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Bishops, Apostles, and Martyrs (Trollope's Liturgy of St James, p. 130). The “brother of the Lord” has become the 'Adel pódeos, “the brother of the very God.” (Ibid. p. 25.)

Wild and fantastic as are these imaginings, they are yet not without interest as shewing how powerfully the personality of James had impressed itself on the minds of his contemporaries and followers. Legends gather round the memory of a gre man, not of a small one. And the character which is visible through all of them is that of one who continued all his life a Hebrew of the Hebrews, zealous for the Law, and devout in its observance, winning by his personal holiness the admiration and reverence of all who knew him. It is refreshing, however, to pass from the region of fables, and to tread on the safer ground-safer, though here, too, we need the caution which should attend all exercise of the historical imagination-of the inferences that may legitimately be drawn from what the New Testament writers tell us of the man, from what he tells us of himself. We have, then, present before us one whose personal work is limited to Jerusalem, who undertakes no far-distant journeys. Such a life tends naturally to the devout, contemplative, ascetic pattern of religion. It keeps itself “unspotted from the world.” Its practical activity is limited to “visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” The days pass by in a calm unbroken order, and the outer stirrings of the world scarcely ruffle it. And the life was spent in great part, at least, in company with the two Apostles, St Peter and St John. We can think of James as delighting in their converse, interchanging thoughts with them, learning from them, and in his turn teaching them, so that, as we have seen (p. 9), his words and phrases are often theirs, and theirs are his. And there also, for part of the time, must have been the Publican-Apostle, writing his Gospel for the Hebrews, yet writing it, there seems reason to believe, in Greek as well as Hebrew, for the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad, to whom St James addressed his Epistle. May we not think of the two as communing together as the work went on; the brother of the Lord imparting to the Evangelist the genealogy of the house of David, which was treasured among the records of his lineage, and the events, as he remembered or had heard them, of the Birth and Infancy of the Christ, and reading the Sermon on the Mount, in which he found the “royal law, the perfect law of freedom;" and of which accordingly we find so many echoes in the Epistle (p. 8)? From time to time there appears in Jerusalem one of wider thoughts and wider work, whom many of the Church at Jerusalem hated and suspected. James does not hate or suspect, and holds out the right hand of fellowship, but he feels that he has a vocation and ministry of his own, and his form of life and type of thought remain as they were, but little influenced by the teaching of the Apostle of the Gentiles. And Luke comes with St Paul, and the wide culture and sympathies of the beloved physician enable him to understand, better than others, the character of the Bishop of Jerusalem, outwardly so different from, essentially so in harmony with, the character of his friend, and he resolves that, as far as in him lies, the false rumours of an antagonism between them which had gone abroad and gained acceptance, shall be shewn to be not facts, but the reverse of facts, engendered by the father of lies. And the life thus calm and tranquil is naturally given to study as well as prayer and good works. The Holy Scriptures are naturally the chief object of those studies, but his early knowledge as a Galilæan, and his frequent intercourse with the Hellenistic pilgrims of the Dispersion, who came up to keep their Pentecost or other feasts at Jerusalem, made him familiar with the Greek version of those Scriptures, and so with the books which the Alexandrian Jews had added to the Hebrew volume. His Epistle shews how much he valued the practical teaching of one of those books, how he found in the Son of Sirach one who, like himself, had sought for wisdom and had not sought in vain. The parallelisms with that book are, as the following table will shew, nearly as numerous as those with the Sermon on the Mount.

James i. 5.

Ecclus. xx. 15, xli. 22.

i. 8.
i. 12.

i. 28, ii. 12.
i. 11, 16, 18.

James i. 12.

i. 19.
i. 23•
i. 25.
iii. 5.

Ecclus. XV. II.
.......... V. II, XX. 7.

xii. II.
xiv. 23, xxi. 23.
xxviii.. 10.
xxviii. 19 (?).

iii. 6.

Yet another book, the work, probably, of a contemporary, written, as some have thought", by the Jew of Alexandria, eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, to whom many critics, from Luther onwards, have assigned the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, must have attracted him by its very title, the Wisdom of Solomon, and with this also we find not a few interesting and suggestive parallelisms.

James i. 11.

i. I 2.


i. 17
i. 20.
i. 23•
ii. 21.
iv. 14

Wisd. ii. 8.

V. 7.
vii. 17-20.
xii. Io.
vii. 26.
X. 5.
iii. 16, v. 9-14.

We picture such a man to ourselves as grave and calm, for the most part silent, but when speaking, letting fall words that were as seeds that germinated and took root in the souls of others, indifferent to the luxuries and comforts of life, honouring the poor more than the rich, visiting the fatherless and the widow, accompanying the Elders of the Church when they anointed the sick with oil in the hope of their recovery, slow to judge, calming by his saintly meekness the angry passions of contending parties, adopting the policy of non-resistance in times of persecution. Not without cause did men speak of him as emphatically the "just, or righteous, one" as presenting a type of character after the pattern of His who was emphatically the Just One, Jesus Christ the Righteous (Matt. xxvii. 19; Luke xxiii. 47 ; Acts iii. 14, vii. 52; 1 John ii. 1). The frequent oca currence of that title either in its Greek or Latin form (as in

1 See Two Papers on the Writings of Apollos in Vol. I. of the Exposiior. ST JAMES


the Fustus of Acts i. 23, xviii. 7; Col. iv. 11) seems to indicate that it was used somewhat freely of those who aimed at a higher righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.

So far as we may think of such a one as James the Just as needing refreshment after the strain of worship and of work, some subtle touches in the Epistle lead us to think of that refreshment as found by him, as by all pure and simple souls, in the forms of life around him. To consider the lilies of the field, to dwell lovingly on what he calls the comeliness, not of the fashion, but of the face of each fair flower (see Note on 1. 10), to find a quiet joy, as St John is said to have done in his old age (see note on ch. iii. 7), in the power of man to tame the wildness, and even to win the affection, of bird or beast,—this also we may think of as entering into the life of the brother of the Lord, and teaching him new lessons in the wisdom which he sought. Christendom has presented many types of saintliness, more intense and vehement, more mystic and spiritual, with wider thoughts, or at least a freer utterance, of the mysteries of God. It was well that the Apostolic age should present one type such as this, in which holiness appeared mainly as identical with Wisdom ; that this should be as much the special characteristic of St James, as Faith was of St Paul, and Hope of St Peter, and Love of the beloved disciple. That type has happily not been without its representatives in later ages of the Church. In Macarius of Egypt, in Thomas à Kempis, in our own Bishop Wilson, we trace the same ideal of life, the aim at that wisdom which cometh from above, and is first pure and then peaceable, gentle, and carrying with it the persuasive power of gentleness. The life of St James was well characterised by Eusebius (Hist. II. 23), as marked by “the highest philosophy.” The Liturgy of the Greek Church as happily attaches the epithet “Wise" rather than Just, to the “brother of the Lord," and commemorates “the marvellous and ineffable mysteries” which were made known to him by the “Wisdom of the incarnate Lord” who vouchsafed to be his Teacher.



I. The letter which bears the name of James purports to be addressed to the “twelve tribes that are scattered abroad" (literally in the dispersion. See note on ch. i. 1). No other Epistle takes so wide a range. St Peter's, which comes nearest to it, does not extend beyond the section of the “dispersion" that was to be found in the northern and central provinces of Asia Minor. This contemplates nothing less than all the families of Israel, and, as far as they are concerned, is, in the fullest sense of the word, a Catholic or Universal Epistle.

On the other hand, there seems, at times, to be an implied limitation. He writes to those who "hold the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ” (ch. ii. 1), who have His worthy (or noble) Name called

upon them (ch. ii. 7), who live in the expectation of His coming (ch. v. 7). Seen from one point of view, the Epistle seems a call to the outward Israel, such as the preaching of the Baptist had been, to be true to their calling, to live by the light they had, to conquer the besetting sins of their race. Seen from another, it is an earnest appeal to the Israelites who had accepted Jesus as the Christ, to be on their guard, lest those sins should reappear in the new society of the Church of God. From yet a third stand-point it seems to be addressed specially to the Churches of Judæa. It speaks of forms of persecution and oppression (ch. ii. 6, 7, v. 4), which obviously refer directly to the acts of violence that followed on the death of Stephen (Acts ix. 2), and were renewed under Herod Agrippa I. (Acts xii. 1, 2).

We shall perhaps be better able to understand the features which the Epistle thus presents to us, if we endeavour to realise the position of the writer. The Church of Jerusalem was committed to his special charge. All the notices of his life, historical, traditional, legendary, represent him as con


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