A Little-Known Country, Part 34 (Ordained Chaplains: Out of the Depths #85) with Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture Verse for today is Mark 2:17 which reads, “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Charles Spurgeon. He said, “Especially judge not the sons and daughters of sorrow. Allow no ungenerous suspicions of the afflicted, the poor, and the despondent. Do not hastily say they ought to be more brave, and exhibit a greater faith. Ask not ‘why are they so nervous and so absurdly fearful?’ No… I beseech you, remember that you understand not your fellow man.”

In this podcast, we will continue discussing the book “Out of the Depths” by Anton T. Boisen. We continue today with “Chapter 4: A Little-Known Country” (Part 34):

In the course of my negotiations for release I wrote to my old teacher, George A. Coe, under whom I had done my major work at Union Seminary. I had hoped that as a specialist in the psychology of religion he might be able to help. The following letter, written in longhand, is one of many I have received from him. He followed closely all subsequent developments. Every reprint of an article of mine which I sent him was acknowledged with painstaking and illuminating criticisms. Although at this time he had no suggestions to offer, I still count him among the great teachers to whom I am most indebted. This letter reflects the attitude of many leading psychologists and theologians of that time, toward the problem of mental illness.

Thousand Islands Park, N.Y.
September 1, 1921

Dear Mr. Boisen:

I have read your letter with keenest interest. It sounds just like you and I have difficulty in thinking of you as ever losing your poise.

If only I knew about mental disorders to diagnose them, I would gladly put my knowledge at your disposal. But I touch the subject at the outer fringes only, and then, very, very little. In fact, since you were at the Seminary I have been giving only diminishing attention to it, my energies being fully absorbed in the topics of religious education and the psychology of religion.

In general, too, my views of mental disorders, as far as I have views, tend in the physiological direction. I can see how mental habits can be formed, and I realize that habit is a large part of neurasthenia. But the question remains, Why just these habits in the neurasthenic and opposite habits in the normal person, the environment being practically the same.

If the attacks from which you have suffered are, as appears, rather severe, then your physicians are probably right in assuming a physiological root, even though the process whereby a given content arrives is that of suggestion. The fact that the specific physiological root has not been discovered hardly decreases the probability that there is one. I speak thus freely because you are so cool and objective yourself. I am glad that you have the disposition to face all the facts and that nothing needs to be concealed.

I sincerely hope that you will soon be a free man again. Meantime, how much you have to be thankful for, especially (in addition to skilled medical help) the interesting and important work of institutional photographer. I wonder whether you will go on to microphotography of diseased tissues.

This letter will bring you little of the help I would like to extend to you, but it is weighted with agreeable memories and hopes for the happiest outcome of your trouble. Please let me know after a while how it fares with you.

Cordially yours,
George A. Coe

In our next podcast, we will continue with Part 35 of Chapter 4, “A Little Known Country”.


Now, if you have come across this podcast, and do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, my friend, God bless!

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