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to keep it holy ;” and “ not to forget the assembling of ourselves together." Here time and manner are expressly appointed; and he who disregards either, does not suitably remember his creator and reverence his authority. .
Observing the appointed seasons, and the instituted forms, our worship of God must be suited to his character; must be rational, pure, and spiritual, regular, decent, and in order. We are not, at particular times and places, to be carried off in the blaze of misguided zeal, while we have little or no regard to the “ weightier matters of the law;" but to maintain an habit. ual reverence for the object of our worship, and a constant desire to fulfil all righteousness. Since God requires a reasonable service, it will be no breach of charity to suppose some, like Nadab and Abihu, “ offer strange fire before the Lord;” but more offer none at all. Neither of these entertain just ideas of the divine character, nor of their duty to God. They do not so remember their creator, as to be influenced in their conduct, or exercise the true spirit of devotion. · They neither make him the object of their worship, nor his law and will the rule of it.
3. Remembering our creator implies also a conscientious regard and obedience to his whole will, however made known. Just conceptions of the being and perfections of God, of his government and law, and of our dependence and obligation, will teach us to “ deny all ungodliness and worldly lust,” to watch against every temptation, to allow no act of disobedience; but to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world, giving all diligence to make our calling and election sure," by unremitted attention to all the commands of God, whether they relate to our duty to him, ourselves, or fellowmen.
In fine, remembering our creator implies such habitual reflections upon his being and attributes, upon his character and government, upon his right, as the author of our'existence, the preserver of our life, the source of our mercies, and the God of our salvation, to our de vout homage and service, as shall incline our hearts to him, and engage us to seek his honour, and to trust our perfection and happiness to his mercy and goodness. It is the first principle of real religion, which operates upon the human mind, corrects the will, draws the affections to their proper object, directs the conduct.
of life, and inspires the soul with a filial temper towards its father in heaven, with penitence, and with religious hope and gratitude.
We now,pass to offer,
III. Some particular reasons to enforce upon youth the duty of remembering their creator. “ Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth.”
To retain God in their thoughts is not the exclusive duty of the young. . The obligation lies upon persons of every age. It results from his being their creator, preserver, and redeemer; from the apparent design of their creation, their powers, and faculties; from clear intimations of the divine will, and from a due regard to their own happiness. These considerations apply with equal force to all ages and classes of mankind.
But some special reasons may be offered, why the young should habituate themselves to remember their creator in the days of their youth. In the early periods of life the mind is most susceptible of deep and lasting impressions. These, according to their nature, whether good or bad, very generally form the char: acter of the man, and determine his course. The eagerness and pliability of the youthful 47
mind, as well as the heat and impetuosity of youthful passions, expose the young to temptations not experienced in riper years, and render them more liable to be overcome. Habits are formed in youth, and take deep root. When reason is strengthened, and the natural ardour abated, it is found very difficult to correct, or change, the habits of early life. It is doubtful whether they are ever so eradicated, as not to have some influence upon the temper and conduct to the close of life. Impressions and habits come under the same general law, and conform to the same principles in human nature. Made and formed in youth, they are apt to accompany a person, in defiance of his reason and better judgment, through every succeeding period of his mortal existence. It is therefore of vast importance that serious impressions be made, and sober correct habits formed, while the heart is tender, the affections warm, and the mind active. If, in the days of youth, the mind be most easily affected, most ready to receive impressions of every kind; if these impressions lead to habits, and habits influence future conduct, and form the character; if such impressions and habits are most lasting and unconquerable; if juvenile years be most liable to
temptation and folly; then is the time to seek the restraints and aids of religion, to remember their creator, " to set the Lord always before their face,” and consider that he “ compasseth their path, their lying down and rising up, and is acquainted with all their ways."
Proper conceptions of the divine character, of our obligation to God, and relation to him, and of the duties resulting from our relation and de. pendence, are the foundation and spring of vir. tue and piety ; but ignorance, or unmindful. ness, of the creator, is an inlet to all the vices peculiar to youth; and which often load riper years with their baneful fruit.
The mind is prone to retain the bias, or inclination, it first receives. :: “ Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin’d.”
On this principle in our nature is founded the sacred injunction upon parents, to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not de part from it.” If this be a reason and motive for parental attention to the infant mind, temper, and conduct; it is an equally forceable argument, that youth, who are become capable