As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
I. THE CONSOLATION PROMISED. "I will comfort you." It is the character of Divine promises that they apply to real cases . they meet the condition and circumstances of man. Are we ignorant? "I will instruct thee." Are we weak? "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee." Are we in danger? "I will deliver thee." Are we disconsolate? "I will comfort you." The discouragements of life are many, trials are various: the fears to which we are subject, and the sins which easily beset us, who can number? These all impair our comfort, and have a natural tendency to sink us in despondency. But the Gospel provides a cordial.
1. This consolation is Divine in its origin. It springs not from creatures, not from earthly good, or from carnal gratifications. The Most High claims the prerogative as His own.
2. It is rational in its nature; not consolation visionary and enthusiastic, but intelligent, consistent with reason as well as according to faith.
3. Free in its bestowment.
4. It is select in its subjects. All are not partakers of heavenly consolation, for all are not qualified to enjoy it. Penitence of disposition is requisite: "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. ' Earnest desire also is implied; for who can be supposed to possess Divine comfort who are indifferent about it, who are living without prayer, or whose petitions are languid and lifeless? "Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full." Holy- watchfulness is likewise supposed; for whoever is careless and slothful must be deceived if he imagine himself to be comforted of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is "the Comforter," but "grieve" Him not; otherwise He with. draws His influence, and all is darkness or delusion.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH CONSOLATION IS AFFORDED. "as one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." A stranger may administer comfort, but it is in a distant way; a friend may console us, and this with kindness; a father also, with tenderness still more impressive; but none comforts like a mother.
1. The affection of a mother is warm; she loves her child, loves it as part of herself.
2. The care of a mother is indulgent.
3. The condescension and self-denial of a mother are not small.
4. The assiduity of a mother is unwearied.
III. THE MEANS BY WHICH CONSOLATION IS ENJOYED, "Ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." The pious Jews were comforted when in Babylon, and during their dispersion among the nations; but their comfort in such circumstances was attended with much affliction: it was when returned to Jerusalem, when resettled in their own country, and among their own people, that their enjoyment rose the highest, and was most regular. This teaches —
1. The importance of separation from an ensnaring world.
2. The propriety of regular attendance on religious worship. It was a high privilege to dwell in Jerusalem, because of attendance on religious worship.
3. The duty of Church-membership. Jerusalem was not only the scat of Divine worship, but an emblem of the Christian Church, and they who constitute this Church are particularly authorized to plead the promise of the text, "You shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
4. It suggests the worth of a right spirit in attending Christian ordinances. The form of godliness is nothing.
Parallel VersesKJV: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.