Page images

was among

them one tent maker, even Paul; and one hufa “ bandman, intending perhaps St. Jude. For Hegesippus, as “ quoted by Eusebius, writes, That when Domitian made en. quiries after the posterity of David, some grandsons of Jude called the Lord's brother, were brought before him. Being asked con

cerning their podeljions and substance, they assured him, that they I 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 tivey said was confirmed by the callousness of their hands," &c. On this passage Lardner's remarks are, “ Hence some may argue that St. Jude himself had : « been an husbandman. And from this account, if it


be “ relied upon, we learn, that this apostle was married and had 66 children.” Lardner on the Canon, vol. iii. chap. xxi. P. 325

If Judas the apostle was the same person with Judas the author of the epistle, he lived to a great age. And his life being thus prolonged, we may suppose that after preaching the gospel and confirming it by miracles, he went into other countries for the fame purpose.- Lardner tells us, some have said that Jude preached in Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia; and that he suffered martyrdom in the last mentioned country. But these things are not supported by any well attested history. With respect to his being a martyr, it may be doubted; because none of the ancients have mentioned his having suffered martyrdom. It is therefore generally believed that he died a natural death.- Jerome in his commentary on Matt. 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 “ Ofroëne.”-Fusebius, Eccl. Hift. L. i. c. 13. says, Thomas, one of the twelve, sent to Edessa Thaddeus one of Christ's seventy disciples, to preach the gospel in these countries.

Sect. II. Shewing that the Epistle of. Jude, was written by

Judas the Apostle, consequently that it is an inspired Writing.

I. In the inscription of this epistle, the writer styles himself, Ιεδας Ιησε Χρισκ δελος, αδελφος δε Ιακοβε, judar a fervant of Jerus


[ocr errors]

Chrift, and brother of James. By these two characters, the author of this epistle hath shewed himself to be an apostle. For, 1. His name Judas, is precisely the same with that of the apostle Judas. 2. His designation is the same, and brother of

James.- If it be objected that Judas, the writer of the epistle, hath not called himself an apostle, but only a servant of Jesus Chrif, the answer is, First, As there was another apostle named Judas, to have called himself an apoflle, was no distinction at all. Whereas by ftyling himself the brother of James, he hath made himself known to all who are acquainted with the catalogues of the apostles given by the evangelifts, to be a different perfon from Judas the traitor, and hath as effectually declared himself to be an apoftle, as if he had expressly affumed that title. Besides, by calling himself the brother of James, he hath asserted his relation to Christ, as his cousin-german, (see Pref. to James, sect. 1. paragr. 1.) and thereby hath secured to himfelf whatever respect was due to him on account of that honourable relation.--Secondly, Some others who were undoubtedly apostles, have in their epistles omitted to take that title, and have called themselves fimply, servants of Jesus Christ. Thus, in Paul's epifle to the Philippians, chap. i. 1. we have Paul and Timothy fervants of Jesus Chrift. And in the epistle to Philemon, Paul a prisoner for Jesus Christ, without any addition. Also, in the infcription of the epistles to the Thessalonians, we have Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians, without any defignation whatever. In like manner James in his epistle, chap. i. 1. calls himself fimply, a servant of Jesus Christ. Yet no one, on account of the omission of the word apostle in these epistles, ever doubted of the apostleship, either of Paul, or of James. Farther, in the first epistle of John, the writer, neither in the inscription nor in any other part of his letter, hath called himself an apoftle, or fo much as mentioned his

Yet, by his manner of writing, he hath made himself known so fully, that his epiftle, from the very first, hath been universally acknowledged as John's, and respected as a writing divinely inspired. Why then should Judas be tl.ought no apostle, or his epistle be reckoned an uninspired writing, merely because he hath not called himfelf an apoftle, but only a fervant of Jesus Christ.

own name,

If, in this epistle, there had been any thing inconsistent with the true Christian doctrine, or any thing tending to reconcile the practice of sin with the hope of salvation, there would have been the justest reason for calling the apostleship of its author in question. But instead of this, its profeffed design, as shall be Thewed by and by, was to condemn the erroneous do&rines, which, in the first age, were propagated by corrupt teachers for the purpose of encouraging their disciples in their licentious courses, and to make those, to whom this letter was written, sensible of the obligation which their Chriftian profession laid on them, resolutely to maintain the faith, and constantly to follow the holy practice, enjoined by the gospel.

Grotius, however, fancying that the author of this epiitle was not Judas the apostle, but another person of the fame name who lived in the time of the emperor Adrian, and who was the fifa teenth bishop of Jerusalem, hath boldly affirmed that the words, and brother of James, are an interpolation ; and that the true reading is, Judas a servant of Jesus Christ, to them who are fanctified, &c. But as he hath not produced so much as a shadow of authority from any ancient MS. or from the fathers, in support of his emendation, it deserves not the least regard ; and should not have been mentioned, had it not been to make the reader fenfible, how little the opinion of the greatest critics is to be regarded, when they have a favourite notion to maintain, or with to make themselves conspicuous by the novelty or singularity of their pretended discoveries.

From the inscription, therefore, of this epistle, I think it certain that it was written by Judas the apostle; and that it is an inspired writing of equal authority with the epistles of the other apostles, which by all are acknowledged to be inspired and canonical.

II. The genuineness of this epistle, is established likewise by the matters contained in it, which in every respect are suitable to the character of an inspired apostle of Christ. For, as was already observed, the writer's design in it was to characterize and condemn the heretical teachers, who in that age endeavoured by a variety of bafe arts to make disciples, and to reprobate the impious doctrines which they taught for the fake of advantage, and to enforce the practice of holiness on all who professed the gospel. In short, there is no error taught, nor evil practice enjoined, for the sake of which any impostor could be moved to impose a forgery of this kind on the world.

To invalidate this branch of the proof of the authenticity of the epistle of Jude, it hath been objected both anciently and in modern times, that the writer of it hath quoted the apocryphal book entitled Enoch, and thereby hath put that book on an equality with the canonical books of the Old Testament. But to this objection learned men have replied, that it is by no means certain that Jude quoted any book whatever. He only says, ver. 14. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied even concerning these men, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with his holy myriads, &c. - Besides, we have no good evidence that in Jude's time there was any book extant entitled Henoch, or Henoch's prophecy. In the second and third centuries indeed, a book with that'title was handed about


the Christians. But it seems to have been forged, on occasion of the mention that is made of Enoch’s prophecy in the epistle of Jude; and was universally rejected as a manifest forgery.-In the apostolical writings, there are a variety of ancient facts mentioned or alluded to, which are not recorded in the Jewish scriptures; such as, The fin and punishment of the evil angels, 2 Pet. ii. 4. and their confinement in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day, Jude ver. 6. –The prophecy of Enoch concerning the judgment and punishment of the wicked, Jude, ver. 14.--Noah's preaching righteousness to the antediluvians, 2 Pet. ii. 5.- Abraham's seeing Christ's day and being glad, mentioned by Christ himself, John viii. 56.-Lot's being vexed with the filthy discourse of the wicked Sodomites, 2 Pet. ii.

7.. -The emblematical purpose for which Mofes flew the Egyptian who ftrove with the Israelite, Acts vii. 25.-- The names of Pharoah's magicians who contended with Moses, 2 Tim. iii. 8.Mofes' exclamation on the mount, when terrified by what he faw, Heb, xii. 21.-The emblematical meaning of the tabernacles and of their services, explained, Heb. ix. 8, 9.-- All which ancient facts are mentioned by the inspired writers, as things universally known and acknowledged. It is .no ob


[ocr errors]

jection to the truth of these things, that they are not recorded in the books of the Old Testament. For it is reasonable to be. lieve, that the writers of these books have not recorded all the revelations which God made to mankind in ancient times : nor all the circumstances of the revelations which they have recorded. As little have they related all the interesting incidents of the lives of the persons whose history they have given. This is certain with respect to Moses. For he hath omitted the revelation by which sacrifice was appointed, and yet that it was appointed of God is evident from Moses himself, who tells us that God had respect to Abel and to his offering. Likewise he hath omitted the discovery, which was made to Abraham, of the pure pose for which God ordered him to sacrifice his son. Yet, that such a discovery was made to him we learn from Christ himself, who tells us that Abraham saw his day and was glad.—Wherefore, the revelations and facts mentioned in the New Testament may all have happened ; and, though not recorded in the Old, may have been preserved by tradition. Nay it is reasonable to think, that at the time the ancient revelations were made, fomewhat of their meaning was also discovered, whereby posterity were led to agree in their interpretation of these very obscure oracles. On any other fupposition, that uniformity of interpretation, which took place from the beginning, can hardly be accounted for.

Allowing then, that there were revelations anciently made to mankind which are not recorded, and that the revelations which are recorded were accompanied with some explications not mentioned, it is natural to think that these things would be verbally published to the ancients, who considering them as matters of importance, would lay them up in their memory, and rehearse them to their children. And they'in like manner re. lating them to their descendants, they were preserved by uninterrupted tradition. Further, these traditional revelations and explications of revelations, after the art of writing became common, may have been inserted in books, as ancient traditions which were well anthenticated. And 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, VOL. VI. N


[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »