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are not comprehended in the covenant of reconciliation ;—that, finally, they are included under Christ as their head, not as their Redeemer.*
For the rest, they are represented as standing dispersed around the throne of God in the capacity of ministering agents.f Deut. xxxiii. 2. · he came with ten thousands of saints.' 1 Kings xxii. 19. I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.' Job i. 6. 'there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah.' See also ii. 1. Dan. vii. 10. ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.' Matt. xviii. 10.
their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.' Luke i. 19. I am Gabriel who stand in the presence of God.'
Praising God. Job xxxviii. 7. all the sons of God shouted for joy.' Psal. cxlviii. 2. praise ye him, all his angels. Neh. ix. 6. the host of heaven worshippeth thee.' Isai. vi. 3. one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy.' See also Rev. iv. 8. vii. 11. the angels fall before the throne on their faces.'
They are obedient to God in all respects. Gen. xxviii. 12. behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.' Psal. ciii. 20. his angels....that do his commandments.' Zech. i. 10. these are they
* When the great ensign of Messiah blaz’d,
... Michael soon reduc'd His army, circumfus'd on either wing, Under their head embodied all in one. VI. 775.
t ....... Ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
whom Jehovah hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.'
Their ministry relates especially to believers.* Heb. i. 14. “are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?' Psal. xxxiv. 7. the angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him.' xci. 11.
he shall give his angels charge over thee' Isai. lxiii. 9. the angel of his presence saved them.' Matt. xviii. 10. their angels do always behold the face of my Father.' xiii. 41. “the Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend.' xxiv. 31. 'they shall gather together his elect from the four winds Acts xii. 15. it is his angel.' 1 Cor. xi. 10. for this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels,' namely, as some think, (and numerous examples in confirmation of their opinion are not wanting) those angels whose office it was to be present at the religious assemblies of believers.t
* The tutelary care of angels is incidentally alluded to in Paradise Lost :
.... except whom
some good angel bear A shield before us. Comus, 658. + This is the interpretation of Grotius, Hammond, (who quotes from the Fathers in support of his opinion) Wolf, Doddridge, Pearce, &c. But Milton probably alluded to Tremellius, whose version he principally used, and whose note is as follows: " Hujus autem rei testes sunt et observatores angeli in ecclesia Dei, ab externo ordine internam Dei gratiam et
Seven of these, in particular, are described as traversing the earth in the execution of their ministry.* Zech. iv. 10. those seven are the eyes of Jehovah which run to and fro through the whole earth.' Rev. v. 6. which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.' See also i. 4. and iv. 5.
It appears also probable that there are certain angels appointed to preside over nations, kingdoms, and particular districts. Dan. iv. 13, 17. this matter is by the decree of the watchers. xii. 1. • Michael....the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.' X. 13. I remained there with the kings of Persia.' 2. Pet. ii. 11. • whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.' Gen. iii. 24. to keep the way of the tree of life.'
They are sometimes sent from heaven as messengers of the divine vengeance, to punish the sins of men. They destroy cities and nations. Gen. xix. 13. 2 Sam. xxiv. 16. 1 Chron. xxi. 16. David saw the angel of Jehovah....having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.' They lay waste whole armies with unexpected destruction. Kings xix. 35. Compare also other passages to the
pietatem membrorum optime recognoscentes. Psal. xxxiv. 8. et sci. 11. Matt. xviii. 10. Jobo i. 52. Eph. iii. 10. 1 Tim. v. 21. Heb. i. 14. 1 Pet. i. 12.' These seem to have been the numerous examples' referred to above.
* Th’ Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the sev'n
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
O'er sea and land. Paradise Lost, III. 648.
same effect. Hence they are frequently represented as making their appearance in the shape of an armed host. Gen. xxxii. 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. lxviii. 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 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. xi. 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 foot 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, rating 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 hung,' 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 ignorant. 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. 6 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.