Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

True Riches

"All things are yours!" (1 Corinthians 3:21)

What, Christian! do you complain of poverty? Do you cry out of need? If you are poor in anything, it is in your views and apprehensions of your glorious inheritance—they are so shallow and confined. But, as God said to Abraham of his seed, so says he to you of your possessions, "See if you can count them all up!" Do you know the measure of your inheritance, or the breadth and boundary of your kingdom? Survey the midnight-sky, and see the sparkling orbs above—these are all your own! And if they can advantage your soul, and bring about your good, not one of them shall be withheld from you, seeing you are the King's son. Now, how rich are you! Can you, then, be cast down for a few difficulties in this world below?

"But, Oh!" reply you, "you would not talk at such a rate, did you know my troubles. Heaven is conscious that I am daily groaning under poverty and affliction, and that my thoughts are divided and distracted. Fear of miseries at one time assails me—and at another time, hope in his mercy composes my mind. Now I would gladly have confidence in the promise—and then am all anxiety about God's providence. Now, if it were as you say—why is all this befallen me? Why is it thus with me?"

What, saint! Do you think that the promises are illusive words, or that God speaks ironically to his people? No! He speaks with the sincerity of a true friend, with the affection of a tender father. It fares no otherwise with you in all your complaints, than with a young heir to a great estate, who is fed sparingly, and put under severer discipline than others, who have not such great expectations. He is not able to comprehend the meaning of such hard usage, until he grows up, and then he finds himself possessed of a healthy appetite, a fine state of health, and a vigorous constitution, as well as of an extensive inheritance, which gluttony and licentiousness in younger years might have destroyed.

Just so you, O saint! when grown up to the measure of a perfect man in Christ Jesus, (for while in this world you are but of yesterday, and know nothing,) you shall see God's excellent use of afflictions, and the noble design of keeping you at a poor table, and poor comforts—lest the satisfying of your carnal appetite had sent leanness into your soul. Then all his ways shall be made plain, which must remain unriddled until the mystery of providence be opened up in the light of glory. All things, then, are yours; and the earth and the fullness thereof, sun, moon, and starry heavens, are but the least part of your possession. You have a right to the bright and morning star of eternity, to the Creator of the ends of the earth, to God Almighty, as your shield and exceeding great reward!

How like the Possessor of heaven and earth are you! for as this is his footstool, so the woman, (the church in all her members,) that is clothed with the sun, has the earth under her feet! Why, then, anxious about a possession on that which is not only God's footstool—but should be yours? Would you appear in all your noble state while in this desert, the land of your pilgrimage; since the better country, where the King of glory has his royal pavilion and residence, lies before you to be inherited? Your eyes may climb to the stars, and say—These are mine. But why terminate there? Faith may rise higher, and claim him who made the stars, and gives them all their names.

O how at once your possessions grow too vast to be described, and extend infinitely on every hand! God, in all his glorious perfections, reconciled in his Son, who is appointed heir of all things—is yours! And you are his! Why, then, be disquieted about dust and ashes, wind and vanity—when the unseen realities of eternity are before you, and shall give the purest joy, and most refined pleasure in the eternal possession of them!