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A Study in Depression (9 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
1 Kings 19:4
'Elijah,' says the apostle James, 'was a man of like passions with us'; or, as the Twentieth Century Testament more vividly expresses it, 'Elijah was only a man like ourselves.' Only a man like ourselves! It is a startling and rather staggering statement. For I imagine that what strikes most men in reading Elijah's story is the difference between him and ourselves. He was not the ordinary type of man at all. He was a man of volcanic force. He was a man of granite strength. He was a perfect Alp of a man. He was one of those men who emerge occasionally in the world's history, who lift themselves far above the common levels of humanity, and are made solitary and lonely by their very size. Only a man like ourselves!-that is almost the last remark in the world I should think of making on the man who on Carmel faced that mob of Baalitish priests and an apostate nation. Only a man like ourselves! That is almost the last remark in the world I should make about the man who, in virtue of some tremendous spiritual energy within, swept along like a whirlwind and outdistanced Ahab in his chariot in that wild race before the storm to Jezreel. Only a man like ourselves! That is almost the last remark in the world I should make about the man who confronted King Ahab at the entrance to Naboth's vineyard and pronounced doom upon him. This man, of courage so splendid, of strength so magnificent, is an extraordinary man; he is almost a superhuman man. He strides among ordinary men like Gulliver amidst the inhabitants of Lilliput. But there is one event in the prophet's life that justifies the apostle's comment. When I see Elijah on Carmel, or at the entrance to Naboth's vineyard, I feel him to be in a class entirely by himself, a gigantic and abnormal man. But when I see him under the juniper tree, I realize that, after all, he was-only a man like ourselves. For it is not the man of superhuma ...
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