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[151] it a special object to repress morbid imaginations and heal diseased consciences. Thus it came to pass that no man of his day was more often applied to for counsel and relief by persons laboring under mental depression than himself. He has left behind him a very curious and not uninstructive discourse, which he entitled The Cure of Melancholy, by Faith and Physick, in which he shows a great degree of skill in his morbid mental anatomy. He had studied medicine to some extent for the benefit of the poor of his parish, and knew something of the intimate relations and sympathy of the body and mind; he therefore did not hesitate to ascribe many of the spiritual complaints of his applicants to disordered bodily functions, nor to prescribe pills and powders in the place of Scripture texts. More than thirty years after the commencement of his labors at Kidderminster he thus writes: ‘I was troubled this year with multitudes of melancholy persons from several places of the land; some of high quality, some of low, some exquisitely learned, and some unlearned. I know not how it came to pass, but if men fell melancholy I must hear from them or see them, more than any physician I knew.’ He cautions against ascribing melancholy phantasms and passions to the Holy Spirit, warns the young against licentious imaginations and excitements, and ends by advising all to take heed how they make of religion a matter of ‘fears, tears, and scruples.’ ‘True religion,’ he remarks, ‘doth principally consist in obedience, love, and joy.’

At this early period of his ministry, however, he

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