Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sighs, and turns away.
All Commentaries on Lamentations 1:8 Go To Lamentations 1
ALL WHO HONORED: the thirteenth topic of complaint.
Historical interpretation. JERUSALEM HAS GRIEVOUSLY SINNED: one sin, alone of its kind, designates the reason for such misery, a sin through which everything is fettered and without which everything is released, that is incredulity, whence it is said: Hear, ye rebellious and incredulous. For out of incredulity they have always provoked God, worshiped idols, refused to believe in Christ, whence: If I had not come an spoken to them, they would not have sin. THEREFORE HAS SHE BECOME UNSTABLE, and not stone upon stone is left in her.
ALL THAT HONORED HER: namely the scribes and the Pharisees, who for the sake of filthy lucre, called the sinful people blessed, and the transgressing people, on the other hand, called them blessed and pillars in the house of the Lord, but in a moment they despise each other having put their faith in low flattery. SHE IS SIGHING AND TURNED BACKWARD: these words express the habit of captives, who, when they are taken away, look back to their native soil, weeping and sighing.
Allegorical interpretation. JERUSALEM HAS GRIEVOUSLY SINNED &c: the Church, defiled in its limbs with some heresy, sins the sin of infidelity and for this reason roams UNSTABLE and is founded on no solidity of faith, she who previously was built upon a firm rock. But the people, who honored them with vain affection, seeing their heresy being revealed and crushed by Catholics, despise and detest them. They themselves SIGHING are TURNED BACKWARD.
Moral interpretation. JERUSALEM HAS GRIEVOUSLY SINNED &c: as if: the soul, because of the sin of infidelity, is carried off through different vices, since she had not secured her steps on the rock of virtue. Hence the angels or holy men, who previously honored her, disdain her, that she finally may bewail her sin and return to God, hearing a voice calling from behind, whence Isaiah: Thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back. Thereupon Mary, TURNED BACKWARD, found Jesus, whom she was looking for, but could not find. Likewise Jerusalem, that is here lamented for the sake of the sin of infidelity, if she, TURNED BACKWARD and SIGHING, knows and believes, will find in the law the one she thought was dead. But those who are incredulous and do not look backward, even until this day, are, like Cain, unstable and carry the sign of their confusion and march to Babylon, that is to confusion.