Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

The spiritual miser

Who is more an object of ridicule than the rich miser—who goes supperless to bed, because he will not give one farthing out of his immense sums to purchase food; being afraid to live on what he is never able to spend, and anxious to heap up what he can never enjoy.

Shall I, then, act the miser in spiritual things? Shall I be afraid to live on the all-sufficient fullness of my Lord, lest his stores decay? Shall I spare to drink of his overflowing ocean, lest it grow dry before my face? Heaven no less loves a liberal receiver, than a liberal giver. Is it decorous to hunger at the table of the king; or to say to the enriching hand—Stop, you cannot spare so much? The miser's wretched penny-pinching may, after his death, advantage his heirs, and, in the meantime, accumulate his own riches; but the case is not so with me. My living for the present poorly and sparingly on the promises, will never advantage my after-state, nor leave any greater plenty for other saints; neither will it make the celestial treasures any fuller, that I fetch not daily from them. Though Daniel looked healthier than those that fed on the polluted bread of the king of Babylon, yet my soul will look but thin and lean, unless it feeds and feasts on the daily allowance of the King of glory, whose table is covered with an infinite plenty. All the angels and all the saints may banquet continually without lessening the divine store, which, as to the display and manifestation, increases, as in the days of his flesh, among the numerous eaters, and grows among the happy guests. Why then pine at such a table, starve in the midst of so much plenty, and convert divine liberality into the penny-pinching of unbelief? Shall I confine that bounty that is rather perplexed where to pour its plenitude, (because few will accept of Christ and his fullness,)—than at a loss for a super-abundancy to bestow?

Henceforth let my soul by faith live at large on the promises, and live spiritually grand at the expenses of the King, who will not grudge it. Let me put on the royal apparel of the Son of God, the vesture of imputed righteousness; and, as a sign that this is the embroidered garment of my inner man, keep clean hands, and an holy walk. Why should I creep and grovel in the by-ways of darkness, and foot-paths of despondency—when I may ride in the chariot of the covenant, which Solomon has built for the daughters of Jerusalem, and paved its interior with love? Why should I walk by foot through fear and faithlessness—when my seat is empty there, and no one else can sit in my place? Then, to the honor of him to whom I belong, I will appear like one of the royal family of heaven. I will rejoice in him always, and again I will rejoice. I will feast my soul with his divine dainties—and suck the honey of the promises! I will satiate myself with his goodness, and drink at his river which gladdens the city of God. I will not dwell in the shadow of sorrow—but come out and walk in the light of his countenance, in the brightness of his glory. I will importune his sin-subduing grace, and plead for strength to fight the battles of the Lord, that in his name I may conquer all my foes. I will expatiate on the opulence of my treasure, the extent of my inheritance, and the excellences of my Beloved; and live to the glory of him who gives me all things richly to enjoy—according to the magnificence of an heir of God—according to the grandeur of a joint heir with Christ!