In this chapter the apostle reproves the vices of rich men, and
denounces the judgments of God upon them; exhorts the saints to
patience under sufferings; warns them from vain and profane
swearing, and presses to various duties and branches of religious
worship, private and public, and to the performance of several good
offices of love to one another. He represents the miseries of wicked
rich men as just at hand, \\#Jas 5:1\\ because they made no use of
their riches, either for themselves, or others, and because of the
trust they put in them, heaping them up against a time to come,
\\#Jas 5:2,3\\, and because of their injustice in detaining the hire
of labourers from them, \\#Jas 5:4\\ and because of their wantonness
and luxury, \\#Jas 5:5\\ and because of their cruelty to the
innocent, \\#Jas 5:6\\ and such who suffer at their hands are
exhorted to exercise patience, from the instance of the husbandman
waiting patiently for the fruit of the earth, and the rain to produce
it; and from the consideration of the coming of Christ, the Judge,
being near at hand, \\#Jas 5:7-9\\ and from the example of the
prophets of the Lord, who suffered much, and were patient, and so
happy; and particularly from the instance of Job, his patience, the end
of the Lord in his afflictions, and his pity and compassion towards him,
\\#Jas 5:10,11\\. But of all things the apostle entreats them, that
they would take care of profane swearing, and all vain oaths, since
these bring into condemnation, \\#Jas 5:12\\ and from hence he passes to
various exercises of religion; the afflicted he advises to prayer;
and those in comfortable circumstances of body and mind to singing
of psalms, \\#Jas 5:13\\, and such that are sick, to send for the elders
of the church to pray over them, and anoint them with oil in the
name of the Lord, whereby not only the sick man would be delivered
from his sickness, the Lord raising him up, but even his sins would
be declared to be forgiven, \\#Jas 5:14,15\\. And not only it became
the elders to pray for sick persons, but also the saints in general,
one for another, and to acknowledge their faults to each other,
since the fervent prayer of every righteous man is of great avail
with God, \\#Jas 5:16\\ of which an instance is given in Elias, whose
prayer, though a man subject to like passions as other men, against,
and for rain, was very successful, \\#Jas 5:17,18\\. And Christians
should not only be concerned for the health of each other's bodies,
but also for the good of their souls; wherefore, whenever it is
observed that any are straying from the path of truth, methods
should be taken to restore them, and turn them from the error of
their ways; and whoever is the happy instrument of such a
restoration is the means of saving a soul from death, and hiding a
multitude of sins, \\#Jas 5:19,20\\.