Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

Epistola Catholica Beati Jacobi Apostoli

1. Agite nunc divites, plorate ululantes in miseriis vestris, quæ advenient vobis. 1. GO to now ye rich men, weep, A fearful description of the miseries that shall befall in the next life to the unmerciful covetous men. howling in your miseries which shall come to you.
2. Divitiæ vestræ putrefactæ sunt, et vestimenta vestra a tineis comesta sunt. 2. Your riches are corrupt; and your garments are eaten of moths.
3. Aurum et argentum vestrum æruginavit: et ærugo eorum in testimonium vobis erit, et manducabit carnes vestras sicut ignis. Thesaurizastis vobis iram in novissimis diebus. 3. Your gold and silver is rusted; and their rust shall be for a testimony to you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. You have stored to your selves wrath in the last days.
4. Ecce merces operariorum, qui messuerunt regiones vestras, quæ fraudata est a vobis, clamat: et clamor eorum in aures Domini sabbaoth introivit. 4. Behold The hire.
The sins crying to Heaven.
To with-hold from the poor or labourer the hire or wages that is due or promised to him for his service or work done, is a great iniquity, and one of those five sins which in holy writ be said to call for vengeance at God's hand, as we see here. They be called in the Catechism, Sins crying to heaven. The other four be, murder, Gen. 18,20., Usurie, Exod. 22,27. The sin against nature, Gen. 18,20. The oppression and vexation of widows, pupils, strangers and such like. Ib. & Exod. 3,9.
the hire of the work-men that have reaped your fields, which is defrauded of you, crieth: and their cry hath entred into the ears of the Lord of Sabboth.
5. Epulati estis super terram, et in luxuriis enutristis corda vestra in die occisionis. 5. You have made merry upon the earth: and in riotousness you have nourished your hearts in the day of slaughter.
6. Addixistis, et occidistis justum, et non resistit vobis. 6. You have condemned. presented, and slain the just one: and he resisted you not.
7. Patientes igitur estote, fratres, usque ad adventum Domini. Ecce agricola exspectat pretiosum fructum terræ, patienter ferens donec accipiat temporaneum et serotinum. 7. Be patient therefore, Brethren, until the comming of our Lord. Behold, the husband-man expecteth the pretious fruit of the earth: patiently bearing till he receive He meaneth either fruit or rain. the timely and the lateward.
8. Patientes igitur estote et vos, et confirmate corda vestra: quoniam adventus Domini appropinquavit. 8. Be you also patient, and confirm your hearts: because the comming of our Lord is at hand.
exitus reali.
will approach.
9. Nolite ingemiscere, fratres, in alterutrum, ut non judicemini. Ecce judex ante januam assistit. 9. Grudge not, Brethren, one against another: that you be not judged. Behold, the judge standeth before the gate.
10. Exemplum accipite, fratres, exitus mali, laboris, et patientiæ, prophetas qui locuti sunt in nomine Domini. 10. Take an example, Brethren, of labour and patience, the Prophets, which spake in the name of our Lord.
11. Ecce beatificamus eos qui sustinuerunt. Sufferentiam Job audistis, et finem Domini vidistis, quoniam misericors Dominus est, et miserator. 11. Behold we account them blessed that have suffered. The sufferance of Job you have heard, and the end of our Lord you have seen, because our Lord is merciful and pitiful.
12. Ante omnia autem, fratres mei, nolite jurare, neque per cælum, neque per terram, neque aliud quodcumque juramentum. Sit autem sermo vester: Est, est: Non, non: ut non sub judicio decidatis. 12. But before all things, my Brethren, Matthew 5,34. swear not, Swear not.
What othes are lawful, what are not.
He forbiddeth not all oaths, as the Anabaptists falsely say. For in justice and judgement we may be by our lawful Magistrate out to swear, and may lawfully take an oath, as also for the advantaging of any necessary truth when time and place require. But the custom of swearing, and all vain, light, & unnecessary oaths in our daily speach do displease God highly, and are here forbidden by the Apostles, as also by our Saviour. Mat. 5.
neither by heaven, nor by earth; nor other oath whatsoever. But let your talk be, yea, yea: no, no: that you fall not under judgement.
13. Tristatur aliquis vestrum? oret. Æquo animo est? psallat. 13. The Epistle in a votive Mass for the sick. Is any of you in heaviness? let him pray. Is he of a cheerful heart? let him sing.
14. Infirmatur quis in vobis? inducat presbyteros ecclesiæ, et orent super eum, ungentes eum oleo in nomine Domini: 14. Is any man sick 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 else-where often, so here they corrupt the text evidently, translating Presbyteros, Elders. As though the Apostle had meant men of age, and not such as were by holy office, Priests. St. Chrysostom who knew the sense and signification of the Greek word according to the Ecclesiastical use and the whole Churches judgement, better then any Protestant alive, 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 confess that it is a word of office with them also, though they call them Elders, and not Priests; then we demand whether the Apostle mean here men of that function which they in their new Churches call Elders. If they say no, as they must needs (for Elders with them are not deputed specially to public 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 therefore both their translations to be false ad fraudulent, and also their naming of their new degrees or orders to be fond and incongruous.
They have no reason to call their Ministers by that name.
If they say their Ministers be correspondent to such as were called Presbyteri in holy writ & in the Primitive Church, & that they are the men whom the Apostle willeth to be called for to anoint the sick & to pray for him, why do they not then translate Presbyteros Ministers? which they might do with as good reasons, as call such as they have taken steed of our Catholike Priests, Ministers. Which word being in large acception common to all that have to do about the celebration of divine things, was never appropriated by use either of Scripture or of the holy Church, to that higher function of public administration of the Sacraments and Service, which is Priesthood: but to the order next under 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 have no more reason to keep the ancient Greek word of Deacons, appropriated to that office by the use of antiquity, then to keep the word Priest, being made no less 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 well as Deacon.
But these fellows follow neither God's word, nor Ecclesiastical use, nor any reason, but mere phantasy, novelty, and hated of God's Church. And how little they follow any good rule or reason in these things may appear by this, that here they avoid to translate Priests, and yet in their Communion book, in their order of visiting the sick, they commonly name the Minister Priest.
let him bring in the Priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, Mark 6,13. anointing him with oil Anointing with oil.
The Sacrament of EXTREME UNCTION.
Here is the Sacrament of extreme Unction so plainly promulgated (for it was instituted, as all other Sacraments of the new Testament, by our Saviour Christ himself, and, as Venerable Bede thinketh and other ancient Writers, the anointing of the sick with oil Marc. 6. pertaineth thereunto) that some Heretikes, for the evidence of this place also (as of the other for good works) deny the Epistle. Other (as the Calvinists) through their confidence of cunning shifts and glosses, confessing that St. James is the Author, yet condemn the Church of God for using 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 oil, more then in the element of water? Why may not grace and remission of sins be annexed to the one as well as to the other, without derogation to God?
The Heretikes objections against the said Sacrament, answered: and withal it is proved to be a Sacrament.
But they say, Sacraments endure for ever in the Church, this but for a reason in the Primitive 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 always used it upon this warrant of the Apostle, who knew Christ's meaning and institution of it better then these deceived men, who make more of their own fond guesses & conjectures, grounded neither on Scripture nor upon any circumstance of the text, nor any one authentical Author that ever wrote, then of the express word of God. It was (say they) a miraculous practise of healing the sick, during only in the Apostles time, and not long after. We ask them whether Christ appointed any certain creature or external element unto the Apostles generally to work miracles by. Himself used sometimes clay & spittle, sometimes he sent them that were diseased, to wash themselves 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 devotion, Christ would have miracles to be wrought by sundry of the Sacraments also. Which miraculous works ceasing, yet the Sacraments remain still unto the worlds end.
Remission of sins annexed to creatures.
Again we demand, whether ever they read or heard that men were generally commanded to seek for their health by miraculous means? Thirdly, whether all Priests, or (as they call them) Elders, had the gift of miracles in the primitive Church? No, it can not be. For though some had, yet all these indifferently of whom the Apostles speaketh, had not the gift: and many that were not Priests were in this case. And though the Apostle and others could both cure men and revive them again, yet there was no such general precept for sick or dead men, as this, to call for the Apostles to heal or restore them to life again. Lastly, had any external element or miraculous practise, unles it were a Sacrament, the promise of remission of all kind of actual sins joyned unto it? Or could St. James institute such a ceremony himself, that could save both, body and soul by giving health to the one, and grace and remission to the other?
Holy water.
At other times these contentious wranglers, rail at God's Church, for annexing only the remission of venial sins to the element of water, made holy by the Priests blessing thereof in the name of Christ, and his word: and see here they are driven to hold that S. James prescribed a miraculous oil or creature which had much more power & efficacy. Into these straits are such miscreants brought that will not believe the express word of God, interpreted by the pracitse of God's uniuersal Church.
Holy oil blessed by the Bishop.
Venerable Bede in 9 Luke saith thus. It is clear that this custom was delivered to the holy Church by the Apostles themselves, that the sick should be anointed with oil consecrated by the Bishops blessing. See for this & for the assertion & use of this Sacrament, St. Innocentius ep. 1. ad Decentium Eugubinum c. 8 to 3. Conc. & lib. 2 de visitatione infirmorum in St. Augustine c. 4 Concil. Cabilonense 2 cap. 48. Concil. Wormatiense cap. 72 to 3. Conc. Aquisgra. c. 8. Florentinum, and other later Councils. St. Bernard in the life of Malachy in sine.
The peoples devotion toward such hallowed creatures.
This holy oil because the faithful law to have such virtue in the primitive Church, divers caried it home and occupied it in their infirmities, not using it in the Sacramental sort which the Apostle prescribeth, as the Adversaries unlearnedly object unto us: but as Christians now do (and then also did) concerning the water of Baptism, which they used to take home with them after it was hallowed, & to give it their diseased to drink.
in the name of our Lord.
15. et oratio fidei salvabit infirmum, et alleviabit eum Dominus: et si in peccatis sit, remittentur ei. 15. And The prayer of faith.
The Sacramental words.
He meaneth the form of the Sacrament, that is, the words spoken at the same when the party is anointed, which no doubt are most ancient & Apostolic. Not that the word or prayer alone should have that great effect here mentioned, but joyned with the foresaid unction, as is plain.
the prayer of faith Shal save.
The three effects of this Sacrament.
The first effect of this Sacrament is, to save the soul, by giving grace & comfort to withstand the terrors and tentations of the enemy, going about (specially in that extremity of death) to drive men to desperation of distress of mind and other damnable inconveniences. The which effect is signified in the matter of this Sacrament specially.
shall save the sick: and our Lord Shall lift him up.
When it shall be good for the salvation of the party, or agreeable to God's honour, this Sacrament restoreth also a man to bodily health again, as experience often teacheth us. Which yet is not done by way of miracle, to make the party suddenly whole, but by God's ordinary providence & use of second causes, which otherwise should not have had that effect, but for the said Sacrament. This is the second effect.
shal lift him up: and if he be in sins, Shal lift him up.
Priests (and not Elders) are the Ministers of this Sacrament.
What sins so ever remain unremitted, they shall in this Sacrament and by the grace thereof be remitted, if the person worthily receive it. This is the third effect. S. Chrysostom of this effect saith thus: They (speaking to Priests) do not only remit sins in Baptism, but afterward also, according to the saying of St. James: If any be sick, let him bring in the Priests &c. Li. 3. de Sacerd. prope initium. Let the Protestants mark 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 all which you see this Sacrament of all other to be marvelous plainly set forth by the Apostle. Only sick men and (as the *Greek word giveth) men very weak must receive it: only Priests must by the Ministers of it: the matter of it is holy oil: the form is prayer, in such sort as we see now used: the effects be as is aforesaid. Yet this so plain a matter and so profitable a Sacrament, the enemy by Heretikes would wholy abolish.
*ἀσθενεῖ τις
they shall be remitted him.
16. Confitemini ergo alterutrum peccata vestra, et orate pro invicem ut salvemini: multum enim valet deprecatio justi assidua. 16. The epistle in Majoribus Litaniis on St. Mark's day, and in the Rogation days.
the Heretikes translate, Acknowledge your sins &c. So little they can abide the very word of confession.
Confess therefore Confess therefore.
It is not certain that he speaketh here of sacramental Confession, yet the circumstance of the letter well beareth it, and very probable it is that he meaneth of it: and Origen doth so expound it ho. 2 in Levit. & Venerable Bede writeth thus, In this sentence (saith he) there must be this discretion, that our daily & little sins we confess one to another, unto our equals, and believe to be saved by their daily prayer. But the uncleanness of the greater leprosy let us according to the law open to the Priest, and at his pleasure in what manner and how long time he shall command, let us 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 do not well like to have in one sentence, Priests, praying over the sick, anointing them forgiving them their sins, confession, and the like.
your sins one to another: and Pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.
17. Elias homo erat similis nobis passibilis: et oratione oravit ut non plueret super terram, et non pluit annos tres, et menses sex. 17. 3 Kings 17.
Ecclesiasticus 48.
Luke 4,25.
Elias was a man like unto us, passible: and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months.
18. Et rursum oravit: et cælum dedit pluviam, et terra dedit fructum suum. 18. And 3 Kings 18,41. he prayed He prayed.
Truths unwritten & known by tradition.
The Scriptures to which the Apostles alludeth, make no mention of Elias' prayer. Therefore he know it by traditon or revelation. Whereby we see that many things unwritten be of equal truth with the things written.
again: and the heaven gave rain, and the earth yealded her fruit.
19. Fratres mei, si quis ex vobis erraverit a veritate, et converterit quis eum: 19. My brethren, if any of you shall err from the truth, and a man convert him:
20. scire debet quoniam qui converti fecerit peccatorem ab errore viæ suæ, salvabit animam ejus a morte, et operiet multitudinem peccatorum. 20. he must know that he which Maketh to be converted.
Converting of souls.
Here we see the great reward of such as seek to convert Heretikes or other sinners from error and wickedness: and how necessary an office it is, specially for a Priest.
maketh a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, Shall save.
Our salvation attributed to men, without derogation to Christ.
We see, it derogateth not from God, to attribute our salvation to any man or Angel in heaven or earth, as to the workers thereof under God, by their prayers preahcing, correction, counsel, or otherwise. Yet the Heretikes are so foolish and captious in this kind, that they can not hear patiently, that our B. Lady or others should be counted means or workers of our salvation.
shall save his soul from death, and He that hath the zeal of converting sinners, procureth thereby mercy & remission to himself which is a singular grace. covereth a multitude of sins.