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The Epistle Of James Practically Explained by Augustus Neander

James ii. 25, 26

To the example of Abraham he now adds that of Rahab. Here, also, against the false Jewish position, that this heathen woman was justified on the ground of passive faith in the One God, he declares that this faith was required to approve itself in works, the fruits of an inward disposition, contemning for the honor of God all worldly considerations. |Likewise also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?| He concludes the whole discussion with the words: |For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.| In this comparison, faith without works answers to the dead body without the animating spirit. But it is only because the point of comparison is not fully brought out. We cannot suppose him to mean, that works answer to the spirit; for the spirit is certainly the inward, animating principle. Works, would answer to the activity of the living body. He means then: the want of works is proof that the faith is a dead one, destitute of the vital principle, and is therefore to be compared to a body which is dead.

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