Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

The Catholike Epistle of Saint Iames the Apostle

Against acception of persons. 10. From al and euery sinne we must absteine, hauing in al our words and deeds, the Iudgement before our eyes: wherein workes of mercie shal be required of vs, 14. and only faith shal not auaile vs. 18. And that the Catholike by his workes sheweth that he hath faith: whereas the Heretike hath no more faith then the Diuel, talke he of faith neuer so much, and of iustification thereby only, by the example of Abraham Ro. 4. For Abraham indeed was iustified by workes also, 25. and likewise Rahab.
1. MY Brethren, Haue not the faith of our Lord Iesvs Christ of glorie Leu. 19,15.
Deu. 1,16.
Pro. 24,23.
Ecclesiasticus 42,1.
in In acception of persons.
Scripture abused by the Anabaptistes to make no distinction of persons.
The Apostle meaneth not, as the Anabaptistes and other seditious persons sometime gather hereof that there should be no difference in Commonweales or assemblies betwixt the Magistrate and the subiect, the free man and the bond, the rich and the poore, betwixt one degree & another: for God and nature, and the necessitie of man, haue made such distinctions, and men are bound to obserue them.
What the Apostle meaneth by acception of persons.
But it is meant only, or specially, that in spiritual guifts and graces, in matters of faith, Sacraments, and saluation, and bestowing the spiritual functions and charge of soule, we must esteeme of a poore man or a bond man, no lesse then of the rich man and the free, then of the Prince or the Gentleman: because as Christ himself calleth al, and endoweth al sorts with his graces; so in such and the like things we must not be partial, but count al to be fellowes, Brethren, and members of one head. And therfore the Apostle saith with a special clause, That we should not hold or haue the Christian faith with or in such differences of partialities.
acception of persons.
2. For if there shal enter into your assemblie a man hauing a golden ring in goodly apparel, and there shal enter in a poore man in homely attire,
3. and you haue respect to him that is clothed with the goodly apparel, and shal say to him, Sit thou here wel: but say to the poore man, Stand thou there, or sit vnder my foot-stoole:
4. doe you not iudge with your selues, and are become iudges of vniust cogitations?
5. Heare, my dearest Brethren: hath not God chosen the poore in this world, rich in faith, and heires of the Kingdom which God hath promised to them that loue him?
6. But you haue dishonoured the poore men. Doe not the rich oppresse you by might: and themselues draw you to iudgements?
7. Doe not they blaspheme the good name that is inuocated vpon you?
8. If not-withstanding you fulfil the roial law according to the Scriptures, Leu. 19,18.
Mat. 23,39.
Rom. 13.
Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy self, you doe wel:
9. But if you accept persons, you worke sinne, reproued of the Law as transgressours.
10. And Leu 19,37.
Deu. 1,18.
whosoeuer shal keep the whole Law, but offendeth in one, Is made guilty of al.
How he that offendeth in one commandement, is guilty of al.
He meaneth not, that whosoeuer is a theefe, is also a murderer, or the euery murderer is an aduouterer also: or that al sinnes be equal, according to the Stoikes & the Heresie of Iouinian: much lesse, that he shal haue as great damnation that transgresseth one commandement, as if he had offended against euery precept: but the sense is, that it shal not auaile him to saluation, that he seemeth to haue kept certaine & not broken al the commandements: seeing that any one transgression of the law, proueth that he hath not obserued the whole, which he was bound to doe, so farre as is required, & as is possible for a man in this life. S. Augustin disputing profoundly in his 25 Epistle to S. Hierom, of this place of S. Iames, expoundeth it this: that he which offendeth in one, that is, against the general and great commandement of loue or charitie (because it is in a manner al, as being the summe of al, the penitude of the law, and the persecution of the rest) breaketh after a sort and transgresseth al, no sinne being committed but either against the loue of God, or of our neighbour.
is made guilty of al.
11. For he that said, Thou shalt not commit aduoutrie, said also, Thou shalt not kil. And if thou doe not commit aduoutrie, but shal kil; thou are made a transgressour of the Law.
12. So speake ye, and so doe, as beginning to be iudged by the law of libertie.
13. For Iudgement without mercie.
Workes of mercie exceeding grateful to God.
Nothing giueth more hope or mercie in the next life, then the workes of almes, charitie, and mercie, done to our neighbours in this life. Neither shal any be vsed with extreme rigour in the next world, but such as vsed not mercie in this world, August. de pec. merit. li. 2. c 3. Which is true, not only in respect of the iudgement to euerlasting damnation, but also of the temporal chastisement in Purgatorie, as S. Augustin signifieth, declaring that our venial sinnes be washed away in this world with daily workes of mercie, which otherwise should be chastised in the next. See epist. 29. aforesaid in fine, and li. 21. de Ciu. Dei c. 17. in fine.
iudgement without mercie to him that hath not done mercie. And mercie
κατακαυχᾶται.
exalteth it-self aboue iudgement.
14. What shal it profit, if a man say he hath faith?
The proud and impudent dealing of the heretikes against this Epistle, because it is so plaine against only faith.
This whole passage of the Apostle is so cleere against iustification or saluation by only faith, damnably defended by the Protestants, & so euident for the necessitie, merit, & concurrence of good workes, that their first Authour Luther and such as exactly follow him, boldly (after the manner of Heretikes) when they can make no shift nor false glosse for the texts, deny the booke to be Canonical Scripture. But Caluin and his companion disagreeing with their Maisters, confesse it to be holy Scripture. But their shifters & fond glosses for answer of so plaine places, be as impudent as the denying of the Epistle was in the other: who would neuer haue denied the booke, thereby to shew themselues Heretikes, if they had thought those vulgar euasions that the Zuinglians and Caluinists doe vse (whereof they were not ignorant) could haue serued. In both forts the Christian Reader may see, that al the Heretikes vaunting of expresse Scriptures & the word of God, is no more but to delude the world. Whereas indeed, be the Scriptures neuer so plaine against them, they must either be wrested to sound as they say, or els they must be no Scriptures at al. And to see Luther, Caluin, Beza, & their fellowes, sit as it were in iudgement of the Scriptures to allow or disallow at their pleasures, it is the most notorious example of Heretical pride & miserie that can be. See their prefaces and censures vpon this Canonical Epistle, the Apocalypse, the Machabees, and other.
What shal it profit, my Brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not workes? Shal faith be able to saue him?
15. And 1 Iohn 3,17. if a Brother or Sister be naked, and lacke daily food,
16. and one of you say to them, Goe in peace, be warmed and filled; but you giue them not the things that are necessarie for the bodie; what shal it profit?
17. So faith also, if it haue not workes, is dead in it-self.
18. But some man saith, Thou hast faith, and I haue workes: shew me thy faith without workes; and I wil shew thee by workes my faith.
19. Thou beleeuest that there is one God. Thou doest wel: the Diuels also beleeue and tremble.
20. But wilt thou know, He speaketh to al heretikes that say, faith only without workes doth iustifie, calling them vaine men, and comparing them to Diuels. o vaine man, that faith without workes is dead idle?
21. Abraham our Father Abraham, was he not iustified by workes?
Only faith, an old heresie.
It is much to be noted that S. Augustin in his booke de fide & operibus c. 1 4 writeth, that the heresie of only faith iustifying or sauing, was an old Heresie euen in the Apostles time, gathered by the false interpretation of some of S. Paules profound disputation in the Epistle to the Romans, wherein he commended so highly the faith in Christ, that they thought good workes were not auailable: adding further, that the other three Apostles, Iames, Iohn, and Iude, did of purpose write so much of good workes, to correct the said errour of only faith, gathered by the misconstruction of S. Paules words.
S. Iames & the rest inculcate good workes against the errour of only faith falsely gathered of S. Paules words.
Yea when S. Peter (Ep. 2. c. 3.) warneth the faithful that many things be hard in S. Paules writings, and of light vnlearned men mistaken to their perdition; the said S. Augustin affirmeth, that he meant of his disputation concerning faith, which so many Heretikes did mistake to condemne good workes. And in the preface of his commentarie vpon the 31 Psalme, he warneth al men, that this deduction vpon S. Paules speach, Abraham was iustified by faith, therfore workes be not necessarie to saluation: is the right way to the gulfe of Hel and damnation.
loco citato.
S. Augustines while diputation in this point very notable, & directly against only faith.
And lastly (which is in it-self very plaine) that we may see this Apostle did purposely thus commend vnto vs the necessitie of good workes, & the inanity and insufficiencie of only faith, to correct the errour of such as misconstructed S. Paules words for the same: *the said holy Doctour noteth that of purpose he tooke the very same example of Abraham, whom S. Paul said to be iustified by faith, and declareth that he was iustified by good workes, specifying the good worke for which he was iustified and blessed of God, to wit, his obedience and immolation of his only sonne. But now S. Paul saith that Abraham was iustified by faith, see the Annotations vpon that place. Rom. 4,1.
Li. 83. q. q. 76.
was he not iustified by workes offering Isaac his sonne vpon the altar?
22. Seest thou that Faith did worke with.
Heresies against good workes.
Some Heretikes hold, that good workes are pernicious to saluation and iustification: other, that though they be not hurtful but required, yet they be no causes or workes of saluation, much lesse meritorious, but are as effects and fruits issuing necessarily out of faith. Both which fictions, falshoods, & flights from the plaine truth of God's word, are refuted by these words, when the Apostle saith, That faith worketh together with good workes: making faith to be a coadiutor or cooperatour with workes, and so both ioyntly concurring as causes and workers of iustification: yea afterward he maketh workes the more principal cause, when he resembleth faith to the body, and workes to the spirit or life of man.
Workes concurre with faith as cause of iustification.
faith did worke with his workes: and by the workes the faith was consummate?
23. And the Scripture was fulfilled, saying, Gen. 15,6.
Rom. 4,3.
Gal. 3.
Abraham beleeued God, and it was reputed him to iustice, and he was called the The freind of God.
Workes make vs iust indeed before God.
By this also another false and friuolous euasion of the Heretikes is ouertaken, when they feine, that the Apostles here when he saith, workes doe iustifie, meaneth that they shew vs iust before men, and auaile not to our iustice before God. For the Apostle euidently declareth that Abraham by his workes was made or truely called the freind of God, and therfore was not (as the Heretikes say) by his workes approued iust before man only.
freind of God.
24. Doe you see that by workes a man is iustified; & Not by faith only.
The Protestants say by faith only: S. Iames clean contrarie, Not by faith only.
This proposition or speach is directly opposit or contradictorie to that which the Heretikes hold. For the Apostle saith, Man is not iustified by good workes, but by faith only. Neither can they pretend that there is the like contradiction or contrarietie betwixt S. Iames speaches and S. Paules. For though S. Paule say, man is iustified by faith, yet he neuer saith, by faith only, nor euer meaneth by that faith which is alone, but alwaies by that faith which worketh by charitie, *as he expoundeth himself. Though concerning workes also, there is a difference betwixt the first iustification, whereof S. Paul specially speaketh: and the second iustification, whereof S. Iames doth more specially treate. Of which thing *els-where there is enough said.
*Gala. 5.
See the annotations vpon the epistle to the Romans c. 2,11.

The manifold meaning of certaine Fathers, when they say, Only faith.
The Fathers indeed vse sometimes this exclusiue, sola, only, but in farre other sense then the Protestants. For some of them thereby exclude only the workes of Moyses law, against the Iewes: some, the workes of nature and moral vertues without the grace or knowledge of Christ, against the Gentils: some, the necessitie of external good workes where the parties lacke time and meanes to doe them, as in the case of the penitent theefe: some, the false opinions, sectes, and religions contrarie to the Catholike faith, against Heretikes and miscreants: some exclude reason, sense, and arguing in matters of faith and mysterie, against such as wil beleeue nothing but that they see or vnderstand: some the merit of workes done in sinne before the first iustification: some, the arrogant Pharisical vaunting of man's owne proper workes and iustice, against such as referre not their actions and good deeds to God's grace. To these purposes the holy Doctours say sometimes, that only faith saueth and serueth: but neuer (as Protestants would haue it) to exclude from iustification and saluation, the cooperation of mans free-wil, dispositions and preparations of our harts by praiers, penance, and sacraments, the vertues of hope and charitie, the purpose of wel-working and of the obseruation of God's commandements: much lesse, the workes and merits of the children of God, proceeding of grace and charitie, after they be iustified & are now in his fauour: which are not only dispositions and preparations to iustice, but the meritorious cause of greater iustice, and of saluation.
not by faith only?
25. And in like manner also Ios. 2,1. 18. and 6,22. Rahab Rahab.
S. Paul nameth faith & S. Iames workes, causes of iustification: but neither the one, faith only, nor the other workes only.
This Apostle alleageth the good workes of Rahab by which she was iustified, and S. Paul (11 Heb.) saith she was iustified be faith. Which are not contrarie one to the other: for both is true that she was saued by faith, as one faith, and that she was saued be her workes, as the other saith. But it were vntruely said, that she was saued either by only faith as the Heretikes say; or by only good workes, as no Catholike man euer said. But because some Iewes and Gentil Philosophers did affirme; they, that they should be saued by the workes of Moyses law; these, by their mortal workes: therfore S. Paul to the Romans diputed specially against both, prouing that no workes done without or before the faith of Christ, can serue to iustification or saluation.
the harlot, was not she iustified by workes, receiuing the messengers, and putting them forth another way?
26. For euen as the bodie without the spirit is dead: so also Faith without workes is dead.
Faith without workes is a true faith, but not auailable: as the body without the spirit is a true body, though it be dead.
S. Iames (as the Protestants feine) saith that faith without good workes is no faith, and that therfore it iustifieth not, because it is no faith; for he saith that it is dead without workes as the body is dead without the soule, and therfore being dead hath no actiuity or efficacie to iustifie or saue. But it is a great difference, to say that faith without workes is dead, and to say that faith without workes is no faith. And if a dead body be not-withstanding a true faith, but yet not auailable to iustification, because it is dead, that is, because it is only faith without good workes.
What faith the Apostle speaketh of: & that he knew no special faith.
And therfore it is a great impudencie in Heretikes, and a hard shift, to say that the faith of which the Apostle disputeth al this while, is no true or properly called faith at al. It is the same faith that S. Paul defined and commended in al the 11 chapter to the Hebrews, and the same which is called the Catholike faith, and the same which being formed & made aliue by charitie, iustifieth. Mary true it is, that it is not that special faith which the Heretikes faine only to iustifie, to wit, when a man doth firmely beleeue as an article of his faith, that himself shal be saued. This special faith it is not whereof the Apostle here speaketh. For neither he, nor S. Paul, nor any other sacred Writer in al the holy Scriptures euer speake or know of any such forged faith.
faith without workes is dead.