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12 But, above all things, 12 Προ παντων δε, αδελmy brethren, swear not ; φοι μου, μη ομνύετε μητε τον neither by heaven; neither

ουρανόν, μήτε την γην, μήτε by the earth, neither by any αλλον τινα ορκον ητω

δε other oath: but let your

υμων το ναι, ναι, και το ου, ου yea be yea; and your nay,

ένα υπο nay; lest ye fall into con- μη

κρισιν σεσητε. demnation. . 13 Is any among you

13 Κακοπαθει τις εν υμιν ; amicted? let him pray. Is προσευχεσθω ευθυμει τις

; any merry ? let him sing ψαλλετω. psalms.

14 Is any sick among 14 Ασθενει τις εν υμιν ; you ? let him call for the προσκαλεσάσθω τους πρεσβυelders of the church; and

τερους της εκκλησιας, και προlet them pray over him,

σευξασθωσαν επ' αυτον, αλειanointing him with oil in the name of the Lord :

ψαντες αυτον ελαιω εν τω ονοματι του Κυριου.

Daniel as one eminently righteous, shews that Job was a real person, and that his history is not a dramatic fable, as many have supposed. A fabulous person certainly would not have been mentioned by the apostle as an example of any virtue.

3. Ye bave seen the end of the Lord. This is the genitive of the agent. Ye have seen in the history of that good man, what a happy termination the Lord put to his sufferings. .

Ver. 12.-1. Swear not, neither by the heaven, &c. It is supposed by some, that James, in this passage, forbade the brethren to make indiscreet vows for the purpose of delivering themselves out of their affliction ; because a prac. tice of that sort shewed great ignorance of the character of God, and great impatience. This no doubt is a good sense of the passage. Yet I rather think he forbade them, when brought before the tribunals of their persecutors, to deny their faith with oaths; which some of them, it seems, thought they might do with a safe conscience, if the oath was one of those which were reckoned not binding. For that the Jews thought some oaths obligatory and others not, appears from our Lord's condemnation of that false morality, recorded Matt. v. 34.

2. That ye may not fall, uno ngitiv, under conlemnation. This, which is the reading of the common edition, and of some ancient MSS. particularly the Alexandrian, and of the Syriac, Vulgate, and other versions, was adopted by our translators. But Beza, Bengelius, and others on the authosity of the greatest number of MSS. prefer εις υποκρισιν, into hypocrisy. This latter rcading Mill hath inserted in his edition ; yet in his Prolegom. he prefers the other, No. 1208.—The apostle in this passage sets the condemnation of God threatened in the decalogue against false swearers, in opposition to

one

12 But above all things, 12 Bui above all things, my bre. my brethren, sueur noi,? thren, swear not falsely concerning neither by the heaven, nor your faith, to free yourselves from by the earth, nor by any punishment, neither by heaven, nor other oath. But let your by the earth, nor by any other oath, yeu be

yea, and your nay, in the imagination that such oaths nay, that ye may not fall are not obligatory. But let your yea, under condemnation.2 or affirmation on oath, be yea, that

is, agreeable to truth, and your nay, пау, , in like manner, that ye may not fall under condemnation, as perjured

hypocrites. 13 Does any one among

13 Does any one among you suffer you suffer evil? Let him evil for being a Christian ? instead pray. Is any one cheerful? of denying his faith with oaths, Lei Let him sing psalms. him pray for strength to bear his

sufferings. Is any one cheerful ? Let him sing Psalms of praise to

God for all his mercies. 14 Is any

sick 14 Is any one sick among you ? among you? let him send Let him send for the elders of the for the elders of the church who possess the gift of healchurch, and let them praying diseases, and let them pray over over him,2 having anointed him, after anointing him with oil by hiin with oils in the name the special direction of Christ, in of the Lord.

token that a miracle is to be per

formed for his recovery. the condemnation of men, which the brethren might escape who sware falsely concerning their faith.

Ver. 13.–1. Let him sing psalms. In this, and what goes before, the apostle advises us to employ ourselves in such private religious exercises as are suitable to our present circumstances and frame of mind. When rendered cheerful, by contemplating the manifestations which God hath made of his perfections in the works of creation, providence, and redemption, or by any blessing bestowed on ourselves, we are to express our joy, not by drinking and singing profane lewd songs, but by hymns of praise, and by thanksgivings 10 God for all his mercies. See Ephes. v. 18, 19. On the other hand, when afli ted we are to pray; that being the best means of producing in ourselves patience and resignation. But as the precept concerning our singing psalms when cheerful, does not imply that we are not to pray then; so the precept concerning prayer in affliction, does not that we are not to express our joy in suffering according to the will of God, by singing psalms as Paul and Silas did in the jail at Philippi. Ver. 14.-1. Send for ebe elders of the church; namely where the siok VOL. y.

51

imply

15

15 And the prayer of Και η ευχη της πισfaith shall save the sick,

τεως OwOEL τον καμνοντα, , and the Lord shall raise

και εγερει αυτον ο Κυριος. . him up; and if he have

Καν αμαρτιας η σεποιηκως, committed sins, they shall

αφεθησεται αυτω. be forgiven him.

. 16 Confess your faults

Εξομολογείσθε αλληone to another, and pray λοις τα παραπτωματα, και one for another, that yo ευχεσθε υπερ αλληλων, όπως may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a

μαθητε. Πολυ ισχυει δεησις righteous man availeth

δικαιου

ενεργουμενη. . much.

16

person lives.

See 1 Tim. v. 17. note 1. for an account of the elders.-lo the first age, the spiritual gifts were dispensed in such plenty, that no church was without these gifts; and particularly, in every church there were some who possessed the gift of miraculously healing the sick.

2. Let tbem pray over him, that is, with their hands laid on him. This is what is called the prayer of faith, ver. 15. See note 1. there ; also the notes on the parallel passage, 1 John v. 14. 16.

3. Having anointed bin with oil. Although the rite here prescribed, is not mentioned in the account which the evangelists have given of Christ's commission to his disciples to heal the sick, Matt. x. 8. Luke ix. 2. it is probable he appointed it then. For in the account given of the execution of that commission, it is said, Mark vi. 13. They anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. The anointing the sick with oil, was not pre. scribed, either by our Lord or by his apostle, as a natural remedy, hut as a sensible token to the sick person himself and to those who were present, that a miracle of healing was going to be performed. Where no miracle is to be performed, to use anointing, as a religious rite, is a vain superstition. See 1 John v. 16. note 4.

Ver. 15.-1. And the prayer of faith. In scripture, faith sometimes signifies the spiritual gifts in general, Rom. xii. 3. sometimes the gift of working miracles, 1 Cor. xii. 9. xiii. 2. and sometimes the gift of healing diseases miraculously, Acts iii. 16. in which sense it is to be understood here. The gift of working miracles was called faith, because they were always performed in consequence of an impression made by the Spirit, on the mind of the person who was to perform them, moving him to undertake the miracle, and working in him a full persuasion that it would be performed. Wherefore, the prayer of faith, is a prayer which the elder, moved by the Spirit of God, was to make for the recovery of the sick in the full persuasion that the Lord would raise him up. See 1 John v. 16. note 1.

Ver. 16.–1. Confess your faults one to another. In sickness we are to confess our faults one to another, not because we have power to grant pardon of sin to each other: But diseases being often inflicted as the punishment

15 And the prayer of 15 And the prayer of faith will faith 1 will save (rov xam- save the sick person from his disease, YOUta) the sick person, and and the Lord will raise him up from 80 the Lord will raise him his sick-bed. See Mark i. 31. So up. (Køv, etsi) And al. that although he hath committed sins, though he hath committed for which that disease was sent on sins, they shall be forgiven him they shall be forgiven him by the him.

removal of the disease. (See 1 John

v. 16. note 3.) 16 Confess your faults 1 16 In your sickness, therefore, conone to another, and pray fess your faults to one another, If ye for one another, that ye may have done one another any injury. be healed. 2 (See 1 John And ihe injured to whom the confes. v. 16. note 3.) The in- sion is made, ought to forgive the wrought prayer (drxais, 69.) sick, and pray for him that he may be of the righteous man avail- healed. The inspired prayer of the el. eth much. 3

der, (ver. 14.) accompanied with the prayer of the injured party, hath great influence with God.

of particular sins, (1 Cor. xi. 30.) when the sick are made sensible in the course of their disease, that they have injured their brethren, they ought to shew their repentance, by confessing these sins to them, and by asking their pardon. This passage of scripture, therefore, affords no foun. dation for the Popish practice of auricular confession to the priest.-Besides mutual confession being here enjoined, the priest is as much bound by this precept to confess to the people, as the people to the priest ; not to mention that confession in general is not enjoined, here, but confession to the in ur. ed party only, agreeably to our Lord's direction, Matt. v. 25. And, when acknowledgment is made to him, he ought to forgive, and pray for the party wbo injured him, that he may be healed. See the following note.

2. And pray for one another, that ye may be bealed. Here four things are observable. 1. That this confession was to be made, not by a person in health that he might obtain eternal salvation, but by a sick person that he might be healed.—2. That this direction being addressed to women as well as to men, they are required to pray for one another, and even for the men, whether laity or clergy, who have injured them.-3. That there is no men. tion here of absolution either by the priest, or by any other person.-4. Ab. solution, in the sound sense of the word, being nothing but a declaration of the promises of pardon which are made in the gospel to penitent sinners, every one who understands the gospel-doctrine may, as Benson observes, declare these promises to penitent sinners, as well as any bishop or priest whatever, and the one hath no more authority to do it than the other ; nay, cvery sincere penitent may expect salvation without the absolution of any

are,

νας εξ.

17 Elias was a man sub- 17 Ηλιας ανθρωπος ην οject to like passions as we μοιοπαθης ημιν και προσευ

and he prayed earnest- χη προσηύξατο του μη βρεly that it might not rain και ξαι και ουκ εβρεξεν επι της and it rained not on the earth by the space of three γης ενιαυτους τρεις και μηyears

and six months. 18 And he prayed again, 18 Και σαλιν προσαυξα. and the heaven gave rain, το, και ο ουρανος υετον εδωand the earth brought

κε, και η γη εβλαςησε τον forth her fruit.

καρπον αυτης. 19 Brethren, if any of 19 Αδελφοι εαν τις εν you do err from the truth, μιν πλανηθη απο της αληand one convert him;

θειας, και επιςρεψη τις αυTOV,

person whatever. Whereas the impenitent have no reason to expect that blessing, although absolved by all the priests in the world.

3. The inwrought prayer of the righteous man availeth much, namely, to obtain health for the sick. -Because this is called dengis tvegg speeva, the inwrought praer, I think it must be understood of the prayer of the elder for the miraculous recovery of the sick, to which he was moved bi the Spirit, and not of the prayer of any righteous man whatever. For we do not find in scripture that the prayers of such were followed with miraculous cures, unless they possessed the gift of healing, and were mored by an impulse of the Spirit to pray for the cuire:– In this verse it is intimated, that if the dis: ease was inflicted on the sick person for some injury which he had committed, he was to shew his repentance by confessing his fault to him whom he had injured, before the elder prayed for his recovery : And, that to render the elders prayer the more effectual, the injured party was to join the elder in praying that the sick person might be healed. Ver. 17.-1. Elias was a man of like infirmity with us.

In this sense the word ópricam Inç is used, Acts xiv. 15. Literally it signifies suffering like things with another. Elijah through natural infirmity suffered as we do, from disease, from temptation, from persecution, &c.

2. And he prayed fervently. In the history it is not said directly, either that the drought was brought on, or the rain sent, in consequence of Elijah's praying. But it is insinuated, that both happened through his prayer. For, 1 Kings xvii. 1. we are told that Elijah sware there should not be dew, nor rain these yerirs, but accorling en bis word; that is, James hath explained it, according to his inspired prayer for drought or for rain,

3. And it di:l not rain upon the lanit for three years and six montbs. This is the period which our Lord likewise says the drought continued, Luke ir,

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