23 Beholding his face in a glass - How exactly does the scripture
glass show a man the face of his soul!
24 He beheld himself, and went away - To other business. And forgot
- But such forgetting does not excuse.
25 But he that looketh diligently - Not with a transient glance, but
bending down, fixing his eyes, and searching all to the bottom. Into the
perfect law - Of love as established by faith. St. James here guards us
against misunderstanding what St. Paul says concerning the "yoke and bondage
of the law." He who keeps the law of love is free, John 8:31, &c. He
that does not, is not free, but a slave to sin, and a criminal before God,
James 2:10. And continueth therein - Not like him who forgot it, and went
away. This man - There is a peculiar force in the repetition of the word.
Shall be happy - Not barely in hearing, but doing the will of God.
26 If any one be ever so religious - Exact in the outward offices of
religion. And bridleth not his tongue - From backbiting, talebearing, evilspeaking,
he only deceiveth his own heart, if he fancies he has any true religion
27 The only true religion in the sight of God, is this, to visit - With
counsel, comfort, and relief. The fatherless and widows - Those who need
it most. In their affliction - In their most helpless and hopeless state.
And to keep himself unspotted from the world - From the maxims, tempers,
and customs of it. But this cannot be done, till we have given our hearts
to God, and love our neighbour as ourselves.