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and to fear him who is able to deftroy both foul and body, in hell, forever! But, I was faying, youth is the moft privileged period in life to attend to the duties of religion; and who can a moment doubt it, that knows the human character? The young are not hardened by long habits of fin. Is not the mind in youth peculiarly tender and foft, and eafily moulded into good habits? Is it not all alive to feeling, and eafily impreffed with whatever

fometimes the ease, be caft away for fcenes of diffipation and carnal mirth ; nor whether they will be duly encouraged, till God fhall in the riches of his grace renew their hearts, and fill them with the bleffed confolations of religion. Of this I pretend not to judge. I leave it with him who has the refidue of the fpirit; who maketh | fore, and bindeth up: who wound eth, and his hands make whole. But, in whatever manner thefe tender impreffions upon the heart and the confcience may be treat-greatly interefts it; having none of ed, by thofe who were then the the forrows, the pains, the weakfubjects of them, one thing, inneffes and the infirmities of old age particular, from the interefting fcene, forcibly ftruck my mind; and it was this, That the days of youth are the most privileged and convenient time to attend to the duties of religion. This is often denied. Inconfiderate youth put far away the evil day; and their forced excufe is, that youth is neither a privileged nor convenient time to attend to the duties of religion, not confidering, to-morrow they may die, as thousands have died before them; nor laying to heart, the folemn warning given them, by an infpired preacher, in thefe words, Eccl. xi. 9. "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the fight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all thefe things God will bring thee into judgment."Will God, then, O young man, or young woman, who may chance to read thefe pages, bring thee into judgment for all these things? Art thou, while thus indulging in fin, fowing the feeds of forrow, which thou must reap, either in this or the eternal world, or perhaps in both? Surely, then, it becomes thee to confider thy ways,

to deftroy its ftrength and activity;
while animal nature most readily
lends its affiftance, in the feet to
walk, the eyes to fee and read,
the tongue to speak and afk, and
the ear to hear and receive inftruc-
tion. But, in old age, all will be
the very reverse. A long harden-
ed, corrupted taste will not cafily
be fubdued; habits of fin, long
indulged, urge on to continued
indulgence, in defiance of reproof;
the terrors of hell having been of
ten refifted, cease to alarm the
guilty wretch; and he is afhamed
to renounce his diffolute conduct
for a life of prayer and religion.
I have lived to fee the mighty
power of God, in the riches of
his grace, displayed in the revival
of religion, in several different
towns; and have obferved that
the young, where there were no
fons of Belial to corrupt them,
have been more or less the subjects
of the bleffed work.

That the days of youth are the moft privileged and convenient feafon to attend to the duties of religion, appears, alfo, from the forcible manner in which king. Solomon has preffed upon the young mind a remembrance of God. But, fince his arguments

are expreffed in figurative language, I fhall now endeavor to place them in a plain and familiar light. Eccl. xii. 1. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou fhalt fay, I have no pleasure in them."-Explanation. Rememher now your Creator in the days of youth, while in health, and full ftrength of body and mind; for these are the best days that ever you will fee, to obtain that religious inftruction which is effential to your everiafting peace and happiness with God. For the years of old age, if you are fuffered to live, will foón come upon you, with all the pains, afflictions, burdens and evils which naturally attend that period in life; and, if you are then found deftitute of religion, you will find no pleafure in them. Borne down with fuch a load of infirmities, you will find nothing to comfort you on earth; nor, without religion, any thing to comfort you in the near view of


by reafon of the dimnefs of the eyes, all thefe fources of comfort, to cheer the animal fpirits, are darkened and loft. Failing eyes make them cease to please. When the rain is over, and the fky clears up with a beautiful brightness, the clouds ftill hang on the minds of the aged. They forget not their forrows and infirmities. All to them still remains dark and gloomy. A clear sky gives them no lafting pleasure. When young, they rejoiced at the pleafing change, and beheld its beauties with rapture; but the burdens of old age are not to be removed by the clearing of the fky. The joys of the young are remembered but to increafe the gloomy contrait of declining years.

Verse 3. "In the day when the keepers of the house fhall tremble, and the ftrong men fhall bow themselves, and the grinders ceafe because they are few, and thofe that look out at the windows be darkened." Exp. For, in old age, when the nerves are relaxed, the legs, which are the great pillars that fupport the temple of the body, become feeble and tremble.

Hence, it is with difficulty that the aged move themselves from one place to another; with difficulty if difpofed, that they can get to the ufual places of pub

Verse 2. "While the fun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain.". Exp. For youth, on every account, is the most convenient and best time you will ever find to at-lic tend to religion and make your peace with God. It is the belt time; because then, if difpofed, you can enjoy all the works of God. In youth, the fun, the light, the moon, the ftars and all the works of God are pleasant to the clear fighted eyes, cheering the mind; and the lively beauties of the verdant hills and flowery meadows, after the refreshing fummer's rain, adminifter new and varied pleasure. But, in old age,

inftruction; and, fometimes, they are fo enfeebled that they cannot go at all. And while their legs tremble, their knees bow themselves, and no longer ftrong and firm to keep the body erect, fmite the one against the other, thus making the difficulty of travelling from one place to another ftill greater, Befides, their grinders or teeth are chiefly gone, a few only being left, making it difficult for them to eat their food, and deftroying the pleasure, once

enjoyed. And to add ftill to their forrows, the fight of their eyes fails, so that they can no longer look out of thofe windows of the body, either to enjoy the beauties of nature, or to read the holy fcriptures. But, in the days of youth, it is far otherwife. The young never complain of wearinefs of legs. They can run, they can walk with eafe from place to place, wherever they pleafe. Their legs never tremble, nor their knees fmite together: they are strong men; they eafily bend, and the body feels but a light burden upon them. Their teeth are ftrong and full fet; and they eat their neceffary food with eafe and pleasure. Their eyes are clear and penetrating, embracing all the beauties of nature to cheer the mind, and enable the inquiring finner to read the holy fcriptures. On these accounts, how Superior, therefore, are the days of youth to the days of old age, to attend to the duties of religion! Young people can go to the houfe of public worship, at all seasons of the year, in all weathers, as often as they pleafe, and with eafe. Their cars are not deaf, when there, that they cannot hear; nor their eys blind that they cannot fee; nor their memories weak, that they cannot remember; nor their fenfe of feel ing loft that they cannot feel. Oh, my young friends, can you feriously read this defcription of the decrepitude of old age, with its countless infirmities; and yet, vainly flatter yourselves, that old age will be the best period of time to begin a religious life? Do you not in a moment fee, in fpite of all your unwillingness to acknowledge it, that the privileges of youth, on these accounts are unIpeakably greater than thofe of

age? But, the painful contraf ends not here.

Verse 4. "And the doors fhall be fhut in the streets, when the found of the grinding is low, and he fhall rife up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of mufic fhall be brought low;" Exp. And the eye-lids, (which in youth are naturally light and open, for the eyes to fee all that paffes in the streets,) fhall become heavy, and be long and often clofed in fleep, to support the feeble remains of decaying nature, when through the lofs of his teeth and appetite, the aged man eats but little, and fleeps much, living in a kind of ftupidity and infenfibility to all that paffes before him. And yet, notwithstanding his peculiar dulnefs, his fleeping so often and so much, he shall not be able to enjoy fweet reft in the night, as he once did, in the days of youth; but fhall in wearinefs long for day, and tired of his bed, as well as of every other enjoyment, fhall impatiently get up in the morning, at the voice of the Robin and the Lark, (finging at the early dawn,) in every pofition wearied, reftlefs, and joylefs both by night and by day. Nor can the mufical notes of thefe fweet warblers of the early morn; nor of the fofteft tunes, fung by a choir of fingers, the admired daughters of mufic, which once enlivened, delighted and sweetened the mind, in the days of youth, in old age foothe and sweeten a a troubled mind. For, in old age, even the foft charms of mulic ceafe to pleafe. The aged can neither fing themfelves, nor will their relaxed conftitution and decayed nature, admit of their receiving delight in hearing the fongs of others. To them, every thing is in a manner joyless.

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Thus stripped of earthly enjoy-lected, if they are known to be prayments, in old age, nothing but pure religion can fweeten the mind and afford lasting pleasure.


erful, humble and pious? I appeal to your hearts, my young friends, is not this your excufe, for living in fuch a cold neglect of God and religion? Is not this the reafon, why you are no more concerned for your precious, immortal fouls? Is not this the reafon why you are ashamed to be tho't feriously enquiring, What fball I do to be faved? Oh! inconfide rate youth! Why will you thus fuffer yourselves to be deluded? Why will you willingly fall into fuch a fatal fnare, and prefumptuously rifque the lofs of all the glories, prepared for the righteous, in the everlasting manfions of bleffednefs? Do you expect thefe fears, trials and difficulties will be lefs in old age than they are now? Do you expect there will be nothing then, to hinder or difcourage you from attending to the duties of religion, after be ing fo long neglected? Oh! As you value the everlafting bleffednefs of your own fouls, deceive not yourfelves! Depend upon it, from the very nature of man, thefe difficulties and trials will then, certainly be greater. If, therefore you have not now, while in the full vigor and ardor of youth, courage to be fingular, from a wicked world, by engaging in the humble duties of religion, while you are not eftablished in long habits of fin, confider there is but little, if any profpect of your doing it then. Do you not think it is harder for a man to fet up prayer in his family, who has old man, in the wicked neglect and contempt of it, than it would have been when young? Harder for him to break off from a life of profanenefs and. vice, and to live in conformity to the purity of the gofpel, than it

Verfe 5. Also when they fhall be afraid of that which is high, and fears fhall be in the way, and the almond tree fhall flourish, and the grafs-hopper fhall be a burden, and defire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets." Exp. And, not only are the days of youth the best and most convenient time to attend to the duties of religion and make your peace with God, fince fuch are the infirmities, the weakneffes, the pains and the troubles of old age; but, alfo, because the aged lofe the ftrength and vigor of their early days, becoming timid. They are afraid of that which is high. All great undertakings frighten them. They have no courage, none of the fervor, the animated zeal of youth to engage, where trials and difficulties are in the way to the obtainment of a great object. They are continually fuggefting their fears in the way of it. they fet down difheartened; and to avoid the danger of trials and difficulties, live as they have done, without accomplishing any great undertaking. How then will they think of engaging in a life of prayer and real religion, if they have neglected it to that advanced period of life? Is not pure religion from its very nature attended with trials and difficulties, in fuch a corrupt age of the world as the prefent? Do not many, oth-lived to be an erwife agreeable young people, fhrink from it, because of its trials? Do they not fuggeft, there are a thousand fears in the way? They fhall be fingular; or they fhall be ridiculed; or they shall be neg


would have been when young? Has he not more fhame, more fcoffing, more trials and difficulties to encounter, in the way of religion, from his wicked companions and the world, than he would have had, at an earlier peperiod in life? And is he not, from that love of eafe, and dread of trouble, which are peculiar to old age, far lefs prepared to meet them? For, is it not then, that the almond tree fall flourish with the filver bloffoms of infirmities, the grey hairs thickly increafing on the head, through the decay of nature? Will not then the fmal. left disappointments produce great uneafinefs, and trifles of no more confequence than an infignificant grafshopper be felt as an intolerable burden? And, thus borne down with infirmities, the defire Shall fail; and if prepared for death it would rather be chofen than life. For he fees nothing that can make him happy on earth. He beholds nothing here to create new defires. All to him is a burden, and without fatisfaction. For, when thus aged and infirm, from year to year, and from month to month, he has nothing but death to expect, while he yet lives. He is frequently, at the report of every funeral, in gloomy anticipation, calling to mind his own death, and picturing to himfelf his own mourners, as forming themfelves in the streets, to carry his dead body to the grave; and fo painful is the thought, that it often deftroys all enjoyment; having none of the divine confolations of religion, to gladden the heart with the bright profpect of eternal glory.

Death is a moft folemn and interelling change, come when it may, either in the days of youth, or of old age. It clofes forever our probationary ftate. It huts


us up to the laft great day of judg ment, when the wicked fhall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For, Then fhall the duft return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit fball return unto God who gave it. Thus clofes king Solomon's arguments, enforcing both the duty and importance remembering God in the days of youth, from the confideration of the pains and infirmities of old age; and from the certainty of the foul's immortality, and of a future judgment, Will you then, my young friends, still clofe your eyes upon the fa cred page; fill fhut your ears againft the warning voice; and ftill harden your heart against the duty of remembering God, as folemnly enjoined? Will you, after reading this lift of the failings, troubles and trials of old age, and of the peculiar advantages of youth, their health and ftrength of body and mind, their activity and capacity for enjoyment, ftill plead, that you are too young to remem, ber God, too young to begin a humble, prayerful, pious life? Will you vainly flatter yourselves that old age will be a more con. venient time to begin a religious life; that it will have fewer trials and difficulties to encounter than youth? If you honestly search after the truth, you plainly fee it will not be fo. You fee, that, on every account, youth is the beft poffible time to begin a reli. gious life; and, that the longer you neglect religion, the lefs is the profpect of your ever finding a pardoning Ged. ZEPHO.



AN explanation of Matthew v. 23, 24. is requested, by a con ftant reader of your Evangelical Magazine.

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