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The Epistle Of James Practically Explained by Augustus Neander

James iv. 6-8

|But,| -- to the above warning he immediately subjoins the consolation, -- |He giveth more grace;| more, to wit, than that already bestowed, provided only that the one radical condition is fulfilled, in the entire submission of the heart, in the humbly receptive spirit. He reminds them of the passage from the Proverbs: |God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.| Even if those, to whom his Epistle was directed, were not chargeable with the pride of unbelief, -- they were yet wanting in the ground-tone of humility, the abiding sense of dependence on God, the ever-present consciousness that they were nothing and could do nothing without God. This want betrayed itself in excessive reliance on earthly possessions and human means. The prevalence of a worldly spirit always originates in want of humility. For this reason James admonishes them, that God withholds his gifts and aid from the proud, since the necessary condition on the part of the creature for the reception of every communication on the part of God, is wanting to them. But where humility is found, there is a susceptibility for the communication of all divine grace. He says to those, who pleaded in excuse for sin the irresistible temptations of Satan, or the withholding of divine grace, that it was their own fault if they thus fell. All depended on the direction of their own will. In order to resist the Evil One, who has power over no one except by his own consent, they needed but to humble themselves before God, to turn to Him in the consciousness of dependence. Thus will God impart himself to them, and thus will the Evil One be compelled to flee. |Submit yourselves therefore to God: resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh unto God and he will draw nigh unto you.|

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