James Meikle (1730-1799) was a surgeon and devotional writer in England. In 1758, he began writing meditations and devotional writings. A man of strong religious convictions, deep understandings, and profound joy and cheerfulness, Meikle continued to write for more than 41 years until his sudden death on 7 Dec. 1799.
The Value of Things by James Meikle, August 1,1765.
The value of things are best known by comparisons. Let me, then run a comparison between this present life I now enjoy, in all its best things, as well as its worst things—and that better life I expect after death.
In this life, I may have at times—
- A measure of health.
- Some tainted pleasures.
- A few friends for a few days.
- Some acres of ground.
- Fine clothing.
- A wealthy house.
- Bread to eat, and water to drink.
- A portion of the good things of time.
But—in eternity I shall have always—
- Eternal vigor.
- Pure delights and holy raptures.
- All my godly friends with me forever.
- An unbounded inheritance in the heavenly Canaan.
- Robes of righteousness and garments of glory.
- A house not made with hands.
- The hidden manna, and the river of life.
- The glorious treasures of eternity.
In this life, I may have—
- Communications of grace.
- Freedom from the reign of sin.
- A measure of faith.
- God in his ordinances.
- Manifestations of love.
- Access to the throne of grace.
But in eternity I shall have—
- Deliverance from the being of sin.
- Immediate vision of God.
- Uninterrupted communion.
- All the transports of eternal assurance, and everlasting bliss.
- Uninterrupted attendance at the throne of glory.
Now, what a wide difference is there between my best state here—and the better, the blessed state above! But how will it still widen, when my worst condition is brought into one side of the comparison with this melancholy addition that I am often in my worst state.
Things I Do
In this life, then—
- I often sin against God.
- I go mourning without the sun.
- I dwell in the valley of Achor, and my exercise is lamentation and mourning, and my daily attendants are sorrow and woe.
- Death snatches away my nearest and dearest friends, and with them crops all the joys of life.
- My knowledge of divine things is very lame.
- My graces often are baffled by prevailing corruption and a tempting devil.
- Disease attacks me often, and death awaits me always.
- I am often too ready to say—what a weariness is it to serve God.
- I daily see transgressors and am grieved with self-destroyers.
- Both vain and wicked thoughts often, alas! too often rise, rage and ravage in my mind.
- Often my society is among those who seem to have no fellowship with the Father nor his son Christ Jesus.
But in eternity—
- I shall never offend God’s holy eyes.
- My sun shall go down no more, and the days of my mourning shall be ended.
- I shall dwell on the mount of communion, and my exercise be praise and worship; and my attendants transport and joy.
- Jesus, my best Friend, shall forever cheer my ravished eyes, and fill my folded arms.
- I shall know—even as I am known.
- All my graces shall wear the crown of perfection.
- I shall never complain of sickness, being above the reach of sin and death.
- I shall serve him day and night with rapture and delight.
- There shall not be one Canaanite in all the house of God. There shall not be one sinner in all the land of glory.
- My soul shall be swept of all the trash of sin, and all my thoughts shall soar in adoration, and dissolve in love.
- I shall associate myself with the general assembly and church of the first-born.
Comparison and Reflection
Seeing the difference is so wide, what a wonder that I am not daily longing for the better! If Joseph’s felicity made him forget, not only his toil—but his father, and his father’s house, surely, when I arrive at the kingdom of my heavenly father, all the tender fondness of friend and brother, of parent and husband, will be swallowed up in nearer relations, and lost in a divine love.
Would not the prisoner venture out of a dark dungeon—to the broad day? So, though death be a dark step, yet the inviting glories of an eternal world lie beyond it, the dawning beams of which enlighten the dreary shadow.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... Heb 12:1-2
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In this time of confusion and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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