¶ Iudas the servant of Iesus Christ, the brother of Iames. To them which are called and sanctified in God the father, and preserved in Christ Iesus. Mercy unto you, and peace and love be multiplied.
¶ Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common health: it was needful for me to write unto you, to exhort you, that ye should continually labour in the faith, which was once given unto the saints. For there are certain craftily crept in, of which it was written aforetime unto such judgement. They are ungodly, and turn the grace of our Lord God unto wantonness, And deny God the only Lord, and our Lord Iesus Christ.
¶ My mind is therefore to put you in remembrance, for as much as ye once know this, how that the Lord (after that he had delivered the people out of Egypt) destroyed them which afterward believed not: The angels also, which kept not their first estate: but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day: even as Zodom, and Gomor, and the cities about them (which in like manner defiled themselves, with fornication, and followed strange flesh) are set forth for an example, and suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise these dreamers defile the flesh, despise rulers, and speak evil of them that are in authority.
¶ Yet Michael the archangel (when he strove against the devil, and disputed the body of Moses) durst not give railing sentence, but said: The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not. In those things which they know naturally (as beasts which are without reason) they corrupt themselves. Woe be unto them, for they have followed the way of Cain, and are spilt in the error of Balaam for lucre's sake, and are cast away in the treason of Core.
¶ These are spots which of your kindness feast together, without fear, feeding themselves. Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds: Trees rotten in autumn, unfruitfull, twice dead, and plucked up by the rootes. They are raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. They are wandering stars, to whom is reserved the mist of darkness for ever.
¶ Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied before of such saying. Behold, the Lord shall come with thousands of saints, to give judgement against all men, and to rebuke all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their cruel speakings, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
¶ These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, whose mouth's speak proud things. They have men in great reverence because of advantage. But ye beloved remember the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Iesus Christ, how that they told you that there should be beguilers in the last time, which should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are makers of sects, naturall, having no spirit.
¶ But ye dearly beloved, edify yourselves in your most wholy faith, praying in the wholy ghost, and keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Iesus Christ, unto eternal life. And have compassion on some, separating them: and other save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, and hate the filthy vesture of the flesh.
¶ Unto him that is able to keep you, that ye faule not, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with joy, that is to say, to God our saviour which only is wise, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, now and for ever Amen.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526