He exhorteth them to stand to their old faith, shewing them by examples, that it is damnable
not to continue and be constant: 8. inueighing against the lecherie, blasphemie, apostasie,
banketing of the heretikes, 14. and that their damnation was long foretold. 15. Catholikes
therfore to be vnmouable, to reproue the obstinate, to recouer al not desperate, to confirme
the weake, and to liue themselues vertuously and without mortal sinne, which by God's grace they
1. IVDE the seruant of Iesvs Christ, and brother of Iames: to them that are in God the Father beloued, and in Iesvs Christ preserued, and called.
2. Mercie to you, and peace and charitie be accomplished.
3. Me Dearest taking al care to write vnto you of your common saluation, I thought it necessarie to write vnto you: beseeching you to contend for the faith once deliuered to the Saints.
4. For there are certaine men secretly entred in (which were long agoe prescribed vnto this iudgement) impious, transferring the grace of our God Diuers Heretikes abuse the libertie of Christes grace and Ghospel, to the fulfilling of their carnal lustes and concupiscences. into riotousnes, and denying the only Dominatour, & our Lord Iesvs Christ.
5. 2. Pet. 2. But I wil admonish you, that once know al things, that This is our Sauiour, not Iosue, as S. Hierom noteth ep. 17. see Abac. c. 3. v. 18. Iesvs, sauing the people out of the land of Ægipt, Nu. 14,37. secondly destroied them which beleeued not.
6. But the Angels which kept not their principalitie, but forsooke their owne habitation, he hath reserued vnder darknesse in eternal bonds vnto the iudgement of the great day.
7. As Gen. 19. Sodom and Gomorrhe, and the cities adioyning in like manner hauing exfornicatæ fornicated, and going after other flesh, were made an example, sustaining the paine of eternal fire.
8. In like manner these also defile the flesh, and Such be heretikes, that wil not be subiect to any superiour, or that refuse to obey the lawes either of Spiritual or Temporal Rulers. In which kind (specially in blaspheming the supreme Spiritual Magistrate) the Protestants doe passe. despise dominion, & blaspheme maiestie.
9. Whem Michael the Archangel, disputing with the Diuel, made altercation For the body of Moyses.
Truths vnwritten, and knowen by tradition.
When, why, or how this altercation or combat was betwene S. Michael and the Diuel about Moyses body, no man can declare. Only this we see that many truthes and stories were kept in the mouthes and harts of the faithful, that were not written in Scriptures canonical, as this was among the Iewes. for the body of Moyses, he durst not inferre iudgement of blasphemie, but said, Our Lord 'command' rebuke thee.
10. But these, what things soeuer certes they are ignorant of, They blaspheme.
Ignorance maketh Heretikes blasphome.
He speaketh of Heretikes, who being ignorant in God's mysteries and the diuine doctrine of his Church, when they can not reproue the things, then they fal to execrations, irrisions, and blasphemies against the Priests, Church, and Sacraments, and whatsoeuer is godly. they blaspheme: and what things soeuer naturally, as dumme beasts, they know, in those they are corrupted.
11. Woe vnto them, because they which' haue gone in the way of Gen. 4,8 Cain: Cain Balaam, Core.
Cain, Balaam, Core. The Apostle would haue Heretikes specially to be knowen, by the resemblance they haue, first to Cain, in that for enuy that his brothers seruice and Sacrifico was accepted and his reiected, slew his said brother, and was a fugitiue from the face and citie of God, which is the Church.
Heretikes rosembled to Cain, Balaam and Core.
Secondly, by their resemblance to Balaam, who for money was induced to curse God's people, as couetousnes is commonly the cause that first maketh Heretikes & false Prophets. Whereupon S. Aug. saith: He is an Heretike that for temporal commodities sake either coineth or followeth new opinions. S. August. li. de vtil. cred. cap. 1. And lastly by the resemblance they haue with the ancient and notorious Schismatike Core, and his companions, who forsooke the ordinarie Priesthood appointed by God, and would needs doe Sacrifice themselues without lawful calling.
Such indeed be al Heretikes, and such be al their sacraments, seruice, and offices in their Church, as Cores were in his schismatical tabernacles. And as pride was the cause of his reuolting from the obedience of Moyses and Aaron his Priests and true Gouernours; so is intolerable pride the cause of al Heretikes forsaking their lawful Pastours and Rulers, and namely of forsaking Christes owne Vicar in earth, our true Aaron, as S. Bernard calleth him. De consid. li. 2. cap. 8. To al such forsakers the Apostle here giueth the curse and Væ due to the said three, Cain, Balaam, and Core, and telleth them that the storme of darkenes and eternal damnation is prouided for them: most liuely describing al Heretikes (as in some we to our woe haue experience by their manners in our daies) in al this passage euen to the end of the Epistle. and with the errour of Nu. 22.
Nu. 16. Balaam, haue for reward powred out themselues, and haue perished in the contradiction of Core.
12. These are in their bankets, spots, feasting together without feare, feeding themselues, clouds without water which are carred about of winds, trees of autumne, vnfruitful, twise dead, plucked vp by the roots,
13. raging waues of the sea, foming out their owne confusions, wandering starres: to whom the storme of darknesse is reserued for euer.
14. And of these prophecied Enoch, the seuenth from Adam, saying: Behold our Lord is come in his holy thousands,
15. to doe iudgement against al, and to reproue al the impious, of al the workes of their impietie whereby they haue done impiously, and of al the hard things which impious sinners haue spoken against him.
16. These are murmurers, ful of complaints, walking according to their owne desires, and their mouth speaketh pride, admiring persons for gaine sake.
17. The Epistle vpon S. Siluerius day. Iunii. 20. But you, my Dearest, be mindful of the words which haue been spoken before by the Apostles of our Lord Iesvs Christ,
18. who told you, 1. Tim. 4
2. Tim. 3.
2. Pet. 3. that in the last time shal come mockers, according to their owne desires walking in impieties.
19. These are they which segregate themselues.
Al Heretikes segregate themselues.
The conditions of Heretikes in the later daies, that is, euer since Christ's time, not of these only of our Age. For there were many that forsooke Gods Church and segregated themselues from the fellowship of the faithful euen in the primitiue Church: that we may the lesse maruel at these mens segregating themselues, and going out from the rest, into seueral Sectes, which S. Augustine therfore calleth Segregations. These are they which segregate themselues, sensual, hauing not the Spirit.
20. But you, my Dearest, building your selues vpon your our most holy faith, in the Holy Ghost, praying,
21. keep your selues in the loue of God, expecting the mercie of our Lord Iesvs Christ vnto life euerlasting.
22. And these certes reproue being iudged:
23. but them saue, pulling out of the fire. And on other haue mercie in feare: hating also that which is carnal, the spotted cote.
24. And to him that is able to preserue you without sinne, and to set you immaculate before the fight of his glorie in exultation in the comming of our Lord Iesvs Christ,
25. to the only God our Sauiour by Iesvs Christ our Lord be glorie and magnificence, empire and power before al worlds, and now and for al worlds euermore. Amen.