Not that I would have you as the foolish Sinners of the World do, to drink away Melancholy, and keep Company with sensual vain and unprofitable Persons, that will draw you deeper into Sin, and so make your Wound greater instead of Healing it, and multiply your Troubles when you are forced to look back on your sinful loss of Time : But keep Company with the more cheerful Sort of the Godly. There is no Mirth like the Mirth of Believers, which Faith doth fetch from the Blood of Christ, and from the promises of the Word, and from experience of Mercy, and from the serious sore-apprehensions of our Everlasting Blessedness. Converse with Men of strongest Faith, that have this heavenly Mirth, and can speak experimentally of the Joy of the Holy Ghost; and these will be a great Help to the reviving of your Spirits, and changing your Melancholy Habit so far as without a Physician it may be expected. Yet sometimes it may not be amiss to confer with some that are in your own Case, that you may see that your Condition is not singular. For Melancholy People in such Distresses are ready to think, that never any was in the Case that they are in, or at least never any that were truly godly : When you hear People of the most upright Lives, and that truly fear God, to have the same complaints as you have your selves, it may give you hopes that it is not so bad as you before did imagine.
Taken from The Signs and Causes of Melancholy. With Directions Suited to the Case of Those Who Are Afflicted with It. Collected out of the Works of Mr. Richard Baxter, For the Sake of Those, Who are Wounded in Spirit. By Samuel Clifford, Minister of the Gospel. With a Recommendatory Preface, Mr. Tong, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Brown, Mr. Evans, Mr. Bradbury, Mr. Harris, Mr. Grosvenor, Mr. Wright. Printed for S. Cruttenden and T. Cox, at the Bible and Three Crowns, near Mercers-Chappel Cheapside (London), 1716, p. 82-83. Transcription by Noémie Vandenborre (UBO). Full text in ECCO.
William Hogarth, Tailpiece, or The Bathos (3 March 1764). The Metropolitan Museum of Art.