Are they relevant? To the first I answer yes. They've done a good job. As to the second question, I'm still thinking. The book does provide food for thought. Which is a good sign--almost always. In this case it's in a good way.
- The Cure of Melancholy and Overmuch Sorrow, by Faith by Richard Baxter.
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I can confidently say that some big-picture ideas, some principles or themes, can be taken away from reading Baxter. The modern reader can benefit.
Faith's Response to Melancholy
How much they benefit will vary from reader to reader. But I can't honestly say that it works down to the little details flawlessly. Baxter surprised me in a good way. I'll share just three of my favorite quotes.
Making a great deal of every thought that enters your mind will keep those thoughts in your mind longer. For what we are most aware of we think most about. What we least regard we least remember. Rocky W, Educator. Very good read for helping someone dealing with depression. The fact that Baxter was able to point to the fact that both the body and the soul need to be dealt with when dealing with depression. It seems all to easy for someone to be prescribed a medicine rather than asking the reasons for the onset of depression.
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It was also refreshing to read Baxter's warning that solitude might be dangerous for the depressed person. Then explaining why that is the case, too much time to focus on the negative self-talk that the depressed person uses with themselves. Cindy C, Reviewer. If you enjoy dipping into ancient texts to discover gems of our Christian heritage, this book is for you. To be clear, this is an updated version of writings from the seventeenth century. At first, I balked at reading such an old text, but I reminded myself I regularly read very old Christian texts just about every day.
Though he dispensed his advice long before the days of antidepressants, Baxter nonetheless advised those under his pastoral care to seek treatment from their own medical doctors first.
But Baxter also understood that depression is not simply a physical ailment. While medicine can help, Baxter also addresses the Christian topics of hope, mercy, forgiveness, and joy. In an age where we might be quick to address mild mental illness with a pill or a therapy session, these practical and everyday tips go a long way towards coping with depression on a daily basis. This book would best appeal to priests, pastors, and other ministry professionals interested in pastoral care of those suffering anxiety and depression. Richard Baxter, according to this book, would be the first to recommend treating mental illness with medications and medical treatment.
to proclaim old truth
But he would also add to this treatment the fundamental practices and teachings of Christianity that heal the sick and comfort the hopeless. Tanya A, Reviewer. Today we hear all the time that depression and anxiety are getting worse and worse, that it is the malady of our informational age, that a long time ago people were in touch with the nature more and they were happier. I am not sure if that spin is a marketing move to sell anti depression drugs, but the real eye opener is that even years ago depression was just as bad as it is now!
They called it melancholy then, and Puritan pastor Richard Baxter spent many years on researching this issue. The way it is described and the whole approach is completely different than what I would expect from a Puritan pastor, and my understanding was based on many negative points of view of the Puritans that are so common today. However, Richard Baxter was not a typical Puritan, and his views were not widely accepted at all at the time.
The Cure Of Melancholy And Overmuch Sorrow By Faith
He resorted to writing because he could not speak about it, which left us with his wonderful pastoral counsel. Aug 25, 1. Are there any good Puritan treatments on grief and grieving? I am looking for advice on how to grieve properly in the event of lost loved ones and the like. Aug 25, 2.
Aug 25, 3. An example from it: "Jesus' example therefore shows, how such emotions of our heart have their right of human existence; that impassiveness is no virtue; that blunting of our feeling is no fruit of faith; and that to remain stolid in most striking moments in our life, betrays a condition of mind and heart, which has its place with stoical philosophers, but is not at home with children of God.
Aug 25, 4.
Aug 25, 5. A Grief Sanctified, Richard Baxter. Aug 25, 6. I've never read this book but White has never let me down yet Aug 25, 7. Aug 25, 8.
Guys - thanks for the recommendations. I actually did not mean to limit the request to Puritans in spite of my original post. So if you know of other works, especially booklets and the like, please let me know. Aug 25, 9.