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(Authorised Version Annotated James Inleiding)


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The apostle James, seeing he wrote this epistle to the believing, dispersed Jews, who had already learned and embraced the christian religion, does here not so much handle the articles of the christian doctrine, as indeed others do, but forasmuch as some among them, by the grievous persecutions, began to faint, and also some among them did not rightly live according to the christian faith, his principal aim in the epistle is, partly to comfort and confirm them against persecutions and afflictions, and partly to exhort them that to the profession of faith they must add a godly and christian life. To which end, after the superscription, he first exhorts them to patience in the cross, which commonly follows the profession of faith, and teaches what fruits proceed from this; that true wisdom comes from God, and must be sought for from Him in prayer. That when anyone is tempted to sin, this comes not from God, but from his own lust; that one must not only hear God’s Word but also do it; and wherein true religion consists, chapter 1. Afterward he exhorts that one must not respect the person of the rich to the contempt of the poor; and teaches that the faith whereby we are justified and saved, must be accompanied with good works, and thereby be shown to be a true and lively faith, chapter 2. Furthermore he reproves in particular those who would rashly teach and reprove others; exhorts to restrain the tongue, showing the evil and right use of the same, and teaches that true wisdom consists in meekness and peaceableness, and in laying aside envy and strife, chapter 3. Additionally he exhorts them earnestly to flee sinful lusts, showing the hurtful fruits of the same, to humble themselves and heartily to repent, and not to speak evil of one another. He reproves those also who, in their purpose to do anything, do not look unto the providence of God, chapter 4. Finally he greatly threatens the rich, who misuse their riches, and wrong the poor, and exhorts the poor by many reasons to bear patiently the wrong of the rich. He discourages them from vain swearing, and teaches the afflicted and the sick what they must do for their comfort, and how we must carry ourselves both in joy and sorrow, as also towards those who do err from the truth.


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