There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days…
There is promised a practical annihilation of the line which divides youth and age. Youth shall be wise and age shall be ardent. We are to study the spirit of youth in history and in the Church. Hope, enthusiasm, energy, and audacity are elemental forces in youth. Youth makes mistakes, but age magnifies difficulties. Age regards that impossible which to youth presents the prospect of success. Most of the leaders of our American Revolution were under forty, and the same fact appears in European history," so that Disraeli was right in saying, The history of heroes is the history of youth " So in art. Raphael died at thirty-seven, Keats at twenty-two, Shelley before thirty, and Professor Clifford at thirty-five. The time for action is the morning! There is a fiery enthusiasm in youth. It is to be utilized. Luther was but twenty-four when he denounced the Papal Church, and Calvin twenty-six when he wrote his great work, "The Institutes". So with Wesley and Summerfield, who made themselves felt in early manhood. Robertson, of Brighton, died at thirty-four. Though preaching to but few, he has influenced the world by his broad and catholic views. Henry Martyn died at thirty-two, and Harriet Newell when hardly out of girlhood. Is youth blind? It is sometimes good to be blind to danger and difficulty, uninfluenced by discouragements, if only awake to the grandeur of the work and the promised alliance of God!
I. THE ELDER SHOULD NOT BE JEALOUS OF THE YOUNGER. It is pitiful to see a cynical spirit shown toward those who are coming to take our places. Better imitate the magnanimous temper of John, who said, as he saw the growing popularity of the Master, "He must increase, I must decrease." The coming generation must do their own thinking and make their own philosophies. Wisdom was not born with us. It will not die with us. God honours individuality. He makes faces unlike and minds unlike.
II. THE CHURCH SHOULD BE ALERT TO TRAIN YOUTH TO BE EQUAL TO THE DEMANDS OF THE AGE. its offices of trust should not be wholly in the hands of old persons.
III. SOME PEOPLE NEVER SEEM TO LOSE THEIR YOUTH. It is a lovely sight to see the youthful spirit strong at seventy. It is like seeing a river pouring its life through a desert.
IV. WE LEARN HOW TO CONTINUE TO BE YOUTHFUL. If linked to Christ, how can we be otherwise than glad and growing, hopeful and purposeful? A vital, vivid, constant faith in God feeds enthusiasm with perpetual strength. Suffering often brings a deep, quiet joy. Shrink not from it. Moreover, we can cultivate this youthful spirit. We can compel ourselves to look on the bright side of things. They who believe that all things work together for good to those who love God ought to be continually young.
(A. H Bradford,. D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
WEB: "There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.