Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

All God's ways equal

This is a truth at all times, and in all circumstances, to be acknowledged, that all God's ways are just and equal. Yes they must be so, seeing he is infinite in his wisdom, excellent in counsel, free in his degrees, independent in his procedure, and holy in all his works. When Adam was in a state of innocence, all God's ways were equal in his eyes, and admiring the wisdom of the Creator, he gave names to all the beasts according to their nature; hereby showing his own wisdom, without quarreling at the size, shape, or end of their being. But no sooner did he fall from God, and become unequal in his way, than he complains even in the face of God, that his ways were not equal. "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

Such, alas! is the language of my complaining at the dispensations of Providence. If adverse, I dare even go so far as to wonder how or why God deals such and such with me, such and such with his people. And because my unequal soul, that is set at war with itself by sin, cannot fathom his ways, which as far transcend my conceptions, as the heavens transcend the earth—I shortly conclude them unequal.

Ah! foolish, vain conceit! Can anything be crooked in the Eternal Mind? Can any action deviate from the standard of equity in the Judge of all the earth? Can he who is harmony and unity—be at variance with himself? Could I glance the glorious plan in the infinite mind, I would fall down astonished, and confess, "He has done all things well!" His wisdom is the same—though I cannot fathom it. His kind design the same—though I cannot comprehend it. His equity is the same—though I do not understand it.

Although, in the death of my dearest relations, or distress of any kind, I cannot learn why Heaven deals such and such—and why the time, the place, and circumstances are such and such; yet I may be assured, that there is a divine equality in the spotless procedure—for he will never depart from the rule of rectitude, to afflict his people.

But, again, what condescension is it in God, to make his people see the equality of his doings while in this world—so that they cry out, "Now I know that you have afflicted me in faithfulness! It is good for me that I have been afflicted!" Yet, what though such a prospect should be reserved until eternity—when the veil shall be taken down, and all the ways of God shown to his people? It is enough that he does it—who is righteous in all his ways, plenteous in justice, and superabundant in goodness. And though I know not the meaning of present painful dispensations, yet it ought to satisfy me, that he who sends them is not only the Governor of the nations—but the Shepherd of his people, and perfects what concerns his saints.