Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons
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. THE DUTY HERE ENJOINED.
1. The object is our Creator.
(1) There was a period when we had no being; had we always been in existence we could have had no Creator; but on the limited period of mortal life, both as it regards its commencement and close, the Scriptures are explicit (Job 8:9; Psalm 39:5; James 4:14).
(2) We have a Creator, and therefore did not make ourselves; could we have given ourselves existence, the duty enjoined in the text would have referred only to ourselves; but no being can make itself, as that would suppose it acted prior to its existence, which is a manifest contradiction.
(3) Our Creator is God; this is one of the first truths of revealed religion (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 6:7; Deuteronomy 4:32; Malachi 2:10).
2. The act of remembrance. To "remember our Creator" implies —
(1) A previous knowledge of Him. He has made Himself known unto us by the works of His hands (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20); by the acts of His providence (Psalm 104:27, 28; Matthew 10:30; Acts 17:28). But more especially by the manifestations of His grace (Exodus 34:6). As a God of grace He pardons our sins, renews our hearts; and to know Him in this character is to have a consciousness that He has actually done this for us. This knowledge can be obtained only by a Divine influence (Matthew 11:27; Matthew 16:17).
(2) The frequent recollection and actual consciousness of His divine presence; to set the Lord always before us, and to consider Him as a Being essentially present in all places. This remembrance should be —
(a) Reverential; His eternal Godhead, terrible justice, and wonderful acts should inspire us with the most profound sentiments of veneration.
(b) Affectionate; His infinite love in the gift of His Son, and His amazing mercy in pardoning sin, should lead us to remember Him with feelings of the most ardent attachment.
(c) Operative; we should evince that we do remember Him, by shunning all that He abhors, and following all that He enjoins.
II. THE PECULIAR PERIOD WHEN THIS DUTY IS TO BE PRACTISED — "Now, in the days of thy youth."
1. Because He is the most worthy object for our remembrance; and that which is most worthy has the first and highest claims upon our" attention.
2. Because such a remembrance, at this time, is peculiarly acceptable to God. O how lovely is youthful piety! Under the law, the first-fruits and the first-born were God's sole property; and the buds of being, and the earliest blossoms of youth, are the most acceptable sacrifice that we can offer to our Creator; and shall we neglect these offerings?
3. Because of the comparative ease with which it may be performed.
4. Because the present is the only certain time we can command for doing it; the past is gone, the future may never be ours.
5. From principles of justice: He is our Creator, and therefore justly claims the whole of our service.
6. From principles of gratitude; we owe our all to Him; tie remembered us in our low estate; He still remembers us; on the wings of every hour we read His patience. O what a mighty debt of gratitude is due to Him!
7. From principles of self-interest; to remember our Creator is the way to true wisdom, substantial honour, and unfading happiness.
(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)
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;