The Protestants abhorre the word Catholike.
The Church readeth these Catholike or Canonical Epistles in order at Matins, from the 4 Sunday after Easter vntil Whitsunday. Catholike Epistle.) The word Catholike, though in the title of this Epistle & the rest following (called, The Catholike Epistles) it be not wholy in the same sense as it is in the Creed, yet the Protestants so feare and abhorre the word altogether, that in some of their Bibles they leaue it cleane out, although it be in the Greek, and in some they had rather translate ridiculously thus, The general Epistle, &c. whereas these are famously knowen and Euseb. li. 2. hist. c. 22. specified in antiquitie by the name of Catholike Epistles, for that they are written to the whole Church, not to any peculiar people or person, as S. Paules are.
We haue to reioyce in persecution (but if we be patient, and withal absteine from al mortal sinne) 9. considering how we shal be exalted and crowned for it, when the persecution (who enricheth himself with our spoiles) shal fade away. 13. But if any be tempted to fal, or to any other euil, let him not say, God is the Authour of it, who is the Authour of al good only. 19. Such points of the Cath. faith we must be content to learne without contradiction & anger, and to doe accordingly. 26. Because otherwise we may talke of Religion, but indeed it is no Religion.
1. IAMES the seruant of God and of our Lord Iesvs Christ, to the twelue Tribes that are in dispersion, greeting.
2. The Epistle for some Martyrs. Esteeme it, my Brethren, al ioy, when you shal fal into diuers tentations:
3. knowing that the Rom. 5,3. probation of your faith worketh patience.
4. And let patience haue a prefect worke: that you may be perfect & entire, failing in nothing.
5. But if any of you lacke wisedom, let him aske of God who giueth to al men aboundantly, and upbraideth not: and it shal be giuen him.
6. But Mat. 21,22.
Mark 11,24. let him Aske in faith nothing doubting.
What faith is required in praier.
The Protestants would proue by this, that no man ought to pray without assurance that he shal obtaine that which he asketh. Where the Apostle meaneth nothing els, but that the asker of lawful things may not either mistrust God's power & hability, or be in dissidence and despaire of his mercie: but that our doubt be only in our owne vnworthinesse or vndue asking.
aske in faith nothing doubting. For he that doubteth, is like to a waue of the sea, which is moued & caried about by the wind.
7. Therfore let not the man thinke that he shal receiue any thing of our Lord.
8. A man double of mind is inconstant in al his waies.
9. But let the humble Brother glorie, in his exaltation:
10. and the rich, in humilitie, because Psa. 102,11.
1 Pet. 1,24.
Iob 5,17. as the floure of grasse shal he passe:
11. for the sunne rose with heat, & parched the grasse, and the floure of it fel away, and the beautie of the shape thereof perished: so the rich man also shal wither in his waies.
12. The Epistle for a Martyr that is a Bishop. Blessed is the man that suffereth tentation: for when he hath been proued, he shal receiue the crowne of life, which God hath promised to them that loue him.
13. Let no man say that he is tempted of God.
God is not Authour of euil.
We see be this, that when the Scriptures (as in the Pater noster and other places) seeme to say, that God doth sometimes tempt vs, or lead vs into tentation; they meane not that God is in any waies the Authour, causer, or mouer of any man to sinne, but only by permission, and because by his gratious power he keepeth not the offender from tentations. Therfore the blasphemie of Heretikes, making God the Authour of sinne, is intolerable. See. S. August. ser. 9. de diuers. c. 9.
Let no man when he is tempted, say that he is tempted of God. For God is not a tempter of euils.
Partial & wilful translation.
The Protestants as much as they may, to diminish the force of the Apostles conclusion against such as attribute euil tentations to God (for other tentations God doth send to trie mens patience and proue their faith) take and translate the word passiuely, in this sense, that God is not tempted by our euils. Where more confoundly to the letter & circumstance of the words before & after, & as agreeably to the *Greeke, it should be taken actiuely as it is in the Latin, that God is no tempter of euil. For being taken passiuely, there is no coherence of sense to the other words of the Apostle.
God is not a tempter of euils, and he tempeth no man.
14. But The ground of tentation to sinne, is our concupiscence, and not God. euery one is tempted if his owne concupiscence abstracted and allured.
15. Afterward Concupiscence when it hath conceiued.
Concupiscence of it-self no sinne.
Concupiscence (we see here) of it-self is not sinne, as Heretikes falsely teach: but when by any consent of the mind we doe obey or yeald to it, then is sinne ingendred and formed in vs.
concupiscence when it hath conceiued, bringeth forth sinne. But Sinne consummate ingendreth death.
Not euery sinne mortal.
Here we see that not al sinne nor al consent vnto concupiscence is mortal or damnable, but when it is consummate, that is, when the consent of mans mind fully and perfectly yealdeth to the committing or liking of the acte of motion whereunto concupiscence moueth or inciteth vs.
sinne when it is consummate, ingendreth death.
16. The Epistle on the 4 Sunday after Easter. Doe not erre therfore, my dearest Brethren.
17. Euery best guift, and euery perfect guift, is from aboue, descending from the Father of lights, with whom is no transmutation, nor shadowing of alteration.
18. Voluntarily hath he begotten vs by the word of truth, that we may be some beginning of his creature.
19. You know, my dearest Brethren. And Prou. 17,27. let euery man be swift to heare, but slow to speake, and slow to anger.
20. For the anger of man worketh not the iustice of God.
21. The Epistle on the 5 Sunday after Easter. For the which thing casting away al vncleannesse and aboundance of malice, in meeknesse receiue the engrassed word, which is able to saue your soules.
22. But Mat. 7,21.
Rom. 2,13. be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceauing your selues.
23. For if a man beholding the countenance of his natiuitie in a glasse.
24. For he considered himself, and went his way, and by and by forgat what an one he was.
25. But he that hath looked in The law of perfect libertie.
What is the law of libertie in the New Testament.
The law of the Ghospel and grace of Christ, is called the law of libertie, in repect of the yoke and burden of the old carnal ceremonies, and because Christ hath by his bloud of the new Testament deliuered al that obey him, from the seruitude of sinne, & the Diuel. But not as the Libertines and other Heretikes of this time would haue it, that in the new Testament euery man may follow his owne liking & conscience, and may choose whether he wil be vnder the lawes & obedience of Spiritual or Temporal Rulers, or no.
the law of perfect libertie, and hath remained in it, not made a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the worke; this man shal be Beatitude or saluation consisteth in wel-working. blessed in his deed.
26. And if any man thinke himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but seducing his hart, this man's religion is vaine.
27. Religion cleane.
Good workes part of mans iustice.
True religion standeth not only in talking of the Scriptures, or only faith, or Christes iustice: but in puritie of life, and good workes, specially of charitie and mercie done by the grace of Christ. This is the Apostolical doctrine, and farre from the Heretical vanitie of this time.
Religion cleane and vnspotted with God and the Father, is this, to visit pupilles and widowes in their tribulation: and to keep himself vnspotted from this world.