the First Week of Lent
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Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary Poor Man's Commentary
by Robert Hawker
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES
It should seem that the term General Epistle, is given to this part of the Holy Scriptures, in that, it is not addressed either to any particular Church or Person; but intended for the whole of Christ's Church and People. And though it appears to have been directed to the twelve tribes of Israel, scattered abroad, yet not Israel after the flesh, but the Lord's Israel after the Spirit, even the children of God, wheresoever scattered.
The writer of this Epistle, under God the Holy Ghost, was James. It is not said, whether James, the son of Zebedee, and brother of John; or James, the son of Alpheus. But, indeed, there needed not this distinction. For James the son of Zebedee, was murdered by Herod, about the year of our Lord God 44; whereas this Epistle could not have been of an earlier date than 60. Hence James, the son of Alpheus, must have been the penman of it.
The great and leading design of this Epistle need not be entered upon in this Preface; it will meet us in due season, in its proper place. But the objection which Eusebius saith, some of the ancient writers had to this Epistle, from an idea, that it was contradictory, on the subject of faith, to that of the Scriptures in general, and particularly to Paul's statements of it, under the Holy Ghost, is wholly void. The supposed contradiction is merely ideal; for there never did exist the least difference between Paul and James, on this subject. Both perfectly agree; and both evidently prove, that one and the same Almighty Spirit, even God the Holy Ghost, guided the pens of both.
I have only here, as on the entrance in every former Book, to ask that wisdom, which is from above, (and which this Apostle so blessedly speaks of,) to be with me in going over this part of the Lord's sacred word, as before; and to ask it in faith, nothing wavering. And may the Lord, if it be his blessed will, give it in large portions, both to the Writer and Reader of this Poor Man's Commentary; who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.