THus ye have heard, how Old Age is said to consist of evil daies: now here we see how the Holy Ghost doth call away the thoughts of young men from the pleasures Page 96 and vanities of Youth, wherein they are usually drowned and over-whelmed, and gi∣veth them a foresight of a change: letteth them know, that it will not alwayes be thus with them; they must look for other times hereafter to pass over them; now they have their good daies, their daies of Youth, but they must perswade themselves there be other daies coming; these good daies will not last alwayes. Hence I observe,
Observ. That it is Christian wisdom to foresee and provide for changes ere they come: it is a brutish and sensual folly to have the Heart so possessed and taken up with pre∣sent prosperity and earthly contentments of any kind, as not to have any serious and ef∣fectual regard of such changes as may be brought upon us. Therefore the Spirit of God having to do with young men in this place, who did please themselves in them∣selves, and in their present youthful wayes, delights and contentments, he setteth be∣fore their eyes a lively image of Old Age; with the many evils, grievances, and blemish∣es of it: yea, he leadeth them along to the death-bed, and hangeth out their winding-sheet before their eyes; and by the way pre∣senteth them with many objects unpleasing to sensuality, and vain youthfull affections. Page 97 First, evils in general, and then the loss of all earthly pleasures; then dimness and dark∣ness, weeping, cloudy weather, Ver. 2. and so he goeth on in the words following. Thus doth St. James deal with secure and carnal rich men, whose hearts did rest with a kind of muddy contentment in their abundance of worldly things, not seriously thinking of sad alterations that might follow, Jam. 5. 1, 2. Go to now ye rich men; weep & howl for the mi∣series that shall come upon you: your riches are corrupted, and your garments moth-eaten, &c. and ver. 5. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in the day of slaughter. As the beast that is full fed and fatted, is wanton and frollick, feeding without fear or foresight of the Butchers Axe, even in the same morn∣ing when he is to die before night, even in the day of Slaughter: so do ye please your selves, and satisfie your own lusts without any serious consideration aforehand of the Axe of God's wrath, that lyeth at the root of all such unfruitfull Trees, and is ready to give an irrecoverable stroke: ye do not care∣fully forethink of the evils that shall come upon you, and therefore I present these un∣to your thoughts. We have a notable ex∣ample in this kind, both of wisdom in Page 98Noah, and of folly in the men of that Ge∣neration living together with him, Heb. 11. 7 By faith Noah being warned of God of things 〈◊〉 seen as yet, moved with fear prepared an Ark 〈◊〉 the saving of his House, by the which he c••∣demned the world, and became heir of th• righteousness which is by faith. Here wa• his notable faith and heavenly wisdom. H• was warned of God of things not seen as 〈◊〉 not only of such things as at that time 〈◊〉 not to be seen in present being, when he re∣ceived this warning, but of things, the 〈◊〉 whereof were never seen in the world before of such things as neither he, nor any of 〈◊〉 Fore-fathers from Adam to his own 〈◊〉 ever had any experience of, viz. Th•• things mentioned Genes. 6. 17. Behold 〈◊〉 even I do bring a flood of waters upon 〈◊〉 earth to destroy all flesh, wherein is the br•• of life from under Heaven; and every 〈◊〉 that is in the earth shall die. These 〈◊〉 strange things not seen as yet, no•〈◊〉 heard of since man was created, that 〈◊〉 Lord at one stroke should destroy so 〈◊〉 millions of his creatures, not only men, ••∣men, and children, but all other things 〈◊〉 breathed. It was now a great work of 〈◊〉 to believe this, beyond the experience of the world, and against the mocks and 〈◊〉Page 99 of the whole world; and great wisdom to provide so carefully against it, preparing an Ark for the saving of his House: Herein he condemned the unbelief and folly of the world, whose sensuality, earthly-minded∣ness, and deep security, our Saviour decla∣reth, Matth. 24. 38. in the daies that were before the flood, They were eating and drink∣ing, marrying and giving in marriage, untill the day that Noah entred into the Ark, and knew not untill the flood came, and took them all away. Noah did foresee, and prepare for this notable change before it came; but the world of the ungodly continued in deep and dead security: They would not believe that the flood-gates of Heaven should be opened so wide, as to pour down an universal deluge upon the earth; they knew not, they consi∣dered not of this wofull change, untill the flood came, and took them all away.