No longer will a nursing infant live but a few days, or an old man not live out his days. For the youth will die at a hundred years, and he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
I. THAT CHRISTIAN LIFE TENDS TO LENGTH OF DAYS, Health, and therefore life, depends most on habit. What shortens life is folly, irregularity, excess, anxiety, sorrow; Christian principles guard against these, or materially modify them. What lengthens life is purity, temperance, serenity, and cheerfulness of spirit; Christian principles are a security for these.
II. THAT CHRISTIAN LIFE TENDS TO PRESERVE THE CHILD-HEART IN THE AGED MAN. A beautiful object is a "green old age;" an excellent thing it is when "he that is a hundred years old dies a youth." The best preservative of freshness of spirit, openness of mind, youthfulness of heart, is an unselfish habit. Disinterestedness of soul, broad and generous sympathies, active participation in all onward movements, - this will keep the heart of youth in the form of age.
III. THAT THE CHRISTIAN PROMISE POINTS TO THE LONG FUTURE. "The shorter life, the earlier immortality."
IV. THAT WE MAY DIE YOUNG, AND YET FILL UP THE MEASURE OF OUR DAYS. Our Lord died a young man, and yet he "finished the work which the Father gave him to do." Many martyrs, many devoted labourers in the field of usefulness, have failed to reach extreme old age, but they have not failed to accomplish the task which the great Leader had set them. The excellency of life depends on its quality, not on its quantity. "One day in thy courts is better than a thousand," etc. "Though the sinner die a hundred years old, he shall be accursed," and his life will be a bane and a blot. A very few years (or months) of holy service may be of inestimable service to the cause of Christ and of man. - C.
There shall be no more thence an infant of days.
(J. A. Alexander.)
The child shall die an hundred years old.
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.)
(A. Smellie, M. A.)
(A. Smellie, M. A.)
But the sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed.I. IT IS NOT USUAL FOR A MAN TO LIVE TO THE AGE OF A HUNDRED YEARS. Some, indeed, have lived so long, but their number has been very small, and he who flatters himself that he shall do so is both vain and foolish.
II. As it is not usual for any man to live to the age of a hundred years, so IT IS LESS LIKELY THAT THE SINNER SHOULD LIVE SO LONG. The way of a sinner is such as naturally tends to shorten his days, and provoke God to destroy him.
III. IF A WICKED MAN SHOULD LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED YEARS OLD, YET HE MUST DIE AT LAST.
IV. WHENEVER WICKED MEN DIE, WHETHER IT BE IN YOUTH OR EXTREME OLD AGE, THEY DIE ACCURSED. Some of them are cursed by their fellow-creatures, whom they have injured or oppressed; but, above all, they are under the curse of God. It is a dreadful thing to live under a curse, but it is far worse to die under one; yet this is the awful condition of such as live and die in their sins. They may possess much, and have their houses, lands and estates, but it is with a curse; they may also hope for more, but when it comes it is with a curse.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
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