Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Nothing can purchase Christ from the soul

"What is your Beloved more than another beloved?" was once asked of the spouse by those who knew him not so well as she did. Now, worldlings! let me hear what you will lay in the balance with my Beloved, that, in refusing your largest offers, it may appear how much I esteem my dearest Lord, and best beloved. Will you, then, give me gold and silver until I can desire, until I can stow no more? Ah! your heaps of shining dust will not, cannot purchase him from me! Will you give me titles, honor, and glory for him? Ah! empty sounds shall never take away from me, him who is true, solid, and substantial bliss! Will you give me the earth for my possession, subjugate its kingdoms to my sway, give the stars into my inheritance, and make the whole universe mine own? This, even all this, will not balance the loss of my Beloved—for, compared with his excellences, all things are but loss and rubbish!

Finally, will you give me another beloved instead of him? But where can such a one be found? In him all perfections meet; in him all glories shine; in him all excellences reside; in him all plenitude abounds! All I can wish for, or desire—is to be found in him! Yes, more than I can receive superabounds in him. Now, have you anything in reserve to offer me for him? No! Then take away your dust and ashes, food for worms, and fuel for the flames. These could not all purchase from me one kiss of his mouth, one glance of his countenance, and far less the beloved himself. But, one word of comfort to you before you go. Though I may not, cannot, will not sell my part and interest in my dearest Lord, yet, on his own terms, you may be possessed of him in all his glorious fullness, in whom alone you can be blessed, and without whom, in the midst of all your plenty, you must be extremely poor, and totally miserable.

But now, my soul! one reproof to you. You will not sell your interest in Christ for anything—nor exchange your portion for the universe. Why, then, should not Christ; and an interest in him, be an all-sufficiency to you? And if the universe could not content you without Christ, why should not Christ content you without the least dust of the universe?