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19 These be the teachers, who, opposing the apostles as void of the Spirit because they condemn their errors, separate themselves from the true disciples of Christ. But they are what they call us, mere animal men, who neither have the Spirit of God, nor the spirit of right reason.
20 But ye beloved, by conversation and mutual exhortation, building one another in knowledge and holiness on the foundation of your most holy faith, and praying in your public assemblies by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, which the false teachers and their disciples cannot do,
tendency is to discourage vice of all kinds, and to make men holy both in mind and body. Whereas the faith of the ungodly teachers, especially those of the Nicolaitan sect, was a most unholy faith, as it encouraged men in all manner of licentiousness.
2. And praying by the Holy Spirit. From 1 Cor. xiv. 15. Пgoroμaι Tw πνευματι, I will pray with the Spirit.—ψαλω τῷ πνευματι I will sing with the Spirit, it appears that the spiritual men, in the first age, uttered prayers and psalms, in their public assemblies, by an immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost. To this exercise of their spiritual gift, Jude exhorted the faithful to whom he wrote, not only because they would thereby keep themselves in the love of God, and in the firm expectation of pardon from Christ, as mentioned in the subsequent verse, but because it was a clear proof that they were not animal but spiritual men. Whereas the ungodly teachers being incapable of praying by inspiration, they were thereby demonstrated to be mere animal men, who had not the Spirit.
Although in this passage Jude speaks only of inspired prayer, it is proper to observe, concerning prayer in general, That it is a duty expressly enjoined by Christ himself, Luke xviii. 1. xxi. 36. and by his apostles, 1 Thess. v. 17. That it is recommended to us by the example of all the good men whose history is recorded in the scriptures, but chiefly by the example of Christ, who often prayed not only with his disciples, but by himself in secret: That it is a principal part of the duty which, as the creatures of God, men owe to him, being an expression of the sense which they have of their absolute dependence on him for their being, and every thing they enjoy: That it is not enjoined for the purpose of informing God of our wishes and wants, since our heavenly Father knoweth what things we have need of, before we ask him; neither is it enjoined for the purpose of constraining
21 Keep yourselves in
the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord
Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a dif
21 Εαυτους εν αγαπη Θεού τηρήσατε, προσδεχομενοι το ελέος του Κυρίου ἡμων Ιησου Χριςον εις ζωήν αιώνιον.
22 Και ες μεν ελεείτε δι ακρινόμενοι
God by our importunity to grant us our desires; but for inspiring us with the love of virtue, and the hatred of vice, in order that God, agreeably to the laws of his moral government, may grant our petitions. For if he interests himself at all in human affairs, the virtuous man must be more the object of his love and care than the vicious; and his government must be carried on in such a manner as finally to promote such a person's happiness; who therefore may ask of him the things necessary thereto, and reasonably expect to obtain them.
The influence of prayer in restraining men from sin and exciting them to virtue, and in regulating their whole temper and conduct, is excellently described in No. 28. of the Adventurer, as follows: "I know, that concern"ing the operation and effects of prayer, there has been much doubtful dis"putation, in which innumerable metaphysical subtilties have been intro“duced, and the understanding has been bewildered in sophistry, and af"fronted with jargon: those who have no other proofs of the fitness and “advantage of prayer, than are to be found among these speculations, are "but little acquainted with the practice.
“He who has acquired an experimental knowledge of this duty, knows that nothing so forcibly restrains from ill, as the remembrance of a recent "address to heaven for protection and assistance. After having petitioned "for power to resist temptation, there is so great an incongruity in not con"tinuing the struggle, that we blush at the thought, and persevere, lest we "lose all reverence for ourselves. After fervently devoting ourselves to "God, we start with horror at immediate apostasy: every act of deliberate "wickedness is then complicated with hypocrisy and ingratitude; it is a "mockery of the Father of Mercy; the forfeiture of that peace in which "we closed our address, and a renunciation of the hope that it inspired.
"For a proof of this, let every man ask himself, as in the presence of "Him who searches the heart, whether he has never been deterred from 66 prayer, by his fondness for some criminal gratification, which he could not "afterwards repeat without greater compunction. If prayer and immorali'ty appear to be thus incompatible, prayer should not surely be lightly re"jected by those, who contend that moral virtue is the summit of human 'perfection; nor should it be incumbered with such circumstances, as "must inevitably render it less easy and less frequent: it should be con"sidered as the wings of the soul, and should be always ready when a sud"den impulse prompts her to spring up to God. We should not think it
21 Keep one another in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (, 143.) with eternal life.
22 And making a difference,1 have compassion indeed on some.2
21 Keep one another in the constant exercise of love to God, and, in that method only, expect pardon from our Lord Jesus Christ, together with eternal life, as the consequence of pardon.
22 And making a difference in your methods of reclaiming sinners, have compassion indeed on some who have erred through ignorance and weakness, and reclaim them by the gentle method of persuasion.
"always necessary to be either in a church or in our closet, to express joy, “love, desire, trust, reverence, or complacency, in the fervor of a silent "ejaculation. Adoration, hope, and even a petition, may be conceived in "a moment; and the desire of the heart may ascend, without words, to "Him by whom our thoughts are known afar off. He who considers him"self as perpetually in the presence of the Almighty, need not fear that "gratitude or homage can ever be ill-timed, or that it is prophane thus to "worship in any circumstances that are not criminal.
"There is no preservative from vice, equal to this habitual and constant "intercourse with God; neither does any thing equally alleviate distress, "or heighten prosperity. In distress, it sustains us with hope; and in "prosperity, it adds to every other enjoyment the delight of gratitude.
"Let those, therefore, who have rejected religion, as they have given up "incontestible advantages, try whether they cannot yet be recovered; let "them review the arguments by which their judgment has been determined, "and see whether they compel the assent of reason: and let those, who, "upon this recollection perceive, that though they have professed infidelity, 'they do indeed believe and tremble, no longer sacrifice happiness to folly, "but pursue that wisdom, whose ways are pleasantness and peace."
Ver. 22.—1. And making a difference: namely, in their method of reclaiming those who had fallen from their love to God, and had lapsed into vice. For diangioμevo being the participle of the present of the indicative of the middle voice, signifies to make a distinction between the lapsed, suitable to the nature of their offence.
2. Have compassion indeed on some. This, being opposed to snatching others out of the fire, mentioned in the next verse, signifieth that they were to deal gently with those offenders whose situation was not so criminal and hazardous as that of others, because they had fallen, not through corruption of heart, but through ignorance, and weakness of understanding; and being of a tractable disposition and open to conviction, might be reclaimed, With such, the faithful, especially those who were employed in the office
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the
24 Now, unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise
23 Ούς δε εν φοβῳ σωζετε, εκ του πυρος ἁρπάζοντες, μισούντες και τον απο της σαρκος εσπιλωμενον χιτώνα. 24 Τῳ δε δυναμένῳ φυ λαξαι υμας απταιςους, και ςησαι κατενωπιον της δοξης αυτου αμωμους εν αγαλλια
25 Μονῳ σοφῷ Θεῷ σωGod, our Saviour, be glory τηρι ημων, δοξα και μεγα
of teaching, were to use the mild methods of instruction and persuasion : and they were to do so from compassion to the lapsed.
Ver. 23.-1. But others save by fear. Endeavour to save others, who have erred from corruption of heart, and who are obstinate in their errors and vices, by rousing their fears. Set before them a future judgment in all its terrors. And if they continue unmoved, use the censures of the church as the last remedy. These methods Jude terms, a snatching them out of the fire. 2. Snatching them out of the fire. Commentators observe that this is a proverbial expression, used Amos iv. 11. and Zechar. iii. 2. to which St. Paul alludes 1 Cor. iii. 15. and that it denotes haste in reclaiming offenders; and even rough methods, when such are necessary, lest if the opportunity be lost, the offenders should perish.—Sin is here likened to fire, on account of its destructive nature; and the saving sinners from their evil courses, is fitly compared to the snatching one hastily out of a house which is on fire.— Or, the fire which the apostle here speaks of, may be the divine wrath, called fire, Heb. xii. 29. For even our God is a consuming fire.
3. Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. This, which is a direction to those who snatch others out of the fire, implies that in doing them that compassionate office, they are to avoid all familiarity with them, even as they would avoid touching a garment spotted by the flesh of one who hath died of the plague; lest they be infected by their vicious conversation.
Ver. 24.-1. Now to him who is able to guard you from stumbling. So aTTalotos literally signifies. The apostles meaning is, guard you from falling into sin. For the course of one's life being in scripture represented by the metaphor of walking, sinning is metaphorically represented by stumbling in walking.-Some who translate this clause, keep you from falling, by falling, understand falling into calamity; in which sense they interpret, Prov. xxiv. 16. A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again. But in the apostolical writings the word fall, commonly hath the meaning which I have affixed to it. See Rom. xi. 11. James ii. 10. iii. 2.
23 But the ungodly teachers, and such of their disciples as have erred through corruption of heart, save by the fear of reproofs and censures; snatching them out of the fire of the wrath of God: and in doing them this good office, shun all familiar intercourse with them, as ye would shun touching a garment spotted by the flesh of one who hath a plague
24 Now, to inspire you with courage to persevere in the doctrine and practice of the gospel, and to shew you with what assurance ye may rely on the protection of God, I conclude with ascribing to him who is able and willing, to guard you from stumbling either into error or into sin, and to present you faultless before the manifestation of his glory at the day of judgment, with exceeding joy to yourselves and to the redeemed multitudes :
25 Even to God who alone is wise underivedly, and who having con
2. And to present you faultless before the presence of his glory. This being one of the characters of the person to whom this doxology is addressed, it is argued by some, that God the Father is meant, who is said, Col. i. 20 By bim (Christ) to reconcile all things to him.-22. in the body of his flesh through death, to present you (the Colossians) holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight. To this interpretation it is objected, that the Father cannot be meant here, because he is said to present believers faultless before the pre, sence of his own glory: whereas it is well known that the Father is not to judge the world, having committed all judgment to the Son. Nevertheless it is replied, That the Father may truly be said to present believers faultless, at the judgment, before the presence of his own glory, because Christ himself hath told us, that he will come to judgment in the glory of the Father, as well as in his own glory, Matt. xvi. 27. that is, He will come surrounded with the glory, whereby the presence of the Father is manifested to the angelical hosts in heaven:-But, as Christ likewise is said Ephes. v, 27. to present the church to himself a glorious church, without spot, &c. it renders the above argument doubtful.