And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. (Jonah 4:2-3)
I was standing not long ago at My Old Kentucky Home. I was born not far from that, and I had my hand laying on the desk like that. The inspiration comes to Stephen Foster where he wrote “My Old Kentucky Home.” I saw his picture and the Angel that was supposed to touch him and give him his inspiration and so forth.
And after the guide had gone through, I was sitting alone, and I thought, “Mr. Foster, you had it in the head, not in the heart.” ‘Cause every time he’d write, get inspiration, write a song, he’d go off and get on a drunk afterward. Then finally you know how he ended his life after getting up in that inspiration, he comes back down, called a servant, and took a razor and committed suicide; Stephen Foster’s end. The faith once Delivered
I thought of William Cowper (You heard of him.), wrote that famous hymn: There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.
When sinners plunged beneath the flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
About two or three years ago, I stood by his grave in England, his history there. And William Cowper after that song, when he was up in that inspiration writing, he was considered a neurotic, and when he comes out of that inspiration, he got a cab and tried to find the river to commit suicide. Didn’t know where he was at, what he was doing or nothing. See? He’d been up somewhere. That’s poets. The faith once Delivered
Look at prophets. Look at Jonah when he was on his road to Nineveh and taken a boat to Tarshish, and he disobeyed God, and he was thrown out of the ship and a whale swallowed him, and he was brought back to Nineveh, and he gave his prophecy, so much as a city the size of St. Louis, Missouri, over a million population.
Some of them didn’t even know right nor left hand. But that prophet walked the streets a screaming his prophecy like that until the people repented in such a way they put sackcloth on their animals.
And then when the inspiration left him, he set under a little gourd tree and prayed God would take his life. Is that right? See, you don’t understand it. He was up somewhere, and while the inspiration was on him, all right, but when it leaves him then what?
No need of trying to explain it. It’s just live alone. See? When you’re in there, it isn’t bad or when you’re out, but it’s coming between that. You don’t know where you’re at and what you’re doing. What does it speak? It speaks one thing. Brother, there’s a land beyond the river.