Page images
PDF
EPUB

ink.

them to thee with pen and ink, lest my letter should fall into hands

who might make an improper use of it. 14 For I hope straightway to see thee, (x4, 14 Besides, it is needless to write these things, for I hope soon 212.) and so we shall speak face to face. to see thee; and 80 we shall speak face to face freely concerning Peace be to thee. The friends here salute them. Peace be to thee, which is my apostolical benediction. The thee, Salute the friends by name.3

Christians with me wish thee health and happiness. In my name wish health and huppiness to the Christians with thee, as if I named

them particularly. to the elect lady and her children, 2 Epist. ver. 12. See the note on friends. This appellation is singular, being nowhere else found in that verse.

scripture. But it applieth excellently to the primitive Chrisuans, Ver. 14.-1. I hope straightway to see thee.)-Lardner conjec. as it denoteth in the strongest inanner the love which, in the first tures that John did actually visit Caius, and adds, “I please myself age, subsisted among the irue disciples of Christ. Let it not then with the supposition that his journey was not in vain. I imagine be pretended, that the gospel does not recommend privale friendthat Diotrephes subunitted and acquiesced in the advices and admo ship. nitions of the apostle. Of this I have no assurance. However, I 3. Salute the friends by name.)-The apostle, by sending a salu: may add, neither doth any one else know the contrary." Canon, tation to the faithful disciples of Christ, who were in the church of vol. iii. p. 312

which John was a member, and who were living together in great 2. The friends here salute thee.)-Our translators have inserted love, shewed his affection for them, and encouraged them to permethe word our in this clause without any authority.-'Opines, the vere in the truth.

JUDE.

PREFACE.

present with them in all their ministrations. Accordingly, Sect. I.The History of Jude the Apostle, and Brother Judas the apostle was one of those to whom Jesus apof James.

peared, at different times, after his resurrection. He was

also one of the 120 upon whom the Holy Ghost descendIn the catalogue which Luke gives of the apostles, ed in the visible shape of flames of fire, on the memochap. vi. 14, 15. James the son of Alpheus, Simon call. rable day of Pentecost.—Being therefore an eye-witness, ed Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, are men and endowed with the Holy Ghost, he no doubt, as tioned. In the catalogue, Acts i. 13. we have the same Lardner remarks, joined his brethren apostles in witnessing persons named, and in the same order. But in the cata- their Master's resurrection from the dead, and shared with logue, Matt. x. 3. in the place of Judas there is Leb- them in the reproaches and sufferings which befell them beus, whose sirname was Thaddeus; and in Mark iii. on that account. 19. Thaddeus simply. Wherefore, as all the evangelists Lardner conjectures, that Judas the apostle was an husagree that there were only twelve apostles, we must sup- bandman before he became Christ's disciple ; founding his pose that Judas the brother of James was sirnamed conjecture on a passage of the Apostolical Constitutions, Lebbeus and Thaddeus.—The appellation of the brother where the apostles are made to say, “ Some of us are of James was given to Judas, probably because James fishermen, others tent-makers, others husbandmen.” He was the elder brother, and because, after our Lord's as adds, “ undoubtedly several of the apostles were fishermen: cension, James became a person of considerable note But by the latter part of the sentence no more may be among the apostles, and was highly esteemed by the meant, than that there was among them one tent-maker, Jewish believers.

even Paul; and one husbandman, intending perhaps St. In the Preface to the epistle of James, sect. 1. we have Jude. For Hegesippus, as quoted by Eusebius, writes, shewn, that James the son of Alpheus was our Lord's « That when Domitian made inquiries after the posbrother or cousin-german. From this it follows, that terity of David, some grandsons of Jude, called the Judas the brother of James stood in the same relation to Lord's brother, were brought before him. Being asked Christ. Accordingly we find James and Joses, and concerning their possessions and substance, they assured Simon and Judas, expressly called the brethren of Jesus, him, that they had only so many acres of land, out of the Matt. xiii. 55. Mark vi. 3.-We have no account of the improvement of which they both paid him tribute and time and manner in which Judas the brother of Jesus be maintained themselves with their own hard labour. came Christ's disciple. But the history of his election to The truth of what they said was confirmed by the calthe apostleship is given Luke vi. 13. Perhaps, like some lousness of their hands," &c. On this passage Lardner's others of the apostles, he was originally a follower of the remarks are, “Hence some may argue, that St. Jude Baptist, on whose testimony to Jesus he believed him to himself had been an husbandman; and from this account, be the Messiah.

if it may be relied upon, we learn that this apostle was None of the evangelists have said any thing of Judas married and had children.” Lardner on the Canon, vol. after he became an apostle except John, who tells us, iii. chap. xxi. p. 325. that when our Lord spoke what is recorded John xiv. If Judas the apostle was the same person with Judas 21. Judas saith to him.-22. Lord, how is it that thou the author of the epistle, he lived to a great age. And wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world ? 23. his life being thus prolonged, we may suppose that, after Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he preaching the gospel and confirming it by miracles, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and went into other countries for the same purpose. Lardwe will come to him and make our abode with him; ner tells us, some have said that Jude preached in Arameaning, that after his resurrection he would shew him- bia, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia ; and that he suffer. self alive to his apostles ; and that he and his Father, by ed martyrdom in the last mentioned country. But these the spiritual gifts bestowed on them, would make their things are not supported by any well-attested history. abode with them; that is, would shew that they were With respect to his being a martyr, it may be doubted;

because none of the ancients have mentioned his having profession laid on them resolutely to maintain the faith, suffered martyrdom. It is therefore generally believed that and constantly to follow the holy practice enjoined by the he died a natural death.-Jerome, in his Commentary on gospel. Matt. x. 35. says, “ That the apostle Thaddeus, called by Grotius, however, fancying that the author of this the evangelist Luke Judas the brother of James, was sent epistle was not Judas the apostle, but another person of to Edessa, to Agbarus king of Osroene.”—Eusebius, Eccl. the same name, who lived in the time of the emperor Hist. lib. i. c. 13. says, Thomas, one of the twelve, sent to Adrian, and who was the fifteenth bishop of Jerusalem, Edessa Thaddeus, one of Christ's seventy disciples, to hath boldly affirmed, that the words and brother of James preach the gospel in these countries.

are an interpolation ; and that the true reading is, ' Judas, a servant of Jesus Christ, to them who are sanctified,' &c.

But as he hath not produced so much as a shadow of Sect. II.---Shewing that the Epistle of Jude was written by Judas the Apostle, consequently that it is an in. authority from any ancient MS. or from the Fathers, in

support of his emendation, it deserves not the least respired Writing:

gard, and should not have been mentioned, bad it not I. In the inscription of this epistle, the writer styles been to make the reader sensible, how little the opinion of himself 1:825 Inox X8158 8820s, aderpos de laxes, “Judas, a the greatest critics is to be regarded when they have a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James. By favourile notion to maintain, or wish to make themselves these two characters, the author of this epistle hath shew- conspicuous by the novelty or singularity of their preed himself to be an apostle. For, 1. His name Judas tended discoveries. is precisely the same with that of the apostle Judas. From the inscription, therefore, of this epistle, I think 2. His designation is the same, and brother of James.- it certain that it was written by Judas the apostle; and If it be objected, that Judas, the writer of the epistle, that it is an inspired writing of equal authority with the hath not called himself an apostle, but only a servant epistles of the other apostles, which by all are acknowof Jesus Christ, the answer is, First, As there was ledged to be inspired and canonical. another apostle named Judas, to have called himself an II. The genuineness of this epistle is established likeapostle was no distinction at all; whereas, by styling wise by the matters contained in it, which in every rehimself the brother of James, he hath made himself spect are suitable to the character of an inspired apostle known to all who are acquainted with the catalogues of of Christ. For, as was already observed, the writer's dethe aposties given by the evangelists, to be a different sign in it was to characterize and condemn the heretical person from Judas the traitor, and hath as effectually teachers, who, in that age, endeavoured by a variety of Declared himself to be an apostle, as if he had expressly base arts to make disciples; and to reprobate the impious assumed that title. Besides, by calling himself the doctrines which they taught for the sake of advantage; brother of James, he hath asserted his relation to Christ and to enforce the practice of holiness on all who pro. as his cousin-german, (see Pref. to James, sect. 1. paragr. fessed the gospel. In short, there is no error taught, nor 1.), and thereby hath secured to himself whatever re- evil practice enjoined, for the sake of which any impostor spect was due to him on account of that honourable re could be moved to impose a forgery of this kind on the lation.—Secondly, Some others, who were undoubtedly world. apostles, have in their epistles omitted to take that title, To invalidate this branch of the proof of the authentiand have called themselves simply servants of Jesus city of the epistle of Jude, it bath been objected, both anChrist. Thus, in Paul's epistle to the Philippians, chap. ciently and in modern times, that the writer of it hath i. ). we

have • Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus quoted the apocryphal book entitled Enoch, and thereby Christ ;' and in the Epistle to Philemon, Paul a pri- hath put that book on an equality with the canonical soner for Jesus Christ,' without any addition: also, in the books of the Old Testament. But to this objection inscription of the epistles to the Thessalonians, we have learned men have replied, that it is by no means certain • Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the that Jude quoted any book whatever: He only says, Thessalonians,' without any designation whatever. In ver. 14. . Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophelike manner, James in his epistle, chap. i. 1. calls himself sied even concerning these men, saying, Behold the Lord simply "a servant of Jesus Christ. Yet no one, on ac cometh with his holy myriads,' &c.-Besides, we have count of the omission of the word apostle in these epis- no good evidence, that in Jude's time there was any book tles, ever doubted of the apostleship either of Paul or of extant entitled Henoch or Henoch's Prophecy. In the James. Farther, in the first epistle of John, the writer, second and third centuries, indeed, a book with that title neither in the inscription nor in any other part of his was handed about among the Christians. But it seems to letters, hath called himself an apostle, or so much as men have been forged on occasion of the mention that is tioned his own name; yet, by his manner of writing, he made of Enoch's prophecy in the epistle of Jude ; and hath made himself known so fully, that his epistle, from was universally rejected as a manifest forgery.-In the the very first, hath been universally acknowledged as apostolical writings there are a variety of ancient facts John's, and respected as a writing divinely inspired. mentioned or alluded to, which are not recorded in the Why then should Judas be thought no apostle, or his epis- Jewish scriptures; such as, The sin and punishment of tle be reckoned an uninspired writing, merely because he the evil angels, % Pei. . 4. and their confinement in hath not called himself an apostle, but only a servant of everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of Jesus Christ?

the great day, Jude, ver. 6.-The prophecy of Enoch! If, in this epistle, there had been any thing inconsistent concerning the judgment and punishment of the wicked, with the true Christian doctrine, or any thing tending to Jude, ver. 14.–Noah's preaching righteousness to the reconcile the practice of sin with the hope of salvation, antediluvians, 2 Pet. ii. 5.--Abraham's seeing Christ's there would have been the justest reason for calling the day and being glad, mentioned by Christ himself

, John apostleship of its author in question. But, instead of thisviii

. 55.-Lot's being vexed with the filthy discourse of its professed design, as shall be shewed by and by, was the wicked Sodomites, 2 Pet. ii. 7.—The emblematical to condemn the erroneous doctrines, which in the first purpose for which Moses slew the Egyptian who strove age were propagated by corrupt teachers, for the pur- with the Israelites, Acts vii. 25.— The names of Pharaoh's pose of encouraging their disciples in their licentious magicians who contended with Moses, 2 Tim. iii. 8.courses; and to make those to whom this letter was Moses' exclamation on the mount, when terrified by what written, sensible of the obligation which their Christian he saw, Heb. xii. 21.–The emblematical meaning of the

tabernacles and of their services, Heb. ix. 8, 9.-All that entitled Henoch, or the prophecy of Henoch, and that which ancient facts are mentioned by the inspired writers, Jude quoted from it the prophecy under consideration, as things universally known and acknowledged. It is no such a quotation would not lessen the authority of his objection to the truth of these things, that they are epistle as an inspired writing, any more than the quotanot recorded in the books of the Old Testament. For it tions from the heathen poet Aratus, Acts xvii. 28. and is reasonable to believe, that the writers of these books from Menander, 1 Cor. xv. 33. and from Epimenides, have not recorded all the revelations which God made to Tit. i. 12. have lessened the authority of the history of mankind in ancient times; nor all the circumstances of the Acts, and of Paul's epistles, where these quotations are the revelations which they have recorded. As little have found. The reason is, if the things contained in these they related all the interesting incidents of the lives of the quotations were true in themselves, they might be menpersons whose history they have given. This is certain tioned by an inspired writer, without giving authority to with respect to Moses. For he hath omitted the revela- the poems from which they were taken. In like manner, tion by which sacrifice was appointed ; and yet that it was if the prophecy ascribed to Enoch, concerning the future appointed of God is evident from Moses himself, who tells judgment and punishment of the wicked, was agreeable us, that God had respect to Abel and to his offering to the other declarations of God concerning that event, Likewise, he hath omitted the discovery which was made Jude might cite it; because Enoch, who like Noah was a to Abraham, of the purpose for which God ordered him preacher of righteousness, may actually have delivered to sacrifice his son. Yet, that such a discovery was such a prophecy, though it be not recorded in the Old made to him we learn from Christ himself, who tells us, Testament, and because his quoting it did not establish that Abraham saw his day, and was glad. Wherefore, the authority of the book from which he took it, if he took the revelations and facts mentioned in the New Testa. it from any book extant in his time. ment may all have happened ; and, though not recorded Having thus cleared the internal evidence of the epistle in the Old, may have been preserved by tradition. Nay, of Jude from the objections which have been raised against it is reasonable to think, that at the time the an- it, I shall now set before the reader the external evidence cient revelations were made, somewhat of their mean- by which the authenticity of that writing is proved. For ing was also discovered, whereby posterity were led to this purpose I observe, that although the epistle of Jude agree in their interpretation of these very obscure oracles. was doubted of by some in the early ages, yet, as soon as On any other supposition, that uniformity of interpreta- it was understood that its author was Judas the brother tion which took place from the beginning, can hardly be of James, mentioned in the catalogue of the apostles, it accounted for.

was generally received as an apostolical inspired writing, Allowing, then, that there were revelations anciently and read publicly in the churches as such. The evidence made to mankind which are not recorded, and that the of these important and decisive facts I shall set before the revelations which are recorded were accompanied with reader, as collected and arranged by the learned and imsome explications not mentioned, it is natural to think, partial Lardner. that these things would be verbally published to the an And first of all, Lardner acknowledgeth that the episcients, who, considering them as matters of importance, tle of Jude is nowhere quoted by Irenæus, who wrote would lay them up their memory, and rehearse them about the year 178; but that Eusebius, giving an account to their children ; and they in like manner relating them of the works of Clem. Alexandr. who flourished about the to their descendants, they were preserved by uninterrupt- year 194, saith, Eccles. Hist. lib. vi. c. 14. initio," In his ed tradition. Further, these traditional revelations, and Institutions he hath given explications of all the Canoniexplications of revelations, after the art of writing be- cal Scriptures, not omitting those which are contradicted ; came common, may have been inserted in books as an I mean the epistle of Jude, and the other catholic episcient traditions which were well authenticated. And the tles.” Clement's Institutions re lost; but we have a Spirit of God, who inspired the evangelists and apostles, small treatise in Latin, called Adumbrations, supposed to may have directed them to mention these traditions in be translated from the Institutions. : In these Adumbratheir writings, and to allude to them, to make us sensible tions there are remarks upon almost every verse of the that many important matters, anciently made known by epistle of Jude except the last. There likewise is the folrevelation, have been preserved by tradition. And more lowing observation : « Jude, who wrote a catholic epistle, especially, that the persuasion, which history assureth us does not style himself at the beginning of it Brother of hath prevailed in all ages and countries from the most the Lord, though he was related to him, but Jude, the serearly times, concerning the placability of the Deity, the vant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James." From this acceptableness of sacrifice, the existence of the soul after it appears, that Clement thought the writer of the epistle death, the resurrection of the body, the rewards and pu- under consideration one of them who are called the Lord's nishments of the life to come, with other matters of a brethren, Matt

. xiii. 55. and an apostle.— Farther, verses like kind, was founded on revelations concerning these 5, 6. and 11. of the epistle of Jude, are quoted by Clement things which were made to mankind in the first age, in his Pedagogue, or Instructor. Moreover, in bis Stro

and handed down by tradition. The truth is, these things mata or Miscellanies he quotes Jude from ver. 8. to ver. being matters which by the utmost effort of their natural 16.—These are sufficient proofs of the antiquity of this

faculties men could not discover, the knowledge and be- epistle, and that it was written by Judas, one of the twelve lief of them which prevailed among all nations, whether apostles of Christ. barbarous or civilized, cannot be accounted for except on Tertullian, who flourished about the year 200, hath one the supposition of their being originally discovered by very express quotation from Jude's epistle, in his treatise revelation, and spread among all nations by tradition. De Cultu Fæmin. namely this : " Hence it is that Enoch Wherefore, in no age or country have mankind been left is quoted by the apostle Jude.” entirely to the guidance of the light of nature, but have Origen, about the year 230, mentions the epistle of enjoyed the benefit of revelation in a greater or in a less Jude in various passages of his writings ; particularly in his degree.

commentaries on St. Matthew, having cited chap. xii. 53. But to return to the objection formerly mentioned, by 56. he saith, “ Jude wrote an epistle in few lines indeed, which some endeavour to disprove the authenticity of but full of the powerful words of the heavenly grace, who Jude's epistle, founded on the mention which is made in at the beginning says, Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, it of Enoch's prophecy. Allowing for a moment, that and brother of James.” And in the same commentaries there was such a book extant in the apostle's days as on St. Matthew, having quoted 1 Pet. i. 12. he says, “ If

any one receives also the epistle of Jude, let him consider who embraced the gospel acknowledged the authority of what will follow from what is there said, And the angels the Jewish scriptures, but because it was of the greatest who kept not their first estate," &c. Wherefore, notwith- importance to make the Gentiles sensible, that the gospel standing in Origen's time some doubted of, or denied the was consonant to the ancient revelation. authority of this epistle, he himself without hesitation II. Learned men, as Lardner observes, have differed quoted it as written by Jude, one of the Lord's brethren, in their opinion with respect to the time when Jude wrote consequently by an apostle.

his epistle. Mill hath fixed it to a. D. 90; for he saith, In the writings of Cyprian, who flourished about the “ It is certain this epistle was written after the death of year 284, no notice is taken of Jude's epistle. But it is Peter, but before the year 95, when the descendants of quoted by the anonymous author against the Novatian this Jude were suspected by Domitian, because they were heretic, who wrote about the year 255. However, he does of the family of David." See Pref. to Jude, sect. 1. not name Jude. His words are, “ As it is written, Behold paragr. 4. “For otherwise the suspicion would have he cometh with ten thousands of his angels to execute reached to Jude himself, if he had been alive, as much judgment upon all; and what follows." He means the as to his descendants."—But Dodwell, who is followed 14th and 15th verses of the epistle.

by Cave, is of opinion that Jude wrote his epistle soon Eusebius, who flourished about the year 315, hath men after the destruction of Jerusalem, in the year 70, or in tioned Jude's epistle. See the passage in the Pref. to 71. L'Enfant and Beausobre thought it might be writJames, sect. 2. paragr. 2. From that passage it appears, ten between the years 70 and 75. Estius and Witsius that in the time of Eusebius Jude's epistle was generally supposed it was written in the latter part of the apostolireceived, though not by all.

cal age, when Jude was very old, and when few or perAfter the time of Eusebius, seven Catholic epistles were haps none of the apostles were alive but himself. Oecugenerally received by all Christians, Greeks and Latins. menius, in his note on ver. 17. • Beloved, remember ye Jude's epistle therefore, as well as the rest, was received by the words which were before spoken by the apostles of Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Didymus of our Lord Jesus Christ,' saith, “ Jude means Peter in his Alexandria, Jerome, Ruffin, the third council of Carthage, second epistle, and Paul in almost all his epistles ;" and Augustine, Isiodore of Pelusium, Cyril of Alexandria, and adds, “ Hence it is evident that Jude wrote late after the others. But it was not received by the Syrians. Lardner decease of the apostles.”—I agree with Oecumenius in adds, that he found this epistle oftener quoted by writers thinking, that by the words before spoken by the apostles, who lived about the time of Eusebius, than the epistle of Jude meant the words committed to writing; because it James.

is not to be supposed that all, or even many of those into Lucifer of Cagliari in Sardinia, about the year 354, bath whose hands Jude's epistle might come, had heard the quoted almost the whole of Jude's epistle. He quotes it apostles preach. This epistle therefore was written when expressly as written by the excellent apostle Jude, brother the writings of the apostles and evangelists were generally of the apostle James.

dispersed; that is to say, towards the end of the first age. Epiphanius, about the year 368, in his Heresy of the -The same thing appears from ver. 3. “I thought it Gnostics," cites the catholic epistle of the apostle Jude, necessary to write to you, exhorting you strenuously to brother of James and of the Lord, written by inspiration.” contend for the faith formerly delivered to the saints :'

Jerome, in his Catalogue of ecclesiastical writers, Art. for these expressions, I think, imply, that some consideraJude, says, “ Jude the brother of James left a short epis- ble time had elapsed since the whole scheme of the Christle, which is one of the seven called Catholic. But, be- tian doctrine had been published to the world, and after cause of a quotation from a book of Enoch, which is apo- the persons to whom Jude wrote had been instructed cryphal, it is rejected by many. However at length it in it. hath obtained authority, and is reckoned among the Sa Upon the whole, although the precise date of this episcred Scriptures.".

tle cannot be determined, it is highly probable that it was

written in the latter part of the apostolical age ; and not Sect. III.--Of the Persons to whom the Epistle of Jude long before Jude's death. See however the following sect.

was directed, and of the Time when it was written.
I. Estius and Witsius were of opinion that Jude wrote

Sect. IV.-Of the Occasion on which the Epistle of to Christians everywhere, but especially to the converted

Jude was written. Jews.-Hammond thought this epistle was directed to Jewish Christians alone; and with a design to secure In the latter part of the apostolical age many false them against the errors of the Gnostics.-Benson also teachers had arisen, and were going about speaking perthought it was written to Jewish believers; especially to verse things to draw away disciples after them, as St. Paul those of the western dispersion. For, according to him, had foretold to the elders of Ephesus, Acts xx. 30. See Jude wrote to the very persons to whom Peter wrote his Pref. to 1 John, sect. 3. In drawing disciples after them, epistles. But I agree with Lardner in thinking, that the these teachers had nothing in view but to increase their inscription of this letter leads us to believe, that it was own gains, that they might have wherewithal to spend written to all, without distinction, who had embraced the upon their lusts, For the first Christians having a great gospel. For it runs in this manner, ver. 1. •To the affection for their teachers, willingly and liberally contrisanctified by God the Father, and to the preserved by buted towards their maintenance. The false teachers thereJesus Christ, to the called.—3. Beloved, making all haste fore, to draw the vicious part of mankind after them, perto write to you concerning the common salvation, I verting Paul's doctrine of justification by faith without the thought it necessary to write to you, exhorting you stre- works of law, resolved the whole of Christianity into the nuously to contend for the faith formerly delivered to the speculative belief and outward profession of the gospel. saints.'

See Pref. to James, sect. 4. And, having thus cancelled The only reason which hath induced commentators the obligations of morality, they taught their disciples to to suppose that Jude wrote to the Jewish believers alone, live in all manner of licentiousness; and at the same time flatis, that he makes use of arguments and examples taken tered them with the hope of the favour of God, and of ob. from the sacred books of the Jews. But the apostle Paul aining eternal life. followed the same course in writing to the Gentiles; and One of the perverse things which these corrupt teachboth apostles did so with propriety, not only because all ers spake for the purpose of alluring the wicked was

paragr. 3.

that God is so good that he will not punish men for indulg. sceins very unlikely that St. Jude should write so similar ing those natural appetites which he himself hath implant- an epistle if he had seen Peter's. In that case, St. Jude ed in their nature, nor be displeased with them for com would not have thought it needful for him to write at all. mitting a few sins which can do him no harm, but which If he had formed a design of writing, and had met with an are necessary to their present happiness. Wherefore, to epistle of one of the apostles very suitable to his own shew the impiety and falsehood of that doctrine, and to thoughts and intentions, I think he would have forbore to secure the disciples from being seduced by it, the apostle write. Indeed, the great agreement in subject and design Jude wrote this epistle, in which, by facts recorded in the between these two epistles, affords a strong argument that Jewish scriptures, he proved, that as God had already they were writ about the same time. As therefore I have punished the angels who sinned, notwithstanding their placed the second epistle of St. Peter in the year 64, I am dignity, and the antediluvians notwithstanding their num- induced to place this epistle of St. Jude in the same year, bers, so he will at length most assuredly punish all ob or soon after, in 65 or 66. For there was exactly the stinate sinners in the severest manner.

same state of things in the Christian church, or in some Estius hath observed, that the subject of Jude's epistle is part of it, when both these epistles were writ.” Thus far the same with that of Peter's second epistle ; and hath ac Lardner. counted for the likeness of the two epistles by supposing, But I incline to be of their opinion, who, on account that Jude had read Peter's epistle before he wrote his own : of the sameness both of sentiment and language found in and that he imitated it; in some places abridging Peter's the two epistles, think that Jude wrote his epistle after he sentiments, and in others enlarging upon them, and often had seen Peter's, and that he copied it in several pasusing his very words. As an example, he mentions Jude, sages. For the Spirit may have directed him to write ver. 17, 18. where he thinks Jude copied 2 Pet. iii. 3. In on the same subject with Peter, and even in the words this opinion Estius is followed by Benson, who, in his which Peter used, to give the greater authority to both Pref. to Jude, sect. 3. thus writes : “ Upon comparing the epistles; and that the condemnation of the false teachers, two epistles, it appears not only that St. Peter and St. and the exhortations which the two apostles addressed to Jude had translated some passages from the same ancient the faithful in their time, might have the more weight with Hebrew author; (in this Benson follows Bishop Sherlock, them, and with Christians in succeeding ages, when they Dissert. on 2 Pet.) ; but it seems highly probable that St. found these things delivered by both, precisely in the same Jude had also seen and read the second epistle of St. terms. Peter."-But Lardner saith, Canon, vol. iii. p. 353, it

View and Illustration of the Matters contained in the Epistle of Jude. After inscribing his letter to all who were sancti- phet Zechariah informs us, that great and holy angel, fied, and preserved, and called, Jude, after the example of when, contending with the devil who opposed him in his his brethren apostles, gave to the faithful his apostolical be- benevolent designs towards the Jews, he disputed about nediction, ver. 1, 2.-Then told them that he judged it restoring the Jewish church and state, he did not attempt necessary, in the then state of the church, to exhort them

to revile even that apostate spirit, but said to him mildly, strenuously to contend for the faith formerly delivered to The Lord rebuke thee, Satan, ver. 9.—Whereas the the holy apostles and prophets, and by them to the dis- wicked teachers who are now gone abroad, speak evil of ciples of Christ, ver. 3.--because certain ungodly men, magistrates, the origin and end of whose office they do under the mask of being inspired, had come in among not understand ; and corrupt themselves by the only knowthe faithful, and, from the goodness of God in pardoning ledge they possess, namely, that knowledge of the use of men's sins as published in gospel, had inferred that their body which is suggested to them by their natural apGod would not punish sinners; and, by thus perverting petites, and which they have in common with brute beasts, the mercy of God, had encouraged their disciples in all ver. 10.-The apostle, therefore, declared the misery which manner of lascivious practices. Moreover, when in was awaiting these impious teachers, whose wickedness in danger of suffering for their faith, they had not scrupled slaying the souls of men by their false doctrine he comto deny both God and Christ; vainly fancying that God pared to that of Cain, who slew his brother; and whose would not punish them for so doing, ver. 4.-But, to excessive love of money he compared to that of Balaam, shew how ill-founded the doctrine of these deceivers was, who, to obtain the hire which Balak promised him, atJude put the faithful in mind, how God, having saved the tempted to curse the Israelites contrary to his conscience ; people of Israel from Egypt, afterwards utterly destroyed and whose miserable end, for opposing Christ and his the whole of them in the wilderness for their sin of un- apostles, he compared to that of Korah and his compabelief, except Caleb and Joshua, ver. 5.--and, how he nions for opposing Moses and Aaron, ver. 11. bound the rebellious angels with everlasting chains, under These wicked teachers, the apostle told the faithful, darkness, in order to their being punished at the judg- were spots in their love-feasts, being guilty of gluttony ment of the great day, ver. 6.-Moreover he told them, and drunkenness ; so that, even if they had taught true seeing the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha and of doctrine, they would have rendered it ineffectual by their the neighbouring cities, who had given themselves up to bad example. For which reason he compared them to unnatural lusts as the false teachers likewise did, are, in clouds without water, and to trees absolutely dead, ver. the punishment which was inflicted on them, set forth as 12.–And because by their wicked practices they disan everlasting example of God's just indignation against graced themselves, he called them “raging waves of the such crimes, ver. 7.-so, in like manner, said he, these sea, foaming out their own shame;' and meteors which wicked teachers and their disciples shall assuredly be were to be extinguished for ever, ver. 13.-Further, to punished, who having lost all sense of virtue, defiled their terrify these wicked men, he declared, that Enoch probodies with unnatural lusts, and despised the office of phesied, not to the antediluvians only, but to them also, magistrates, and reviled those who exercised it, because when he said, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thouthey punished them for their misdeeds, ver. 8.-With this sands of his holy angels, ver. 14.—to inflict condign insolence of the heretical teachers towards the heathen punishment on all the ungodly, both for their impious magistrates, the apostle contrasted the behaviour of the speeches and for their wicked practices, ver. 15.- And archangel Michael towards the devil. For, as the pro- that the faithful might be at no loss to know them, ha

« PreviousContinue »