An Explanation of the Generall Epistle of Saint Jude


Delivered in one and forty SERMONS, by that Learned, Reverend, and faithfull Servant of Christ, Master SAMUEL OTES, Parson of Sowthreps in Norfolke.

Preached in the Parish Church of Northwalsham, in the same County, in a publike Lecture.

And now published for the benefit of Gods Church, by SAMUEL OTES, his sonne, Minister of the Word of God at MARSHAM.

(2 PET.1.15.)I will endevour alwayes, that ye also may be able to have remembrance of these things after my departing. (PROV.13.9.)The light of righteousnesse shineth more and more, but the candle of the wicked shall bee put out. (PROV.13.13.)He that despiseth the Word, shall be destroyed; but hee that feareth the commandement, shall be rewarded.
[Image of Garden of Eden.]

Printed by Elizabeth Purslow for Nicholas Bourne, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the South Entrance of the ROYALL EXCHANGE. 1633.

PUBLISHED BY Elizabeth Purslow
PUBLISHED FOR Nicholas Bourne


[Page 234]

Yea naturall men know not oftentimes so much as beasts: Beasts Esa.1.3. know them that give them meat, as doe Oxen and Asses, but men doe not. So saith the Prophet, The Oxe knoweth his owner, and the Asse his masters cribbe, but Israel hath not knowne, my people hath no understanding. Beasts know how to provide, for themselves, Prov.6.
Luke 15.
as doe pismyres, For in the plentie of Sommer they provide for the dearth of Winter. Men doe not, but spend all like , the prodigall Sonne. Beasts know the time of their trouble, as the Crane, the Storke, and the Turtle, so saith Jeremy, Jer.8.7.
Luke 19.42.
The Storke in the ayre knoweth her appointed times, the Turtle and the Crane, and the Swallow observe the time of their comming. Men doe not; as is said of Jerusalem, that shee knew not the time of her visitation. Beasts feare their proper adversary, and that will hurt Ambr. them; as the Sheepe, the Wolfe; the Lion, the Fire; the Elephant, the Mouse; the serpent, the Iron; the Faulkon, the Eagle. Men doe not, but joyne with Satan, and will not know the truth, That they may come to amendment, out of the snare of the Divell, which 2 Tim.2.26.are taken of him at his will. Beasts know their evils, & their remedies: the Adder being sicke, seeketh serpentine grasse; the Dogge, being sicke seekth trifolie; the Swallow, cælidine; the Hart, dictanie; the Beare, pismyres: the Ape, moaths: But men seeke for nothing that may doe them good in this life, and in the World to come. Christ said that Ninive and the Queene of Mat.1.2.the South should rise in judgement and condemne the Jewes: but I say that beasts shall condemne us, in the day of judgement; For they know more by the instinct of nature, than wee by doctrine: O miseri, O miserable men that wee are, that beasts shall condemne, like Balaams Asse, his master. And could they speake now as Ascanius his Popenjaie, and Augustus Parat spake, they would speake against us.


[Page 270]

Wee should eate, to live, and live, to praise the Lord: but wee live, to eate and drinke. Sardanapalus his Epitaph might bee Phil.3.18. graven on our tombes, Hæc habeo quæ edi, quæ{que}; exaturata libido hausit, etc. for our belly, is our God; our kitchen, our Religion, our altar, our dresser; our Minister, our Cooke; our whole felicitie in eating and drinking: most mens bodies are as spunges to receive all liquor, their throats open sepulchres, their bellies graves, to burie all Gods creatures: there is not that bird that flyeth, that fish that swimmeth, that beast that moveth, that is not buried in their bodies; the earth is weary of such unprofitable burdens, the creatures by them abused will bee a witnesse against them, as Saint James speaketh in another Jam.5.1,2.
case: from the French, the Spaniards, and Turke wee have learned strange attire; from the Italians wee have learned pride, and Atheisme and wantonnesse; from the Dutch wee have lear- [Page 271] Nature teacheth sobriety and temperance. ned to drinke; we never learne from any nation any good thing. And it is a wonder, that wee should bee such Epicures; for among all the creatures, God hath given to none, so little a mouth as he doth to man, according to his proportion; which argueth that man should be more temperate in meat and drinke, than other creatures, and not to be spots in feasts.

Well noteth Augusti[n]e, that God hath not given to man talons Aug. and clawes to rent and teare in pieces, as to Beares, and Leopards; nor hornes to push, as to Bulls, and Unicornes; nor a sting to pricke, as to Waspes, and Bees, and Serpents; nor a bill to strike, as to Eagles and Ostriches; nor a wide mouth to devoure, as to Dogges and Lions. Againe, the mouth of man is not bent to the earth, as the mouth of other creatures; os homini Ovid. sublime dedit, to note that he must not eate and drinke, as other creatures. I say of meate, as Paul said of fornication, Meat 1 Cor.6.13.for the belly, and the belly for meat, but God shall destroy both it and them. Fire is to warme us, not to burne us; water is to wash us, not to drowne us; weapons are to defend us, not to kill us: so meats and drinkes are to refresh us, not to oppresse the body and vitall spirits. If ever Satan hath the vantage of us, it is in our fulnesse; for then eyes, eares, tongue, heart, and all members are out of frame; then we forget God, Christ, Heaven, Hell, and all. This is the Caveat that God gave his people; When thou hast eaten and Deut.8.10,11,12.filled thy selfe, thou shalt blesse the Lord thy God for the good land, which he hath given thee; lest when thou hast eaten and filled thy selfe; thou forget the Lord, etc. Israel sate downe to eate and to drinke, and rose up to 1 So we at our feasts handle nothing but cards, dice, bowles, etc. The false witnesses are noted to be Sonnes of Belial, such are 1 Reg.21. meetest for villany: Gods Spirit and drinke are set as opposite by the Apostle; Be not drunken with wine (saith he) wherein is excesse, Ephes.5.18.but bee filled with the Spirit. When wine is in, wit is out: and where drinke is in, Gods Spirit is out: we cannot be full of them both at one time; and if Gods Spirit be not in us, the uncleane spirit is in us. God will have the hand of the Father, to be first Deut.21.21. on the riotous child. O that we had the Spirit of zeale! O that one Epicurish drunkard were so served! O that the streets of this Towne were sanctified, that all England might heare it and tremble at it. It was a good argument in the Primitive Church against drunkards, that it was but the third houre of the day, that is, Act.2.15nine of the clocke: but it is not so now; for our men beginne at Sun-rising, and continue to Sun-setting, and often call for a candle, because the day is too little for them. The Idolaters served god Bel in the day, and god Belly in the night; we serve god Dan.14. Belly day and night.

The Holy Ghost maketh mention of a great cup; belike greatJudg.5.25. men drunke in great cups; Amos reproveth them for drinking in bowles: but we, I thinke, shall drinke in Troughes, and eate in Amos.6.6. [Page 272] Chargers, God punisheth drunkennesse and gluttony. not in platters. It may be said of many, that was said of Bonosus the Emperour, that wee are borne, not to live, but to eate and drinke, to feast and banquet: wee strive to match with Heliogabalus, who at one supper was served with sixe hundred Ostriches: and to match Vitellius, who had at one feast two thousand fishes, and seven thousand birds. This Epicurisme of ours God will punish, and hath punished it with three yeeres dearth; when 1 Sam.30.16,17. did God smite the Amalekites? he did it in the middest of their glossing, as in a time, wherein their sinne was ripe. When came Dan.5. God to Balthazar? but in his cups and banquets? and when did God strike downe the chosen men of Israel, but then? for while Psal.78.30,31.the meat was yet in their mouthes, the heavy wrath of God came upon them, and slew the strongest of them, and smote downe the chosen men of Israel. Job 1.4,5. This made Job to offer sacrifice for his children; hee knew how many falls are in belly-cheare. Men eate and drinke away their Christ; yea they eate and drinke away their soules; nay, they eate and drinke away their salvation: the fruit of the flesh is found more among the poore than the rich; which is a double sinne.



[Page 456]

Esay 56.12.
Luke 12.45.
1 Thess.5.2,3.
For the day of the Lord shall come even as a theefe in the night: for when they shall say, Peace, peace, sudden destruction shall come upon them, as sorrow commeth upon a Woman travelling with childe, and they shall not escape: and therefore the counsell of Augustine is good, Vitam emendare, dum tempus habenius, to amend our sanctis. lives, while wee have time: Operari dum dies est, to worke, while it is day: Pulsare dum aperitur ostium; to knocke while the doore is opened; falcem mittere, dum messis durat; to thrust in the sickle, while the harvest lasteth; Negotiari tempore nundinarum; to buy and sell while the Faire or Market lasteth; Misericordiam 2 Cor.5.2.implorare, ante diem justitiæ; to crave mercy, before the day of justice approcheth: For now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation. Begge mercy then to day, thou knowest not whether God will give thee time and grace to doe it to morrow. To this saying of Augustine, I might adde the saying of Jerome upon his death-bed, as saith Eusebius Cremonensis, Cur moraris, miser, de die in die~ converti ad Deum? O miserable and wretched man, why doest thou deferre from day to day to bee converted unto God? Cur te jam malorum non pœnitet? Why doest thou not now repent thee of thy sinnes and wickednesse? Ecce mors properat, ut te conterat: Behold, death approcheth to teare thee, and kill thee; the Divell plyeth him to receive thee; the wormes expect thee daily to devoure thee; wit and strength and all beginne to faile thee. But thou wilt say, I will repent in articulo mortis; at the very point of death. O vana suspitio, oh falsa meditatio! O vaine suspition, oh false meditation! Looke and see, if thou canst finde one of an hundred, nay, one of a thousand, that have obtained this grace, and mercy of God, that his end should bee happy, whose life was unhappy; his death good, whose conversation hath beene bad. Ignis est ira Dei: Gods wrath is fire: Nos sumus stipula: wee are as stubble and straw devoured of the fire: wherefore John.9. let us worke while it is day, the night commeth when as no man Gen.6.can work. And as Noah built the Arke in faire weather, and Joseph laid up graine and corne in the seven plentifull yeeres; and as Prov.6. the Ant that hath neither Master, Ruler, nor Guide, provideth in the plentie of Summer for the dearth of Winter; so let us like good Noahs build the Arke of a good Conscience, before the judgement overflow; like provident Josephs, let us lay up the graine of godliness in the barnes of our hearts, before the dearth of Eccles.11. Mercy come, and like painefull Ants, provide food for our soules, before the Winter of justice doth approach. And whatsoever we put our hands unto, let us doe it quickly; For there is nei- [Page 457] ther worke, nor invention, nor wisdome, nor understanding in the grave that wee go unto. [...]

This is a selection from the original text


barn, buried, devout, drunkenness, gluttony, liquor, misery, plenty

Source text

Title: An Explanation of the Generall Epistle of Saint Jude

Author: Samuel Otes

Publisher: Elizabeth Purslow

Publication date: 1633

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 18896 Physical description: [26], 58, 61400, 403424, 405472, 475525, [19] p., folded table Copy from: Bodleian Library Reel position: STC / 1552:18

Digital edition

Original author(s): Samuel Otes

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp
  • 2 ) pp. 234 ("Yea naturall men ... they would speake against us."), 270-72 ("wee should eate, to live ... double sinne."), 456-7 ("for the day of the lord ... we go unto")


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Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

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Genre: Britain > non-fiction prose > religion: sermons

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