Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

The Catholike Epistle of Saint Iames the Apostle

By the damnation to come vpon the vnmerciful rich, he exhorteth the persecuted to patience, & by their owne reward, and by example, and by examples. 12. Not to sweare at al in common talke. 13. In affliction, to pray: in prosperitie, to sing: in sicknes, to cal for the Priets, and that they pray ouer them & anoile them with oile: and that the sicke persons confesse their sinnes. 19. Finally, how meritorious it is to conuert the erring vnto the Catholike faith, or the sinner to amendement of life.
1. GOE to now ye rich men, weep, A feareful description of the miseries that shal befal in the next life to the vnmerciful couetous men. howling in your miseries which shal come to you. 2. Your riches are corrupt; and your garments are eaten of moths. 3. Your gold and siluer is rusted; and their rust shal be for a testimonie to you, and shal eate your flesh as fire. You haue stored to your selues wrath in the last daies. 4. Behold The hire.
The sinnes crying to Heauen.
To with-hold from the poore or labourer the hire or wages that is due or promised to him for his seruice or worke done, is a great iniquitie, and one of those fiue sinnes which in holy writ be said to cal for vengeance at God's hand, as we see here. They be called in the Catechisme, Sinnes crying to heauen. The other foure be, murder, Gen. 18,20., Vsurie, Exod. 22,27. The sinne against nature, Gen. 18,20. The oppression and vexation of widowes, pupilles, strangers and such like. Ib. & Exod. 3,9.
the hire of the worke-men that haue reaped your fields, which is defrauded of you, crieth: and their crie hath entred into the eares of the Lord of Sabboth. 5. You haue made merie vpon the earth: and in riotousnes you haue nourished your harts in the day of slaughter. 6. You haue ' condemned. presented, and slaine the iust one: and he resisted you not. 7. Be patient therfore, Brethren, vntil the comming of our Lord. Behold, the husband-man expecteth the pretious fruit of the earth: patiently bearing til he receiue He meaneth either fruit or raine. the timely and the lateward. 8. Be you also patient, and confirme your harts: because the comming of our Lord is at hand.
exitus reali.
wil approch. 9. Grudge not, Brethren, one against another: that you be not iudged. Behold, the iudge standeth before the gate. 10. Take an example, Brethren, of labour and patience, the Prophets, which spake in the name of our Lord. 11. Behold we account them blessed that haue suffered. The sufferance of Iob you haue heard, and the end of our Lord you haue seen, because our Lord is merciful and pitieful. 12. But before al things, my Brethren, * Mt. 5,34. sweare not, Sweare not.
What othes are lawful, what are not.
He forbiddeth not al othes, as the Anabaptists falsely say. For in iustice and iudgement we may be by our lawful Magistrate out to sweare, and may lawfully take an othe, as also for the aduantaging of any necessarie truth when time and place require. But the custom of swearing, and al vaine, light, & vnnecessarie othes in our daily speach doe displease God highly, and are here forbidden by the Apostles, as also by our Sauiour. Mat. 5.
neither by heauen, nor by earth; nor other othe whatsoeuer. But let your talke be, yea, yea: no, no: that you fal not vnder iudgement. 13. The Epistle in a votiue Masse for the sicke. Is any of you in heauinesse? let him pray. Is he of a cheerful hart? let him sing. 14. Is any man sicke among you? Let him bring in the Priests.
Heretical translation against Priesthood.
The Protestants for their special hatred of the holy order of Priesthood, as els-where often, so here they corrupt the text euidently, translating Presbyteros, Elders. As though the Apostle had meant men of age, and not such as were by holy office, Priests. S. Chrisostom who knew the sense and signification of the Greeke word according to the Ecclesiastical vse and the whole Churches iudgement, better then any Protestant aliue, taketh it plainly for Sacerdotes, that is, Priests li. 3. de Sacerdotio prope initium.
Neither their Elders (so called) nor their Ministers, can be those whom the Apostle here calleth, Presbyteros.
And if they confesse that it is a word of office with them also, though they cal them Elders, and not Priests; then we demand whether the Apostle meane here men of that function which they in their new Churches cal Elders. If they say no, as they must needs (for Elders with them are not deputed specially to publike praying or administration of the Sacraments, such as the Apostle here requireth to be sent for) then they must needs grant, that their Elders answer not to the function of those which in the new Testament are called Presbyteri in Greek and Latin, and therfore both their translations to be false ad fraudulent, and also their naming of their new degrees or orders to be fond and incongruous.
They haue no reason to cal their Ministers by that name.
If they say their Ministers be correspondent to such as were called Presbyteri in holy writ & in the Primitiue Church, & that they are the men whom the Apostle willeth to be called for to anoile the sicke & to pray for him, why doe they not then translate Presbyteros Ministers? which they might doe with as good reasons, as cal such as they haue taken steed of our Catholike Priests, Ministers. Which word being in large acception common to al that haue to doe about the celebration of diuine things, was neuer appropriated by vse either of Scripture or of the holy Church, to that higher function of publike administration of the Sacraments and Seruice, which is Priesthood: but to the order next vnder it, which is Deaconship.
Their Deacons should rather be called Ministers.
And therfore if any should be called Ministers, their Deacons properly should be so termed. And the Protestants haue no more reason to keep the ancient Greek word of Deacons, appropriated to that office by the vse of antiquitie, then to keep the word Priest, being made no lesse peculiar to the state of such only as Minister the holy Sacraments, & offer the Sacrifice of the Altar.
They should keep the name Priest, as wel as Deacon.
But these fellowes follow neither God's word, nor Ecclesiastical vse, nor any reason, but mere phantasie, noueltie, and hated of God's Church. And how litle they follow any good rule or reason in these things may appeare by this, that here they auoid to translate Priests, and yet in their Communion booke, in their order of visiting the sicke, they commonly name the Minister Priest.
let him bring in the Priests of the Church, and let them pray ouer him, * Mr. 6,13. anoiling him with oile Anoiling with oile.
The Sacrament of EXTREME VNCTION.
Here is the Sacrament of extreme Vnction so plainely promulgated (for it was instituted, as al other Sacraments of the new Testament, by our Sauiour Christ himself, and, as Venerable Bede thinketh and other ancient Writers, the anoiling of the sicke with oile Marc. 6. pertaineth thereunto) that some Heretikes, for the euidence of this place also (as of the other for good workes) deny the Epistle. Other (as the Caluinists) through their confidence of cunning shifts and glosses, confessing that S. Iames is the Authour, yet condemne the Church of God for vsing and taking it for a Sacrament. But what dishonour to God is it (we pray them) that a Sacrament should be instituted in the matter of oile, more then in the element of water? Why may not grace and remission of sinnes be annexed to the one as wel as to the other, without derogation to God?
The Heretikes obiections against the said Sacrament, answered: and withal it is proued to be a Sacrament.
But they say, Sacraments endure for euer in the Church, this but for a reason in the Primitiue Church. What Scripture telleth them that this general and absolute prescription of the Apostle in the case should endure but for a season? When was it taken away, abrogated, or altered? They see the Church of God hath alwaies vsed it vpon this warrant of the Apostle, who knew Christ's meaning and institution of it better then these deceiued men, who make more of their owne fond guesses & coniectures, grounded neither on Scripture nor vpon any circumstance of the text, nor any one authentical Authour that euer wrote, then of the expresse word of God. It was (say they) a miraculous practise of healing the sicke, during only in the Apostles time, and not long after. We aske them whether Christ appointed any certaine creature or external element vnto the Apostles generally to worke miracles by. Himself vsed sometimes clay & spittle, sometimes he sent them that were diseased, to wash themselues in waters: But that he appointed any of those or the like things for a general medicine or miraculous healing only, that we read not. For in the beginning, for the better inducing of the people to faith and deuotion, Christ would haue miracles to be wrought by sundry of the Sacraments also. Which miraculous workes ceasing, yet the Sacraments remaine stil vnto the worldes end.
Remission of sinnes annexed to creatures.
Againe we demand, whether euer they read or heard that men were generally commanded to seeke for their health by miraculous meanes? Thirdly, whether al Priests, or (as they cal them) Elders, had the guift of miracles in the primitiue Church? No, it can not be. For though some had, yet al these indifferently of whom the Apostles speaketh, had not the guift: and many that were not Priests were in this case. And though the Apostle and others could both cure men and reuiue them againe, yet there was no such general precept for sicke or dead men, as this, to cal for the Apostles to heale or restore them to life againe. Lastly, had any external element or miraculous practise, vnles it were a Sacrament, the promise of remission of al kind of actual sinnes ioyned vnto it? Or could S. Iames institute such a ceremonie himself, that could saue both, body and soule by giuing health to the one, and grace and remission to the other?
Holy water.
At other times these contentious wranglers, raile at God's Church, for annexing only the remission of venial sinnes to the element of water, made holy by the Priests blessing thereof in the name of Christ, and his word: and loe here they are driuen to hold that S. Iames prescribed a miraculous oile or creature which had much more power & efficacie. Into these straits are such miscreants brought that wil not beleeue the expresse word of God, interpreted by the practise of God's vniuersal Church.
Holy oile blessed by the Bishop.
Venerable Bede in 9 Luke saith thus. It is cleere that this custome was deliuered to the holy Church by the Apostles themselues, that the sicke should be anointed with oile consecrated by the Bishops blessing. See for this & for the assertion & vse of this Sacrament, S. Innocentius ep. 1. ad Decentium Eugubinum c. 8 to 3. Conc. & lib. 2 de visitatione infirmorum in S. Augustin c. 4 Concil. Cabilonense 2 cap. 48. Concil. Wormatiense cap. 72 to 3. Conc. Aquisgra. c. 8. Florentinum, and other later Councels. S. Bernard in the life of Malachie in sine.
The peoples deuotion toward such hallowed creatures.
This holy oile because the faithful law to haue such vertue in the primitiue Church, diuers caried it home and occupied it in their infirmities, not vsing it in the Sacramental sort which the Apostle prescribeth, as the Aduersaries vnlearnedly obiect vnto vs: but as Christians now doe (and then also did) concerning the water of Baptisme, which they vsed to take home with them after it was hallowed, & to giue it their diseased to drinke.
in the name of our Lord. 15. And The praier of faith.
The Sacramental words.
He meaneth the forme of the Sacrament, that is, the words spoken at the same when the partie is anoiled, which no doubt are most ancient & Apostolike. Not that the word or praier alone should haue that great effect here mentioned, but ioyned with the foresaid vnction, as is plaine.
the praier of faith Shal saue.
The three effects of this Sacrament.
The first effect of this Sacrament is, to saue the soule, by giuing grace & comfort to withstand the terrours and tentations of the enemie, going about (specially in that extremitie of death) to driue men to desperation of distresse of mind and other damnable inconueniences. The which effect is signified in the matter of this Sacrament specially.
shal saue the sicke: and our Lord Shal lift him vp.
When it shal be good for the saluation of the partie, or agreable to God's honour, this Sacrament restoreth also a man to bodily health againe, as experience often teacheth vs. Which yet is not done by way of miracle, to make the partie sodenly whole, but by God's ordinarie prouidence & vse of second causes, which otherwise should not haue had that effect, but for the said Sacrament. This is the second effect.
shal lift him vp: and if he be in sinnes, Shal lift him vp.
Priests (and not Elders) are the Ministers of this Sacrament.
What sinnes so euer remaine vnremitted, they shal in this Sacrament and by the grace thereof be remitted, if the person worthily receiue it. This is the third effect. S. Chrysostom of this effect saith thus: They (speaking to Priests) doe not only remit sinnes in Baptisme, but afterward also, according to the saying of S. Iames: If any be sick, let him bring in the Priests &c. Li. 3. de Sacerd. prope initium. Let the Protestants marke that he calleth Presbyteros, Sacerdotes: that is Priests, and maketh them the only Ministers of this Sacrament, and not elders or other lay-men. By al which you see this Sacrament of al other to be maruelous plainely set forth by the Apostle. Only sicke men and (as the *Greek word giueth) men very weake must receiue it: only Priests must by the Ministers of it: the matter of it is holy oile: the forme is praier, in such sort as we see now vsed: the effects be as is aforesaid. Yet this so plaine a matter and so profitable a Sacrament, the enemie by Heretikes would wholy abolish.
*ἀσθενεῖ τις
they shal be remitted him. 16. The epistle in Maioribus Litaniis on S. Markes day, and in the Rogation daies.
the Heretikes translate, Acknowledge your sinnes &c. So litle they can abide the very word of confession.
Confesse therfore Confesse therfore.
It is not certaine that he speaketh here of sacramental Confession, yet the circumstance of the letter wel beareth it, and very probable it is that he meaneth of it: and Origen doth so expound it ho. 2 in Leuit. & Venerable Bede writeth thus, In this sentence (saith he) there must be this discretion, that our daily & litle sinnes we confesse one to another, vnto our equals, and beleeue to be saued by their daily praier. But the vncleannes of the greater leprosie let vs according to the law open to the Priest, and at his pleasure in what manner and how long time he shal command, let vs be careful to be purified. But the Protestants flying from the very word Confession in despite of the Sacrament translate thus, Acknowledge your faults one to another. They doe not wel like to haue in one sentence, Priests, praying ouer the sicke, anoiling them forgiuing them their sinnes, confession, and the like.
your sinnes one to another: and Pray one for another, that you may be saued. For the continual praier of a iust man auaileth much. 17. * 3 Rg. 17.
Ecc. 48.
Luc. 4,25.
Elias was a man like vnto vs, passible: and with praier he praied that it might not raine vpon the earth, and it rained not for three yeares and sixe moneths. 18. And * 3. Reg. 18,41. he praied He praied.
Truths vnwritten & knowne by tradition.
The Scriptures to which the Apostles alludeth, make no mention of Elias praier. Therfore he know it by traditon or reuelation. Whereby we see that many things vnwritten be of equal truth with the things written.
againe: and the heauen gaue raine, and the earth yealded her fruit. 19. My brethren, if any of you shal erre from the truth, and a man conuert him: 20. he must know that he which Maketh to be conuerted.
Conuerting of soules.
Here we see the great reward of such as seeke to conuert Heretikes or other sinners from errour and wickednes: and how necessarie an office it is, specially for a Priest.
maketh a sinner to be conuerted from the errour of his way, Shal saue.
Our saluation attributed to men, without derogation to Christ.
We see, it derogateth not from God, to attribute our saluation to any man or Angel in heauen or earth, as to the workers thereof vnder God, by their praiers preahcing, correction, counsel, or otherwise. Yet the Heretikes are so foolish and captious in this kind, that they can not heare patiently, that our B. Lady or others should be counted meanes or workers of our saluation.
shal saue his soule from death, and He that hath the zeale of conuerting sinners, procureth thereby mercie & remission to himself which is a singular grace. couereth a multitude of sinnes.