1 Hee warneth the godly to take heede of such men, 4 that make the grace of God a cloke for their wantonnesse: 5 and that they shal not scape vnpunished, for the contempt of that grace, 6.7. hee prooueth by three examples: 14 and alledgeth the prophecie of Enoch: 20 Finally he sheweth the godly a meane, to ouerthrow all the snares of those deceiuers.
1 Ivde a seruaunt of Iesus Christ, and [Note: [a] This is put to make a difference betweene him and Iudas Iscarioth. ] brother of Iames, to them which are called and sanctified [Note: [b] By God ye Father. ] of God the Father, and [Note: [c] Set apart, by the euerlasting counsel of God, to be deliuered to Christ to be kept. ] returned to Iesus Christ:
2 Mercie vnto you, and peace and loue be multiplied.
3 [Note:  The ende and marke whereat he shooteth in this Epistle, is that hee confirmeth the godly against certaine wicked men, both in wholesome doctrine and good maners. ] Beloued, when I gaue al diligece to write vnto you of the [Note: [d] Of those thinges that pertaine to the saluation of all of vs. ] common saluatio, it was needful for me to write vnto you to exhort you, yt yee should earnestly [Note: [e] That ye shoulde defende the faith by all the might you can, both by true doctrine, and good example of life. ] contend for the maintenace of ye faith, which was [Note: [f] Which was once so giuen, that it may neuer be changed. ] once giuen vnto the Saintes.
4 [Note:  It is by Gods prouidence & not by chance, that many wicked men creepe into the Church. ] For there are certaine men crept in, which were before of olde ordeined to this condemnation: [Note:  He condemneth this first in them, that they take a pretence or occasion to waxe wanton, by the grace of God: which cannot be, but the chiefe empire of Christ must be abrogated, in that such men giue vp themselues to Satan, as at this day the sect of Anabaptistes doeth, which they call Libertines. ] vngodly men they are which turne the grace of our God into wantonnesse, and [Note: 2. Pet.2.1. ] denie God the onely Lord, and our Lord Iesus Christ.
5 [Note:  He setteth forth the horrible punishment of them which haue abused the grace of God to followe their owne lustes. ] I wil therfore put you in remebrance, forasmuch as ye once knew this, how that the Lord, after yt he had deliuered the people out of Egypt, [Note: Num.14.37. ] destroied them afterward which beleeued not.
6 [Note:  The fall of the Angels was most seuerely punished, howe much more then will the Lorde punish wicked and faithlesse men? ] The [Note: 2. Pet.2.4. ] Angels also which kept not their first estate, but left their owne habitation, hee hath reserued in euerlasting chaines vnder darkenesse vnto the iudgement of the great day.
7 As [Note: Gen.19.24. ] Sodom and Gomorrhe, and the cities about them, which in like maner as they did, [Note: [g] Following the steppes of Sodom and Gomorrhe. ] committed fornication, and followed [Note: [h] Thus he couertly setteth forth their horrible and monstrous lustes. ] strange flesh, are set foorth for an ensample, and suffer the vengeance of eternall fire.
8 Likewise notwithstanding these [Note: [i] Which are so blockish and void of reason, as if all their senses and wits were in a most dead sleepe. ] sleepers also defile the flesh, [Note:  Another most pernicious doctrine of theirs in that they take away the authoritie of Magistrates, and speake euill of them, as at this day the Anabaptists doe. ] and despise [Note: [k] It is a greater matter to despise gouernement then the gouernours, that is to say, the matter it selfe then the persons. ] gouernment, and speake euill of them that are in authoritie.
9 [Note:  An argument of comparison: Michael one of the chiefest Angels, was content to deliuer Satan, although a most accursed enemie, to the iudgement of God to be punished: and these peruerse men are not ashamed to speake euill of the powers which are ordeined of God. ] Yet Michael the Archangell, when hee stroue against the deuill, and disputed about the body of Moses, durst not blame him with cursed speaking, but sayd, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 [Note:  The conclusion: These men are in a double fault, to wit, both for their rash folie in condemning some, and for their impudent and shamelesse contempt of that knowledge, which when they had gotten, yet notwithstanding they liued as brute beasts, seruing their bellies. ] But these speake euill of those thinges, which they know not: & whatsoeuer things they know naturally, as beasts, which are without reason, in those things they corrupt them selues.
11 [Note:  Hee foretelleth their destruction, because they resemble or shewe forth Cains shamelesse malice, Balaams filthie couetousnesse, and to be short, Cores seditious and ambitious head. ] Wo be vnto them: for they haue followed the way [Note: Gen.4.8. ] of Cain, and are cast away by the deceit [Note: Num.22.21. 2.pet.2.15. ] of Balaams wages, and perish in the gainsaying [Note: Num.16.1. ] of Core.
12 [Note:  He rebuketh most sharpely with many other notes and markes, both their dishonestie or filthines, and their sawcinesse, but especiallie their vaine brauerie of woordes, and most vaine pride, ioyning therewithall a most graue and heauie threatning out of a most ancient prophecie of Enoch touching the iudgement to come. ] These are rockes in your [Note: [l] The feastes of charitie, were certaine bankets, which the brethren that were mebers of the Church kept altogether, as Tertullian setteth them forth in his Apolog.chap.39. ] feasts of charitie when they feast with you, without [Note: [m] Impudently, without all reuerence either to God or man. ] al feare, feeding themselues: [Note: 2.Pet.2.17. ] cloudes they are wtout water, caried about of windes, corrupt trees & without fruit, twise dead, and plucked vp by ye rootes.
13 They are the raging waues of the sea, foming out their owne shame: they are wandring starres, to whome is reserued the [Note: [n] Most grosse darkenesse. ] blackenesse of darkenesse for euer.
14 And Enoch also the seuenth from Adam, prophecied of such, saying, [Note: Reuel.1.7. ] Beholde, the Lorde [Note: [o] The present time, for the time to come. ] commeth with thousands of his Saints,
15 To giue iudgement against al men, and to rebuke all the vngodly among them of all their wicked deeds, which they haue vngodly committed, and of all their cruel speakings, which wicked sinners haue spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their owne lustes: [Note: Psal.17.10. ] Whose mouthes speake proud things, hauing mens persons in admiration, because of aduantage.
17 [Note:  The rising vp of such monsters was spoken of before, yt we should not be troubled at the newnes of the matter. ] But, yee beloued, remember the wordes which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Iesus Christ,
18 How that they told you that there should be mockers [Note: 1 Tim.4.1. 2.tim.3.1. 2.pet.3.3. ] in ye last time, which should walke after their owne vngodly lustes.
19 [Note:  It is the propertie of Antichrists to separate them selues from the godly, because they are not gouerned by the spirit of God: and contrariwise it is the propertie of Christians to edifie one an other through godly praiers, both in faith and also in loue, vntill the mercie of Christ appeare to their full saluation. ] These are they that separate them selues from other, naturall, hauing not the Spirit.
20 But, yee beloued, edifie your selues in your most holy faith, praying in the holy Ghost,
21 And keepe your selues in the loue of God, looking for the mercie of our Lorde Iesus Christ, vnto eternall life.
22 [Note:  Amongst them which wander and go astray, the godly haue to vse this choise, that they handle some of them gently, and that other some being euen in the very flame, they endeuour to saue with seuere and sharpe instruction of the present daunger yet so, that they doe in such sort abhorre the wicked and dishonest, that they eschew euen the least cogitation that may be. ] And haue compassion of some, in putting difference:
23 And other saue with [Note: [p] By fearing them, and holding them backe with godly seueritie. ] feare, pulling them out of the fire, & hate euen that [Note: [q] An amplification, taken from the forbidden things of the Law which did defile. ] garment which is spotted by the flesh.
24 [Note:  Hee commendeth them to the grace of God, declaring sufficiently that it is God onely that can giue vs that constancie which he requireth of vs. ] Nowe vnto him that is able to keepe you, that ye fall not, and to present you faultlesse before the presence of his glorie with ioy,
25 That is, to God only wise, our Sauiour, be glorie, and maiestie, and dominion, and power, both nowe and for euer, Amen.