BEsides what hath been already observed, something yet may be further not∣ed, Viz.
Observ. That Grace and Holiness are exceeding fit, and no way unseemly for the younger sort. Man's Life hath in some re∣gards been compared to a Comedy, or Enter∣lude Acted upon the Theatre, or Sage of this World; and the truth is, many a Mans life is but a Play; and many in their courses do but act other mens parts, not in sincerity ex∣press their own inward dispositions. And therefore that decorum, which they suppose may grace them in the eyes of Men, is the thing they most of all affect and aim at. But this is Man's misery, that his Eye is now not single, nor can he rightly discern what be∣cometh him; so that many times he shunneth those things as unseemly, which would be his greatest ornaments, and goeth about to deck himself with such things as do but lay open Page 47 his nakedness, and discover his shame. The Apostle saith, that long hair (which is a Wo∣mans ornament,) is a Man's shame, If a man wear long hair, it is folly and shame to him, 1 Cor. 11. And yet many men account this a special ornament; whereas indeed, it doth as ill become them, as a Distaff doth; al∣most as ill as a womans Garment. Thus it is in many other things, disguised fashions, &c. But besides these, there seemeth to be a conceipt among Men, that a licentious li∣berty, an unlimited looseness of Conversa∣tion, becometh the younger sort in the daies of their youth; and that nothing is more un∣seemly for that age, than an humble, holy subjection and obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But here ye see the wise Man, who was a Man that did much affect decorum, whilst he continued in his integrity, (as ap∣peareth by that which the Queen of Sheba, observed even to an extasy, I Kings 10. 4, 5. And when the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's Wisdom, and the House that he had built, and the Meat of his Table, and the sitting of his Servants, and the attendance of his Ministers, and their Apparrel, and his Cup-bearers, and his Assent by which he went up to the House of the Lord, there was no more Spirit in her. And so ye may gather Page 48 by many passages of his story, how exact he was in observing decorum, and shewing forth his Royal Magnificence according to his place.) He I say, that best knew, what was comely, and seemly for young Men: Shew∣eth here, that it is not only good, but seem∣ly for them, even in the daies of youth, to be seriously mindful of their Creatour, and so in all things to shew themselves as Men, that have him, and his fear before their Eyes.
For (to omit this, that whatsoever is good is also comely, being suitable to the holiness and purity of God, who is most glorious and beautiful) it is plain here by the opposition that is made between the daies of youth, and old age; that he commendeth it to them in special, as a thing exceeding fit, and seemly for the younger sort. Remember thy Creatour in the daies of thy youth, whilst the evil daies come not. As if he had said, It is a most ab∣surd and unseemly thing, not to be truly mindful of him that made us in our best daies, but then to begin, when the evil daies come. And (if you mark,) it is plain by those passages that follow, That he still fa∣stens a notorious absurdity, and unseemliness upon this carriage of Men who defer till the last. The years draw nigh, when thou Page 49 shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. How absurd and unseemly then to give up thy self to God, when thou art weary of thy self; and not before? while the Sun, or the Moon, or the Starrs be not Darkned, and the Clouds return after the Rain. A most absurd thing, to give all the cleer Sun-shiny daies of youth to sin, to lose all thy good daies, wasting and wearing them out in vanity; and then in the dull, cloudy, rainy times of old age, which are most unfit for employment, to begin to serve the Lord; and so in the verses follow∣ing. So that it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 an absurd thing, or a thing out of place; an unseemly and uncomely thing for young men to live un∣mindful of their Creatour, and of the end of their Creation, whilst they are young; and to leave him nothing but the Lame and Blind Sacrifices of their decrepit age, which the Psalmist sheweth plainly. Psal. 119. 9. Wherewithal shall a young Man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word, That which is cleanly, ye know is comely: Now the Psalmist sheweth, that if they that be young will walk in clean waves, they must take heed to the Word of God, and follow the light of it. Ye know that a fair clean way is more pleasant and comely by farr, than a foul, deep, miry way: 〈1 page duplicate〉Page 48〈1 page duplicate〉Page 49Page 50 and it is more comely for a man to walk in such a way, if he can, than to be mired with dirt in a foul way. So the Psalmist sheweth, That then a young Man walketh in a clean way, and so in a comely manner, when he followeth and obeyeth the Word of God, i• an holy and gracious Conversation. On th• other side, when he casteth the Word be∣hind his back, and walketh in the Lusts of his own heart, followeth his own will, and seek∣eth to please himself in all things, he walk∣eth in a foul dirty way, and is bemired (〈◊〉 it were) with Drunkenness, or Whore do•• or Idleness, or Prophaneness, &c. And h• carriage hath no more true comeliness in i• than his clothes have, when he falleth in the mire.