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Not a Dead, but a
Working Faith Saves. and yet had "neither part nor lot in this matter," for satisfaction of God, who already knew it well, but to bis heurt.as his words and works evinced, was not l demonstrate it before men. The offering of Isaac at right in the sight of God. ALFORD wrongly denies that time, quoted here, v. 21, formed no part of the that “say" is emphatic. The illustration, v. 16. proves ground of his justification, for he was justified previ. it is: "If one of you say to a naked brother, "Be ye ously on his simply believing in the promise of spiri. warmed, notwithstanding ye give not those things tual heirs, i.e., believers, numerous as the stars. He needful." The inoperative profession of sympathy was then justified: that justification was showed or answering to the inoperative profession of faith. can manifested by his offering Isaac forty years after. faith save him-rather," can such a faith (lit., the faith) That work of faith demonstrated, but did not contrisave him?" the faith you pretend to; the empty name bute to his justification. The tree shows its life by its of boasted faith, contrasted with true fruit producing fruits, but it was alive before either fruits or even faith. So that which self-deceivers claim is called leaves appeared. 19. Thou-emphatic. Thou self-de“wisdom." though not true wisdom, ch, 3. 15. Theceiving claimant to faith without works. that there is "bim" also in the Greek is emphatie; the particular one God- rather, “that God is one;' God's existence. man who professes faith without having the works however, is also asserted. The fundamental article of which evidence its vitality. 15. The Greek is, “But the creed of Jews and Christians alike, and the point if," &c.: the “but” taking up the argument against of faith on which especially the former boasted themsuch & one as "said he had faith, and yet had not selves, as distinguishing them from the Gentiles, and works." which are its fruits. a brother, &c.-a fellow- hence adduced by St. James here. thou doest well-SO Christian, to whom we are specially bound to give | far good. But unless thy faith goes farther than an help, independent of our general obligation to help all | assent to this truth, "the evil spirits (lit., demons: our fellow-creatures. be-The Greek implies "be found, | Devil' is the term restricted to Satan, their head) on your access to them." 16. The habit of receiving believe" so far in common with thee, "and (so far from passively sentimental impressions from sights of woe being saved by such a faith) shudder" (50 the Greek), without carrying them out into active habits only | Matthew, 8. 29; Luke, 4. 34; 2 Peter, 2. 4 ; Jude, 6: bardens the heart one of yon-St. James brings home | Revelation, 20. 10. Their faith only adds to their the case to his hearers individually. Depart in peace torment at the thought of having to meet Him who is as if all their wants were satisfied by the mere words to consign them to their just doom: so thine (Hebrews, addressed to them. The same words in the mouth of 10. 26, 27, it is not the faith of love, but of fear, that Christ, whose faith they said they had, were accom- hath torment, 1 John, 4, 18). 20. wilt thou knowpanied by efficient deeds of love. be...warmed-with "Vain" men are not willing to know, since they have clothing, instead of being as heretofore "naked" (v. 15; I no wish to do the will of God. St. James beseeches Job. 31. 20). filled-instead of being "destitute of food" | such a one to lay aside his perverse unwillingness to Matthew, 16. 37). what doch it profit-concluding with I know what is palpable to all who are willing to do. the same question as at the beginning, v, 14. Just vain-who deceivest thyself with a delusive hope, rest retribution: kind professions unaccompanied with cor ing on an unreal faith. without works-The Greek imresponding acts, as they are of no " profit" to the needy plies separate from the works (ALFORD) which ought object of them, so are of no profit to the professor I to flow from it if it were real. is dead-Some of the himself. So faith consisting in mere profession is un | best MSS. read, "Is idle," i.e., unavailing to effect acceptable to God, the object of faith, and profitless what you hope, viz., to save you. 21. Abraham...jos. to the professor. 17. faith...being alone-ALFORD joins tified by works--evidentially, and before men (see Note,
is dead in itsell." So BENG EL, "If the works which v. 18). In v. 23, St. James, like St. Paul, recognises the living faith produces have no existence, it is a proof | Scripture truth, that it was his faith that was counted that faith itself ilit., in respect to itself) has no exist to Abraham for righteousness in his justification beence, i.e., that what one boasts of as faith, is dead." | fore God. when he had offered - rather," when he * Faith' is said to be "dead in itself." because when offered" (ALFORD), i.e., brought as an offering at the it has works it is alire, and is discerned to be so, not altar; not implying that he actually offered him. 22. in respect to its works, but in respect to itself. Eng. Or," thou seest." how - rather, that. In the two lish Version if retained, must not be understood to clauses which follow, emphasize "faith" in the former. mean that faith can exist "alone" (i.e., severed from and "works" in the latter, to see the sense. (BENOEL.] works), but thus: Even so presumed faith, if it have faith wrought with his works--for it was by faith he pot works, is dead, being by itself "alone," i.e., sev. offered his son. Lit., "was working at the time) with ered from works of charity: just as the body would be his works." by works was faith made perfect--not was "dead" if alone, i.e., severed from the spirit (v. 26). So vivified, but attained its fully consummated developEsrius. 18. "But some one will say:" so the Greck. ment, and is shown to be real. So "my strength is This verse continues the argument from v. 14, 16. One I made perfect in weakness," i.e., exerts itself most per. may say he has faith though he have not works. Sup- fectly, shows how great it is (CAMERON): so 1 John, pose one were to say to a naked brother, "Be warmed," | 4. 17: Hebrews, 2. 10; 6. 9. The germ really, from the without giving him needful clothing. "But some one first, contains in it the full grown tree, but its perfecfentertaining right views of the need of faith having tion is not attained till it is matured fully. So ch. works joined to it) will say" (in opposition to the say" | 1. 4. "Let patience have her perfect work," i.e., have its of the professor), &c. show me thy faith without thy I full effect by showing the most perfect degree of endurworks-if thou canst; but thou canst not show, i.e. ance, "that ye may be perfect," i.e., fully developed in manifeet or evidence thy alleged (v. 14, "say") faith the exhibition of the Christian character. ALFORD without works. "Show" does not mean here prove to I explains, "Received its realization, was entirely exme, but exhibit to me. Faith is unseen save by God. 1 emplified and filled up." So St. Paul, Philippians. To show faith to man, works in some form or other are | 2. 12, " Work out your own salvation" the salvation needed: we are justified judicially by God (Romans, 8. I was already in germ theirs in their free justification 33): meritoriously, by Christ (Isaiah, 63. 11); mediately, through faith. It needed to be worked out still to fully by faith (Romans, 6. 1): evidentially, by works. The developed perfection in their life. 23. scripture was anestion here is not as to the ground on which be- fulfilled-Genesis, 16. 6, quoted by St. Paul, as realized vevers are justified, but about the demonstration of in Abraham's justification by faith: but by St. James. their faith: so in the case of Abraham. In Genesis, 22. | as realized subsequently in Abraham's work of offer 1. it is written God did tempt Abraham, i e., put to the ing Isaac, which, he says, justified him. Plainly, then, of demonstration the reality of his faith, not for the St. James must mean by works the same thing as St.
Working Faith Paul means by faith, only that he speaks of faith at its | faith without the working reality answers to the body manifested development, whereas St. Paul speaks of it without the animating spirit. It does not follow that in its germ, Abraham's offering of Isaac was not a living faith derives its life from works, as the body mere act of obedience, but an act of faith. Isaac was derives its life from the animating spint. the subject of the promises of God, that in bim Abra
CHAPTER III. ham's seed should be called. The same God calls on | Ver. 1-18. DANGER OF EAGERNESS TO TEACII, Abraham to slay the subject of His own promise, when | AND OF AN UNBRIDLED TONGUE: TRUE WISDOM as yet there was no seed in whom those predictions SHOWN BY UNCONTENTIOUS MEEKNESS. 1. be notcould be realized. Hence St. James' saying that Abra lit., become not : taking the office too bastily, and of ham was justified by such a work, is equivalent to your own accord. many-The office is & noble one; but saying, as St. Paul does, that he was justified by faith few are fit for it. Few govern the t itsell: for it was in fact faith c.cpressed in action, as I and only such as can govern it are fit for the office; in other cases saving faith is expressed in words. So therefore," teachers" ouglat not to be many. mastersSt. Paul states as the mean of salvation faith expressed, rather, "teachers." The Jews were especially prone to Theo Scripture" would not be “fulfilled,"as St. James this presumption. The idea that faith (so-called) says it was, but contradicted by any interpretation without works (ch, 2.) was all that is required, prompt which makes man's works justify him before God : for led "many" to set up as "teachers," as has been that Scripture makes no mention of works at all, but the case in all ages of the church. At first all were says that Abraham's belief was counted to him for allowed to teach in turns. Even their inspired gifts righteousness. God, in the first instance, "justifies did not prevent liability to abuse, as St. James bere the ungodly" through faith; subsequently the believer implies: much more is this so, when self-onstituted is justified before the world as righteous through faith teachers have no such miraculous gifts. knowingmanifested in words and works (cf. Matthew, 25, 35-37, as all might know. we...greater condempation
the righteous," 40). The best authorities read, " But I James, in a humble, conciliatory spirit, includes himAbraham believed." &c. and he was called the Friend self: if we teachers abuse the office, we shall receive of God-He was not so called in his lifetime, though he greater condemnation than those who are mere hearers was so even then from the time of his justification, but (cf. Luke, 12. 42-46). CALVIN, like English Version, he was called so, being recognised as such by all on the translates, "Masters," i.e., self-constituted censors and ground of his works of faith. “He was the friend (in reprovers of others. Ch. 4. 12 sccords with this view. an active sense), the lover of God, in reference to his 2. all-The Greek implies "all without exception : works; and (in a passive sense) loved by God in refer- even the apostles, ence to his justification by works. Both senses are void of offence or slip in word: in which respect one united in John. 16. 14. 16." (BENGEL.) 24. not justified is especially tried who sets up to be a teacher. 3. by faith only-i. c., by "faith without (separated from: Behold-The best authorities read, but if. ie. Nou severed from) works," its proper fruits (Note, v. 20). zohensoever in the case) of horses (such is the emphatic Faith to justify must, from the first, include obedience position of "horses" in the Greek) we put the bits (80 in germ to be developed subsequently), though the lit., the customary bits) into their mouths that they former alone is the ground of justification. The scion may obey us, we turn about also their whole body. must be grafted on the stock that it may live; it must This is to illustrate how man turns about his whole bring forth fruit to prove that it does live. 25. It is body with the little tongue. "The same applies to the clear from the nature of Rahab's act, that it is not pen, which is the substitute for the tongue among the quoted to prove justification by works as such. She absent." (BENGEL.) 4. Not only animals, but cte believed assuredly what her other countrymen disbe-ships. the governor listeth - lit., the impulse of te lieved, and this in the face of every improbability that steersman pleaseth. The feeling which moves the tonede an unwarlike few would conquer well-armed numbers. corresponds with this. 5. boasteth great things-Thero In this belief she hid the spies at the risk of her life. is great moment in what the careless think little Hence, Heb. 11, 31, names this as an example of faith, things. (BENGEL.) CY. "a world," "the course a rather than of obedience." By faith the harlot Rahab nature," "hell," v. 6, which illustrate how the little perished not with them that believed not." If an in- tongue's great words produce great mischief.be stance of obedience were wanting, St. Paul and St. great a matter a little fire kindleth-The best MSS. reada James would hardly have quoted a woman of previ. "how little a fire kindleth how great a, &c. ALFER ously bad character, rather than the many moral and for "matter," translates, "forest." But GROTIUS pious patriarchs. But as an example of free grace | translates as English Version, "material for burning justifying men through an operative, as opposed to sa pile of fuel. 6. Translate, "The tongue, that world mere verbal faith, none could be more suitable than a l of iniquity, is a fire." As man's little world is an im. saved "harlot." As Abraham was an instance of an of the greater world, the universe, so the tongue is 30 illustrious man and the father of the Jews, so Rahab l image of the former. (BEXGEL) 80-Omitted in the is quoted as a woman, and one of abandoned character, oldest authorities. is - lit.. is constituted "The and a Gentile, showing that justifying faith has been | tongue is constituted), among the members, the Cou manifested in those of every class. The nature of the which defileth," &c. (viz., as fire defiles with its smoke. works alleged is such as to prove that St. James uses I course of nature-"the orb (cycle of creation," settes them only as evidences of faith, as contrasted with a on fire...is set on fire - habitually and continnalls. mere verbal profession: not works of charity and piety. Whilst a man inflames others, he passes out of Las but works the value of which consisted solely in their own power, being consumed in the flame hiruseli. being proofs of faith: they were faith expressed in act, hell-1.e., of the devil. Greek, "Gehenna." found bere synonymous with faith itself. messengers-spies. had only and in Matthew, 5. 22. St. James has mach received... had sent - rather, "received ... thrust them common with the sermon on the mount Toverbs. 16 forth" (in haste and fear). (ALFORD.) by another way 27). 7. every kind-rather, "every nature the
from that whereby they entered her house, ris.. tural disposition and chamcteristic power). of beasts through the window of her house on the wall, and -1.0..quadrupeds of every disposition: as distinguise thence to the mountain. 26. Faith is a spiritual thing:1ed from the three other classes of creation, "birds works are material. Hence we might expect faith to creeping things (the Greek includes not merely ser answer to the spirit, works to the body. But St. James pents,' as English Version), and things in the ses." reverses this. He therefore does not mean that faith tamned, and hath been-is continually being tamped, 4 ju all cases answers to the body; but the FORM of hath been so long ago. of mankind-rather, "b5 size
Evils of the Untamed Tongue.
JAMES, III. Seven Characteristics of True Wisdom. nature of man:" man's characteristic power taming , by profession, referring to ch. 2, 18. out of a good conthat of the inferior animals. The dative in the Greek versation his works-by general "good conduct" manimay imply, "Hath suffered itself to be brought into fested in particular works." "Wisdom" and "knowtame subjection to the nature of men." So it shall be ledge," without these being "shown." are as dead as in the millennial world: even now man, by gentle firm- | faith would be without works. (ALFORD.) with meekness, may tame the inferior animal, and even elevate | ness of wisdom-with the meekness inseparable from its nature. 8. no man-lit., no one of men: neither can true wisdom. 14. if ye have--as is the case (this is ima man control his neighbours, nor even his own topgue. plied in the Greek indicative). bitter-Ephesians. 4. 31. Hence the truth of v. 2 appears. unruly evil-The "bitterness." envying-rather, "emulation," or lit., Greek implies that it is at once restless and incapable zeal: kindly, generous emulation, or zeal, is not conof restraint. Nay, though nature has hedged it in demned, but that which is "bitter." (BENGEL) strife with & double barrier of the lips and teeth, it bursts -rather, "rivalry." in your hearts-from which flow from its barriers to assail and ruin men, [Estius.) your words and deeds, as from a fountain, glory not, deadly-lit., death-bearing. 9. God-The oldest authori. and lie not against the truth-to boast of your wisdom is ties read, “Lord." "Him who is Lord and Father." | virtually a lying against the truth (the gospel), whilst The uncommonness of the application of “Lord" to your lives belie your glorying. Ver. 15; ch. 1. 18, “The the Father, doubtless caused the change in modern word of truth." Romans, 2. 17, 23, speaks similarly of texts to "God" (ch. 1. 27). But as Messiah is called the same contentious Jewish Christians. 15. This wis* Father," Isaiah, 9. 6, so God the Father is called by | dom-in which ye "glory,"as if ye were "wise" (v. 13, 14). the Son's title, "Lord:" showing the unity of the God descendeth not from above-lit.." is not one descending." head. "Father" implies His paternal love; "Lord." &c.: "from the Father of lights" (true illumination His dominion. men, wbich--not "men who;" for what I and wisdom), ch. 1. 17; through "the Spirit of truth." is meant is not particular men, but men generically. | John, 15. 26. earthly-opposed to heavenly. Distinct (ALFORD.) are made after...similitude of God-Though from "earthy," 1 Corinthians, 16. 47. Earthly is what is in & great measure man has lost the likeness of God in In the earth; earthy, what is of the earth. Sepsualwhich he was originally made, yet enough of it still lit., anirnal-like: the wisdom of the "natural" (the remains to show what once it was, and what in regen-same Greele) man, not born again of God: "not having erated and restored man it shall be. We ought to re- the Spirit" (Jude, 19). devilish-in its origin (from verence this remnant and earnest of whst man shall "hell," 17. 6: not from God, the Giver of true wisdom, be in ourselves and in others. "Absalom has fallench. 1. 6), and also in its character, which accords with from his father's favour, but the people still recognise | its origin. Earthly, sensual, and devilish, answer to him to be the king's son." (BENGEL.) Man resembles the three spiritual foes of man, the world, the flesh, in humanity the Son of man, " the express image of and the devil. 16. envying-So English Version transHis person” (Hebrews, 1. 3), cf, Genesis, 1. 26: 1 John, I lates the Greek, which usually means "zeal." "emula4. 20. In the passage, Genesis, 1. 26, "image" and | tion," in Romans, 13. 13. "The envious man stands in * likeness" are distinct: "image,” according to the his own light. He thinks his candle cannot shine in Alexandrians, was something in which nen were | the presence of another's sun. He aims directly at created, being common to all, and continuing to man men. obliquely at God, who makes men to differ." after the fall, while the "likeness" was something to strife-rivalry. (ALFORD.) confusion-lit., tumultuous pard which man was created, to strive after and at. I anarchy: both in society (translated "commotions," tain it: the former marks man's physical and intel- | Luke, 21.9: "tumults, 2 Corinthians, 6. 5), and in the lectual, the latter his moral pre-eminence. 10. The individual mind: in contrast to the " peaceable" comtongue, says Esop, is at once the best and the worst of posure of true “wisdom," v. 17. St. James does not things. So in a fable, & man with the same breath | honour such effects of this earthly wisdom with the blows hot and cold. "Life and death are in the power name "fruit," as he does in the case of the wisdom of the tongue" (cf. Psalm 62. 4). brethren-an appeal from above. Ver. 18; cf. Ga. 6. 19-22, “Works of the to their consciences by their brotherhood in Christ. flesh..fruit of the Spirit." 17. first pare-lit., chaste, ought not so to be- & mild appeal, leaving it to them- sanctified: pure from all that is "earthly, sensual selves to understand that such conduct deserves the I (animal), devilish" (v. 15). This is put,"first of all." most severe reprobation. 11. fountain-an image of before "peaceable," because there is an unholy peace the heart: as the aperture (so the Greek for "place" is with the world which makes no distinction between lit.) of the fountain is an image of man's mouth. The I clean and unclean. Cr. "undefiled" and "unspotted image here is appropriate to the scene of the epistle, from the world." ch. 1. 27; 4. 4, 8, “purify...hearts: Palestine, wherein salt and bitter springs are found. | 1 Peter, 1. 22,"purified ... souls" (the same Greek). Though "sweet" springs are sometimes found near, Ministers inust not preach, before a purifying change yet "sweet and bitter" (water) do not flow "at the of heart, "Peace," where there is no peace. Seven (the same place" (aperture). Grace can make the same perfect number) characteristic peculiarities of true mouth that “sent forth the bitter" once, send forth I wisdom are enumerated. Purity or sanctity is put the sweet for the time to come: as the wood typical of first, because it has respect both to God and to ourChrist's cross) changed Marah's bitter water into selves, the six that follow regard our fellowmen. Our sweet. 12. Transition from the mouth to the heart. I first concern is to have in ourselves sanctity ; our seCan the fig tree, &c.-Implying that it is an impossi-cond, to be at peace with men. gentle-"forbearing." bility: as before in v. 10 he had said it "ought not so I making allowances for others : lenient towards neighto be." St. James does not, as Matthew, 7, 16, 17, make bours, as to the DUTIES they owe us. easy to be enthe question, "Do men gather figs of thistles!" His treated-lit., easily persuaded, tractable; not harsh as to argument is, No tree "can" bring forth fruit inconsist. la neighbour's FAULTS. full of mercy-as to a neighent with its nature, as e.g., the fig tree, olive berries: solour's MISERIES, full of...good fruits-contrasted with if a man speaks bitterly, and afterwards speaks good "every evil work," v. 16. without partiality-recurring words, the latter must be so only seemingly, and in to the warning against partial "respect to persons," hypocrisy, they can rrot be real. 80 can no fountain... ch. 2. 1, 4, 9. ALFORD translates as the Greek is transBalt...and fresh-The oldest authorities read. "Neitherlated, ch. 1. 6,wavering." "without doubting." But can & salt (water spring) yield fresh." So the mouth / thus there would be an epithet referring to one's self inthat emits cursing, cannot really emit also blessing. serted amidst those referring to one's conduct towards 13. Who-(cf. Psalm 34. 12, 13.) All wish to appear | others. English Version is therefore better without ** wise;" few are so, show-"by works," and not merely hypocris: -Not as ALFORD explains from ch. 1. 22, 20,
Friendship of the World.
Ermity with God * Without deceiving yourselves with the name with many. ye have not, because ye ask not-God promises out the reality of religion, For it must refer, like the to those who pray, not to those who fight. The peti. rest of the six epithets, to our relations to others: our tion of the lustful, murderous, and contentions, is not peaceableness and mercy towards others must be recognised by God as prayer. If ye prayed, there * without dissimulation." 18. "The peaceable fruit of would be no “wars and fightings. Thus this last righteousness." He says righteousness, becanse it is clause is an answer to the question, 1. 1. * Whence itself the true wisdom. As in the case of the earthly come wars and fightings !" 3. Some of them are sup wisdom, after the characteristic description came its posed to say in objection, But we do "asko (pray), cf. results: so in this verse, in the case of the heavenly . 2. St. James replies. It is not enough to ask for good wisdom. There the results were present; here, future. things, but we must ask with a good spirit and interfruit...60W1-C1. Psalm 97. 11; Isaiah, 61. 3, "trees of tion. "Ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it your righteousness." Anticipatory. i.e.. the seed whose object of prayer) upon (lit., in) your lusts (lit., pleas"fruit," riz., "righteousness," shall be ultimately ures): not that ye may have the things you need for the reaped, is now "sown in peace." "Righteousness," service of God. Contrast ch. L. 5, with Matthew. 6. 31, now in germ, when fully developed as "fruit," shall be 32. If ye prayed aright, all your proper wants would itself the everlasting revard of the righteous. As | be supplied; the improper cravings which produce ** sowing in peace" (cf. " sown in dishonour," 1 Corin- "wars and fightings would then cease. Even be thians, 15. 43) produces the fruit of righteousness," so lievers' prayers are often best answered when their conversely "the work" and effect of righteousness" is desires are most opposed. 4. The oldest MSS. omit * peace," of them that make peace-" by implying also “adulterers and," and read simply. "Ye adulteresses." that it is for them, and to their good) them that work God is the rightful husband; the men of the world are peace." They, and they alone, are "blessed." "Peace regarded collectively as one adulteress, and individual makers," not merely they who reconcile others, but I ly as adulteresses, the world-in so far as the men of it who work peace. "Cultivate peace." (ESTIUS.) Those and their motives and acts are aliens to God, 4.9., its truly wise towards God, whilst peaceable and tolerant | selfish "lusts" (v. 3), and covetons, and ambitious "BATS towards their neighbours, yet make it their chief con- and fightings" (v. 1). epmits-not merely minimical: cern to sow righteousness, not cloaking men's sins, but a state of enmity, and that enmity itself. C. 1 John, reproving them with such penceable moderation as to | 2. 16, "love... the world...the love of the Father," who be the physicians, rather than the executioners, of sin soever...will be- The Greek is emphatic, "shall be reners. (CALVIN.)
solved to be." Whether he succeed or not, ir bis wish CHAPTER IV.
be to be the friend of the world, he renders himself, Ver. 1-17. AGAINST FIGHTINGS AND THEIR SOURCE: becomes (so th
becomes (so the Greek for "is") by the very fact, "the WORLDLY LUSTS: UNCHARITABLE JUDOMENTS, AND enemy of God." Contrast "Abraham the friend of PRESUMPTUOUS RECKONING ON THE FUTURE. 1. God." 5. in vain-No word of Scripture can be so. The whence-The cause of quarrels is often sought in ex- quotation here, as in Ephesians, 6. 14, seems to be pot ternal circumstances, whereas internal lusts are the so much from a particular passage, as one gathered by true origin. wars, &c.--contrasted with the "peace" of St. James under inspiration from the general tenor of heavenly wisdom. "Fightings" are the active carrying such passages in both the Old and New Testaments, as on of "wars." The best authorities have a second | Numbers, Il. 29; Proverbs, 21. 10 : Galatians, 6. 17. *whence" before " fightings." Tumults marked the spirit that dwelleth in us-Other MSS. read," That God era before the destruction of Jerusalem when St. James hath made to dwell in us" (vis., at Pentecost. If so wrote. He indirectly alludes to these. The members translated, “Does the (Holy) Spirit that God hath are the first seat of war; thence it passes to conflict be placed in us lust to (towards) envy" (riz., as ye do in tween man and man, nation and nation. come they not, your worldly "wars and fightings")? Certainly not: &c.-an appeal to their consciences. lusts-lit., pleas. I ye are therefore walking in the flesh, not in the Spirit ures, i.e., the lusts which prompt you to "desire" whilst yo thus lust towards, i.e., with enry against one (Note, v. 2) pleasures: whence you seek self at the cost | another. The friendship of the world tends to breed of your neighbour, and hence flow " fightings." that envy: the Spirit produces very different fruit. ALTORD war_" campaign, as an army of soldiers encamped ! attributes the epithet "with envy." in the unwarraul within" (ALFORD) the soul; tumultuously war againstable sense of jealously, to the Holy Spirit: The Spirit the interests of your fellow-men, whilst lusting to ad- jealously desires us for His own." In English Verries vance self. But whilst warring thus against others, I the sense is, "the (natural) spirit that hath its dwell. they (without his knowledge) war against the soul of ing in us lusts with lit.,to, or towards envy." Ye last the man himself, and against the Spirit; therefore they and because ye have not what ye lust after (c. 1, 2. Fe must be "mortified by the Christian, 2. Ye lust-A envy your neighbour who has, and so the spirit of ents different Greek word from that in v. 1. "Ye desire" leads you on to "fight." St. James also here refers to ut.ye set your mind or heart on an object. have notch. 3. 14, 16. 6. But-Nay rather, he-God. pireth The lust of desire does not ensure the actual possession. more grace-ever increasing grace; the farther ye de Hence "ye kill" (not as Margin, without any old part from "epvy." (BENCEL) be saith--The same Got authority, "envy") to ensure possession. Not proba- who causes His spirit to dwell in believers (8. 6). by the bly in the case of professing Christians of that day in a Spirit also speaks in Scripture. The quotation bere is literal sense, but "kill and envy" (as the Greek for probably from Proverbs, 3. 34: as probably Proverbes
desire to have" should be translated), i e., harass | 21. 10 was generally referred to in v. 5. In Hebres it and oppress through envy. (DRUSTUS.) Cf. Zechariah, I is "scorneth the scorners," riz, those wbo think u. 6. "slay:" through enoy hate and desire to get out of "Scripture speaketh in vain," resisteth-lit, setleta your way, and so are "murderers" in God's eyes, Himself in array against: even as they, like Pharink sEstius.) I literal murder (ALFORD) were meant, I do I set themselves against Him. God repays sliders in not think it would occur so early in the series; nor had their own coin. "Pride" is the mother of "envyt Christians then as yet reached so open criminality. In 6): it is peculiarly satanic, for by it Satan fell. the pro the Spirit's application of the passage to all ages, literal - The Greek means in derivation one who shows him killing is included, flowing from the desire to possess: 1 above his fellows, and so lifts himself against God. the 80 David and Ahab. There is a climax: "Ye desire," humble-the unenvious, uncovetous, and unambition the Individual lust for an object; "ye kill and envy," I as to the world. Contrast u. 4. 7. Submit..to God-90 the feeling and action of individuals against indivi- ' ye shall be among "the humble." . 6: also * : duals: "ye fight and war," the action of many against i Peter. 5. 6. Resist...deval-Under his banner pride
Usurp not God's Office of Judge.
Woes Coming on the Wicked Rich. enou are enlisted in the world; resist his temptations the office which belongs to Him over thee and THEM to these. Faith, humble prayers, and heavenly wisdom, alike. another-The oldest authorities read, "thy are the weapons of resistance. The language is taken neighbour." 13. Go to now-"Come now." said to from warfare. "Submit" as a good soldier puts him excite attention, so that say "boasting of the sell in complete subjection to his captain. “Resist," morrow." To-day or to-morrow-as if ye had the free stand bravely against. he will fee-translate, "he shall choice of either day as a certainty. Others read." To flee. For it is a promise of God, not a mere assurance 1 day and to-morrow." such a city-lit., this the city (viz., from man to man. (ALFORD.) He shall flee worsted the one present to the mind of the speaker). This city as he did from Christ. 8. Draw nigh to God-So "cleave here. continue...year - rather, "spend one year." unto Him." Deuteronomy, 30. 20. viz., by prayerfully | Their language implies that when this one year is out, (v 2, 3) "resisting Satan," who would oppose our access they purpose similarly settling plans for years to come. to God. he will draw nigh-propitious. Cleanse... hands (BENGEL) buy and sell - Their plans for the future
utward instruments of action. None but the are all worldly. 14. what-lit.. of what nature is your clean-handed can ascend into the bill of the Lord life? i.e., how evanescent it is. It is even-Some oldest custined through Christ, who alone was perfectly so, authorities read, "For ye are," BENGEL, with other and as such "ascended" thither). purify... hearts-lit. old authorities, reads, "For it shall be," the future make chaste of your spiritual adultery (v.4, i.e., world-referring to the "morrow" (v. 13-16). The former exliness) your hearts: the inward source of all impurity. I presses, "Ye yourselves are transitory:" so every thing double-minded-divided between God and the world. I of yours, even your life, must partake of the same The double minded is at fault in heart: the sinner in transitoriness. Received text has no old authority.
ed, &c.-lit., Endure and then vanisheth away-"afterwards vanishing as it misery, i.e., mourn over your wretchedness through came; lit., afterwards (as it appeared) so vanishing. sin. Repent with deep sorrow instead of your present (ALFORD.) 15. Lit., "instead of your saying," &c. This sin. Repent with deep sorrow instead laughter. A blessed mourning. Contrast Isaiah, 22.
of Tsaigh. 22. refers to " ye that say,
refers to " ye that say" (v. 13). we shall live-The best 12, 13; Luke, 6. 25. St. James does not add here, as in MSS. read, “We shall both live and do," &c. The
live and do." &c. The ch. 5. 1, "howl," where he foretells the door of the im boasters spoke as if life, action, and the particular kind penitent at the coining destruction of Jerusalem. of action, were in their power, whereas all three deheaviness-lit., falling of the countenance, casting down pend entirely on the will of the Lord, 16. now-as it is. of the eyes. 10. in the sight of the Lord-as continually rejoice in... boastings-"ye boast in arrogant presumpin the presence of Him who alone is worthy to be ex tions," viz., vain confident fancies that the future is alted : recognising His presence in all your ways, the certain to you (v. 13). rejoicing-boasting. (BENOEL.] truest incentive to humility. The tree, to grow up 17. The general principle illustrated by the particular wards, must strike its roots deep downwards; so man, example just discussed is here stated : knowledge to be exalted, must have his mind deep-rooted in without practice is imputed to & man as great and humility. In 1 Peter. 5. 6, it is, Humble yourselves presumptuous sin. St. James reverts to the principle under the mighty hand of God, viz., in his dealings with which he started. Nothing more injures the soul of Providence: & distinct thought from that here. list than wasted impressions. Feelings exhaust themselves yon up-in part in this world, fully in the world to and evaporate, if not embodied in practice. As we will come. 11. Having mentioned sins of the tongue (ch. not act except we feel, so if we will not act out our 3.), he shows here that evil speaking flows from the I feelings, we soon shall cease to feel. same spirit of exalting sell at the expense of one's
CHAPTER V. neighbour as caused the "fightings" reprobated in Ver. 1-20. WOES COMING ON THE WICKED RICH: this chapter (v. 1). Speak not evil-lit., Speak not BELIEVERS SHOULD BE PATIENT UNTO THE LORD'S against one another brethren-Implying the incon COMING: VARIOUS EXHORTATIONS. 1. Go to nowsistency of such depreciatory speaking of one an
Come now. A phrase to call solemn attention. ye other in brethren. speaketh evil of the law-for the rich-who have neglected the true enjoyment of riches, law in commanding, "Love thy neighbour as thyself" which consists in doing good. St. James intends this (ch. 2. 8), virtually condemns evil speaking and judg address to rich Jewish unbelievers, not so much for ing. (ESTIUS.) Those who superciliously condemn the themselves, as for the saints, that they may bear with acts and words of others which do not please them patience the violence of the rich (v. 7), knowing that selves, thus aiming at the reputation of sanctity, put God will speedily avenge them on their oppressors. their own moroseness in the place of the law, and I (BENGEL) iniseries that shall come-lit.. " that are claim to themselves & power of censuring above the coming upon you" unexpectedly and swiftly, viz., at law of God. condemning what the law permits. I the coming of the Lord (v.7); primarily, at the destruc(CALVIN.) Such a one acts as though the law could I tion of Jerusalem; finally, at His visible coming to not perform its own office of judging, but he must fly judge the world. 2. corrupted-about to be destroyed upon the office. (BENGEL) This is the last mention through God's curse on your oppression, whereby of the law in the New Testament. ALFORD rightly | your riches are accumulated (V. 4). CALVIN thinks takes the law" to be the old moral law applied in its the sense is, Your riches perish without being of any comprehensive spiritual fulness by Christ: "the law use either to others or even to yourselves, for instance, of liberty." if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer your garments which are moth-eaten in your chests, ...but a judge-Setting aside the Christian brotherhood garments... moth-eaten-Referring to Matthew, 6. 19, 20. as all alike called to be doers of the law, in subjection 3. is cankered-"rusted through." (ALFORD.) rust...
anchone arrogates the office of judge. 12. witness against you-in the day of judgment. viz.. that There is one lawgiver-The best authorities read in your riches were of no profit to any, lying unemployed, addition, "And judge." Translate, "There is one and so contracting rust. shall eat your flesh-The rust (alone) who is at once) Lawgiver and Judge, (namely) which once eat your riches, shall then gnaw your conHe who is able to save and destroy." Implying, God science, accompanied with punishment which shall alone is Lawgiver and therefore Judge, since it is He prey upon your bodies for ever, as...fire-not with the alone who can execute His judgments; our inability in slow process of rusting, but with the swiftness of conthis respect shows our presumption in trying to act as suming fire. for the last days-ye have heaped together, judges, as though we were God. who art thou ? &c. - The not treasures as ye suppose (cf. Luke, 12. 19), but wrath order in the Greek is emphatic, “But (inserted in oldest against the last days, viz., the coming judgment of the MSS.) thou, who art thou that?" &c. How rashly ar- | Lord. ALFORD translates more lit., “In these last rogant in judging thy fellows, and wresting from God days (before the coming judgment) ye laid up (worldly)