Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

This is capable of two meanings: either that those are blessed who are afflicted with the loss of friends or possession; or that they who mourn over sin are blessed. As Christ came to preach repentance, to induce men to mourn over their sins and to forsake them, it is probable that he had the latter particularly in view, 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Godly Sorrow

Mourning is a wringing or pinching of the soul upon the apprehension of some evil present, whether it be privative or positive, as we speak; that is, when a man finds that absent that he desires, and that present which he abhors, then the soul shrinks and contracts itself, and is pinched and wringed; and this is what we call mourning.


This mourning is by no means to be confined unto the initial experience of conviction and contrition, for observe the tense of the verb: it is not “have mourned,” but “mourn”—a present and continuous experience. The Christian himself has much to mourn over. The sins which he now commits—both of omission and commission—are a sense of daily grief to him, or should be, and will be, if his conscience is kept tender.


Luther refers it to patient endurance as an element of religious character. Earthly afflictions, as leading to higher attainments in holiness, may be included in the mourning here spoken of. But it evidently refers primarily, if not exclusively, to spiritual sorrow, in view of the feelings of a corrupt sinful nature. A mourning spirit is nearly allied to one that feels its impoverished condition, and hence this beatitude follows very naturally the preceding one.


Satan comes, says St. Paul, as an angel of light. So sorrow, methinks, ...

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