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ad Ephesios, &c. You may see Brochmand, in prolog. Epist. Jacob., and Jodocus Coccius's Thesaurus Theologicus, tom. i., lib. 6, art. 23. Read also Dr. Rainolds De Libris Apocryphis, tom. i., prælect. 4, &c. Out of all which you may see what authority it had among the ancients. Of late, I con, fess, it hath found harder measure. Cajetan and Erasmus show little respect to it. Luther plainly rejecteth it; and, for the incivility and rudeness of his expression, in calling it stramineam epistolam, as it cannot be denied, * so it is not to be excused. Luther himself seemeth to retract it, speaking of it elsewhere with more reverence, Epistolam hanc, quamvis rejectam a veteribus, pro utili tamen et non contemuendam habeo, vel ob hanc causam, quod nihil plane humanæ doctrinæ offerat, ut legem Dei fortiter urgeat ; verum ut meam de illa sententiam candide promam extra præjudicium, existimo nullius esse apostoli (Luther, præf. Epist. Jacob.); that is, “This epistle, though not owned by many of the ancients, I judge to be full of profitable and precious matter, it offering no doctrine of a human invention, strongly urging the law of God; yet in my opinion (which I would speak without prejudice) it seemeth not to be written by any apostle ;" which was the error and failing of this holy and eminent servant of God; and therein he is followed by others of his own profession, Osiander, Camerarius, Bugenhag, &c., and Althamerus, whose blasphemies are recorded by Grotius in his Rivetian Apol. Discuss., pag. 170, and by him unworthily urged to reflect a scorn upon our churches. Concerning this Andreas Althamerus, see learned Rivet's Reply, in his Acádusis Grot. Discuss., pag. 480. However, Luther is herein deserted by the modern Lutherans, who allow this epistle in the Canon, as is plain by the writings of Hunnius, Montrer, Gerhard, Walther, &c. Brochmand, a learned Lutheran, and Bishop of Seland in Denmark, hath written a worthy comment upon this epistle, to whom (though I received him lạte, and when the work was in a good progress) I have been beholden for some help in this Exposition, especially in the critical explication of some Greek words, and most of the quotations out of the Socinian pamphlets; and for whom I acknowledge myself indebted to the courtesy of that learned and worthy gentleman, Colonel Edward Leigh, to whose faithfulness and industry the church of God oweth so much.

The reasons which moved Luther to reject this epistle, shall be answered in their proper places. By his own testimony cited before, it containeth nothing repugnant to other Scriptures, and it savoureth of the genius of the Gospel, as well as other writings of the apostles; and, though he seemeth to make little mention of Christ and the Gospel, yet if you consider it more thoroughly, you will find many passages looking that way. The epistle of Paul to Philemon, hath been hitherto reputed canonical; yet it treateth not of the merits and death of Christ. I confess the style which the apostle useth is more rousing, much of the epistle concerning the carnal Hebrews, as well as those that had taken upon themselves the profession of Christ. In short, it hath a

* Dr. Whitaker denieth it, as not finding it in his works; but it is generally granted that this was Luther's expression, it being found in his German Bibles, printed 1528, The words recorded by Brochmand are these :-"Epistola Jacobi vere straminea epistola est, collata cum Evangelio Johannis et ejus Epistola prima, et cum Epistolis Paulinis, imprimis quæ ad Romanos, Galatas, Ephesios, scriptæ sunt; nec enim genium indolem que habet evangelicam.” So in his Comment on Genesis, in cap. xxii., he saith, “ Facessant de medio adversarii, cum suo Jacobo, quem toties nobis objiciunt,”

force

upon the conscience, and is not only delivered by the church, but sealed up to our use and comfort by the Holy Ghost, as other Scriptures are. It was written by an apostle as other epistles taken into the Canon, as the inscription showeth; and there is no reason why we should doubt of this title, more than of Paul's name before his epistles. It is true, there were some spurious writings that carried the names of the apostles, as the Acts of Andrew, the Liturgy of St. James, the canons of the Apostles, Luke's History of the Acts of Paul and Tecla, Mark's Life of Barnabas, the Gospel of Paul. But all these, by the just hand of God, had some mark of infamy impressed upon them, by the enforcement of matters false or ridiculous, or contrary to the truth of doctrine or history. But this epistle hath nothing contrary to the truth of religion, nor unbeseeming the gravity of it and the majesty of other Scriptures. Therefore, upon the whole, we may pronounce, that, it being represented to us with these advantages, it hath a just title to our respect and belief, and should be received in the church with the same esteem and reverence which we bear to other Scriptures.

Secondly, concerning the subordinate author James, there is some controversy about stating the right person, who he was. In the general, it is certain he was an apostle, no epistles but theirs being received into the rule of faith; and it is no prejudice that he styleth himself “ the servant of the Lord;" for so doth Paul often, as we shall prove anon in the explication of the first verse. But now, among the apostles there were two called by this name of James, James the son of Zedebee, and James the son of Alpheus. Many of the ancients, indeed, thought there were three of this name ; Jacobus major, or of Zebedee; Jacobus minor, or of Alpheus; and James the brother of the Lord, called also Chobliham,* or Oblias, or James the Just, whom they thought not to be an apostle, but bishop of Jerusalem. Jerome calleth him decimum tertium apostolum, “the thirteenth apostle.” In Isa. lib. v. cap. 7, Dorotheus maketh him one of the Seventy, the first in his catalogue; but without

For, indeed, there were but two Jamess,f this latter Janies being the same with him of Alpheus; for plainly the brother of the Lord is reckoned among the apostles (Gal. i. 19), and called a pillar (Gal. ii. 9); and he is called the brother of the Lord, because he was in that family, to which Christ was numbered ; some suppose his mother's sister's son, the son of Mary of Cleophas, who was sister to the Virgin. Now, Cleophas and Alpheus is all one, as a learned author supposeth, I though Junius contradicteth it in Epist. Judæ sub initio. And Rabanus saith, after the death of Alpheus she married Cleophas. But, however it be, this James is the same, which is enough for our purpose. Well then, there being two, to which of these is the epistle to be ascribed ? The whole stream of antiquity carrieth it for the brother of the Lord, who (as I said) is the same with Jacobus minor, or the son of Alpheus; and with good reason, the son of Zebedee being long before beheaded by Herod from the very beginning of the preaching of the Gospel (Acts xii. 2). But this epistle must needs be of a latter date, as alluding to some passages

reason.

* Which is rendered by Clemens, teploun Tô Xár év õikalooúvm' by Epiphanius, τείχος τ8 λάε.

† And no more are reckoned by Clemens and by Eusebius, yea by the Scripture, among the apostles. See Matt. x. 2, 3, and Mark iii. 17, 18.

| Herbert Thorndike, Of the Primitive Government of the Church, pp. 11, 12, 13; who discusseth this matter at large, and with satisfaction.

already written, and noting the degeneration of the church, which was not so very presently. There are some few, indeed, of another judgment; as Flavius Dexter, Julius Toletanus, Didacus Dazor, and others cited by Eusebius Neirembergius,* a Spanish Jesuit, who also bringeth the authority of an ancient Gottish missal to this purpose; together with reasons to prove this to be the first New Testament Scripture that was written, and all to devolve the honour of the epistle upon the Spanish St. Jacobus major ; which yet is contrary to the decree of the Trent Council, which ascribeth it to James the brother of the Lord. Well then, James the less is the person whom we have found to be the instrument which the Spirit of God made use of to convey this treasure to the church. Much

may

be said of him; but I shall contract all into a brief sum. He was by his private calling a husbandman,t by 'public office in the church an apostle, and especially called to the inspection of the church in and about Jerusalem, either because of his eminency and near relation to Christ, or for the great esteem he had gained among the Jews; and therefore, when the other apostles were going to and fro disseminating the word of life, James is often found at Jerusalem; see Gal. i. 18, 19; Acts i. 14, 21, and 15, &c. For his temper, he was of an exact strictness, exceedingly just, and therefore called Oblias, and James the Just; yea, so just, that Josephus maketh the violence offered to him to be one of the causes of the Jewish ruin (Joseph. Antiq., lib. xx., cap. 16); of so great temperance that he drank neither wine nor strong drink, and ate no flesh; so pious, that his knees were made like a camel's hoof by frequent prayer.

His death happened six years before that of Peter, thirty-eight years before that of John, in the sixty-third year of Christ, if chronology be true. He died a martyr. They would have him persuade the people to abandon the doctrine of Christ, which when he refused, and pressed the quite contrary, he was thrown down from a pinnacle of the temple, and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club; and so he gave up the ghost. See these things set forth at large by Eusebius, lib. ii., cap. 23, et ibi citatos.

Thirdly, For the time when this epistle was written, it cannot be exactly stated. It is placed first among the catholic epistles, either as first written, or first received into the Canon, though in the ranking of it there be a variety. In the Greek Bibles it sustaineth the same place which we assign to it. Some think the epistle of Peter was first written; but in so great an uncertainty who can determine any thing ? Certain we are, that it was written after that heresies were somewhat grown, and before Jerusalem drew to its end ; for what St. James threateneth, St. Paul taketh notice of as accomplished (1 Thess. ii. 16). Speaking of the people of the Jews, he saith, “ Wrath is come upon them, ług od tédos, to the uttermost,” which is denounced in chap. v. of our apostle. The critical reader, that would know more of the time and order of this epistle, I refer to Eusebius Neirembergius, lib. xi., De Origine Sacræ Scripturæ, cap. 15.

Fourthly, The persons to whom he wrote are specified in the first verse, “To the twelve tribes,” &c., which we shall explain anon.

Let it suffice for the present, that he writeth chiefly to those among them that were gained to the faith of Christ, though there be many passages interspersed which do concern the unbelieving Jews : see chap. v. 1, and the reasons there alleged in the exposition.

* Eusebius Neirembergius, De Origine Sacræ Scripturæ, lib. xi. cap. 15–19. † Clemens, lib. ii., Constit. Apostol., cap. 63.

Fifthly, For the occasion, matter, and scope, you may take it thus : Certainly one great occasion was that which Austin taketh notice of; to wit, the growth of that opinion in the apostles' days, that a bare, naked faith was enough to salvation, though good works were neglected.* It is clear that some such thing was cried up by the school of Simon. Now, Samaria being nigh to Jerusalem, our apostle, whose inspection was mostly confined to those churches, might rather than others take notice of it. But this concerneth but a part of the epistle. The more general occasion, was the great degeneration of faith and manners, and the growth of libertine doctrines : as about God's being the author of sin, the sufficiency of empty faith and naked profession, &c. When the world was newly ploughed and sowed with the Gospel, these tares came up together with the good corn. As also to comfort God's children against the violence of the persecutions then exercised upon them, and to awaken the men of his own nation out of their stupid security, judgments being even at the door, and they altogether senseless. Therefore the whole epistle is fraught with excellent instructions, how to bear afflictions, to hear the word, to mortify vile affections, to bridle the tongue, to conceive rightly of the nature of God, to adorn our profession with a good conversation, with meekness, and peace, and charity ; finally, how to behave ourselves in the time of approaching misery. All these and many other doctrines are scattered throughout the epistle, so that you may see it is exceedingly useful for these times.

Sixthly, Concerning the title, Catholic or General Epistle, which is the title given all the seven latter epistles, I answer, in some copięs it is Kavoviki, Canonical; but probably that is an error. Why, then, Catholic ? Many reasons are given. Ecumenius, and out of him Beza, thinketh it is because they were not inscribed to any particular nation or city, as Paul's are to Rome, Corinth, &c. But this holdeth not in all, some of John's being dedicated to private persons, to Gaius, and the Elect Lady, and then there must be more than seven, that to the Hebrews being directed to the same persons to which Peter and James wrote theirs. Some say, because they contain universal doctrine, or the public treasure of the universal church ; but that would seem to derogate from the other epistles, and to prefer these before them. Paræus thinketh they were merely called so by an inconsiderate custom. But most probably the reason is to vindicate their authenticness, and to distinguish them from the epistles of Barnabas, Ignatius, Clemens, and Polycarp, which, though ancient, never made up any part of the rule of faith, and so not to derogate from the other epistles, but to join these to them.

These things premised, I come, by God's assistance, to handle the epistle itself.

* Excitata fuit tempore apostolorum opinio, sufficere solam fidem ad salutem obtinendam, si vel maxime bona opera negligerentur, contra quam opinionem apostolicæ epistolæ Petri, Johannis, Jacobi, Judæ, maxime dirigunt intentionem ut vehementer adstruant fidem sine operibus nihil prodesse. Aug., lib. de Fide et Operibus.

+ Ecclesia vetus has epistolas canonicas et catholicas appellavit, non ut aliis quidquam adimeret, sed ut has illis contra nonnullorum sententias adjungeret. Junius in Judam, p. 16.

AN

EXPOSITION, WITH NOTES,

ON THE

EPISTLE OF JAMES.

CHAPTER I.

VERSE 1.-James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to

the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. JAMES,] There were two of this name, the son of Zebedee, and the son of Alpheus : the latter is the author of this epistle, as in the prefatory discourse on the title more fully appeareth. [A servant of God,] The word dovlog is sometimes put to imply an abject and vile condition, as that of a slave or bondman; so the apostle Paul, when he saith“ bond or free are all one in Christ” (Gal. iii. 28); for “ bond” he useth the word dovlos; and this great apostle thinketh it an honour to be doūlos, the servant of God. The lowest ministry and office about God is honourable.

But why not apostle? Grotius supposeth the reason to be, because neither James the son of Zebedee, nor James of Alpheus, was the author of this epistle, but some third James; not an apostle, but president of the presbytery at Jerusalem ; but that we have disproved in the preface. I answer therefore, he mentioneth not his apostleship,—1st, Because there was no need, he being eminent in the opinion and repute of the churches. Therefore Paul saith, he was accounted a pillar and main column of the Christian faith (Gal. ii. 9). Paul, whose apostleship was enviously questioned, avouched it often. 2dly, Paul himself- doth not in every epistle call himself an apostle. Sometimes his style is, “ Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ” (Philem. 1); sometimes, “Paul a servant of Christ' (Phil. i. 1); sometimes nothing but his name, “ Paul,” is prefixed, as 1 Thes. i. 1, and 2 Thes. i. 1. It followeth (and of the Lord Jesus Christ,] Some take both these clauses in a conjoined sense, as applied to the same person,

and read it thus, “A servant of Jesus Christ, who is God and Lord;" as, indeed, this was one of the places urged by the Greek Fathers for the godhead of Christ against the Arians. But our reading, which disjoineth the clauses, is to be preferred, as being least strained, and more suitable to the apostolical inscriptions. Neither is the dignity of Christ hereby impaired, he being proposed as an object of equal honour with the Father; and, as the Father

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