A memento to young and old: or, The young man's remembrancer, and the old man's monitor. By that eminent and judicious divine, Mr. John Maynard, late of Mayfield in Sussex. Published by William Gearing, minister of the Gospel
Maynard, John, 1600-1665., Gearing, William.
Page  78

CHAP. III.

Use . THis may serve to reprove those, who do allow some fleshly liberty to the daies of Youth. Many, who themselves are aged, out of a kind of fatherly experien∣ced gravity (as they would have men think) and out of a kind of moderation, to which their years have brought them (as they will have us believe) do give liberty to a kind of latitude in the ways of Youth; and young men must be born with. Who doubteth but that there is a Christian moderation and compassion to be exercised towards such in∣firmities of the flesh, which the Spirit wrest∣leth and laboureth against either in young or old; when the heart being given up to Christ, and brought under the soveraign command of his glorious Gospel and blessed Spirit, cannot yet wholly free it self from the law of Rebellion, nor utterly shake off the body of Death? But out of a pretence of levity to flatter the enormities of Youth, and to ex∣cuse those vitious unbridled courses, which stain the glory of those best daies; what is it but to say, that hard Frosts, deep Snows, In∣undations, thick mire and dirt, are not to be accounted strange in May, nor to be wonder∣ed at in the prime and spring of the year. Is it Page  79 to be endured, when the best daies of a man's life are wasted away in such courses as are contrary to the end for which a man liveth; most contrary to the glory of that great God, who hath given them these choice daies of Youth. To speak plainly; when are you more carefull to fence your Copses, Pastures, Meadows, than in the Spring: and will ye say the spring of our life (which is the time of Youth) may be laid open to the inva∣sion of lusts, to the assaults of Satan, to the pleasures of Sin? Let other men applaud their own gravity, and condemn the rash∣ness of others; I cannot believe that Solomon wanted either years, gravity, wisdome or due moderation, when he checked the folly of Youth in an holy Irony, Eccles. 11. and set∣teth before all vain young men the Judge∣ment of the great day, shewing that for all these things, even these excesses of Youth, they shall be made to give account: nor when he did put down this serious admoni∣tion in the words of this Text, backed with so many pressing motives, Remember now thy Creator in the daies of thy youth, while the evil daies come not, &c. and had there been any defect in the pen-man, yet I am sure the Holy Ghost which held his hand, would not have suffered him to write one syllable amiss. Page  80 Neither doth the Psalmist return an answer sutable to these mens conceits when the question is moved, Wherewithall shall a young man cleanse his way? but quite contrary, By taking heed thereto according to thy word. Where ye see both the Rule by which, and the manner how they are to frame their Courses, requireth a special strictness. The very Word of God, that pure and holy Rule of Righteousness, and not the customs of the time, nor the ordinary practice, nor lusts of youth must guide them, and this Rule they must heed with much attention and watchfulness, having one eye upon their ways, another upon the word: taking heed thereto according to the word, ever marking the steps they tread, and observing how it suiteth with the precious truth of God. This is the wisdom of the Antient of daies, and whatsoever is contrary to it, gray hairs can∣not exempt from folly.