On The Name Comforter (Cliap. 10).
It is admitted on all hands that the word Comforter does not give the full meaning of the Greek word paradetos. There is an active form, paracldor, of which comforter is the correct translation. The passive form, paradetos, just like the Latin adrocatus, means one who has been called in to assist, to take charge of a case, or. to plead a cause. Among those who take Advocate as the correct rendering, there is more than one way of applying the word. Some think of Him as bearing this name because He has been called in of Christ to undertake His cause with the disciples and the world; others as one who can be called in by the disciples when they are in need of advice or strength. With those who think that the rendering Advocate expresses fully what our Lord meant, there is also a diversity of exposition. Owen says, 'He is an Advocate for the Church, in, with, and against, the world.' So also Howe, 'The Advocate, a great pleader, who underta,kes to manage the cause of Christ and Christianity against the world.' ln this view the work of the Spirit in meeting the personal need of the believer does not come out sufficiently. Others think of the Spirit as the Advocate for Christ ,with believers. This is thus expressed by Bowen: 'Christ is our Advocate with the Father, and the Holy Spirit Christ's Advocate with us. As Christ pleads for us at the throne of grace, so the Spirit pleads for Christ in our hearts. The Spirit vindicates Him from our unworthy thoughts, shows Him to be the chief among myriads, and altogether lovely.'
These views give but partial aspects of the work of the Blessed Paraclete 'The word has an incomparably larger meaning than Advocate on the one hand, and Comforter on the other. It includes both, but takes in ;i great deal more than either. It means one who is identified with our interests, one who undertakes all our cause, one who engages to see us through all our lifficulties, one who in every way becomes our representative, and the great personal agent that transacts our jusiness for us.'—W. Kelly, The Work of the Spirit.
And yet even this does not appear to cover all the ground. An advocate is indeed a representative. But the most comprehensive and most predion* aspect of the Spirit's work is this, that He was to i,e the Representative flf Jesus. He was to make Jesus always present to us. 'This was the sorrow of the disciples, that they were to lose their Lord. Tliis was the comfort Jesus promised, iiat they would have One in whom His presence shoulit be restored. And this makes the Spirit the other Advocate, that He has been called in and given by Jesus to represent Him, and make His presence real to them, to reveal and impart all that our Lord is to us. When Jesus, in speaking of another Paraclete, implies that He is the first, and when He bears that name in John ii. 2, we must regard Him as appointed and given by the Father as the medium of intercourse between Him and us, obtaining and communicating His blessing. The word Paraclete or Advocate covers His whole work and person as He mediates the Divine life and love to us, securing for us all the Father has to give, and bringing to the Father all we have to offer. This is the true and full meaning of Christ's work as Advocate, of which His intercession is only one aspect. And when He gives us the Paraclete as the other Advocate, it is that His work should take in, in all its breadth, Christ's own work, to make it life and reality within us. Just as Christ, as Advocate, mediates with the Father, so the Spirit mediates with Christ, revealing in our hearts, as a present and continuous experience, iu the power of the endless life, all that Christ's advocacy Becures to us. The Holy Spirit is the other Advocate, the alter ego in our hearts of Christ in heaven.
It would be difficult to discard the use of the word Comforter in English. It will not be needed if we remember that the sorrow of the disciples to be removed was at the loss of Jesus' presence, that the comfort to be given was the restoration, in greater power, of the presence of Him, their Divine Advocate. It is because the Spirit is the indwelling representative of Jesus as the Advocate in heaven, making Him always present in the heart, that He is the other Advocate or Comforter.