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Of rejoicing under Chap. i.

the cross, &c. to the Christian church, not only these, but other errors, which the corrupt part of the nation had built on them; such as, that God is the author of sin, and that whoever professes the true religion, is sure of salvation, whatever be his temper or moral conduct. In these mistaken notions the converted Jews seem to have been confirmed by certain passages in Paul's Epistles, which they wrested to their own destruction. These pernicious errors, so ruinous to the souls of men,

and dishonourable to the character of God, were, in the first ages of Christianity, the source of an extreme corruption of manners, which prevailed among some sects of Christians, particularly among the Simonians, Nicolaitans, and other Jewish heretics, to which there are frequent allusions in the apostolical Epistles. Wherefore to expose the dangerous tendency of these errors, and to guard the faithful against them, the apostles, Peter, James, John, and Jude, wrote the seven Epistles called catholic or general ; none of which however more strongly opposes these false doctrines, than St. James in this Epistle.

THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES.

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CHAP. I.

trying of your faith worketh 1 We must rejoice under the patience.

cross, 5 ask wisdom of God, 4 But let patience have her 19 hear the word, and do perfect work, that ye may be thereafter. 27 What true perfect and entire, wanting religion is.

nothing. AMES, a servant of God & 5 If

any

of
you

lack wisof the Lord Jesus Christ, dom, let him ask of God, that to the twelve tribes which are giveth to all men liberally, scattered abroad,a greeting. and upbraideth not; and it

2 My brethren, count it all shall be given him. joy when ye fall into divers 6 But let him ask in faith, temptations ;

nothing wavering; for he that 3 Knowing this, that the wavereth is like a wave of the

sea driven with the wind and a Scattered abroad. At this time tossed : & the Jews were very numerous, and & found in most of the cities of Europe that he shall receive any thing

✓ For let not that man think and Asia ; to these James addresses this Epistle.

of the Lord.

8 A double-minded c man is 6 Temptations, trials, affliction and

unstable in all his ways. persecution for the sake of the Gospel ; for we are directed to pray 6 Double-minded, having two minds against temptations.

or opinions, without fixed principles,

isk wisdom of God. James. What true religion is.

9 Let the brother of low that we should be a kind of degree rejoice in that he is ex- first-fruits of his creatures. alted ;

19 Wherefore, my beloved 10 But the rich, in that he brethren, let every man be is made low; because as the swift to hear, slow to speak, flower of the grass he shall slow to wrath : pass away.

20 For the wrath of man 11 For the sun is no sooner worketh not the righteousness risen with a burning heat, but of God. it withereth the grass, and the

21 Wherefore, lay apart all flower thereof falleth, and the filthiness and superfluity of grace of the fashion of it per- naughtiness, and receive with isheth; so also shall the rich meekness the ingrafted word, man fade away in his ways.

which is able to save your 12 Blessed is the man that souls : endureth temptation; for when 22 But be ye doers of the he is tried, he shall receive word, and not hearers only, the crown of life, which the deceiving your own selves. Lord hath promised to them 23 For if any be a hearer that love him.

of the word, and not a doer, 13 Let no man say, when he is like unlo a inan behold. he is tempted, I am tempted ing his natural face in a glass : of God; for God cannot be 24 For he beholdeth himtempted with evil, neither self, and goeth his way, and tempteth he any man; straightway forgetteth what

14 But every man is tempt. manner of man he was. ed, when he is drawn away of 25 But whoso looketh into his own lust, and enticed. the perfect law of liberty,e and

15 Then, when lust hath continueth therein, he being conceived, it bringeth forth not a forgetful hearer, but a sin; and sin, when it is finish- doer of the work, this man ed, bringeth forth death. shall be blessed in his deed. 16 Do not err, my

beloved

26 If any man among you brethren.

seem to be religious, and bri17 Every good gift, and dleth not his tongue, but deevery perfeet gift, is from a ceiveth his own heart, this bove, and cometh down from man's religion is vain. the Father of lights,d with 27 Pure religion, and undewhom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

e Law of liberty. The Gospel is 18 Of his own will begat delivers man from the slavery of

called the law of liberty, because it he us with the word of truth, passion, the burdensome rites of the

Mosaic law, and the punishment of d Lights, al spiritually good things. sin.

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Of temperance, &c. Chap. ii.

Rich men threatened. filed before God and the Fa- that worthy name by the which ther, is this, To visit the fa- ye are called i therless and widows in their 8 If ye fulfil the royal law affliction, and to keep himself according to the scripture, unspotted from the world.

Thou shalt love thy neighbour

as thyself, ye do well : CHAP. II.

9 But if ye have respect to 1 We must not regard the rich, persons ye commit sin, and

and despise the poor. 14 are convinced of the law as
Faith without works 17 is transgressors.
dead.

10 For whosoever shall
MY brethren, have not the keep the whole law, and yet
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, offend in one point, he is guil.
the Lord of glory, with respect ty of all.b
of
persons.

11 For he that said, Do not 2 For if there come unto commit adultery, said also, your assembly, a man with a Do not kill. No:y if thou turi gold ring, in goodly apparel, commit no adultery, yet if thou

and there come in also a poor kill, thou art become a transman in vile raiment ;

gressor of the law. 3 And ye have respect to 12 So speak ye, and so do, him that weareth the gay as they that shall be judged clothing, and say unto him, by the law of liberty. Sit thou here in a good place;

13 For he shall have judgand say to the poor, Stand ment without mercy, that hath thou there, or sit here under shewed no mercy; and

mercy my footstool;

rejoiceth against judgment. 4 Are ye not then partial

17 What doth it profit, my in yourselves, and are become brethren, though a man say judges of evil thoughts a he hath faith, and have pot

5 Hearken, my beloved works ? can faith save him ? brethren, Hath not God cho 15 If a brother or sister be sen the poor of this world rich naked, and destitute of daily in faith, and heirs of the king. food, dom, which he hath promised

16 And one of you say unto to them, that love him ? them, Depart in peace, be ye

6 But ye have despised the warmed and filled; notwith

poor. Do not rich men op3

press you, and draw you be b Is guilty of all. Some have been fore the judgment-seats ?

unable to perceive the justness of this Do not they blaspheme passage ; but it is very evident that

a person, who will deliberately com

mit any one sin, would also, if under a Judges of evil thoughts; judges a proportionally strong temptation, possessed of evil thoughts.

commit any other.

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Of faith

James.

and works. standing yegive them not those 23 Likewise also, was not things which are needful to Rahab the harlot justified by the body, what doth it profit? works, when she had received

17 Even so faith, if it hath the messengers and had sent not works, is dead, being alone. them out another way?

18 Yea, a man may say, 26 For as the body without Thou bast faith, and I have the spirit is dead, so faith works; shew me thy faith without works is dead also. without thy works, and I will

CHAP. III. shew thee my faith by my 3 We are not rashly or arroworks.

gantly to reprove others, 5 19 Thou believest that there

but rather to bridle the is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe and

tongue. 13 They that be tru

ly wise are mild and peaceatremble.

20 But wilt thou know, 0 of death, and since all have sinned, vain man! that faith without it is evident, that man cannot be jusworks is dead?

tified by the deeds or works of the 21 Was not Abraham our law. Then Paul concludes ver. 28, father justified by works, when that man is justified by faith, wichout he had offered Isaac his son not hence conclude, that man is un

the deeds of the law; but he does upon the altar ?

der no moral obligations, or that 22 Seest thou how faith there are no works necessary to juswrought with his works, and tification. On the contrary he every by works was faith made per- where insists upon works of repen. fect ?

tance, faith and love, by which, if 23 And the scripture was

sincere & unremitted, although from fulfilled, which saith, Abra- God, through the redemption there

the nature of man, perhaps imperfect, ham believed God, and it was is in Christ Jesus, is graciously please imputed unto him for righ-ed freely to pardon and justify man, teousness; and he was called, These are the works, by which St. The Friend of God.

James says, man is justified, and not 24 Ye see thien how that by by faith only: He does not say, that

man is justified without faith; but works a man is justified, and

from the 22 verse of this chapter, it not by faith only.c

is evident, that his works are accom

panied by faith, and that they render cre see then, &c. Some have faith perfect. So that according to thought that St. James here contra Paul, man is justified, not by the dicts St. Paul's account of justifica- works of the law, but by faith, which tion ; but rightly understood, they produces good works, or which works perfectly agree. Paul speaks of the by love ; and according to James, works of the law, by which he says, man is justified by works, not of the Rom. iii. 20, no flesh shall be justifi- law, but such as proceed from faith, ed; for since the law requires perfect are accompanied by it, and render it od sinless obedience ander penalty perfect.

Of restraining the tongue. Chap.ij. Of true wisdom.

ble, without envying and that it defileth the whole body, strife.

and setteth on fire the course MỸ brethren, be not many of nature, and it is set on fire masters,a knowing that we of hell. shall receive the greater con y For every kind of beasts, demnation.

and of birds, and of serpents, 2 For in many things we and of things in the sea, is offend all.b If any man offend tamed, and hath been tamed of not in word, the same is a mankind: perfect man,c and able also to

8 But the tongue can no bridle the whole body.. man tame; it is an unruly evil,

3 Behold we put bits in the full of deadly poison. horses' mouths, that they may

9 Therewith bless we God, obey us; and we turn about even the Father; & therewith their whole body.

curse we men, which are made 4 Behold also the ships, after the similitude of God. which, though they be so great,

10 Out of the same mouth and are driven of fierce winds, procecleth blessing and cursyet are they turned about with ing. My brethren, these things a very small helm, whitherso- ought not so to be. ever the governor listeth.d 11 Doth a fountain send

5 Even so the tongue is a forth at the same place sweet little member, and boasteth water and bitter ? great things. Behold how 12 Can the fig-tree, my great a matter a little fire kin- brethren, bear olive-berries? dleth!

either a vine, figs; so can no 6 And the tongue is a fire,e fountain both yield salt water a world of iniquity; so is the and fresh. tongue among our members,

13 Who is a wise man,

and

endued with knowledge, aa Be not many masters, do not many mong you ; let him shew, out of you become masters or teachers, of a good conversation, his b We offend all, we all offend.

works with meekness of wisç A perfect man. The apostle does

dom. not mean absolute perfection, for he has just said, we all offend in many

14 But if ye have bitter things; he only means a good degree envying and strife in your of self-control and circumspection. hearts, glory not, and lie not

d Listeth, willeth or pleaseth. against the truth.

e Tbe tongue is a fire, &c. What 15 This wisdom descendis said in this and the following ver

eth not from above, but is ses concerning the tongue, are what is called figurative expressions, and is earthly, sensual, devilish. designed to shew how many and

16 For where envying and great evils proceed from false, pro- strife is, there is confusion, fane, and intemperate language,

and every evil work.

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