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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 effort of their natural faculties men could not discover, the knowledge and belief of them which prevailed among all nations, whether barbarous or civilized, cannot be accounted for except on the supposition of their being originally discovered by revelation, and spread 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 to return to the objection formerly mentioned, by which fome endeavour to disprove the authenticity of Jude's epistle, founded on the mention which is made in it of Enoch's prophecy. Allowing for a moment, that there was such a book extant in the apostle's days, as that entitled Henoch, or the prophecy of Henoch, and that Jude quoted from it the prophecy under confideration, such a quotation would not lefsen the authority of his epistle as an inspired writing, any more than the quotations from the heathen poet Aratus, Acts xvii. 28. and from Menander, i Cor. xv. 33. and from Epimenides, Tit. i. 12. have lessened the authority of the history of the Acts, and of 4 Paul's epistles, where these quotations are found. The reason is, if the things contained in these quotations were true in themselves, they might be mentioned by an inspired writer, without giving authority to the poems from which they were taken. In like manner, if the prophecy ascribed to Enoch concerning the future judgment and punishment of the wicked, was agreeable to the other declarations of God concerning that event, Jude might cite it; because Enoch, who like Noah was a preacher
of righteousness, may actually have delivered such a prophecy, though it be not recorded in the Old Testament, and because his quoting it, did not establish the authority of the book from which he took it, if he took it from any book extant in his time.
Having thus cleared the internal eviderice of the epistle of Jude, from the objections which have been raised against it, I shall now set before the reader the external evidence by which the authenticity of that writing is proved. For this purpose I obferve, that although the epistle of Jude was doubted of by some in the early ages, yet as soon as it was understood that its author was Judas the brother of James mentioned in the cata logues of the apostles, it was generally received as an apostolical inspired writing, and read publicly in the churches as such. The evidence of these important and decisive facts, I shall set before the reader, as collected and arranged by the learned and impartial Lardner.
And first of all, Lardner acknowledgeth that the epistle of Jude is no where quoted by Irenæus, who wrote about the year 178. But that Eusebius giving an account of the works of Clem. Alexandr. who flourished about the year 194, faith Eccles. Hift. lib. vi. c. 14. initio, « In his inftitutions he hath
given explications of all the canonical scriptures, not omitting " those which are contradicted, I mean the epistle of Jude, and " the other catholic epistles.” Clement's institutions are loft. But we have a small treatise in Latin, called, Adumbrations, supposed to be translated from the institutions. In these adumbrations, there are remarks upon almost every verse of the epistle of Jude, except the last. There, likewise, is the following observation: “ Jude, who wrote a catholic epistle, does not style “ himself at the beginning of it, Brother of the Lord, though he was or related to him : but Jude the servant of Fesus Christ, and brother
of James.” From this it appears, that Clement thought the writer of the epistle under consideration, one of them who are called the Lord's brethren, Matt. xiii. 55. and an apostle.-Farther, verses 5, 6. and 11. of the epistle of Jude, are quoted by Clement in his Pedagogue or Instructor. Moreover, in his Stromata or Miscellanies, he quotes Jude from ver. 8. to ver. 10.
These are sufhcient proofs of the antiquity of this epistle, and that it was written by Judas one of the twelve apostles of Christ.
Tertullian, who flourished about the year 200, hath one very express quotation from Jude's epistle in his treatise, De Cultu Farmin. namely this : “Hence it is that Enoch is quoted by the ci apostle Jude.”
Origen, about the year 230, mentions the epistle of Jude in various passages of his writings ; particularly in his commentaries on St. Matth. having cited chap. xiii. 53. 56. he faith, « Jude wrote an epistle in few lines indeed, but full of the
powerful words of the heavenly grace, who at the beginning " says; Jude the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.” And in the fame commentaries on St. Matthew, having quoted 1 Pet. i. 12. he says, “ If any one receives, also the epistle of
Jude, let him consider what will follow from what is there “ said, And the angels who kept not their first estate,” &c. Wherefore, notwithstanding in Origen's time fome doubted of, or denied the authority of this epistle, he himself without hesitation, quoted it as written by Jude one of the Lord's brethren, consequently by an apostle.
In the writings of Cyprian, who flourished about the year 248, no notice is taken of Jude's epistle. But it is quoted by the anonymous author against the Novatian heretic who wrote . about the year 255. However, he does not name Jude. His
"As it is written, Behold be comieth with ten “ thousands of his angels, to execute judgment upon all; and ( what follows." He means the 14th and 15th verses of the epiftie.
Eusebius, who flourished about the year 315, hath mentioned Jude's epistle. See the passage in the Pref. to James, fect. 2. paragr. 2. From that passage it appears that in the time of Eusebius Jude's epistle was generally received, though not by all.
After the time of Eusebius, seven Catholic epistles were gea nerally received by all Christians, Greeks and Latins. Jude's epistle therefore, as well as the rest, was received by Atha. nasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Didymus of Alexandria,
Jerome, Ruffin, the third council of Carthage, Augustine, Iliodore of Pelufium, Cyril of Alexandria and others. But it was not received by the Syrians.-Lardner adds, that he found this epistle oftener quoted by writers who lived about the time of Eusebius, than the epistle of James.
Lucifer of Cagliari in Sardinia about the year 354 hath quoted almost the whole of Jude's epistle. He quotes it expressly as written by the excellent apostle Jude, brother of the apofile James.
Epiphanius about the year 368, in his heresy of the Gnostics, «s cites the catholic epistle of the apostle fude, brother of fames " and of the Lord, written by inspiration."
Jerome in his catalogue of ecclefiaftical writers, Art. Jude, says, “ Jude the brother of James left a short epistle, which is u one of the seven called Catholic. But, because of a quota« tion from a book of Enoch which is apocryphal, it is rejected " by many. However at length it hath obtained authority, « and is reckoned among the sacred scriptures."
SECT. III. Of the Persons to whom the Epistle of Jude was die
rected, and of the Time when it was written.
I. Eftius and Witsus were of opinion that Jude wrote to Christians every where, but especially to the converted Jews, --Hammond thought this epistle was directed to Jewith Christians alone; and with a design to secure them against the errors of the Gnostics.-Benson also thought it was written to Jewish believers ; especially to those of the western dispersion. For, according to him, Jude wrote to the very perfons to whom Peter wrote his epistles.-But I agree with Lardner in thinking that the infcription of this letter leads us to believe, that it was written to all without distinction who had embraced the gospel. For it runs in this manner, ver. 1. To the fanétified by God the Father, and to the preserved by Jesus Christ, to the called. Ver. 3. Beloved, making all haste to write to you concerning the common salvation, I thought it necessary to write to you, exhorting you ftrenu. qusly to contend for the fuith formerly delivered to the faints.
The only reason which hath induced commentators to suppole, that Jude wrote to the Jewish believers alone, is, that he makes use of arguments and examples taken from the sacred books of the Jews. But the apostle Paul followed the same course in writing to the Gentiles : and both apostles did so with propriety, not only because all who embraced the gospel acknowledged the authority of the Jewish scriptures, but be. cause it was of the greatest importance to make the Gentiles fengible, that the gospel was consonant to the ancient reve. lation.
II, Learned men, as Lardner observes, have differed in their opinion with respect to the time when Jude wrote his epistle.Mill hath fixed it to A. D. 90. for he saith, “ It is certain this ss epistle was written after the death of Peter, but before the “ year 95, when the descendants of this Jude were suspected « by Domitian, because they were of the family of David.". See Pref. to Jude, Seat 1. paragr. 4.
« For otherwise the fus. “ picion would have reached to Jude himself, if he had been “ alive, as much as to his descendants."-But Dodwell, who is followed by Cave, is of opinion that Jude wrote his epistle soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, in the year 70 or in 71.L'Enfant and Beausobre thought it might be written between the years 70 and 75.-Eftius and Witfius supposed it was written in the latter part of the apostolical age, when Jude was very old, and when few or perhaps none of the apostles were alive but himself. Oecumenius in his note on ver. 17. Beloved, remember ge the words which were before fpoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, faith, “ Jude means Peter in his second “ epistle, and Paul in almost all his epiftles.” And adds, “ Hence it is evident that Jude wrote late after the decease of " the apostles.”-I agree with Oecumenius in thinking that by the words before spoken by the apostles, Jude meant their words committed to writing; because it is not to be supposed that all, or even many of those into whose hands Jude'sepistle might come, had heard the apostles preach. This epistle therefore was writ- . ten when the writings of the apostles and evangelists were generally dispersed; that is to say, towards the end of the first age. The same thing appears from ver. 3. I thought it neceffary