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by and by, is to become the residence rates us, when he converts us from the of worms of the earth—that very body error of our way, he introduces us into which will, by and by, be decomposed the world of grace. Then we have reand see corruption. Look at the won-lations and enjoyments we did not derful construction of its senses ; look know before; we are entitled to all the at the organization of the whole frame : privileges and immunities of the adoptwhat a wonderful piece of mechanism !ed children of God. Then we cry, -how complex-how diversified-how“ Behold what manner of love the Faslender some of its parts, and yet how ther hath bestowed upon us, that we particularly and wisely adapted to its should be called the sons of God.” several uses ! But what shall we say Love, indeed : look at its height, its of the soul of that immortal spirit | depth, its length, its breadth; and then that can never die-of that spirit which tell me what manner of love it is—so is capable of thinking, of enjoying undeserved, so unparalleled, so unme, everlasting happiness, or enduring rited, and so lasting. everlasting misery—that soul which But our principal object is to show will survive the dissolution of its kin- you, my aged friends, in the third dred tenement of clay? If, then, the place, what GOD HAS PROMISED STILL Almighty has thus made us, the con To do.” “ Even to old age I am he; clusion is very natural, that he must and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: have a regard to the work of his own I have made, and I will bear; even I hands. Hence we come to the in- will carry and will deliver you.” This ference, that this is one reason why, assertion proves that God is not weary on our being brought to faith and re- in well-doing. How soon is our benepentance, he stands like the parent of volence exhausted; how soon does our the prodigal son, ready to fall upon our zeal tire and faint: but the Lord is the neck, to take us by the hand, and bid same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. us welcome. If we plant a vineyard, He has not only determined to regeneor a garden, or a tree, we feel a pro- rate, but he has engaged to bear us all perty in it: and surely the blessed God through our journey, to protect us by must not be indifferent to the work of his power, to guide us by his counsel, his own hands.
and afterward to receive us to glory. But more especially may we fix your The period to which this promise attention on another fact connected refers is one point to be attended to in with the assertion before us : he has this part of the subject: it is old age renewed us. He has not only made us it is hoar hairs. My esteemed hearers, creatures; but many present have the to whom the subject is more particuwitness in themselves that he has made | larly addressed, are well aware that them Christians-new creatures in old age is a season of weakness, of Christ Jesus. “ We are his workman- exposure, of infirmity, and dependance, ship, created in Christ Jesus unto good Then the senses fail ; one gives way works; which God hath ordained that after the other the sight-the hearing we should walk in them.” Ah, he -the speech. Then the capacity yields; has given you a new heart, new eyes, your comprehension is less quick, less new ears, and new perceptions-not acute than when you were young. physically new, because literally they Then the memory fails. You find it, are the same as before ; but they are no doubt, more difficult to retain the morally, they are spiritually new. different sermons you hear now, than There is a transformation in them; twenty or thirty years ago : they soon they are appropriated to new enjoy- escape your recollection : you wish to ments; they are regulated by a new treasure them, you wish to embalm impulse; they act under a new bias. them in your heart, you wish the Holy That impulse, that bias, are both trace- Spirit would engrave them on your able to the operation of the Holy Ghost mind; but it is so difficult to realize within us—to that good work which this. David seems to have foreboded he engages shall be carried on until the some of this weakness when he said, day of Jesus Christ.
“ Cast me not off in the time of old Now, when he forms us the creatures age; forsake me not when my strength of his power, he introduces us into the faileth.” And by and by we see him world of nature : but when he regene- well stricken in years; and then this,
is his language-still admitting the fears shall be in the way, and the alsentiment we have now in hand :-"o mond tree shall flourish, and the grassLord, thou hast taught me from my hopper shall be a burden, and desire youth, and hitherto I have declared thy shall fail : because man goeth to his wonderful works. Now also, when I long home, and the mourners go about am old and grey-headed, O God, for the streets. Or ever the silver cord be sake me not ; until I have showed thy loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, strength unto this generation, and thy or the pitcher be broken at the founpower to every one that is to come.” tain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Thus it is a season of weakness and ex Then shall the dust return to the earth
as it was ; and the spirit shall return Nor is it less a period of infirmity and to God who gave it." dependance. We appeal to good old But old age, while it is thus a seaBarzillai, who was well stricken in son of weakness and infirmity, is age, for a proof of the assertion to equally a period of comparative bereavewhich we have drawn your attention.ment. Many an aged person is reIt seems that this individual, during | duced to a state of widowhood. Where the time of David's depression, had are his early friends, the companions conferred on him certain favors. The of his youth? They are gone, and he is King on returning to his throne, was left alone; he is now living amidst anxious to requite this kindness, and quite a new connection. And what he said to Barzillai, “ Come thou with renders the fact very painful is, that me, and I will feed thee with me in oftentimes old people are sadly treated Jerusalem. And Barzillai said unto the by the young, by their own children. King, How long have I to live, that I You allow them to want, or you allow should go up with the King unto Jeru- them to exist on the scantiest pittance, salem? I am this day fourscore years when perhaps it is in your power to old”-perhaps this is about the age of assist them, and make their grey hairs some of you," and can I discern comfortable and peaceful. You allow between good and evil ? can thy ser- them to be neglected, and to be opvant taste what I eat, or what I drink? pressed. But fear not, my aged can I hear any more the voice of sing-friends; if you are the people of God, ing men and singing women? where- travelling in the high road to glory, fore then should thy servant be yet a fear not : though your earthly friends, burden to my Lord the King?" We your brothers and sisters, your chil. have another testimony, which is in- dren or acquaintance, may forsake deed a striking and an affecting picture you, God is the same yesterday, to. of the period of nature's decrepitude, day, and for ever. The promise in the drawn by Solomon. Speaking of the text is to you :-"To your old age 1 young he says, “ Remember now thy am he; and even to hoar hairs will Creator in the days of thy youth, while I carry you." the evil days come not, nor the years The promise specifying the term, draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I“ I will carry," as an eloquent writer have no pleasure in them; while the has very prettily observed, conveys sun, or the light, or the moon, or the to the mind the representation of a stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds journey. A family is travelling: in return after the rain ; in the day when that family there is a babe; but it the keepers of the house shall tremble" cannot go alone; it must be carried ; - perhaps alluding to the hands and by whom? The father is described " and the strong men shall bow them in the text, as being the stronger selves”—perhaps alluding to the legs- parent of the two. Or, perhaps, the “ and the grinders cease because they mother is dead she is left behindare few, and those that look out of the died, perhaps, in giving birth to her windows be darkened”-perhaps al-child. The father, therefore, is to suluding to the organ of sight," and perintend; the father is to be the nurse : the doors shall be shut in the streets, he takes the lamb, and clasps it to his when the sound of the grinding is low, bosom, for it is now rendered doubly and he shall rise up at the voice of the dear because of the loss he has sus. bird, and all the daughters of music tained. In this manner God is pleased shall be brought low; and when they to condescend to the weakness of our shall be afraid of that which is high, and I understanding : he familiarizes himself by the adoption of those terms we can God shall be the strength of your heart best conceive. When old age comes and your portion for ever. For thus down into the decrepitude we have saith the Lord, “ Thou shalt come to spoken of, it is then, in fact second thy grave in a full age, like as a shock childhood; and as children you want of corn cometh in in his season." You to be carried, and particularly if you have seen with what joy the husband. look upon the ruggedness of your path, man has brought home his successive when you remember what a journey shocks : he has smiled when he has that is which leads from time to eter- looked upon them, and seen them all nity. But fear not; the eternal Godrich, and good, and well studded with is your refuge, and underneath you | large and abundant ears. Thus it is are the everlasting arms. You are when the Christian is brought to his weak, but his strength shall be made i grave. There he is housed, as sheaves perfect in your weakness : “ for as an are placed in the granary, until the eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth glorious morn of the resurrectionover her young, spreadeth abroad her sown, indeed, a natural body, but to wings, taketh them, beareth them on be raised a spiritual body-sown, inher wings; so the Lord will lead you." deed, in weakness, but to be raised in What said Jesus to the people of strength. Jerusalem? “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, This promise extends one point furthou that killest the prophets, and ther-he will deliver from hell. You stonest them which are sent unto thee, sometimes have your fears, your mishow often would I have gathered thy givings, as to the reality of your relichildren together, even as a hen ga | gion-lest, after all the profession you thereth her chickens under her wings, have made, you should fall a prey to and ye would not!”
the adversary in the wilderness. No, The promise, however, has another says Jehovah, “ My sheep shall never point in view-deliverance. The Lord perish.” He has too much regard for will not only hear us, but “ I will de- his old servants 'to turn them out of liver” is his own language. The season doors, as many, an unfeeling master of sickness is coming: you will not be does; but when you can no longer left there. He conducts through fire serve him actively, by going about and through water ; but it is in order doing good, he will still bless you with to lead you at last into a wealthy place; all spiritual blessings in heavenly places you are not to be consumed in the fur- in Christ Jesus. This is the reason nace. The season of trouble is coming; why God has given that positive adbut his promise is, “ I will bring a third monition to the young-" Thou shalt part through the fire, and I will purify rise up before the hoary head; and them even as silver is purified, and I will honour the face of the old man, and try them as gold is tried.” Now, mark fear thy God.” “Hearken to thy the complexion of that passage. He father that begat thee, and despise not will not only bring you into the fire, thy mother when she is old.” “The into the trouble which he has allowed hoary head is a crown of glory, if it to assail you, (for he has a great end be found in the way of righteousness.” to accomplish by it-your present and You will generally find that a curse future welfare) but he will bring you rests on those families, and on those through, and will at last bring you out children, that have been disobedient to of it: and then he will put a new song their aged relatives that have left into your mouth, even praise to his them neglected, forsaken, and forlorn.holy name; and will deliver you out God will punish such. of the temptation. How many errors! You learn, then, from what we have there are to which we are exposed now advanced, the happiness of being in passing through the stages of our an aged disciple, of being a member of pilgrimage below; but he is able to the Lord's family, a partaker of the keep the feet of his saints, to keep us divine nature. This prevents the diffrom falling, and to present us fault. ficulty of conversion in after life. We less before the presence of his glory say difficulty : we admit that nothing with exceeding joy. And when the is too hard for the Lord to perform : ravages of death shall come, he will we occasionally see him renewing a deliver you ; he will not leave you to mind at the eleventh hour, calling an die alone. When heart and flesh fail, I individual to the knowledge of the truth, when he has reached almost the you look back on the wilderness, on close of his pilgrimage. But yet, all the ruggedness of the way, upon morally speaking, there is a great dif- its windings and turnings : and 'tis ficulty in the case—not with Him, but very pleasing to remember, from that with us. How common is it then for height, all the way by which the Lord the mind, through long familiarity with your God has led you: and it will enthe truth, to become hardened, and sure a peaceful dissolution; for they neglectful of the word of God. Then that live in the Lord will be sure to old corruptions, old propensities, are die in the Lord, and be for ever with like old trees—they have struck their roots so deeply, have expanded their This subject teaches, finally, how fibres so widely, that nothing less than very different are the character and the the hand of Omnipotence can possibly condition of the aged sinner. Look at remove them. How desirable, then, that person-think of his past vices, my young friends, that you should be unrepented of, unforgiven, unsubdued early devoted to the Lord.
-his soul untaught-his heart unsancOld age, too, when found in the way tified. An aged sinner-hitherto a of righteousness, commands respect. monument of wrath-hitherto an enemy Young people, if rightly taught, look to God by wicked works. How pain. up to an aged father and mother in the ful is the scene. Look into his heart, gospel with affection. They know and there you see his lurking propensiyour position: you stand on the con- ties still struggling, as when he was fines of glory. They know your ex-young, for gratification, but struggling perience how long it has been form. comparatively in vain : he cannot ing-how well your judgment must gratify them as he was wont to do; have been matured from what you have but yet the inclinations and the moseen, and felt, and heard. It makes you tives are just the same. · And look at useful. Have we not read of thebene- his appearance ; see the furrows upon fit which young Timothy derived from his countenance--they are the marks his grandmother Lois, and his mother of old age, but blended with them you Eunice? There is many a pious grand behold the aspect of sin. Here is an sire, and many a pious grandmother, old servant of the world, an old serwho will be an eternal blessing to their vant of Satan: he has served divers rising offspring, by the holy example lusts and pleasures : for three score they have left behind them, by the in- years and ten he has been led captive struction they were in the habit of by Satan at his will. ; And during imparting. This will enable us to ex- that period how much that man has plain that scripture which says, “They spent in profligacy and 'vice. How shall bring forth fruit in old age. soothed his old age might have been, if My aged friends, you may yet be fruit. he had treasured up that which he has ful in the Lord's vineyard; you may squandered. “What fruit had ye be useful in the conversion of your then in those things whereof ye are grandchildren, when you are dead and now ashamed?" Here is an example gone; they may look into your bibles, for the young, for the very little ones, and see the different memorandums whom he has taught, by his bad patyou have left on its hallowed margins. tern and the language they have heard Now, perhaps, they meet with a paper from his faultering lips, to take the on which you -have inserted the lead- name of God in vain, and to lisp their ing features of your Christian expe- blasphemies before they could hardly rience, or the emotions of your mind connect their sentences. Look at his under this particular, sermon, and that prospects. He must die as well as particular sermon. And though these others : but where is his hope? He is may fail to impress those branches of unconscious of his danger, and of his your family that come immediately doom. after you, they may be handed down We lament to say, this is but too to the next generation, and your grand- true a picture of thousands and tens of children may see, and fear, and be led thousands of aged individuals in the to the Lord.
present day. My dear hearers, is this How much comfort and satisfaction your case? Oh that we could alarm will piety afford in old age. Now you you to flee from the wrath to come. Oh stand on the top of the hill of life, and that we could prevail upon you to strive
to enter in at the strait gate. Though its termination? This may be the last you are stricken in years, the lamp of sabbath—this may be the last appeallife has not yet gone out ; your day of this night your soul may be required of grace has not yet quite closed : but you. “Without holiness no man shall who can tell how soon it shall come to see the Lord.”
DELIVERED BY THE REV. B. NOEL,
Mark, ix. 23, 24.-" Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth: And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
The Jewish parent brought to our produced by natural disorders. These Saviour his child who was possessed are instances which may show us how of a devil, desiring to have him relieved vast is the power of that evil spirit, of that great unhappiness. It was not who still roams untired through the mere insanity to which this child was world to do mischief-who is still besubject, but the real possession of a setting each one of us, and unquesdevil; because though what is said of tionably has the power to prevail to his infirmity, namely, that he was the destruction of each one of us, were sometimes falling on the ground, and there not the restraining power of God. wallowing foaming, might be the result That he does not influence men so palof mere insanity ; yet the language pably as he did, ruling over body as well that is here used, both by our Saviour as mind, afflicting them with disease as and the Evangelist, concerning this well as sin, can only be ascribed to child, forbids us to believe that it was God's sovereign goodness; a blessing mere insanity. Our Savour, in ef- obtained, as many others which the fecting this cure, used these words, | ungrateful world has received, by the “ Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge death of our Lord Jesus Christ. thee come out of him, and enter no This child, however, the parent more into him.” And the Evangelist earnestly desired to have cured ; and in recording the disease itself, says in the disciples, not being able to relieve the twenty-sixth verse, “ And the him, brought the child to Jesus; and Spirit cried, and rent him sore, and it was on that occasion that our Saviour came out of him: and be was as one used the words in the first of the verses dead; insomuch that many said, He is I have just read; “If thou canst bedead." And again in the twentieth lieve, all things are possible to him verse, when he describes the unhappi. that believeth.” If the father could ness of the child, he says " And believe that Jesus Christ was able and when he saw Jesus, straightway the willing to cure his child, the cure would spirit tare him; and he fell on the be at once put into his power; his ground, and wallowed foaming." So child would, in fact, be relieved. Upon that this was a case of real possession, this the father answered with tears, in which Satan was permitted thus to “ Lord, I believe, help thou mine uninfluence the unhappy child.
I belief,” He believed in the power of In reading the cases of this kind Jesus generally. There was no quesmentioned in the Evangelists, the most tion as to other miracles of the same cursory reader cannot fail to notice, kind, which he had either seen or that, frequently, there is a distinction heard ; but whether the Lord had drawn between cases of lunacy, and power to cure his own child (for cases of possession-between those in- anxiety makes men sometimes doubt stances in which Satan was thus per- when otherwise they would believe) mitted to rule over the body and the he had some misgivings at the moment; mind, and those cases which might be he felt a strong conviction that the cure