The Perils of the Middle-Aged
George H. Morrison
In every literature the life of man is pictured under the symbol of a day. There is something in the rise and setting of the sun that answers so closely to life's start and close that the correspondence has been universally perceived. We speak of the morn of infancy or childhood; we describe old age as the evening of our day; declining years are the afternoon of life; and final efforts the lingering gleams at sunset. It is in such language, drawn from the sphere of day, that we imaginatively describe the facts of life. This being so, you will at once perceive the meaning we may attach to noonday. The noonday of life is the time of middle age, when the morning freshness of youth has passed away. And so the destruction which wastes at the noonday, whatever be its literal significance, may without any violence be referred to the peculiar temptations of that period. That, then, is the theme which I would speak upon-the perils that beset the middle-aged. I shall not speak directly to the young, nor shall I offer counsel to the old. But I shall address myself more immediately to those who are in the noontide of their days-in the long stretch that we call middle life.
I do so with all the greater readiness because this is a period so often overlooked. For a hundred special sermons to young men, you will scarce find one which appeals to middle age. No doubt there is something to be said for that, for youth is the time of impression and resolve, and the preacher feels that if he can influence youth, the trend of the later period is determined. But along with this wise reason goes another, which is as unwise as it is false, and which is specially cogent with young ministers. It is the thought that after the storms of youth, middle age is as a quiet haven. It is the thought that youth is very perilous, and middle age comparatively safe. It is the thought that as a man enters manhood he is encompassed by quick ...
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