In this study, we go into detail on the subject of deep spiritual depression, the definition of spiritual melancholy. We look at a number of test cases and finally discuss the cures. Finally, we look at Christian and Hopeful’s escape from Doubting Castle.
This is Greenhill’s Commentary on Ezekiel 9 ” 5 : Go ye through the city after him, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; 6 slay utterly the old man, the young man and the virgin, and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark: and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the old men that were before the house. 7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and smote in the city. 8 And it came to pass, while they were smiting, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord Jehovah! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy wrath upon Jerusalem? 9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of wresting of judgment: for they say, Jehovah hath forsaken the land, and Jehovah seeth not. 10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will bring their way upon their head.
The commentary of this is very powerful. “It was music to the enemy (The Chaldeans) to slay them in the temple itself, to dash out their brains against the ark and altar. ”
In this study, three more characters are described. Ignorance, Turn-Away, Little Faith. The character Little Faith is examined as to why there are people who almost have no assurance what-so-ever. Also why it is inconvenient to have little assurance. The question is answered – what counsel do you give to a person who seems to never have assurance? Because this is common in one denomination in Grand Rapids, MI. a historical sketch is done of the Protestant Reformed Churches and their differences with the Netherlands Reformed Churches. Further, we examined what marks the teaching of the early Netherlands Reformed Churches that leads to so many living in doubt and fearful to take the Lord’s Supper.
In this lesson we discuss the conversations with the Shepherds of The Delectable Mountains. It consists of 4 illustrations from 4 Shepherds named Knowledge, Experience, Caution and Sincere. The last illustration is a view of the celestian city through a telescope. Because it is called Emmanuel’s Land I gave a historical sketch of a hymn my Anna R Cousins 1824-1906 based on Samuel Rutherford’s dying words “all glory dwells in Emmanuel’s land. This hymn is now called The Sands of Time are Sinking. I also mention Thomas Shepard’s 1605-1649 book, The Sincere Convert and many other references.
This book ends with several more cases of Spiritual Melancholy and concluding advise. Included also is an excellent article from 1857 in the Presbyterian Examiner called “Instances of Melancholy.” The observations and counsel in that article reminds us of the sage advise found in the two books called Pastoral Sketches by Ichabod Spencer. It also contains several more very interesting stories.