Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

The madness of the world in their choice

Why does the world reject the Savior of the world? Why do they abhor him who is altogether lovely—and hate him who is the best Friend of mankind?

Had I the tongue of a cherub, which has heard the language of glory, and mingled in the discourse of the multitudes before the throne for these five thousand years; or could I talk in every tongue, extend my voice to every nation, and speak so loud and long, that the assembled universe should hear—what should be my theme, my darling, favorite theme? Surely the Son of God, the Savior of the world. How would I dwell on his divine nature, and enlarge on his enrapturing relationship to his people—until all the needy nations fell prostrate adorers before the throne of their kinsman-Redeemer, and their God!

But if they disdained to listen to a fellow-creature, how would my soul cheerfully pour out herself into articulate thunder, or distinct echo, thereby to repeat his praise, and convey his excellencies into the ear of thousands, and ten thousands of attentive hearers—until they should submit to him, bow the knee, and begin the work of heaven on earth.

Then would I, with contentment, drop down into the dust, mingle with my kindred clay—and be no more. Yes, what would it matter though I should no more exist, if ten thousand thousand warbling tongues were added to the general song, to extol the fairest One, the Plant of renown—forever? Such an insignificant nothing as I am, would make no blank in the list of beings, or the roll of creation; and O what massive joy would it afford me to think of the happiness of millions of my fellow-creatures!

But this is impossible. I cannot leave you—my life, my love, my God, my all! It is my happiness to forever exist as the friend of God!

O men of the world! what good can you desire that is not in Christ? What distress can you dread, from which he cannot deliver you? The excellencies of earth are but his footstool, the excellencies of heaven are but his throne—how excellent, then, must he himself be! His treasures are infinite, and open for you! In Jesus are riches, if you are poor; honor, if you are despised; friendship, if you are forsaken; help, if you are injured; mercy, if you are miserable; joy, if you are disconsolate; protection, if you are exposed; deliverance, if you are in danger; health, if you are in sickness; life, if you are mortal; and, in brief, all things, if you have nothing at all. Time and eternity are his, and he can give you all the good things of this world; and all the glorious things of eternity! Moreover, he can deliver you from all your fears; from sin, the worst of all evils; from self, the most hurtful of all companions; from death, the most dreadful of all changes; from Satan, the most subtle of all enemies; from hell, the most horrible of all prisons; and from wrath, the most horrifying doom of all sinners!

Now, where will you find such an one as Jesus? Why, then, refuse life, and seek after death? All heaven is enamored with his beauty; and why, then, will you prefer a midnight gloom before his meridian glory? The longer we look on created gaieties, they grow the leaner and less lovely; so that, by the time we have viewed them forty, fifty, or sixty years, we see nothing but vanity in the creature. But when ten thousand ages are employed in beholding the perfection and beauty of Jesus, he still appears more and more lovely, even altogether lovely!

Why will the world not awaken from its fatal dream—and let go shadows—and grasp at everlasting substance? Alas! I can say nothing of his true excellences—they overwhelm my laboring thought, and are too vast for my feeble conception to bring forth!

But let the world choose whom or what it will for a portion; still, as for me and my house, and all I can prevail upon, we will choose this well-beloved, and serve this Lord! "Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" (Song of Solomon 5:16)