Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799


Should not the follies of the world teach me wisdom? The worldling provides for time—and shall I not provide for eternity? But, how shall I secure endless felicity—and know my saving interest in God's unchangeable love?

Well then, may not I, in the language of faith, argue myself into a firm belief of eternal bliss? and, without delusion, fortify myself against the attacks of sin, and sallies of unbelief? Has not Christ come to seek and save the lost? and am not I among the number, and willing to be sought and saved? Is not the call to all the sons of men without exception? Why, then, not obey it without contradiction? Am not I commanded to believe and be saved? Then, have I never believed as yet, or am I determined never to believe? No! "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."

Further, has my faith the marks of true faith? Is it a faith that purifies the heart, and aims at holiness in life? Have I accepted of Christ on his own terms, of a whole and complete Savior? Then true faith can never be disappointed, nor the true believer fall finally away, for "faith is the gift a God," and "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

Now, from the foot of the ladder I ascend, and climb the sacred steps, until I reach the throne of God, and read the secrets of eternity, the records of redeeming love.

Hence, if my daily burden be indwelling sin, and if I strive against the tyrant raging in my bosom—this is a sign of the new nature; for light and darkness cannot dwell together in perfect peace—but darkness and darkness struggle not together. Now, will not this say, that I am partly sanctified; and if sanctified, that I am justified; and if justified, that I am predestinated; and if predestinated, that I by name am foreknown in the decree of election? Now—am I not as sure of salvation, as if I were in heaven already? Can the purpose of God be disannulled? Can the faithfulness of God fail?

I may doubt, and be in the dark again, respecting my clearness to my claim—but he will never deny himself. Heaven and earth may, yes, shall pass away—but his purposes of love, and promises of grace, shall stand. Can I not trust God in time for the completing of my promised happiness when time shall be no more, as well as trust him for the continuation of my consummate felicity in heaven, through eternity itself? Can times and dates, periods and eras—make any change on God? No! All is eternity with the unchangeable Jehovah; 'flying time' only respects frail and dying creatures, such as I am. If, then, I have an interest in his love now, I shall have it for ever; for though death tears my soul and body asunder, it shall not touch my state, nor separate me from his love. Now, what would faith, nay, what would sense have more?

But, there is another security given to my eternal bliss; for I am elected "in the Beloved." Now, heaven and eternity would look strange to the believers, if their best friend were not there; and empty to Christ, if his costly purchase was not there. Yes, my happiness is, as it were, connected with the happiness of Christ. Now, the Son is eternally united to the human nature, as Mediator; and there is no jarring between the human and divine natures, in the person of the Son. There being, therefore, a sacred oneness between the glorious Head and all his members, there is also a commonness of felicity, among them; so that the glory which the Father gives to Christ, he gives to his disciples, and into the very joy of their Lord all his followers enter. Therefore, in and with an exalted and glorified Jesus, I shall be eternally blessed. Now, unless I be afraid that 'mystical Christ' can be divided, the divine attributes set a jarring, the covenant of grace disannulled, and the eternal decrees broken—I may rest in the sweetest assurance of divine favor, in spite of all the blasts that earth and hell, and sin and unbelief, can raise!