Note here, that sorrow for sin, will be of no advantage or avail upon us, if it be not godly sorrow, or a sorrow according to God, as it runs in the original. Now it may be called a sorrow according to God, when it is a sorrow wrought in us by the Spirit of God, in obedience to the command of God, and with an eye at the glory of God; when it has sin, and not wrath, for its object; sin, as a wrong to God, as a contempt of his sovereignty, and a contrariety to his holiness.
Again, It is then a godly sorrow, when it puts us upon an high prizing of Jesus Christ, who became a sacrifice for sin; and prompts us to a cordial and unfeigned forsaking of all sin to such a turning from it, as is resolved against all returning to it.
The sorrow of the world may be taken two ways, 1. For the sorrow of worldly men, whose sorrow for sin is only a vexing of their hearts, not a breaking or humbling of their hearts; which being separate from true faith, and without any purpose to leave sin, worketh death, by wearing out the natural life lingeringly, and sometimes destroying the natural life violently, as in the case of Judas.
2. By the sorrow of the world, may be understood a sorrow for worldly things, a sorrow for worldly losses and disappointments. This is sinful, when it is excessive; and as it is prejudicial to the soul, so doth it hurt the body, and it hasteneth death. Worldly sorrow is a killing sorrow: Godly sorrow worketh repentance: But the sorrow of the world worketh death.