January 10, 2020 by directorfsm
by Thomas Watson, 1660
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Here are eight steps leading to true blessedness. They may be compared to Jacob’s Ladder, the top whereof reached to heaven. We have already gone over one step—and now let us proceed to the second. ‘Blessed are those who mourn.’ We must go through the valley of tears—to paradise! Mourning would be a sad and unpleasant subject to address—were it not that it has blessedness going before, and comfort coming after. Mourning is put here, for repentance. It implies both sorrow, which is the cloud, and tears which are the rain distilling in this golden shower!
The words fall into two parts, first, an assertion—that mourners are blessed people; second, a reason—because they shall be comforted.
The ASSERTION—mourners are blessed people. ‘Blessed are you who weep now’ (Luke 6:21). Though the saints’ tears are bitter tears—yet they are blessed tears. But will all mourning entitle a man to blessedness? No! there is a twofold mourning which is far from making one blessed. There is a carnal mourning, and a diabolical mourning.
1. There is a CARNAL mourning when we lament outward losses. ‘A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah—weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted—for they are dead!’ (Matthew 2:18). There are abundance of these carnal tears shed. We have many who can mourn over a dead child—who cannot mourn over a crucified Savior! Worldly sorrow hastens our funerals. ‘The sorrow of the world works death’ (2 Corinthians 7:10).
2. There is a DIABOLICAL mourning and that is twofold:
When a man mourns that he cannot satisfy his impure lust. This is like the devil, whose greatest torture is that he can be no more wicked. Thus Ammon mourned and was sick, until he defiled his sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:2). Thus Ahab mourned for Naboth’s vineyard, “So Ahab went home angry and sullen. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!’ (1 Kings 21:4). This was a devilish mourning.
Again, when men are sorry for the good which they have done. Pharaoh was grieved that ‘he had let the children of Israel go’ (Exodus 14:5). Many are so devilish that they are troubled they have prayed so much and have heard so many sermons. They repent of their repentance. But if we repent of the good which is past—God will not repent of the evil which is to come.
The OBJECTS of spiritual mourning. To illustrate this point of holy mourning, I shall show you what is the adequate object of it. There are two objects of spiritual mourning—sin and misery.
The first object of spiritual mourning is SIN; and that twofold, our own sin; and the sin of others.
1. Our OWN sin. Sin must have tears. While we carry the fire of sin about with us—we must carry the water of tears to quench it! (Ezekiel 7:16). ‘They are not blessed’ (says Chrysostom) ‘who mourn for the dead—but rather those who mourn for sin.’ And indeed it is with good reason we mourn for sin, if we consider the GUILT of sin, which binds over to wrath. Will not a guilty person weep, who is to be bound over to the penalty? Every sinner is to be tried for his life and is sure to be cast away—if sovereign mercy does not become an advocate for him.
The POLLUTION of sin. Sin is a plague spot, and will you not labor to wash away this spot with your tears? Sin makes a man worse than a toad or serpent. The serpent has nothing but what God has put into —but the sinner has that which the devil has put into him. ‘Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?’ (Acts 5:3). What a strange metamorphosis has sin made! The soul, which was once of an azure brightness, sin has made of a sable color! We have in our hearts the seed of the unpardonable sin. We have the seed of all those sins for which the damned are now tormented! And shall we not mourn? He who does not mourn, has surely lost the use of his reason. But every mourning for sin is not sufficient to entitle a man to blessedness. I shall show what is not the right gospel-mourning for sin, and then what is the right gospel-mourning for sin.