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Abraham's faith]


23 And the Scripture was fulfilled vhich saith, Abraham believed God, nd it was imputed unto him for ighteousness: and he was called the riend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works man is justified, and not by faith nly.

[accompanied by works.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (D)


(D) Ver. 17–26. How far, and in what spect, good works are necessary to our ivation.-In the whole of this work, and pecially on the New Testament, it has en the writer's aim implicitly to follow e inspired writers, and not to impose on em any opinion which they have not owed. On the Epistle to the Romans hap. iii. and iv.), and on that to the Gaians (chap. ii. and iii.), he has endeaured to explain the doctrine of St. Paul Justification by Faith, and to support Exposition by the unequivocal sanction our English Reformers; and, next to Scriptures themselves, he humbly conves, he cannot refer to better authority explaining the doctrine of St. James, Justification by Works; as he here


"Ye see how that by works a n is justified, and not by faith only" r. 24).

n reviewing this subject, however, we st inquire what that faith was which i apostle speaks of as utterly unable to e us. "Thou believest there is one (says he), and thou doest well," for is the primary article of the Jewish ed—“Hear, () Israel; the Lord thy God ne Lord." (Deut. vi. 4.) But can a speative faith like this save us? Behold, he devils believe (this) and tremble." aham also believed this; but it was merely by this that Abraham was jusd. He believed in the promise of God, :through his loins should come the siah, the Saviour of the world, and er this conviction he" offered Isaac son upon the altar." This is a most nent act of faith, and as such was imed to him; and by faith in that Messiah his atonement, was he justified before . And not only so, but his works justihis faith. The case was similar with

the harlot Rahab, who believing in the promise, justified the sincerity of her faith by risking her own life to save that of the Hebrew spies.

Upon this subject, the 12th Article of the Church of England saith, "Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith; insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit." To the same effect is the 4th "Homily, of a true, lively, and Christian faith."-"There is one faith (saith the Homily) which in Scripture is called a dead faith, which bringeth forth no good works; but is idle, barren, and unfruitful. And this faith, by the holy apostle St. James, is compared to the faith of devils, which believe God to be true and just, and tremble for fear; yet they do nothing well, but all evil..... Let us, therefore, good Christian people, try and examine our faith what it is: Christ himself speaketh of this matter, and saith, The tree is known by the fruit. Therefore let us do good works: ..... so shall we shew indeed that we have the very lively Christian faith, and may so both certify our conscience the better that we be in the right faith, and also by these means confirm other men. If these fruits do not follow, we do but mock with God, deceive ourselves, and also other men: .... for the true faith doth ever bring forth good works, as St. James saith, Shew me thy faith by thy deeds [or works]. Thy deeds and works must be an open testimonial of thy faith otherwise thy faith, being without good works, is but the devil's faith,



r. 22. Seest thou.-Marg. " thou seest."
r. 23. The Friend of God.-2 Chron. xx. 7;
li. 8.

. 25. Likewise also.-It is remarkable, that
s quotes the same passages in proof of Abra-

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On the government]



MY brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whither-soever the governor listeth.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole

[of the tongue.

body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind :

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the simi litude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth pro ceedeth blessing and cursing. brethren, these things ought not to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren bear olive berries? either a vine, figs so can no fountain both yield salt wate and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man and endred with knowledge among you? let hi

EXPOSITION—Chap. II. Continued.

the faith of the wicked, a fantasy of faith, and not a true Christian faith."

But to conclude this subject, and to reconcile St. James and St. Paul, who certainly did not mean to differ, we shall cite the brief but lucid exposition of the late excellent Mr. Fuller: Paul treats of the justification of the ungodly, or the way in which sinners are accepted of God, and made heirs of eternal life. James speaks of the justification of the godly, or, in what

way it becomes evident that a man is proved of God. The former is by t righteousness of Christ; the latter is by works. The former of these is that which justifies; the latter is that by which it ap pears that we are justified. The term je tification, in the first of these passages, taken in a primary sense-in the latter, is taken in a secondary sense only, in Matt. xi. 19, and other places.-(FWler's Harmony, p. 50.)


CHAP. III. Ver. 1. Be not many masters.-Gr. (didaskaloi) teachers. Compare 1 Tim. i. 7.-—---Condemnation.-Marg." judgment."

Ver. 2. Offend all.-Doddr. "all offend." He adds, "The word properly signifies to trip: and Dr. Barrow has justly observed, that as the general course of life is called a way, and particular actions, steps; so going on in a regular course of right action, is walking uprightly; and acting amiss, tripping, or stumbling.

Ver. 3. Bits.-Doddr. " bridles."

Ver. 4. The governor-i. e. of the ship. Doddr. ❝ the steersman."

Ver. 5. How great a matter.-Marg. "wood;" meaning faggots, or waste wood.

Ver.6. A world of iniquity: so.-The Alexandrian and another MS., as also the Vulgate, omit (outos) so; and the Syriac version reads, "The tongue is a fire, and the wicked world is a wood:" but we

see no occasion to reject the common reading It defileth-Literally," spotteth;" so Macin. But we conceive the allusion is not to spots of dirt, but of disease, or putridity. See Jude ver. 23.

Ibid. The course-Marg. " wheel;" Doddr. "if cle;" Mackn. "frame" of nature.-We so times say of an ambitious, litigious man, that he calculated to set the world on fire.Is set on fat of hell-Not Hades, but Gekenna-the place of fu ture punishment.

Ver. 7. Every kind.-Margin, “nature."-/

tamed.-Doddr. and Mackn." subdued." The ap tle does not refer to the domesticating of wild a mals, but the subduing and bringing them under the control of man.-Mankind.-Marg, astor of mankind."

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Ver. 11. At the same_place.—Margin, “boje.” Doddr. “opening."———Sweet water and bitteDoddr." brackish,"

The true wisdom]


shew out of a good conversation his worke with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is,

[from above.

there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (E)



(E) Ver. 1-18. Cautions against dogmatizing, bitterness, and slander, with admonitions to prudence, peace, and harmony. -It is well known how ambitious the Jews were to be called Rabbi, and to enjoy the uppermost seats in their synagogues; and grace, though it changes the heart, and controls the natural disposition, does not eradicate our tempers; the sanguine, the hasty, and the petulant, will often find it hard work to submit to the peaceable, meek, and gentle precepts of the gospel. It is not improbable, therefore, that the apostle perceived among his converted countrymen, some aspiring and ambitious spirits, that wished to dictate to his Christian brethren from the chair of authority, He therefore checks this spirit of ambition, as his Master had before done :-" Be ye not called Rabbi," says he, "for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." So says St. James-" My brethren, be not many masters,' teachers or Rabbies, "knowing" the weight of our responsibility, and that if we sin under that character, "the greater," the heavier will be our condemnation."

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This is evidently not meant to discourage faithful and zealous labourers from entering into the vineyard of the gospel, but to check the forwardness of those who are anxious to assume the chair of instrucion (of which we fear there are still intances), on account of the consequence ay give them in the world and in the urch. Such are particularly cautioned gainst a style of conduct and of preaching becoming the meekness of the Christian acher-against kindling unnecessary or ctarian controversies—against vague and acharitable declamations-against slanrous and reproachful language—against cursing and bitterness, which, it is too

probable, was introduced first into the Christian church, by means of Jewish teachers and pretended prophets; whereby a flame was enkindled in it, which even seventeen centuries have not extinguished.

But we must not confine these admonitions to any particular class of Christians. The government of the tongue is a duty of universal obligation; and the fair sex, to whom God has in general given an extra portion of conversability, to qualify them for nurses, have particular occasion to be guarded against the improper use of this important member. At least, that the apostle Paul thought so, is fully evident from his counsel respecting widows, of some of whom he complains, that they were idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also, and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought not." (1 Tim. v. 13.)

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The language of St. James in the chap. ter before us, is, indeed, highly poetical; yet it doubtless has a foundation in truth and in fact; for it is obvious to all, that " a world of iniquity" and of mischief has arisen out of the chaos of exaggeration, misrepresentation, and slander, here alluded to! But our apostle chiefly insists upon the inconsistency (and an important consideration certainly it is) of Christian professors indulging in such vices, and employing that member of our bodies, so eminently, and, indeed, exclusively adapted to "bless God," in cursing and reviling men, originally "made after the similitude of God.-My brethren, these things ought not so to be!"

The apostle proceeds to the subject of prudence, or practical wisdom; and exhorts those who possessed this talent, not to display it in all the wiles of controversy, with bitter envying and strife; glorying


er. 15. Sensual-Marg. "natural;" Mackn. imal "Devilish. - Mackn. "demoniacal.” dr." diabolical."'

Ver. 16. Confusion.-Marg. "tumult." So Mackn, Ver. 17. Without partiality.-Marg, "wrangling." Doddr. and Mackn. prefer the text.

Against war,]



FROM whence come wars and fight ings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the Scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

[envy, and strife.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such


in their acuteness, and contradicting and corrupting the simple truths of revelation; which, indeed, seems to have been the besetting sin of the Jewish converts."Glory not," enjoins he, "and lie not against the truth." To glory against the truth, is to boast in error; to" lie against the truth," may be either to contradict or to falsify the sacred records-a crime often attempted, and sometimes too successfully, before printing was invented. This display of cunning and ingenuity may assume the name of wisdom; but it is not "The wisdom which descendeth

III. Continued.

from above; but is earthly, sensual, dis bolical;" which Dr. Bates refers to the three great classes of sin-avarice, løst, and pride, or ambition.

On the contrary," the wisdom which is from above, is first pure" from error," thes peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated; full of mercy and good fruits," &c. Alas! if polemical writers, and particularly those who have distinguished themselves bytheir keenness and penetration in ecclesiastical disputes, were to be judged by this rule, alas! how few could be acquitted!


CHAP. IV. Ver. 1. Fightings-Marg. "brawlings."-of your lusts-Marg. " pleasures;" i. e. carnal and sinful pleasures.

Ver. 2. Ye kill-Marg. " envy." So some read, but, Doddridge says, "without the authority of a single MS."

Ver. 3. Lusts-Marg. " pleasures," as in ver. 1. Ver. 5. To envy-Marg. " enviously." But where doth the Scripture say this? certainly no where in express terms. Glassius, Whitby, Doddridge, Macknight, &c. divide this into two questions: "Do you think that the Scripture speaks in vain ?" or to no purpose? i. e. in warning us against the friendship of the world. Or" Does the spirit that dwells in us (i. e. the Holy Spirit) lust to envy ?" Many, however, take this passage for a quotation, though

they are not agreed from whence. Bp. Patrick fers to Numb. xi. 29; and Dr. Hammond, to Ges. vi. 3; Beza, to Gen. viii. 21; Dr. Macknight sc gests Rom. viii. 7, but confesses the passage to be very difficult. Dr. John Edwards thinks this refers to the general sense of Scripture.

Ver. 7. Submit yourselves, &c.-Dr. John Edwards remarks, that there are three military terms in this verse: 1. Submit, i. e. be subject to your com mander; 2. Resist, engage the enemy; and, 3. Hit will fly, or be put to fight.

Ver. 8. Ye double minded.-See chap. i. 8. Ver. 12. One langiver,-According to Doddridge, God the supreme; according to Hammond and Mc knight, Christ, the sole lawgiver of his church. Ver. 13. Go to now.-Doddr. Come now."

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Against vain boasting]


city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain : 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the

[and presumption.

Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (F)



(F) Ver. 1-17. The evils of war, of private malevolence, and of rash conduct. This chapter is equally pointed against national and personal hostilities. On the former subject we shall enrich our pages with a few lines from a truly Christian rator of the present day. The Rev. Rob. Hall remarks" The contests of nations re both the offspring and the parent of njustice. The word of God ascribes the xistence of war to the disorderly passions f men. Whence come wars and fightings mong you? saith the apostle James. ome they not from your lusts, that war in our members? It is certain two nations unot engage in hostilities, but one party ust be guilty of injustice; and if the agnitude of crimes is to be estimated by regard to their consequences, it is diffiit to conceive an action of equal guilt th the wanton violation of peace. Though nething must generally be allowed for complexness and intricacy of national ims, and the consequent liability to detion, yet where the guilt of an unjust ris clear and manifest, it sinks every er crime into insignificance. If the stence of war always implies injustice one at least of the parties concerned, it Iso the fruitful parent of crimes. It rses, with respect to its objects, all the s of morality. It is nothing less than mporary repeal of the principles of e.

It is a system out of which almost e virtues are excluded, and in which By all the vices are incorporated. Whatrenders human nature amiable or recable, whatever engages love or confie, is sacrificed at its shrine. In in

structing us to consider a portion of our fellow-creatures as the proper objects of enmity, it removes, as far as they are concerned, the basis of all society, of all civilization and virtue; for the basis of these is the good-will due to every individual of the species, as being a part of ourselves. From this principle all the rules of social virtue emanate." (Sermon on War.)

Many of these remarks will apply to individual hostilities. "Ye lust and have not ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain." This passage cannot, perhaps, be better illustrated than in reference to the well known history of Ahab, who lusted for the vineyard of Naboth. "He killed," that is, he procured the death of Naboth, and entered the vineyard to enjoy it: but, alas, for him! Elijah followed with a message from JEHOVAH"Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?" Yes; but how did he enjoy it? "He rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly" during the short remainder of his days, with the curse of God, and the prediction of an untimely end hanging over his head; of which we may read the fulfilment in the chapter following. (See 1 Kings, ch. xxi. xxii.)

Thus did Ahab "lust and have not." Thus did he kill, to gain possession; yet gained nothing but a short, miserable existence, and an untimely end! And this is no uncommon case. How often do men sacrifice peace of conscience, and indeed all the peace of their lives, to procure a forbidden object, which they are never suffered to enjoy? St. James, however, recommends to the Hebrews, to whom he


14. It is even-Marg. " For it is "a vaMackn. "smoke." The Ixx. use it for the incense.

15. If the Lord.-A style of this kind, referto the wisdom and providence of God, had ig in use among the pious Jews, and may be ack to the days of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth ii. 4.

It is observable, too, that the Gentiles acknowledged their dependence upon God. The Greeks used to say (sun Theo), " with the help of God;" and the Latins, Deo volente, "God willing"-terms very usual with our ancestors, but now almost obsolete.

Ver. 17. Therefore.-Doddr. "For," Mackn. "Wherefore."

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