THE CATHOLIC EPISTLE OF ST. JUDE
St. Jude, who wrote this Epistle, was one of the twelve
Apostles and brother to St. James the Less. The time it was
written is uncertain: only it may be inferred from verse 17
that few or none of the Apostles were then living, except
St. John. He inveighs against the heresies and wicked
practices of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics, etc.,
describing them and their leaders by strong epithets and
similes, He exhorts the faithful to contend earnestly for
the faith first delivered to them and to beware of
Jude Chapter 1
He exhorts them to stand to the faith first delivered to
them and to beware of heretics.
1:1. Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of
James: to them that are beloved in God the Father and
preserved in Jesus Christ and called.
1:2. Mercy unto you and peace: and charity be fulfilled.
1:3. Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you
concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity
to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for
the faith once delivered to the saints.
1:4. For certain men are secretly entered in (who were
written of long ago unto this judgment), ungodly men,
turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness and
denying the only sovereign Ruler and our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:5. I will therefore admonish you, though ye once knew all
things, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land
of Egypt, did afterwards destroy them that believed not.
1:6. And the angels who kept not their principality but
forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under
darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the
Principality... That is, the state in which they were first
created, their original dignity.
1:7. As Sodom and Gomorrha and the neighbouring cities, in
like manner, having given themselves to fornication and
going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering
the punishment of eternal fire.
1:8. In like manner, these men also defile the flesh and
despise dominion and blaspheme majesty.
Blaspheme majesty... Speak evil of them that are in
dignity; and even utter blasphemies against the divine
1:9. When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil,
contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring
against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The
Lord command thee.
Contended about the body, etc... This contention, which is
no where else mentioned in holy writ, was originally known
by revelation, and transmitted by tradition. It is thought
the occasion of it was, that the devil would have had the
body buried in such a place and manner, as to be worshipped
by the Jews with divine honours. Command thee... or rebuke
1:10. But these men blaspheme whatever things they know
not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb
beasts, in these they are corrupted.
1:11. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain:
and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured
out themselves and have perished in the contradiction of
Gone in the way, etc... Heretics follow the way of Cain, by
murdering the souls of their brethren; the way of Balaam,
by putting a scantal before the people of God, for their
own private ends; and the way of Core or Korah, by their
opposition to the church governors of divine appointment.
1:12. These are spots in their banquets, feasting together
without fear, feeding themselves: clouds without water,
which are carried about by winds: trees of the autumn,
unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots:
1:13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own
confusion: wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness
is reserved for ever.
1:14. Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam,
prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands
of his saints:
Prophesied... This prophecy was either known by tradition,
or from some book that is since lost.
1:15. To execute judgment upon all and to reprove all the
ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby
they have done ungodly: and for all the hard things which
ungodly sinners have spoken against God.
1:16. These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking
according to their own desires: and their mouth speaketh
proud things, admiring persons, for gain's sake.
1:17. But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words
which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord
But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful, etc... He now
exhorts the faithful to remain steadfast in the belief and
practice of what they had heard from the apostles, who had
also foretold that in aftertimes (lit. in the last time)
there should be false teachers, scoffing and ridiculing all
revealed truths, abandoning themselves to their passions
and lusts; who separate themselves from the Catholic
communion by heresies and schisms. Sensual men... carried
away and enslaved by the pleasures of the senses.
1:18. Who told you that in the last time there should come
mockers, walking according to their own desires in
1:19. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men,
having not the Spirit.
1:20. But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your
most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
1:21. Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting.
Building yourselves upon your most holy faith... Raising by
your actions, a spiritual building, founded, 1st, upon
faith; 2d, on the love of God; 3d, upon hope, whilst you
are waiting for the mercies of God, and the reward of
eternal life; 4th, joined with the great duty of prayer.
1:22. And some indeed reprove, being judged:
1:23. But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on
others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment
which is carnal.
And some indeed repove being judged... He gives them
another instruction to practice charity in endeavouring to
convert their neighbour, where they will meet with three
sorts of persons: 1st, With persons obstinate in their
errors and sins; these may be said to be already judged and
condemned; they are to be sharply reprehended, reproved,
and if possible convinced of their error. 2d, As to others
you must endeavour to save them, by pulling them, as it
were, out of the fire, from the ruin they stand in great
danger of. 3d, You must have mercy on others in fear, when
you see them through ignorance of frailty, in danger of
being drawn into the snares of these heretics; with these
you must deal more gently and mildly, with a charitable
compassion, hating always, and teaching others to hate the
carnal garment which is spotted, their sensual and corrupt
manners, that defile both the soul and body.
1:24. Now to him who is able to preserve you without sin
and to present you spotless before the presence of his
glory with exceeding joy, in the coming of our Lord Jesus
1:25. To the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our
Lord, be glory and magnificence, empire and power, before
all ages, and now, and for all ages of ages. Amen.
Now to him, etc... St. Jude concludes his epistle with this
doxology of praising God, and praying to the only God our
Saviour, which may either signify God the Father, or God as
equally agreeing to all the three persons, who are equally
the cause of Christ's incarnation, and man's salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who, being God from
eternity, took upon him our human nature, that he might
become our Redeemer.
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