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prehensions of God are the ground of his love. The Holy One of Israel, instead of making the happiness of a worm of the dust his ultimate end, values the honour of his moral perfections above the happiness of all worlds. And when selfdeceived sinners come to be in hell, they will know, that God does not aim at their happiness as his ultimate end, but that the honour of his own name, which is holy and reverend, is infinitely dearer to him. And then their pretended love to God will die away, and all come to nothing; then they. will feel themselves haters of God, and turn everlasting blasphemers of him. While the whole host of heaven will still cleave to him, and love and praise him, for that wherein his most amiable beauty consists, even the infinite excellency of his moral perfections. See Isai. vi. 3. Rev. iv. 8. and chap.

xix. 1—6.

Now, on the account of this original, underived, immense, moral dignity and glory of the divine nature, are all mankind under infinite obligations to fear and love God, to remember their Creator, and so to esteem him, as to renounce all other things, and cleave to him only with all their hearts, and be for ever entirely devoted to him. On this account, primarily and first of all, antecedently to all other considerations, are young people under infinite obligations to remember now their Creator in the days of their youth.

If God be not considered as being what he is, all other considerations put together would not make it half so wicked a thing to forget the Lord. But under that view of him, it appears a conduct utterly inexcusable, altogether intolerable, infinitely vile. Every moment's unmindfulness of God merits the eternal torments of hell. It is really so; for God would never threaten everlasting damnation for the least sin, if the least sin did not really deserve it: since there can be nothing like tyranny in his government, or cruelty in his nature. It is worse, it is infinitely worse, O young people, to be unmindful of God, than you are wont to imagine! It is so heinous and provoking an evil, that the kindest angel in heaven could not find in his heart to bear with you one hour, were he able to see this sin fully in the same light that God does. It is infinitely wicked; and so too much for any but infinite patience to bear with. Think of it, O young man!

Think of it, O young woman! And tremble to see what the frame of your heart has been! Be ashamed of all your past forgetfulness of God: and remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.

2. If young people seriously consider what they themselves are, their obligation to remember God in their youth, will further appear. Young people are under exceeding great obligations, to have a sense of God on their hearts, to sit loose to all other things, to cleave to the Lord, and be entirely devoted to him, arising from the consideration of their being what they be, i. e. rational creatures, born to an endless existence, and capable, by divine grace, to know and love God, and be everlastingly blessed in the enjoyment of him. Had they nothing beyond a mortal brutal nature, they might live as the beasts do; never think of God, delight only in animal pleasures, spend their days in wantonness and all carnal sports and pastimes: But in the reason of things, it is entirely unfit for human creatures, that have immortal spirits, to do so. The same minds which are taken up with a thousand foolish vanities, might be employed in contemplating the infinitely glorious God, his works, and his word. The same hearts, which are wedded to the world and the flesh, captivated with the objects of sense, and carried out after mean, sordid, and brutal pleasures, might be full of divine light and life, of love to God, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The hours that are spent in vain company, might be spent in communion with God. The same time that is spent in fitting themselves for an eternal hell, might be spent in preparing for an eternal heaven. And for rational creatures thus to abuse themselves by serving divers lusts and pleasures, is to degrade their own nature, to despise their own souls, and to affront the God that made them of an order of beings superior to the beasts that perish. They are rational agents by creation, but they practically choose to be beasts. They are capable of being made partakers of the divine nature and of divine pleasures, but they prefer the brutal nature, and brutal pleasures. And is not this infinitely absurd, and infinitely wicked! Surely, since they have souls, and are rational creatures, they ought to aspire after the knowledge and enjoyment of

Gon; of GOD, the proper center of every intelligent being. If they would show themselves men, they ought to remember GOD their Creator in the days of their youth.

3. Their obligations to remember God will appear still greater, if it be considered, "what an original, underived, entire right, he has to them, as the work of his hands, and the care of his constant providence."

Were they perfectly their own, then if they did throw away themselves, it would not be so bad. But they are not their own, they are the Lord's, they are his entirely. Him, therefore, they are bound to acknowledge and remember; his must they be in the very temper and bent of their minds; to him must they live, and not to themselves.

GoD is absolutely the first Being, self-existent and independent, the original fountain of all being, the author and preserver of all things that are. He it is that created the heavens and the earth; and all things therein are the work of his hands: He is the great Father of the whole universe. But for him these things would never have been; and but for him, they would cease to be. Now since they do thus exist of his mere good pleasure, and as the effects of his almighty power, surely he has an absolute property in them; he has an original, underived, entire right to all things; his they are and it is fit, infinitely fit and reasonable, therefore, that all things should be for him, and that he should receive a revenue of glory from all. Hence the heavenly hosts fall down before him, and cast their crowns before his throne, and worship him as the Lord of all, saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. iv. 10, 11. And since young people, in common with all other created beings, are thus entirely the Lord's, it is infinitely fit that they should know and feel this to be the case, in the very bottom of their hearts; and from a deep sense of this, be influenced to remember God, and give up themselves to be his; his in a peculiar


Parents have a kind of right to their children; they call hem their own, and look upon them in a measure at their

disposal, and under their authority. And children ought to feel their parents' interest in them, to own themselves in some sense theirs, and at their disposal, and to be devoted to please and honour them, and do their will. But the parents' right is only a secondary, derived, and partial right: their children are the Lord's originally, and only lent to them; they are the Lord's by an underived, supreme, absolute, and entire right. He made them, his hands formed them, he is the Father of their spirits, and he holds their souls in life. Parents were instrumental to their existence; but God was the proper Author of their being. Parents have been instrumental to feed and clothe them; but the food and raiment were the Lord's, and from him they derived all their virtue to nourish and cherish them. And the parents themselves were not their own, but the Lord's, and acted but in subordination to him, and with an entire dependence on his providence and blessing. So that parents have, comparatively, but a small claim to their children, but an inferior interest in them; they are not strictly their parents' property, but are only lent to them for a while. Yea, in some sense, parents have no right at all to their children, they are so entirely the Lord's still. They are as much the Lord's as if they had been immediately created out of nothing, and as if they had always received all their food and raiment immediately out of heaven. In a word, they are his by a sovereign, original, perfect right. And this his entire right to them is renewed every moment, in virtue of his sustaining and preserving them. For in him they live, move, and have their being. And were it not for his providence, themselves, and this world and all things in it, would instantly dissolve and fall into nothing. Now, since they are entirely the Lord's in fact, they ought also to be entirely his in the temper and disposition of their minds; to look on themselves as his, and accordingly to yield themselves to the Lord, to have no will but his, and no delight but in pleasing him. To forget God, therefore, and not live to him, but to themselves, is infinitely wrong. With a special eye to this consideration, the words of our text seem to have been spoken; remember now thy Creator, in the days of thy youth.



4. Young people are under infinite obligations to remember now their Creator in the days of their youth, arising from the consideration of the authority of God, the great Governor of the world, who enjoins this upon them as their indispensable duty. Since God is what he is, and since he has made and does preserve all things; it is fit, infinitely fit, that he should sustain the character of supreme Lord and sovereign Governor of the whole world; and it is infinitely fit, that all his intelligent creatures should have a most sacred regard to his authority. When therefore he enjoins any thing upon angels or men, they are under infinite obligations to the most ready and perfect obedience. But God, the great Governor of the world, does with all his authority command young people to remember now their Creator in the days of their youth.

He is infinitely glorious in himself, and so infinitely worthy of their highest esteem. And it is therefore infinitely fit that all their powers should be exerted in contemplating and loving God, the best of beings, and the proper object of their happiness. And besides, they are the Lord's; they are not their own, they entirely belong to him; and so it is infinitely fit that they should be his, in the temper and bent of their minds entirely devoted to him.

But the great Governor of the world looks down and sees they are naturally disposed to have no regard to the reason of things, to what is right and fit, and suited to make them happy. He sees them, he knows their hearts, he abhors their unholy unreasonable temper, and pities poor creatures running to ruin. With the authority and compassion of a God, he calls aloud to the young person in particular, Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.

And for them to tread under foot the rightful authority of such a God, whom all in heaven reverence and fear, love and obey; and to break such a law, so reasonable in itself, and so well suited to their welfare, is big with rebellion; it argues high contempt of the Majesty of heaven, and the greatest folly and madness.

If one should pretend to command them, who had no right to them, nor authority over them; they might reasonably feel themselves at liberty, his command notwithstanding.


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