(“Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)
All at once I find myself in an unbounded flood of bliss, a spacious sea of glory; lost in wonder amidst ineffable delights, and transported with the raptures of seraphic harmony! While all His saints rejoice in His excellent glory–what ardor glows in every soul–what rapture swells in every song! O the adorable displays of His perfections–the manifestations of His goodness–the outlettings of His love!
Here we received out of His fullness–grace upon grace and glory upon glory. Our possession is worthy of our liberal Giver. We have . . .
a kingdom which cannot be moved,
an undefiled inheritance, which does not fade away,
a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God,
garments of glory,
a crown of righteousness,
the tree of life to feed upon,
the fountain of life to drink of,
the garden of God to walk in,
life above the reach of death,
health secured from sickness,
pleasure without pain.
Our bodiesare immortal,
our facultiesenlarged, and
our whole soulreplenished by divinity.
Our past bliss is with us in the sweet remembrance, our present bliss entrances in the enjoyment, and our future bliss is present with us in the full assurance of our eternal felicity.
Thus we are forever blessed to the highest degree.
We are above all fear, beyond anxiety and doubt, and fixed above all change.
Our service is sincere,
our adorations ardent,
our knowledge profound and satisfying.
Rapture rushes in at every part!
Our eyesare ravished with seeing the King in His beauty;
our earsare ravishedwith hearing the songs of the inner temple;
our nostrilsare ravishedwith the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon, the plant of renown;
our feetare ravishedwith standing in His holy place;
our handsare ravishedwith handling of the word of life; and
our mouthsare ravishedwith the wine of our Beloved, which goes down sweetly, causing our souls to shout aloud, and the lips to sing, and never cease.
Our experience of His fullness, our vision of His perfections and glory–constitute our most exalted bliss, and are the heaven of heavens!
O what torrents of eternal love teem from the throne into our souls!
O the pleasure that is in His presence!
O the exuberant rivers of joy that flow at His right hand!
O love! never to be forgotten–which has brought me safely through so many winding labyrinths and crooked paths, in sight of so many enemies–in spite of . . .
a tempting devil,
the accusations of my sins,
the rebellion of my lusts,
the carnality of my affections, and
the weakness of all my graces–
to dwell at last forever in heavenly bliss!
O eternity! once the comfort of our longing expectations–now the transport of our enlarged souls! For we are . . .
forever with the Lord,
seeing His unclouded face,
wearing His divine name,
drinking at the streams of His pleasures,
eating of His hidden manna,
sitting beneath the Tree of life,
basking under the beams of the Sun of righteousness,
singing hallelujahs to Him who loved us, who washed us from our sins in His blood, and brought us here to be with Him forever!
O state of complete happiness and consummate bliss!