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P A RT II.
CHAPTER THE TWENTY-NINTH.
of the THIRD GENERÁ Ľ EPISTLE
OF ST. JOHN.
I. Genuineness of this Epistle.-II. Its Inscription and
Date.--III. Design and Substance of it.-IV. Observations upon this and the foregoing Epistle.
1. IGNATIUS is supposed to have referred to this Epistle, and it is mentioned by Origen, Eu• sebius, Cyril
, and most of the later fathers. The same doubts were formerly entertained concerning it, as concerning the preceding Epistle, and they were removed at the same time,
II. This Epistle, in which also the Apostle calls himself the Elder, is addressed to Caius ; but it is not known who this Caius or Gaius was. Several persons of that name are mentioned in the New Testament (a); and in the antient history of the church we meet with one Caius, who was Bishop of Ephesus; a second, who was Bishop of Thessalonica; and a third, who was Bishop of Pergamus; all of whom are said to have been contemporary with John. It is impossible to ascertain to which, or whether to any, of these several persons this Epistle was addressed; but the commendation of the hospitality of Caius seems to imply, that he was in a private station, and that he was possessed of some substance. It is supposed to have been written soon after the two former, that is, about the year 69.
III. The design of this short Epistle was to commend Caius for having shewn kindness to some Christians, as they passed through the place where he resided; to censure Diotrephes, who had arrogantly assumed some authority to himself; and to praise the good conduct of Demetrius. It is not known who Diotrephes and Demetrius were.
IV. This, and the foregoing Epistle, are supposed to have been written from Ephesus; and it is probable that the persons to whom they
(a) Acts, c. 19. v. 29. C. 20. v. 4. 1 Cor. c. 1. v. 14. Rom. c. 16. v. 23.
were addressed lived at no great distance from that city, as St. John expresses a hope of seeing them shortly. These Epistles are improperly called catholic, as they are written to private persons; which circumstance may account for their not being generally known in the primitive church,
CHAPTER THE THIRTIETH.
OF THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF ST. JUDE.
I. History of St. Jude.-II. Genuineness of this Epistle.
III. Its Inscription and Date.-IV. Substance of it. 1. JUDAS,
UDAS, or JUDE, called also Lebbæus and Thaddæus, was the son of Alphæus or Cleophas, the brother of James the Less, the cousin-german of our Saviour, and one of the twelve Apostles (a). His call to be a disciple of Jesus is not recorded; and, except in the catalogues of the Apostles, he is mentioned only once in the Gospels: after Christ's interesting discourse to his disciples not long before his crucifixion, " Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot) Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world (b)?." From which question it
(a) Luke, c. 6. v. 16. Acts, c. 1. v. 13. Matt. c, 10. V. 3. Mark, c. 3. v. 18. Matt. c. 13. V. 55. Mark, ç. 6. v. 3.....
(b) John, c. 14: V. 22.
is inferred, that at this time Judas had the common prejudice of the Jews concerning the kingdom of the Messiah. Jude is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, nor is a single circumstance recorded of him in any antient author, upon which we can depend. He is generally reckoned among those Apostles who did not suffer martyrdom.
II. This Epistle is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Dionysius of Alexandria, and most of the later fathers. Je rome says, “ Jude, brother of James, left a short Epistle, which is one of the seven called catholic. But because of a quotation from a book of Enoch, , which is apocryphal, it is rejected by many; however at length it has obtained authority, and is reckoned, among the sacred Scriptures (c).” Upon this subject it has been remarked, that Jude does not in fact quote any book of Enoch; he only says, that “ Enoch prophesied,” and that prophecy might have been traditional (d). And, moreover, the book of Enoch mentioned by Origen, was probably not known in the time of Jude, as it is believed to
(e) De Vir. III. cap. 4.
(d) The Arabians and the Indians have certainly preserved the tradition. Vide Gibbon and Maurice.