And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
The Divine Spirit is —
I. A HOLY COMFORTER. There can be no comfort apart from goodness. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." His name indicates His work. By Him the soul is regenerated. Christians are "elect through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience."
II. AN INSTRUCTIVE COMFORTER. By His inspiration all Holy Scripture was given for our learning. Not by methods opposed to or ignoring our intellectual nature; not by mere excitement of the emotions; but by conveying truth to the mind, and enabling us to understand and feel it, the Holy Spirit acts as "another Comforter." By His help we believe, and then, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God," and enjoy that "peace which passeth all understanding."
III. A PERSUASIVE COMFORTER. By revealing Jesus to the soul the Holy Spirit produces that love which is the strongest motive to holiness, and which is the fulfilling of the law. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." And "the love of Christ constraineth us to live not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again." The Comforter, as a faithful guide, in places of difficulty takes the traveller by the hand, and in addition to words of counsel, restrains him when he would step into danger, and kindly compels him to proceed when through fear or thoughtlessness he hesitates and may be overtaken by storm or darkness.
IV. A STRENGTHENING COMFORTER. He "helpeth our infirmities." He comes to our succour when we are too heavily burdened, and lightens the weight or gives us strength to bear it. We are "strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." The result of such strengthening is Christ "dwelling in our hearts by faith," the being "rooted and grounded in love," "knowing the love of Christ which passeth knowledge," and being "filled with all the fulness of God." And what consolation can surpass that which must result from such strengthening! Especially are we taught to expect this help in prayer (Romans 8:26). He helps us to obtain comfort by teaching us what to pray for, by enabling us to pray aright, by overcoming the doubts which hinder us in the exercise, by creating within us earnest longings after God, by exciting in us desires which we may be unable to express in words, but which bring down the refreshing showers upon the mown grass, and cause us to say, "I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplication,"
V. AN ASSURING COMFORTER. What consolation can be greater than to know that Jesus is our Saviour and that we are His friends, and that through Him we can look upward and with confidence say, "My God! my Father!" (Romans 8:14-16).
VI. A HOPE-INSPIRING COMFORTER. We "abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 8:17-19). Practical lessons:
1. Let us regard the Holy Spirit, not with dread, but with loving confidence.
2. Let our actions respond to His methods of help. Does He comfort by teaching? let us be diligent learners; by persuasion? let us yield to His influence; by guiding? let us follow; by promoting our holiness? let us strive against sin; by helping us to know our high vocation? let us "give diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end."
3. Let all be encouraged to seek His help, for "If ye, being evil," etc.
(Newman Hall, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;