Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Sensible communion with God sometimes enjoyed

Though every child in the family of heaven has real fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ; yet there are happy times and pleasant moments, when a divine fellowship is carried on between the soul and God. A carnal world ridicules the idea; and no wonder, for the "natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, because they are foolishness to him."

Will not every Christian confess, that communion with God is sometimes sensibly enjoyed; and that the enjoyment of it is—a little heaven, glory in the bud, and a foretaste of their future felicity? Nor is this the effect of fancy, or an heated imagination; it proceeds from a nobler cause, even the sovereign kindness of the Father of mercies. Have not the souls of his people, (Oh that I could say—my own!) been sometimes so refreshed with more than ordinary out-lettings of his love, that they have longed for the eternal uninterrupted vision and enjoyment of himself? And when heaven has opened before them to let them look in, and see the glories of the better country, how have they trampled on the pleasures, and triumphed over the troubles of the present life!

At three remarkable seasons God is pleased to hold communion with his people. First, before affliction, to prepare them for it; as with Jacob in that memorable night when his angry brother was marching against him; and with Paul, who was bid to be of good cheer, for as he had testified at Jerusalem, so he should at Rome.

Secondly, in the time of affliction, to support them under it; as when Moses was mourning and going heavily under Israel's grievous idolatry, then God spoke face to face with him, as a man speaks unto his friend; and he made his goodness to pass before him. Likewise, Stephen's face, from heart-felt joy, shone like an angel's, amidst his foes, and near his death.

And, thirdly, after some afflictive dispensations, and mournful providences. So the apostles, after they had been apprehended, examined, and severely threatened, are filled in an eminent manner with the Holy Spirit, while the place of their abode, as a symbol of the divine presence, is remarkably shaken.

Though all his saints are fed from God's bounty—yet sometimes they are allowed to sit in his presence, and feast with the King. And such a banquet makes the barren desert like the garden of God. It is only in the strength of heavenly meals, bestowed by Jesus, that I travel to the mount of God. Now, these manifestations and communications do not entitle me to bliss—but are themselves a part of my bliss; therefore I must not build upon them—but seek my standing in the righteousness of the Son of God. Even as a servant's being allowed to eat at the master's table will not prove him to be a son; yet the son abiding in the family of election and house of God, is always entitled to be fed, and is sometimes admitted to his Father's own table.

If, then, Heaven is pleased, according to his divine sovereignty, to display his glory at times, in a more than ordinary effulgence, why should it be called enthusiasm and delusion? For my part—let me live and die in such delusion! But if thus the life of the least saint be like the life of an angel, in comparison of the happiest worldlings; and if the life of one saint so excel another's in walking near God, (for it is thus that in the 'sky of grace' one star differs from another star in glory;) and if the life of a saint sometimes, for a few moments, in comparison of his ordinary attainments, be like the life of a seraph; what must eternal, uninterrupted, full, and free communion be—in the highest heavens, where the new bottles will be able to hold the new wine of paradise; and where the soul, capacitated in every power, shall be replenished with all the fullness of God?

Expire, you intervening years—that I may join the adorers around the throne, and commence communion with the Highest in the holy place—for the endless ages of eternity!