual realm that he sought to impact men’s hearts thoughts, attitudes, and priorities; and it is only in the spiritual realm that he can be fully appreciated and set in the context of history.

MacDonald was a complex man. But because his faith was so simple, so centered immovably in the character of God, MacDonald’s imaginative creativity was free to roam wherever it chose. The universe was the Lord’s and he was therefore free to explore all of it. There was no question he could think of, no conjecture his mind could frame, no thought that could come into his brain, no place he could go that didnt fall under the sovereignty of God. Therefore, as a writer and thinker, MacDonald posed bold–sometimes frightening–questions. He did not fear allowing his author’s pen to probe into any of life’s dark corners, for he knew God was there.”

— George MacDonald, Scotland’s Beloved Storyteller by Michael R. Phillips




366 Writings for Devotional Reflection


Diary of an Old Soul: 366 Writings for Devotional Reflection

George MacDonald offers a prayer for each day of the year, reflecting on some aspect of God’s relationship with us. MacDonald’s son, Greville, claimed that this volume “is a record of a life’s rather than a year’s religious thought.”

Amazon Price: $9.95 (as of 01/22/2007)


Published in: on January 23, 2007 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Approaches by George MacDonald

When thou turn’st away from ill,
Christ is this side of thy hill.

When thou turnest toward good,
Christ is walking in thy wood.

When thy heart says, “Father, pardon!”
Then the Lord is in thy garden.

When stern Duty wakes to watch,
Then his hand is on the latch.

But when Hope thy song doth rouse,
Then the Lord is in the house.

When to love is all thy wit,
Christ doth at thy table sit.

When God’s will is thy heart’s pole,
Then is Christ thy very soul.

From The Poetical Works of George MacDonald, 1893

Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 12:28 am  Leave a Comment  

George MacDonald Quote

‘The universe would be to me no more than a pasteboard scene, all surface and no deepness, on the stage, if I did not hope in God. I will not say believe, for that is a big word, and it means so much more than my low beginnings of confidence. But a little faith may wake a great big hope, and I look for great things from him whose perfection breathed me out that I might be a perfect thing one day. The more we trust, the more reasonable we find it to trust.’

From a letter to Lady Mount-Temple, 1888

Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 12:21 am  Comments (1)