Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Christ, the study above

I read with pleasure, O philosophers! your lectures, and commend your care to make the mute creation preach the power and wisdom of the Creator. But yet, O you learned commentators on the volumes of nature—I shall never agree with you in thinking that this study, however useful and engaging here, shall employ the saints above. Surely, when carried above the material heavens, their search shall no more descend to our revolving spheres. When admitted by the divine intercessor into the presence of the great Creator himself, shall they carry the creature in its various laws to be their theme and subject before the throne? By the creature they may now rise to admire the wisdom, acknowledge the goodness, and adore the power of him who made the whole; but when arrived at God himself in all his glory, shall they again descend to meditate on even the noblest of his works, which are but the prints of his majesty, and the traces of his power?

As the apostle speaks in another sense, "after they know God" in that state of perfection, and are known of him in the communion of glory, "shall they return again to weak and beggarly elements?" For if the law was such when compared to the gospel, much more is natural philosophy such when compared to glory. Though the house be beautiful, yet he who builds the house has more honor than the house. Now, we stand and admire the palace abroad; but when admitted in, to converse with the royal family that inhabits it, would we choose to leave their company, and retire to take a view of the windows, doors, walks, and avenues belonging to the building, while we have the furniture, the immense treasures, and precious rarities within, to behold, and the royal personages to talk width? Even so, when we pass into the highest heavens, and sit down before the throne to hold communion for eternity with Jehovah in his Son, shall we then give up with our searches into his divine excellences and adorable perfections, in order to calculate the return of a wandering comet, study the laws of the starry heavens, and explore the secrets of nature?

It is true, everything in which God has been pleased to reveal himself shall the saints study with delight; but as he has revealed himself more in his Son than either in creation or providence—so Christ shall be the uninterrupted, the pleasant, the supreme study of the saints above. His infinite glories shall eternally engage all the ravished powers of my mind to follow hard after God; and I will pursue my study while endless ages roll. I shall be so swallowed up with glory, so enamored with the beauties of my divine Redeemer's beauties never yet beheld, and so lost in God—that my whole attention shall be totally engrossed, and I shall not have one recoiling thought on the then forgotten lessons of philosophy. In a word, I shall never arrive at that place where I find no more beauty in the Rose of Sharon, no more glory in the Sun of Righteousness, no more satisfaction in continually loving God, and no more fullness in infinity itself. I shall never lift my eyes from off my object—and never change my theme.