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James 1:19-27 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel
Haydock Commentary, Catena Aurea

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James 1:19-27

Douay-RheimsDouay-Rheims Bible — The New Testament was published at Rheims, France (1582), the Old Testament at Douay (1609) by exiled English Catholic scholars. Bishop Challoner updated it extensively mid-18th century. The Douay-Rheims served as the English bible for the Catholic world for centuries. This text set is from an approved 1914 U.S. printing.Haydock CommentaryHaydock Catholic Bible Commentary — Originally compiled by Catholic priest and biblical scholar Rev. George Leo Haydock (1774-1849); written with the Douay-Rheims Bible in view.Catena AureaCatena Aurea — Commentary of the Early Church Fathers on the Gospels; compiled into a superb narrative by Thomas Aquinas; translated by John Henry Newman.
1 James the servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.James, a servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some have doubted whether the author of this epistle was S. James, the apostle, because he does not call himself an apostle. By the same weak argument we might reject all the three epistles of S. John and his Apocalypse, and the epistle of S. Jude. Nor does S. Paul give himself this title in those to the Thessalonians, to the Philippians, to Philemon, or to the Hebrews. — To the twelve tribes, which are dispersed. Lit. which are in the dispersion. That is, to the Jews converted in all nations. — Greetings. [1] Lit. salvation. Which comprehendeth much the same as, when S. Paul says, grace, peace, mercy, &c. Wi.
2 My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations;Into divers temptations. The word temptations, in this epistle, is sometimes taken for trials by afflictions or persecutions, as in this place; sometimes for a tempting, enticing, or drawing others into sin. Wi.
3 Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience.The trying of your faith worketh patience. S. Paul seems to assert the reverse: (v. 3.) when he says, patience worketh a trial. They are easily reconciled. Here S. James teacheth us, that patience is occasionally obtained, and strengthened by sufferings, the meaning of S. Paul is, that patience worketh, sheweth itself, and is found perfect in the sight of God by trials. Wi.
4 And patience hath a perfect work; that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing.
5 But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.And upbraideth not. That is, God does not think much, nor reproach us with the multitude of his benefits and favours: and if he puts sinners in mind of their repeated ingratitude, it is for their good and conversion. Wi.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, which is moved and carried about by the wind.
7 Therefore let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.Let not that man think that he shall receive. He that has not a lively faith and firm hope, wavering with a distrust of God's power or goodness, must not imagine to receive what he so faintly asks. Wi.
8 A double minded man is inconstant in all his ways.
9 But let the brother of low condition glory in his exaltation:The brother of low condition. Lit. humble. [3] See Luke i. 48. The sense is, that a Christian, of never so low and poor a condition, may glory, and rejoice even in his poverty, that he is not only the servant, but even the adoptive son of God. But the rich, in his being low. Some word must be here understood to make the sense complete. If we understand, let the rich man glory, it must be expounded by irony, by what follows, of his passing away like a flower. But others rather understand some other word of a different signification; as, let the rich man lament the low condition that he must come to; for he must quickly fade away like grass. — The beauty of the shape thereof [4] perished. So the Hebrews say, the face of the heavens, the face of the earth, &c. Wi.
10 And the rich, in his being low; because as the flower of the grass shall he pass away.
11 For the sun rose with a burning heat, and parched the grass, and the flower thereof fell off, and the beauty of the shape thereof perished: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man.God is not a tempter [5] of evils, and he tempteth no man. Here to tempt, is to draw and entice another to the evil of sin, which God cannot do. The Greek may also signify, he neither can be tempted, nor tempt any one. But every one is thus tempted by the evil desires of his corrupt nature, which is called concupiscence, and which is not properly called a sin of itself, but only when we yield to it. Wi.
14 But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured.
15 Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death.When concupiscence hath conceived, (man's free will yielding to it) it bringeth [6] forth sin, our perverse inclinations become sinful, and when any grievous sin is completed, or even consented to, it begetteth death, it maketh the soul guilty of eternal death. It may not be amiss here to observe with S. Gregory, &c. that there are three degrees in temptations: the first, by suggestion only; the second, by delectation; the third, by consent. The first, the devil, or our own frail nature, tempts us by a suggestion of evil thoughts in our imagination: to have such thoughts and imaginations may be no sin at all, though the things and objects represented be never so foul and hideous, though they may continue never so long, and return never so often. The reason is, because we cannot hinder them. On the contrary, if our will remains displeased with them, and resist them, such a resistance is meritorious, and by the mercies of God will purchase us a reward. Second, these representations may be followed with a delight or delectation in the senses, or in the body only; and if by an impression made against the will, which we no ways consent to, there is again no sin. There may be also some neglect in the person tempted, by not using sufficient endeavours to resist and repel those thoughts, which if it be only some small neglect, the sin is not great: but if the person tempted hath wilfully, and with full deliberation, taken delight in evil thoughts, either of revenge, or of fornication, or adultery, or about any thing very sinful, such a wilful delight is a grievous and deadly sin, though he hath not had a will or design to perform the action itself. The reason is, because he then wilfully consents in mind and heart to a sinful delight, though not to the execution or action. And the sin may be great, and mortal, though it be but for a short time: for a temptation may continue for a long time and be no sin; and there may a great sin in a short time. The reason again is, because we are to judge of sin by the dispositions and consent of the will, not by the length of time. Third, when the sinner yields to evil suggestions and temptations, so that his will fully consents to what is proposed, and nothing can be said to be wanting but an opportunity of putting his sinful desires in execution, he has already committed the sin; for example, of murder, of fornication, &c. in his heart, as our blessed Saviour taught us. Mat. v. 28. Wi.
16 Do not err, therefore, my dearest brethren.Do not err, nor deceive yourselves by yielding to temptation; beg God his supporting grace, for every good gift is from him. Wi.
17 Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.
18 For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures.By the word of truth. Some, with S. Athanasius, understand the eternal word made man. Others commonly understand the word of the gospel, by which we have been called to the true faith, &c. — Some beginning [7] of his creatures, (or as the Greek signifies) such a beginning as are the first-fruits; and perhaps S. James may so call the Jews, as being the first converted to believe in Christ. Wi.
19 You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger.
20 For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.The anger of man, &c. Let us not then be angry with each other on the way to eternal life, but rather march on with the troop of our companions and brethren meekly, peaceably, and lovingly; nay, I say to you absolutely and without exception, be not angry at all, if it be possible, and admit no pretext whatsoever to open the gate of your heart to so destructive a passion: for S. James here tells us positively, and without reservation, "the anger of man works not the justice of God." S. Francis, ibidem. — The patient man is better than the valiant; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh cities. Prov. c. xvi. 32. The anger of man is the daughter of pride, the mother of enmities, he enemy of peace and harmony, and the source of stubbornness and blindness of mind and heart. The justice of God is humility, meekness, charity, peace, docility, and forbearance. How great the contrast!
21 Wherefore casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.All uncleanness. [8] The Greek shews that hereby is meant a sordid, filthy uncleanness, infecting and defiling the soul. — The engrafted [9] word. The word and doctrine of Christ, by the labours of his preachers, and chiefly by his divine grace engrafted and fixed in your souls. Wi.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass.He shall be compared to a man, &c. The sense is, that it is not enough for a man to examine and look into his interior, and the state of his conscience in a negligent and superficial manner, no more than one that goes to a looking-glass, but does not take care to take away the dirt or spots which he might discover. Wi.
24 For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.
25 But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; this man shall be blessed in his deed.The law of Christ, called here the perfect law of liberty, as it is distinguished from the Jewish law of fear and slavery, is as it were a looking-glass, which may make us know ourselves, and discover and correct our failings. Wi.
26 And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain.If any man think, &c. He here blames those hot disputes, which seem to have been frequent amongst the converted Jews, concerning the necessity of observing the legal rites. In vain, says he, do you pique yourselves upon the rigorous observance of the law, and your zeal to unite its ceremonial rites with the practice of the gospel. If you be void of the essence of Christianity, which is charity, prudence, and moderation, your religion will avail you nothing. C. — This may also be understood of those devotees who are fond of making a parade of their virtues, and who, as S. Gregory says, (hom. xii. in Mat.) afflict their bodies indeed with fasting, but for this they expect to be esteemed by men. A. — A man must not imagine himself to be religious, and perfect in the way of virtue, unless he governs and bridles his tongue from oaths, curses, calumnies, detractions, lies, of which more in the third chapter. Wi.
27 Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.Religion pure and unspotted, &c. S. James may use the word pure, as a proper admonition to the Jews, who were generally mostly solicitous to avoid legal uncleanness, such as were incurred by eating meats forbidden in their law as unclean, by touching a dead body, &c. He therefore tells them that the Christian religion is known by acts of charity, by visiting and assisting widows, the fatherless, and such as are under afflictions, and in general by keeping our consciences interiorly clean, unspotted, and undefiled from this world, from the corrupt maxims and sinful practices so common in this wicked world. Wi.

Footnotes: James 1