I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my anger…
I. IT HAS MANY SENSES, INWARD AND OUTWARD.
1. There is what I may call the loneliness of simple solitude. Solitude which is first voluntary, and secondly occasional, is but half solitude. Solitude which we fly to as a rest, and can exchange at will for society which we love, is a widely different thing from that solitude which is either the consequence of bereavement or the punishment of crime; that solitude from which we cannot escape, and which perhaps is associated with bitter or remorseful recollections.
2. There is the loneliness of sorrow. Is not loneliness the prominent feeling in all deep sorrow? Is it not the feeling of loneliness which gives its sting to bereavement?
3. There is the loneliness of a sense of sin. Whatever duties may lie upon us towards other men, in our innermost relation to God we are and must be alone. When the sense of sin is heavy upon us, how incapable is the soul of anything but solitude! And if such be the loneliness of repentance, what must be the loneliness of remorse, which is repentance without God, without Christ, and therefore without hope. If repentance is loneliness, remorse is desolation.
4. There is the loneliness of death.
5. Can we follow the soul one step further, and see it standing in judgement before the throne of God? "Every one shall give account of himself to God."
II. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS. There are two senses at least in which you ought to practise the being alone.
1. Being alone in prayer. I do not mean that you must necessarily be in a place by yourselves, in order to pray: if this were essential to prayer, then the poor and the young in most cases could never pray. But I mean that in praying, whether by yourselves (which is, no doubt, a great advantage) or in the presence of others, you should try to shut out the recollection of any other presence than that of God.
2. If you are to die alone, and if you are to be judged alone, be not afraid also to think alone, and, if necessary, to act alone.
3. If the view of life thus presented seem to any one to be fiat and dreary, let him remember that, though we must pray alone, and judge alone, and sometimes act alone, and certainly die alone, and be judged alone, yet there is a reality of sympathy still, which we may find and rejoice in if we will. It is a sympathy independent of sight and word, secret yet real, unchangeable and eternal. Sympathy with Him who so loved that He died for us, and who is the same yesterday and to-day and for ever. Sympathy with Him, and with God through Him, exercised by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. This is the Divine aspect of Christian sympathy. But there is a human side also.
Parallel VersesKJV: I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
WEB: "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with me: yes, I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments, and I have stained all my clothing.