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The Salutation and Design of the Epifle ; viz. To arm
them against the Errors and Vices of False and Heretical Teachers. The Certainty of their severe Punishment, inferred from the Instances of the Rebellious Ifraelites, the Fallen Angels, Sodom and Gomorrah. Very Black Descriptions of these Hereticks. The Traditional History of Michael, and Prophecy of Enoch referred to. Christians not to be surprized at these Hereticks, because foretold by the Prophets, and by Chriit Himself. He Exhorts them to Steddiness in the True Faith. Prays for them, and concludes.
UDE the servant
1 & 2. UDE (called in the Gof- Written of Jesus Christ,
pels Thaddeus, and Leb. A.D. 67. and brother of James, beus, to distinguish him from Judas to them that are sancti- Iscariot ) the Brother of James, fied by God the Fa. Bishop of Jerusalem, an Apostle of and preserved
Jesus Christ, sendeth this Epistle to in Jesus Christ, and the Jewish Christians, to all that in called. 2 Mercy unto you,
these Corrupted, Persecuting and Aand peace, and love poftatizing Times, remain firm and bé multiplied.
iteddy to their Profession : Wishing
Favour and Happiness. 3 Beloved, when
3. In Writing to you, dear BreI gave all diligence to thren, upon the great Subject of write unto you of the common falvation ; it neceffary Argument I can chuse to
our Christianity, the chief and most was needful for me to
infift write unto you,
and upon is, that of Courage and exhort you, that
ye Constancy to the plain and original should earnestly con- Doctrines of it *. tend for the faith which was once * delivered unto the faints.
* Ver. 3. The Faith.once delivered : Tas Tapadodelay; Deo livered once for all ; i. e. So as to need no further Confirmation beside the Evidences given of it by Christ and his Apostles .; and so as to admit of no Alterations or Additions. See the Note on Heb. ix. 26.
A.D. 67. 4 For there are 4. One would think, indeed,
certain men crept in this were a needless Topick to Men
Wicked Set of Men, whose Vices
of our God into lafci- the Prophets and by Cbrift himself, I The Jewish viousness, and deny- some of them denying Christ to Ibe
ing the only Lord the True Messiah at all, others afHereticks. God, and our Lord firming He Lived, and Preached, and See Pref.
Jesus Christ. John xiii.
Died in Appearance only, and not in Reality; and all of them, by promoting fome Vicious Practice or other, have so insinuated themselves into, and corrupted the Christian Church, that we are forced to run back to the Defence of its first and plainest Principles.
I will therefore 5. Wherefore, to prevent you
from being drawn into that despe-
you, how certain the Punishment
of such Wretches will be ; let me remind you of the former Dealings of God in the like Cafes. The Ifraelites you know were the Chosen People, and Church of God : Yet how were They, that had the Favour of a Miraculous Deliverance from Egyptian Bondage, destroyed for their Disobedience, and never saw the promised Land !
* Of Old fore-ordained to this Condemnation : spoje yra peu évos sis og to go wipeu ; Men of whom it was before-written that they would deserve this Condemnation, 2 Pet. ii. 3.
Ibid. Denying the only Lord God ; i. e. denying Him, in effect, by denying Chrif bis Son, or by corrupting the True Religion, a to defeat all the main Designs of it. See 1 John ili 22, 23.
6 And the angels 6. Nay, to go higher, the very A. D. 67, which kept not their Angels themselves, that acted unworfirft estate, but left thy of the blissful Station and .. Dig
• axit their own habitation, he hath reserved in nity God has placed them in, were
thrust down from those bright Reeverlasting chains under darkness unto the gions of Light and Happiness, and judgment of the great are here kept in this dark and lower day.
( World, as Prisoners reserved in || 2 Pet. ii. 4.
Chains, against the Great Day of Judgment upon them, and all Wicked Men.
7 Even as Sodom 7. What was the total and irreand Gomorrah, and parable Destruction of those Lewd the cities about them, and Beastly Cities of Sodom and in like manner giving Gomorrah, but an Emblem of that themselves over to for
more dreadful and Eternal Punishnication, and going ment that will be the final Portion after strange flesh, are set forch for, an exof the Debauched | Heréticks of these See 2 Pelo
ü, 6. ample, suffering the Times ? vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also 8. Who, not only equal, but even these filthy dreamers exceed the Sodomites in their Impiedefile the flesh, despise ties ; indulging themselves not only dominion, and speak in the same Excess of Carnal Gratievil of dignities. fications, but in the most Vain and Extravagant Fancies, and Imaginations of the Mind too. They are not only Lawless, Ungovernable and Arrogant against all Temporal Authority, but have Notions that are disgraceful to, and reflecting upon, the Dignity of Heavenly * and Superior Beings.
ii. the Note 9 Yet Michael the
& io. You cannot but stand a- tbere. archangel, when con- mazed at their Insolence, when tending with the devil, compare it with the Traditional Ac
you he disputed about the body of Moses, durft count you Jews have had about the + not bring against Strife between Michael and Samael lll See Light him any railing accu- the Devil, called the Angel of Death, fation, but faid, The concerning the Body of Mojès. Your Lord rebuke thee. Traditions tell you, the Archangel 10 But
* See 2 Pet.
+ Ver. 9. Durft not bring, &c. gre éróunas; He did not think it fit or meet : So that Greek Word is often used to ügnify.
A. D.67. 10 But these speak returned the Devil none of his railing, Wevil | of those things Accusations, but only faid, The Lord ll See 2 Pet. which they know not : rebuke thee *. While these impudent ii. 11, 12. but what they know Creatures, like Savage Beasts, fly
naturally, as brute
at and vilify every thing, of what
Reason or Distinction. 11. Wo unto them, 1 Wo unto them ! for if Cain's for they have gone in murdering his Brother was so dreadthe way of Cain, and ful a Crime, what muft it be in ran g:eedily after the them to persecute fuch Numbers of error of Balaam for a
their innocent Brethren ! if Balaam reward, and perihed in the gainsaying of was fo wicked in seducing the IsraelCore.
ites to Idolatry, what must be their
Guilt, who, against the more clear Light of the Gospel, seduce Christian People into Lewdneis, Darkness and Destruction ! And, if the Earth was made to swallow up Corah and his Company, for pretending to rival and affront Moses, what must be the End of them that resist the Authority of Christ, and, by Forgeries and Delusions, set up against his inspired Apostles !
12 These are sports 1 2 & 13. 'Tis impossible to dein your † feaits of scribe them by any Comparisons that charity, when they are black enough to reach them. feast with you, feed- When they are invited, to gratify ing themselves with
their Appetites, 'tis indifferent to out fear : clouds they
them, whether it be to an Idol-Feaft, are without water, carried about of winds ;
or a Feast I of Charity, among the trees whole fruit wi- true Worshippers of God. They togetheid as thereth, without fruit, bring nothing but Scandal and †
twice dead , plucked Danger to all they communicate 13-17 up by the roots ; with. The Lewdness and Slanders 13 Raging
Rocks. See 2 Pet. i.
* There is another Interpretation of this Verse, which makes it refer to Zach, iii. 2. For his View and Choice whereof I refer the more curious Reader to Mr. Le Clerk, Not. en Hame mond. N. T.
I Feafts of Charity. 'Tis not clear whether these were meant of Sacramental Feasts among Christians, or Jewiss Feafts, usual in the Evening of their Sabbaths, called xolwid, and gevodoxia. I have therefore so expressed it as to include both.
13. Raging waves of their Conversation are as blafting 1. D.67. of the sea, foming as a Tempeft, and a virtuous Word out their own shame ;
or Action is no more to be expected * wandering stars, to from them, than Fruit is from a whom is referved the Tree that is perfectly withered and blackness of darkness
stubbed up. They vent their shame
ful and malicious Caluminies as plentifully as the Sea throws out its Foam in stormy Weather ; and while they set up for Teachers and DoEtors, Guides and * Lights to other Men, they are no better than those irregular Meteors that deceive and mislead the Mariner in a dark Night: And accordingly, eternal Darkness and the utmost Degree of Misery will be their final Portion. 14 And Enoch al
14 & 15. That Traditional Proso; the seventh from phely the Jews have of Enoch, these
, saying, Behold, concerning the Destruction of the these, saying, Behold, Old World, may as fitly be applied the Lord cometh with
to these Men ; for as their Impiety ten thousands of his to these Men faints,
and Injustice, both in Words and 15 To execute judg. Actions, do not only equal, but ment upon all, and to even surpass theirs, the Divine Judgconvince all that are ments upon them will certainly be ungodly among them, still more solemn, dreadful and exof all their ungodly emplary. deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungcdly finners have spoken against him.
16 These are mur 16. For nothing can exceed the murers, complainers, Pride, Luft and Vanity of this Set walking after their of People, that yet have the Face, own lufts, and their
many of them, to call themselves
flatter, and join in with the worst of
17 & 18. But
* Wandering Stars ; The Jewish Doctors were stiled, Lights and Stars,