Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

The disposal of Providence always best

Why would I still take the government of myself out of your hand, and choose according to my fond desires? Can my ignorance penetrate through the thick darkness of futurity? Who would choose a blind mad-man to guide him through some lonely ways and intricate meanders, with which neither the traveler nor the guide are acquainted in the least: since he might lead him where he desires, and stab him as he strays?

It is surely safer to walk by faith in God, than to be led by my whims. I choose what is most agreeable to me; but God chooses what is most advantageous for me--and proves, in his disposal of me, that his love to me is greater than my love to myself. I love blindlyóbut he loves with the wisdom of a God! I would have my prayers answered at my timeóbut God answers them at his time, which is always the best time. I would have my blessings in large sumsóbut he gives them in small parcels, because I could not bear them all at once. So the prudent mother feeds her child, not according to the irregular appetite of her infantóbut according to its real necessity, to afford nourishment.

In this unhappy life, it is not the least of my happiness, that I am not at my own direction, at my own disposal: for a ship without pilot, and at the mercy of wind and waves, might as well find the desired port--as I attain to rest and tranquility.

Through faith and patience it is, that I must inherit the promises. Therefore God, to make me inherit them in the way that all the saints have done before, tries my patience, and exercises my faith. And dare I quarrel his conduct, or be displeased at such bright displays of his peculiar care and loving kindness? Why, then, so many risings in my bosom, so many doubtings in my soul? Hence I will conclude of every contingency in my lot, however contrary to my enterprises and designs, however crushing to flesh and blood--that it is the very best for me, both with respect to this world and that which is to come!