Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Saints unknown, Stars unseen


As there are stars in the sparkling skies of heaven of different magnitudes and glory—so there are saints of different stations in the church of God. Some like stars of the first magnitude, point out the way to bliss; while others, like stars of a second, third, and fourth magnitude, sparkle with an upright walk, and heavenly conversation, and condemn a wicked world. All these glorify God, as it were, in an active manner.

But there is another class of his precious ones, who glorify God only in a passive manner, compared to others. These are the secret, private, and retired Christians; who, like the stars that lie concealed in the amazing voids of space, and never strike the naked eye, nor seem connected with our system, are only known to God. But as the glory of God's creating hand, though less visible to us, is as really displayed among those stars that he has stationed so sublime, as among those which he has dropped nearer to our earth—so he is glorified by the private, as well as the public Christian. The resignation of the one to the divine disposal may be as acceptable to God, as the more active labors of the other. How is God satisfied, so to speak, to see his creature wholly at his command; his will molded into the will of the Most High; his desires measured by Heaven's distribution of mercies, and his ambition only to be like God. Here the whole man, with his whole concerns, are wholly devoted to God. Here rebel-thoughts are slain, and the unknown saint only waits the will of God—to submit to fully, freely, and without reserve. Such a heart God dwells in, and such a soul is his throne.

Nothing pleases God better, than when all he does pleases his people. Thus the soul ripens fur glory, and a sacred correspondence is carried on between the heart and heaven. The man casts himself and all his concerns, onto the undisputed will of him who cannot err. Nothing can go wrong with the man, because divine wisdom orders all for him. Yes, what he thinks hard in itself, if he has no sinful hand in it, he embraces and submits to, because of him who sends it. He sounds God's praise loudest—who is silent before God. While the profession of some is blazing, the love of the submissive soul is burning. While others march heavenward in the broad day, and before the wide world; this is a walk within doors, in his own house at home. Of all things, grace grows best in retirement, and, like Jacob, when left alone, he wrestles with the angel of the covenant, for blessings to himself, his family, the church, and the whole world. He is not less holy, because no human eye is on him—but keeps clean hands, from a clean heart. He is not like the painted hypocrite; who must be religious for reputation's sake. He has his conversation in heaven, and his communion with the Most High. Happy is he in his life, happy at his death—for he lives with God, dies in the Lord, and goes to be forever with the Lord!