Upon the Galaxy or the Milky Way
The Milky Way, according to Aristotle, is a shine or brightnss caused by the joint-rays of a multitdue of imperceptible stars (and not a meteor). But is not my purpose to find out or determine what it is, as it it to meditate upon the place where it is The Milky Way is in heaven, the true Canaan Land and Land of Promise, in which rivers of pleasure and sweetness do everlastingly flow. And while we are absent from it, we like Israel in the desert — apt to complain of daily wants and to be discouraged with various fears.
How greatly therefore is it becoming us who profess to seek such a country to long earnestly after it in our desires and to travel towards it in patience; not fearing the difficulty of t he way, but animating our selves with the perfection of the end, in which rest and glory, which are here divided, shall both meet and forever dwell together.
If the Sea of Affliction be the passage, the milky way of life shall be the bliss at the end. And is it not better to wade through a sea of blood to a throne of glory, than to glide along in a smooth stream of pleasure to an abyss of endless misery?
A good end gives an amiableness to the means, though never so unpleasing. The bitter potion which brings health is gladly taken down by the patient: but poison in a golden cup, when made as pleasing as art and skill can temper it, can never be welcome ot any who understand the sweetness of life, or dread the terror of death.
The way is good, as Chrysostom says, if it be to a feast, even if through a blind land. If to an execution, it is not good, though thorugh the fairest streets of the city. Chrysostom himself was bideen to the Marriage Dinner, and he went through various lanes and alleys. Crossing the high street, he met with being led through to be executed. He said to those listening, it is not way but the end of the way that should be thought upon.
Lord, then let me not be anxious what the path is that I tread, whether it be plain or thorny, pleasant or difficult, bloody or milky, so it lead to theee, who are Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of blessedness; but to walk cheerfully in it till I come to thee my everlasting rest.