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.

CHAP. III.

Use 1. 1. THis may serve to reprove the great sensuality and security that is naturally among us; that we look at things present, and do not seriously take to heart such changes as may befall us. A Com∣ment upon Psal. 49. would be a fit enlarge∣ment of this use, where the Psalmist discour∣seth excellently of this point; both shewing the folly of men trusting to outward things as to certainties, and declaring his own spiri∣tual wisdom which God had taught him in preparing for any changes that might befall him. First, he calleth for attention for all sorts of men throughout the world. Hear Page  105 this all ye people, give ear all ye Inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together. It concerneth all sorts nearly, and all sorts are faulty therein, and need to be stirred up by way of remembrance. Then he doth very effectually seek to win attention by the excellency of the things which he is about to deliver. My mouth shall speak of wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding; such wisdom as many worldly wise men never learned: yea, he sheweth in the next verse, that it is an hid∣den wisdom; and as a parable to natural men for the most part. Then he entreth upon his discourse, and in the first place be∣ginneth with himself, ver. 5. Wherefore should I fear in the daies of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? as if he had said; I do foresee changes and afflictions, I look for assaults from Satan; but I am armed against them through the mercy of God, who hath pardoned my sins, and therefore when such evils come, and Sa∣tan shall seek to entangle my Conscience, as in a snare, as if these were sure arguments of God's hatred against me: I will not fear, I am prepared for these things. Then on the other side in the next verse unto the fif∣teenth, he goeth on at large, declaring the Page  106 folly and blindness of worldly-minded men, &c secure sinners in this case. They that trust in their Wealth, and boast themselves in the mul∣titude of their Riches, none of them can by any means redeem his Brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: They trust in outward things, as if they were enduring substance, and their hearts are lifted up with thoughts of their Wealth and Riches; they think not serious∣ly of changes to come; they trust in their strength and healthy tempers in their Youth, they rest their hearts in their present carnal contentments, sinful pleasures, &c. as if these things should alwayes continue; whereas they can neither rescue or ransom themselves or dearest friends from the power of death, that he should live for ever, and not see cor∣ruption: For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fol and the brutish person shall perish, and leave their wealth to others. This sheweth their great sensuality and sottishnes, that though they have daily experience of di∣vorces & separations made by death between men and their wealth, their honours, their pleasures, and that they are forced to leave all, and go naked out of the world; yet they do not apply this, and make it their own case; but they go on even like to the brute beasts, which when they see one of their Page  107 own herd led away to the slaughter-house, regard it not; but delight as much as before in their fat pastures, sitting themselves daily more and more for the same end. So these, though they see those that were framed of the same clay with themselves, drop away, and return to their dust; yet they mind it not, unless it be for a short fit, but set their hearts upon these things, as much as if they had never heard of any that had been taken away by death. For their inward thought is, that their Houses shall continue for ever, &c. The Spirit of God here looketh into the inside, and rippeth open the bosomes of these earth∣ly-minded persons, and sheweth what thoughts and hopes they have even of perpe∣tuities here on earth: and so they love and strive for these things, as if there were eter∣nity in them, as if they were everlasting things. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not, he is like the beasts that perish. Let him enjoy never so much of these things, yet he abideth not; there shall come a change, all shall be turned upside down, and he shall become like the beasts that pe∣rish. As he is sottishly and sensually affected with things present like the beast, so he shall return to the earth like it, and be turned out of all, ver. 13. This their way is their folly, Page  108 yet their posterity approve their sayings. It is a sad thing, that when experience hath taught the world so often the vanity of such thoughts, yet that those that come after should be of the same mind too, think as they thought, do as they did, live as they lived. The Psalmist addeth, Selah!] and it is well worthy even of a note of wonder and asto∣nishment. Children see their Parents sins, and see how they are taken away; and all their pride and covetousness, &c. doth them no good; the pleasure of all is vanished and gone; it is no more: yet will they run blindly on in the same way; so will others that come after them: Neighbours and acquaintance though they see this, yet they will follow them, and tread in their steps; this is their folly, Selah! it is remarkable folly. Ver. 14. Like sheep they are laid in their grave, Death shall feed on them, &c. As sheep dying in the field, are devoured and fed upon by Ra∣vens, and other birds of prey and beasts of the field; so death shall not only slay them, but feed upon them, it shall consume them, and turn them into rottenness and dust. Then saith he, The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. After this long night wherein death shall feed on them in the grave, the morning light of that great day Page  109 shall arise upon them, when all shall rise again; and then the Righteousness shall have dominion over them, and sit in Judgement upon them. Oh how many changes are here which they do not effectually foresee and provide for! Friends are taken from them; they are taken from their wealth; Death killeth them, Death feedeth on them: and if here were an end, it were nothing: but then cometh that great day after this long night, when they must be awakened by the last Trumpet, and see the Righteous whom despised, sit as Judges over them. But Ver. 15. The Psalmist sheweth, how he had ta∣ken into consideration aforehand all these things, and was prepared for them. But God will redeem my Soul from the power of the grave, for he shall receive me, Selah! David did not settle his heart upon any things of the world, but he looked for death, and prepared for it, made account of being Death's prisoner in the grave; but then with∣all he had overcome death, and the grave be∣fore hand by the power of faith, laying hold of the promise of God, knowing that he should be ransomed and redeemed from it; not as the wicked, whose hearts were set upon the things of the world, to be carried from the prison of the grave to execution: but Page  110 he knew, that the Lord would receive him to glory, and upon this he sets a special note again, Selah! Then he sheweth what little cause any child of God hath to be troubled at the outward prosperity of the wicked, and in the end concludeth all with this speech, Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. Let him be never so highly advanced and enriched; yet if he doth not understandingly consider of changes likely to come upon him, but glut himself with the things of this present life, he is more like a beast than a man, and maketh no use of that reasonable soul which God hath given him above a beast, whereby he hath an ability to look beyond these things that lie before his eyes for the present, and to make use of his experience in those changes which he hath seen in others; applying to himself, and rea∣soning from one thing to another, and so to provide for the like to come upon himself. You see here the very picture of a caranal secure heart, setled upon its lees, embracing this present world, and doting upon it; not foreseeing nor providing for those many changes and turnings of things that are likely to happen, and especially that great change that shall certainly come, death, the grave, and resurrection unto Judgement. Which Page  111 were they throughly sensible of, they should have a low esteem of these perishing vanities, and uncertainties under the Sun, and not ha∣zard their dear Souls by too much affecting, and too eager seeking after them.