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.
~ George MacDonald
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917) wrote in Christian Disciplines, vol. 1, (pub. 1934) that "it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald's books have been so neglected".
C.S. Lewis wrote of MacDonald:
"... I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined. ... In making this collection I was discharging a debt of justice. 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. But it has not seemed to me that those who have received my books kindly take even now sufficient notice of the affiliation. Honesty drives me to emphasize it."
Lewis also wrote:
"This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald's literary reputation but to spread his religious teaching. Hence most of my extracts are taken from the three volumes of Unspoken Sermons." [Emphasis added]
If you've never read or heard a sermon by MacDonald, the sermon "The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity" is a good place to start. (The following is the first of three parts.)
"He who thinks of his Saviour as far away can have made little progress in the need of him; and he who does not need much cannot know much, any more than he who is not forgiven much can love much" (page 227 in David Jack's translation of Castle Warlock by George MacDonald).
MacDonald reflected Christ's character; that's why he was so admired by Lewis and others.
MacDonald rejected different theories of atonement, but he believed Jesus came to make atonement (see the following conversation).
I highly recommend watching the video on what the early Christians believed about the atonement (above) and reading 1 Corinthians 13:5 and Romans 5:12 in a few different versions. If you read Romans 5:12 carefully you will notice that people die because of their own sin, not because of Adam's sin. We suffer because of Adam's sin, but we are not punished for Adam's sin. A baby might suffer because their mother smoked while pregnant, but the baby is not being punished for their mother's sin. God tells us that children should not be put to death for the sins of their fathers (Deut 24:16). Yes it's true we die because Adam sinned, but only because we've followed in his footsteps --"death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Ironically, Jesse Morrell, a man MacDonald would have likely opposed on a number of issues, has some brilliant insights into the doctrine of original sin, which have helped me better understand MacDonald's position. See the first of 8 parts here.)
MacDonald also claimed that the doctrine of eternal torment is unbiblical. For this reason many have claimed he was not a Christian. But where in the Bible does it say that a person has to hold a particular view about the nature, duration, and purpose of hell to be accepted into God’s Kingdom? God's justice is far greater than our justice. (For an indepth look at what true justice is see the chapter "Justice" in Unspoken Sermons. See also That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, And Universal Salvation by David Bentley Hart.)
Little Daylight (This is one of MacDonald's children's stories. It's an edited version. The full version can be found in his book At the Back of the North Wind.)
*My favourite George MacDonald book is Sir Gibbie. Fortunately, an English edition of the book, which stands side by side with the original Scots dialect, has been published by David Jack. A sample can be read here. For a free copy of the original see here. The original is also available on audio through Amazon Books.
At the time of writing this post script (28/12/18), I've started listening to the original and reading the conversations in David Jack's translation at the same time. At first I'd stop listening before each conversation in the Scot's dialect, read the conversation in the translation, and then start listening to the book again. But I found that it was easier to read the entire chapter first and then listen to the audio. This has improved my understanding and made the book more enjoyable.