William Jenkyn.

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

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stewards ? At this time I doubt it would hardly be
accounted true doctrine, that every one who has
military gifts, courage and policy, may be a com-
mander of a regiment, or captain of a troop, and that
he might gather his followers without commission.
Is it enough for a man to be a prince's ambassador,
because he has sufficient gifts, for wit, and good ex-
pression, &c? must not the king also give him the
authority to be an ambassador P Is every one who
can run a messenger P must he not be sent likewise r
Besides, whosoever has a commission to preach has a
commission to baptize, as is plain from Matt, xxviii.
19. Preaching and baptizing reaching alike the
ministry of all ages. But has every gifted man such
a commission ? Further, does not our Saviour, Matt.
x. 41, clearly distinguish between a righteous man
and a prophet? if they had been all one, why would
he have done so ? and if gifts make a minister, is it



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AN EXPOSITION UPON



Veh. I.



not as true that gifts make a magistrate ? and then
every one who had understanding and other good
governing parts were a lord mayor. Nay, then why
might not women preach, (as lately they nave done,)
many of whom have better gifts than some menP
And how could that agree with the apostolical pro-
hibition for women to speak in the church ?

Besides, all who are called to preach are bound to
increase their gifts, by giving attendance to reading,
to doctrine, and by giving themselves wholly to these
things, which cannot be done, unless earthly occupa-
tions are laid aside : but gifted men are not bound to
this ; so they have not this call which they pretend.
To conclude, everyone that hath this ministerial call,
has that pastoral care lying upon him, mentioned
Heb. xiii. 17, To watch over souls as those that
must £ive an account with joy, and not with grief:
but this can in no wise be said of every one who is a
gifted man ; and therefore gifted persons, as such,
must forsake their pretended claim to a ministerial
call. Nor can it be evinced, because the apostle
says, All may prophesy, 1 Cor. xiv. 31, therefore
every gifted person may preach. For, besides that
the gift of prophecy was extraordinarily bestowed
in that age of the church, not procured by study and
industry, but immediately conferred by the Spirit
upon some, as were also miracles, the gift of healing,
and diversities of tongues, all which are now ceased,
it is most plain, that the word all in that place is not
to be taken in its full latitude, as if all the men, or
every believer in the church of Corinth, might stand
up and prophesy, for that is expressly contrary to
1 Cor. xn. 29, where by an interrogation the apostle
vehemently denies that all are prophets ; but it is to
be taken restrictively, to those that were in office, and
set by God in the church for that purpose, as the
apostle speaks, " God hath set some in his church,
first apostles, secondarily prophets," &c. 1 Cor. xii.
28. Other cavils are weaker than deserve to be men-
tioned; as, to argue from that place, that because
women are forbid to speak in the church, therefore
any man may speak, 1 Cor. xiv. 34. What greater
strength is in this argument than to reason thus:
Because no woman mav be a justice of peace, there-
fore every man may ? because no woman may speak
publicly, therefore some men must, (namely, such as
are in office,) had been a much better consequence.
Nor is there more strength in that allegation of
Moses's wish, that all the Lord's people were pro-
phets, to prove that all might prophesy ; for in his
desiring that all might be prophets, he includes a re-
quired condition, that they might be called by God
to that employment.

Obs. 2. Alliance in faith, spiritual relation to
Christ, is much dearer and nearer than alliance in
flesh. Jude might have called himself a near kins-
man to Christ, or Christ's brother, as indeed he was,
and was so accounted, Matt xiii. 55, as much as
James, who is called the Lord's* brother, Gal. i. 19 ;
but that which includes a spiritual relation is to him
much sweeter : to be a servant of Christ is more de-
sirable than to be a brother of Christ. What had it
profited to have been his kinsman, unless his servant P
Many who were his kinsmen according to the flesh,
wanted the honour of this spiritual affinity ; but such
of them who had this honour bestowed upon them,
had all their other glory swallowed up in this, as
Christ expressed himself, He is my brother, and sister,
and mother. Blessed be God, that this great privi-
lege is not denied to us even now ; though we cannot
see him, yet love him we may ; though we have not
his bodily presence, yet we are not denied the spirit-
ual ; though he be not ours in house, in arms, in
affinity, yet in heart, in faith, in love, in service he is.



Obs. 3. There is a peculiar excellency and worth
in the title of servant, with which our apostle, and
others before him, were so frequently delighted. It
might furnish them and us witn a fivefold consider-
ation full of sweet delight. (1.) That he much
honours us. To serve Christ is to reign. It is more
honour to serve Christ than to serve emperors ; nay,
than to have emperors serve us; for, indeed, all
things do so. (2.) That he will assist us in our
works : if he gives employment, he will give endow-
ments too ; if an errand, a tongue ; if work, a hand ;
if a burden, a back : " I can do all things through
Christ which strengthened me," saith Paul. And
herein he goes beyond all other masters, who can
toil and task their servants sufficiently, but can-
not strengthen them. (3.) That he will preserve
us. He will keep us in all our ways ; and surely then
he will so in all nis own work. Safety evermore ac-
companies duty. His mercy is over all his works,
but peculiarly over all his workers. Men are never
in danger but when they leave working. Jonah was
well enough till he attempted to run away from his
Master. When our enemies do us the greatest hurt,
they remove us above hurt. A servant of Christ may
be sick, persecuted, scorned, imprisoned, but never
unsafe ; he may lose his head, but not one hair of
his head perish. (4.) That he will provide for us.
He can live without servants, but these cannot live
without a Master. Verily his family-servants shall
be fed. The servants of Christ shall want no good
thing: if they are without some things, there is
nothing they can want; they shall have better,
and enough of better. Can he that has a mine of
gold want pebbles ? Can it be that a servant of Christ
should want provision, when God can make his very
work meat and drink to him P nay, when God can
make his wants meat and drink P How can he want,
or be truly without any thing, whose friend has and
is all ? No good thing shall they want, nothing that
may fit them for and further tnem in duty. It is
true they may be without does, snares, hinderances ;
but those things are not good which hinder the chief
good. If God gave them, he would feed his servants
with husks, nay, with poison. (5.) That he will re-
ward them. The Lord gives grace and glory : great
is their reward in heaven j nay, great is their reward
on earth. There is a reward in the very work ; but
God will bestow a further recompence hereafter. We
should not serve him for, but he will not be served
without wages, even such as will weigh down all our
work, all our woes.

Oh the folly of them that either prefer that cruel and
dishonourable service of sin, before the sweet and
glorious service of Christ ; or that, being servants to
Christ, improve it not for their comfort in all their
distresses !

Obs. 4. We owe to God the duty and demeanour
of servants.

(1.) To serve him solely, not serving sin or Sa-
tan at all, nor man in opposition to Christ; not
serving ourselves or the times, Matt vi. 24. Who
keep servants to serve others, enemies P Christ and
sin are contrary masters ; contrary in work, and
therefore it is an impossibility to serve both ; con-
trary in wages, and therefore it is an infinite folly to
serve sin.

(2.) Christ must be served obediently, submissively,
[1.] In bearing when he corrects. A beaten servant
must not strike again, nor word it with his master :
we must accept or the punishment of our iniquities.
It is chaff that flies in the face of him that fanneth.
[2.1 We must be submissive servants, in being content
with our allowance, in forbearing to enjoy what we
would, as well as bearing what we would not : the



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Ver. 1.



THE EPISTLE OF JUDE.



proper work of a servant is to wait. Stay thy Mas-
ter's pleasure for any comfort. All his servants will
have what they want, and therefore should be con-
tent with what they have. The standing wages are
set, the vails are uncertain. [3.] Submissive in not
doing what we please, not going beyond our rule,
our order. Ministers are his servants, and therefore
must not make laws in his house, either for them-
selves or others, but keep laws ; not of themselves
lay down what they publish, but publish what he
has laid down. Ministers are not owners of the
house, but stewards in the house. Laws are com-
mitted to us, and must not be framed by us. No
servant must do what is right in his own eyes.
*4.] Submissive in doing whatever the Master please.



s



ot picking out this work, or rejecting that: nothing
must come amiss to a servant We must not examine
what the service is which is commanded, but who
the Master is that commands. We must not prefer
one thing before another; or refuse a service that
most crosses our inclinations, or opposes our ease
and interest. A servant must come at every call,
and say, Lord, I hear every command, Acts x. 33.
[5.] We must serve Christ obediently in doing what
is commanded, because it is commanded : this is to
serve for conscience' sake. If the eye be not to the
command, the servant acts not with obedience,
though the thing be done which is commanded ;
nay, it is possible a work, for the matter, agreeable to
the command, may yet be an act of disobedience, in
respect of the intention of the performer. Oh how
sweet is it to eye a precept in every performance ! -to
pray, hear, preach, give, because Christ bids me!
Many do these works for the wages; this is not to be
obedient: they sell their services, not submit in
service.

(3.) Christ must be served heartily. We must not
be ty£aX/*6faXot, eye-servants, we must "do the will of
God from the heart," Eph. vi. 6; Col. iii. 23. Paul
speaks of serving God in the spirit, Rom. i. 9. There
are many complimental servants of Christ in the
world, who place their service in saying, Thy serv-
ant, thy servant, Lord ; lip servants, but not life,
heart servants ; such as the apostle speaks of, Gal.
vi. 12, that cfapowiriftrac, make a show only, but
the heart of a service is wanting. The heart makes
the service sacrificium medullatum, the marrow of a
performance. Bodily service is but like the fire in
the bush, that appeared to burn, but did not ; or like
the glow-worm in the night, that shines, but heats
not : these only act service, but are no servants ;
servants only in profession. To those who would
not profess Christ seriously, Christ will hereafter pro-
fess seriously, " I never knew you : depart from me,
ye that work iniquity," Matt. vii. 23.

(4.) Christ must be served cheerfully, Psal. xl. 8.
He, as he was his Father's servant, delighted to do
his will ; it was his meat and his drink, John iv. 34.
God loveth a cheerful servant in every piece of ser-
vice, 2 Cor. ix. 7. This makes the service pleasing
to Master and servant too ; acceptable to the former,
easy to the latter. Nothing is hard to a willing
mind ; willingness is the oil to the wheel. A servant
cheerful at his work is as free as his
master: if his master make him not
free, he makes himself free. The
preaching of the gospel must be per-
formed willingly,! Cor. ix. 17. Love
to souls should make us cheerful in
that service ; not mourning at our own pains, but at
people's unprofitableness ; not that we do so much,
but that they get no more.

(5.) Christ must be served diligently. These two,
" fervent in spirit," and " serving the Lord," are most



Si non possint a
Domtnis liberi
fieri, suam servi-
tutem ipsi quo-
dammodo Ube-
ram fkciont.
Aug. de C. D. 1.
19. c 15.



properly joined together, Rom. xii. 11. Hence it is
most necessary, that whatever we do, should be done
with all the might, Eccl. ix. 10. Abraham's servant
was diligent when he went to procure a wife for
Isaac : he would not eat bread till he had done his
errand ; when it was done, he staid not upon com-
pliments, Gen. xxiv. 33. They whose service is in
soul marriage, should spend no time needlessly. It
is a pity that Satan's emissaries should be more dili-

S*it than Christ's servants ; impostors, than pastors,
ow diligent a servant was Paul, that passed over
so many countries with so much speed ! " I laboured
more than they all," was spoken as commendably as
truly ; not plus profui, I was more successful, but
plus laboravt, I took more pains : diligence may be a
companion and comfort, where success is a stranger.

(6.) Christ must be served perpetually. There
must be no end of working, till of living. The dead
are they who rest from their labours. Life and labour
are of equal continuance. We can never begin too
soon, nor continue too long, in the service of Uhrist :
none ever repented of either, many of the contrary to
both. Faithfulness to the death hath the only pro-
mise of the crown of life. Better never to have
begun, than to apostatize. It is an unanswerable
dilemma, If the service of Christ were bad, why
did you enter into it P if good, why did you depart
from it P

Obs. 5. That they who expect to persuade others
U> serve Christ, must be servants themselves. Jude,
a servant of Christ, hopefully exhorts others to con-
tinue in his service, arid to contend for his faith.
The best way to move others, is to be moved our-
selves: words that come from the heart, are most
likely to reach to the heart. It is not sufficient for
ministers to discourse of his service, but to embrace
it. A blurred finger is unfit to wipe away a blot.
It is woeful when the function and the conversation
oppose each other. If the service of Christ be bad,
why exhort we others to submit to it P if good, whv
accept we not of it ourselves P A titular service shall
never receive a real reward. " Depart from me, ye
that work iniquity," shall be the doom of some that
cast out devils, and prophesy in the name of Christ.

Thus much for tne second particular in the de-
scription of the author of this Epistle, viz. his office,
" A servant of Jesus Christ." Now follows the last
particular considerable in his description,

3. His kindred and alliance, " The brother of
James."

Of which, by way of explication and observation.
For explication, two things are to be opened : Who
this James was; and, Why this apostle here calls
himself his brother.

(1.) Who this James was.

The Scripture speaks of two of that name : the
one, James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John
the evangelist, mentioned under these relations,
Matt. x. 3 ; iv. 21 j called by Christ ; leaving father
and ship ; slain by Herod, Acts xii. 2 ; named by
Christ, with his brother, Boanerges, Mark iii. 17, the
sons of thunder. The other, this James here men-
tioned ; concerning whom much is said in Scripture,
and in ecclesiastical history; but in both he is spoken
of very honourably.

[1.] In Scripture. First, His kindred and alliance
are often mentioned. His father is said to be Alphseus,
Matt x. 3 j Mark iii. 18; Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13.
His mother was Mary, spoken of Matt xxvii. 56 ;
Mark xvi 1; Luke xxiv. 10; Mark xv. 40. His
brethren are said to be Simon, Joses, and Judas,
Matt. xiii. 55 ; Mark vi. 3 ; two whereof were apos-
tles, viz. Simon and Judas, Matt. x. 3, 4 ; Luke vi.
15, 16; Acts i. 13; and the other, viz. Joses, or Jo-



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Ver. 1.



8eph, was competitor with Matthias (as is generally
supposed) for the apostleship, in the room of Judas
Iscariot, Acts i. 23. Particularly, this James is said
to be the brother of the Lord, Gal. i. 19, though, to-
gether with him, his brethren, Joses, Judas, and
Simon, are also called Christ's brethren, Matt. xiii.
55; Mark vi. 3. Not as if Mary, the mother of
Christ, had afterward borne children unto Joseph,
Hieromcont. as the erroneous Helvidius (whom
S^itcum'Biu Hierom confutes at large) laboured to
qui pater Domini maintain. Nor as if James and the rest
Urt™TanESJre were called the brethren of Christ as

florifc?oru in- bein & £H ■«? of J <* e P h ' ChMs re-
tegritatero, at puted father, by another wife ; for the
ftoS&tL^: Scripture tells us frequently they were
SK^iSfc 11 * the sons of Alphaeus; and it is the re-

nutntto virgineo . , . . * , . . \ ,

tractwetur. Pet ceived opinion, that Joseph was never
Aut.'Trf ii l "in tne husband of any but the blessed
Job. Bed. Aqu. Virgin, though haply some have the
more earnestly asserted it from their high esteem of
virginity. But some suppose this James and his
brethren are called the brother and brethren of
Christ, because they were the cousins-german of
Christ by the mother's side, or Christ's mother's sis-
ter's children : and Hierom thinks their mother is
that Mary, called the sister to the Virgin, and the
wife of Cleophas, John xix. 25 ; her first husband
Alphaeus either being dead, or else one and the same
husband being adorned with two names, Alphaeus
and Cleophas ; which might well be, because, among
a pud Hebraoe ^ e Hebrews, those names that agree
veiSunt ^n* nSS" m ^* e 8ame ra< ** ca * letters, lose not tneir
r'libus, per add!.' notion and signification by the addition
iS^i?um i , t ^ uin of other letters to them, a rule applica-
tionem non mo- ble to these two names, Alphaeus and
t-rrhodM U ideni Cleophas. And Gerhard also thinks,

BKwXW&d. that this Maf y» the sister of the Vir -

ver. i. ■ ' gin, and the wife of Cleophas, was
Harm. Hist. Pm. the mother of James, &c.j because, as
cit. i6. P . lea. in John ^x. 25, Mary the wife of
Cleophas and sister of the Virgin, is joined with
Mary Magdalene standing by the cross ; so, in the
other evangelists, Mary the mother of James, upon
the very same occasion, is joined with Mary Mag-
dalene, Matt xxvii. 56 ; Mark xv. 40. Some con-
ceive this 'Mary the wife of Cleophas was mother of
James, but was not own sister to the Virgin Mary,
because, say they, it is not the custom for the same

Earents to put the same names on several children ;
ut that she is called sister to the Virgin Mary be-
cause her husband Cleophas, or Alphaeus, was the
brother of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary,
brothers' wives being frequently called sisters. The
most probable opinion is, that Joseph and Alphaeus
were of near relation, perhaps natural brethren, and
therefore Joseph, being the reputed father of Christ,
the children of his brother Alphaeus, among whom
this James was one, are called the brethren oi Christ j
it being usual in Scripture to call those persons bre-
thren who are near of kin. As we see Abraham and
Lot are called brethren, Gen. xiii. 8, although Lot
was his nephew, Gen. xiv. 12. So Jacob calls his
uncle Laban brother, Gen. xxix. 12, 15. Sec Gen.
xxxi. 36, 37, 46.

Thus the Scripture speaks of James in respect of
his kindred or alliance.

Secondly, The Scripture speaks worthily of him on
account of his office ; not only because he was an
parkins in Gal. «. apostle, but also of great honour and
9. with otbtra. respect among the apostles, and in the
church, he being, Acts xv., a principal member, some
say president, in the council of Jerusalem, where he
gave his advice in a great controversy, which was
highly esteemed and followed : and on account of his



high esteem in the church, and usefulness, he,
Cephas, and John, are called pillars, Gal. ii. 9 ; for
although all the apostles were equal in degree of
office, yet there were some of them endowed with
more eminent gifts, and had greater esteem than the
rest ; and therefore we read of Paul's comparing him-
self with the chiefest of the apostles, 2 Cor. xi. 5 ;
xii. 11, of which James was one. And whereas
he is called " James the less," Mark xv. 40, it is con-
ceived it was not to distinguish him from the other
James the son of Zebedee, as if the Scripture hereby
would denote our James less in respect . . . ,.

* it . .i -i. r - Istm majoritas

Of age, Calling tO apOStleship, Or Of et minontas eat

stature, much less of esteem : but he ilSn^ESS Si-



may be called " the less" in comparison ^U^'p* 1 *?"**
of his father, who, as a learned man *■ [J *** mm Al ~
thinks, was called James also, as well 1# Jud



ouldue. in ret.



as Alphaeus j which opinion of his he gj Epip fej^ i
probably confirms in his Exposition pjf&ir** 1 *'
upon this place.

[2.] Ecclesiastical history speaks of him also as a
most worthy person, both for the admirable and rare
holiness of his life, and his constancy in professing
Christ at his death.

1. For his life : Hierom, in allusion to his name,
James, or Jacob, calls him the supplanter of sin and
vice of those times wherein he lived, , xn«ew
preached, and wrote. And as many T a"£a£a£oS
write most highly in commendation of *w »»MnX*. *«
nun, so particularly Eusebius, in his **« t«w» »poanr



second book, chap. i. and xxii. For «« «!,*«*£
his holiness he was called the Just, one JJ^'JiJ? ^**
that was much in fasting and prayer foepV^v*^
for the pardon of that sinful people the t^%Z%££:
Jews : with his frequent and long pray- **• A^*L*E5r
ing his knees were hard. The Jews S^'lxxi^t
were generally much convinced of his Jj£ < fxSJLJf J^
holiness ; insomuch, as the enemies of gjy 1 ^ Kl! ^l^
Christ hoped, if they could procure him a&ToTuvf'y&pri
to deny Christ, that most or those who EJK'm'H. c
professed, would abandon the faith of «*•
Christ

2. For his death : The scribes and Pharisees
earnestly besought him to disclaim Christ openly;
and to that end they set him upon the temple, that
in the sight and audience of the people he might
declare that Jesus was not Christ. But to admiration
he professed his own faith in Christ, telling the
multitudes that Christ was in heaven " at the right
hand of God," and that in the clouds he should
come again to judge the world ; with which profes-
sion his enemies, being enraged, cast him down from
the temple, and afterwards murdered him, he before
his death praying that God would pardon their sin
unto them. Tne same author, and also Josephus, lib.
xx. Antiq. cap. 8, testifies that those who were of
the wiser sort thought that this detestable fact was
that which shortly after drew down the judgment of
God, to the utter destruction of that bloody city
Jerusalem, that had, among others, butchered so holy
a man. Thus far Eusebius.

Though I do not relate this as canonical, yet nei-
ther do I look upon it as fabulous, it being by many
famous and godly writers testified. And tnis for the
first particular to be explained, Who this James was.

(2.) Why Jude styles himself the brother of this
James.

Of which I find two reasons given, both probable,

1. That he might difference himself from others
of that name, especially Judas Iscariot ; of which
also the Scripture seems to take especial care. Hence
he is spoken of with the addition of " not Iscariot,"
John xiv. 22, this traitor's name having grown de-
testable ; on account of which it is generally con-



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Ver. 1.



THE EPISTLE OF JUDE.



ceived that he had the names of Thaddeeus and Leb-
baeus put upon him, Mark iii* 18 ; Matt x. 3 (as
was before noted) : and thus he wisely preserves him-
self and Epistle from undue prejudice, and by the
clearness of his person prevents dislike of his per-
formance.

2. He expressed this near relation between him-
self and James, because this apostle James being
better known than himself, of high estimation and
reputation in the church, commonly known by the
title of the Lord's brother, respected by Peter, Acts
xii. 17, famous for his sanctity of life, accounted a
pillar in the church, Gal. ii. 9, president of the coun-
cil of Jerusalem, Jude might nereby win attention
and credit to himself and nis Epistle from those to
whom he wrote. And this is the reason that (Ecu-
menius writes to this effect : The fame
iSSlm l ^H° b of James for his virtue would put the
omjH* faiia ef- greater authority upon Jude's doctrine ;



Online LibraryWilliam JenkynAn exposition upon the epistle of Jude : delivered in Christ-Church, London → online text (page 3 of 114)