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duties of the Christian life, the temptations to which it is exposed, and the warnings and exhortations by which it is to be guarded, the belief of the PROMISES, in all their greatness and value, will tend to deliver you more and more from the corruption which is in the world through lust, and gradually form you anew after the holy image of your God. Thus shall you be trained for heaven. You shall be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. At last you shall attain complete redemption; for this is the promise which he hath promised us—the ultimate and concluding blessing, that to which all the provisions of the everlasting covenant, and all the grace of the separate promises, have respect, and in which they shall all receive their accomplishment-even ETERNAL LIFE.
PSALM LXXVII. 10. I said, This is my infirmity; but I will remember
the years of the right hand of the Most High. There are few cases which require more compassion and more wisdom in the treatment of thera than that of religious dejection. Religious melancholy is the disease of piety, and must be treated as such, if we would hope to remove it. We must consider its symptoms, endeavour to trace out its causes, and then prescribe its cure. The inspired writer of the Psalm from which the text is taken, appears to have been under its influence. He is bowed down with the pressure of affliction, he can discover no indications of God's former favour, he is filled with fearful apprehensions of his anger, with the utmost grief of mind, and with an anxiety bordering on despair ; and he finds no relief for his infirmity, until he remembers the years of the . right hand of the Most High; until calling to
mind the mercy and loying-kindness of God which have been ever of old, he is again enabled to hope in him, and to rejoice in his salvation.
Let us then consider the symptoms, the cause, and the cure of religious dejection.
The despondency of irreligious persons, when conscience has alarmed their fears, and keen disappointments have broken their spirits and filled them with forebodings of eternal punishment, is not the case we have to consider. Nor are the distresses and solicitudes of an awakened penitent, when, first convined of sin, he anxiously inquires after the way of salvation in Christ Jesus, the indications of it. These are rather favourable signs. They do not imply the existence of a disease, but they are salubrious and medicinal. Nor is the seriousness of mind which ever becomes a Christian in this world of temptation, where he is called to work out his salvation with fear and trembling, and to pass the time of his sojourning in fear, the index of religious melancholy. Neither are the occasional fluctuations in the religious feelings to which all the sincere servants of God are more or less subject, the evidences of its existence.
The proper symptoms of it are to be found in a settled depression of mind, in a perplexing
debility and agitation of spirit, an apprehension of God's indignation, a prevailing doubt of our pardon and acceptance before him, a dark view of the events which occur in the course of God's providential dealings with us, a súccession of gloomy forebodings as to our future circumstances and destination, and a sinking of the heart, especially when we turn to subjects connected with our personal interest in the blessings of redemption. The appearances will vary in different cases, but they will partake in all of the general character that has been described.
Thus Jacob, when the loss of his beloved Joseph had long distressed his mind, when he received the intelligence of the severe treatment which bis other sons had met with in Egypt, and found that Benjamin must also be separated from him, exclaimed with a touching melancholy, Me have ye bereaved of my chile dren: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. This is not, indeed, a case of settled depression ; but it serves to convey an idea of it. Such feelings, if they had continued long, and had fixed themselves in the soul, would have brought down the Patriarch's gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Hannah, again, vexed by the reproaches of Peninnah, cast down at the disappointment of her hopes, and receiving no answer to her
prayers, was under a dejection of spirit. She went up to the temple, a woman of a sorrowful spirit, and out of the abundance of her com plaint and grief poured out her soul before the Lord. She was in bitterness of soul. Her adversary provoked her sore. She wept, and did eat no bread. This continued year by year. These were symptoms of the disease we are to treat.
The same, under different circumstances, was the case of Naomi. She was left of her two sons and her husband in a foreign land. When she arose to return from the country of Moab, one of her daughters-in-law went back unto her people and to her gods. She arrived at Bethlehem, and all the city was moved, and said, Is this Naomi ? And she said, Call me not Naomi (pleasant), but call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 1 went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty; why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me and the Almighty hath ufflicted me?
The instance of Elijah may also be mentioned, when he received the threatening message from Jezebel, and arose and went for his life and came to Beersheba, and went a day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down under a juniper-tree, and requested for himself that he might die. Dejection preyed upon his mind, and he con