Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

Are believers in the valley of tears? Is their dwelling place Bochim and Baca? Well, God's mercy outstretches all their misery! Promises of grace dispel the mental gloom, and bear away the ponderous loads of grief! The soft handkerchief of love wipes off the furrowing tear! An inspired penman begins the glorious sentence with an unanswerable question. "If God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up to the death for us all, how shall he not also with him give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) Comfort, then; you sons of sorrow; comfort, my soul! There is more in this verse than can be comprehended! And there is more love in the heart of God, than any language, or idiom of speech, can convey to finite creatures!

If, for my sake, he has given his Son, what will he withhold in all the creation? Is his creation—the breath of his mouth—better to him than his eternal, co-eternal Son? Is the work of his hands dearer to him than his well-beloved bosom Son? And has he given him to the die for you—and then will he deny you any necessity? No! He who feeds the soul with heavenly manna—will support the body with daily bread! He who gives drink out of the wells of salvation—will not fail to afford a cup of cold water! He who has provided a robe of righteousness, to cover the shame of my sin—will also give wool in the cold season. He who furnishes my inner man with all the armor of God, will put a covering on my head in the day of battle and war. (At this time the Author had a view of entering into the navy, being time of war, as he did some time after.) He who, in the counsel of peace, from eternity, secured my peace, will also shine upon my path, and decree what shall come to pass. He who has written my name among the living in Jerusalem, will also preserve, (this my faith pleads and expects,) my character, that I shall not shame what I profess in the world. He who has destroyed spiritual death, will also for me unsting natural death, and spoil the grave of its victory!

Again, how can it be possible that God should give his Son, himself, his all—and yet deny me any good thing? Will not he who is to crown me with glory above—strengthen me with grace below? Will he not bless me with peace of mind—who is to be my peace forever? Triumph, O my faith! all things are Christ's, and Christ is God's! And God, Christ, and all things, are yours! Time is his, and in it I have my years numbered! The air is his, and in it I breathe! The world is his—and on it I dwell; its fullness is his—and I am fed! Grace is his—and in it I stand! Faith is his gift—and by it I overcome the world! Tribulations are from him—and in them I glory! Perfection is his—and towards it I press! Death is his—and by it I arrive at home! Heaven is his—and there is my mansion! Eternity is his, and there is my treasure and glory forevermore!