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(D) Ver. 17-26. How far, and in what respect, good works are necessary to our salvation. In the whole of this work, and especially on the New Testament, it has been the writer's aim implicitly to follow the inspired writers, and not to impose on them any opinion which they have not avowed. On the Epistle to the Romans (chap. iii. and iv.), and on that to the Galatians (chap. ii. and iii.), he has endeavoured to explain the doctrine of St. Paul on Justification by Faith, and to support his Exposition by the unequivocal sanction of our English Reformers; and, next to the Scriptures themselves, he humbly conceives, he cannot refer to better authority in explaining the doctrine of St. James, on Justification by Works; as he here says, "Ye see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (ver. 24).

In reviewing this subject, however, we must inquire what that faith was which this apostle speaks of as utterly unable to save us. "Thou believest there is one God (says he), and thou doest well," for this is the primary article of the Jewish creed-"Hear, () Israel; the Lord thy God is one Lord." (Deut. vi. 4.) But can a speculative faith like this save us? Behold, "the devils believe (this) and tremble.” Abraham also believed this; but it was not merely by this that Abraham was justified. He believed in the promise of God, that through his loins should come the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, and under this conviction he "offered Isaac his son upon the altar." This is a most eminent act of faith, and as such was imputed to him; and by faith in that Messiah and his atonement, was he justified before God. And not only so, but his works justified his 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,




Ver. 22. Seest thou.-Marg. " thou seest." Ver. 23. The Friend of God.-2 Chron. xx. 7; Isa. xli. 8.

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

ham's good works, that Paul had quoted in illus. tration of his faith; Heb. xi. 17, 31. Does not this prove faith and good works inseparable?

Ver. 26. Without the spirit-Marg. "breath." The same word, as is well known, means both.

On the government]




Y 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 similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth pro ceedeth blessing and cursing. brethren, these things ought not s 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 th 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 jus tification, in the first of these passages, taken in a primary sense-in the latter, i is taken in a secondary sense only, in Matt. xi, 19, and other places.-(F ler'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 readingIt defileth-Literally," spotteth;" so Macin. But we conceive the allusion is not to spots of dirt, bar of disease, or putridity. See Jude ver. 23.

Ibid. The course-Marg. wheel; Doddr. “it cle;" Mackn. "frame "of nature.-Westtimes say of an ambitious, litigious man, that he calculated to set the world on fire. Is set en f of hell-Not Hades, but Gekenna-the place of fature punishment.

Ver. 7. Every kind.-Margin, “nature."-/ tamed.-Doddr. and Mackn. " subdued." The ap tle does not refer to the domesticating of wild mals, but the subduing and bringing them under the control of man.-Mankind.-Marg,pater mankind."

Ver. 11. At the same_place.—Margio, “boin.” Doddr. "opening." -Sweet water and biltoDoddr." brackish,"

The true wisdom]


shew out of a good conversation his works 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 instruction (of which we fear there are still instances), on account of the consequence it may give them in the world and in the church. Such are particularly cautioned against a style of conduct and of preaching unbecoming the meekness of the Christian teacher-against kindling unnecessary or sectarian controversies-against vague and uncharitable declamations-against slanderous and reproachful language-against all 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 extin guished.

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.)

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


Ver. 15. Sensual-Marg. "natural;" Mackn. "animal"-Devilish. - Mackn. "demoniacal.” Doddr." 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 1

EXPOSITION-Chap. III. Continued.

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

from above; but is earthly, sensual, dia. bolical;" which Dr. Bates refers to the three great classes of sin-avarice, lust, 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 by their keenness and penetration in ecclesiastical disputes, were to be judged by this rule, alas! how few could be acquitted!

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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 re 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 refer to the general sense of Scripture.

Ver. 7. Submit yourselves, &c.-Dr. John Edwards remarks, that there are three military terms in thes verse: 1. Submit, i. e. be subject to your com mander; 2. Resist, engage the enemy; and, 3. Et 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 new.-Doddr. Come now."

gainst vain boasting]


ty, and continue there a year, and ty and sell, and get gain : 14 Whereas ye know not what all be on the morrow. For what is ur life? It is even a vapour, that peareth for a little time, and then nisheth 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 vate malevolence, and of rash conduct. is chapter is equally pointed against ional and personal hostilities. On the ner subject we shall enrich our pages h a few lines from a truly Christian tor of the present day. The Rev. Rob. W remarks-"The contests of nations both the offspring and the parent of stice. The word of God ascribes the tence of war to the disorderly passions nen. Whence come wars and fightings ng you? saith the apostle James. e they not from your lusts, that war in members? It is certain two nations wot engage in hostilities, but one party t be guilty of injustice; and if the nitude of crimes is to be estimated by gard to their consequences, it is diffito conceive an action of equal guilt the wanton violation of peace. Though ething must generally be allowed for Complexness and intricacy of national ns, and the consequent liability to deon, yet where the guilt of an unjust s clear and manifest, it sinks every crime into insignificance. If the ence of war always implies injustice e at least of the parties concerned, it so the fruitful parent of crimes. It ses, with respect to its objects, all the of morality. It is nothing less than oporary repeal of the principles of .It is a system out of which almost e virtues are excluded, and in which y all the vices are incorporated. Whatenders human nature amiable or reable, whatever engages love or confi, 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 lxx. use it for the 1incense.

15. If the Lord.-A style of this kind, referto the wisdom and providence of God, had ng in use among the pious Jews, and may be back 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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