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upon these things who are ignorant of all the sincere and solid pleasures of religion and virtue : let them run into the arms of iemptation who can forget God their creator, preserver, and the guide of their youth: as for me, I will serve the Lord, and will employ my time either innocently or usefully in serving God, and doing good to men: the work shall take up my whole life, there shall be no void or empty space in it: I will endeavor as much as possible, that there may be no breach in it for the Devil and his temptations to enter in: Lord, I will be thine ; I have chosen thee for my happiness and portion forever. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee."
3. We should remember our Creator in the days of our youth, because of all others, it can be done with the greatest comparative ease. Forgetfulness of God is natural to man: The wicked through the pride of their countenance, will not seek after God. God is not in uil their thoughts. Whenever we begin to remember our Creator, we shall find difficulties, and these difficulties are so great and complicated, that we shall find a strong inclination to put the subject off till a more convenient season; and the longer we put it off, these difficulties will be constantly accumulating and multiplying, and every day rendering our conversion more difficult and uncertain. The young are as yet only like plants sprouting from the earth, pliable and easy to be trained; whilst at a more advanced age they become like trees, which retain their form, unyielding and unmoved. In declining age, the heart becomes hard and unfeeling; the whole sensibility is blunted; hence it becomes exceedingly difficult for the old and greyheaded sinner, who has lived long in folly and wickedness, sensibly to be affected with his lost and perishing condition. The will, also, becomes obstinate and perverse; having been long indulged and gratified, it refuses to bow to the authority of its Creator. From the very employments, too, of men in more advanced life, there arises many disadvantages : being drawn to a more vigorous pursuit of earthly things, they are, not unfrequently, so oppressed with the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things, that the good seed which has been sown in them, cannot grow up into perfection. Sinful habits, when once formed and rooted, become inveterate, and it is but seldom they are overcome. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, and the leopard his spots ? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. O the omnipotency of habit! It has been well termed a second nature. Sinful habits are like the current of a mighty river, constantly flowing. And when we attempt to obstruct their course, they swell, foam, and rise the higher, till, at length, they break through the obstruction, and then with redoubled force they rush on, carrying with them everything which impedes their progress.
But from these things young people are comparatively free. In youth, the understanding is more vigorous; the heart more soft and pliable; the memory more active and retentive ; and the con
i science more susceptible : hence the difficulties of remembering our : Creator are much less than at any other period of life. If ever the
yoke of Christ is easy, and his burden light, it is in the days o. youth. Besides, at this season they have an express promise from God, which they cannot plead in future life. I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find. This, like the other promises of God, rests upon his immutability and faithfulness. May
this promise, my young friends, encourage you to seek him with * all your hearts, animated by the persuasion that youth is the most convenient season for piety that can ever occur.
4. We should remember our Creator now, in the days of our is youth, because the present is the only certain time we can command
for doing it. The past is gone, and can never be recalled; the moments that have been wasted, are fled for ever. The future does not belong to us, we have no claim upon it; who can tell what
a day will bring forth? We can never be too young to die, we 1 may be too old to live. Thousands younger than we die daily.
The youngest and healthiest may be speedily removed. Let any sá one survey the monuments that surround him, and he will see that
multitudes have been cut off at his age, though once they appeared as likely to live as any who have survived him. Death, perhaps, has come very near to some of you ; has laid his cold and icy hand upon your little brother or sister, or upon some of your youthful companions; the rose that blushed in the beauty of life, faded ; your little companion has languished, has fainted, has died; its innocency could not protect it, its beauty could not shield it from the stroke of death! And O, remember that you may be the victim death has marked for his prey; and while I am addressing you, the king of terrors may be advancing towards you with a slow and silent, but firm step; and while you are rejoicing in the anticipations of to-morrow, and neglecting the concerns of the soul, you may suddenly be brought down to the dust of death. And what if disease or accident arrest you before you have truly devoted yourselves to God? Will you have any opportunity to repair your errors in the grave? Is there any work or device there, by which you can accomplish what was left here undone ? No; as the tree falleth, so it lieth ; and as you die, in a converted or unconverted state, so you must remain forever. To-day, then, while it is called to-day, harden not your hearts, as the generality are too prone to do. Be persuaded to enter upon the work of remembering your Creator now, while it is an accepted time and a day of salvation. Remember that delays are dangerous; this may be your last opportunity, your only season for doing it.
5. There will certainly come a time when we shall wish we had sought the Lord in early life. The text speaks of evil days as coming; and, sooner or later, they are coming to all. There is a time of sickness or of old age coming, wherein we shall find no pleasure in earthly things; and shall we not then wish that we had
have to support you, under the burden of age, if the flour of your days, and the prime of your years, are spent in folly and sin? If you look back upon your past life, your crimes will reproach you ; if you turn your eyes within, your hearts will condemn you; and if you look forward to your approaching dissolution, all is blackness of darkness! No wonder, then, that the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow themselves, and all the daughters of music are brought low. But, if we remember our Creator now, in the days of our youth, we shall lay up in store for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come. A life that has been spent in the cause of God and virtue, will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness in old age. If, when we become old, we can say, I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame : I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not I searched out : I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him: the blessing of him that was ready to perish cume upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy: I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was a robe and a diadem—if we, I say, can adopt this language, will it not be a source of happy reAection to us, in old age ? Such will be blessed of God in the decline of life : his rod and his staff shall comfort them. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He shall come to his grave in full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright ; for the end of that man is peace.
3. Have any, in this assembly, neglected to remember their Creator in the days of their youth? Every argument, used with the young, presses with additional weight on you, and says, with greatly augmented force: Remember now thy Creator. You have already neglected the first and best opportunity of dedicating yourselves to God; repent, therefore, quickly, lest all opportunity of doing it be lost forever. Resolve to redeem, if it be possible, the time which you ought to have improved. You have squandered away too much already-waste no more.
You have deferred a necessary work too long-delay it no longer. Do not delude yourselves with the vain hope, that, if you can fashion your last breath into Lord, have mercy upon me, this will prevail with God, and make atonement for the sins of a long and wicked life. What strange thoughts have such persons of God and of heaven! What extravagant conceits of the little evil of sin, and the great easiness of repentance, have they who can impose upon themselves at this rate! 0, aged sinner, suffer not these infatuations to delude you any longer! Reflect upon your ways; consider, and show yourselves
What will you do in the day of distress, who have neglected God in your most flourishing condition? What will you say to him in a dying hour? Can you have the face, at that time, to address him in the language of your conduct through life?—“Lord, now the world and my lust have left me, and I feel myself ready
to sink into eternal perdition, I lay hold upon thy mercy, to deliver my soul. I have heard strange things of thy goodness, and that thou art merciful, to a miracle. This is what I always trusted to, that, after a long life of sin and vanity, thou wouldst, at last, be pacified with a few penitent words and sighs, at death.” But, is this a proper
address to be made to a wise man? much less to the all-wise Judge of the world? And yet, this seems to be the plain interpretation of a great and habitual sinner's application to Almighty God, when he is just going to appear before his dreadful tribunal. I say again, let not these delusions deceive you any longer ; for, as sure as God is true, they shall never see his kingdom, who, instead of seeking it in the first place, make it their last refuge and retreat.
The Way of Transgressors hard.
“The way of transgressors is hard."-Proverbs xii. 15.
It is frequently urged as an objection against Christianity, that its service is hard—that it requires sacrifices incompatible with human happiness—that all its enjoyments are future—and that, in order to acquire the blessings of eternity, religious persons are rendered miserable in time. If this doctrine were true, even then, good men have an infinite advantage over wicked men ; for, if religion makes a man miserable now, in order to make him happy hereafter, religious people are partakers of happiness at last, while her adversaries finally render themselves miserable. But pray, who has drawn this picture of religion? her friends, her acquaintances, her associates ? No; they, with united voice, testify, That her ways are ways of pleasantness, and that her paths are paths of peace; they uniformly declare, that Godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life which now is, and that which is to come.
But let us examine the ways of those who bring such serious charges against our holy religion, who are altogether strangers to its nature and to its joys. They account themselves happy in having cast off the yoke of God, and freed themselves from the restraints which his law would impose upon them. But the truth is, they are under a most fatal delusion, and miserably deceive their own souls. A good understanding, regulating the conduct agreeably to God's commands, will insure to a man favor and comfort, both in this world and the next-But the way of transgressors is
hard ; they are miserable in time, and will be damned in eternity; they are even disappointed now; and if they vainly dream of heaven, they will be awfully disappointed at last. Whatever these persons may say of religion, however they may deride its votaries, they are by no means competent judges. The testimony of universal experience is against them. But while we charge misery upon them, as the legitimate offspring of depravity, we stand on high ground; before conversion, many of us were in the secret. We know that sin has no lasting, no solid joys, while it has a thousand real pains; and it is a truth as clear as a sunbeam, that the way of transgressors is hard, a way full of briers and thorns. In the further illustration of these words, let us enquire
1. What are we to understand by the way of transgressors The way of transgressors is hard. The word transgressor, is but another name for sinner. Characters of this description have always occupied a way peculiar to themselves : Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with flood : which said unto God, Depart from us. The very name supposes those to whom it belongs to be under the obligation of law, and to be violators of it; for where there is no law to bind men, there is no law to be transgressed by them. Hence, the apostle says, Sin is the transgression of the law but where no law is, there is no transgression. Transgressions, therefore, necessarily supposes either something done that was forbidden, or something omitted that was commenced. Every man either has been, or is now in the way of transgression : For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. The pious and the good were in the way of transgression before their conversion to God; for the way of the upright is to de. part from evil; and he that keepeth his way, preserveth his soul. Hence it is, that we are told that the law was not made for a righteous man ; that is, for his justification-But for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for man. sluyers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves among mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for purged persons, and if there be anything contrary to sound doctrine. The way of transgressors might be thought the most honorable, and the happiest way in the world, considering the confidence of those who are in it, and their unwillingness to leave it; but, alas, it will be found a fruitless and shameful path; nay, a path leading directly to damnation. What fruit had ye in those things whereof ye are now ashamed, but the end of these things is death. But this point will become more apparent
II. By illustrating the doctrine of the text, respecting this way: The way of transgressors is hard. This is the uniform declaration of the sacred oracles. The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace,