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. TO SAY WHEREIN YOUTHFUL PIETY CONSISTS. It consists, you will find, in a ready, filial, and grateful remembrance of God — a remembrance which induces acquiescence in the Divine will and subjection to it.
II. TO OBVIATE SOME OBJECTIONS TO IT.
1. It is time enough yet, say some, for youth to think seriously and to be pious. This objection proceeds on the supposition that youth have yet many days and years to come; but how know we what a day or even an hour may bring forth?
2. Youth is the time of enjoyment, say others: young people should enjoy themselves. True; and is there nothing to enjoy in the favour and friendship of our Creator? Nothing to enjoy in freedom from the guilt and from the power of sin? Nothing to enjoy in being good and doing good? And is there any time comparable to youth for the enjoyment of these things?
3. Religion is very well and suitable for old age and infirmity is an objection to youthful piety nearly allied to the foregoing. So it is: but is it, therefore, unsuitable to health and youth?
4. We can repent and be religious some future time, will young people themselves sometimes say, when exhorted to remember now their Creator. But to repent when we will is not in our power. Repentance is the gift of Jesus Christ, and He may righteously withhold to-morrow what we ungratefully refuse to-day.
5. Piety induces gloom and melancholy, it is often further urged. Who are they that say piety induces depression and gloom of spirit? Not the pious, but such as never felt the power of godliness or experienced the joy of faith. Are they, then, to-be believed who tell us of what they cannot possibly be judges?
6. Piety interferes with genteel and polite demeanour, it has, too, been said. This objection betrays in those who advance it great ignorance of Scripture and of scriptural character. No: the Gospel which we preach inculcates morals the most correct and chaste, tempers the most gracious, manner the most affable, behaviour the most courteous.
7. It will incur reproach, and possibly it may injure a young man's reputation; and consequently also may retard his advancement in life to be pious too soon, is the final objection to early piety we shall choose to notice. How sordid must be the views of a parent who seeks first for his children any object below "the kingdom of God and His righteousness"! And how must "the honour which cometh of man" be desired and valued above "the honour which cometh of God only" where there exists the fear of disrepute on account of religion!
III. TO STATE SOME REASONS FOR IT.
1. It is reasonable in itself — that a creature should remember his Creator; a redeemed creature his Redeemer; and an immortal creature that immortality which awaits him. We execrate ingratitude one towards another: is there nothing offensive in an ungrateful forgetfulness of our Maker?
2. God requires it. Yet, "ye have robbed Me," may God justly say to those of our youth who forget Him and refuse to Him the homage of their hearts.
3. The mind is more susceptible of impression when young.
4. Piety in youth gives a proper bias to the affections.
5. The world will be viewed in a true light.
6. Piety in youth lays a foundation for placidity and calmness in age.
7. Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, will be more abundantly honoured by the devotion of our first years unto His service.
IV. TO RECOMMEND IT EARNESTLY TO THE YOUNG AMONG YOU.
(W. Mudge, B. A.)
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;