Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Feeble Nature

Oh! how do I groan in this body of clay—this clog of humanity! When I would serve God with gladness, feeble nature hinders me; my strength is exhausted, and I must be again refreshed with sleep. Grace had not only sin to fight against—but it has bodily infirmity to struggle with. And I have no way of getting comfort under my calamities of this kind, which are so many, but by beholding with the eye of faith, through the telescope of Scripture—the glories of the world above, when this mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in life. There my weary eyes shall never seek to be refreshed with sleep, amidst the engaging glories of the higher house!

The mirth of this present evil world, like an enchantress, lulls men asleep to everlasting destruction; but the songs of the inner temple rouse to all eternity. With the strength of an angel shall I step along the hills of glory, and walk over the paradise of God. With greater ease shall I go on with the highest acts of adoration, than here give over the ordinary acts of devotion; for it shall be life to my soul, and vigor to all my powers, to be so employed! There he who pours the new wine into the saints, capacitates, strengthens, and supports the soul, to receive the eternal weight of glory. Meditation shall never tire my thoughts in tracing all the mazes of redeeming love! Everlasting hallelujahs shall dwell on my tongue; and how shall I improve in the song above, while I rest not day or night to sing, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive glory, and honor, blessings and power, dominion and praise, forever and ever!"

There the uninterrupted vision of him, to whom when I see him I shall be assimilated—shall strengthen my eyes, that they shall be able to receive the images of all the celestial glories. No weariness there, where the exercise of worship renders happy. No weakness, where Jehovah is my strength. No lack of subject, where the Lord God and the Lamb are my song! Oh! shall I be able to praise and worship God through eternity? To sing his being and attributes, his love and his mercy, his righteousness and his truth, even a whole God, and a full glory! This will be my consummate happiness, and continual enjoyment!

Well then, what though the hours of time steal from me unknown? I rejoice that I shall not lose one moment through weariness, while eternity rolls forever on. Oh! may I improve this to prepare for that; for if eternity is not secured before time is spent, I am undone in both.

Roll on, O day of love, to perfect strength in my weakness, and crown a poor expectant with eternal glory!