by James Meikle, 1730-1799
Will any, or will I, pretend to teach the Most High knowledge, seeing he is excellent in all his working, and perfect in all his ways? Then, since I cannot direct him, why am not I submissive to his disposal? Can I predict events, or foresee futurities? No! How then can I promise myself serenity from a cloudless sky? or fear storms from an obscured heaven? when, as to the first, the gathering meteors may suspend an unexpected shadow before the sun; or, as to the second, the gathered clouds may scatter, and let the welcome beams refresh the weary world. So, Lord, as from present appearances, future contingencies cannot be discerned—it is my duty, and shall be my study, to be WHOLLY, FULLY, and FOREVER, at your disposal, to whom all your works, all my purposes, and all my wanderings, are known from the beginning!
O! how the Christian should glory in God's choosing for him the lot of his inheritance, and be content with that condition which Heaven accounts best for him, though not the grandest or greatest; nor the richest or happiest; nor that state he most desires. I am not my own—for I am bought with a price, and dearly paid for too! Would it not be too daring for me to instruct God how to decorate the heavens, how to set the sun, station the moon, place the poles, plant the stars, and guide the wandering planets? Now, I am as much his by right, (yes, in the ties of love, more,) and as much at his disposal, as any of these his other creatures; and if I cannot complain of his conduct with these, why quarrel at his providences toward me?
Another thing which ought to encourage to submission, is, that God's way is not only equitable in itself, but profitable for his people, for the latter end of the righteous is peace; and the end of the Lord is always gracious to his afflicted ones—who chooses them in the furnace of affliction, brings light out of darkness, order out of confusion, real good out of seeming evil; and, finally, brings through fire and water to a place of eternal glory!