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but that he had quitted the design, being necessitated (ανάγκην έσχον) to write to them to trive for the faith delivered to the faints, in opposition to the false teachers, who had stolen in among them.

The sense of this paffage is lost in our translation, as it is likewise in both the interpretations propofed by Erasmus upon the place, in which he has been followed by most of those who came after him. Interpreters have been misled by confounding the κοινή σωτηρία and the παραδοθείσα πίσις together, as if they meant one and the same thing; whereas they mean quite different things. The common falvation here spoken of means the doctrines of the Gospel published to all the world, without respect to difference of times or seasons, or to particular doctrines of the corrupters of the faith. The

тzp2δοθείσα πίςις is the fame with the παραδοθείσα εντολή in St. Peter, the form of found doctrine, sent to all the churches, by direction of the Apostles, in opposition to the false teachers. This then is the meaning of St. Jude, and thus it may be paraphrased : “ Be“ loved, I was intent upon the design of writing to “.you upon the common doctrines and hopes of the “ Gospel, for the improvement of your faith and « knowledge in Christ Jesus : but I find myself ob

liged to lay aside this design, and to warn you " against a present danger, to exhort you to earnesto “ ness in contending for that true doctrine once al.

ready delivered to you and all the faithful, in op

position to the false teachers, who are crept in un" awares among you. The Arabic and Ethiopic versions have both

preserved this fenfe in some measure: the Arabic comes very near the true meaning; the sense of which the Latin interpreter has thus expressed : “O dilecti

mei, omni studio adhibito ut scriberem vobis de “ salute perfecta universali, atque communi, coactus “ fum scribere vobis, deprecans ut foliciti fitis in “ fide quæ femel tradita est sanctis.” The Ethiopic version speaks of this faith once delivered to the Jaints as superadded to the common teaching, and consequently as distinct from the xouri cwrapía, the common falvation.

But to come nearer our point; the agreement of the two Epistles in the description of the false teachers; it is to be observed, that both St. Peter and St. Jude profess to write, as reminding their churches of things with which they had before been made acquainted k. St. Jude says expressly, that the very subject of this letter had once already been known unto them: υπομνήσαι δε υμάς βούλομαι, ειδότας υμάς άπαξ τούτο, ότι ο Κύριος λαόν εκ γης Αιγύπτου, κ.τ.λ. The word (CTE) used here is the same we met with before; the άπαξ παραδοθείσα πίστις, and the είδόται upãs GTRE TOÛTO, are relative to the same matter; and it appears, that the warning against the false teachers, and the prophetic description of them, were sent to the churches, together with the (ivrona) commandment. It appears likewise, that both St. Peter and St. Jude wrote their Epistles after this commandment had been delivered to the several churches ; for they write to them, reminding them of what they had before received.

This being the case, there is no necessity to sup

Compare 2 Pet. iü. ver. 2. with Jude, ver. 5:

pose that St. Jude transcribed St. Peter's Epistle ; it is much more probable, that both he and St. Peter wrote from the common plan communicated to the churches, and drew their description of the false teachers from the same apocryphal book. But be this as it will, yet upon all views the second Epistle of St. Peter stands clear of the old objection drawn from the difference of style between his first and second Epistles.

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DISSERTATION II.

The Sense of the Ancients before Chris upon

the Circumstances and Consequences of the Fall.

My intention is not to search after paffages in heathen authors, which may seem to bear some resemblance to the Mosaic history of the fall, but to trace the sense of the Jewish church, as far as it can be collected.

As there are no records left, but the books of the Old Testament, to give light to this inquiry; and no book of the Old Testament, after Moses, treats directly of this subject; it cannot be expected that I should produce a full and regular expofition of the circumstances and consequences of the fall, from so few remains, and in this respect fo very imperfecto All that can be done is, to gather up the little which fell from these old writers, rather accidentally than purposely ; and to try whether, from their references and allusions to this history, we can, with any tolerable degree of probability, collect their sense, or the sense of the times in which they lived, upon this subject. The historical writers of the Old Testament were never led within view of this ancient story by

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