1 As there were false prophets among the people of Israel, there will likewise be false doctors among you, who by introducing pernicious sects, and by renouncing the Lord, who bought them, will bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 many will follow their destructive maxims, and by their means christianity will be traduc'd. 3 By their artful discourses they will make you the tools of their avarice; but their condemnation has been a long time advancing, and their ruin is far from lingring.
4 for since God did not spare the angels, who had sinned, but having precipitated them to hell, confin'd them to chains of darkness, where they are reserv'd for judgment: 5 since he did not spare the old world, having preserved only eight persons, including Noah, that preacher of virtue, when he brought the deluge upon the impious world: 6 since he condemn'd the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha to an entire subversion, and reduc'd them to ashes, to make them serve for examples to future impiety: 7 since he deliver'd that just man Lot, who was grieved at the enormous practices of the licentious; 8 for whilst this good man was among them, it daily pierc'd his virtuous soul, to see and hear of their detestable behaviour: this consider'd, 9 I say, the Lord will deliver those, who fear him, from their affliction, and reserve the wicked to be punish'd at the day of judgment. 10 especially those, who prostitute themselves to sensual infamous passions: who despise magistrates, who being audacious, and insolent, intrepidly calumniate the higher powers; 11 whereas the angels, who are of superiour power and dignity, don't inveigh against one another. 12 But as for these, they have no more reason than brute beasts that are naturally made for hunting, and slaughter: so these who calumniate what they do not understand, shall receive the reward of their iniquity by perishing in their own corruption. 13 they place their felicity in daily pleasure: they are a vile scandal to religion: when they are present at your love-feasts they indulge their luxury: 14 their eyes are inflam'd with adultery, and unextinguishable vice: they insnare the souls of the inconstant. their minds are practis'd in the arts of avarice: an execrable race, who have deserted the right way, 15 and are gone astray to follow the practices of Balaam of Bosor, who loved the wages of iniquity; 16 but he was rebuked for his transgression: for an ass, as dumb as it was, spoke with an articulate voice, and reprimanded the extravagance of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water; clouds agitated with a tempest, who are consigned to the obscurity of eternal darkness. 18 when their language swells with vanity, by applying to the sensual passions of the licentious, they allure those who were escap'd for a while, from such deceivers: 19 whilst they promise others liberty, they themselves are slaves to their corrupt passions. for he that is vanquished, is a slave to the conqueror. 20 As for those who have renounc'd the pollutions of the world, by their owning Jesus Christ for their Lord and saviour, if they are prevail'd upon to be entangled therein again, their last state is worse than the first. 21 for it had been better for them, not to have made any profession of the gospel, than after they have embraced it, to abandon the holy injunction, that was delivered to them. 22 but the proverb is exactly verified in them, "the dog is return'd to his own vomit: the sow that was wash'd, is wallowing in the mire."