Psalm 1:2.---' In his law doth he meditate day and night.'

To meditate upon any theme is to have one's thoughts come back to it spontaneously, gladly, to have them play about it during the leisure moments of the day and the quite watches of the night. When we take meditation in this sense, we at once perceive the beauty and the naturalness of the connection between the 'meditation' and the 'blessedness.' When the psalmist says 'Blessed is the man who meditates upon the law of the Lord,' he is not making a dry, logical, matter-of-fact statement. The blessedness does not follow the meditation in an arbitrary sort of way, but they are one and the same thing, and they re-act upon each other. The Psalmist is simply giving us his own experience. He has found pleasure, and he has found moral and spiritual strength by allowing his mind to be saturated with the Law of the Lord, and therefore speaking from his own experience and observation, speaking out of the fullness of his heart, he says that to meditate upon the Law of the Lord is a delightful and invigorating thing.

All meditation is thinking, but all thinking is not meditation. The Hebrew word here used means originally to sing or murmur; and the English word also means to murmur, to mutter, to turn over in one's mind. To meditate upon a subject, then, is to mutter it over to oneself, to brood over it, to muse on it in one's thoughts. Of all times perhaps the most suitable for meditation is the evening hour, when the toils of the day are over; of all days perhaps the most suitable is the Lord's Day, with its leisure and its freedom from the ordinary distractions of life.

In the blessed life meditation is the starting-point. Whatever we need to see, to know, to be, begins in meditation on the Word. In the world a man sees only the point of time we call the present. Away on every hand there lies the infinite, the eternal, but the eye sees only that over which it is bent. The man is in contact only with earth and his neighbors. All the consciousness of mind and heart, all the powers of the body and soul are wrapped about the little business of the day. Hope and desire, which should soar into the heavens, are caged within these bars. To go up the mount of meditation is to pass out of narrow ways and busy tumult up into an ampler, purer air, out of dusty roads to dewy freshness. We begin then to see the true proportion of things. The present is lost, and the eternal unfolds itself. The city sleeps in mists below us, and the great heaven arches us. New faculties begin to unfold themselves in the stillness. There opens within us an eye that sees the unseen, an ear that hears other voices. And there, as of old, in the cool of the day there comes the very presence of God Himself, to walk and talk with His child.

He cannot know the blessed life who does not secure for himself this leisure---to be still in God's presence; to listen and to long for His coming; to give up the soul to communion with Him. Religion does not require that we should neglect any business which duty bids us do, rather it commends diligence. But religion does require that we so manage our business as to secure this quite, earnest, devout meditating in the law of the Lord. Let there be what there may besides this, there can be no substitute for it. Endless religious activities, sermons, services, meetings, missions---these things make this quite meditation only the more needful.

About us on every side are specimens of the religious life that are stumbling-blocks to the world and a perplexity to the Church. They are lives that know no meditation.

There is a religious life always on the verge of extinction---a living death. Without any regular meals or visible means of support, it exists on scraps and crusts picked up anywhere; it clothes itself in such scanty clothing as it can find; it stands shivering and looking wistfully at the worlds fire, glad to warm itself when no one is looking, or when those about it are not too particular; trying to snatch a little comfort as it lingers on the verge of the world's pleasure. It is the religious life without any strong, habitual, wholesome meditation on the Word.

Again, there is a very common religious life that is for the most part peevish, querulous, grumbling. Wholly selfish, it is utterly incapable of any brave endurance, of any patient self-denial, and is without strength or beauty. It is the religious life that craves for stimulants. It lives on religious excitement---tears, thrills, raptures. This, too, is the religious life without either the milk or the strong meat of the Word; it never meditates in the law of the Lord. We cannot lay too much stress upon it, we cannot too earnestly impress it upon ourselves. If this quite, earnest, habitual meditation be lacking, we can know nothing of the blessed life. If this be ours, then is the blessed life begun.

And do not let us think of meditation as only a foundation on which we build. Much more than that, it is as the sap of the soul. Meditation carries the purifying and repairing forces of the Word throughout the whole nature. 'Now ye are clean,' said the Lord to His disciples. 'Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.' The Word of God cleanses the thoughts and the motives and the imagination. No life is lower or more hopeless than his in whom every sight is made to minister to a foul imagination. And on the other hand, few shall walk the earth more safely than they whose minds are hung about with pure visions, within whose crystal walls there enters nothing that defileth or maketh unclean. Let meditation be the clear sharp detail whose hands shall set in glowing colors the scenes of God's Word about the "chambers of the imagery."

All through the heat and strain of Christ's active life he kept this habit of secluded communion with the source of all power. It was the secret of His unfailing spiritual freshness and strength. The more He mingled with the active world of men and affairs, the more He felt the need of this cloister in the heart. Whenever the turns of life brought the jarring note, it was in the Chamber of the Presence He tuned his heart again to the joyous music of service. It was there He breathed the larger ether, the diviner air which lifted Him up above all pettiness, all things wretched and lacking in mental discrimination.

Note, further, that this meditation is not reverie---dreaming. It is so thinking about God, and so searching for Him in the Word, that it soon passes into the glow and blessedness of communion with Him. We may venture to alter the word and say: 'His delight is in the love of the Lord; and in that love doth he meditate day and night.' Sweet and hallowed companionship is ours with that best Friend and dearest Brother, who walks and talks with us whenever we meditate upon His Word. Not alone we sit. 'I will come unto you,' is His promise. And this is the appointed place; here He bids us wait and look for Himself. Beside this stream, whose waters make glad the city of God, and underneath this tree of life is His accompanying place. And in that presence to lose the loneliness of life; to forget the fear and weakness; to find the mind illumined as He opens the Word; to have faith emboldened till, like John, it leans on his bosom, and with Thomas calls Him 'My Lord and my God'; to have Him, the past hushed---a holy calm which no voice of condemnation breaks; to have in Him the future all lit up with the glow of heaven's sunny distance [and what is heaven but His presence]: to find the love of all the heart drawn out and satisfied in Him---this is blessedness indeed. So comes the blessed life.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha

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