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ON THE FIRST GENERAL EPISTLE OF PETER.

noble faculty of speech, and being guilty of the vices of thel. VI. This Epistle of James is one of the most pathetic and tongue, such as cursing and swearing, slander and backbiting, instructive in the New Testament. Its style possesses all and all rash and unguarded speeches whatever. So, likewise, that beautiful and elegant simplicity which so eminently he wrote to caution them against covetuousness and sensual characterizes the sacred writers. Having been written with ity, distrusting the divine goodness, neglecting prayer, or the design of refuting particular errors which had been praying with wrong views, and the want of a due sense of introduced among the Jewish Christians, it is not so replete their constant and immediate dependence upon God. with the peculiar doctrines of Christianity as the Epistles

Secondly, to set the Jewish Christians right as to the doc- of Paul, or indeed as the other apostolical Epistles; but it trine of justification by faith. For as they were not to be contains an admirable summary of those practical duties justified by the law, but by the method proposed in the Gos- which are incumbent on all believers, and which it enforces pel, and that method

was said to be by faith without the works in a manner equally elegant and affectionate. of the law; they, some of them, weakly, and others, perhaps, wilfully, perverted that discovery; and were for understanding, by faith, a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel, without that living, fruitful, and evangelical faith, which worketh by

SECTION HII. love," and is required of all that would be saved.

Thirdly, to intimate unto such of them as laboured under sickness or any bodily disorders occasioned by their crimes, that if they were penitent, they might hope for a miraculous I. Account of the apostle Peter.—II. Genuineness and cacure. Fourthly, another and a principal reason of Saint James's

nonical authority of this Epistle.—III. To whom written.writing this Epistle to the Jewish Christians at this time

IV. Of the place whence it was sent.--Date-V. Its design

and contents.-VI. Observations on the style of Saint Peter's was, to prevent their being impatient under their present

two Epistles. persecutions or dark prospects; and to support and comfort them, by assuring them that the coming of the Lord was at hand. It is evident from the Acts of the Apostles, and many signifies a stone or rock, was the son of Jonas or Jonah, and

I. Simon, surnamed Cephas or Peter, which appellation of the Epistles, that most of the persecutions which befell was born at Bethsaida, on the coast of the sea of Galilee. the Christians arose from the unbelieving Jews. Now, as He had a brother, called Andrew, and they jointly pursued their destruction was approaching swiftly, the evils, which the occupation of fishermen on that lake. These two brothers the Christians suffered from them, were as swiftly drawing were hearers of John the Baptist; from whose express to an end. And it was highly proper for Saint James to put testimony, and their own personal conversation with Jesus them in mind of these things; for the prospect of a speedy Christ, they were fully convinced that he was the Messiah deliverance is one of the greatest motives to patience under (John i. 35–42.); and from this time it is probable that they any calamity. V. Conformably with this design, the Epistle divides itself of some of the miracles wrought by him, particularly that

had frequent intercourse with our Saviour, and were witnesses into three parts, exclusive of the introduction (i. 1.); viz. performed at Cana in Galilee. (John ii. 1, 2.) Both Peter Part I. contains Exhortations,

and Andrew seem to have followed their trade, until Jesus

Christ called them to “ follow him," and promised to make 1. To joyful patience under trials. (i. 2—4.)

them both “fishers of men.” (Matt. iv. 18, 19. Mark i. 17. 2. To ask wisdom of God, in faith, and with an unwavering Luke v. 10.) From this time they became his companions, mind. (5—8.)

and when he completed the number of his apostles, they 3. To humility. (9–11.)

were included among them. Peter, in particular, was 4. To constancy under temptations, in which part of the Epis- honoured with his master's intimacy, together with James tle the apostle shows that God is not the author of sin, but and John. With them Peter was present, when our Lord the source and giver of every good. (12–18.)

restored the daughter of Jairus to life (Mark v. 37. Luke viii. 5. To receive the word of God with meekness, and to reduce 51.); when he was transfigured on the mount (Matt. xvii. 1, it to practice. (19—27.)

Mark ix. 2. Luke ix. 28.), and during his agony in the garden Part Il. censures and condemns,

(Matt. xxvi. 36–56. Mark xiv. 32–42.); and on various

other occasions Peter received peculiar marks of his Master's 1, Undue respect of persons in their religious assemblies, confidence. At the time when Peter was called to the apos

which is contrary to the law of love. (ii. 1-9.) It is then tleship, he was married and seems to have removed, in conshown that the wilful transgression of one commandment sequence, from Bethsaida to Capernaum, where his wife's violates the whole law of God. (10–12.)

family resided. It appears also that when our Lord len 2. Their mistaken notions of justification by faith without Nazareth, and came and dwelt at Capernaum (Matt. iv. 13.),

works; these mistakes are corrected and illustrated by the he took up his occasional residence at Peter's house, whither examples of Abraham and Rahab. (ii. 13—26.)

the people resorted to him.2 3, The affectation of being doctors or teachers of their religion ; In the evangelical history of this apostle, the distinguish.

for as all are offenders, more or less, so vices in such a sta- ing features in his character are very signally portrayed; and tion would be the more aggravated. (iii. 1, 2.) Hence the it in no small degree enhances the credibility of the sacred apostle takes occasion to show the fatal effects of an historians, that they have blended without disguise several unbridled tongue, together with the difficulty and duty of traits of his precipitance and presumption, with the honourgoverning it (3—12.); and contrasts in a most beautiful able testimony which the narration of facts affords to the manner the nature and effects of earthly and heavenly wis- sincerity of his attachment to Christ, and the fervour of his dom. (13—18.)

zeal in the cause of his blessed Master. His ardour and 4. Those who indulge their lusts and passions. (iv. 1–5.)

forwardness are apparent on many occasions. He is the first 5. The proud, who are exhorted to repentance and submission to reply to all questions proposed by our Lord to the

whole to God. (6–10.)

collective body of disciples, of which we have a memorable 6. Censoriousness and detraction ; annexed are exhortations our Lord himself, when he first announced his future suffer

instance in Matt. xvi. 13-16. He hesitates not to rebuke to immediate and constant dependence upon God, enforced ings. The ardour of his spirit is strikingly evinced in his by considerations of the shortness and uncertainty of the venturing to walk on the sea to meet his Master (Matt. xiv.

present life. (11-17.) 7. Those who placed undue reliance upon their riches. (v. 1–6.) the high-priests servant, whom he smote with his sword,

28–31.); and still more decisively in his conduct towards Part III. contains Exhortations and Cautions ; viz. and whose right ear he cut off, when the Jewish officers were 1. An exhortation to patience and meekness under trials, in confidence sufficiently appear in his solemn asseverations

about to apprehend our Lord.3. His presumption and selfthe hope of a speedy deliverance. (v. 7–11.)

that he would never abandon his Master (Matt. xxvi. 33.); 2. A caution against swearing, and an admonition to prayer and praise. (12, 13.)

1 Benson's Preface to Saint James, pp. 14–20. Macknight's Preface, 3. Concerning visiting the sick, and the efficacy of prayer. 64–79. Harwood's Introd. to the New Test. vol. i. pp. 216-220. Heidegger

sect. 2-4. Michaelis, vol. iv. pp. 292-314. Pritii, Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. (14–18.)

Enchirid. Bibl. pp. 612-617. Janssens, Hermeneutique Sacrée, tom. ii. 4. An encouragement to attempt the conversion of sinners, and pp. 68-72 See also Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 519-584.

2 Luke iv. 40. Matt. viii. 16. xvii. 24-2. Mark i. 32. 34. the recovery of their offending brethren. (19, 20.)

• Matt. xxvi, 51-54, Mark xiv. 46, 47. Luke xxii, 50, 51. John xviii. 10, 11

Son of God, and far superior to the angels, to Moses, to the Proofs, (X. 1939.-xiii. 1—19.) in which the Hebrews are high-priest of the Old Testament, and to all other priests : exhorted, that from his sufferings and death, which he endured for us,

Secr. 1. To faith, prayer, and constancy in the Gospel. (X. much greater and more lasting benefits have resulted to the

19—25.) This exhortation is enforced by representations whole human race, than the Jews ever derived from their

of the danger of wilfully renouncing Christ, after having temple service, and from the numerous rites and ordinances of the Levitical laws, which were absolutely inefficacious to

received the knowledge of the truth, and is interspersed with

warnings, expostulations, and encouragements, showing the procure the pardon of sin. The reality of the sacrifice of himself, which Christ offered for sin, is clearly demonstrated.

nature, excellency, and efficacy of faith, illustrated by exFrom these and other arguments, the apostle proves that the

amples of the most eminent saints, from Abel to the end of

the Old Testament dispensation. (x. 26–39. xi.) religion of Jesus is much more excellent and perfect than that of Moses, and exhorts the Christian converts to con

Sect. 2. To patience and diligence in their Christian course,

from the testimony of former believers, and by giving parstancy in the faith, and to the unwearied pursuit of all godliness and virtue..

ticular attention to the example of Christ, and from the The great object of the apostle, therefore, in this Epistle,

paternal design and salutary effect of the Lord's corrections. is to show the deity of Jesus Christ, and the excellency of

(xii. 1-13.) his Gospel, when compared with the institutions of Moses ;

Sect. 3. To peace and holiness, and to a jealous watchfulness to prevent the Hebrews or Jewish converts from relapsing

over themselves and each other, enforced by the case of Esau into those rites and ceremonies which were now abolished;

(xii. 14–17.) and to point out their total insufficiency, as means of recon

Sect. 4. To an obedient reception of the Gospel, and a reveciliation and atonement. The reasonings are interspersed

rential worship of God, from the superior excellency of the with numerous solemn and affectionate warnings and exhor- Christian dispensation, and the proportionably greater guilt tations, addressed to different descriptions of persons. At and danger of neglecting it. (xii. 18—29.) length Saint Paul shows the nature, efficacy, and triumph of Sect. 5. To brotherly love, hospitality, and compassion; to faith, by which all the saints in former ages had been ac- charity, contentment, and the love of God. (xiii. 1-3.) cepted by God, and enabled to obey, suffer, and perform ex- Secr. 6. To recollect the faith and examples of their deceased ploits, in defence of their holy religion ; from which he takes pastors. (xiii. 4–8.) occasion to exhort them to steadfastness and perseverance in Sect. 7. To watchfulness against false doctrines in regard to the true faith.

the sacrifice of Christ. (xiii. 9—12.) The Epistle to the Hebrews consists of three parts; viz. Sect. 8. To willingness to bear reproach for him, and thanksPart I. demonstrates the Deity of Christ by the explicit Decla- giving to God. (xiii. 13–15.) rations of Scripture. (ch. i.-x. 18.)

Sect. 9. To subjection to their pastors, and prayer for the The proposition is, that Christ is the true God. (i. 1—3.) apostle. (xiii. 16-19.) The proofs of this are,

PART III. The Conclusion, containing a Prayer for the HeSect. 1. His superiority to angels, by whom he is worshipped

brews, and Apostolical Salutations. (xiii. 20—25.) as their Creator and Lord. (i. 4—14.)

The Epistle to the Hebrews, Dr. Hales observes, is a masInference. Therefore we ought to give heed to him. (ii. terly supplement to the Epistles to the Romans and Gala1-4.)

tians, and also a luininous commentary on them; showing The superiority of Christ over angels asserted, notwithstand that all the legal dispensation was originally designed to be ing his temporary humiliation in our nature (ii

. 5—9.); with superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian out which he could not have accomplished the work of man's dispensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the redemption

(ii
. 10–15); and for this purpose he took not upon of this Epistle, as connecting

the Old Testament and the

profoundest knowledge of both. The internal excellence SECT. 2. His superiority to Moses, who was only a servant, cidating both more fully than any other Epistle, or perhaps Application of this argument to the believing Hebrews, who doubt. We here find the great doctrines, which are set forth

are solemnly warned not to copy the example of their unbelieving ancestors who perished in the wilderness. (iii

. 7– in other parts of the New Testament, stated, proved, and 19. iv. 1–13.)

applied to practical purposes, in the most impressive manner.! Sect. 3. His superiority to Aaron and all the other high-priests

1 Heidegger, Enchiridion. Biblicum, pp. 600—611. Dr. Owen's Exercitademonstrated. Christ is the true high-priest, adumbrated tions on the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 1–44. fol. edit. Lardner's Works, by Melchizedek and Aaron. (iv. 14–16. v.-viii.) In ch. 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 381–415.; 4to, vol. iii. pp. 324—341, Macknight's Preface v. 1-14. and ch. vi. the apostle inserts a parenthetical di- to the Hebrews, vol: ii pp. 321-341. 4to. edit. or vol. v. pp. 1–27. 8vo. edit. gression, in which he reproves the Hebrew Christians for tiones in Epist. ad Hebræos,

pp. Ixii.-evi Schmidii Hist. et Vindicatio their ignorance of the Scriptures.

Canonis, pp. 655-673. Langii Commentatio de Vita et Epistolis Apostoli Sect. 4. The typical nature of the tabernacle and its furniture, bræos, pp. 1-8. 1173-1185. 8vo. Lipsiæ, 1815. Michaelis, vol. iv, pp. 192

Pauli, pp. 153–160. J. A. Ernesti Lectiones Academicw in Epist. ad He. and of the ordinances there observed. (ix. 1-10.)

Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. Secr. 5. The sacrifice of Christ is that true and only sacrifice Introd. ad Lectionem Novi Test: pp. 38-61, 312–318. Rosenmüller, Scholia

by which all the Levitical sacrifices are abolished. (ix. 11- cos Vet. et Nov Test. pp. 332–340. Alber, Institutiones Hermeneuticæ 28. x, 1-18.)

Nov. Test. toin. i. pp. 244–250. Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 488–533.

Janssens, Hermeneutique Sacrée, tom. ii. pp. 61–68. Whitby's and Scott's Part II. The Application of the preceding Arguments and Commentaries on the Epistle to the Hebrews.

-269.

D

CHAPTER IV.

ON THE CATHOLIC EPISTLES.

SECTION I.

ON THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE CATHOLIC EPISTLES.

I. Origin of the Appellation Catholic Epistles.-II. Its Antiquity.- Observations on their Authenticity.III. On the Order

in which they are usually placed. I. The Epistles of Paul are followed in the canon of the II. The denomination of Catholic Epistles is of very conNew Testament by seven Epistles, bearing the names of the siderable antiquity, for Eusebius uses it as a common appelapostles James, Peter, Jude, and John. For many centu- lation in the fourth century, and it is probably earlier; for ries, these Epistles have been generally termed Catholic John's first Epistle is repeatedly called a catholic Epistle by Epistles,-an appellation for which several conjectures have Origen, and by Dionysius bishop of Alexandria. Of these been assigned.

Epistles, two only, víz, the first Epistle of Peter and the first 1. Salmeron and others have imagined that they were de- Epistle of John, were universally received in the time of nominated Catholic or general Epistles, because they were de- Eusebius ; though the rest were then well known. Athanasigned to be transcribed and circulated among the Christian sius, Epiphanius, and later Greek writers, received seven churches, that they might be perused by all; for they contain Epistles which they called catholic. The same appellation that one catholic or general doctrine, which was delivered to was also given to them by Jerome. the churches by the apostles of our Saviour, and which might Although the authenticity of the Epistle of James, the be read with advantage by the universal church of Christ. "In second of Peter, the Epistle of Jude, and the second and third like manner they might be called canonical, as containing Epistle of John, was questioned by some ancient fathers, as canons or general rules and precepts which concern all Chris- well as by some modern writers, yet we have every reason to tians. Unquestionably, the doctrines they contain are truly believe that they are the genuine and authentic productions catholic and excellent; and they also contain general rules of the inspired writers whose names they bear. The claims and directions

that concern all Christians, as well as precepts to authenticity of these disputed Epistles are discussed in the that are binding upon all, so far as their situations and cir- following sections. We may, however, here remark, that cumstances are similar. But these remarks are equally ap- the primitive Christians were extremely cautious in admitting plicable to the other books of the New Testament, and Paul's any books into their canon, the genuineness and authenticity Epistles may, for the same reasons, with equal propriety, be of which they had any reason to suspect. They rejected all termed catholic or canonical Epistles; for the doctrines there the writings forged by heretics in the names of the apostles ; delivered are as catholic and excellent as those comprised in and, therefore, most assuredly, would not have received any, the seven Epistles now under consideration. They likewise without previously subjecting them to a severe scrutiny. contain many general precepts that are obligatory upon all Now, though these five Epistles were not immediately Christians; and the particular precepts are binding so far as acknowledged as the writings of the apostles, this only show's the circumstances of Christians in later ages are similar to that the persons, who doubted, had not received complete and those referred to by the great apostle of the Gentiles. incontestable evidence of their authenticity. But, as they

2. Others are of opinion that they received the appellation were afterwards universally received, we have every reason of catholic or general Epistles, because they were not writ- to conclude, that, upon a strict examination, they were found ten to one person, city, or church, like the Epistles of Paul, to be the genuine productions of the apostles. Indeed, the but to the catholic church, Christians in general, or to Chris- ancient Christians had such good opportunities for examining tians of several countries, or at least to all the Jewish Chris- this subject, they were so careful to guard against imposition, tians wherever they were dispersed over the face of the earth, and so well founded was their judgment concerning the books Ecumenius, Leontius, Whitby, and others, have adopted of the New Testament, that, as Dr. Lardner has remarked, this opinion, which, however, does not appear to be well no writing which they pronounced genuine has yet been founded. The Epistle of James was, indeed, written to the proved spurious ; nor have we at this day the least reason to Christians of the twelve tribes of Israel in their several dis- believe any book to be genuine which they rejected. persions; but it was not inscribed to the Christians in Judæa, III. The order in which these Epistles are placed, varies nor to Gentile Christians in any country whatever. The two in ancient authors; but it is not very material in what manEpistles of Peter were written to Christians in general, but ner they are arranged. Could we fix with certainty the date particularly those who had been converted from Judaism. of each Epistle, the most natural order would be according The first Epistle of John and the Epistle of Jude were pro- to the time when they were written. Some have placed the bably written to Jewish Christians ; and the second and third three Epistles of John first, probably because he was the Epistles of John were unquestionably written to particular beloved disciple of our Lord. 'Others have given the priority persons.

to the two Epistles of Peter, because they considered him as 3. A third opinion is that of Dr. Hammond, adopted by the prince of the apostles. Some have placed the Epistle Dr. Macknight and others, which we think is the most pro- of James last, possibly because it was later received into the pable. It is this :—The first Epistle of Peter and the first canon by the Christian church in general. By others, this Epistle of John, having from the beginning been received as Epistle has been placed first, either because it was conauthentic, obtained the name of catholic or universally ac- jectured to have been the first written of the seven Epistles, knowledged (and therefore canonical) Epistles, in order to or because Saint James was supposed to have been the first distinguish them from the Epistle of James, the second of bishop of Jerusalem, the most ancient and venerable, and the Peter, the second and third of John, and the Epistle of first of all the Christian churches; or because the Epistle Jude, concerning which doubts were at first entertained, and was written to the Christians of the twelve tribes of Israel, they were considered by many as not being a rule of faith. who were the first believers. In the following sections the But their authenticity being at length acknowledged by the usual order has been retained.1 generality of the churches, they also obtained the name of catholic or universally received 'Epistles, and were esteemed of equal authority with the rest. These Epistles were also

SECTION II. termed canonical by Cassiodorus in the middle of the sixth century, and by the writer of the prologue to these Epistles,

ON THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES. which is erroneously ascribed to Jerome. The propriety of I. Account of the author of this Epistle.-II. Its genuineness this latter appellation is not satisfactorily ascertained. Du and authenticity.III. To whom addressed.-IV. Its scope. – Pin says that some Latin writers have called these Epistles canonical, either confounding the name with catholic, or to 1 Benson's Preface to the Catholic

Epistles. Michaelis, vol. iv. pp. 269denote that they are a part of the canon of the books of the 271. Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 62–65. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. New Testament.

pp: 465–468. ; 4to. vol. iii. Pp. 366, 367. Rosenmüller, Scholia, vol. v. pp. 317, 318.

V. Synopsis of its contents.-VI. Observations on this fewer than seven allusions to it, which Dr. Lardner thinks Epistle.

sufficient to prove the antiquity of this Epistle. It is classed 1. CONSIDERABLE doubts have existed respecting the author by Eusebius among the Armengouerza, or writings concerning of this Epistle. Two apostles of the name of James are the majority was in favour of them. This Epistle was quoted mentioned in the New Testament. The first was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman upon the as genuine by Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, and most of the

ound in all the lake of Galilee, and the brother of the evangelist John; and subsequent ecclesiastical writers: and

it as he is uniformly

mentioned by the evangelists before John catalogues of the canonical books of Scripture, which were (except in Luke ix. 28.), he is supposed to have been the published by the general and provincial councils. But the elder of the two. As he was put to death by Herod Agrippa, Epistle

of James is inserted in the Syriac version of the New

most decisive proof of its canonical authority is, that the A. D. 44 (Acts xii.), it is evident that he was not the author

of Testament, executed at the close of the first or early in the the Epistle which bears the name of James, because it con- second century, in which the second Epistle of Peter, the tains passages which refer to a later period, viz. v, 1–8., second and third of John, the Epistle of Jude, and the book which'intimates the then immediately approaching destruc-of Revelation are omitted. This, Dr. Macknight truly tion of Jerusalem, and the subversion of the Jewish polity. The other James was the son of Alpheus or Cleopas; he Jewish believers, to whom that Epistle was addressed and

remarks, is an argument of great weight; for certainly the is called the brother or near relation of our Lord (Gal. i. 18, delivered, were much better judges of its authenticity than 19.), and is also generally termed “the Less,” partly to dis- the converted Gentiles to whom it was not sent, and who had tinguish him from the other James, and probably, also, because perhaps no opportunity of being acquainted with it until long he was lower in stature. That he was an apostle, is evident

after it was written. from various passages in the New Testament, though it does

III. Commentators and critics are by no means agreed not appear when his designation to this office took place. concerning the persons to whom this Epistle was addressed. He was honoured by Jesus Christ with a separate interview Beza, Cave, Scott, Fabricius, Bishop Tomline, and others, soon after his resurrection. (1 Cor. xv. 7.) "He was distin- are of opinion that it was addressed to the believing Jews guished as one of the apostles of the circumcision (Acts

i. who were dispersed all over the world. Grotius and Dr, 13.); and soon after the death of Stephen, A. D. 34, he seems Wall think that it was written to all the people of Israel to have been appointed president or bishop of the Christian living out of Judæa. Michaelis considers it certain that church at Jerusalem, to have dwelt in that city, and to have James wrote to persons already converted from Judaism to presided at the council of the apostles, which was convened Christianity ; but at the same time he believes, as the apostle sanctity, he was surnamed “ the Just.”, But, notwithstand- and designed that it should also be read by the unbelieving ing the high opinion that was generally entertained of his Jews, and that this design and intention had some influence character, his life was prematurely terminated by martyrdom, on the choice of his materials. Dr. Benson is of opinion according to the account of Hegesippus, an ecclesiastical that this Epistle was addressed to the converted" Jews historian, who flourished towards the close of the second out of Palestine; but Whitby, Lardner, and after them century. Having made a public declaration of his faith in Macknight, think it was written to the whole Jewish nation, Christ, the Scribes and Pharisees excited a tumult among both within and without Judæa, whether believers or not. the Jews, which began at the temple : or at least they availed This opinion is grounded on some expressions in the first ten themselves of a general disturbance, however it might have verses of the fourth chapter, and in the first five verses of the originated, and demanded of James an explicit and public fifth chapter, which they suppose to be applicable to unbedeclaration of his sentiments concerning the character of lievers only. It is true that in the fifth chapter the apostle Christ. The apostle, standing on an eminence or battlement alludes to the then impending destruction of Jerusalem, and of the temple, whence he could be heard by the assembled the miseries which soon after befell the unbelieving Jews; multitude, avowed his faith, and maintained his opinion, that but we think, with Bishop Tomline, that in these passages Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews were exasperated, and the apostle alludes merely to the great corruptions into which precipitated him from the battlement where he was standing; the Hebrew Christians had fallen at that time. and as he was not killed by the fall, they began to cast stones

It does not appear probable that James would write part at him. The holy apostle, kneeling down, prayed to God to of his Epistle to believers, and part to unbelievers, without forgive his murderers, one of whom at length struck him any mention or notice of that distinction. It should also be with a long pole, which terminated his life. According to remembered, that this Epistle contains no general arguments Hegesippus, this event took place about the time of the for the truth of Christianity, nor any reproof of those who passover A. p. 62. At this time the procurator Festus is refused to embrace the Gospel; and, therefore, though Bishop supposed to have been dead, and his successor Albinus had Tomline admits that the inscription" to the twelve tribes that not arrived ; so that the province was left without a governor. are scattered abroad” might comprehend both unbelieving Such a season left the Jews at liberty to gratify their licen- and believing Jews, yet he is of opinion that it was intended tious and turbulent passions; and from their known character for the believing Jews only, and that Saint James did not and sentiments about this time, they were very likely to em

expressly make the discrimination, because neither he nor brace the opportunity. We may therefore date the apostle's death about the time assigned by Hegesippus, viz. A.D. 62, any

other apostle ever thought of writing to any but Christian in which year it is placed by most learned men, who are further observes, " was to confirm, and not to convert; to agreed in dating the Epistle of James in the year 61.2 II. A considerable diversity of opinion has prevailed those who did not believe. The sense of the above inscription

correct what was amiss in those who did believe, and not in respecting the canonical authority of this Epistle ; but seems to be limited to the believing Jews by what follows though Michaelis and some other modern, critics are und almost immediately, 'The trial of your faith worketh patience.? decided on this subject, we apprehend that there is sufficient (i. 3.). And again, My brethren, have not the faith of our evidence to prove that it was written in the apostolic age. Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of perClement of Rome has alluded to it twice. Hermas has not sons. (ii. 1.) These passages could not be addressed to

1 Hegesippus, cited by Fusebius, Hist. Eccl. lib. ii. c. 23. Eusebius also unbelievers."6 quotes a passage from Josephus, that is no longer extant in his works, in which the Jewish historian considers the miseries which shortly after

IV. The design of the apostle James, in writing this overwhelined his

countrymen as a judgment for their murder of James, Epistle, we may collect, from a consideration of its contents, whom he calls a most righteous person. The genuineness of Josephus's to be as follows:testimony has been questioned, so that no reliance can be placed upon it. Origen and Jerome cite it as authentic, and they are followed by Bishop

First, to prevent the Jewish Christians from falling into Pearson, who has defended its genuineness. Dr. Doddridge considers the the vices which abounded among the Jews; such as pride testimony of Josephus as unworthy of credit; and Dr. Benson thinks that in prosperity, impatience under poverty, or any other afilic384. Dr. Benson's History of Saint James, prefixed to his Paraphrase, pp. looking upon him as the author of moral evil; a valuing

a Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 468–502. ; 4to. vol. i. pp. 368– tion; unworthy thoughts of God, and more particularly the 3 It is well known that the venerable Martin Luther, in the earlier part without a virtuous practice; a very criminal partiality for

themselves on their faith, knowledge, or right opinion, which he called straminea epistola, a strawy epistfe, and excluded it at the rich, and a contempt for the poor; an affectation of being Saint Paul concerning the doctrine of justification by faith; but more and uncharitableness, strife and contention; abusing the first from the sacred canon on account of its supposed contradiction of doctors or teachers; indulging passion and rash anger, envy mature experience and deeper research induced him subsequently to retract his opinion.

• Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 58–60.;

4to. vol. i. pp: 309, 310, • Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ij. p. 44. ; 4to. vol. i. p.

6 Bishop Tomline's Eleinents of Christian Theology, p. 472.

301.

ON THE FIRST GENERAL EPISTLE OF PETER.

noble faculty of speech, and being guilty of the vices of the VI. This Epistle of James is one of the most pathetic and tongue, such as cursing and swearing, slander and backbiting, instructive in the New Testament. Its style possesses all and all rash and unguarded speeches whatever. So, likewise, that beautiful and elegant simplicity which so eminently he wrote to caution them against covetuousness and sensual characterizes the sacred writers. Having been written with ity, distrusting the divine goodness, neglecting prayer, or the design of refuting particular errors which had been praying with wrong views, and the want of a due sense of introduced among the Jewish Christians, it is not so replete their constant and immediate dependence upon God. with the peculiar doctrines of Christianity as the Epistles

Secondly, to set the Jewish Christians right as to the doc- of Paul, or indeed as the other apostolical Epistles; but it trine of justification by faith. For as they were not to be contains an admirable summary of those practical duties justified by the law, but by the method proposed in the Gos- which are incumbent on all believers, and which it enforces pel, and that method

was said to be by faith without the works in a manner equally elegant and affectionate. of the law; they, some of them, weakly, and others, perhaps, wilfully, perverted that discovery; and were for understanding, by faith, a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel, without that living, fruitful, and evangelical faith, which worketh by love," and is required of all that would be saved.

SECTION III. Thirdly, to intimate unto such of them as laboured under sickness or any bodily disorders occasioned by their crimes, that if they were penitent, they might hope for a miraculous 1. Account of the apostle Peter.-II. Genuineness and cacure.

nonical authority of this Epistle.—III. To whom written.Fourthly, another and a principal reason of Saint James's

IV. Of the place whence it was sent.--Dute.-V. Its design writing this Epistle to the Jewish Christians at this time was, to prevent their being impatient under their present

and contents.-VI. Observations on the style of Saint Peter's persecutions or dark prospects; and to support and comfort

two Epistles. them, by assuring them that the coming of the Lord was at

I. SIMON, surnamed Cephas or Peter, which appellation hand. It is evident from the Acts of the Apostles, and many signifies a stone or rock, was the son of Jonas or Jonah, and of the Epistles, that most of the persecutions which befesl was born at Bethsaida, on the coast of the sea of Galilee. the Christians arose from the unbelieving Jews. Now, as He had a brother, called Andrew, and they jointly pursued their destruction was approaching swiftly, the evils, which the occupation of fishermen on that lake. These two brothers the Christians suffered from them, were as swiftly drawing were hearers of John the Baptist; from whose express to an end. And it was highly proper for Saint James to put testimony, and their own personal conversation with Jesus them in mind of these things; for the prospect of a speedy Christ, they were fully convinced that he was the Messiah deliverance is one of the greatest motives to patience under (John i. 35–42.); and from this time it is probable that they any calamity.

had frequent intercourse with our Saviour, and were witnesses V. Conformably with this design, the Epistle divides itself of some of the miracles wrought by him, particularly

that into three parts, exclusive of the introduction (i. 1.); viz. performed at Cana in Galilee. (John ii. 1, 2.). Both Peter Part I. contains Exhortations,

and Andrew seem to have followed their trade, until Jesus

Christ called them to “ follow him," and promised to make 1. To joyful patience under trials. (i. 2—4.)

them both “ fishers of men.” (Matt. iv. 18, 19. Mark i. 17. 2. To ask wisdom of God, in faith, and with an unwavering Luke v. 10.) From this time they became his companions,

and when he completed the number of his apostles, they 3. To humility. (9–11.)

were included among them. Peter, in particular, was 4. To constancy under temptations, in which part of the Epis- honoured with his master's intimacy, together with James

tle the apostle shows that God is not the author of sin, but and John. With them Peter was present, when our Lord the source and giver of every good. (12-18.)

restored the daughter of Jairus to life (Mark v. 37. Luke viii. 5. To receive the word of God with meekness, and to reduce 51.); when he was transfigured on the mount (Matt. xvii. I, it to practice. (19—27.)

Mark ix. 2. Luke ix. 28.), and during his agony in the garden Part Il. censures and condemns,

(Matt. xxvi. 36–56. Mark xiv. 32–42.); and on various

other occasions Peter received peculiar marks of his Master's 1. Undue respect of persons in their religious assemblies, confidence. At the time when Peter was called to the aposwhich is contrary to the law of love. (ii

. 1—9.) It is then tleship, he was married and seems to have removed, in conshown that the wilful transgression of one commandment sequence, from Bethsaida to Capernaum, where his wife's violates the whole law of God. (10—12.)

family resided. It appears also that when our Lord left 2. Their mistaken notions of justification by faith without Nazareth, and came and dwelt at Capernaum (Matt. iv, 13.),

works; these mistakes are corrected and illustrated by the he took up his occasional residence at Peter's house, whithéi examples of Abraham and Rahab. (ii. 13—26.)

the people resorted to him.2 3. The affectation of being doctors or teachers of their religion; In the evangelical history of this apostle, the distinguish. for as all are offenders, more or less, so vices in such a sta- ing features in his character are very signally portrayed; and tion would be the more aggravated. (iii. 1, 2.) Hence the it in no small degree enhances the credibility of the sacred apostle takes occasion to show the fatal effects of an historians, that they have blended without disguise several unbridled tongue, together with the difficulty and duty of traits of his precipitance and presumption, with the honourgoverning it (3—12.); and contrasts in a most beautiful able testimony which the narration of facts affords to the manner the nature and effects of earthly and heavenly wis- sincerity of his attachment to Christ, and the fervour of his dom. (13—18.)

zeal in the cause of his blessed Master. His ardour and 4. Those who indulge their lusts and passions. (iv. 1–5.)

forwardness are apparent on many occasions. He is the first 5. The proud, who are exhorted to repentance and submission to reply to all questions proposed by our Lord to the whole to God. (6–10.)

collective body of disciples, of which we have a memorable 6. Censoriousness and detraction ; annexed are exhortations instance in Matt. xvi. 13–16. He hesitates not to rebuke

to immediate and constant dependence upon God, enforced our Lord himself, when he first announced his future sufferby considerations of the shortness and uncertainty of the ings. The ardour of his spirit is strikingly evinced in his

venturing to walk on the sea to meet his Master (Matt. xiv. present life. (11-17.)

28–31.); and still more decisively in his conduct towards 7. Those who placed undue reliance upon their riches. (v. 1—6.) | the high-priest's servant, whom he smote with his sword, Part III. contains Exhortations and Cautions ; viz. and whose right ear he cut off, when the Jewish officers were 1. An exhortation to patience and meekness under trials, in confidence sufficiently appear in his solemn asseverations

about to apprehend our Lord. His presumption and selfthe hope of a speedy deliverance. (v. 7–11.)

that he would never abandon his Master (Matt. xxvi. 33.); 2. A caution against swearing, and an admonition to prayer and praise. (12, 13.)

1 Benson's Preface to Saint James, pp. 14-20. Macknight's Preface, 3. Concerning visiting the sick, and the efficacy of prayer. 69–79. Harwood's Introd. to the New Test. vol. i. pp. 216--220. Heidegger

sect.

24. Michaelis, vol. iv. pp. 292-314. Pritii, Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. (14–18.)

Enchirid. Bibl. pp. 612–617. Janssens, Hermeneutique Sacrée, tom. ii. 4. An encouragement to attempt the conversion of sinners, and PP. 68-72. See

also Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 519-584.

2 Luke iv. 40. Matt. viii. 16. xvii. 24–2. Mark i. 32. 34. the recovery of their offending brethren. (19, 20.)

* Matt. xxvi. 51–54, Mark xiv. 46, 47. Luke xxii, 50, 51. John xviii. 10, 11

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