Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Private Experience

O the wonderful condescension of God! If he looks into heaven, among thrones and dominions, seraphim and cherubim—it is humility, stupendous humility. How much more when he casts his caring eyes on this inferior world of ours! But still most of all, when he hears the cries, and answers the requests, of one who is infinitely less than the least of all his mercies! "You have heard, and I am revived; you have answered me, and I am confirmed in my belief of your love towards me. Lord! henceforth let all my love be yours and on you let all my faith depend."

Now I know to whom to fly, and where it is safe to hide. Now I know, that one day is to God as a thousand years, and that whatever he can do in a thousand years, he can do in one day. Now, to the friend that sticks closer than a brother, with confidence I will cleave. Faith could never be too large in its requests to God in prayer; but God has many a time gone beyond faith in his returns of mercy, and made the blessing broader than belief itself, and more extensive than the utmost expectation.

Alas! it is night in the soul, when unbelief suggests that God's ear is heavy that he cannot hear, and his hand shortened, that he cannot save. Lord, let such a night never spread over my horizon; but let the day-star of faith spread out the morning, until the glorious sun brings in the perfect day. My extremity has been, and still shall be—your opportunity to appear in my relief. Circumstances with me may come to my utmost, even to my last extreme—but can never come to your utmost. You can save to the uttermost—all who come unto you.

Let others resolve the conduct of providence as they please; but for my part, I approve and praise, and henceforth shall be at your disposal, O glorious Governor of men and angels! Do with me as you will, for your kindness I have experienced from my cradle, and shall do to the tomb. The world is a stranger to the mystery of providence, and to the communion your people have with you therein. They know nothing of the prayer of faith, nor of the return of prayer. When the soul is helped to take firm hold of God in the promise, and to look to him alone, and nothing else, and none besides—it is a prelude of approaching mercy.

Now if my conscious soul can blush, let me be ashamed out of my unbelief forever. Blessed be your name that you have not dealt with me as I have sinned, nor given me my own measure into my bosom, and repaid my low thoughts of God with scanty outlettings of your kindness. Now, O Lord! hold me in the hollow of your hand, and under your wings let me reside; while any way you shall dispose of me, shall every way delight me, until I am brought at last beyond the reach of time, where changes and mutations shall never more take place!