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Extreme Despair of a Believer

Extreme Despair of a Believer

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Published by glennpease
BY SAMUEL HORSFALL



Job VI. 8, 9.

O that I might have viy request, and that God
would grant me the thing that I long for I long
that it would please God to destroy me: — that he
ivoidd let loose his hand and Cut me off.
BY SAMUEL HORSFALL



Job VI. 8, 9.

O that I might have viy request, and that God
would grant me the thing that I long for I long
that it would please God to destroy me: — that he
ivoidd let loose his hand and Cut me off.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 24, 2013
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EXTREME DESPAIR OF A BELIEVER BY SAMUEL HORSFALLJob VI. 8, 9.O that I might have viy request, and that Godwould grant me the thing that I long for I longthat it would please God to destroy me: — that heivoidd let loose his hand and Cut me off.In the most distressing afflictions that can happento the children of men, we find real grief power-fully persuasive. The tenderest feelings of hu-manity being then painfully wounded, the labour-ing mind dictates the most pathetic language ; andour sensibility is affected by the recital of the genu-ine story of undissembled sorrow. There is in realgrief certain emotions which cannot be feigned,and which irresistably attract our pity ; and thetears we shed, as flowing from the purest compas-sion, seldom fail to give consolation where theycannot relieve.96 SERMO VII.The manifold afflictions of the patient Job hatesuggested the most affecting sentiments that evermelted the sympathetic breast of man. Sufferingevery calamity from the loss of all his substancethat poverty could inflict; and sustaining the de-privation of all his children at the same time; wefeel our minds impressed v\^ith melancholy on read-ing the exclamations of his poignant woe: and ledby every generous impulse, we are involuntarilydisposed to pity his accumulated sorrows. In his
 
answer to Eliphaz, the Temanite, who had beendeclaring to bim the happy end of God's correc-tion. Job shews his complaints are not groundless;and in the text he anxiously wishes for death,wherein he is assured of comfort, as there wouldthen be a period to all his grievous afflictions;" O that I might have my request, and that God** would grant me the thing that I long for! — even*^ that it would please God to destroy me >- — that he*^ w^ould let loose his hand and cut me off!"Death indeed is the termination of the sufferingsof human nature, and therefore as such it is desira-ble to the man in affliction. In Job, we perceive.SERMO VIL 97a wish for it may be innocently indulged, fordoubtless it is natural to pray for an event whichalone can put a period to our sorrows, when hopecannot afford sufficient grounds for their being ter-minated by any other means. or do the lamenta-tions of grief, nor the wish for death, indicate de-spair, or imply a doubt of the goodness of God,only when carried to excess, and the means toarouse ourselves from the midst of sufferings are inour power; they then become criminal, as theyevince an impatience inconsistent with the chris-tian duty of resignation.It is natural for the afflicted to suppose theirown sorrows are justifiable, on the ground of theextraordinary degree of their calamity; and in-deed some afflictions are so truly lamentable, asto defy the power of friendly consolation, as in thecase of Job, whose complicated distresses, broughton by a sad train of rapid and unforeseen events,ought to have inspired commiseration in his offi-
 
cious friends, instead of the harshness of unfeelingreproach. How earnestly does he implore theirforbearance of such cruelty ! *' Have pity on meo98 SERMO VII.'' have pity- on me, O ye my friends, for the hand" of the Lord hath touched me !"When therefore our afflictions, like his, are notof our own bringing on, but proceed from acciden-tal circumstances, as the loss of friends taken fromus by death; it is then the solitary mourner, in deepdistress, and in all the agony of woe, sees no con-solation but in that event which shall bring him tothe friends he has lost, and for whom he goesmourning all the days of his pilgrimage on earth.In vain the endeavour, too often, in such deplora-ble instances, for the real friends to pour in thebalm of consolation, or to recommend the support-ing aid of religion, when affliction thus presses hardand weighs down the spirits! They have fre-qviently the melancholy prospect of seeing extremegrief hasten on a rapid decline, and no repose tothe sorrows of the afflicted, but in the approach of death, in whose cold arms every woe that piercedthe heart is buried in eternal silence and oblivion.It is the wish of nature — it is the soul having lostits partnel', anxiously longs for that stroke, whenit shall please God to unite them again, disencum-SERMO VIl. 99feered of all earthly affections; and where a felicity

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