“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 42:11
Moreover we see that a godly man can cast a restraint upon himself, as David here stays himself in falling. There is a principle of grace, that stops the heart, and pulls in the reins again when the affections are loose. A carnal man, when he begins to be cast down, sinks lower and lower, until he sinks into despair, as lead sinks into the bottom of the sea. “They sunk, they sunk, like lead in the mighty waters,” Exodus 15:5. A carnal man sinks as a heavy body to the center of the earth, and stays not if it be not stopped: there is nothing in him to stay him in falling, as we see in Ahithophel and Saul, 2 Samuel 17:23, who, wanting a support, found no other stay but the sword’s point. And the greater their parts and places are, the more they entangle themselves; and no wonder, for they are to encounter with God and his deputy, conscience, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords. When Cain was cast out of his father’s house, his heart and countenance was always cast down, for he had nothing in him to lift it upwards. But a godly man, though he may give a little way to passion, yet, as David, he recovers himself. Therefore as we would have any good evidence that we have a better spirit in us than our own, greater than the flesh or the world, let us, in all troubles we meet with, gather up ourselves, that the stream of our own affections carry us not away too far.
~ Richard Sibbes