I AM AS STRONG TODAY AS THE DAY MOSES SENT ME OUT; I'M JUST
AS VIGOROUS TO GO OUT TO BATTLE NOW AS I WAS THEN: "For fighting, and for
all the intercourse and manifold activities of life, his sinews are as braced,
his eyes as clear, his spirit and limbs as alert as they were in those old days.
No doubt you will say that was due to miraculous intervention. No doubt it was;
but is it not true that, in a very real sense, a man may keep himself young all
his life, if he will go the right way to work? And the secret of perpetual
youthfulness lies here, in giving our hearts to God and in living for Him.
Christianity, with its self-restraint and its exhortations to all, and
especially to the young, to be chaste and temperate and to subdue the animal
passions, has a direct tendency to conserve physical vigour; and Christianity,
by the inspiration that it imparts, the stimulus that it gives, and the hopes
that it permits us to cherish, has a direct tendency to keep alive in old age
all the best of the characteristics of youth. Its buoyancy, its undimmed
interest, its cheeriness, its freedom from anxiety and care -- all these things
are directly ministered to, and preserved by, a life of simple faith that casts
itself upon God, and dwells securely, in joy and in restfulness, and not without
a great light of hope, even when the shadows of evening are falling.
"One of the greatest and most blessed of the characteristics
of youth is the consciousness that the most of life lies before us; and to a
Christian man, in any stage of his earthly life, that consciousness is possible.
When he stands on the verge of the last sinking sandbank of time, and the water
is up to his ankles, he may well feel that the best and the most of life is yet
" 'They shall still bring forth fruit in old age, they shall
be full of sap and green.' A gnarled old tree may be green in all its branches,
and blossom and fruit may hang together there. The ideal of life is, that into
each stage we shall carry the best of the preceding, harmonised with the best of
the new... The fountain of perpetual youth, of which the ancients fabled, is no
fable, but a fact; and it rises, where the prophet in his vision saw the stream
coming out, from beneath the threshold of the Temple door" (MacL).
The "saviour" blesses the "dog" (a Gentile!) in the city of