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THE BELIEVER WARNED AND DIRECTED.
" But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."-JUDE 20, 21.
There is nowhere upon record a more fearful picture of corruption, and defection, and apostacy, than that which is contained in the epistle of Jude. From the beginning to the end, it breathes & spirit of solicitude and anxious apprehension for the safety even of true Christians, implying the existence of tremendous dangers. This idea is suggested by the very terms of the apostle's salutation to his original readers, as “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved (guarded, safely kept) in (or for) Jesus Christ." As much as to say, “safe indeed, but only through God's sovereign mercy, and for Christ's sake."
This is true, indeed, of every individual believer, and of the whole Church, in every time and place. But it is true in a peculiar sense, and with a special emphasis, at some times, in some places, and of certain persons. It is emphatically true, in reference to certain conditions of the Church and of society. Of certain dangers, to which even Christians and the Church are specially exposed at certain junctures of their history: such as that at which Jude wrote, and of which he gives so vivid a description in this short epistle. In addition to the general and customary motives for religious exhortation and instruction, or the stated preaching of “the common salvation,” which is equally essential to the happiness of all men, and equally incumbent upon Christian ministers at all times, Jude was conscious of a special obligation, an extra
VOL. VI. no. 1.