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Jewish Christians to support, with fortitude and patience, any sufferings to which they might be exposed ; and to enforce the genuine doctrine and practice of the Gospel, in opposition to the errors and vices which then prevailed among them. The principal source of these errors and vices was a misinterpretation of St. Paul's doctrine of justification by faith, without the works of the law; that is, as the apostle meant it, without the observance of the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation. Hence, some had most unwarrantably inferred, that moral duties were of trifling importance, and had, therefore, abandoned themselves to every species of licentiousness and profligacy. This epistle is written with great perspicuity and energy, and contains an excellent summary of those practical duties, and moral virtues, which are required of Christians.
Various are the opinions, why this and the six following epistles have been, from the fourth century, called Catholic, or General Epistles. Some think, because they confirm that one Catholic or General Doctrine which was delivered to the Churches by the apostles, and which may be read with advantage everywhere. Others, because they were not addressed to any particular Church, but to Christians in general; or, at least, to all the Jewish Christians, wherever dispersed. Others think, that the genuineness of these epistles being at one time disputed, when they came to be more generally received, they were called Catholic or General, to denote that they were then received by the Church. However, it is certain this title was not given to them by the apostles themselves, nor the apostolic fathers, but was bestowed upon them in succeeding times.
CHAP. I. I We are to rejoice under the cross, 5 to ask patience of God: 13 and
in our trials not to impute our weakness, or sins, unto him, 19 but rather to hearken to the word, to meditate in it, and to do thereafter : 26 otherwise men may seem, but never be truly religious. A. D. 60. a JAMES, a servant of God and of
CHAP. I. a Acts, xii. 17: But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. 'do. xv. 13; And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me. Gal. i. 19: But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. do. ii. 9: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived
the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are d scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when
fall into fdivers temptations ;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may i be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you s lack wisdom, ' let him ask
the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. JUDE, 1 : Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.
Tit. i. 1: Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
Acts, xxvi. 7: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Acts, ii. 5 : And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. do. viii. 1: At that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem ; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa. See on John, vii. 35.
• See on Acts, v. 41. . See on 1 Cor. x. 13. & See on Rom. xii. 12.
"Luke, viii. 15 : But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
See on Heb. xiii. 21. k] Kings, iii, 9, 11, 12: Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life ; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies ; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words :lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that
m of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and up braideth not; and "it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask 'in faith, nothing wavering: 3
3 For he that wavereth 4 is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.5
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive
any thing of the Lord. 8 A P double minded man is unstable in all
9 Let' the brother of low degree rejoice ® in that he is exalted :
10 But the rich, in that he is made low : because 9 as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion 10 of
3 doubting. Ne. 4doubteth. Wi. Co. Ma. Cr, Rh. Pu. 5 tossed of the winds, and carried away. Gen. moved and carried about by the wind. Rh. 6 wavering minded. Co. Ma. Cr. Gen. ? But let. Ham. 8 glory. A. V. 9 vanish. .Co. Ma. Gen. 10 beauty. Co. Ma. Cr. Bi. Gen.
there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any
arise like unto thee. Pro. ii. 3, 6: If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding. For the LORD giveth wisdom : out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding:
1 See on Mat. vii. 7.
0 2 Chr. i. 11, 12: God said to Solomon, Because this was in thy heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee, and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour. See on Mat. vii. 7, 8.
• MARK, xi. 24: What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 1 Tim. ii. 8: Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
PJames, iv. 8: Purify your hearts, ye double minded. . See on JAMES, iv. 14.
11 in his ways.
it perisheth : so also shall the rich man fade away
12 - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation : for when he is tried,13 he shall receive the • crown of life, ' which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God : for God cannot be tempted with evil,14 neither tempteth he any man :
14 " But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin : and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth w death.
i perish. Co. Mu. Cr. 12 in his abundance. Co. 13 approved. Ham. Whit. 14 evils. A. V.
r See on 1 Cor. xi. 32. s See on I Cor. ix. 25.
+ Exod. xx. 6 : Showing mercy unto thousands of themi that love me, and keep my commandments. 1 SAM. ii. 30: Tbem that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Pro. viii. 17 : I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. ISA. lxiv. 4: For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. 3: Blessed
poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. do. x. 22 : He that endureth to the end shall be saved. do. xix. 28, 29 : And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. JAMES, ii. 5.
u Hos. xiii. 9 : 0 Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
JOB, xv. 35: They conceive 'mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit. Ps. vii. 14: Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
See on Rom. v. 12.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 * Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
18 Of his own will ? begat he us with the word of truth, 16 a that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to d wrath :
20 For the wrath of man worketh not righteousness of God. 18
21 Wherefore e lay apart all filthiness and 15 nor shadow of change. Br. 16 of life. Co. Ma. 17 doth not accom
18 that which is righteous before God. Co. Ma. Cr. Bi. * See on I Cor. iv. 7.
y NUMB. xxiii. 19: God is not a man, that he should lie;. neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 1 Sam. xv. 29: And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
MAL. iii. 6: For I am the LORD, I change not. Rom. xi. 29: For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.
z See on John, iii. 3; and on 1 Cor. iv, 15. a See on HEB. xii. 23.
• Eccles. v. 1: Be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools. Ecclus. v. 11: Be swift to hear, and let thy life be sincere, and with patience give answer.
c PRO. X. 19: In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin : but he that refraineth his lips is wise. do. xiii. 3 : He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life : but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. do. xvii. 27 : He that hath knowledge spareth his words. Eccles. v. 3 : A fool's voice is known by multitude of words. Ecclus. i. 29 : Be not an hypocrite in the sight of men ; and take good heed what thou speakest.
See on Eph. iv. 26. • Col. iii. 5: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. See on Rom. vi. 4.