She weeps bitterly in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she has none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.
All Commentaries on Lamentations 1:2 Go To Lamentations 1
Clement Of Alexandria
Bringing someone to his senses is censure, which makes one think. And he does not abstain from this form of instruction either, but says by Jeremiah, “How long shall I cry, and you not hear? So your ears are uncircumcised.” O blessed forbearance! And again, by the same: “All the heathen are uncircumcised, but this people is uncircumcised in heart,” “for the people are disobedient children,” he says, “in whom faith does not exist.” … Bewailing one’s fate is latent censure and artfully helps to bring salvation, albeit under stealth. He made use of this by Jeremiah: “How did the city sit solitary that was full of people! She that ruled over territories became as a widow; she came under tribute; weeping, she wept in the night.” … In the end, the system God pursues to inspire fear is the source of salvation. And it is the prerogative of goodness to save: “The mercy of the Lord is on all flesh, while he reproves, corrects and teaches as a shepherd does his flock. He pities those who receive his instruction and those who eagerly seek union with him.” … “For according to the greatness of his mercy, so is his rebuke.” For it is indeed noble not to sin, but it is good also for the sinner to repent, just as it is best to be always in good health but well to recover from disease. So he commands by Solomon, “Strike your son with the rod, that you may deliver his soul from death.” And again, “Do not abstain from chastising your son but correct him with the rod, for he will not die.” For reproof and rebuke, as also the original term implies, are the stripes of the soul, chastising sins, preventing death and leading to self-control for those who are out of control.… And so we, too, who in our lives are sick with shameful lusts and reprehensible excesses and other inflammatory effects of the passions, need the Savior. And he administers not only mild but also stringent medicines. The bitter roots of fear then arrest the eating sores of our sins. This is why fear is also salutary, if bitter. Sick, we truly stand in need of the Savior; having wandered, of one to guide us; blind, of one to lead us to the light; thirsty, “of the fountain of life, of which whoever partakes shall no longer thirst”; dead, we need life; sheep, we need a shepherd; we who are children need a tutor, while universal humanity stands in need of Jesus; so that we may not continue intractable and sinners to the end and thus fall into condemnation but may be separated from the chaff and stored up in the paternal garner.