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Julian Pe. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, Jerusalem. riod, 4775, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass : Vnlgarðra, 24 For he beholdeth himself
, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed 28.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27 Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the
$4. JAMES ii. 1-13.
at this Time among the Jews, the Apostle reproves them
Julian Pe from the Guilt, Power, and Dominion of Sin-teaching Jerusalem. riod, 4775.
them, that, at the last Day, Judgment will be passed.
upon them according to the strictness of the Lan, who
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus
2 For if there come into your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel ; and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place: and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool ;
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor.
Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment-seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called ?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well :
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all a.
11 For lie that said, Do not commit adultery, said also,
29 In the tract Shabbath, fol. 70. where they dispute concerning the thirty-nine works commanded by Moses, Rabbi Jochanan says, “ But if a man do the whole, with the omis. sion of one, be is guilty of the whole, and of every one.” It was a maxim also, among the Jewish doctors, that is a man kept any one commandment faithfully, though he broke all the rest, he might assure himself of the favour of God; for wbile they taught that, “ He who transgresses all the precepts of the law, has broken the yoke, dissolved the covenant, and exposed the law to contempt; and so has he done who has broken even ono precept,” (Mechilta, fol. 5. Yalcut Simeoni, part i. fol. 59.) they also taught, that he who observed any principal command, was cqual to him who kept the whole law, (Kiddushin, fol. 39.) and they give, for example, " If a man abandon idoJatry, it is the same as if he had fulfilled the whole law,” (Ibid. fol. 40.) To correct these erroneous vacillating doctrines, seems to have been the object of the apostle. Adam Clarke has col. lected from Schoetgen many rabbinical doctrines, or traditious, to illustrate this cpistle, which bears evident internal proof that it was written by a Jow to Jews.-Sco Clarke in loc. or Schoetgen Hor. Hcb. vol. i. p. 1016_1020.
Julian Pe- Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if Jerusalem. riod, 4775. thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. Vulgar Æra, 62.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that
§ 5. JAMES ii. 14, to the end.
ledge or the Profession of the Gospel, without perform-
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead ; being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well : the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead ?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
Julian Pe 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and Jerusalem. riod, 4775. Vulgar Æra, by works was faith made perfect ? 62.
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness : and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only so.
30 As many have considered that the doctrine of justification by good works, as preached by St. James, is in opposition to the doctrine of justification by faith alone, as taught by St. Paul, it will be necessary to show in what manner the two apostles are reconciled; for as they both wrote under the influence of one and the same divine Spirit, it is certain there can be no real difference existing between them. In the first place, it will be necessary to remark, from the whole scope of St. Paul's argument, and from bis allusions to baptism, and the blessings of which we are made partakers in that sacrament, which he enumerates-that it is most probable the apostle speaks of baptismal, oriuitial purification (chap. v. 1, 2.10). Every per. son who is presented at the holy font, is mystically washed, and receives remission of the sins of his Adamic nature, which is figuratively buried with himn in baptism. He is regenerated by the Holy Spirit, raised again to a new life, or state of being ; ho is made God's child by grace, and adoption, and as such he is incorporated into the visible Church, or family, of his spiritual father. He is taken into covenant with God, and is made heir of his glorious promises, on the condition of faith alone in Christ, and a life consistent with his new creation and relationship to God. This is the justification to which St. Paul refers in his doctrine of justification, or remission of sins on faith alone; and it is evident that no man can lay claim, or merit by his own good works, this act of free pardon and grace, which could only be obtained by the sinless life and atoning sacrifice of the second Adam, the Son of God. Christ perfected the human nature of man, which he united to his divine nature; that it might be sanctified by his Spirit, and be reconciled to his heavenly Father through him.
As far, then, as justification is concerned, the apostles cannot be said to oppose each other, as they evidently speak of distinct things-James confining himself to final justification, which is to be attained only by fufilling the conditions of the Gospel covenant, to which by baptism we have been admitted.
On these conditions both the apostles in the most decided manner agree. St. Paul, while he forcibly insists that works of the law and good works cannot avail in our baptismal justification, which is imparted on the condition of faith alone; strcnuously asserts with St. James, that although by faith alone we are received into a justified state with God, to obtain the final or second justification, to become joint-heirs with Christ, we must lead holy lives, shewing our faith by our conduct; a continuance in sin being inconsistent with a state of favour and grace. That all will receive the reward of their deeds in this world, and those only would attain to final justification, who are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, which ought to have been buried in baptism, with all its carnal affections and appetites, but who walk after the Spirit in the boliness and purity of Christ, fulfilling the conditions of the Christian covenant. Here then, St. Paul and St. James are, without difficulty, reconciled; the former speaking of preceding works of righteousness not
Jerusalem. Julian Pe 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by riod, 4775. works, when she had received the messengers, and had Valgar
Æra, 62. sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
JAMES iii. 1-12.
take the Office of Teacher, of which they were very desir-
- Behold also how great a Mass of Wood a little Fire
Some commentators are of opinion that the Epistle of St. James was written to rectify the abuse founded on St. Paul's doctrine-lo the neglect of Christian practice, on the pretence of the all-sufficiency of faith—it is also considered that all the Catholic Epistles were written for the same purpose, shewing that St. Paul intended only to exclude the works of the Mosaic law, and not the works of the Christian law. In all the instances of faith recorded for our instruction, from that of faith. ful Abraham to the martyrs of the Christian dispensation, there is the same beautiful harmony and character preserved. They bave been severally first justified or accepted by God, for their belief in the truths he vouchsafed to roveal to them; which faith, according to the pattern given us in the father of believers, has been the foundation or living principle of active obedience and consequent holiness of life ; and by such a faith alone, mankind are taught throughout Revelation to seck for righteousness or justification before God-shewing their faith by their works. For the further discussion of this subject, see Mr. Young's sermon on St. Panl's doctrinc, of justification by faith ; Benson's Dissertations on James ii. 14-20; Mr. Taylor's Key to the Apostolic writings, sect. 245, &c. and 280.; and Mr. Tavel's admirable sermon preached at the archidiaconar visitation of Dr. Bcrners,