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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Special Privilege and Comfort of Old-Age

A special privilege and comfort of old-age

(Richard Steele, "A Discourse Concerning Old-age, Tending to the Instruction, Caution and Comfort of Aged People")

"The silver-haired head is a crown of glory--IF it is found in the way of righteousness." Proverbs 16:31 

Now the older a man grows--the wiser should he grow. And the wiser he grows--the less likely he is to chose evil. The more divine strokes and judgments he has seen upon evil-doers--the more he should be afraid of tampering with it. 

A special privilege and comfort of old-age is that it is richer in experience than any other age. The aged believer can tell experimentally . . .

  of the wisdom and justice of God's providence, 
  of the truth of His promises and threatenings, 
  of the devices of Satan, 
  of the deceitfulness of riches, 
  of the wisdom of integrity, 
  of the vanity of all carnal delights, 
  of the wickedness of his own heart. 
Old-age is rich in the experience of these things, whereby they are able to govern themselves, and to advise others. Their . . .
  judgments are more refined, 
  passions are more sedate, 
  graces are more strong, 
  actions are more consistent, 
  and their spiritual stature is taller. 

Trace some godly aged men from morning to night, you shall still find them . . .
  so discreet in their charity,
  so grave in their counsels,
  so savory in their discourse,
  so constant in their piety,
  so considerate in their resolutions,
  so faithful in their reproofs, 
  so poised in their temper,
  so charitable in their censures, and
  so uniform and useful in their lives--
that their practice may be a perpetual sermon--and an example to teach others their duty to God and man. 

By long experience, aged believers are taught to avoid many dangers, which others fall into. Their manifold experience of the deceitfulness of the flesh, of the world, and of the devil--has enabled them to counter and somewhat conquer them. And their experience renders them able to give the most prudent counsels, and to forewarn others of those consequences which they easily foresee--IF they have treasured up wisdom according to their years.

"The silver-haired head is a crown of glory--IF it is found in the way of righteousness." Proverbs 16:31 

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