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God templeth no one.
Doers of God's word. when he is tempted, "I am tempted of God: "ness the implanted word which is able to save for God cannot be tempted by evils, nor doth your souls. And be ye doers of the word, 22 14 he tempt any man: But every man is tempted, and not hearers only, deceiving your own when he is drawn aside, and allured by his own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, 23 15 evil desire. Then when desire hath conceived, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding it beareth sin and sin, when it is finished, his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth 24 16 bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved himself, and goeth his way, and immediately 17 brethren. Every good gift and every perfect forgetteth what manner of man he was. But 25 benefit is from above, and cometh down from whoso looketh into the perfect law of freedom, the Father of lights, with whom is no variable- and continueth in it, this man, being not a 18 ness, nor shadow of turning. Of his own will forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, shall he begot us by the word of truth, that we be blessed in the doing of it. If any man 26 might be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. among you think that he is religious, and 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every bridle not his tongue, but deceive his own man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure and 27 20 wrath For the wrath of man worketh not undefiled religion before our God and Father the righteousness of God. is this; to take care of the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one'sself unspotted from the world.
Wherefore lay aside all defilement and abounding wickedness, and receive with meek
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER I. 1. However believers may be scattered abroad and persecuted, they will not be forgotten or forsaken. God will raise up and employ some of his servants to instruct, comfort, and warn them; and so overrule and sanctify their trials, as to increase their faith and patience. The uncertainty of life itself, and the fading and perishing nature of our earthly enjoyments, should mo derate our desires after them, mitigate our grief for the loss of them, and inspire us with a holy zeal, to seek the rich blessings of grace and salvation. Let then the believer, who is rich in this world, rejoice when he is tried and humbled; when he is raised above what he possesses, and steadily pursues his christian course, in hope of enjoying for ever the glorious prize of immortality and bliss. Nor should the poor believer mourn his lot here, as he is exalted to the enjoyment of the noblest privileges, and will soon possess the everlasting inheritance. In doubts as to the path of duty, or as to any doctrine, let all ask wisdom of God, who is so ready to give, and to give in the most liberal manner. Still let us remember that it is only the prayer of faith which
conceives, and then beareth sin, &c.Do not err, &c. By supposing that God is the author of moral evil. On the contrary, God is the giver of every good gift, &c.Father of lights. Of all perfection and happiness, who is so unchangeably good and perfect, that there is in him not even the appearance of a change; nay, not a shadow of it, much less the reality. Of his own will, &c. As a proof of his unchanging counsel and goodness, he of his own good pleasure begât us Jews, regenerated, called and saved us by the gospel, that we might be among christians a kind of first-fruits presented to God.
19, 20. Slow to speak, c. Considering well what you speak; and be slow to wrath, to a fiery zeal for your ancient rites, remembering that such wrathful zeal is attended with other bad passions, and does not work such righteousness as God requireth.
21. Implanted word. The gospel was implanted among them by the labours of the apostles; and when received with a meek and humble disposi tion was able to save, &c.
prevaileth. For he who so doubteth as to be of a divided mind, and unsteady in his views, desires, and ways, cannot expect to be heard and answered.
2. For wise and holy reasons God often tries most severely those who fear and serve him, that their sincerity, fortitude, and perseverance may be manifest. And happy is every one who endureth trial! For when he hath been proved he shall receive the crown of life. Like gold tried in the furnace, the true believer by his victory over temptation will shine brighter; and his temper and conduct will be found to reflect praise, and honour, on his profession. But alas! how often do unsound professors disgrace the name by which they are called; and when tempted to evil, comply with the temptation, and then virtually, if not in words, impute their sin to God. Let such remember, that as God cannot be tempted to do wrong by the sins of men against him; so he tempteth no one to sin or apostacy, by any influence on their minds, or by any improper allurements. No; a man is tempted to sin by his own evil desire. This conceives and beareth sin; and the
22-24. And be ye doers, &c. To hear, and not to do, is but to deceive ourselves; it is only acting like a man, who looks at his face as represented in a glass, and then forgets his own features and likeness'; for the hearer forgets what manner of man he is, what is his moral image, and never becomes what he should be.
25. Perfect law of freedom. The gospel in opposition to the law of Moses. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 24. Hebr. vii. 19.; x. 1.———A doer of the work, &c. Of what the gospel requires, "shall be blessed in the doing of it,” `I read air, and refer it to spyov, work. In this version we have a similar sentiment to John vii. 17. By his believing and practising the will of God, he shall be greatly blessed.
26, 27. Think to be religious, &c. Pretend to be so, and bridle not his tongue, see verse 19.- ·Pure and undefiled, &c. Religion exemplified in its power is this, to provide for the helpless and afflicted, and to take heed and avoid the vices of the world.
Respect of persons,
A. D. 61. We should not show respect to the rich and despise the poor brethren; nor boast of faith without works ; the faith of devils and of Abraham described, &c.
My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with a respect 2 of persons. For if there come into your assembly a man with a gold ring, in gorgeous apparel, and there come in also a poor man in 3 mean apparel; And ye regard him who weareth the gorgeous apparel, and say to him, "Sit thou here in a good place;" and say to the poor, "Stand thou there," or, "Sit here under 4 my footstool;" Do ye not then become partial among yourselves, and have ye not been judges 5 whose thoughts are evil? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to those 6 who love him? But ye have dishonoured the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and 7 draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that excellent name by which 8 ye are called? Now if ye fulfil the royal law
natural tendency of sin, as well as the punishment of it, is to bring forth death. God is the author of good only; and let us not err by exculpating ourselves and wickedly charging our crimes on him. He is the father of lights, possessed of perfect knowledge, wisdom, holiness, and purity; and every temporal or spiritual good and blessing cometh from him. To him then let us ascribe the glory of all the good in us, or done by us, while we take to ourselves the shame of having sinned and done evil in his sight.
3. Let us reflect on our obligations to duty from the change we profess to have experienced. If the gospel has been the instrument of our spiritual birth, we may trace the effect up to the will of our Father. And the great design is that we may be consecrated to him as the first-fruits were, or as the first-born among the Israelites. Let us then
CHAP. II. 1—7. The Lord of glory, &c. See 1 Cor. ii. S.————Assembly, &c. Doubtless, the christian assembly or church. Do ye not become, &c. Making uujust distinctions, showing such a deference to outward appearances, without regarding their moral conduct?—Hearken, my, &c. Is it not a truth that in the gospel God hath a special respect to the poor, having chosen them to be rich in faith, &c. And do ye not suffer most persecution from the rich ? . Do not they oppress you, &c.?
8-13. Royal law. Noble, excellent, governing the other duties we owe to our neighbour; but if you are partial, showing respect to persons, ye are convicted by this precept as transgressors.—For whosoever, &c. Keeping all the other precepts, and only violating one, as effectually precludes the hope of life, as if a man had violated all of them. Whitby supposes James opposes the error of some Jewish doctors, who taught that if a man obeyed
Law forbids all sin.
according to the scripture, "Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself," ye do well: But 9 if ye have a respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and 10 yet offend as to one precept, he is guilty of breaking all. For he that said, "Do not com- 11 mit adultery," said also, "Do not commit murder." Now if thou commit no adultery, and yet commit murder, thou becomest a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, 12 as those who shall be judged by the law of freedom. For he shall have judgment without 13 mercy, that hath shown no mercy; but mercy glorieth over judgment to him that showeth mercy.
What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man 14 say that he hath faith, and have not works? can this faith save him? Now if a brother or 15 sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say to them, " Depart in peace, 16 be ye warmed and be ye filled ;" yet give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Thus also a faith, if it have 17
cultivate and maintain the spirit of his children, being swift to hear his word; slow to speak, lest we should speak improperly; and especially slow to wrath, not easily provoked, conscious that fiery zeal and un governed passion cannot work righteousness, or promote the cause of God. With what reverence, humility, and submission should we hear and receive the good word of God: for when it is implanted in the heart, it will be found able, as a mean, to save the soul. What will it avail to hear it and then forget it? In this case it will aggravate our misery. May the blessed spirit so apply it to our hearts, that we may be doers, as well as hearers, of the word; and instead of vainly talking of religion, show that we possess it by our sympathy, charity, and kindness to the poor, and by our spirituality and freedom from the follies and vices of the world.
14-17. Say that he hath faith, &c. Profess that he is a believer in Christ, and yet does not act as one, can such a faith be of any use as to his salvation? Is it not like one saying to a naked or famished person, "be thou clothed or fed," without supplying him with what he needs; and of what use to him is such language?So faith, &c. This shows that James means no more by faith than a mere assent to certain religious principles, unaccompanied by any fruits of piety, a mere speculative faith, a bare pretention to it, which is a totally different thing from what Paul meant by it; a
The nature of faith
18 not works, is dead, being by itself. Yea, one may say to him, "Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and trem20 ble. But wouldst thou know, O vain man, 21 that a faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified as to the nature of his faith, by works, when he lifted up Isaac 22 his son upon the altar? Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER II. 1. The distinction of rich and poor is founded on the possession of property or the want of it; and, however proper as a civil distinction, ought to have no place in the church of Christ. Here men are to be regarded according to their moral characters, and no undue preference shown to a man because of his superior dress, or civil station. The great body of pious men, of those who are rich in faith, are found among the labouring classes, among those who are comparitively poor, and some of them really so; and assuredly they ought to be esteemed as heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to those who love him. Carnal men indeed judge according to outward appearance; but men professing the gospel ought
faith which worketh by love, a faith which yields the fruits of righteousness. 18-20. Show me thy faith, &c. But this is impossible; for it is by works that genuine faith is known. Dost thou say, that thou believest there is one God? This is so far well; but recollect that demons have this speculative faith, and even tremble when they think of God. "Know then, O vain man," empty, false, hypocritical man, that a speculative faith without works is dead, and of no avail to salvation.
proved by its fruits. faith perfected. And the scripture was ful- 23 filled which saith, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him in order to righteousness:" and he was called the Friend of God. You see then, that a man is justified, 24 as to the nature of his faith, by works, and not by a faith that is alone. In like manner 25 was not Rahab the harlot justified as to her faith, by works, when she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? For 26 as the body without the spirit is dead, so a faith without works is dead also.
21-26. The scripture was fulfilled, &c. In the two preceding verses he asserts that Abraham was justified by works, when he offered up Isaac, and that faith wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect, he then says, "the scripture was fulfilled," confirmed, which saith Abraham believed God, &c. See Gen. xv. 6. How was this scripture fulfilled by offering up Isaac, which was more than twenty years after? In this it showed that the faith of Abraham was not a speculative faith, but the genuine faith of the saints working by love, and performing the noblest acts of obedience. James then explains himself to mean that Abraham was justified by a faith producing good works or obedience; and by such works his faith was made or appeared perfect and genuine. In like manner Rahab was justified. So that we may conclude that a man is justified by such a faith as produces good works, and not by a faith of a different kind, a faith without them. For as the body without the animating spirit is dead, so is a faith without works. In this paragraph I have supplied what seems necessary to express clearly the sense of the writer. He is evidently speaking either of a mere hypocritical profession of faith, or of a cold assent to some divine truths; and in either case the question is proper, "Can this faith save him?" He then shows the nature of genuine faith, that of which Paul speaks, and which Abraham had, is a faith producing good works. But the faith of the bypocrite, or a mere speculative faith, produces no works. He then asks the question, Was not Abraham justified or vindicated by works, &c.? From this he concludes that faith was the principle of his obedience and good works, and by works faith was perfected; that is, showed its reality, strength, and perfection. The 22d verse supports, as it implies the insertion, as to the nature of his faith, in the 21st ;
to know that God sets little value on riches, as he often gives them to the most worthless characters; and it should be their endeavour to attain the durable riches of righteousness. And is it not too common for the rich to despise religion, and to persecute its followers? Do they not reproach and blaspheme the name of Jesus? Let it be our concern to fulfil the noble royal law of loving our neighbour, and showing no partiality, lest we commit sin, and be convicted as transgressors. Let us remember that the constant violation of one precept is a virtual violation of all, as it is a contempt of divine authority; and as we desiré mercy, let us exercise and show it to others.
2. How vain is the profession of faith, or even a mere speculative
and the 23d equally confirms it. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, "Abraham believed, &c." How was this fulfilled by his offering up Isaac? In no other sense, which I can conceive, than that this noble act of obedience, confirmed what was said so long before, as to his faith or belief in God; it again proved its genuine nature. Hence the verb dixaiora is used, not to signify accounting one righteous, which implies the pardon of sin, and acceptance to the divine favour; but in its original sense, to clear, vindicate, and prove. Now what is it which is to be cleared, vindicated, and proved? The subject of which James treats is, Whether a hypocritical, speculative, and dead faith, or a faith that uniformly and constantly produces good works, is saving. He denies the former to be of any use as to salvation; but the latter he vindicates as the genuine faith of the gospel, from the instance of Abraham the father of the faithful, whose faith was operative, working obedience to God's command. The instance of Rahab supports the same conclusion. She firmly believed that God would give Cauaan into the hands of the Israelites; and hence she received the messengers, and sent them out another way; and by this faith she and her family were saved from destruction by the Israelites. The same thing is proved by the 18th verse. Yea, one may say to him, who saith that he hath faith, Show me thy faith without thy works. But how can this be done? Such a faith is only a false profession. I will show thee that my faith is genuine by my works. This pretender to faith may be convinced of the truth, that there is one God. This is not the faith of the gospel ; for demons believe this and tremble. The conclusion in the 26th verse supports the same view. As well might we judge a body without the spirit a living man, as a faith without works to be the faith, by which any shall be saved. As in the one case the body is dead, so in the other faith is dead. From this view of the subject there is clearly no disagreement between Paul and James. Paul maintains that we are justified by faith without the works of the law; that is, we are pardoned and accounted righteous by faith in Christ, and by this only, without the merit of any works. James maintains that we are justified or vindicated as believers by our works, and that works alone can prove, either to ourselves or others, that we possess saving faith
We all offend.
A. D. 61. We should not rashly reprove others; but rather bridle the tongue, which is an instrument of much good and much hurm ; we live in peace, &c.
My brethren, be not many of you teachers; knowing that we shall receive a greater con2 demnation. For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, he is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body also. 3 Behold, we put bits in the mouths of horses, that they may obey us; and we turn about 4 their whole body. Behold ships also, which are so great, and are driven by fierce winds, yet are turned about by a very small helm, 5 whithersoever the pilot chooseth. Thus the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood a little 6 fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and 7 is itself set on fire by hell. For every kind of
faith in the most important truths and doctrines of revelation, if we are destitute of that faith which works by love, and secures obedience ? Such a faith never did, nor ever will, be the instrument or medium of pardon and acceptance to life. As no one was ever accounted righteous by any Mosaic observances, or by obedience to any law whatever; so is no one blessed and saved by a mere dead faith, but by such a faith as produceth good works. A mere speculative belief, should it even make us tremble with apprehensions of a future judgment, as the demons do, will leave us in the same misery and despair. What is such a faith but like a body without a soul? Is it any real charity to say to the hungry and naked, be clothed and fed; and yet give them nothing? And can we suppose that a cold assent to truth is the faith
CHAP. III. 1, 2. Be not many, &c. Pretend not to teach without due qualifications, knowing that in this case we shall receive a greater condemnation. Indeed the best of us are subject to offend in many things; but if a man as a teacher, offend not by the word he preaches, he is as to this a perfectly instructed man, and able to rule and guide the whole body and the members of it, especially the tongue.
The evils of the tongue.
beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is subdued, and hath been subdued by man: But the tongue no man 8 can subdue; it is an evil not to be restrained, full of deadly poison. Therewith we bless our 9 God and Father; and therewith we curse men that are made after the likeness of God. Out 10 of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth out of the 11 same place sweet and bitter water? Can a fig- 12 tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? or a vine, figs? so neither can that fountain which is salt, yield fresh water.
Who is wise and knowing among you? let 13, him show by a good behaviour his works, with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter 14 envy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth. This wisdom cometh 15 not down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envy and strife are, there 16 is confusion and every evil work. But the 17
5, 6. Thus the tongue, &c. Like the bit or helm, is a small member; yet it boasteth of doing great things, and it does them, by raising the passions of others, like a spark of fire kindling a pile of faggots.-A world of, &c. Or, a mass of iniquity and injustice. Some render os "the adorning of iniquity," or the abstract being used for the concrete; "the adorner of iniquity," apologizing for it, or even varnishing it over and representing it as virtue. 16-80 set among, &c. Is that member which placed among our other members, defileth by its language and irritating power the whole body,
of the gospel? No, the nature and reality of genuine faith can only be shown by our works of love and obedience. So Abraham showed his faith by obeying, when commanded to leave his country and father's house; and in like manner when commanded to offer up Isaac. Thus Rahab exposed her life by hiding the spies and sending them away in peace. Let us then examine ourselves, and see whether we possess like faith, or whether it is a mere lifeless opinion with which we are deceiving ourselves. Let such as have no love to God or man, no good works as the fruit of their supposed faith, reflect on the question, Can this faith save them? most certainly not, for then they would be saved not from, but in their sins. The faith then by which the soul is saved purifies the heart.
and excites turbulent passions through the whole course of life, and is itself set on fire, or excited by bell or Satan.
8-10. Every kind of beasts, &c. These are and have been tamed and subdued; but the tongue of other men can no one restrain; and it is found to be full of deadly poison. It is applied to the most contrary purposes; for with it we bless our God and father, as you Jews do; and with it we curse
3, 4. We put bits, &c. By this they are rendered subservient to our men, &c. Some think James alludes to the practice of the unbelieving Jews,‹ will; and so are ships turned and directed by the helm.
who were accustomed to curse in their synagogues all christians.
11, 12. Doth a fountain, &c. These questions are a comment on the words, "My brethren, these things ought not so to be." No such inconsistency is found in the natural world; and this awful abuse of the tongue shows the ignorance and deep depravity of the unrenewed heart.
13. His works, &c. As a teacher, let him show works becoming his character; and let him teach and act with the meekness of Christ, and of the wisdom of the gospel.
14-16. Do not glory, &c. In these things as being wisdom, and so lie.
The wisdom from above.
Origin of wars, &c. wisdom that is from above is first pure, then | sires which war in your members? Ye desire, 2 peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of and have not: ye kill, and earnestly covet, and mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, 18 without hypocricy. And the fruit of righteous- because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, 3 ness is sown in peace by those who make peace. because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it on your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, 4 CHAPTER IV. know ye not, that friendship with the world is
confidence as to this life, &c.
A. D. 61. Exhortation against covetousness, pride, detraction, and foolish enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would `be a friend to the world is adjudged an enemy to God. Do ye think that the scripture speaketh 5 in vain? Doth the Spirit that dwelleth in us
WHENCE Come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence from your evil de
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. How important is the office of a christian teacher, and how great his responsibility! O let none engage in this work without proper qualifications; without a competent degree of knowledge, an aptness to communicate it, and above all, a love to truth and holiness. Assuredly God calls none to this office, who do not possess suitable gifts and graces; and to attempt a work to which we are incompetent, is folly and presumption, nor can we expect the divine acceptance. In this case our failures, mistakes, and errors, will not only affect ourselves, but injure others; and while we are thus running unsent we may bring on ourselves a greater condemnation. Nor let any called, and in some degree qualified for this office, indulge a spirit of prejudice against others, or uncharitably censure and condemn them. Let us ever remember our own faults; for in many things how often do we all offend, and what need have we of forgiveness both from God and men!
2. "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned," said our blessed Lord. How necessary is it then to govern the tongue, if we desire to stand before our judge with acceptance at the great day. He who through divine aid governs his tongue aright, so as not to offend in word, has attained to a high degree of personal piety, and may comparatively be called a perfect man. How few such can be found! Most think, if they do not say, Our tongues are our own, who is Lord over us? Nor are they solicitous to rule or restrain them; but yield up the reins, and suffer them to walk through the earth. Men can guide and govern the horse by the
against the truth which God has given to us. Assuredly this kind of wisdom is earthly, not heavenly; animal, the wisdom of passion, not rational; worthy of evil spirits, not good ones. For where envy and strife are, &c.
17-18. The wisdom from, &c. That which comes from God, and is taught in his word and imparted by his Spirit, and which all teachers should possess, is pure truth, unmixed with error; peaceable in its nature and influence; makes men gentle towards others, and ready on being intreated to forgive; being indeed full of mercy, &c. "without partiality" (Ch. ii. 1,) towards the rich; and "without hypocricy" in the statement or profession of religion.—The fruit of, &c. The blessed fruit of the gospel, which reveals a justifying righteousness, and which produces the love and practice of righteousness, is sown by preaching it in peace, not in censure, anger, strife, and envy, (verses 1, 13, 14.;) by such as make and practice peace.
CHAP. IV. 1-3. Among you. Among yourselves, and with the Romans. Before the time when James wrote, the Jews had great wars with the neighbouring nations, and among themselves in every city and family, saith Josephus; not only in Judea, but in Egypt, Syria, and other places. The Jews
bit and bridle, or turn and steer vessels by the helm, amidst fierce winds and waves, they can subdue every kind of beast, bird, serpents or fish; but their own tongue, or that of others, can no one subdue, without the grace and spirit of God. It is indeed a little member; yet when under the direction of an enlightened inind and a sanctified heart, how useful, and what highly valuable purposes does it accomplish! But when it is governed by folly, and excited by envy, hatred, malice, or any malignant passion, it is a spark that sets on fire the course of nature; and by its bitter language, reproaches, revilings, and curses, shows that it is set on fire by hell! Let those especially who with their tongue bless God, reflect how inconsistent it is, to reproach and execrate their fellow-men, who are God's workmanship, and were originally made in his image and likeness. This is as contrary to the spirit of the gospel as for the same fountain to send forth sweet and bitter water, or for the same tree to bear different kinds of fruit. May divine grace renew our hearts; and then from the abundance of the heart our tongues will speak only what is good.
3. How excellent is true, heavenly wisdom! and how much opposed to it is the wisdom of the world! This last shows its origin, its nature and tendency, by the evil passions it generates, and the evil practices it encourages. While it cherishes bitter envy and strife in the heart, it leads men to glory and lie against the truth; to glory in what should be matter of grief and shame, and to lie in justification of their conduct. This wisdom regards earthly things, indulges sensual desires, and is the offspring of the old serpent. Let the disciples of
most eagerly desired two things, liberty from the Roman yoke, and dominion over other nations. These were the objects they sought in their prayers, and which they hoped to obtain by engaging in war with the Romans; but as they sought these things in an unlawful manner, and with wrong ends, they did not succeed, but perished in the attempt.-Evil desires. These, as it were, first war in your members, and then impel you and other men to the horrid practice of fighting and killing each other. Not content with your state and enjoyments, ye kill others to obtain what they possess, and yet are disappointed; and though you fight and war to obtain what you think would satisfy you, you do not succeed, because you ask not of God; or if you do ask, you ask amiss, having no higher end than your own gratification.
4. Adulterers, &c. Some think that James means spiritual adulterers those who professing to be God's people, yet were wedded to the world and to vice. That the Jews were a gross, sensual people is certain, and we ought to understand this literally as well as spiritually.
5. Scripture speaketh, &c. Is there no occasion to condemn your worldly mindedness, and sensuality? Doth not the scripture justly speak against