1888 is the publishing date for The Elect Lady by George MacDonald. Michael R. Phillips has rewritten much of MacDonald's work into a more contemporary English. The Landlady's Master is the new title with Phillips listed as the editor. Here is a brief excerpt between the main character, a young Scottish farmer named Andrew Ingram, and a foil named George.
"You don't mean you can read your Bible as you hold the plough!" said George.
"On no," answered Andrew with a smile. "It would hardly be possible to manage a book between the stilts of the pough. The Bible will keep till you get home; a little of it goes a long way. I was speaking of nature. Paul counted the book of creation enough to make the heathen answerable for not minding it. Never a breath of wind wakes suddenly, or a cloud moves over head, or a drenching rainfall stops my work, but that they talk to me about God. And is not the very sunlight itself the same that came out of the body of Jesus at his transfiguration?"
"You seem to have some rather peculiar notions, Mr. Ingram."
"Perhaps. But for a man to have no ideas he counts as his very own is much the same as to have no ideas at all. For a person to adopt as his beliefs only and nothing more than what he has heard from others seems to me a hollow faith. A man cannot have the ideas of another man any more than he can have another man's soul, or another man's body. Ideas must be one's own or they cease to truly be ideas at all."
"That is dangerous doctrine."
"Perhaps we are not talking about the same thing. I mean by ideas what a man orders his life by."
"Your ideas may be wrong."
"The All-wise will be my judge."
"So much the worse if you are in the wrong."
"Having him as my judge is good whether I be in the right or the wrong. I want him as my judge all the more when I am wrong, for then I most keenly need his wisdom. Would I have my mistakes overlooked: Not at all! Shall he not do right? And will he not set me right? I can think of nothing so wonderful!"
"That is a most dangerous confidence."
"It would be if there were any other judge. But it will be neither the church nor the world that will sit on the great white throne. He who sits there will not ask, 'Did you go to church?' or 'Did you believe this or that?' but, 'Did you do what I told you?' "