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Julian Pe- ried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is re- Italy or
riod, 4779, served for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.
The Apostle shews that his design in Writing his two
Epistles, was to remind them of the Predictions of the
ancient Prophets, (Psalm i. 1. Dan. xii. 2.) and of the
Doctrines and Instructions of the Apostles founded on
them knowing that the Prophets foretold the appear-
ance of false Teachers, who should deny the coming of
Christ to judge the World, (Jer. xvii. 15. Ezek. xii.
22-27. Jude xiv. 15. Dan. xii. 2.) wilfully ignorant
that the Firmament, or Atmosphere, and the Earth, were
formed by the Word of God out of Water; by Means of
which, owing to the Wickedness of Man, it had been al-
ready destroyed-That the present Earth, and its Atmos-
phere, which exist by the same Means, is liable to the
same Destruction, from the same Cause; but they are
treasured up, and preserved from a Deluge of Water,
that they may be consumed by a Deluge of Fire, at the
Day of Retribution and Judgment.
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remem-
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of our Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
PREDICTED BY THE ANCIENT PROPHETS.
4 And saying, where is the promise of his coming? for Italy or since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they Rome. were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
The Apostle exhorts the Christian Brethren not to be de-
ceived by the Scoffers, who inferred from God's delay that
he wanted the Power, or would never fulfil his Promises
-but to remember that no finite Duration bears any pro-
portion to the Eternity of God-that no period of Time
can change his Purposes, (Psalm xc. 4.)- That the
coming of the Lord is not delayed for the Reason assigned
by these Teachers; but from his long suffering and un-
willingness that any should perish-The Day of the
Lord, however delayed, will surely and suddenly come,
and will break in upon Man as a Thief in the Night,
(Matt. xxiv. 43.) when the whole Atmosphere, with its
Vapours, shall pass away by the application of Fire,
with tremendous Noise and Explosions--and the Elements
of which they are composed being ignited and separated,
the whole material Fabric, with all its Works of Nature
and Art, shall be utterly burned-Seeing that all earthly
Things shall be dissolved, they have the most powerful
incentives to Holiness of Life, and Piety towards God,
earnestly desiring, instead of fearing, the coming of the
Day of God, when this Mundane System shall be melted,
for they, according to the Promise God made to Abraham
and to his spiritual Seed, (Rom. iv. 13-16. Isa. lxv.
17-23. and lxvi. 22.) are to look for new Heavens and
a new Earth, (Rev. xxi. 27. and xxii. 14, 15.) the end-
less Abode of blessed Spirits.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that
one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thou-
sand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
riod, 4779. Vulgar Era, 66.
heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall Italy er be burnt up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness;
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righte
§ 7. 2 PET. iii. 14, to the end.
As all Christians are promised the Inheritance of the ever-
lasting Canaan―the new Heavens and the new Earth,
(Luke xx. 35.)—the Apostle admonishes them earnestly
to endeavour to be found of Christ, the Judge of Quick
and Dead, holy, innocent, and useful in their Lives, and
at Peace with him-They are to consider the Delay of his
coming as a proof of his Design that all Men should be
saved as Paul, by divine Inspiration, has written to
them, (Ephes. ii. 3, 4, 5. Coloss. i. 21. 1 Thess. iii. 13.
iv. 14-18. 2 Thess. i. 7-10. Titus ii. 13.)—Resur-
rection of the Dead, (1 Cor xv. 22. Phil. iii. 20, 21.) -
Burning of the Earth, (2 Thess. i. 8.)—Heavenly Coun-
try-abode of the Righteous, (1 Thess. iv. 17. Нeb. iv.
9. and xii. 14. 18. 24.)-General Judgment, (Rom. xiv.
10.)-among which Things some are difficult of compre-
hension to Man-which the unlearned and unestablished
in the Faith, distort with other portions of Scripture, to
their own Destruction-Corrupting the Morals of Men-
But they, having been forewarned by the Apostles and
Prophets of these erroneous Doctrines, are to be on their
guard against them—daily increasing in the Knowledge of
the Doctrines of Jesus Christ, and as rendering Glory to
him now, and to the Day of Eternity.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such
things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace,
without spot, and blameless:
15 And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things
DIFFICULT SUBJECTS IN ST. PAUL'S EPISTLES.
Julian Pe- before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and for ever. Amen.
Jude writes his Epistle to caution the Christian Church
against the dangerous Tenets of the false Teachers, who
had now appeared, subverting the Doctrine of Grace to
the encouragement of Licentiousness-and to exhort them
to a steadfast adherence to the Faith and Holiness 30.
30 Jude, or Judas, the writer of this epistle, is considered by the generality of commentators to be the apostle of that name mentioned in the catalogue of the apostles given by St. Luke, chap. vi. 14, 15, and in Acts i. 13. and by St. Matthew, chap. x. 3. and Mark iii. 18. as Lebbeus and Thaddeus; from whence it is naturally inferred, as the evangelists unite in confining the number of the apostles to twelve, that Jude, Lebbeus, and Thaddeus, was the same person, known by these different names. As he expressly declares himself to have been the brother of James, he may have borne the same relation to our Lord as James did. His call to the apostleship is rccorded by St. Luke, chap. vi. 13. and he is mentioned also by John, xiv. 21, 22, 23. Therefore, as the promise contained in this passage implies, as an apostle he was endowed with the spiritual gifts of the Holy Ghost, Christ through the Spirit dwelling with him.
Lardner supposes that James was originally an husbandman, from the expression in the apostolical constitutions-" Some of us are fishermen, others tent-makers, others husbandmen." He conjectures that the latter part of the sentence peculiarly referred to St. Paul and St. Jude; which supposition is further corroborated by Hegesippus, as quoted by Eusebius, who asserts, "That when Domitian made inquiries after the posterity of David, some grandsons of Jude, called the Lord's brother, were brought before him. Being asked concerning their possessions and substance, they assured him that they had only so many acres of land, out of the improvement of which they both paid him tribute, and maintained themselves with their own hard labour. The truth of what they said was confirmed by the callousness of their hands." From which account, if it may be relied upon, it necessarily follows that this apostle was married, and had children. Jerome, in his commentary on Matthew x. 35. says, "That the Apostle Thaddeus, called by the evangelist Luke, Judas the brother of James, was sent to Edessa, to Agbarus, king of Osroëne." And Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. l. 1. c. 13.) says, that Thomas, one of the twelve, sent to Edessa, Thaddeus, one of Christ's seventy disciples, to preach the Gospel in these countries.
The canonical authority of this epistle has been disputed, particularly because the apostle is supposed to have quoted the apocryphal book of Enoch. To which objection it is replied,
The Apostle addresses his Epistle to all who are called and
preserved, and consecrated to God through Faith in Jesus
there is no good evidence that in Jude's time there was any
book extant entitled Henoch, or Henoch's Prophecy. The
book that existed in the second and third centuries, of that
name, is generally supposed to have been composed on the men-
tion of this prophecy by Jude, and was consequently ever re-
garded as a forgery. We cannot conclude, from the reference
made by Jude, that such a book necessarily existed. For,
throughout the apostolical writings, there are many facts al-
Juded to which are not related in the Jewish Scripture. The
sin and punishment of the evil angels, 2 Peter ii. 4.; Noah's
preaching righteousness to the people before the flood, 2 Peter
ii. 5.; Abraham's seeing Christ's day, and being glad, as de-
clared by Christ himself, John viii. 56.; Lot's vexation at the
iniquity of the Sodomites, 2 Peter ii. 7.; the emblematical pur-
pose of the slaying of the Egyptian by Moses, Acts vii. 25.; the
names of Pharaoh's magicians, 2 Tim. iii. 8.; Moses's exclama-
tion on the mount, Heb. xii. 21. with many others; which
things seem to prove, beyond a doubt, that the inspired writers
of the Old Testament did not record all the revelations made
to them by God, any more than they related every event in the
lives of those persons whose histories they have written. Some
explication was given with the revelation, which, being of the
greatest importance, was transmitted by uninterrupted tradi-
tion from father to son; and the Spirit of God taught the
apostles to discern those which were authentic. Macknight ob-
serves, "the Spirit of God, who inspired the evangelists and
apostles, may have directed them to mention these traditions in
their writings, and to allude to them, to make us sensible that
many important matters, anciently made known by revelation,
have been preserved by tradition. And more especially, that
the persuasion, which history assureth us hath prevailed in all
ages and countries from the most early times, concerning the
placability of the Deity, the acceptableness of sacrifice, the
existence of the soul after death, the resurrection of the body,
the rewards and punishments of the life to come, with other
matters of a like kind, was founded on revelations concerning
these things, which were made to mankind in the first age, and
handed down by tradition. The truth is, these things being
matters which, by the utmost efforts of their natural faculties,
men could not discover, the knowledge and belief of them,
which prevailed among all nations, whether barbarous or civi-
lized, cannot be accounted for, except on the supposition of
their having been originally discovered by revelation, and dis-
persed among all nations by tradition. Wherefore, in no age or
country, have mankind been left entirely to the guidance of
the light of nature, but have enjoyed the benefit of revelation
in a greater or in a less degree."
But granting that Jude really quoted from the book under
consideration, it no more proves that he was not an inspired
writer, than that St. Paul was not one, because he makes use of
the heathen poets, Menander and Epcmenides, 1 Cor. xv. 33.;