Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

Epistola Catholica Beati Jacobi Apostoli

Catholic Epistle.) The word Catholic, though in the title of this Epistle & the rest following (called, The Catholic Epistles) it be not wholy in the same sense as it is in the Creed, yet the Protestants so fear and abhor the word altogether, that in some of their Bibles they leave it clean out, although it be in the Greek, and in some they had rather translate ridiculously thus, The general Epistle, &c. whereas these are famously known and * Euseb. li. 2. hist. c. 22. specified in antiquity by the name of Catholic Epistles, for that they are written to the whole Church, not to any peculiar people or person, as S. Paul's are.

The Protestants abhor the word Catholic.
The Church readeth these Catholic or Canonical Epistles in order at Matins, from the 4 Sunday after Easter until Whitsunday.
1. Jacobus, Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi servus, duodecim tribubus, quæ sunt in dispersione, salutem. 1. JAMES the servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve Tribes that are in dispersion, greeting.
2. Omne gaudium existimate fratres mei, cum in tentationes varias incideritis: 2. The Epistle for some Martyrs. Esteem it, my Brethren, all joy, when you shall fall into diverse tentations:
3. Scientes quod probatio fidei vestræ patientiam operatur. 3. knowing that the * Romans 5,3. probation of your faith worketh patience.
4. Patientia autem opus perfectum habet: ut sitis perfecti et integri in nullo deficientes. 4. And let patience have a perfect work: that you may be perfect & entire, failing in nothing.
5. Si quis autem vestrum indiget sapientia, postulet a Deo, qui dat omnibus affluenter, et non improperat: et dabitur ei. 5. But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men aboundantly, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.
6. Postulet autem in fide nihil hæsitans: qui enim hæsitat, similis est fluctui maris, qui a vento movetur et circumfertur: 6. But * Matthew 21,22.
Mark 11,24.
let him Ask in faith nothing doubting.
What faith is required in prayer.
The Protestants would prove by this, that no man ought to pray without assurance that he shall obtain that which he asketh. Where the Apostle meaneth nothing else, but that the asker of lawful things may not either mistrust God's power & ability, or be in dissidence and despair of his mercy: but that our doubt be only in our own unworthiness or undue asking.
ask in faith nothing doubting. For he that doubteth, is like to a wave of the sea, which is moved & caried about by the wind.
7. non ergo æstimet homo ille quod accipiat aliquid a Domino. 7. Therefore let not that man think that he shall receive anything of our Lord.
8. Vir duplex animo inconstans est in omnibus viis suis. 8. A man double of mind is inconstant in al his ways.
9. Glorietur autem frater humilis in exaltatione sua: 9. But let the humble Brother glory, in his exaltation:
10. dives autem in humilitate sua, quoniam sicut flos fœni transibit; 10. and the rich, in humility, because * Psalms 102,11.
Ecclesiasticus 14,18.
Isaias 40,6.
1 Peter 1,24.
Job 5,17.
as the flour of grass shall he pass:
11. exortus est enim sol cum ardore, et arefecit fœnum, et flos ejus decidit, et decor vultus ejus deperiit: ita et dives in itineribus suis marcescet. 11. for the sun rose with heat, & parched the grass, and the flour of it fell away, and the beauty of the shape thereof perished: so the rich man also shall wither in his ways.
12. Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem: quoniam cum probatus fuerit, accipiet coronam vitæ, quam repromisit Deus diligentibus se. 12. The Epistle for a Martyr that is a Bishop. Blessed is the man that suffereth tentation: for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.
13. Nemo cum tentatur, dicat quoniam a Deo tentatur: Deus enim intentator malorum est: ipse autem neminem tentat. 13. Let no man say that he is tempted of God.
God is not Author of evil.
We see be this, that when the Scriptures (as in the Pater noster and other places) seem to say, that God doth sometimes tempt us, or lead us into tentation; they mean not that God is in any ways the Author, causer, or mover of any man to sin, but only by permission, and because by his gratious power he keepeth not the offender from tentations. Therefore the blasphemy of Heretics, making God the Author of sin, is intolerable. See. S. August. ser. 9. de divers. c. 9.
Let no man when he is tempted, say that he is tempted of God. For God is not a tempter of evils.
ἀπείραστός κακῶν.
Partial & willful translation.
The Protestants as much as they may, to diminish the force of the Apostles conclusion against such as attribute evil tentations to God (for other tentations God doth send to try men's patience and prove their faith) take and translate the word passively, in this sense, that God is not tempted by our evils. Where more confoundly to the letter & circumstance of the words before & after, & as agreeably to the *Greek, it should be taken actively as it is in the Latin, that God is no tempter of evil. For being taken passively, there is no coherence of sense to the other words of the Apostle.
God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man.
14. Unusquisque vero tentatur a concupiscentia sua abstractus, et illectus. 14. But The ground of tentation to sin, is our concupiscence, and not God. every one is tempted of his own concupiscence abstracted and allured.
15. Deinde concupiscentia cum conceperit, parit peccatum: peccatum vero cum consummatum fuerit, generat mortem. 15. Afterward Concupiscence when it hath conceived.
Concupiscence of it-self no sin.
Concupiscence (we see here) of it-self is not sin, as Heretics falsely teach: but when by any consent of the mind we do obey or yeald to it, then is sin ingendered and formed in us.
concupiscence when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin. But Sin consummate ingendereth death.
Not every sin mortal.
Here we see that not all sin nor all consent unto concupiscence is mortal or damnable, but when it is consummate, that is, when the consent of man's mind fully and perfectly yealdeth to the committing or liking of the act of motion whereunto concupiscence moveth or inciteth us.
sin when it is consummate, ingendereth death.
16. Nolite itaque errare, fratres mei dilectissimi. 16. The Epistle on the 4 Sunday after Easter. Do not err therefore, my dearest Brethren.
17. Omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum, apud quem non est transmutatio, nec vicissitudinis obumbratio. 17. Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, descending from the Father of lights, with whom is no transmutation, nor shadowing of alteration.
18. Voluntarie enim genuit nos verbo veritatis, ut simus initium aliquod creaturæ ejus. 18. Voluntarily hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we may be some beginning of his creature.
19. Scitis, fratres mei dilectissimi. Sit autem omnis homo velox ad audiendum: tardus autem ad loquendum, et tardus ad iram. 19. You know, my dearest Brethren. And * Proverbs 17,27. let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger.
20. Ira enim viri justitiam Dei non operatur. 20. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.
21. Propter quod abjicientes omnem immunditiam, et abundantiam malitiæ, in mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum, quod potest salvare animas vestras. 21. The Epistle on the 5 Sunday after Easter. For the which thing casting away all uncleanness and abundance of malice, in meekness receive the engrassed word, which is able to save your souls.
22. Estote autem factores verbi, et non auditores tantum: fallentes vosmetipsos. 22. But * Matthew 7,21.
Romans 2,13.
be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceaving your selves.
23. Quia si quis auditor est verbi, et non factor, hic comparabitur viro consideranti vultum nativitatis suæ in speculo: 23. For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding the countenance of his nativity in a glass.
24. consideravit enim se, et abiit, et statim oblitus est qualis fuerit. 24. For he considered himself, and went his way, and by and by forgot what an one he was.
25. Qui autem perspexerit in legem perfectam libertatis, et permanserit in ea, non auditor obliviosus factus, sed factor operis: hic beatus in facto suo erit. 25. But he that hath looked in The law of perfect liberty.
What is the law of liberty in the New Testament.
The law of the Gospel and grace of Christ, is called the law of liberty, in repect of the yoke and burden of the old carnal ceremonies, and because Christ hath by his blood of the new Testament delivered all that obey him, from the servitude of sin, & the Devil. But not as the Libertines and other Heretics of this time would have it, that in the new Testament every man may follow his own liking & conscience, and may choose whether he will be under the laws & obedience of Spiritual or Temporal Rulers, or no.
the law of perfect liberty, and hath remained in it, not made a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; this man shall be Beatitude or salvation consisteth in well-working. blessed in his deed.
26. Si quis autem putat se religiosum esse, non refrenans linguam suam, sed seducens cor suum, hujus vana est religio. 26. And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but seducing his heart, this man's religion is vaine.
27. Religio munda et immaculata apud Deum et Patrem, hæc est: visitare pupillos et viduas in tribulatione eorum, et immaculatum se custodire ab hoc sæculo. 27. Religion clean.
Good works part of man's justice.
True religion standeth not only in talking of the Scriptures, or only faith, or Christ's justice: but in purity of life, and good works, specially of charity and mercy done by the grace of Christ. This is the Apostolical doctrine, and far from the Heretical vanity of this time.
Religion clean and unspotted with God and the Father, is this, to visit pupils and widows in their tribulation: and to keep himself unspotted from this world.