1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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James 1:1 James, a servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are dispersed, greeting.

James, a servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some have doubted whether the author of this epistle was St. James, the apostle, because he does not call himself an apostle. By the same weak argument we might reject all the three epistles of St. John and his Apocalypse, and the epistle of St. Jude. Nor does St. Paul give himself this title in those to the Thessalonians, to the Philippians, to Philemon, or to the Hebrews. --- To the twelve tribes, which are dispersed. Literally, which are in the dispersion. That is, to the Jews converted in all nations. --- Greetings.{ Ver. 1. Salutem, chairein, salvari, salvos esse.|} Literally, salvation. Which comprehendeth much the same as, when St. Paul says, grace, peace, mercy, etc. (Witham)
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations:

Into divers temptations. The word temptations, in this epistle, is sometimes taken for trials by afflictions or persecutions, as in this place; sometimes for a tempting, enticing, or drawing others into sin. (Witham)
James 1:3 *Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Romans 5:3.
\f + \fr 1:3-4\ft The trying of your faith worketh patience. St. Paul seems to assert the reverse: (Romans 5:3.) when he says, patience worketh a trial. They are easily reconciled. Here St. James teacheth us, that patience is occasionally obtained, and strengthened by sufferings, the meaning of St. Paul is, that patience worketh, sheweth itself, and is found perfect in the sight of God by trials. (Witham)
James 1:4 And patience hath a perfect work: that you may be perfect and entire, deficient in nothing.

James 1:5 But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all abundantly, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.

And upbraideth not. That is, God does not think much, nor reproach us with the multitude of his benefits and favours: and if he puts sinners in mind of their repeated ingratitude, it is for their good and conversion. (Witham)
James 1:6 *But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, that is moved and carried about by the wind.

Matthew 7:7.; Matthew 21:22.; Mark 11:24.; Luke 11:9.; John 14:13-16.
James 1:7 Therefore let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Let not that man think that he shall receive. He that has not a lively faith and firm hope, wavering with a distrust of God's power or goodness, must not imagine to receive what he so faintly asks. (Witham)
James 1:8 A double-minded man is inconstant in all his ways.

Such a one, is as it were a double-minded man,{ Ver. 8. Duplex animo, aner dipsuchos, quasi habens duas animas, dubius, incertus, potius quam hypocrita.|} divided betwixt God and the world, halting betwixt two, and becomes inconstant in all his ways, always rising and falling, beginning and relapsing. (Witham)
James 1:9 But let the brother of low condition glory in his exaltation:

\f + \fr 1:9-12\ft The brother of low condition. Literally, humble.{ Ver. 9. Humilis, and in humilitate, tapeinos, tapeinosei. See Luke 1:48.|} See Luke 1:48. The sense is, that a Christian, of never so low and poor a condition, may glory, and rejoice even in his poverty, that he is not only the servant, but even the adoptive son of God. But the rich, in his being low. Some word must be here understood to make the sense complete. If we understand, let the rich man glory, it must be expounded by irony, by what follows, of his passing away like a flower. But others rather understand some other word of a different signification; as, let the rich man lament the low condition that he must come to; for he must quickly fade away like grass. --- The beauty of the shape thereof{ Ver. 11. Decor vultus ejus, euprepeia tou prosopou; the Hebrews say, faciem, coeli, terrae, gladii, etc.|} perished. So the Hebrews say, the face of the heavens, the face of the earth, etc. (Witham)
James 1:10 But the rich, in his being low, *because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away:

Ecclesiasticus 14:18.; Isaias 40:6.; 1 Peter 1:24.
James 1:11 For the sun rose with a burning heat, and parched the grass, and the flower thereof fell off, and the beauty of the shape thereof perished: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

James 1:12 *Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.

Job 5:17.
James 1:13 Let no man, when he is tempted, say, that he is tempted by God: For God is not a tempter of evils: and he tempteth no man.

God is not a tempter{ Ver. 13. Deus enim intentator, that is non tentator; by the Greek, apeirastos; which may signify intentabilis, qui non potest tentari.|} of evils, and he tempteth no man. Here to tempt, is to draw and entice another to the evil of sin, which God cannot do. The Greek may also signify, he neither can be tempted, nor tempt any one. But every one is thus tempted by the evil desires of his corrupt nature, which is called concupiscence, and which is not properly called a sin of itself, but only when we yield to it. (Witham)
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, being drawn away by his own concupiscence, and allured.

James 1:15 Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death.

When concupiscence hath conceived, (man's free will yielding to it) it bringeth{ Ver. 15. Generat mortem, apokuei thanaton; apokuein is faetum emittere, and generare, as it is also here again used ver. 18.|} forth sin, our perverse inclinations become sinful, and when any grievous sin is completed, or even consented to, it begetteth death, it maketh the soul guilty of eternal death. It may not be amiss here to observe with St. Gregory, etc. that there are three degrees in temptations: the first, by suggestion only; the second, by delectation; the third, by consent. The first, the devil, or our own frail nature, tempts us by a suggestion of evil thoughts in our imagination: to have such thoughts and imaginations may be no sin at all, though the things and objects represented be never so foul and hideous, though they may continue never so long, and return never so often. The reason is, because we cannot hinder them. On the contrary, if our will remains displeased with them, and resist them, such a resistance is meritorious, and by the mercies of God will purchase us a reward. Second, these representations may be followed with a delight or delectation in the senses, or in the body only; and if by an impression made against the will, which we no ways consent to, there is again no sin. There may be also some neglect in the person tempted, by not using sufficient endeavours to resist and repel those thoughts, which if it be only some small neglect, the sin is not great: but if the person tempted hath wilfully, and with full deliberation, taken delight in evil thoughts, either of revenge, or of fornication, or adultery, or about any thing very sinful, such a wilful delight is a grievous and deadly sin, though he hath not had a will or design to perform the action itself. The reason is, because he then wilfully consents in mind and heart to a sinful delight, though not to the execution or action. And the sin may be great, and mortal, though it be but for a short time: for a temptation may continue for a long time and be no sin; and there may be a great sin in a short time. The reason again is, because we are to judge of sin by the dispositions and consent of the will, not by the length of time. Third, when the sinner yields to evil suggestions and temptations, so that his will fully consents to what is proposed, and nothing can be said to be wanting but an opportunity of putting his sinful desires in execution, he has already committed the sin; for example, of murder, of fornication, etc. in his heart, as our blessed Saviour taught us. (Matthew 5:28.) (Witham)
James 1:16 Do not err, therefore, my dearest brethren.

\f + \fr 1:16-17\ft Do not err, nor deceive yourselves by yielding to temptation; beg God his supporting grace, for every good gift is from him. (Witham)
James 1:17 Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of vicissitude.

James 1:18 For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures.

By the word of truth. Some, with St. Athanasius, understand the eternal word made man. Others commonly understand the word of the gospel, by which we have been called to the true faith, etc. --- Some beginning{ Ver. 18. Initium aliquod creaturae ejus, aparchen tina. See Romans 11:16.; 1 Corinthians xv. 20. and xvi. 15. etc.|} of his creatures, (or as the Greek signifies) such a beginning as are the first-fruits; and perhaps St. James may so call the Jews, as being the first converted to believe in Christ. (Witham)
James 1:19 You know, my dearest brethren: *And let every man be swift to hear; but slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Proverbs 17:27.
You know, or you are sufficiently instructed in these things. --- Let every man be swift to hear the word of God, but slow, or cautious in speaking, especially slow to anger, or to that rash passion of anger, which is never excusable, unless it be through a zeal for God's honour, and against sin. (Witham) --- St. James in this epistle does not aim at a regular discourse: he proposes a diversity of moral sentences, which have not much connection with each other. He here instructs the faithful how to behave in conversation. He recommends to them modesty and prudence in their discourses; and rather to be fond of hearing much, than of speaking much; and of practising the truth, than of preaching it to others. "For not those who understand the law, nor those who preach it, are justified before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified before God." (Romans James 2:13.) (Calmet) --- A wise man is known by the fewness of his words. Sapiens verbis innotescit paucis. (Rule of St. Benedict, ch. VII.) With hearing, the wise man will become wiser. (Sen. [Seneca?] lib. 2:de Ira. James 28.) --- Anger is a short madness. The best cure is to permit it to subside, and to let our reason have time to reflect upon the propriety of doing what we are at first inclined to. The first motions to anger are frequently indeliberate, and consequently not sinful; but we must be careful to resist as soon as we perceive them, lest they should become too violent, and obtain the consent of our will. (Calmet) --- Learn of me, says our Saviour, because I am meek and humble of heart. (Matthew James 12:29.) If, says St. Francis de Sales, being stung and bit by detractors and enemies, we fly out, swell, and are enraged, it is a great sign that neither our humility nor meekness are true and sincere, but only apparent and artificial. It is better, says St. Augustine, writing to Profuturus, to deny entrance to just and reasonable anger, than to admit it, be it ever so little; because, being once admitted, it is with difficulty driven out again; for it enters as a little twig, and in a moment becomes a beam: and if it can once but get the night of us, and the sun set upon it, which the apostle forbids, it turns into a hatred, from which we have scarcely any means to rid ourselves; for it nourishes itself under a thousand false pretexts, since there was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust. (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to a devout life, p. 3. ch. VIII.)
James 1:20 For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.

The anger of man, etc. Let us not then be angry with each other on the way to eternal life, but rather march on with the troop of our companions and brethren meekly, peaceably, and lovingly; nay, I say to you absolutely and without exception, be not angry at all, if it be possible, and admit no pretext whatsoever to open the gate of your heart to so destructive a passion: for St. James here tells us positively, and without reservation, "the anger of man works not the justice of God." (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to a devout life, p. 3. ch. VIII.) --- The patient man is better than the valiant; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh cities. (Proverbs James 16:32.) The anger of man is the daughter of pride, the mother of enmities, he enemy of peace and harmony, and the source of stubbornness and blindness of mind and heart. The justice of God is humility, meekness, charity, peace, docility, and forbearance. How great the contrast!
James 1:21 Wherefore casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of malice, with meekness receive the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

All uncleanness.{ Ver. 21. Immunditiam, ruparian, from rupos, sordes, spurcitia.|} The Greek shews that hereby is meant a sordid, filthy uncleanness, infecting and defiling the soul. --- The engrafted{ Ver. 21. Insitum verbum, emphuton logon.|} word. The word and doctrine of Christ, by the labours of his preachers, and chiefly by his divine grace engrafted and fixed in your souls. (Witham)
James 1:22 *But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Matthew 7:21-24.; Romans 2:13.
James 1:23 For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer; he shall be compared to a man beholding his natural countenance in a glass:

He shall be compared to a man, etc. The sense is, that it is not enough for a man to examine and look into his interior, and the state of his conscience in a negligent and superficial manner, no more than one that goes to a looking-glass, but does not take care to take away the dirt or spots which he might discover. (Witham)
James 1:24 For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.

James 1:25 But he that shall look into the perfect law of liberty, and continue in it, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; this man shall be blessed in his deed.

The law of Christ, called here the perfect law of liberty, as it is distinguished from the Jewish law of fear and slavery, is as it were a looking-glass, which may make us know ourselves, and discover and correct our failings. (Witham)
James 1:26 But if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

If any man think, etc. He here blames those hot disputes, which seem to have been frequent amongst the converted Jews, concerning the necessity of observing the legal rites. In vain, says he, do you pique yourselves upon the rigorous observance of the law, and your zeal to unite its ceremonial rites with the practice of the gospel. If you be void of the essence of Christianity, which is charity, prudence, and moderation, your religion will avail you nothing. (Calmet) --- This may also be understood of those devotees who are fond of making a parade of their virtues, and who, as St. Gregory says, (hom. xii. in Mat.) afflict their bodies indeed with fasting, but for this they expect to be esteemed by men. (Haydock) --- A man must not imagine himself to be religious, and perfect in the way of virtue, unless he governs and bridles his tongue from oaths, curses, calumnies, detractions, lies, of which more in the third chapter. (Witham)
James 1:27 Religion, pure and immaculate with God and the Father, is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep one's self immaculate from this world.

Religion pure and unspotted, etc. St. James may use the word pure, as a proper admonition to the Jews, who were generally mostly solicitous to avoid legal uncleanness, such as were incurred by eating meats forbidden in their law as unclean, by touching a dead body, etc. He therefore tells them that the Christian religion is known by acts of charity, by visiting and assisting widows, the fatherless, and such as are under afflictions, and in general by keeping our consciences interiorly clean, unspotted, and undefiled from this world, from the corrupt maxims and sinful practices so common in this wicked world. (Witham)
James 2:0 Against respect of persons. The danger of transgressing one point of the law. Faith is dead without works.

James 2:1 My *brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with respect of persons.

Leviticus 19:15.; Deuteronomy 1:17.; Proverbs 24:23.; Ecclesiasticus 42:1.
With respect of persons. This partial respect of persons is several times condemned both in the Old and New Testament. St. James here speaks of it as it was committed in the assemblies, by which many understand the meetings of Christians, in{ Ver. 2. In conventum vestrum, eis ten sunagogen umon. Synagogue is also taken for a meeting of kings, judges, etc. See Matthew 10:17.|} synagogues and places where they celebrated the divine service, or met to keep the charitable feast, called Agape. Others expound it of meetings where causes were judged. If it be meant of Church meetings, the apostle might have even greater reason to condemn such a partiality at that time than at present; for when the poorer sort of people, of which was the greatest number of converts, saw themselves so neglected and despised, and any rich man when he came thither so caressed and honoured, this might prove a discouragement to the meaner sort of people, and an obstacle to their conversion. But if we expound it of meetings where causes were judged betwixt the rich and others of a lower condition, (which exposition the text seems to favour) the fault might be still greater, when the judges gave sentence in favour of great and rich men, biassed thereunto by the unjust regard they had for men rich and powerful. This was a transgression of the law: (Leviticus 19:15.) Respect not the person of the poor, nor honour the countenance of the mighty. But judge thy neighbour according to justice. See also Deuteronomy 1:17. (Witham) --- Respect, etc. The meaning is, that in matters relating to faith, the administering of the sacraments and other spiritual functions in God's Church, there should be no respect of persons: but that the souls of the poor should be as much regarded as those of the rich. ([Deuteronomy?] James 1:17) (Challoner)
James 2:2 For if there come into your assembly a man having a gold ring, in splendid attire, and there come in also a poor man in mean dress,

James 2:3 And you fix your eyes on him that is clothed with the splendid robe, and say to him: Sit thou here in a good place: and say to the poor man: Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool:

James 2:4 Do you not judge within yourselves, and are become judges of unjust thoughts?

Are become judges of (or with ) unjust thoughts,{ Ver. 4. Judices cogitationum iniquarum: it is the same in the Greek, kritai dialogismon poneron: the sense is, Judices inique cogitantes.|} when against justice you favour the rich. Or, if in Church assemblies you discover a wrong and partial judgment in your minds and thoughts, by the high value and esteem you shew to the rich on account of their riches, and the contempt you have of poverty and of the poor, when they are perhaps more deserving in the sight of God, who hath chosen them who are rich in faith, whom he hath made his adoptive children, and heirs of his kingdom. These are much the greater riches: this is a dignity far surpassing that of the greatest king or emperor. And you have less reason to shew such distinguishing marks of honour and esteem for the rich of this world, since it is they who by might and violence oppress you, draw you to judgment-seats: and they are less worthy of your honour and esteem, when by their scandalous behaviour they blaspheme, or cause to be blasphemed and ill-spoken of, the good and holy name of God, which is invoked upon you. (Witham)
James 2:5 Hearken, my dearest brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him?

James 2:6 But you have dishonoured the poor. Do not the rich oppress you by might; and do not they draw you before the judgment-seats?

James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme the good name that is invoked upon you?

James 2:8 If then you fulfil the royal law, according to the Scriptures: *Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: you do well.

Leviticus 19:18.; Matthew 22:39.; Mark 12:31.; Romans 13:9.; Galatians 5:14.
If then you fulfil the royal law,...thou shalt love, etc. you do well. By these words, the apostle explains what he had said before of the particular respect paid to rich and powerful men, that if these were no more than some exterior marks paid them without any injustice or interior contempt of such as were poor, so that they took care to comply with that royal precept given to every one by Almighty God, the King of kings, thou shalt love thy neighbour, that is, every one without exception, as thyself; in this you do well; and the respect of persons was less blameable. (Witham)
James 2:9 *But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, being reproved by the law as transgressors.

James 2:1.; Leviticus 19:15.
James 2:10 *Now whosoever shall keep the whole law but offend in one point, is become guilty of all.

Deuteronomy 1:18.; Matthew 5:19.
Is become guilty of all. It is certain these words are not to be taken merely according to the letter, nor in the sense which at first they seem to represent, as if a man by transgressing one precept of the law transgressed and broke all the rest: this appears by the very next verse, that a man may commit murder by killing another, and not commit adultery. And it is certain, as St. Augustine observes, that all sins are not equal, as the Stoic philosophers pretended. See St. Augustine, Epist. clxvii, (nov. ed. tom. 2, p. 595) where he consults St. Jerome on this very place out of St. James, and tells us that such a man may be said to be guilty of all, because by one deadly sin he acts against charity,{ Ver. 10-11. St. Augustine, Ep. lxvii. num. 16. p. 600. An fortè quia plenitudo legis charitas est, qua Deus, proximusque diligitur, in quibus praeceptis charitatis tota lex pendet et prophetae, meritò fit reus omnium, qui contra illam facit ex qua pendent omnia.|} (which is the love of God and of our neighbour) upon which depends the whole law and all its precepts; so that by breaking one precept, he loseth the habit of charity, and maketh the keeping, or not breaking of all the rest, unprofitable to him. Secondly, it may be added, that all the precepts of the law are to be considered as one total and entire law, and as it were a chain of precepts, where by breaking one link of this chain the whole chain is broken, or the integrity of the law, consisting of a collection of precepts. Thirdly, it may be said, that he who breaks any one precept, contemns the authority of the lawgiver, who enjoined them all, and under pain of being for ever excluded from his sight and enjoyment. A sinner, therefore, by a grievous offence against any one precept, forfeits his heavenly inheritance, becomes liable to eternal punishments, as if he had transgressed all the rest: not but that the punishments in hell shall be greater against those who have been greater sinners, as greater shall be the reward in heaven for those who have lived with greater sanctity and perfection. (Witham) --- Guilty, etc. That is, he becomes a transgressor of the law in such a manner, that the observing of all other points will not avail him to salvation; for he despises the lawgiver, and breaks through the great and general commandment of charity, even by one mortal sin. (Challoner)
James 2:11 For he that said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill. Now if thou do not commit adultery, but shalt kill: thou art become a transgressor of the law.

James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as being to be judged by the law of liberty.

By the law of liberty; that is by the new law and doctrine of Christ. (Witham)
James 2:13 For judgment without mercy, to him that hath not done mercy: and mercy exalteth itself above judgment.

For judgment without mercy, etc. It is an admonition to them to fulfil, as he said before, the royal precepts of the love of God and of our neighbour, which cannot be without being merciful to others. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7.) --- And mercy exalteth itself above judgment. Some understand this as a confirmation of God's infinite mercies, out of Psalm 144:9. where it is said that his "mercies are over all his works;" that is, though all his perfections be equally infinite, yet he is pleased to deal with sinners rather according to the multitude of his mercies than according to the rigour of his justice. Others expound these words of the mercy which men shew to one another, and that he exhorts them to mercy, as a most powerful means to find mercy; and the merciful works done to others will be beneficial to them, and make them escape when they come to judgment. (Witham) --- Similar to this are the words of old Tobias to his son: "Alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness. Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it." (Tobias 4:11, 12.) "Blessed are the merciful," says our divine Judge, "for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7.) (Calmet) --- And the definitive sentence of Christians, at the day of judgment will be favourable or not, as they have complied in life with the calls of charity. [Matthew 25:31-46.]
James 2:14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?

etc. Shall faith be able to save him? He now comes to one of the chief points of this epistle, to shew against the disciple of Simon , the magician, that faith alone will not save any one. We may take notice in the first place, that St. James in this very verse, supposes that a man may have faith, a true faith without good works. This also follows from ver. 19., where he says: Thou believest that there is one God: thou dost well. And the same is evident by the words in John 12:42., where it is said, that many of the chief men also believed in him, (Christ)....but did not confess it, that they might not be cast out of the synagogue. Now that faith alone is not sufficient to save a man, St. James declares by this example: If any one say to the poor and naked, go in peace, be you warmed and filled, and give them nothing, what shall it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, etc. that is such a faith, though it be not lost and destroyed, yet it remains in a soul that is spiritually dead, when it is not accompanied with charity and grace, which is the life of the soul, and without which faith can never bring us to eternal life. In this sense is to be understood the 20th and 26th verses of this chapter, when faith is again said to be dead without good works. This is also the doctrine of St. Paul, when he tells us that a saving faith is a faith that worketh by charity, Galatians 5:6. When he says, that although faith were strong enough to remove mountains, a man is nothing without charity. (1 Corinthians 13:2.) When he teacheth us again, that not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. [Romans 2:13.] St. John teacheth the same (1 John 3:14.) He that loveth not, remaineth in death. But of this elsewhere. (Witham) --- Grotius in this place makes a very candid and remarkable profession of his faith, very different from that of his associates in the pretended reformation, called Solifideans [who pretend one is justified by faith alone]: "There are some who say, 'My works indeed are not as they ought to be,' but my faith is firm, my salvation is therefore out of danger. This opinion, which has sprung up in this our unhappy age, and recommends itself under the name of reformed doctrine, ought to be opposed by every lover of piety, and all who wish well to their neighbour's salvation....no faith has ever availed any man, unless it were accompanied by such works as he had time and opportunity to perform." His words are: "Opera quidem mea non recta sunt, sed fides recta est, ac propterea de salute non periclitor....Renata est hoc infelici saeculo ea sententia et quidem sub nomine repurgatae doctrinae, cui omnes qui pietatem et salutem proximi amant, se debent opponere....coeterum nulla cuiquam fides profuit, sine tali opere, quale tempus permittebat," etc. In vain do we glory in our faith, unless our lives and works bear testimony of the same. Faith without charity is dead, and charity cannot exist without good works. He who bears the fruits of Christian piety, shews that he has the root, which is faith; but the root is dead, when it affords no produce. Works are to faith what the soul is to the body. See the remainder of this chapter.
James 2:15 *And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food,

1 John 3:17.
James 2:16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be you warmed and filled: yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

James 2:18 But some men will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee my faith by works.

Some men will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works. Shew me thy faith, etc. He confutes the same error, by putting them in mind that one can shew that he has faith, which is an interior virtue, only by good works, and that good works in a man shew also his faith; which is not to be understood, as if good works were merely the marks, signs, and effects of faith, as some would pretend, but that good works must concur with faith to a man's salvation by an increase in grace. (Witham)
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.

The devils also believe, and tremble. St. James compares indeed faith without other virtues and good works, to the faith of devils: but comparisons must never be stretched farther than they are intended. The meaning is, that such a faith in sinners is unprofitable to salvation, like that of devils, which is no more than a conviction from their knowledge of God; but faith which remains in sinners, is from a supernatural knowledge, together with a pious motion in their free will. (Witham)
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:21 *Was not Abraham, our father, justified by works, offering up Isaac, his son, upon the altar?

Genesis 22:9.
Was not Abraham....justified by works? We may observe, that St. James here brings the very same examples of Abraham and Rahab, which it is likely he knew some had miscontrued in St. Paul, as if the great apostle of the Gentiles had taught that faith alone was sufficient to salvation. But St. Paul neither excludes good works done by faith, when he commends faith, excluding only the works of the law of Moses, as insufficient to a true justification. See Romans 3:27. And St. James by requiring good works does not exclude faith, but only teacheth that faith alone is not enough. This is what he clearly expresseth here in the 22nd and in the 24th verse. Man, says he, is justified, and not by faith only. And (ver. 22.) seest thou that faith did co-operate with Abraham's works, and by works faith was made perfect. In fine, we must take notice, that when St. James here brings the example of Abraham offering his son Isaac, to shew that he was justified by works, his meaning is not that Abraham then began first to be justified, but that he then received an increase of his justice. He was justified at least from his first being called, and began then to believe and to do good works. It is true his faith was made perfect, and his justice increased, when he was willing to sacrifice his son. (Witham)
James 2:22 Seest thou that faith did co-operate with his works: and by works faith was made perfect?

James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled, saying: *Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God.

Genesis 15:6.; Romans 4:3.; Galatians 3:6.
James 2:24 Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?

James 2:25 *And in like manner also Rahab, the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?

Josue 2:4.; Hebrews 11:31.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 3:0 The evils of the tongue. Of the difference between the earthly and heavenly wisdom.

James 3:1 Be *not many masters, my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment.

Matthew 23:8.
But not many masters, teachers, and preachers. An admonition to all those who are not called, or not qualified to undertake this high ministry, lest they incur a greater condemnation. (Witham)
James 3:2 For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word; the same is a perfect man. He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body.

For in many things we all offend,{ Ver. 2. Offendimus, ptaiomen, we stumble, rather than fall.|} fall into many, at least failings. --- If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. He that in all occurrences can govern his tongue, has attained to a great degree of perfection. --- He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body. He alludes to the comparison in the following verse; and the sense is, that when he has once perfectly subdued this unruly adversary, it may be presumed he can govern himself as to other passions, and the whole body of his actions. (Witham)
James 3:3 For if we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body.

If we put bits, etc. By the help of a bridle, a skillful rider can turn and guide horses never so headstrong and unruly. An experienced pilot sitting at the helm, steers the course of the vessel in a storm, turns and guides the ship what way he thinks most proper; so must a man learn, and use his utmost endeavours to bridle and govern his tongue. (Witham)
James 3:4 Behold also ships, whereas they are great, and are driven by strong winds, yet are they turned about with a small helm, whithersoever the force of the governor willeth.

James 3:5 Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.

\f + \fr 3:5-6\ft The tongue is indeed a little member, yet doth great things:{ Ver. 5. Et magna exaltat, megalauchei; which is not only magnificè loqui et gloriari, but also magna facere.|} causeth great evils and mischiefs, when it is not carefully governed; as a little fire,{ Ver. 5. Quantus ignis, for quantulus by the Greek, oligon pur.|} it kindleth and consumeth a great wood. It is a world of iniquity, the cause of infinite evils, dissensions, quarrels, seditions, wars, etc. It defileth the whole body, even the body politic of kingdoms. This fire, kindled by hell, sets all in a flame during the course of our lives, (literally, the wheel of our nativity ) from our cradle to our grave. (Witham)
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nature, being set on fire by hell.

James 3:7 For every nature of beasts and of birds, and of serpents, and of the rest, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind:

Is tamed, etc. The wildest beasts may be tamed, lions and tigers, and the rest,{ Ver. 7. Et caeterorum, by which the ancient interpreter had read ton allon, though in the present Greek copies we read, kai enalion, et Marinorum.|} and so managed as to do no harm. (Witham)
James 3:8 But the tongue no man can tame: a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

But the tongue no man can tame, without the special assistance of God. (Witham) --- Wherefore we are to understand, says St. Augustine, that as no one is able of himself to govern his tongue, we must fly to the Lord for his assistance. (St. Augustine, ser. 4. de verb. Matthew vi.) --- It is an unquiet evil,{ Ver. 8. Inquietum malum; so in divers Greek manuscripts, akatastaton, though in others, akatacheton, quod coerceri non potest.|} which cannot be stopt[stopped]. It is full of deadly poison, which brings oftentimes death both to men's bodies and souls. (Witham)
James 3:9 By it we bless God and the Father; and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God.

\f + \fr 3:9-13\ft By it we bless God, etc. Such different effects from the same cause, as of blessing God, and cursing men, created to the likeness of God, seem contrary to the ordinary course of nature; for a fountain form the same source doth not send forth both sweet and bitter streams. --- Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? etc. This seems to be connected with the admonition given at the beginning of the chapter, be not many masters; let none pretend to this but who have wisdom and knowledge, which also may be known by their prudent and mild conversation.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth through the same passage sweet and bitter water?

James 3:12 Can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear grapes, or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom.

James 3:14 But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts: glory not, and be not liars against the truth.

\f + \fr 3:14-16\ft But if you have bitter zeal. He hints at that bitter, false zeal, which many teachers among the Jews, even after their conversion, were apt to retain against the converted Gentiles, pretending with lies, and against the truth of the Scriptures, that they are not to be made partakers of the blessings brought to all nations by the Messias. --- Glory not, boast not in this pretended wisdom, which descendeth not from above, from God, but which is earthly, sensual, diabolical, from an evil spirit, which foments these jealousies and divisions; and where there are such emulations and divisions, there is nothing but inconstancy, and all kind of evils. (Witham)
James 3:15 For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, diabolical.

James 3:16 For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work.

James 3:17 But the wisdom which is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy, and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation.

\f + \fr 3:17-18\ft But the true wisdom, which is from above,...is chaste, and pure, peaceable, modest, free from such divisions, tractable, easy to be persuaded{ Ver. 17. Suadibilis, eupeithes; which may either signify easy to be persuaded or who can easily persuade.|} of the truths foretold in the Scriptures, etc. Now the fruit and effect of such justice, piety, and sanctity, is sown in peace, with peaceable dispositions, in those who with sincerity seek true peace, and who hereby shall gain the reward of an eternal peace and happiness. (Witham) --- St. Paul gives a similar character of charity. (1 Corinthians 13.) "Charity is patient, is kind,...is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil,...believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." --- Easy to be persuaded. A good lesson for those devotees, who are not few in number, who are so obstinate and so wedded to their own opinions and ways, as to be unwilling to be controlled, even by those whom God has placed over them, for the direction of their souls. (Haydock) --- Without judging. That is, it does not condemn a neighbour upon light grounds, or think evil of him. It puts the best construction upon every thing he says or does, and never intrudes itself into the concerns of others. (Calmet) --- "Judge not, and you shall not be judged," says the Saviour of our souls; "condemn not, and you shall not be condemned." (St. Luke, 6:37.) "No," says the holy apostle, (1 Corinthians 4:5.) "judge not before the time until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart."
James 3:18 And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.

James 4:0 The evils that flow from yielding to concupiscence, and being friends to this world. Admonitions against pride, detraction, etc.

James 4:1 From whence are wars and contentions among you? Are they not hence? from your concupiscences, which war in your members?

Whence are wars{ Ver. 1. Unde bella et lites? polemoi kai machai, as also in ver. 2, litigatis et belligeratis, machesthe, kai polemeite. I see no reason to translate it, by lawsuits and pleadings, as Mr. N.|} and contentions, in all kinds, but from your lusts and disorderly passions, coveting to have and enjoy what you have not, as to pleasures, riches, honours, etc. (Witham)
James 4:2 You covet, and have not: you kill, and envy, and cannot obtain; you contend and war, and you have not, because you ask not.

You covet, and have not. Though God has promised that whosoever asks shall receive, (Matthew 7:8.) yet no wonder you receive not, because you ask amiss, by asking such temporal things as would be prejudicial to your soul, or because you ask not with humility, devotion, and perseverance. (Witham)
James 4:3 You ask, and receive not: because you ask amiss; that you may consume it on your concupiscences.

James 4:4 Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.

Adulterers: which is here taken in a figurative sense for those who love creatures more than God, the true spouse of their souls; who reflect not that the love and friendship of this world is an enemy to God, and the true manner of serving him. (Witham)
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet, which dwelleth in you?

Do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet, which dwelleth in you?{ Ver. 5. Ad invidiam concupiscit Spiritus, qui habitat in vobis: pros phthonon epipothei to pneuma o katokesen (habitavit) en umin. Ven. Bede expounds it, nunquid Spiritus Gratiae....hoc concupiscit ut invideatis alterutrum?|} This verse is obscure, and differently expounded. By some, of an evil spirit in men, by which they covet and envy others for having what they have not. Others understand God's spirit inhabiting in them; and then it is an interrogation, and reprehension, as if he said: Doth God's spirit, which you have received, teach or excite you to covet and envy others, and not rather to love and wish their good? And to enable men to do this, God is not wanting, who gives us greater grace, especially to the humble that ask it, though he resists the proud. (Witham) --- It is not evident to what part of Scripture St. James here alludes, the exact words are nowhere in the sacred writings. That which seems the most like this text, and the most adapted to his subject, is a passage from Ezechiel, "I will set my jealousy against thee:" (Ezechiel 23:25.) that is I have loved thee with the love of jealousy, and I will revenge upon thee my slighted affections. (Calmet)
James 4:6 But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: *God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Proverbs 3:34.; 1 Peter 5:6.
But he giveth greater grace. The Holy Spirit which dwelleth in you, giveth you graces in proportion to your fidelity in complying with them, and according to your humility and the love which you bear to your neighbour. (Calmet) --- St. James may also mean by these two verses, to exhort the Jews and Gentiles, who were rather jealous of each other, to nourish no jealousy against one another, nor be troubled at the blessing which their neighbour enjoyed from the bountiful hand of the Almighty. Then will God deal to us with a more liberal hand, and will bestow upon us greater graces in proportion as we lay aside all ill-will towards our neighbour. But that he will withhold his hand from the envious man, because he resists the proud, and gives his grace to the humble. Glory is the exclusive property of heaven; whoever, therefore assumes it to himself, makes God his enemy. There is nothing in man since his fall; there is nothing in holy writ which does not preach to us this truth. --- N. B.[Nota Bene, Note Well?] These last words, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble," are only in the Septuagint edition, Proverbs 3:34. The Hebrew and Vulgate read in this place, "He shall scorn the scorners, and to the meek he will give grace." (Calmet)
James 4:7 Be subject, therefore, to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you.

Be subject therefore to God; humble yourselves in his sight, considering your own nothing. (Witham)
James 4:8 Approach to God, and he will approach to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Purify your heart from the love of creatures, so that your affections be not divided betwixt God and this world, like persons of two minds{ Ver. 8. Duplices animo, dipsuchoi.|} or two souls. (Witham)
James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into sorrow.

Be afflicted{ Ver. 9. Miseri estote, talaiporesate.|} and mourn, and deplore your sins against his divine majesty; punish yourselves, and think not that a mere change of life is sufficient after so many sins committed. (Witham)
James 4:10 Be humbled in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:11 Detract not one another, brethren. He that detracteth his brother, or he that judgeth his brother, detracteth the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Detract not one another, (nor judge rashly) brethren. Though he spoke so much against the evils of the tongue, he gives them a special admonition against the vice of detraction, so common in the world, as also against rash judgments, which happen so frequently where there are dissensions and divisions. He that detracteth, judgeth, and rashly condemneth his brother, may be said to detract and judge the law, inasmuch as he seems to contemn and condemn the law, by which these sins are forbidden; when, instead of obeying and complying with the law, he rather takes upon himself to act as a judge,{ Ver. 11. Parens....exterminabitur, phainomene, aphanizomene.|} without fear of the law and of God, the only lawgiver, who is to judge all our actions, and who alone is able to destroy, or to free us and deliver us from the punishments we have deserved. (Witham)
James 4:12 There is one law-giver, and judge, who is able to destroy and to deliver.

James 4:13 *But who art thou, who judgest thy neighbour? Behold now, you who say: To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and there we will spend a year, and will traffic, and make gain:

Romans 14:4.
To-day or to-morrow, etc. An admonition against that presumption, when persons forget the uncertainty of life, and the vanity of all things in this world, which vanish like a vapour, and can never be relied upon, so as to count upon years and the time to come. All things here appear and disappear in a moment. Take heed, therefore, not to glory or boast in your arrogancies; (ver. 16.) literally, pride; like the rich man, (Luke x.) who thought of nothing but a long and merry life, and was cut off that very night. And being now admonished, reflect that it is sinful to know what is good, what is your duty, and not to comply with it. (Witham)
James 4:14 Whereas, you know not what shall be on the morrow.

James 4:15 For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while, and afterwards shall vanish away. For that you should say: If the Lord will; and, if we shall live, we will do this or that.

For what is your life? it is a vapour. We frequently meet with three beautiful comparisons in holy writ. "Remember that my life is but wind....As a cloud is consumed, and passeth away; so he that shall go down to hell, shall not come up." (Job 7:7, 9.) "Man is like to vanity, his days pass away like a shadow." (Psalm 143:4.) Similar expressions also frequently occur in profane authors. Nemo tam Divos habuit faventes Crastinum ut possit sibi polliceri. (Seneca) With reason then did our Saviour say, "Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come." (Luke 12:40.) (Calmet)
James 4:16 But now you glory in your arrogancies. All such glorying is wicked.

James 4:17 To him, therefore, who knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin.

James 5:0 A woe to the rich that oppress the poor. Exhortations to patience, and to avoid swearing. Of the anointing the sick, confession of sins, and fervour in prayer.

James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries, that shall come upon you.

\f + \fr 5:1-6\ft Go now rich men, etc. In the first six verses, he gives admonitions to those among the Christians who were rich, not to rely on riches, nor value themselves on this account. You must look upon your riches and treasures as if they were already putrefied and corrupted, your gold and silver eaten and consumed with rust: and their rust shall rise in testimony and judgment against you, for not making better use of them. As your coin is eaten with rust, so shall your bodies be hereafter as it were eaten and consumed by fire. You heap up to yourselves a treasure in the day of wrath, while through covetousness, and hard heartedness, you defraud labourers of their hire, living at the same time in feasting and luxury, as in the day of slaughter. That is, feasting as men are accustomed to do, on the days when victims are slaughtered, offered, and eaten with great rejoicing. Others expound it, as if you were feeding, and making yourselves fit sacrifices and victims for God's anger and indignation. (Witham) --- You have feasted, etc. The Greek is, "you have lived in delicacies and debaucheries, and have feasted upon your hearts as for the day of sacrifice:" Etruphesate, kai espatalesate ethrepsate tas kardias umon os en emera sphages. That is, you have fattened yourselves with good cheer and sensual pleasures, like victims prepared for a solemn sacrifice. (Calmet) --- Others among you have unjustly oppressed, accused, and brought to condemnation the just one, by which seems to be understood just and innocent men, who are divers times deprived of their fortunes, and even of their lives, by the unjust contrivances of powerful wicked men. (Witham)
James 5:2 Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.

James 5:3 Your gold and silver is rusted: and the rust of them shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. You have stored up to yourselves wrath against the last days.

James 5:4 Behold the hire of the labourers, who have reaped your fields, of which you have defrauded them, crieth out: and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

James 5:5 You have feasted upon earth, and in luxuries you have nourished your hearts in the day of slaughter.

James 5:6 You have condemned and put to death the just one, and he resisted you not.

James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, patiently bearing till he receive the early and the latter rain.

\f + \fr 5:7-11\ft Be patient, etc. He now in these five following verses turns his discourse from the rich to the poor, exhorting them to patience till the coming of the Lord to judgment, which draweth near; his coming to judge every one is at his death. Imitate the patience of the husbandman, waiting for fruit after that the earth hath received the timely and early{ Ver. 7. Temporaneum et Serotinum. In most Greek manuscripts ueton proimon kai opsimon, pluviam priorem et posteriorem.|} rain soon after the corn is sown, and again more rain, that comes later to fill the grain before it comes to be ripe. This seems to be the sense by the Greek: others expound it, till he receive the early and latter fruits. (Witham) --- Behold the judge standeth before the door. This expression is synonymous with that in the foregoing verse. "The coming of the Lord is at hand." This way of speaking is not uncommon in Scripture. Thus God said to Cain: "If thou hast done evil, shall not sin forthwith be present at the door?" St. James is here speaking of the approaching ruin of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans. (Calmet) --- Call to mind for your encouragement the trials and constancy{ Ver. 10. Exemplum accipite, exitus mali, et laboris, et patientiae, kakopatheias kai makrothumias. There is nothing in the Greek for laboris, which the Latin interpreter may have added to express the full sense.|} of the prophets: the patience of Job, after which God rewarded him with great blessings and property, and you have seen the end of the Lord; that is, what end the Lord was pleased to give to Job's sufferings. But St. Augustine, Ven. Bede, etc. would have these words, the end of the Lord, to be understood of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross, for which God exalted him, etc. (Witham)
James 5:8 Be you, therefore, also patient, and strengthen your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth near.

James 5:9 Murmur not, brethren, one against another, that you may not be judged. Behold the judge standeth before the door.

James 5:10 Take, brethren, for an example of suffering evil, of labour and patience, the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.

James 5:11 Behold we account them blessed, who have endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and you have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is merciful and compassionate.

James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, *swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be; yea, yea: no, no; that you fall not under judgment.

Matthew 5:34.
But above all things....swear not, etc. This earnest admonition is against all kind of oaths in common conversation, (not against oaths made on just and necessary occasions) and in the very same words, as our blessed Saviour warned all people against this sin of swearing. (Matthew 5.) How unaccountably is this commandment of God contemned? And what a dreadful account will some day be exacted for so many oaths, curses, and blasphemies, which are now so common, that we may rather wonder at the patience of God and that already exemplary punishments have not fallen upon whole cities and kingdoms for this continued profanation of the holy name of God? (Witham) --- St. James here repeats the injunctions of our Saviour, not to swear al all. (Matthew 5:34.) See the annotations in that place.
James 5:13 Is any of you sad? Let him pray. Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing.

James 5:14 Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord:

\f + \fr 5:14-15\ft Is any man sick among you?{ Ver. 14-15. Infirmatur, asthenei tis; infirmum, kamnonta, laborantem; alleviabit, egerei, suscitabit.|} or in danger of death by sickness, let him call, or bring in the priests of the Church, etc. The apostle here enjoins the constant use of the sacrament, called extreme unction, or the last anointing with oil, instituted, (as were all the sacraments of the Church) by our Saviour Christ, and which is here fully and clearly delivered in plain words, expressing, 1. the persons to whom this sacrament is to be administered; 2. the minister; 3. the form; 4. the matter; 5. the effects. As to the first, is any man sick among you? This sacrament then is to be given to every believing Christian, who is in danger of death by sickness. 2. Bring in the priests, one or more, they are the ministers of this sacrament. The Protestant translation has the elders; yet in their book of common prayer, he who is called in to assist and pray with the sick, is called either the minister, the curate, or the priest, never the elder. Dr. Wells has not changed the word elders in his translation; but in his paraphrase he expounds it of those ministers of the church who are above deacons. 3. And let them pray over him. Besides other prayers, the form of this sacrament is by way of prayer, let the Lord forgive thee, etc. 4. Anointing him with oil. The oil with which he is anointed by the priest, is the outward visible sign, and the matter of this sacrament, as water is the matter of baptism. 5. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, etc. All the sacraments of the new law have their virtue from the merits of our Saviour, Christ, and therefore must be ministered and received with faith in our Redeemer. (Witham) --- Is any man sick? etc. The Greek expression in this place is equivalent to, "Is any one dangerously ill amongst you?" Asthenei tis en umin. The primary intention of this sacrament of extreme unction, is to confer a special grace upon the dying Christian, to strengthen him in his last and dreadful conflict, when the prince of darkness will exert his utmost to ruin his poor soul. But besides this, it was also intended to free man from venial sin, and likewise from mortal, if guilty of any, provided he were contrite and not able to have recourse to the sacrament of penance. But the sacrament of penance being the only regular means of obtaining pardon for mortal sin committed after baptism, a person must first have recourse to this sacrament, if he be able, as a necessary preparation for the sacrament of extreme unction. Other effects of this sacrament are, that it lessens the temporal punishment due to sin, and restores health to the worthy receiver, if it be expedient for the good of his soul. (St. Augustine, serm. 215. C. Theol. Petav. Habert. Bailly, etc. de Extrem. Unct.) --- How great then is the folly of such persons as are afraid to receive this sacrament, imagining it to be the irrevocable sentence of impending dissolution? whereas one of the very effects of this sacrament is to restore health, if it be expedient for the soul; and who would wish for health upon any other conditions? (Haydock) --- The anathemas pronounced by the council of Trent against those who deny the existence of this sacrament, are sufficient to establish the belief of it in the minds of Catholics. See session 14, canon 1, 2 and 3, of the council of Trent. It may be proper, however, to observe, in confirmation of our belief of this sacrament, that whenever the ancient Fathers have had occasion to speak of extreme unction, they have always attributed to it all the qualities of a sacrament, as St. Chrysostom who proves from this text of St. James the power which the priest has to forgive sins; (lib. 3. de Sacerdotio.; St. Augustine, ser. 215) not to mention Origen, who wrote at the beginning of the third century, (hom. 2:in Levit.) enumerating the different ways by which sins are forgiven in the new law, says, "That they are remitted when the priests anoint the sick with oil, as is mentioned in St. James." When Decentius, bishop of Eugenium in Italy, in 416[A.D. 416], wrote to Innocent I upon this sacrament, he makes no question whether it was a sacrament, but only consults him concerning the manner of administering; whether a bishop could give it, or whether priests were the only administerers of this sacrament, as St. James says, "Let them call in the priests of the Church;" and whether it could be given to penitents before they had been reconciled by absolution. To the former question, the pope replied there could be no doubt, as St. James could never mean that bishops were excluded as being higher than priests; but that he supposed them to be taken up with other things. We might add to this, the word presbyter was then used indiscriminately for both bishops and priests. (Haydock) --- As to the next question, whether penitents could receive this sacrament before absolution, he answered in the negative. "For," says he, "can it be thought that this one sacrament can be given to those who are declared unworthy of receiving the rest?" (Innocent I in epist. ad Decent. ch. VIII.; Habert. de Extre. Unct.) --- If it be objected that mention is not more frequently made of this sacrament in the writings of the ancients, we will answer with Bellarmine, that the most evident things were not always written, but only as occasion offered, that many of the mysteries were kept secret, to preserve them from the ridicule of the infidels. That in the times of persecution it was more difficult to administer this sacrament and less necessary, as the greatest part of Christians died not by sickness but by martyrdom. (Theol. Petav. de Extre. Unc.) --- Ven. Bede in Luke ix. speaketh thus: "It is clear that this custom was delivered to the holy Church by the apostles themselves, that the sick should be anointed with oil consecrated by the bishop's blessing." --- Let him bring in, etc. See here a plain warrant of Scripture for the sacrament of extreme unction, that any controversy against its institution would be against the express words of the sacred text in the plainest terms. (Challoner) --- And the Lord, by virtue of this sacrament, or if you will, sacramental prayer, shall raise him up, shall give him spiritual strength and vigour to resist the temptations which at that hour are most dangerous. He shall also raise him up, by restoring him his corporal health, when God sees it more expedient for the sick man. --- And if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him, not merely by prayer, but by this sacrament. (Witham)
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.

James 5:16 Confess, therefore, your sins one to another; and pray one for another, that you may be saved: for the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.

Confess, therefore, your sins, etc. Divers interpreters expound this of sacramental confession, though, as the authors of the annotations on the Rheims Testament observe, this is not certain. The words one to another, may signify that it is not enough to confess to God, but that we must also confess to men, and not to every man, but to those whom God appointed, and to whom he hath given the power of remitting sins in his name. I cannot but observe that no mention at all is made, "in the visitation and communion of the sick," in the Protestant common prayer book, of this comfortable passage out of St. James, of calling in the priests of the Church, of their anointing him with oil....and that his sins shall be forgiven him. Perhaps having laid aside that sacrament, it seemed to them better to say nothing of those words. But such a confession as is practised by all Catholics, is at least there advised. "The sick person," saith the book of common prayer, "here shall be moved to make a special confession of his sins....After which confession, the priest shall absolve him after this sort. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners, who truly repent, forgive thee....and by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, " etc. Here is a special confession, or a confession of particular sins; here is a power of forgiving sins in God's name, acknowledged to be given to the Church, and to priests; here are the very same words used by every Catholic priest in the sacrament of penance. This is clearly ordained in their liturgy: how far it is complied with, I know not. (Witham) --- One to another. That is, to the priests of the Church, whom (ver. 14.) he had ordered to be called for, and brought in to the sick: moreover, to confess to persons who had no power to forgive sins, would be useless. Hence the precept here means that we must confess to men whom God hath appointed, and who, by their ordination and jurisdiction, have received the power of remitting sins in his name. (Challoner) --- Pray for one another. Here is recommended prayer in general, as a most necessary Christian duty. He encourages them to it by the example of Elias[Elijah]. (Witham)
James 5:17 *Elias was a man passible like unto us: and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months.

3 Kings 17:1.; Luke 4:25.
James 5:18 And he prayed again: and the heaven gave rain, and the earth yielded her fruit.

James 5:19 My brethren, if any of you err from the truth, and any one convert him.

James 5:20 He must know, that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

He who causeth a sinner to be converted, etc. St. James concludes his epistle with a work of charity, one of the most acceptable to Almighty God, and most beneficial to our neighbour, when any one becomes instrumental in converting others from their errors, or from a wicked life; for it is only God that can convert the heart. But he who with a true and charitable zeal, animated with the love of God and of his neighbour, makes this the chief business of his life, has this comfort here given him, that this will cover in the sight of God a multitude of sins, which he may have contracted through human frailty. The Church of England, when they modelled the articles of their reformation, received this epistle of James as canonical. They profess to follow the holy Scriptures as the only rule of their belief: they find in the 14th and 15th verses of this chapter these words: "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil....and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him." In these words they find all that they themselves require, to be a sacrament of the new law; to wit, a precept or injunction, clear and unlimited as to time, a visible sign, with a promise of invisible grace, in remitting of sins, the minister of it, and the persons specified who are to receive it. They also found this practised at the time of the reformation by the Universal Church, by all Catholics, both in the east and west, both by the Latin and by the Greek Churches; and that all Christian Churches received it as a sacrament; and yet they thought fit to lay it quite aside, as if it was neither a sacrament nor a holy ceremony, nor a pious custom fit to be retained. They must have judged that they had convincing proofs both to contradict in other things the judgment and belief of the Catholic Church, and also in this particular; as to which latter case, I shall examine the reasons which they bring. I presume it may be needless to insist upon the groundless imagination of Wycliff, and some heretics about that time, who denied this to be a sacrament, fancying it was prescribed by St. James, because the oil of Palestine was a sovereign remedy to cure diseases. If so, any physician, any old woman or nurse to the sick, might have applied oil full as well, if not better than the priests. Calvin, and the reformation writers, give us the following reasons or conjectures, that this anointing, as well as that, (Mark 6:13.) was only to be used for a time, by those who had the gift of curing diseases miraculously; so that like other miraculous gifts, (as the speaking of tongues, prophesying, etc.) it was but to last during the first planting of the Christian faith. Dr. Fulk, against the Rheims Testament, and Mr. Baxter, etc. affirm boldly, that Christ "appointed his apostles to anoint those with oil whom they cured." And Dr. Hammond says, "that the anointing with oil, was a ceremony used by Christ and his apostles in their miraculous cures." They assert this, as if it was taught by Scripture itself. They are no less positive that this anointing soon ceased, and was laid aside with the gift of miraculous cures, given sometimes to the first Christians at their baptism, or when they received the Holy Ghost in the sacrament of confirmation. Dr. Fulk, besides this, is positive that "the Greek Church, never to this day received this anointing and praying over the sick as a sacrament." These are their arbitrary, groundless, and false expositions, which they bring against a clear text of the holy Scriptures. It might be sufficient to oppose the judgment and authority of the Church to their private judgment. But to answer in short each particular: we find by the evangelists, (Matthew 10:8.; Mark 6:13.; Luke 10:9.) that Christ gave to his twelve apostles, and afterwards to his seventy-two disciples, in their first mission before his death, (which was only into the cities of Israel) a power of casting out devils, of raising the dead, or curing diseases in his name. And St. Mark tells us, that they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick with oil, and cured them. But when Dr. Fulk and others add, that our Saviour appointed, ordered, or commanded them to anoint with oil those whom they cured, no such thing is said, nor insinuated, neither by St. Mark nor by any of the evangelists, nor any where in the holy Scriptures. And how Dr. Hammond could tell us that this "anointing with oil was a ceremony used by Christ himself," I cannot imagine. As for the apostles and disciples, they might cure many, making use of oil, and many without it by laying hands upon them, by a prayer, or by calling upon the name of Jesus, as the seventy-two disciples returned to him with joy, (Luke 10:17.) saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us in thy name. Neither is it judge probable by the interpreters that the apostles, in their miraculous cures, were tied up or confined to the use of oil: especially since we find that after Christ's resurrection, in their second mission to all nations, Christ foretells (Matthew 16:18.) that they who believe in him, shall have this miraculous gift of healing the sick, but mentions only the laying of hands upon them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall be well. Besides had Christ appointed or given orders to his disciples to make use of oil in such miraculous cures, it would scarce have happened but we should have some examples of it in the Acts of the Apostles, where so many miraculous cures are related to have been done by St. Peter, by St. Paul, and others, but no mention of this ceremony of oil. We agree with our adversaries that this gift of miraculous cures, of which St. Paul speaks, (1 Corinthians xii.) was common only for a short time, like the other gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were only necessary, as St. Augustine takes notice, at the first planting of the Christian faith; and so that anointing with oil, merely as it was made use of in miraculous cures of the body, soon ceased, perhaps even before our Saviour's death; but we believe as our Saviour appointed water to be the matter of the sacrament of baptism, so he would have oil to be the matter of the sacrament of the sacrament of extreme unction, which he instituted to strengthen the souls of the sick, against the dangers and temptations at the approach of death, and of which St. James here speaks near upon thirty years after Christ's ascension. And the anointing in St. Mark, used in corporal diseases, may be looked upon as a figure of the sacrament of extreme unction in St. James, as the frequent washings or baptisms, as they are called, of the Jews, and especially the baptism of St. John the Baptist, was a figure of the baptism of Christ. The miraculous gift of healing, as well as other gifts of the Holy Ghost, was often given with the sacraments, which were to be always continued, and not to cease, with those gifts. We may also take notice, that neither they who had this gift of healing, had any command or advice to make use of it to all that were sick, nor were all that were sick ordered to seek for a cure of those who had this gift; whereas here St. James orders every one to send for the priests of the Church to anoint him, and pray over him for spiritual relief. St. Timothy had frequent infirmities, as we read in 1 Timothy 5:23., nor yet did St. Paul, who had that gift, cure him. The same St. Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum. (2 Timothy 4:20.) Epaphroditus, St. Paul's companion in his labours, was sick, when he had St. Paul with him, even unto death; that is, so as to be at the point of death (Philippians 2:27.); nor yet did St. Paul, but God, restore him to his health. And if St. James had spoken of a miraculous restoring of corporal health by that anointing, he should rather have said: bring in those who have the gift of healing; for we may reasonably suppose that many had this gift who were not priests, and we have no reason to suppose that all priests had this gift. Our adversaries tell us with great assurance, that this anointing mentioned by St. James was soon laid aside; which, say they, we may gather from the silence of the writers in the three following ages[centuries]. To this merely negative argument the Catholics answer: 1. That it is enough we have the tradition and practise of the Church, witnessed by the writers in the ages[centuries] immediately succeeding. 2. That the greatest part of the writings in those ages[centuries] are not extant. 3. The writers of those times seldom mentioned those things which were sufficiently known among the Christians by daily use, especially what related to the sacraments and mysteries of the Christian religion, which (as it appears by the writings that they were able to preserve) they made it their particular endeavour to conceal from the heathens, who turned them to derision and contempt. In the mean time, had not this anointing been always retained and continued, the ages[centuries] immediately following would not have conspired every where to practise it, and to look upon it as a sacrament. Not to insist on the authority of Origen,{ Ver. 20. Origen, in hom. ii, in Levit. (p. 68. Ed. Par. in the year 1574) where he numbers the different ways by which sins are remitted in the new law, and speaking of penance, says, In quo impletur et illud quod Apostolus dicit, Si quis autem infirmatur, vocet presbyteros ecclesiae.|} in the beginning of the third age[century], (hom. 2:in Levit.) who numbering up the different ways by which sins are forgiven in the new law, says, that they were remitted when priests anoint the sick with oil, as in the epistle of St. James; St. Chrysostom{ Ver. 20. St. Chrysostom, iereis....echousin exousian, habent potestatem.|} in the end of the fourth age[century], (in his third book de Sacerdotio, tom. 1:p. 384. Nov. Ed. Ben., written before the end of the fourth age, about the year 375) says, that priests (and his word expresseth sacrificing priests, not elders) have now a power to remit sins, which he proves from those words in St. James, Is any man sick among you? etc. This shews, as do also Origen's words, that this custom was then continued in the East, in the Greek Church, and that it was believed a sacrament, of which the priests only were the ministers. Innocent I{ Ver. 20. Innocent I. Poenitentibus istud infundi non potest, quia genus est Sacramenti, nam quibus reliqua Sacramenta negantur, quomodo unum genus putatur concedi? By charisma, Innocent I understands, oleum ad ungendum.|} in his answers to Decentius, bishop of Eugenium, in Italy, at the beginning of the fifth age[century], in the year 416, calls this anointing and prayer over the sick, set down in St. James' epistle, a sacrament in the same sense as other sacraments in the new law. See Labbe's Councils, tom. ii, p. 1248. And as to what Innocent I and Ven. Bede relate of a custom by which lay persons, when a priest could not be had, anointed and prayed over a person in danger, it was only to testify their desire of having the sacrament: as it was likewise a pious custom in some places for sinners to make a confession to a layman, not that they them looked upon it as a sacrament, but only that they hoped God would accept of their private devotions and humiliation, when they could not have a priest to administer the sacraments to them. It is needless to mention authors in the following ages[centuries]. St. Gregory (Sacramentarium. fer. 5. in Coena Dni.) describes the ceremony of blessing oil to be used in the anointing of the sick. Theodore, made archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 668, among other decrees, ordains that sick persons receive the holy unction, set down by St. James. The Capitularia of Charles the great, say that no one, when about to depart out of this world, ought to want the anointing of the sacrament of oil. The same is ordained in a council of Chalons, the year 813, canon 48; by a council at Aix la Chapelle, the year 830, canon 5; by the council of Mayence, in the year 847, canon 26, etc. Now since we find this anointing made use of as a sacrament at least from the fourth age[century], let our adversaries tell us when this anointing prescribed by St. James was left off, and when and how it came to be taken up again. They have no manner of proofs for either; and yet we have a right, as the authors of the annotations on the Rheims Testament observe, to demand clear and convincing proofs in this case, when the Scripture seems so clear for us and against them. Dr. Fulk affirms boldly, that this anointing was never to this day received in the Greek Church as a sacrament. This only shews how little credit is to be given to him. He might have found great reason to doubt of his bold assertion, since neither Photius, in the ninth age[century], nor Michael Cerularius, in the eleventh, ever objected this difference betwixt their Greek and the Latin Church, at a time when they reckoned up even the most minute differences either in doctrine or discipline, so as to find fault with the Latins for shaving their beards. He might have found it by what happened at the time of the council of Lyons, in the thirteenth age[century], when the pope, in his letter to the emperor of Constantinople, wrote that the Latin Church, and all in communion with him, acknowledged seven sacraments, which the Greeks never blamed. He might have observed the same when the Greeks and Armenians came to an union in the council of Florence, in the fifteenth age[century]. The same Dr. Fulk, who wrote about the year 1600, could scarce be ignorant of the ill success the Augsbourg confession met with among the Greeks, to whom, when the Lutherans had sent copies of their faith and of their reformation, Jeremy, the patriarch of Constantinople, with a synod of the Greeks, condemned their articles, and among other points, declared that they held "in the orthodox Catholic Church seven divine sacraments," the same as in the Latin Church, baptism....and the holy oil. Had Dr. Fulk lived a little longer, he must have been more and more ashamed to find other Greek synods condemning him and all the said reformers. For when Cyrillus Lucaris, advanced to the see of Constantinople by the interest of the French Calvinists, began to favour and support the doctrine of the Calvinists, the Greeks in several synods under their patriarchs, (in the years 1639, 1642, 1671, and 1672) condemned Cyril and the new doctrine of the said reformers, and expressly declared that they held seven sacraments. See M. Arnauld, tom. iii. Perpetuitè de la Foy; and the dissertations of M. Le Brun, tom. 3:p. 34, and 572, disert. 12, where he shews that all the churches of the East, and all the Christian churches of the world, though separated from the communion and subordination to the Pope, agree with the Latin Church, as to the sacrifice of the Mass, as to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and as to the seven sacraments. (Witham) --- If, with holy Scripture, we must allow that charitable persons on earth may prove instrumental, under God, to their neighbour's salvation, why are we to deny this to the saints in heaven, whose charity for man is much greater?