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25, 26. 1 Cor. xvi. 1; see on 2 Cor. viii. 18; ix. 1-12.) He is accompanied by St. Luke now and till his arrival in Rome, A.D. 61; see also below on A.D. 67.
St. Paul is arrested by Jews at Jerusalem in the Temple (xxi. 28).
Is conveyed to Cæsarea (xxiii. 23-33).
58-60. Remains two years in detention at Cæsarea (xxiv. 27).
Epistle General of St. James. See below, p. 12.
St. Paul is sent by Festus, in the Autumn of A.D. 60, by sea toward Rome (xxvii. 1); is accompanied in his voyage by St. Luke and Aristarchus.
Winters at Malta (xxviii. 11).
Spring: St. Paul arrives, with St. Luke, at Rome.
Martyrdom of St. James the Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Passover. See below, p. 12, and
62, 63. St. Paul is at Rome, where he writes the Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians (see Introduction to Ephesians, p. 269), and to Philemon, in which he calls himself “Paul the aged" (Philem. 9. See above on A.D. 33), and that to the Philippians at the close of his imprisonment, A.D. 63.
Is detained at Rome for "two whole years," till the Spring of A.D. 63 (xxviii. 30); where the History of the "ACTS of the APOSTLES" concludes: cp. Euseb. ii. 22.
St. Paul, after his liberation from his first imprisonment at Rome, goes probably to Spain, and perhaps even to Britain. See on Rom. xv. 24. 28, and the Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles, pp. 418-421.
Writes the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In the Summer of A.D. 64, the first Persecution of the Christians at Rome under the
65-67. St. Paul returns from the West in his way to Jerusalem, probably with Timothy (Heb. xiii. 23). Perhaps leaves Titus at Crete in his way to Jerusalem; and after his visit to Jerusalem performs his promise of visiting Colossæ in Phrygia (Philem. 22).
On his way to Macedonia, to visit Philippi, according to his promise (Phil. ii. 24), he commands Timothy to "abide at Ephesus" as chief Pastor there (1 Tim. i. 3).
First Epistle to Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus. See the Introduction to that Epistle, p. 420.
Epistle to Titus, Bishop of Crete.
St. Paul passes a winter at Nicopolis in Epirus (Tit. iii. 12).
Probably visits Corinth, where Erastus was left in charge (2 Tim. iv. 20),
Comes to Asia, where he left Trophimus at Miletus (2 Tim. iv. 20).
Perhaps saw Timothy at Miletus. Cp. 2 Tim. i. 3.
St. Paul is arrested, probably near Miletus, and is sent a prisoner to Rome. See the
Touches at Troas (2 Tim. iv. 13) in his way to Rome.
St. Paul, in close custody at Rome, writes the Second Epistle to Timothy. St. Luke is with him, and he sends for St. Mark (2 Tim. iv. 11).
St. Peter's Second General Epistle written about this time. See below, p. 69.
St. Mark's Gospel written probably about this time. See Introduction to that Gospel, p. 112.
The Emperor Nero dies on the 9th of June, in the thirty-first year of his age; is suc-
The Emperor Galba dies on the 15th January, and is succeeded by Otho.
The Emperor Otho dies on the 20th April, and is succeeded by Vitellius.
The Emperor Vitellius dies on the 24th December, and is succeeded by Vespasian.
xix. 43, 44; xxi. 20.
Triumph of Vespasian and Titus for the conquest of Judæa.
The Emperor Vespasian dies on the 23rd June, and is succeeded by his son Titus.
The Emperor Titus dies on the 13th September, and is succeeded by his brother Domitian.
St. Jude's General Epistle, and St. John's Gospel and Epistles written probably about this time.
Second Roman Persecution of the Christians.
St. John writes the Apocalypse, or Revelation. See Introduction below, pp. 152-154.
The Apostle and Evangelist St. John dies about this time.
THE EPISTLE GENERAL OF ST. JAMES.
I. On the Design of the Epistle.
Ir is asserted by S. Augustine', that this Epistle is in some respects supplementary to the Epistles of St. Paul to the Galatians, and to the Romans.
This opinion appears to be well-grounded, and has been adopted by many later theologians 2. St. Paul's design in those two Epistles had been to prove from the Hebrew Scriptures, that the hopes of Justification, which were built by many of the Jews on a presumption of their own obedience to the works of the Mosaic Law, and their own righteousness in the eye of God, were illusory and vain; and that the only meritorious cause of Justification is the Death of Christ; and that the proper organ on our side, by which the merits of that Death are to be laid hold on, and applied, is Faith; and that we are justified and accepted as righteous by God, on account of Christ's Death, through Faith in Him, apart from the works of the Law 3.
Thus St. Paul had confuted the notions of those, who sought "to establish their own righteousness*;" and he had asserted the virtue of Faith in the merits of the sacrifice of Christ, as opposed to all human pretensions; and had shown the futility of all human claims, as contrasted with God's free grace in Christ'.
But, on the other hand, a different form of error prevailed among some Judaizing Christians, and required correction; and they who propagated it, may have endeavoured to derive some pleas on its behalf, from the arguments of St. Paul, asserting the justifying efficacy of Faith in the merits of Christ.
Many among the Jews relied on their descent from Abraham, as entitling them to God's favour; and boasted their own superior knowledge of spiritual things, and trusted in that knowledge, as sufficient to salvation.
They were instructed in the Will and Word of God; they had faith in His Revelation; and they contrasted their own intelligence and faith with the ignorance and unbelief of the Gentile world; and they flattered themselves, that God would accept and reward them on account of their knowledge and faith.
Many of the Jews, who passed from the Synagogue into the Church, were infected with these notions; and their acceptance of the Gospel as a Revelation from God, considered merely in a speculative light, as increasing their knowledge of divine things, and as enlarging the sphere of their faith, but not as influencing their practice, served to foster their pride and hypocrisy, and to cherish a vain and presumptuous conceit, that they could commend themselves to God, and attain everlasting salvation, by a formal profession of faith, barren of good works.
It has been affirmed by ancient writers, that these theorists in religion appealed to the authority
1 S. Augustine, de Fide et Operibus, vol. vi. pp. 307–310, and in Psalm xxxi., vol. iv. p. 245.
2 Among our own Divines, may be mentioned Dr. Barrow, Serm. v., on Justifying Faith, vol. iv. p. 123, and Bp. Bull on Justification. Diss. ii. ch. iv., and Strictures i. § 4.
3 See the texts quoted above in the Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans, pp. 198-200.
4 Rom. x. 3.
5 Compare Bp. Bull, Harmonia Apostolica, Diss. ii. chap. vi.
on this notion, and on what he calls their "Solifidianism," in his Harmonia Apostolica, Diss. ii. chap. xvii. Both these errors are refuted by St. James.
7 Compare St. Paul's own statement of their case as compared with that of the Gentiles, "Thou art called a Jew, and restest in the Law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest His Will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law;" and his remonstrance with them on their hypocritical profession, apart from moral practice, Rom. ii. 17-29. St. Paul has there anticipated the argument of St. James.
of St. Paul, asserting that we are justified by Faith in Christ, apart from the works of the Law1; and that they took advantage of his arguments, in order to fortify themselves in their assumption, that they might claim an eternal reward from God on the ground of the clearness of their knowledge, and the orthodoxy of their faith, irrespectively of holiness of life, and of fruitfulness in good Works.
It was also supposed by some in early times, that St. Peter alludes to this antinomian perversion of St. Paul's doctrine, when, referring to St. Paul's Epistles, he says that there are "some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest unto their own destruction *."
The notions just described were current in Apostolic times, especially among the Jewish Christians; and this presumption of the sufficiency of a speculative faith, independently of practical holiness and charity, developed itself, even in the first century of the Christian Church, into the moral lawlessness of the Gnostic Teachers, such as Simon Magus, Cerinthus, and the Nicolaitans; who, under the plea of superior knowledge and illumination in spiritual mysteries, dispensed with the practice of Christian virtue, and indulged themselves and their votaries in voluptuous and riotous excesses of libertinism and debauchery, and provoked the severe censure and stern condemnation, with which they are denounced by the Holy Spirit in the Second Epistle of St. Peter, and in the Epistle of St. Jude, and the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation.
The Epistle of St. James holds a middle place between the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans and those just mentioned, of St. Peter, St. Jude, and the Apocalypse.
It does not deal, as they do, with those monstrous extravagances of doctrine and manners, which exhibited themselves afterwards in their hideous deformity in the deadly heresies and foul practices of the Gnostics. But St. James exposes the unprofitableness of a dry barren faith. He does not refute the errors of heterodoxy, but condemns the sin of hypocrisy. Thus the present Epistle occupies a place of its own. It warns the Church of every age against the delusive notion, that it is enough for men, to have religious emotions, to talk religious language, to have religious knowledge, and to profess religious belief, without the habitual practice of religious duties, and the daily devotion of a religious life.
In modern times, it has been sometimes said, that some ingenuity is required, in order to reconcile St. Paul and St. James.
Such was not the language of Christian Antiquity. St. Paul and St. James do not disagree; and therefore they do not need to be reconciled. The Holy Spirit of God speaks by each of them; and provides a remedy against two different spiritual maladies by the instrumentality of both; and the work done by St. James completes the work done by St. Paul.
If we attend to the mode of the working of the Spirit by means of the two Apostles, we shall recognize the proper uses of the doctrine of both.
This has been well stated by S. Augustine, whose words may be adopted here;
Many persons boast of their good works; and some decline to become Christians on this account. A good life is necessary. Yes,' they say, 'it is; but I already lead a good life. What will Christianity teach me? I do not commit murder. I do not steal, I do not covet. I am not guilty of adultery. Let any one find any thing in my life to reprove, and let him, who reproves me, make me a Christian.' The man who speaks thus has glory, but not in the eyes of God. Not so Abraham. He was not justified by works. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness".' Abraham therefore was justified by Faith.
"But here" (adds Augustine)" is a whirlpool, in which we may be swallowed up, if we are not on our guard. Abraham was not justified by Works, but by Faith. Another man listens to this statement, and says, 'Well, then, I will live as I like; and then, although I have not good Works. and only believe in God, yet it will be counted to me for righteousness.' If a man speaks thus, and makes up his mind to live thus, he will be drowned in the whirlpool.
"I therefore take the case of Abraham, and cite concerning him what I read in the Epistle of another Apostle, who desired to set those right, who had misunderstood the Apostle St. Paul. I refer to St. James, and his Epistle, which he wrote against those who presumed on their faith, and
1 Rom. iii. 28; iv. 6.
2 See note below, 2 Pet. iii. 15, 16.
3 See the testimony of Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, § 141, p. 460, ed. Otto, "Ye deceive yourselves, and others, who are like to you in this respect, deceive themselves, by saying, that although they are sinners, yet if they know God, He will not impute sin unto them."
4 As is well observed by Ittig in his excellent work "De Hære
siarchis ævi Apostolici," p. 37, "Jacobi Epistola non tam contra Simonem quàm contra Pseudo Christianos scripta est, qui doctrinâ de justificatione sinistrè acceptà Justitiæ opera contemnebant. Non enim Jacobus fidem heterodoxam sed tantùm hypocriticam et bonis operibus vacuam impugnat."
5 S. Augustine, in Ps. xxxi. For brevity's sake, some sentences are abridged or omitted in the above translation. Rom. iv. 3. Gen. xv. 6.
would not do good Works; and in which he commends Abraham's Works, as Paul had commended Abraham's Faith.
"The two Apostles are not opposed to each other. St. James commends Abraham's work-a work known to all-the offering of his son Isaac'. 'Magnum opus, sed ex Fide.' A great work indeed that was, but it was a work growing out of Faith. I praise the superstructure of the work, but I see the foundation of Faith. I praise the fruit of the work, but I recognize the root of it in Faith. If Abraham had done this work without a sound Faith, it would have been of no use, whatever the work might be. On the other hand, if Abraham had faith in such a sort, that when God had commanded him to offer up his son, he had said, 'No, I will not do it, and yet I believe that God will save me, although I slight His commands,' then his Faith, being without Works, would have been dead, and would have remained barren and dry, like a root without fruit.
"Abraham, then, was justified by Faith; but although Works did not go before Faith, yet they came after it. Shall your Faith be barren? No; it will not be barren, unless you yourself are barren. Tene ergo fidem.' Have therefore Faith; have faith, as one who is about to work. But you may say, This is not St. Paul's doctrine. Yes, I reply, it is. I do not appeal from St. Paul to St. James; but I appeal from St. Paul to St. Paul. What does he say? He says, 'In Christ Jesus neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Uncircumcision; but Faith which worketh by Love'.' And again he says, 'The end of the Law is Charity. And again, Although I have Faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not Charity, it profiteth me nothing".' And And yet he says, 'that a man is justified by Faith without the works of the Law.' And why? Let the Apostle himself reply. On the one hand I would teach thee (he says) not to presume on thy works, as if thou hadst received the free gift of faith through any merit of thy own; therefore rely not on thy works done before faith. Let no one boast of his works done before faith. On the other hand, let no one be slothful in good works, after he has received faith. 'Nemo jactet bona opera sua ante fidem; nemo sit piger in operibus bonis, acceptâ fide". Good works do not go before him who is yet to be justified by Faith, but they follow him who has been justified. And the Faith which is described by St. Paul is not any sort of Faith, by which we believe in God; but it is that healthful, evangelical Faith, whose Works spring from Love. And therefore St. Paul teaches that the Faith which some men deem sufficient for salvation, profiteth nothing, because it is without Charity.
"St. Paul therefore agrees with the rest of the Apostles in asserting that eternal life is given only to those who live well. But St. James is vehemently indignant against those who imagine that Faith without works is sufficient to salvation; and he even likens them to the devils themselves. Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well; the devils also believe and tremble.' And he affirms that Faith without works is dead. How great therefore is the delusion of those who rely on dead faith as the means of eternal life"!"
Thus the teaching of each of the two Apostles, St. Paul and St. James, illustrates and confirms that of the other.
St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, had refuted all presumptuous notions of human merit, and had established the doctrine of God's free grace to all, and the plenary virtue of Christ's sufferings endured once for all on the Cross.
St. James vindicates the true character and genuine functions of Faith, as the energetic principle and vivifying spring of a holy life; and strips off the disguises, and detects the delusions, of empty professions of belief, and of speculative spiritual knowledge, and declares that such professions of faith and knowledge are hypocritical and vain. He teaches that the propitiatory sufferings of Christ's meritorious Death are availing only to those who follow the blessed steps of His holy life; and that those sufferings were endured, in order to redeem us from the power, as well as from the guilt and penalty, of sin; and will only aggravate the punishment of those, who pervert them into a plea for neglect of His grace, and for violation of His laws.
Thus the two Apostles lend their aid in establishing the doctrine, that the Faith by which we are justified is that living principle of the soul, which fixes its eye on God's power and love in His dear Son, and lays its hand on Christ; and lives and moves in constant harmony with His revealed Will and Word 10.