Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
~ Psalm 42:5
Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
~ Psalm 74:1
For his anger endures but a moment; in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
~ Psalm 30:5
Containing Several Advices to the Relations and Friends of Melancholy People, by Timothy Rogers. The following contains an excerpt from his work, “A Discourse Concerning Trouble of Mind, and the Disease of Melancholy”. 1691.
The devil is indeed very busy to work during the darkness of a soul — he throws in his bombs, and his fiery darts. To shock us more when we are compassed with the terrors of a dismal night, he is bold and undaunted in his assaults, and injects with a quick and sudden malice, a thousand monstrous and abominable thoughts of God. And these, at the same time, seem to be the motions of our own minds; and so they most terribly grieve and trouble us. And alas, we too often comply with his designs. We are usually then under great unbelief; and too often we think of God and of ourselves as the devil would have us think. Yet if you are saying that in every action of melancholy persons, it is from this evil spirit, then at length you will persuade them, maybe, that they are possessed, and that all they do is from him. For it is easy to fix any sort of direful impressions on those who are overcome with fear, when at the same time they are pained in every part. And then, finding themselves unable to get out of their distress, your discourses plunge them very low in misery. I would not have you bring a railing accusation against the devil, so as to attribute to him a thousand things in which he has no hand at all. Nor must you falsely accuse your friends by saying that they gratify him, when they do not. Consider how badly you would take it if you were in their case, to be so used; or consider that to be without temptation, is the greatest temptation.
VII. Seventhly, do not wonder much at anything they say or do. What will people not do who are in despair? What will they not say who think they are lost forever? What strange extravagant actions you see those do, who are under the power of fear! And none are so afraid as these poor people. They are afraid of God, of hell, and of their own sorrows. You need not much wonder at them, when you know that even so great a man as Job cursed his day, and talked about God with much more freedom and boldness than he should have done. And the Lord himself said that Job darkened counsel by words without knowledge. Don’t think it strange if they complain very much, for their grief causes them to speak. You know the tongue constantly speaks of an aching tooth. Their soul is sorely vexed. And though it’s true that they get no good by complaining, yet finding
themselves in such a doleful case, they cannot help but complain. They can say with David, Psa 6.6, I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I water my couch with tears. Yet they cannot forbear groaning and weeping more, till their very eyes are consumed with grief. Let no carriage of theirs provoke you to passion; let no sharp words of theirs make you talk sharply. Sick persons are generally very peevish. And it will be a very great weakness in you not to bear with them when you see that a long and sore disease has deprived them of their former good temper.