I will meditate in thy precepts. — Ps 119:15
There are times when solitude is better than society; and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians—if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for labor in His service, through meditation on His Word. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.
Truth is something like the cluster of the vine—if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the clusters, or else the juice will not flow; and they must carefully tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth—if we would get the wine of consolation from them.
Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone—is the process of digestion. It is by digestion, that the food becomes assimilated with the inner life.
Just so, our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, and learning—all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.
Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons—make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat but they do not grind it; they would have the corn but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this day, “I will meditate on Your precepts!”
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. — John 14:26
This age is specially, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, in which Jesus cheers us, not by His personal presence, as He shall do by-and-by, but by the indwelling and constant abiding of the Holy Spirit, who is evermore the Comforter of the church. It is His office to console the hearts of God’s people. He convinces of sin; He illuminates and instructs but still the main part of His work lies in comforting the hearts of the renewed, in confirming the weak, and lifting up all those who are bowed down.
He does this—by revealing Jesus to them. The Holy Spirit consoles but Christ is the consolation. If we may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician but Jesus is the medicine. The Holy Spirit heals the wound but it is by applying the holy ointment of Christ’s grace. The Holy Spirit will not speak of His own things but of the things of Christ. The Holy Spirit the Comforter but Jesus is the Comfort!
Now, with such rich provision for his need, why should the Christian be sad and desponding? The Holy Spirit has graciously engaged to be your Comforter—do you imagine, O you weak and trembling believer, that He will be negligent of His sacred trust? Can you suppose that He has undertaken what He cannot or will not perform? If it is His especial work to strengthen you, and to comfort you—do you suppose He has forgotten His business, or that He will fail in the loving office which He sustains towards you? No! Do not think so harshly of the tender and blessed Spirit, whose name is “the Comforter.” He delights to give beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Trust in Him, and He will surely comfort you until the house of mourning is closed forever and the marriage feast has begun!