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dence, of present and future good, and in their place succeed fear, sorrow, &c. as in the Symptomes shall be shewed: The heart is grieved, the conscience wounded, the minde eclypsed with black fumes arising from those perpetual terroúrs. .
Causes of despair, the Divel, melancholy, meditation, Dis. trust, weakness of faith, rigid Ministers, misunder
standing Scriptures, guilty consciences, &c.
THE principal agent and procurer of this mischief, is the
1 Divel; those whoin God forsakes, the Divel by his permission layes hold on. Sometimes he persecutes them with that worme of conscience, as he did Judas, " Saul, and others. The Poets call it Nemesis, but it is indeed God's just judgement, sero sed serio, he strikes home at last, and setteth upon them “ as a thief in the night," i Thes. 2. • This temporary passion made David cry out, “ Lord, rebuke'ine not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thine heavy displeasure ; for thine arrowes have light upon mee, &c. there is nothing sound in my flesh, because of thine anger. Again, I roare for the very grief of my heart; and Psalme 22. My God, my God, why hast thou 'forsaken mee, and art so far from my health, and the words of my crying? I am like to water poured out, my bones are out of joynt, mine heart is like waxe, that is molten in the midst of my bowels. So Psal. 88. 15. and 16. vers. and Psal. 102. “I am in misery at the point of death, from my youth I suffer thy terrours, doubting for my life; thine indignations have gone over mee, and thy fear hath cut me off.” job doth often complain in this kinde; and those God doth not assist, the Divel is ready to try and torment, “ still seeking whom he may devour." If he finde them merry, saith Gregory," he tempts them forthwith to some dissolute act; if pensive and sad, to a desperate end." Aut suadendo blanditur, aut minando terret, sometimes by faire means, sometimes again by foule, as he perceives men severally inclined. His ordinary engine by which he pro. duceth this effect, is the melancholy humnour it self, which is balneum Diaboli, the Divel's bath , and as in Saul, those evit spirits get in p as it were, and take possession of us. Black choler is a shooing horn, a bait to allure' them, in so much that many writers make mclancholy an ordinary cause, and a symp. tome of despair, for that such men are most apt, by reason of their ill-disposed temper, to distrust, fear, grief, mistake, and
.) 1 Sam., 2. 16. Psal. 38. Vers. 9. Vers. 14. genii, Lem, lib. 1. cap. 1o.
Immiscent se mala
amplifie whatsoever they preposterously conceive, or falsely ap. prehend. Conscientia scrupulosa nascitur ex vitio naturali, complexione melancholica (saith Navarrus çap. 27. num. 282. Tom. 2. cas. conscien.) The body works upon the minde, by obfuscating the spirits and corrupted instruments, which
Perkins illustrates by simile of an Artificer, that hath a bad · toole, his skilt is good, ability correspondent, by reason of ill
tooles his work must needs be lame and unperfect. But melancholy and despaire, though often, do not alwaies concur; there is much difference; inelancholy fears without a cause, this upon great occasion ; melancholy is caused by fear and grief, but this torment procures them and all extremity of bitterness; much melancholy is without affliction of conscience, as * Bright and Perkins illustrate by four reasons; and yet melancholy alone again may be sometimes a sufficient cause of this terror of conscience. Fælix Plater so found it in his observations, è melancholicis alii damnatos se putant, Deo curæ non sunt, nec predestinati, &c. “ They think they are not predestinate, God hath forsaken them; and yet otherwise very zealous and religious; and 'is common to be seen, “ Melancholy for fear of God's judgement and hell fire, drives men to desperation; fear and sorrow, if they, be immoderate, end often with it.” Intolerable pain and anguish, long sicknes, captivity, misery, loss of goods, loss of friends, and those lesser griefs, do sometimes effect it, or such disınal accidents. Si non statim relevantur. + Mercennus, dubitant an sit Deus, if they be not eased forthwith, they doubt whether there be any God, they rave, curse, “ and are desperately mad because good men are oppressed, wicked men flourish, they have not as they think to their desert,” and through impatience of calamities are so misaffected. Democritus put out his eies, ne malorum civiunz prosperos videret successus, because he could not abide to see wicked inen prosper, and was therefore ready to make away himself, as - Agellius writes of him. Felix Plater hath a memorable example in this kinde, of a Painter's wife in Basil, that was melancholy for her son's death, and for melancholy became desperate, she thought God would not pardon her sins, " and for four months, still raved, that she was in hell-fare, already damned.” When the humour is sturred up, every small 'object aggravates and incenseth it, as the parties are ad
Cases of conscience, 1. 1. 16. * Tract. Melan, cap. 33. & 34. C. 3. de mentis alien Deo minus se curæ esse, nec ad salutem prædestinatos esse. Ad desperationem sæpe ducit hæc melancholia, & est frequentissima ob supplicii metum ætcrnumque judicium ; mæror & metus in desperationem plerumque desiņunt. + Comment in l. cap. gen. artic. 3 quia impii fiorent, boni opprimuntur &c. alius ex consideratione hujus seria desperabun. dus. Lib. 20. c. 17. "Damnatam sc putavit, & per quatuor menses schennæ pænam sentire. O 0-3
The same arth little wheat, what he had not so great
dicted. The same author hath an example of a merchant man, that for the loss of a little wheat, which he had over long kept, was troubled in conscience, for that he had not sold it sooner, or given it to the poor, yet a good Schollar and a great Divine ; no perswasion would serve to the contrary, but that for this fact he was damned: in other matters very judicious and discreet. Solitariness, much fasting, divine meditation, and contemplations of God's judgements, most part accompany this melancholy, and are main causes, as * Navarrus holds; to converse with such kinde of person's so troubled, is sufficient occasion of trouble to some men. Nonnulli ob longas inedias, studia & meditationes cælestes, de rebus sacris & religione semper agitant, &c. Many (saith P. Forestus) through long fasting, serious meditations of heavenly things, fall into such fits; and as Lemnius adds, lib. 4. cap. 21. "* If they be solitary given, superstitious, precise, or very devout : seldome shall you finde a Merchant, a Souldier, an Inn-keeper, a Bawd, an Host, an Usurer so troubled in minde, they have cheverel consciences that will strech, they are seldome moved in this kind or molested : young men and middle age are more wild and less apprehensive ; but old folks, most part, such as are timorous and religiously given.” Per. Forestus observat. lib. 10. cap. 12. de miorbis cerebri, hath a fearful example of a Minister, that through precise fasting in Lent, and overipuch meditation, contracted this mischief, and in the end became desperate, thought he saw divets in his chamber, and that he could not be saved; he smelled nothing, as he said, but fire and brimstone, was already in hell, and would ask them, still, if they did not y smel as much. I told him he was melancholy, but he laughed me to scorn, and replied that he saw divels, talked with them in good earnest, would spit in my face, and ask me if I did not smel brimstone, but at last he was by him cured. Such another story I finde in Plater observat. lib. 1. A poor fellow had done some foul offence, and for fourteen dayes would eat no meat, in the end became desperate, the Di. vines about him could not ease him, 2 but so he died. Continual meditation of God's judgements troubles many, Multi ob timorem futuri judicii, saith Guatinerius cap. 5. tract. 15. & suspicionem desperabundi sunt . David himself complains that God's judgements terrified his Soul, Psal. 119. part. 16. vers. 8.
• 1566. ob triticum diutius servatum conscientiæ stimulis agiratur, &c. * Tom. 2. c. 27. num. 282. conversatio cum scrupulosis, vigiliæ, jejunia. * Solitarios & superstitiosos plerumque exagitat conscientia, non mercatores, lenones, cauponés, fæneratores, &c. largiorem hi nacti sunt conscientiam. Juvenes plerumq; conscientiam negligunt, senes autem, &c. Annon sentis sulphur inquit? : Desperabundus misere periit.
« My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am affraid of thy judgements.” Quoties diem illum cogito (saith. Hierome) toto corpore contremisco, I tremble as often as I think of it. 'The terrible meditation of hell fire and eternal punishment much torments a sinful silly soul. What's a thousand years to eternity? Ubi mæror, ubi fetus, ubi dolor sempiternus. Mors sine morte, finis sine fine; a finger burnt by chance we may not endure, the pain is so grievous, we may not abide an hour, a night is intolerable; and what shall this unspeakable fire then be that burns for ever, innumerable infinite millions of years, in omne ævum, in æternum. O eternity!
"* Æternitas est illa vox,
Vox illa fulminatrix,
metà carens & ortu, &c.
Quæ finiuntur annis;
Versat coquitq; pectus.
Centuplicatq; flammas,” &c. This meditation terrifies these poor distressed souls, especially if their bodies be predisposed by melancholy, they religi. ously given, and have tender consciences, every small object affrights them, the very inconsiderate reading of Scripture it self, and mis-interpretation of some places of it, as, “ Many are called, few are chosen. Not every one that saith Lord, Fear not little flock. He that stands, let him take heed lest he fall. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. That night two shall be in a bed, one received, the other left. Strait is the way that leads to heaven, and few there are that enter therein.” The parable of the seed and of the sower, “ some fell on barren ground, some was choaked. Whom hę hath predestinated he hath chosen. He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.” Non est volentis nec currentis, sed miserentis Dei. These and the like places terrifie the souls of many; election, predestination, reprobation, prepos. terously conceived, offend divers, with a deal of foolish presumption, curiosity, needless speculation, contemplation, sol,
In 17. Johannis. Non pauci se cruciant, & excarnificant in tantum, ut pon parim absint ab insania; neq; tamen aliud hac mentis anxietate efficiunt, quam wt diabolo potestatem faciani ipsos per desperationem ad inferos producendi. * Drexelius Nicet. lib. 2. cap. 11.
licitude, wherein they trouble and pusle themselves about those questions of grace, free-will, perseyerance, God's secrets; they will know more than is revealed of God in his word, humane capacity, or ignorance can apprehend, and too importunate enquiry. after that which is revealed; mysteries, ceremonies, observation of Sabbaths, laws, duties, &c. with many such which the, Casuists discuss, and Schoolmen broach, which diyers mistake, misconstrue, misapply to themselves, to their own undoing, and so fall into this gulf. “ They doubt of their Election, how they shall know it, by what signs. And so far forth,”: saith Luther,. “ with such nice points, torture and crucifie themselves, that they are almost inad, and all they get by it is this, they lay open a gap to the Divel by Desperation to carry them to hell;" but the greatest harm of all proceeds from those thundering Ministers, a most frequent cause they are of this malady: “band do more harm in the Church (saith Erasmus) then they that flatter; great danger on both sides, the one lulls them asleep in carnal security, the other drives them to despaire.” Whereas ·S. Bernard well adviseth, “ We should not meddle with the one without the other, por speak of judgement without mercy; the one alone brings Despera. tion, the other security.” But these men are wholly for judgement, of a rigid disposition themselves, there is no mercy with them, no salvation, no balsome for their diseased souls, they can speak of nothing but reprobation, hell fire, and damnation, as they did Luke it. 46. lade men with burdens grievous to be born, which they themselves touch not with a finger. 'Tis familiar with our Papists to terrifie men's souls with Purgatory, tales, visions, apparitions, to daunt even the inost generous spirits, “to d require charity," as Brentius obsérves, “ of others, bounty, meekness, love, patience, when they themselves breath nought but lust, envy, covetousness." They teach others to fast, give alms, do penance, and crucifie their minde with superstitious observations, bread and water, hair-clothes, whips, and the like, when they themselves have all the dainties the world can afford, lie on a down bed with a Curtesan in their armes: Heu quantum patimur pro Christo, as e he said, what a cruel tyranny is this, so to insult over and terrifie men's souls ! Our indiscreet Pastors many of them come
y did Lukeut reprobation their dise
.b Ecclesiast. I. 1. Haud scio an majus discrimen ab his qui blandiuntur, an ab his qui territánt; ingens utrinq; periculum: alii ad securitatem ducunt, alii amictionum magnitudine mentem absorbent, & in desperationem trahunt. • Bern. sup. 16. Cant. 1. alterum fine altero proferre non expedit; recordatio solius judicii in desperationem præcipitat, & misericordiæ fallax ostentatio pessimam generat securitatem... In Luc. hom. 103. exigunt ab aliis charitatem, bcncficentiam, cum ipsi nil spectent præter libidinem, invidiam, avaritiam. • Leo decimus,