fuge is in God's superabounding grace. This gravity is quite different from that sourness and austerity which hath 'sometimes assumed its name ; for there is in it a calmness and softness which renders it lovely; and while we turn with disgust from the pert levity of the fool, and the dark scowl of the misanthrope, we mark with pleasure the mild solemnity of the serious. old men must be temperate. There are few old men who are addicted to excess in eating, but some of them are addicted to drunkenness. Intemperance shocks us when we see it in youth. Ah, how painful is it to see the engaging qualities and fair prospects of the young destroyed by sensuality! But it is still more hideous in the old : their faculties are failing, and why should they hasten their decay by 31 excess? The last sands are running down the glass, and why should they shake it to quicken their fall? If it is said by any, that they take this indulgence to keep away painful reflections on past follies and evils, they may be assured that they will return in a more severe form in their serious hours, and it would be infinitely better to mitigate them by the salutary workings of penitence and devotion.' Consider how fresh is the countenance, how firm the nerve, and how vigorous the step of the sober old man, and how different is his JAN appearance from that of the shattered and wasted sen

sualist! Think how he is agitated by nervous tremours, and what objects horrible to the fancy and the heart seem to him to be gathering around him Whatever terms of ridicule may be applied to such a state of body and mind, the considerate will see in it



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the wreck of health, peace, and sanity,--the dreadful result of habitual intemperance.

The lecherous old man is the most loathsome of all objects; and few are able to endure the impurity of his conversation, or the brutality of his habits.

Old men must be sound in faith. Having adopted, after due inquiry and full conviction, their religious principles, they must hold them fast. How disréspectable is it in an old man to be the dupe of every new speculation that is set afloat! and how unhappy is it for himself when he abandons principles which have been the consolation of his life, for the dreams of empty pretenders to superior intelligence or to superior piety! It may be expected confidently of you, that you henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. In our day, the unseemly spectacle has been seen of some old men adopting the notions of the wildest visionaries, and puffed up by the idea that they are distinguishing themselves for liberal opinions ; and of others practising the most foolish innovations in worship, as if they were the most valuable improvements.

It may not be improper to remark, that many of the aged are blameable for the opposition which they give to what are real improvements, for the vehemence with which they contend for things which the progress

of refinement calls upon us to put away, and for the anger which they express because others are gratified while their humours are disregarded. Humility, wisdom, and benevolence, would lead them

cheerfully to acquiesce in whatever is calculated to interest the young in religious services, though to them the usages to which they have been accustomed would be more acceptable.

The old must be sound also in the grace of faith, believing firmly in the wisdom and goodness of the divine administration, in spite of all the suggestions of fear, and relying steadfastly on the atonement, amidst all the sad remembrances of the sins of a long life.

Old men must also be sound in charity. Their love to God must not wax cold amidst the decline of the faculties, but near as they are to the place where he is seen as he is, the pious affections should be stronger than ever. What a blessing to old age is the perfect love which casteth out fear! Their experience of the treachery and of the wickedness of the world must not harden their hearts to their fellow-creatures; but they must labour to be useful in a sphere which they are soon to leave, and which they will soon have neither opportunity nor power to benefit. How beautiful is that love to Christ which fills them with a desire to depart and to be with him, as what is far better than remaining in this vain world, and that love to man which triumphs over all the cold and selfish feelings which age so often produces ! In such an old man we see a striking proof of the statement of the Apostle, “ Charity never faileth.” There is a love in word and in tongue which is seldom the character of age. It is not from the lips of the old that we anticipate the language of flattery, or those complimentary phrases which are too often the incentives to vanity or

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the instruments of deceit; yet let them not, from an aversion to such communications, pride themselves in using terms which offend by their coarseness or fa. miliarity.

The aged can now do little in active charity ; but they should manifest their benevolence in their counsels and prayers, and, where their circumstances admit of it, in their donations and bequests for promoting the interests of piety and humanity. It is in utility alone that you will secure to your name a valuable memorial.

Old men must be sound in patience. They must not only have the show of it occasionally, but their patience must be uniform and steady. They must be tranquil amidst the infirmities of age, and steadfast under every species of persecution. They must not fret on account of the neglect which they may experience from those from whom they anticipated unwearied attention. Young persons are peculiarly alive to every thing that bears the appearance of coldness or inattention ; but the aged, from their experience of the vanity of human friendship, should be less affected with it. It is, no doubt, painful to them that they have not that refreshment in sleep, that' enjoyment in conversation, or that pleasure in reading, which they once had; but they ought to be thankful that they were favoured with all these for a long course of years, and that their senses of hearing and of seeing have not totally failed them. It is a beautiful instance of the benignity of Providence, that such aids have been devised for these failing senses of age, and that the total loss of both is so seldom associated.

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They must wait with patience for the promised good. The wishes of the young are eager and passionate, and they often bring misery upon themselves by the ardour which they put forth to attain the objects on which their hearts are set ; but aged saints know that it is good to wait, and quietly to hope for the salvation of the Lord. How unseemly in age are the passionate longings of childhood, or the indiscreet vehemence of youth! You have little left you to wish for in this world, and as to it you should believe that it will come in the best season ; and with regard to another world, you should, like the ancient patriarchs,

die in the faith, persuaded of the promises and embracing them, and confessing yourselves strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”* 2. The Apostle states the peculiar duties of aged

They must be in behaviour as becometh holiness, have such a conversation as is suited to the religion which they profess, and as will demonstrate their connexion with the holy Redeemer. Every thing which indicates, or which is assimilated to the spirit of the devil, they must carefully avoid. In the times of gross ignorance and superstition, an aged woman, if austere in her manners, or lonely in her situation, was suspected of a commerce with Satan ; every disaster in the neighbourhood was attributed to her malignant influence,--the most ridiculous stories were circulated and believed as to the appearances she had assumed, and the powers she had exercised; her approach was never seen, nor her dwelling passed by, without fear and horror, and the most shocking


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