William Jenkyn.

An exposition upon the epistle of Jude : delivered in Christ-Church, London online

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SSiJenterw in ' nav "» to feed ***& cheerfully, tenderly;
cer*. ut in couvi- such being the feeding commanded by
qllirnqJu^neri Paul, Rom. xii. 20, 21, who bids us
quJe'SSi a* "* + W P I 'S"»'» feed our enemies, as birds feed
nuntur. s?gSifi- their young ; or as sick folks and young
S^^tt*" children are fed, with much tending
If tim ^ i f 1 ,r i^H erB - and tenderness, their meat being minced

Pmc. Toilet Eras. j. f « , , P * . ,

Bez. steph. and cut ; or as a man feeds his mend,
P^Snu: 7 ^ carving him the best And the Hebrew
Quod verbum in word, rendered, Give him drink, signi-
SSIu 'saKz!"!!! fieth most properly, propina. Drink to
Prov. xxv. i. him as a token of true love.

[3.] The wicked are not excluded the line of love
and neighbourhood. It is true that holy men are
chiefly the objects of our love. With these we have
communion both of nature and erace also. " Let us
do good unto all, especially to the household of faith,"
Gal. vi. 10. The love of complacency must be set upon
the good. The love of benevolence must not be de-
nied to the bad. As those objects are best seen which
are most in the light, because light is that by which
every object is seen ; so those men are most to be
beloved which are nearest to God, because he makes
every object to be beloved. Yet wicked men also are
to be beloved, because being men they may be good ;
as are good men, because being saints

&h5Sfi?e f ?o?v». the y are S 00 * 1 - If a m&n t* degenerate
ii»ndo»upeiior, into a beast, and wandering from God,
vinceSTo^Tiubn- bring him to his Master again. As the
PetA 1 ?.' c?i! llL nature °f man must not make his vices
loved, so neither must the vices of man
make his nature hated. St Augustine thinks that
Stephen's prayer was a great means of Paul's con-
version. The denouncing of curses against wicked
men by ministers must not be poisonful, but medicinal.
[4.] The faithful call for the chiefest room in our
love, and are eminently to be looked upon as neigh-
AnnA „, mm „ m hours. With our heavenly Father he

Apod tummum .^».i_ • 'j. i

ttttrem, qui oon is not in the communion of sons, who
frSJum, Sfff is not in the charity of brethren. The
fii!o^ nD i!2 ero ^ xm ^ °* g**™ k " ie strongest: cTea-
Scr. n.dtquadr. tion has made us friends, but redemp-



tion has made us brethren. The frequent incul-
cating of the command of love of the brethren, the
brotherhood, the household of faith, of brotherly
love, and of being kindly affectionate with brother-
ly love, &c, 1 Pet i. 22 ; ii. 17 ; iii. 8 ; John xiii. 34 ;
2 Pet. i. 7; Col. iii. 14; Rom xii 10; 1 Thess. iv. 9;
Heb. xiii. 1, insinuates the necessity and common
disesteem of this duty. In pursuance of this duty,
contentions, strifes, and controversies among brethren
are forbidden. It is a fault for brother to go to law
with brother, 1 Cor. vi. 6, 7. Let there be no strife
between us, said Abraham to Lot, for we are brethren,
Gen. xiii. 8. " Why do ye wrong one .

another ?" said Moses, since ye are bre- SSuSi* cSSl
thren, Acts vii. 26. The sowing of J°; *&#££?*•

,. ', , ,, . JP,m cum Christ lano.

discord among brethren, is one of the
abominations which God's soul hateth, Prov. vi. 1 .
In this respect likewise the Scripture opposes inward
hatred and rancour among bretnren, Gen. xxxvii. 4.
How dear did this sin cost Joseph's brethren ! " He
that hateth his brother is in darkness," 1 John ii. 11.
" He is a murderer," 1 John iii. 15. As also anger,
which is a short hatred, as hatred is a long anger.
This causeless anger puts us " in danger of the judg-
ment," Matt v. 22. Anger is not allowed by Chris-
tianity. Most opposite also to brotherly love is the
contempt and despising of any brother. " Despise
you the church of God ?" said Paul, I Cor. xi. 22.
The poorest brother concurs to make up the perfection
of Christ. When the mother of Darius had saluted
Hephestion, who was Alexander's favourite, instead of
Alexander the Great, she blushed and was troubled ;
but Alexander said to her, It is well enough done,
for he is also Alexander. The meanest saint is to be
beloved for what of Christ is in him $ he is an old
casket full of pearls. But above all, how. destruc-
tive to brotherly love is oppression, defrauding, and
grinding our brethren f " Let no man," saith Paul,
" defraud his brother in any matter," 1 Thess. iv. 6.
Even the Jew, who might take usury of a heathen,
might not take it of his brother. If lilies rend and
tear lilies, what may thorns do ? Nor must a Chris-
tian content himself in not hurting a Christian : his
care must be to benefit him, to do him good ; and
that for his soul. All thy spiritual gifts of know-
ledge, utterance, &c, must profit thy brother, 1 Cor.
xii. ; xiv. 26. Comfort him in his troubles of mind,
direct him in his doubts, reprehend him gently for
his faults. Not to rebuke him, is to hate nim, Lev.
xix. 17. To be angry with the sin of our brother, is
not to be angry with our brother. To love the soul,
is the soul of love; so to love thy brother, as to
labour to have him live in heaven with thee. For
his name ; not casting aspersions on him, but wiping
them off; not receiving, much less raising accusations
against him, but laying hold upon the thief that pil-
laged his name, as knowing that the receiver in this
case is as bad as he. For his body; visiting and
sympathizing with him in his sickness ; helping him,
to thy utmost ability, to find the jewel of health. For
outward necessaries ; pitying him in his low estate ;
casting the dung of thy wealth on the barren soil of
his poverty; making his back thy wardrobe, his
stomach thy barn, his hand thy treasury. For body
and soul ; praying for him, calling upon God as " our
Father," not thine alone. In the primitive times,
saith one, there was so much love, that it was ad
stuporem Gentilium, to the wonder of _ A {
Gentiles; but now so little, that it poc '

may be to the shame of Christians. That which
was the motto of a heathen, Die aliquid ut duo
simus, Say something that we may be two, must
not belong to Christians. It is best that dissension
should never be bora among brethren; and next,



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40.



AN EXPOSITION UPON



Ver. 2.



that it should die presently after its birth. When
any leak springs in the ship of Christian society,
we should stop it with speed. The nearer the union
is, the more dangerous is the breach. Bodies that
are but glued together, may (if severed) be set to-
gether as beautifully as ever ; but members rent and
torn cannot be healed without a scar. What a shame
is it that the bond of grace and religion should not
more firmly unite us, than sinful leagues do wicked
men! A true Christian, like the true mother, to
whom Solomon gave the child, may be known by
affection. As the spleen grows, the body decays ; and
as hatred increases, holiness abates, 1 John iii. 14;
v. 1 ; iv. 7, 8, &c.

In sum, this love to the faithful must put forth
itself both in distributing to them the good they
want, and in delighting in them, and rejoicing with
them, for the good they have. Both these, how pro-
fitable, how honourable, how amiable are they ! Most
honourable it is for the meanest Christian to be a
priest to the high God, to offer a daily sacrifice with
which God is well pleased, Heb. xiii. 16 ; to resem-
ble God in doing, rather than in receiving good ; to
be the hand of God to disperse his bounty, to have
God for his debtor, to lend to the Lord of heaven
and earth. What likewise is more profitable than
that our distribution to saints, like an ambassador, by
lying lieger abroad, should secure all at home ? that
this most gainful employment should return us pearls
for pebbles, jewels for trifles, crowns for crumbs;
after a short seed-time, a thousandfold, measure
heaped, shaken, thrust together, and running over ?
What, lastly, so amiable, as for members of the same
body, children of the same Father, and who lay in
the same womb, suck at the same breasts, sit at the
same tabje, and expect for ever to lodge in the same
bosom, to be at union with and helpful to one an-
other ? And on this side heaven wnere should our
complacency centre itself, but upon the truly excel-
lent, Psal. xvi. 3, noble, illustrious ones, who are
every one kings, and more magnificent than ever were
worldly monarchs ? For their alliance, having the
Lord of heaven and earth for their Father ; the King
of kings for their elder Brother ; a queen, the church,
the spouse of Christ, for their mother, Psal. xlv.;
having for their treasures those " exceeding precious
promises," 2 Pet. i. 4, " more to be desired than gold,
yea, than fine gold," Psal. xix. 10; in comparison
of which a mountain of gold is but a heap of dung.
For their guard, having the attendance of angels,
Psal. xxxiv. 7 ; nay, the wisdom, care, and strength
of God. For their food, having bread that endures
to eternal life, John vi. 27, drink better than wine,
and a continual feast For their apparel, having the
robes of Christ's righteousness here, which makes
them as beautiful as angels, all fair, and without
spot, Cant. iv. 7 j and attire to be put on hereafter,
Rev. vii. 9, which will shine more gloriously than a
hundred suns made into one. For their habitation, a
palace of glory, " a building of God, a house not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor.
v. 1.

Having thus first explained this love here desired
by the apostle in its several sorts, I come now,

II. To touch briefly upon those rare and excellent
properties of this grace of love, both as it is set upon
Goo, and upon man.

1. The properties of this grace of love to God.

(1.) This grace of love set upon God, is true,

Epb. vi.24. cordial, and sincere; not in word or

iv d^apaitf. outward profession, but in truth, and in

the inward man ; not complimentary, but real ; the

inward purpose of the heart having an emphasis of

love that hypocrisy and expressions cannot reach.



And the truth is, our loving God is not so properly
said to be sincere, as to be our very sincerity. Then,
and then alone, a duty is done in sincerity, when it
is done in love ; and herein stands hypocrisy, when,
though there is much doing, yet there is no loving.
The love of a hypocrite to Christ, like the shining of
the glow-worm, is without any inward heat, and
stands only in a glistering profession ; or like some
spices, which are cold in the stomach, though hot in
the mouth; or like the fire in Moses* bush, it burns
not while it blazes : it proceeds from human induce-
ments of education, countenance, or commands of
superiors, interest ; — an apprehension of the love of
Christ barely to mankind ; or from this, that Christ
is out of sight, and troubles not his lusts ; or from
some accidental, circumstantial ornaments which at-
tend the ministry and truth, as wit, learning, expres-
sion, elocution, or credit of visible conformity to
them ; not from an inward apprehension of the prb-
portionablenes8, suitableness, and fitness of Christ to
all his desires and capacities, as being the fairest
of ten thousand, Cant. v. 10, or from any real in-
terest and propriety in Christ, which are the grounds
of love, when true and sincere, Luke vii. 47 ; 1 John
iv. 16, 19.

(2.) This love to God is superlative ; it surpasses
all other love : the soul in which it abides, seeing in-
finitely more loveliness in one God, than in all the
combined, assembled excellencies of all worldly ob-
jects, loves him infinitely more than them all. It
often not only steps over them, but kicks them away ;
not only laying them down as sacrifices, but hating
them as snares, when they would draw from Christ.
When Christ and the world meet (as it were) upon
so narrow a bridge, that both cannot pass by, Christ
shall go on, and the world shall go back. Christ in
a Christian shall have no rivals; as Christ bestows
himself wholly upon a Christian, wholly upon" every
one, as every fine hath the whole indivisible point, so
a Christian gives himself wholly to Christ ; he shares
not his heart betwixt him and the world ; all within
him he sets on work to love Christ, keeping nothing
back from him, for whom all is too little, 'ftie great-
est worth that it sees in any thing but Christ is this,
that it may be left for Christ ; ever rejoicing that it
has any thing to which it may prefer him. To a soul
in which is this love, Christ is as oil put into a vial
with water, in which, though both be never so much
shaken together, the oil will ever be uppermost ; or
as one rising sun, which drowns the lignt of a num-
berless number of stars. It loves the world as always
about to leave and loathe it ; not as that for which it
lives, but as that without which it cannot live. The
world has not the top and strength of its affection ;
it loves nothing much but Him wnom it cannot love
too much. It lodges not the world in its best room,
and admits not such a stranger into the closet of
the heart, but only into the hall of the senses.

(3.) It is a jealous or zealous love ; suspicious lest
any thing should, and burning in a holy neat of in-
dignation against any thing that does, disturb the
soul's Beloved. Love is a solicitous grace, and makes
the soul account itself never sufficiently trimmed for
Christ's embraces, never to think that any thing
done is well enough done. All the soul is and can
is esteemed too lime for him, who is its ojtfimus m<&-
imus, its best and greatest The more bnghtly shin-
ing the beams of love to Christ are, the more motes
and imperfections the soul ever sees in its services.
Its fear only is, lest by sin, and unsuitable carriage, it
stirs up and awakes the Beloved, Cant iii. 5. It can-
not put up a disgrace, expressed by the greatest,
against Christ. It zealously contends for his word,
ways, worship, worshippers, kingdom, Gal.iv. 16, 18;



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Ver. 2.



THE EPISTLE OF JUDE.



41



Acts xv. 2; xvii. 16; xviii. 25; xix. 8; Jude 3. All
its anger is against those intercurrent impediments
that would stop it in advancing Christ ; it labours to
bear down those hinderances of God's glory with a
flood of tears, if it cannot with a stream of power.
The meekest soul in love with God knows how to
be holily impatient; and, like Moses, though when
with God to pray for men, yet when with men to
contend for God. Every sin by how much the nearer
to it, by so much is it more detested by it Of all
sins therefore its own have the deepest share of
hatred ; for what it cannot remove, it mourns heartily,
crying out of the body of death, the sin that doth so
easily beset it, Rom. vii. 24 ; Heb. xiL 1, as of the
constant company of a noisome carcass ; endeavour-
ing that every sin may be more bitter to remember,
than it was ever sweet to commit ; looking upon the
want of sorrow after sin, as a greater argument of
want of love than was the sin itself.

(4.) It is a chaste, a loyal love ; not set upon what
God has, so much as upon what God is ; not upon
his, but him ; not upon his rings, but his person ; not
upon his clothes, but his comeliness; upon a Christ,
though not adventitiously adorned: nis gifts are
loved for him, not he for them ; he is sweet without
any thing, though nothing is so without him. Love
desires no wages, it is wages enough to itself, it pays
itself in seeing and serving the beloved. A nurse
does much for the child, and so does the mother ; but
the former for the love of wages, the latter for the
wages of love. Love carries meat in the mouth:
the very doing of God's will is meat and drink to one
who loves him. A heart in love with Christ is willing,
with Mephibosheth, that others should take all, so it
may behold the King. Worldly comforts shall not fal-
len, but monere; only they shall be used to admonish
how much worth is in Christ, not to bewitch the soul
from Christ; as spectacles by which the soul may

read him the better, or as steps by
diiS^SfSb- which it may be raised up to him the
jccu diin to, >u t nearer: and no further shall they be
bSSS* a 3£mni, delighted in, than as they are pledges
J^5Si^ pomi - of, or furtherances unto, the enjoyment

of him. Should God rive all to one
who loves him, and not give himself; he would say,
with Absalom, What doth all avail me, so long as I
see not the King's face ? 2 Sam. xiv. 32. Communion
with God is the heaven of him who loves God. It is
heaven upon earth for "God to be with him, and the
heaven or heaven for him to be with God.

4**n,.from ( 5 -> ft * M **f VC » <* irrin & CX-

*rav vomw, hx pressive love. The fire of love cannot
■ ooie * be held in, it will break out at lips,

hands, feet, by speaking, working, walking, Jonn
xiv. 23; P6aL cxix. Hi, 140, 159. Love saith, as
Elijah to Obadiah, " As the Lord liveth, I will show
myself" 1 Kings xviii. 15 : the strength of love
will have a vent " The love of Christ constrain-
eth," 2 Cor. v. 14, and, as the word crw«x"> used DV
the apostle, signifies, hems in, shuts up, pinfolds the
heart, that it cannot wind out from service, and can-
not choose but do for Christ. Love is a mighty
stream, bearing all before it. It cares not for shame
or loss ; it carries away these, as did Samson the other,
gates upon its shoulders, Judg. xvi. 3. " It is strong
as death," Cant viii. 6. A man in love with God, is
as a man who is carried away in a crowd, who can-
not keep himself back, but is hurried without his own
labour with the throng. Love with ease despatches
great employments: the commands of God are not
grievous to it Love is the wing, that weight and
nolv proclivity of the soul, which, if it finds not,
makes a way ; nay, it is so speedy and present an
affection, that it endures no delays. It accounts not



the least time little in which God is withdrawn. It
follows hard after God, and puts not off its pursuits
of duty or comfort till to-morrow, or to a more con-
venient time.

(6.) It is an expensive, bountiful, costly love. It
will not offer that which cost it nothing ; even the
meanest gift (as, alas, how much below Christ is all
we are or do!) comes from a kingly heart Love
contends after excellency and perfection in attend-
ing upon that object which it loves under the appre-
hension of the greatest good. How willingly did
those converts lay down all their goods at the apos-
tles' feet ! Acts iv. 35 ; and those afterwards burn their
books of curious arts, though of great value ! Acts
xix. 19. How great was David's expense for the tem-
ple, 1 Chron. xxii. 14 — 16, and his desire that his
purchase which he bought of Araunah should be
(bein^ for his God) costly ! 2 Sam. xxiv. 24. How
bountiful was that formerly sinful woman in her
expression of love to Christ ! How freely were her
tears, hairs, kisses, ointment employed ! The great-
ness of the debt forgiven her made her love much,
and the greatness of her love made her spend much,
Luke vii. 45, 46. What, save love, made Zaccheus
part with half of his goods to the poor, and a four-
fold restitution to the wronged by false accusation ?
Luke xix. 8. Love will make Peter willing to feed
the sheep of Christ, John xxi. 15—17, and Paul not
to account his life dear to him to finish his ministry,
Acts xx. 24. Joseph loved Benjamin most, and gave
him a mess five times so much as any of the rest,
Gen. xliii. 34. He that loves God most will lay out
most for God. More than once we read in the Scrip-
ture of the labour of love, 1 Thess. i. 3 ; Heb. vi. 10.
Love rests in its labour, and then rests most when it
labours most. Nothing labours more, or thinks it
labours less, than love. I have heard of one that was
asked for what sort of men he laboured most ; he an-
swered, for his friends. He was again asked, for
whom then he laboured least ; he answered, for his
friends. Both answers were true ; for love made him
think he did least for those for whom indeed he did
most

(7-) It is a submissive, stooping, patient love,
bearing from, and forbearing for, the Deloved any
thing. It puts us upon things below us, to please
him whom we love; it make us undertake that
which another may esteem weakness and indecency.
David's love to God's presence transported him to
leaping and dancing, thereby (though Michal es-
teemed it baseness) to honour God. Parents, out of
love to their children, play, and lisp, and stammer:
Christ himself emptied and humbled himself (Phil,
ii. 8) for our sakes. Love flies not, like chaff, in the
face of him that fans. The soul that loves is recon-
ciled to God, though it sees not that God is recon-
ciled to it It has a child-like ingenuity to have
and stay with a father that scourges it, not a servile
unsubmissiveness, to threaten, presently after stripes,
departure. It iratum colere numen, follows a frowning
father. It lives contented with God's allowance. It
will patiently be without what he thinks either fit to
remove, or not fit to bestow ; and all this not upon
force, but upon choice. It loses its own will in
God's, and had rather will as doth God, than under-
stand as doth an angel. It takes with joy the spoil-
ing of its goods. It ever thinks it hath enough left,
so long as God takes not away himself. It bears the
indignation of the Lord, and accepts 0mnU h^.
the punishment of its iniquity, and is bjha audi*, aer-
wilhng to receive evil as well as good, $& S'SiSa"
because from the hand of a God whom J in ijf ,n v < jf- Nier *
it loves. For his sake it is willing to
be killed all the day long, Psal. xhv. 22; Rom. viii.



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42



AN EXPOSITION UPON



Vee.1



36 ; nor can the waters of death extinguish the taper
of love.

(8.) It is a conforming love. The will of God is
the compass by which it steers. It fashions not
itself according to the world. It walks not by ex-
ample, but by rule. The heart will be set like a
watch which goes not by other watches, but by the
sun. It walks not by precedent, but precept. It
regards not what is either its own, or other men's,
but what is God's will. Its will and God's are like
two strings of an instrument tuned in unison, if the
one be struck and sounded, the other also stirs and
trembles : when God's will is declared, the will of
him that loves God moves accordingly. It is much
more solicitous to understand duty, than to avoid
danger. It desires to have a heart according to
God's heart, to be moulded according to Scripture
impressions ; to love what God loves, and hate what
he nates ; to think and will the same with God.

(9.) It is a sociable love. It moves to the full
enjoyment of God, as its centre. Converse with God
is its element The soul where this love is, debarred
from prayer, hearing, is as the fish on dry land. It
restrains not prayer from the Almighty. It walks
with God. It sings in the absence of Christ, no more
than did they in a strange land. It loves to have its
bundle of myrrh all the night between its breast It
delights in every thing in which Christ may be seen;
the word, sacraments, conditions, society, ministers ;
and the more these have of Christ's presence, the
more it loves them : the closest, purest, most power-
ful, most sin-discovering, sin-disturbing preaching
it loves best The holiest and mo6t exact walking
saints it loves best. The sacrament or prayer
wherein Christ smiles most sweetly it loves best
The condition, though outwardly bitterest, wherein
it sees the face of Christ most clearly, it loves best
Chiefly is the sociableness of love discovered in
longing after the second coming of Christ; in
counting it best of all to be with him, Phil. i. 23 ;
in loving his appearance, 2 Tim. iv. 8; in hasting
to the coming of the day of God, 2 Pet. iii. 12. The
unwillingness to have that day come, proceeds from
a Christian's unrenewed part : so much soreness as is
in the eye, so muchloathnessis there in a man to see
the light, and proportionable to our love to sin is
the disaffection to Christ's appearance; and the fear
which is in a gracious heart of Christ's second
coming, rather proceeds from a sense of its own
unfitness to appear before Christ, than an unwilling-
ness to have Christ appear to it ; and more from a
desire to be made meet for him, than to remain with-
out him.

(10.) Lastly, It. is an incessant love. A flame
never to be quenched. The waters of affliction can-
not drown it, Cant. viii. 7, but only, as they increase,
elevate it. The very snuffers of death shall make it
burn the more brightly. It unconquered outlives,
as opposition, so its fellow graces, 1 Cor. xiii. 1 — 8.
The faithful are rooted and grounded in love, Eph.



Online LibraryWilliam JenkynAn exposition upon the epistle of Jude : delivered in Christ-Church, London → online text (page 14 of 114)