Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say…
I. It is the first advantage of early piety, and our first obligation to cultivate it, THAT OUR DUTY TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS THEREBY RENDERED EASY AND PLEASING TO US. That custom and practice render everything easy, and most things pleasant to us, is universally known and confessed; and will in a peculiar degree be found true of piety towards God. In this case, in addition to the delight naturally arising from the performance of what is familiar to us, we shall have on the same side the approbation of our own hearts; the pleasure of habit improved by the consciousness of duty.
II. THE POWER AND EFFECTS OF CUSTOM will furnish yet another argument in favour of early piety; for they will show the danger of. contracting opposite habits by showing the difficulty of correcting them. The reproaches of a wounded conscience, the conviction of having offended God, the anxiety to be restored to His favour, and the uncertainty whether that favour can now be deserved and obtained; all these considerations alarm and oppress the mind of him who is grown old in transgression; and form so many difficulties in the way of his returning to the hallowed paths of virtue and religion. He has, indeed, a double task to perform, to cease to do evil, and to learn to do well; and the abuse of his youth and health in the service of sin has left this task, with all its difficulties, to infirmity and old age.
III. It will be another recommendation of early piety, THAT IT IS LIKELY TO BECOME THE MOST ACCEPTABLE TO ITS OBJECT; because the most suitable to his character and our own. In youth is generally found a sincerity and simplicity of heart, which recommend every part of human duty, and especially our duty to Him to whom all hearts are open. In youth, while not yet corrupted by intercourse with a corrupt world, are generally observed a diffidence and modesty, which not only form a constant guard to purity and integrity, but which bid fair to ripen into humility and devotion. In youth we find the greatest aptness to learn.
IV. ONE UNFORTUNATE QUALITY IN OUR YOUTH, HOWEVER, TOO OFTEN COUNTERACTS THESE FAVOURABLE DISPOSITIONS, and retards their progress in piety. Too many of them are careless and thoughtless, apt to neglect the serious consideration of their Maker and His laws. Too many of them show a levity and fickleness of mind and temper, which disinclines them to the solemn offices of religion, and prevents the performance of those offices with due fervency and steadiness.
V. It is another recommendation of early piety, and another obligation to the practice of it, that we shall thereby discharge, as far as WE ARE REQUIRED TO DISCHARGE IT, A DEBT OF GRATITUDE AND JUSTICE. The first tribute of our faculties is naturally due to Him who gave them. Children, then, should be early taught to meditate upon the blessings of their Maker.
VI. Our last recommendation of early piety shall be drawn from a very obvious, but very interesting, source, THE SHORTNESS AND UNCERTAINTY OF HUMAN LIFE. Youth is not only the most proper season to engage in the service of our God, but perhaps the only season that may be allowed us.
(W. Barrow, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;