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posed than ever to say, How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! It can animate the dullest heart and cheer the loneliest season. In the attachment with which God warms the heart of children to the aged, and the interest which they feel in their expressions of affection, they may see his solicitude for their happiness, and a kindness forming by his inAuence which shall attend them to the

grave. 3. The promise assures aged saints of the kindest tokens of endearment from their God and Father. He will bear them in his arms as the parent does the child for whose welfare she is most solicitous, and whom she clasps to her heart as the object of her fondest love. “ He shall feed his flocks like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."* When you behold the delightful tokens of a mother's tenderness to the child of her cares, you can say, Thus doth God act to my soul ; his left hand is under mine head, and his right hand doth embrace me. Sometimes the aged discover a peevishness and disgust, both unbecoming and unwise, at the necessary attentions which must be paid to infants, and it would tend to produce very opposite impressions, and minister much to their own improvement and happiness, were they to regard them as emblems of the indulgence and grace of the Father of Mercies, and to say,

“ The love that prompts these attentions is an emblem of his pity; and sweet and delightful as they

* Is, xl. 11, Deut, xxxiii. 27.

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Few of the companions of their early days remain with the aged in the last stage of their journey. Their partners in the gay sports of childhood, and in the active pursuits of business, have gone to their long home. When their engaging appearance and amiable qualities arise to their remembrance, the heart is saddened by the thought, that their beauty hath consumed in the grave from their dwelling, and that to us and to the world their accomplishments are lost. Few remain to whom they can talk of the mercies of former years. A new race has risen around them which cares little for them, and which they feel little solicitude to please. The relatives who survive, they are ready to imagine visit them from the cold impulse of duty, and are glad of any pretext to shor. ten their stay. The same sun which shone upon them in the days of their youth still shines on them; but how different is its influence on the languid feelings and on the freezing blood ! The same spring returns which in their early days renovated the face of nature ; but how different does its influence appear to the dim eye, and amidst the sad impressions of their own decay !

But the promise in the text assures them, that the Guide of their youth lives to be the companion of their age. Solitary and deserted as you may deem yourselves, yet as you stand in the churchyard, and mark around you the graves where your friends are sleeping, you may sing, “The Lord lives, and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." To Him you can talk of the days that are past, and thank Him for that help through which you continue

to this day. On many a scene you are disposed to write, “ The glory is departed;" for none appears decked with the charms which youthful fancy beheld in it: but your God is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and the longer you live he will be more kind to you than before.

I have seen aged persons who had survived all their friends. They had devoted themselves to the care of aged connexions, and for their sakes declined an advantageous settlement in life, and, amidst the anxious thoughts which arose in their minds respecting their future lot, persevered in their duty in humble trust in the divine mercy,

To those who are strangers to them, it may seem that they have reason to repent their generous sacrifice, or, as others would say, their romantic folly; but God will not forget their labour of love, and to them his cheering presence and his kindest care are pledged. 2. It implies, unabated affection.

The aged are ready to complain, and in many cases with truth, that relatives and friends are cold to them, and weary of them. They think that they minister to them in their infirmities with reluctance, and listen to their com, plaints with disgust. Seldom do the soft tones of affection reach their ear, and far more frequently do they hear the language of mockery and reproach. There is something in the scowl with which their wishes are thwarted, and the taunts with which the trouble they give is stated, which has made them think that they were outcasts from every human heart. They feel that they have become less amiable to their fellow-creatures; and they fear that their mo

ral infirmities will provoke the anger of their Father in heaven, and that their incapacity to serve him will make him

say,

I have no delight in thee.” The most painful of a good man's fears are of this description. They feel that with the assurance of God's love they could bear every act of unkindness from men; but when they imagine they see in their harshness that God is wroth with them, their eye trickles down, and ceases not till the Lord look down and behold from heaven.

But God having loved his own that are in the world, will love them to the end. The bloom of beauty, the elegance of form, the vivacity of spirit, and that activity of character, which made them the delight of all around them, are long since gone;

and
gone

with them are the persons whom they attracted to your side. To man there is nothing alluring, nay, there is much that is repulsive in declining faculties, in ghastliness, and in infirmity. But the love of God to you was not founded on such perishable qualities, and with them it did not decay. He loved you for the righteousness he hath imputed to you, and for the graces he hath formed within you; and in the winter of age he sees those graces flourishing. The heart of the best of beings can never be alienated, and he will rest in his love.

In looking back on the scenes through which you have passed, you see reason to admit the truth of that proverb which once appeared so strange to the ardent and sanguine heart of youth, “ Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain ;"* but you are more dis

• Prov. xxxi. 30.

posed than ever to say, How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! It can animate the dullest heart and cheer the loneliest season. In the attachment with which God warms the heart of children to the aged, and the interest which they feel in their ex. pressions of affection, they may see his solicitude for their happiness, and a kindness forming by his influence which shall attend them to the grave.

3. The promise assures aged saints of the kindest tokens of endearment from their God and Father. He will bear them in his arms as the parent does the child for whose welfare she is most solicitous, and whom she clasps to her heart as the object of her fondest love. “ He shall feed his flocks like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."* When you behold the delightful tokens of a mother's tenderness to the child of her cares, you can say, Thus doth God act to my soul ; his left hand is under mine head, and his right hand doth embrace me. Sometimes the aged discover a peevishness and disgust, both unbecoming and unwise, at the necessary attentions which must be paid to infants, and it would tend to produce very opposite impressions, and minister much to their own improvement and happiness, were they to regard them as emblems of the indul. gence and grace of the Father of Mercies, and to say, “ The love that prompts these attentions is an emblem of his pity; and sweet and delightful as they

* Is, xl, 11. Deut. xxxiii. 27.

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