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"perfect man,” in the perfection of the Christian life: the “ doer of the perfect law :" and his state and duties are described and enforced, not in the abstract, but in a multitude of living connexions and circumstances of actual life, as might suit the temptations and necessities of the readers.

4. St. James begins by a reference to their "temptations," exhorting them to consider them matter of joy, as sent for the trial of their faith and accomplishment of their perfection, which must be carried on in faith, and prayer to God for wisdom, without doubt and wavering. The worldly rich are in fact not the happy, but the subjects of God's judgment: the humble and enduring is he to wbom the crown of life is promised (ch. i. 1-12).

5. Then he comes to treat of a “temptingwhich is not from God, but from their own lusts. God on the contrary is the Author of every good and perfect gift, as especially of their new birth by the word of His truth. The inference from this is that, seeing they have their evil from themselves, but their good from Him, they should be eager to hear, but slow to speak and slow to wrath, receiving the word in meekness, being thoroughly penetrated with its influence, in deed and word, not paying to God the vain “religious service" of outward conformity only, but that of acts of holy charity and a spotless life.

6. The second chapter introduces the mention of their special faults: and as intimately connected with ch. i. 27, first that of respect of persons in regard of worldly wealth (ii. 1—13); and then that of supposing a bare assensive faith sufficient for salvation without its living fruits in a holy life (ii. 14—26). Next, the exhortation of ch. i. 19, “slow to speak, slow to wrath,” is again taken up, and in ch. iii. 1-18, these two particulars are treated, in the duties of curbing the tongue and the contentious temper.

7. This last leads naturally on in ch. iv. 1–12 to the detection of the real source of all contention and strife, viz. in their lusts, inflamed by the solicitations of the devil. These solicitations they are to resist, by penitence before God, and by curbing their proud and uncharitable judgments. Then he turns (iv. 13-v. 6) to those who live in their pride and worldliness, in assumed independence on God, and severely reproves the rich for their oppression and defrauding of the poor, warning them of a day of retribution at hand.

8. Then, after an earnest exhortation to patient endurance (ch. v. 7– 11) and to abstain from words of hasty profanity (v. 12), he takes occasion in prescribing to them what to do in adversity, prosperity and

Matt. vi. 24 ; ch. iv. 10, Matt. v. 3, 4; ch. iv. 11, Matt. vii. 1 f.; ch. v. 2, Matt. vi. 19; ch. v. 10, Matt. v. 12; ch. v. 12, Matt. v. 33 ff.; and from other discourses of our Lord, ch. i. 14, Matt. xv. 19; ch, iv. 12, Matt. x. 28. Compare also the places where the rich are denounced with Luke vi. 24 ff.

sickness, and as to mutual confession of sin, to extol the efficacy of prayer (v. 13-18), and ends with pronouncing the blessedness of turning a sinner from the error of his way.

9. The character of the Epistle is thus a mixed one: consolatory and hortatory for the believing brethren ; earnest, minatory, and polemical, against those who disgraced their Christian profession by practical error. Even in ch. ii. 14—26, where alone the Writer seems to be combating doctrinal error, all his contention is rather in the realm of practice : he is more anxious to shew that justification cannot be brought about by a kind of faith which is destitute of the practical fruits of a Christian life, than to trace the ultimate ground, theologically speaking, of justification in the sight of God.

10. As regards the style and diction of our Epistle, Huther has well described it as being “not only fresh and vivid, the immediate outflowing of a deep and earnest spirit, but at the same time sententious, and rich in graphic figure. Gnome follows after gnome, and the discourse hastens from one similitude to another: so that the diction often passes into the poetical, and in some parts is like that of the Old Test. prophets. We do not find logical connexion, like that in St. Paul: but the thoughts arrange themselves in single groups, which are strongly marked off from one another. We every where see that the author has his object clearly in sight, and puts it forth with graphic concreteness. Strong feelings, as Kern remarks, produce strong diction : and the style acquires emphasis and majesty by the climax of thoughts and words ever regularly and rhetorically arrived at, and by the constantly occurring antithesis.”

11. The introduction and putting forth of the thoughts also is peculiar. “The Writer ever goes at once into the midst of his subject; and with the first sentence which begins a section,-usually an interrogative or imperative one,-says out at once fully and entirely that which he has in his heart: so that in almost every case the first words of each section might serve as a title for it. The further development of the thought then is regressive, explaining and grounding the preceding sentence, and concludes with a comprehensive sentence, recapitulating that with which he began.”

12. The Greek of our Epistle is peculiar. It is comparatively free from Hebraisms; the words are weighty and expressive: the constructions for the most part those found in the purer Greek. It does not sound, in reading, like the rest of the New Test. There is only a slight link or two, connecting the speech of James in Acts xv. with it, which serves somewhat to identify its language with that. Such is “ beloved brethren," ch. ii. 5, compared with “Brethren, hear me," Acts xv. 13. We trace his hand also in the only two places where in a Christian Epistle the ordinary Greek greeting occurs, Acts xv. 23; James i. 1. The

Hear, my Greek style of this Epistle must ever remain, considering the native place and position of its Writer, one of those difficulties with which it is impossible for us now to deal satisfactorily.

SECTION V.

ITS GENUINENESS, AND PLACE IN THE CANON.

1. The previous enquiry, in § i., regarding the authorship of our Epistle, proceeded on assuming that the commonly received superscription rightly designates the Epistle as the work of some apostolic person bearing the name of James. It remains for us now to enquire, how far such an assumption is justified.

2. And here we have before us a question not easily settled, and on which both the ancients and moderns have been much divided. The sum of ancient testimony is as follows:

3. The intimate connexion admitted to subsist between it and the first Epistle of St. Peter, while it is valueless as an evidence of priority on either side, may fairly be taken into account as an element in our enquiry. The places cited in the note cannot be for a moment fairly called imitations. The case stands much as that between the common passages in 2 Peter and Jude. It may legitimately be supposed, that the writers of the two Epistles were accustomed to hold the same language and exhort much in the same strains ;-were employed in the apostolic work together : and that thus portions of that teaching in the Spirit, which they had long carried on in common at Jerusalem, found their way into their writings also. I cannot but regard this circumstance as

a weighty evidence for the Epistle being written in the apostolic age, and by one who was St. Peter's friend and companion at Jerusalem in its earlier periods.

4. If this were so, it surprises us to find the Epistle so little used or referred to by the Apostolic Fathers. Several more or less distant and uncertain allusions have been pointed out in the writings of Clement of Rome, Hermas ', and Irenæus?. Of these the two former are very

$ Compare especially James i. 2 f. with 1 Pet. i. 6,7; i. 10 f. with 1 Pet. i. 24; i. 21, with 1 Pet. ii. 1 f.; iv. 6, 10, with 1 Pet. v. 5 f.; v. 20, with 1 Pet. iv. 8.

“Abraham, who was called the Friend, was found faithful, in becoming obedient to the commands of God:” compare James ii. 21, 23. And again : "For her faith and hospitality Rahab the harlot was saved :” compare James ii. 25.

1 “The devil can wrestle against us, but he cannot wrestle us down : if then thou resist him, he will be conquered and fee from thee in disgrace:” compare James iv. 7. 2 « Abraham

believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness, and he was called the Friend of God;" compare James ii. 23.

doubtful indeed: the latter would seem as if Irenæus was acquainted with our Epistle, seeing that two particulars not conjoined, and one of them not perhaps even mentioned by the Septuagint', are coupled by him as they are in this Epistle. Still, for this citation we have not the Greek of Irenæus, but only his Latin interpreter.

5. It is difficult to believe, notwithstanding the precariousness of the phrases cited to prove it, but that Hermas was acquainted with our Epistle. The whole cast of some passages resembles its tone and tenor exceedingly. This is especially so in a passage, where he treats of double-mindedness, and in fact expands the thoughts and words of St. James : e. g., “ Cast out of thyself double-mindedness, and be not doubleminded in any thing in thy petitions from God ..... for God is not, as men, mindful of grudges, but Himself incapable of bearing malice, and is merciful over His creatures . . . . but if thou doubt in thine heart, thou shalt receive nothing of thy petitions. For those who doubt in their approaches to God, these are as it were double-minded and receive nothing at all of their petitions. But those who are perfect in the faith ask all things, trusting in God, and receive them because they ask without doubting, not double-minded in any thing. For every double-minded man if he repent not, shall with difficulty be saved.” Compare this with our ch. i. 5–7, and it is hardly possible to believe the two entirely independent of one another.

6. The first Father who has expressly cited the Epistle is Origen. In his Commentary on John we read, “ For if faith be predicated, but be without works, such faith is dead, as we have read in the current Epistle of James.” And in another work, “ Wherefore also it has been said, that God is untempted by evil," James i. 13. And in several other places in Rufinus's Latin version we have similar citations: “The Apostle James says," &c. 7. Eusebius says,

“Now of those books which are disputed, but still well known to the Christian public, we have that attributed to James, and that to Jude, and the second Epistle of Peter, and the second and third of John, be it of the Evangelist or of some other of the same name.” And again in H. E. ii. 23, after relating the death of St. James, he

says, “Such was the history of James, whose is said to be the first of the Epistles called catholic: but it is to be noted that it is accounted spurious: and but few of the ancients have mentioned it, as neither have they that which goes by the name of Jude, which is also one of the seven called catholic. Yet we know that these with the rest are publicly read in most churches." In this passage it can hardly be that “it is accounted spurious" expresses Eusebius's own opinion as to the fact -

3 See note, James ü. 23.

“it is spurious :”—but it simply announces the fact, that some so think of it.

8. Eusebius says of Clement of Alexandria, “ that he wrote short expositions of all the books of the (Old and ?) New Testament, not even passing over the disputed ones, the Epistle of Jude, and the rest called catholic, and that of Barnabas, and the book called the Apocalypse of Peter.” But it is manifest, that even were we to take this as fact, its testimony, when taken with the last clause, is very feeble as regards the canonicity of our Epistle.

9. Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus near Rome, quotes our Epistle apparently as Scripture, but not by name : “ Your lamps are dark by reason of your want of compassion : depart from me, for judgment shall be without mercy to him who shewed no mercy” (James ii. 13).

10. Jerome says, “ James, who is called the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just ..... wrote one Epistle only, which is among the seven catholic ones, which is moreover said to have been published by some one else under his name, although by degrees, as time went on, it has gained authority.”

11. Against these somewhat equivocal testimonies of the early Fathers, may be set the fact, that the Peschito, or primitive Syriac version, contained our Epistle from the first, although it omitted the second and third of John, Jude, and the Apocalypse. And this fact has the more weight, because the Syrian church lay so near to the country whence the Epistle originated, and to those to which it was, in all probability, principally addressed. And, as might be expected, we find it received and cited by the Syrian church as the Epistle of James the Lord's brother. So Ephrem Syrus, and other writers of that church.

12. In the Western church also it soon, though gradually, rose into general acceptation and canonical authority. It was recognized by the council of Carthage in 397. From that time onward, we find it universally received: and indeed the great company of illustrious Greek Fathers of the fourth century all quote it as canonical Scripture: Athanasius, both the Cyrils, Gregory of Nazianzum, Epiphanius, Philastrius, Chrysostom, the author of the Synopsis, &c.

13. Various reasons might be assigned for the delay in receiving the Epistle, and the doubts long prevalent respecting it. The uncertainty about the personal identity and standing of its Writer: the fact, that it was addressed entirely to Jewish believers : the omission in it of most of the particulars of distinctively Christian doctrine: its seeming opposition to the doctrine of justification as laid down by St. Paul: all these would naturally work together to indispose the minds of Gentile Christians towards it. But as Thiersch and Wiesinger have rightly remarked, so much the more valuable are those recognitions of its genuineness and canonicity which we do meet with.

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