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168 They should not be incensed against each other ; Sect. were in our own power ; but set ourselves with all possible dili. vii.
gence to improve the present time, referring the disposal of all future events, to the wisdom of that God on whom it depends to
determine whether we shall live, and do this, or that. chap. Let rich men read the address of the apostle to persons in their v.1 circumstances, with holy awe, and with a jealousy over them
selves, lest their present prosperity be succeeded with misery,
and their joy with weeping and howling"; as it undoubtedly will 2,5 be, if wealth be unjustly gotten, or sordidly hoarded up, or luxu
riously employed to pamper their appetites, while the truest and noblest use of it, the relief of the poor, and the benefit of man
kind, is forgotten. Especially have they reason to tremble who 6 abuse wealth and power as the instruments of oppression ; soon
will all their stores be wasted, soon will they become naked and indigent, and find a terrible account remaining, when all the gaities and pleasures of life are utterly vanished. In the mean time, the saints of God may be among the poor and the oppressed; but let them wait patiently for the day of the Lord, for his com. ing is near. They sow in tears, but let them comfort their hearts 8 with the view of the harvest ; in like manner as the husbandman
demands not immediately the fruits of that seed he has committed 7 to the furrows. Adored be that kind Providence, which gives the former and the latter rain in its season. To him, from whom we have received the bounties of nature, let us humbly look for the blessings of grace, and trust him to fulfil all his promises, who without a promise to bind him, in particular instances, gives us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. Acts xiv. 17.
SE C T. VIII.
He concludes the epistle with inculcating moderation and fortitude,
cautioning them against profane and vain swearing, and recommending prayer, a ready acknowledgment of our faults, and a solicitous concern for the common salvation. James V. 9, to the end.
JAMES V. 9.
JAMES V. 9.
one against an James ren, so as to grudge or envy one another
any v. 9 superior advantages in life, or to harbour even
that malignity of disposition which should
but imitate the long suffering of the prophets.
169 sther, brethren, lest groan in secret,a while it wants opportunities sect.
viii. re be condemned : of mischief; that you yourselves be not conbehold, the
Judge demned, for behold the Judge is standing before James standeth before the dooz,
the door ; he is now present, and sees all the
judgment, as well as the enormities of the 10 Take, my breth- life. And that you may be fortified against ren, the prophets, such trying circumstances, my brethren, take 10 the name of the for an example of enduring adversity, and Lord, for an exam. of long suffering under the greatest provople of suffering af. cations, the holy prophets of old, who spake to fiction, and of patience.
our fathers in the name of the Lord, and gave
such convincing evidences of their Divine in11 Behold, we spiration. (Heb. xi. 36, 37.) Behold, in this 11 count them happy which endure. Ye respect we, esteem them happy," who endure have heard of the pa- steadily and patiently the trials which God aptience of Job, and points for them. In this view, ye have heard the Lord ; that the of the celebrated patience of fob, with how much Lord is very pitiful, honour it is proclaimed from generation to and of tender mercy. generation ; and ye have also seen the end of
the Lord, how much to his honour, and how
vantage. 12 But above all
Among other effects of that impatience, a- 12 things, my brethren, gainst which I am cautioning you, may be reck. Sweat not, neither,
oned the irreverent use of the name of God,
Groan in secret.] Thus I have para. judgment, but that of all Christians phrased the words, because it is well who judged right, and understood the known, that the original sove2014, (as Beza nature of things. And it is indeed a observes,) has this signification. Justin judgment in which all Christians should Martyr represents the Jewish conver's, be agreed. as the worst sort of Christians, who were · Seen the end of the Lord.] It is ob. apt to be impatient of the Gentile yoke, servable, that in Job xlii. 7, &c. God and to retain their attachment to the decides the cause in his favour, and calls views of a temporal kingdom.
him his servant Fob four times in the We esteem them happy, &c.] The compass of a few verses, npostle speaks of this, not only as his own
170 The sick to be healed with anointing, and the prayer of faith ; SECT. other, lightly and profanely, a neither by heaven, by heaven, neither viii. the throne of God, nor by earth, his footstool, by the e
by any other oath : James nor by any other oath ; but remember the com- bu
ny other oath ; but remember the com• but let your yea be 12 mand of our blessed Lord, (Mat. v. 37,) and yea, and your nay, let your yea be yea, and (your) nay nay; con- nay ; lest ye fall in
necessary occasions. 13 Accustom yourselves to the frequent exer. 13 Is any among cises of devotion, as what will have the surest you afflicted ? let
him pray. Is any i to promote the comfort and happiness merry ? let him sing of your lives in every circumstance. Is any psalms. among you afflicted ? let him pray, and cast the burden of his cares and sorrows upon the compassionate God, always ready to sustain his people. Is any cheerful, in easy and agreeable circumstances ? let him rejoice in God, and sing psalms of praise to him in a thankful ac
knowledgment of his mercies. . 14 Is any one among you sick ? let him under his. 14 Is any sick a
confinement call for the elders of the church ; mong you !
call for the elders of anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord Je- them pray over him, sus Christ, if they feel themselves so instigated anointing him with to do it by the secret workings of the Spirit of th
of oil in the name of grace upon their minds, as may encourage them 15 to hope for an extraordinary cure : And the 15 And the prayer )
prayer of faith, in such a circumstance as this,
d Sware not] This the Jews were commission of such a sin as had engaged very apt to do upon trifling occasions. the apostle to deliver them to Satan, in
• The prayer of faith ] I can by no order to corporeal punishment. But I means think, that this is advised merely hardly think an elder of the church would physically. By the prayer of faith, I under. then have been mentioned ; and one canstand, such a faith as is founded on some not imagine, that when the apostles were more than ordinary impression, by which so few, and two of them comparatively God intimated an intention of working a so seldom together, the expression, miracle ; and I look upon it as a very con. “ Send for the elders of the church,” should siderable proof, that, as the power of mean, Send for some of the apostles. How working miracles was not absolutely con. vastly different this is from the extreme fined to the apostles, so it might in some unction, practised by the papists, not for instances continue something longer in the cure, but only when life is despaired of, I church than their days. Lord Barring. think every reasonable man may easily ton indeed thinks, that the expression, if judge. he hath committed sin, &c. refers to the
for the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 171 of faith shall save shall save and recover the sick ; and the Lord sect. the sick, and the shall, in answer to prayer, raise him up ; and if up; and if he have he hath committed sins, which have brought this
James committed sins, they sickness upon him by way of extraordinary v. 15 shall be forgiven punishment they shall be forgiven him ; and the him.
Lord shall have mercy upon him, and recover
him according to the words of his servant. 16 Confess your When you are conscious of having been 16 faults one to another, really to blame, do not perversely vindicate a and pray one for an. other, that ye may
conduct which your own hearts condemn, but be be healed : The ef- frank in acknowledging it. Confess [your] faults fectual fervent pray- one to another ; f for we are all too ready to er of a righteous man stumble in the way of our duty; and pray for one availeth much.
another, especially when your brethren are un-
wrought in his heart by the energy of the Holy 17 Elias was a Spirit,is of great efficacy. Many instances 17 man subject to like of this you know are recorded in scripture; and passions as we are, among others, that of Elijah, who was a man subestly that it might ject to the like infirmities, with us, (compare Acts not rain : And it xiv. 15,) and had himself no greater command rained not on the over the clouds and the rain than any of us ; yet of three years and he prayed with a prayer, that is, with great faith six months. and fervency, that it might not rain; which
was not the effect of any resentment he had
Confess (vour] faults, &c.] The general (in his Works, p. 749,) observes, seems candid sensé which I have given to the to imply this sense. I have not confined words, and which is a very important one, it to the prayer of miraculous faith. seems to me utterly to supersede all pre- h Three years and six months.] Elijah tences to claim from them any priestly pow- is said, 1 Kings xviii. 1, &c. to have shower, or to the requiring confession in the ed himself to Abab in the third year ; that manner which the church of Rome does. is, from his going to live at Zarephath, 1 For the confession here mentioned is plainly Kings xvii. 8, 9, 14, but from the beginning spoken of as mutual.
to the end of the famine was three years 8 Wrought, by the energy of the Spirit.] and six months, according to the account The word evipy.eusin, as Bishop Hopkins, given by St. James, as also in Luke iv. 25. VOL. 6.
172 He who converts a sinner, shall save a soul from death. sect. famine to the end of it. And he prayed again, 18 And he prayed } viii
at the end of that time, that God would be again, and the hea.
pleased to remove the heavy affliction which the earth brought James v. 18 the drought occasioned ; and the small cloud forth her fruit.
which appeared at first, soon spread itself over
tity, to repay the barrenness of former years. 19 And now, brethren, let me conclude with one 19 Brethren, if
exhortation of the greatest importance both to any of you do err yourselves and others; which is that you
from the truth, and la
one convert bim ;
performs the most important charity that can 20 be imagined : For let him know, that he who 20 Let him know,
thus turneth back a sinner from the error and that he which con. fatal wanderings of his way, shall produce a from the error of his much happier effect than any miraculous cure of
way, shall save the body; for he shall save
a precious soul from soul from death, and everlasting death, ruin, and condemnation, and shall hide a multi
tude of sing.
MAY it ever be remembered by all, and especially by the min. isters of the gospel, of how great importance it is to be instrumental in saving a soul from death, an immortal soul from everlasting death; that so they may be animated to the most zealous and laborious efforts for that blessed purpose ; and think themselves richly rewarded, though it were for the otherwise unsuccessful labours of a whole life, by succeeding even in a single instance. In this view, may there be a care to bring them to
Saoc a soul from death, &c.] This en in the last words of the paraphrase. way of expression intimates in the strong. See Atterbury's Serm. Vol. I. p. 46–48 : est manner, the infinite importance of such Scott's Christian Life, Vol I. p. 368. And an event ; as to save a soul from death is I have not seen reason on the most attenyet more than hiding the sins of the convert. tive inquiry, to disallow the force of their As to the latter clause, Bishop Atterbury, arguments. Compare 1 Pet. iv. 8, and the and Dr. Scott, urge the interpretation giv. note there.