The art of meditation
(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"So I applied my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things." Ecclesiastes 7:25
We live in stirring days, when deeds are everything — when closet work is often neglected for active business, and little time is given to meditation. Yet, with more thought and prayer — wholesome activity would be greater in the end, and all our actions more successful. Time is not lost, which is spent in meditation — in searching wisdom's ways, and seeking out profound realities. There is one who often meditates — and yet accomplishes much. There is another who hastens — and yet does little. None works so heartily, nor reaps so fully — as he whose wits are sharpened by prayer and meditation.
Reading either Scripture or Christian books, apart from meditation, does little good. It is much the same as not digesting what you eat — this only starves the soul. How many read the Bible thus!
The art of meditation may be learned by dint of effort.
You say, "I am quite unused to meditate. How shall I begin?" Deal gently with yourself at first. Select your subject — some passage from the Word. Then fix the time you choose to give; say, five minutes at a time. Begin, and think aloud. This makes it easier, and saves the mind from distracted thoughts, the hardest task of all. The sound even of your own voice will help you; it is like speaking to a friend. And what is meditation, but communing with self — that self may be a constant hearer.
But, more than all, make it a time of prayer — of communing with God. This helps the matter greatly. Take the words of Scripture — and ask Jesus what they mean. In doing this, the mind is exercised. A glow of thought attends the effort. You honor Jesus; and He will honor you, by pouring out a largeness of capacity — a quicker mind. The interchange of thought between you and Jesus goes on apace, and you are surprised to find how long the exercise has lasted.
Thus meditation grows, the more it is exercised. It . . .
feeds the soul,
expands the mind,
increases thought, and,
best of all, it brings you into fellowship with Jesus. This is the very life and soul of meditation.
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8
"But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His Law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2
"I will meditate on all Your works, and consider all Your mighty deeds." Psalm 77:12
"I meditate on Your precepts, and consider Your ways." Psalm 119:15
"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." Psalm 119:97
"I meditate on all Your works, and consider what Your hands have done." Psalm 143:5
"My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promises." Psalm 119:148