Answers to Correspondence—If James 5:14 were an absolute command as your correspondent seems to suppose, and not a door left open for the faith of the afflicted, I fail to see how any Christian could die, unless by unforeseen accident. But “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick,” does not seem to fit in with the notion of a specific injunction.
However, the door is open for those who have faith to use it. But it must be faith, not experiment. Any elderly men will do, as James does not contemplate those officially in that place. There were none such among the Jewish assemblies, only among the Gentiles. If people have not faith for it they had better leave it alone. I have known it to fail, but that only proved the want of faith.