The [a]General Epistle of James

4 He entreateth of patience, 6 of faith, 10 and of lowliness of mind in rich men. 13 That tentations come not of God for our evil, 17 because he is the author of all goodness. 21 In what manner the word of life must be received.

James a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve Tribes, which are [b]scattered abroad, salutation.

[c]My brethren, [d]count it exceeding joy, [e]when ye fall into divers tentations,

(A)[f]Knowing that the [g]trying of your faith bringeth forth patience,

[h]And let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

[i]If any of you lack [j]wisdom, let him ask of God, which giveth to all men liberally, and reproacheth no man, and it shall be given him.

(B)But let him ask in faith, and [k]waver not: [l]for he that wavereth, is like a wave of the sea, tossed of the wind, and carried away.

Neither let that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in [m]all his ways.

[n]Let the brother of [o]low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

10 [p]Again, he that is [q]rich, in that he is made low: [r]for as the flower of the grass, shall he (C)vanish away.

11 For as when the sun riseth with heat, then the grass withereth, and his flower falleth away, and the goodly shape of it perisheth: even so shall the rich man wither away in all his [s]ways.

12 [t](D)Blessed is the man, that endureth [u]tentation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

13 [v]Let no man say when he is [w]tempted, I am tempted of God: [x]for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own concupiscence, and is enticed.

15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth [y]sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 [z]Err not my dear brethren.

17 Every good giving and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the [aa]Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither [ab]shadow of turning.

18 [ac]Of his own [ad]will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be as the [ae]firstfruits of his creatures.

19 Wherefore my dear brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

20 For the wrath of man doth not accomplish the [af]righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of maliciousness, and receive with [ag]meekness the word that is grafted in you, which is able to save your souls.

22 (E)[ah]And be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, [ai]deceiving your own selves.

23 [aj]For if any hear the word, and do it not, he is like unto a man, that beholdeth his [ak]natural face in a glass.

24 For when he hath considered himself, he goeth his way, and forgetteth immediately what manner of one he was.

25 But who so looketh in the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, shall be blessed in his [al]deed.

26 [am]If any man among you seem religious, and refraineth not his tongue, but deceiveth his [an]own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

27 [ao]Pure religion and undefiled before God, even the Father, is this, to [ap]visit the fatherless, and widows in their adversity, and to keep himself unspotted of the world.

Footnotes

  1. James 1:1 That is, written to no one man, city or country, but to all the Jews generally, being now dispersed.
  2. James 1:1 To all the believing Jews, of what Tribe soever they be, and are dispersed through the whole world.
  3. James 1:2 The first place or part touching comfort in afflictions, wherein we ought not be cast down and be fainthearted, but rather rejoice and be glad.
  4. James 1:2 Seeing their condition was miserable in that scattering abroad, he doth well to begin as he doth.
  5. James 1:2 The first argument, because our faith is tried through afflictions: which ought to be most pure, for so it is behoovable for us.
  6. James 1:3 The second, Because patience, far passing and most excellent virtue, is by this means engendered in us.
  7. James 1:3 That wherewith your faith is tried, to wit, those manifold temptations.
  8. James 1:4 The third argument propounded in manner of an exhortation, that true and continual patience may be discerned from fained and for a time. The cross is as it were the instrument wherewith God doth polish and [re]fine us. Therefore the work and effect of afflictions, is the perfecting of us in Christ.
  9. James 1:5 An answer to a privy objection: It is easily said, but it is not so easily done. He answereth that we need in this case a far other manner of wisdom, than the wisdom of man, to judge those things best for us, which are most contrary to the flesh: but yet we shall easily obtain this gift of wisdom, if we ask it rightly, that is, with a sure confidence of God, who is most bountiful and liberal.
  10. James 1:5 By wisdom he meaneth the knowledge of that doctrine whereof mention was made before, to wit, wherefore we are afflicted of God, and what fruit we have to reap of affliction.
  11. James 1:6 Why then what need other Mediator?
  12. James 1:6 A digression or going aside from his matter, against prayers which are conceived with a doubting mind, whereas we have a certain promise of God, and this is that second part of the Epistle.
  13. James 1:8 In all his thoughts and his deeds.
  14. James 1:9 He returneth to his purpose, repeating the proposition, which is, that we must rejoice in the cross, for it doth not press us down, but exalt us.
  15. James 1:9 Who is afflicted with poverty, or contempt, or with any kind of calamity.
  16. James 1:10 Before he concludeth, he giveth a doctrine contrary to the former: to wit, how we ought to use prosperity, which is plenty of all things: to wit, so that no man therefore please himself, but be so much the more void of pride.
  17. James 1:10 Who hath all things at his will.
  18. James 1:10 An argument taken of the very nature of the things themselves, for that they are most vain and uncertain.
  19. James 1:11 Whatsoever he either purposeth in his mind, or doeth.
  20. James 1:12 The conclusion: Therefore we must patiently bear the cross: and he addeth a fourth argument, which comprehendeth the sum of all the former, to wit, because we come by this way to the crown of life, but yet of grace according to the promise.
  21. James 1:12 Affliction whereby the Lord trieth him.
  22. James 1:13 The third part of this Epistle, wherein he descendeth from outward tentations, that is, from afflictions, whereby God trieth us, to inward, that is, to those lusts whereby we are stirred up to do evil. The sum is this: Every man is the author of these temptations to himself, and not God: for we bear about in our bosoms that wicked corruption, which taketh occasions by what means soever, to stir up evil motions in us, whence out at length proceed wicked doing, and in conclusion followeth death the just reward of them.
  23. James 1:13 When he is provoked to do evil.
  24. James 1:13 Here is a reason showed, why God cannot be the author of evil doing in us, because he desireth not evil.
  25. James 1:15 By sin is meant in this place actual sin.
  26. James 1:16 Another reason taken of contraries: God is the author of all goodness, and so, that he is always like himself; how then can he be thought to be author of evil?
  27. James 1:17 From him who is the fountain and author of all goodness.
  28. James 1:17 He goeth on in the metaphor: for the sun by his manifold and sundry kinds of turning, maketh hours, days, months, years, light and darkness.
  29. James 1:18 The fourth part concerning the excellency and fruit of the word of God. The sum is this: we must hear the word of God most carefully and diligently, seeing it is the seed, wherewith God of his free favor and love hath begotten us unto himself, picking us out of the number of his creatures. And the Apostle condemneth two faults, which do greatly trouble us in this matter, to wit, for that we so please ourselves, that we had rather speak ourselves than hear God speaking: yea, we snuff and are angry when we are reprehended: against which faults, he setteth a peaceable and quiet mind, and such an one as is desirous of purity.
  30. James 1:18 This is it which Paul calleth gracious favor, and good will, which is the fountain of our salvation.
  31. James 1:18 As it were an holy kind of offering, taken out of the residue of man.
  32. James 1:20 That which God appointeth.
  33. James 1:21 By meekness, he meaneth modesty, and whatsoever is contrary to an haughty and proud stomach.
  34. James 1:22 Another admonition. Therefore is God’s word heard, that we may frame our lives according to the prescript thereof.
  35. James 1:22 He addeth reasons, and those most weighty: first, because they that do otherwise, do very much hurt themselves.
  36. James 1:23 Secondly, because they lose the chiefest use of God’s word, which correct not by it the faults that they know.
  37. James 1:23 He alludeth to that natural spot, to which is contrary that purity whereunto we are born again, the lively image whereof we behold in the Law.
  38. James 1:25 Behaving himself so: for works do show faith.
  39. James 1:26 The third admonition: The word of God prescribeth a rule not only to do well, but also to speak well.
  40. James 1:26 The fountain of all brabbling, and cursed speaking, and sauciness, is this, that men know not themselves.
  41. James 1:27 The fourth: the true service of God standeth in charity toward our neighbors (especially such as need others’ help, as the fatherless and widows), and purity of life.
  42. James 1:27 To have a care of them, and to help them as much as we can.

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