Last of all: if the party affected shall certainly know this malady to have proceeded from too much fasting, meditation, precise life, contemplation of God’s judgments (for the devil deceives many by such means), in that other extreme he circumvents melancholy itself, reading some books, treatises, hearing rigid preachers, &c. If he shall perceive that it hath begun first from some great loss, grievous accident, disaster, seeing others in like case, or any such terrible object, let him speedily remove the cause, which to the cure of this disease Navarras so much commends, _avertat cogitationem a re scrupulosa_, by all opposite means, art, and industry, let him laxare animum, by all honest recreations, “refresh and recreate his distressed soul;” let him direct his thoughts, by himself and other of his friends. Let him read no more such tracts or subjects, hear no more such fearful tones, avoid such companies, and by all means open himself, submit himself to the advice of good physicians and divines, which is contraventio scrupulorum, as he calls it, hear them speak to whom the Lord hath given the tongue of the learned, to be able to minister a word to him that is weary, whose words are as flagons of wine. Let him not be obstinate, headstrong, peevish, wilful, self-conceited (as in this malady they are), but give ear to good advice, be ruled and persuaded; and no doubt but such good counsel may prove as preposterous to his soul, as the angel was to Peter, that opened the iron gates, loosed his bands, brought him out of prison, and delivered him from bodily thraldom; they may ease his afflicted mind, relieve his wounded soul, and take him out of the jaws of hell itself. I can say no more, or give better advice to such as are any way distressed in this kind, than what I have given and said. Only take this for a corollary and conclusion, as thou tenderest thine own welfare in this, and all other melancholy, thy good health of body and mind, observe this short precept, give not way to solitariness and idleness. “Be not solitary, be not idle.”
SPERATE MISERI—UNHAPPY HOPE.
CAVETE FELICES—HAPPY BE CAUTIOUS.
Vis a dubio liberari? vis quod incertum est evadere? Age poenitentiam dum sanus es; sic agens, dico tibi quod securus es, quod poenitentiam egisti eo tempore quo peccare potuisti. Austin. “Do you wish to be freed from doubts? do you desire to escape uncertainty? Be penitent whilst rational: by so doing I assert that you are safe, because you have devoted that time to penitence in which you might have been guilty of sin.”
Absence a cure of love-melancholy
Absence over long, cause of jealousy
Adversity, why better than prosperity
Affections whence they arise; how they transform us; of sleeping and waking