Out of the Depths: An Autobiographical Study of Mental Disorder and Religious Experience, by Anton T. Boisen, #6

Our Ordained Chaplains Scripture verse for today is Philippians 2:4 which reads, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Chuck Colson. He said, “Few things are so deadly as a misguided sense of compassion.”

In this podcast, we will continue discussing the book “Out of the Depths” by Anton T. Boisen. We continue today with “Early Years: Earliest Impressions” (Part 2):

My earliest memories of my mother are of her singing. She had had excellent training in music, having studied, among others, with Mme Rive of Cincinnati. She was a good pianist and had a sweet contralto voice, singing either soprano or alto. Music was an important part of my father s plan of education, and he was particularly fond of some of the fine old German hymns and folk songs. He was not a singer himself, but he loved having my mother sing them for us. She was very fond of Stephen Foster, but his songs did not make much of an impression upon me in the early years. Mother was gentle and retiring. Throughout her dealings with me she relied on persuasion rather than compulsion. She made me feel bad when I did not do as I ought to do.

My father was the dominant member of the household. He was always full of life and full of ideas, interested in everything that went on. His was a contagious enthusiasm which carried others along with him. He was a great lover of nature, of trees and shrubs and flowers, and he took great interest in teaching me the names of the trees. It was he who did the landscaping at the old home, and in addition to modern languages he also taught botany at the University.

I remember him as a tall man with a full beard who took time to do things for me and with me. On occasion he would punish. He could be stern but he was always kind. On two occasions which I can recall, the offense was lying. I do not remember what it was about, but I do remember his explaining very carefully why I was being punished and how many blows I was to receive. He always set a maximum and a minimum, the minimum being employed if I refrained from crying. He was always careful to make it clear that there was no change in his love for me and that the punishment was not arbitrary but a necessary consequence of what I had done.

There came a time not long after my sister’s birth when I missed my father. I learned later that he had resigned in the middle of the school year of 1879-80 because of the dismissal of a colleague. He felt that serious injustice had been done. He therefore submitted his resignation and left the University, with nothing in view but selling books.

It seems that on other occasions he acted impulsively. Once when a group of students had disappointed him in some signal way, he was seized with despair, felt that he had failed as a teacher, and got on a train and left town. After several days he returned quietly and took his place in the classroom.

In our next broadcast, we will continue with Part 3 of “Early Years: Earliest Impressions.”


Now, if you have come across this broadcast, 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!