« AnteriorContinuar »
same effect. Hence they are frequently represented as making their appearance in the shape of an armed host. Gen. xxxi. 1, 2. this is God's host.' Josh. v. 15. the captain of the host of Jehovah.' 2 Kings vi. 17. the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire.' Psal. Ixviii. 17. the chariots of God are twenty thousand.' Luke ii. 13. a multitude of the heavenly host.
Angels are also described Isai. vi. Hos. i. 7. Matt. xxviii. 2, 3. Rev. x. 1. There appears to be
to be one who presides over the rest of the good angels, to whom the name of Michael is often given.* Josh. vi. 14. “as captain of the host of Jehovah am I come. Dan. si. 13. • Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.' xii. 1. • Michael shall stand up, the great prince.' Rev. xii. 7, 8. • Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.' It is generally thought that Michael is Christ. But Christ vanquished the devil, and trampled him under soot singly ; Michael, the leader of the angels, is introduced in the capacity of a hostile commander waging war with the prince of the devils, the armies on both sides being drawn out in battle array, and separating after a doubtful conflict.f Rev. xii. 7, 8. Jude also says of the same angel, . when contending with
* Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince.
Paradise Lost, VI. 44. + So in the description of the first fight in Paradise Lost, which is borrowed from the prophecy in the Apocalypse quoted above, long time in even scale the battle bung,' till at last Michael, the prince of angels,' engages in single combat with the Adversary :
from each hand with speed retir'd,
the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him a railing accusation,'which would be an improper expression to use with reference to Christ, especially if he be God. 1 Thess. iv. 16. the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel.' Besides, it seems strange that an apostle of Christ, in revealing things till then so new and unheard-of concerning his master, should express himself thus obscurely, and should even shadow the person of Christ under a difference of name.
The good angels do not look into all the secret things of God, as the Papists pretend ; some things indeed they know by revelation, and others by means of the excellent intelligence with which they are gifted; there is much, however, of which they are igno
An angel is introduced inquiring Dan. viii. 13. • how long shall be the vision ?' xii. 6. how long shall it be to the end of these wonders ? Matt. xxiv. 36. of that day knoweth no man, no, not even the angels in heaven.' Eph. iii. 10. to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.' Rev. v. 3. 'no man in heaven was able to open the book.'
The evil angels are reserved for punishment. Matt. viii. 29. art thou come hither to torment us before the time ?' 2 Pet. ij. 4. · God cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgement.' Jude 6. • he hath reserved them in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day.' 1 Cor. vi. 3. · know ye not that we shall “judge angels?' Matt. xxv. 41.
• everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' Rev. xx. 10. they shall be tormented for ever and ever.'
They are sometimes, however, permitted to wander throughout the whole earth, the air, and heaven itself, to execute the judgements of God.* Job i. 7.
from going to and fro in the earth.' 1 Sam. xvi. 15. the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him.' 1 Pet. v. 8. the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about.' John xii. 31. the prince of this world.' 2 Cor. iv. 4.
the god of this world.' Matt. xii. 43. he walketh through dry places.' Eph. ii. 2. 'according to the prince of the power of the air.' vi. 12. against spiritual wickedness in high places.' They are even admitted into the presence of God. Job i. 6. ii. 1. 1 Kings xxii. 21. there came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah.' Zech. iii. 1. he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.' Luke x. 18. “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.' Rev. xii. 12. woe to the inhabiters of the earth, for the devil is come down unto you.' Their proper place, however, is the bottomless pit, from which they cannot escape without
*... do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Paradise Lost, I. 148.
the spirits perverse With easy intercourse pass to and fro To tempt or punish mortals. II. 1031.
permission.* Luke viii. 31. 'they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.' Matt. xii. 43. he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.' Murk v. 10. he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.' Rev. xx. 3. and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up.' Nor can they do anything without the command of God. Job i. 12. • Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power. Matt. viii. 31. “ suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.' Rev. xx. 2. he laid hold on the dragon....and bound him a thousand years.
Their knowledge is great, but such as tends rather to aggravate than diminish their misery ; so that they utterly despair of their salvation.f Matt. viii. 29. • what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? See also Luke iv. 34. James ii. 19. the devils believe and tremble,' knowing that they are reserved for punishment, as has been shown.
* So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay,
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence
Paradise Lost, I. 209. t..
hope never comes That comes to all.
We are decreed,
The devils also have their prince. Matt. xii 24. · Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.' See also Luke xi. 15. Matt. xxv. 41. the devil and his angels.' Rev. xii. 9. the great dragon was cast out....and his angels. They retain likewise their respective ranks, * Col. ii. 15. having spoiled principalities and powers. Eph. vi. 12. against principalities, against powers.' Their leader is the author of all wickedness, and the opponent of all good. Job i. and ii. Zech. iii. 1. Satan.' John viii. 44. the father of lies.' 1 Thess. ii. 18. Satan hindered us.' Acts v. 3. Satan hath filled thine heart.' Rev. xx. 3, 8. • that he should deceive the nations no more.' Eph. ii. 2. • the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Hence he has obtained many names corresponding to his actions. He is frequently called Satan, that is, an enemy or adversary,t Job i. 6. 1 Chron. xxi. 1. 'the great dragon, that old serpent, the devil,' that is, the false accuser. Rev. xii. 9. the accuser of the brethren, v. 10. the unclean
* The Stygian council thus dissolv'd, and forth In order came the grand infernal peers : Midst came their mighty Paramount
Paradise Lost, II. 506. t:.. To whom th’ Arch-Enemy, And thence in heav'n call’d Satan.- I. 81.
the Adversary of God and man,
X. 385. See also VL. 281.