Ecclesiastes 12:3
on the day the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when those grinding cease because they are few, and those watching through windows see dimly,
WindowsJ. M. Ludlow, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:3
An Old Sermon for Young HearersC. S. Robinson, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Days of YouthHomilistEcclesiastes 12:1-7
Early PietyW. Barrow, LL. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Human LifeHomilistEcclesiastes 12:1-7
On the Advantages of an Early PietyJ. Tillotson, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Preparation for Old AgeH. W. Beecher.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Remember Thy CreatorW. Whale.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Remembering GodG. A. Gordon.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator RememberedD. J. Burrell, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator RememberedH. M. Booth, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Creator RememberedMonday Club SermonsEcclesiastes 12:1-7
The Days of Thy YouthJ. P. Chown.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Duty and Advantages of Early PietyJ. Jortin, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Irreligious YouthS. Martin.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Remembrance of Our CreatorChristian ObserverEcclesiastes 12:1-7
The Warning not to Forget GodR. Newton, D. D.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
The Young Man's TaskH. Smith.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Young Persons Exhorted to Remember Their CreatorSketches of Four Hundred SermonsEcclesiastes 12:1-7
Youthful Piety: Described and InculcatedW. Mudge, B. A.Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Old Age and DeathD. Thomas Ecclesiastes 12:2-7
By a natural transition, a striking antithesis, youth suggests to the mind of the Preacher the condition and the solemn lessons of old age. How appropriately does a treatise, dealing so fully with the occupations, the illusions, the trials, and the moral significance of human life, draw to a close by referring expressly to the earlier and the later periods by which that life is bounded!

I. THE BODILY SYMPTOMS OF AGE. These are, indeed, familiar to every observer, and are described with a picturesqueness and poetical beauty which must appeal to every reader of this passage. It is enough to remark that the decay of bodily power, and the gradual enfeeblement of the several senses, are among the usual accompaniments of advancing years.

II. THE MENTAL SYMPTOMS OF AGE. Reference is naturally made especially to the effect of bodily enfeeblement and infirmity upon the human emotions.

1. The emotions of desire and aspiration are dulled.

2. The emotions of apprehension, self-distrust, and fear increase.

III. THE NATURAL TERMINATION OF OLD AGE. There is no doubt that there are old persons of a sanguine temperament who seem unable to realize the fact that they are approaching the end of their earthly course. Yet it does not admit of doubt that the several indications of senility described in these verses are reminders of the end, are premonitions of the dissolution of the body, and of the entering upon a new and altogether different state of being.


1. There is scope for the exercise of patience under growing infirmities.

2. There is a call to the acquisition and display of that wisdom which the experience of long years is particularly fitted to cultivate.

3. The aged are especially bound to offer to the young an example of cheerful obedience, and to encourage them to a life of piety and usefulness.

V. THE CONSOLATIONS OF AGE. Cicero, in a well-known treatise of great beauty, has set forth the peculiar advantages and pleasures which belong to the latest stage of human life. The Christian is at liberty to comfort himself by meditating upon such natural blessings as "accompany old age," but he has far fuller and richer sources of consolation open to him.

1. There is the happy retrospect of a life filled with instances of God's compassion, forbearance, and loving-kindness.

2. And there is the bright anticipation of eternal blessedness. This is his peculiar prerogative. As the outer man perisheth, the inner man is renewed day by day. The earthly tent is gradually but surely taken down, and this process suggests that he should look forward with calm confidence and hope to his speedy occupation of the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." - T.

Those that look out of the windows be darkened. &&&
In the description of the infirmities of old age, the window doubtless stands for the eyes, with lashes like lattice-work of an Oriental house, and the fringe of the iris regulating the light as a curtain. Observe that it is said, not that the windows, but "those that look out of them" are darkened: the reference, therefore, being not to the failing eyesight, as many have supposed, but rather to the growing dullness of the inner person, the mind, which takes less and less interest in the world as one advances towards senility. A person may be blind in years, yet young in heart, if he only keeps alert to the life about him. Think of Ranke beginning his "Universal History" at eighty-three years of age, and finishing his seventh volume at ninety-one! The venerable Kaiser Wilhelm not long before his death was asked by his daughter if he had not better rest a little. "No," he replied, "I will have plenty of time to rest by and by." In a call upon George Bancroft, at eighty-eight years of age, I found him as full of questions about men and things that he thought I knew of as if I were the representative of old times and he the interviewer. The eyes of such men may be dim, but the spirits that look out of them are not "darkened." They are the really senile people who pull down the curtains of selfishness on amiable curiosity, on generous solicitude for the evils of society, and on delight in the good of the world, though they have not yet come to wear glasses. Let us keep at the windows until God closes them by dropping over them the curtain of the last night. And then, when the dusk of life's eventide has fallen around us, when secular things do turn dim, we may look up through the window at the infinite sky, and see the stars of a better world coming out.

(J. M. Ludlow, D. D.)

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