In this chapter the apostle dissuades from a respect of persons, on
account of outward circumstances; shows that the law is to be
fulfilled, and that mercy is to be exercised, as well as justice
done; and exposes the folly of such who boast of faith without works:
he dissuades the saints from all partiality to the rich and poor,
from their relation to one another, as brethren, and from their
common faith, of which Christ, the Lord of glory, is the object,
\\#Jas 2:1\\ supposes an instance of it, either in a court of
judicature, or a religious assembly, \\#Jas 2:2,3\\ and then
makes an appeal unto them, and expostulates with them about
it, \\#Jas 2:4\\ and makes use of an argument against it, taken from
the divine conduct, and an instance of his grace in the choice of
persons to eternal life, \\#Jas 2:5\\ a conduct very different from
some persons here blamed, \\#Jas 2:6\\, and other arguments follow,
dissuading from a respect of persons, taken from the characters of
rich men, as oppressors of the poor, litigious and quarrelsome with
their neighbours, and blasphemers of the name of God, \\#Jas 2:7\\
and from the law of God, which requires the love of the neighbour,
and which to fulfil is to do well, \\#Jas 2:8\\ and from the breach
of it, by having respect to persons, whereby its penalty is incurred,
\\#Jas 2:9\\ for which a reason is given; because whoever offends in
one point of the law, is guilty of the whole, \\#Jas 2:10\\ as is a
clear case, since the same lawgiver that forbids one sin, forbids
another; so that he that is guilty of either of them is a
transgressor of the law, \\#Jas 2:11\\ wherefore it is right both to
speak and act according to it, since men will be judged by it,
\\#Jas 2:12\\ and he will have no mercy shown him that has shown none
to the poor, but merciful ones will escape damnation, \\#Jas 2:13\\
and then the apostle argues from the unprofitableness of faith itself
without works, \\#Jas 2:14\\ and which he exemplifies in the case of
a poor brother or sister who are wished well, but nothing given them;
which good words, without deeds, are of no profit, \\#Jas 2:15,16\\
so in like manner, faith without works is a dead faith, \\#Jas 2:17\\
nor indeed can it be made out that a man has faith, if he has not
works, \\#Jas 2:18\\ at least such a faith as has justification and
salvation connected with it; his faith, at most, is no better than
that of the devils, who are damned, \\#Jas 2:19\\ and that such a
faith is a dead faith, \\#Jas 2:2\\ and that true faith is attended
with, and evidenced by works, the apostle proves by two instances;
the one is that of Abraham, whose faith appeared to be genuine, and
he to be a justified person, by the works he did; particularly by
offering up his son Isaac; in which way his faith operated, and
showed itself to be sincere and hearty; and the Scripture was
fulfilled that Abraham was a believer; and had righteousness imputed
to him, and was a friend of God, and a justified person,
\\#Jas 2:21-24\\ and the other instance is that of Rahab, whose
faith was also shown by her works, and so a justified person, by
receiving the spies with peace, and dismissing them with safety,
\\#Jas 2:25\\, and then the apostle explains what he means, by saying
more than once, that faith without works is dead; which he illustrates
by the simile of a man's body being dead, without the spirit or soul in
it, \\#Jas 2:26\\.