Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

The coming judgment

A day of accounts will come, when the lease of life expires, and the great Proprietor of heaven and earth will reckon with all people.

Some saints are so clear respecting their interest in Christ, so rich in his imputed righteousness, so full of heavenly assurance—that they rather rejoice than tremble at the day of judgment. Others, though in a gracious state, are so encumbered with worldly cares, are so beclouded with desponding thoughts, that they cannot collect their evidences for the better country, and are afraid that, when they stand in the judgment, they shall be condemned. But the unrepentant sinner, who is poor towards God, and has nothing provided for eternity, not the least evidence for heaven, well may tremble and be horribly afraid for the coming judgment

O that we were thus wise in spiritual things! Our priority should be to have matters between God and our souls on a comfortable footing, and then all other things shall run in a pleasant channel.

In the day of judgment, not only the sins committed directly against God—but injuries against one another, whereby he also is offended, shall be condemned in his presence. The foolish virgins, in that solemn day, will find no oil to buy—but must be shut out from the heavenly marriage, forever to dwell in darkness and despair.

Alas! many presumptuous hypocrites will find all their feigned righteousness rejected! Proud legalists will find their good works, when weighed, miserably lacking! And all who depend on anything but the perfect righteousness of Jesus, will find themselves eternally lost!

We must all soon, how soon we cannot tell—remove from this world, to the invisible world. Woe to the people, whether he dwells in a palace or in a cottage, who must leave his clay tabernacle, without any hopes of being admitted into the mansions of glory! Woe to the man who has all his life-time been the servant of sin, and shall find, at the awful hour of death, that eternal death shall be all the wages of his service! The man of gray hairs, who is half-dead to this world, and the infant of a span long, who knows nothing of a world to come, must go together to the silent grave.

Multitudes, who know that they must very soon drop this mortal frame, and leave with all below—give themselves no concern, and take no thought how or where they shall dwell through an endless eternity. Though we expect death ourselves, or on some of our family, yet we may expect to be surprised at last, and taken unawares. It will be our wisdom not to delay the great work of making our calling and election sure, until sickness enfeebles every nerve, and death sits down on our eye-lids.

What blessings, then, should the elect ascribe to Jesus, that best friend, who for them answers all the demands of law and justice, and has obtained their full, their final discharge at the court of heaven, from his Almighty Father's hand—so that they have no claims to answer, no condemnation to fear—either in this world, or in that to come!

When the saints arrive at the mansions of glory, are acquitted by the judge of all the earth, and finally discharged from sin and death—then shall they forget their light and momentary afflictions—as the waters that flow away. Then joy shall crown their heads, and songs shall fill their mouth, and they shall be satisfied with their felicity, exult in his salvation, and be ravished with his goodness forever!