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CHAPTER VIII.

Angels.

Q. 1. What is the evidence of the existence of angels?

A. 1. The light of nature seems to teach their existence. In the works of creation, we ascend step by step from lifeless, unorganised matter to man the lord of this lower creation. Analogy and the nature of man lead us to suppose, that the scale of existence still continues. By his body man is allied to the beasts that perish; by his soul he seems to be allied to spiritual and immortal beings. Hence we are led to think, that there are such. In the works of creation, we behold a gradation of being, so far as our knowledge extends, and from analogy it would seem, that this gradation continues, and that there are other beings endowed with other and nobler powers.--People of all ages, nations, and religions, have believed in the existence of spirits, possessing faculties and dignities vastly superiour to

This general belief is an argument in favour of their existence, whether it arose from reason, or from immediate revelation at first, which has been handed down by tradition, or from analogy,

any

other source. 2. The Bible gives us the fullest assurance of their existence; for it speaks of them in more than a hundred different places.

Q. 2. When did God create the angels?

A. Most probably at the time when he created the world--the heavens and the earth, and all the

man.

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host of them. Angels it would seem are included in this comprehensive expression. They are, too, always spoken of in scripture, as having a connexion with the beings and affairs of this system of creatures and things. They were, probably, the first beings, that God created, and were, therefore, in existence to rejoice in the works of God, as He brought into being the other parts of the universe.(a)

Q. 3. With what nature did God create the angels?

A. He created them spiritual, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, active, and the most noble and exalted of His intelligent creatures.(6)

Q. 4. What place did God assign to the angels as their residence?

A. The highest heavens, or the heaven of heavens.(*)

Q. 5. Are they the subjects of God's moral government?

(a) Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.-Col. 1. 18. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him. By heaven and earth all created beings and things seem intended. Of course angels, (here called thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers,) were created when this world was created.

(b) Ps. 104. 4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. Luke 20. 36. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Matt. 25. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. 2 Sam. 14. 20. To fetch about the form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing; and my Lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth. Ps. 103. 20. Bless the Lord ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments hearkening unto the voice of his word. Heb. ?. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.

(c) Rev. 7. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders of the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.

Q. 6.

A. Most certainly. They are subject to His laws, and accountable to Him for their conduct. And the rule of conduct, given to angels, no doubt was the same in substance, as that given to man in innocence.(4)

Were the angels as soon as created put upon probation?

A. They were. A term of trial was assigned to them all. Each one was to obey, or disobey, for himself.See reference (e.)

Q. 7. What was the consequence?

A. The consequence was, some retained their rectitude during their probationary state, and are now confirmed in holiness and happiness;—others, most probably through pride, rebelled against God and ruined themselves.

Q. 3. What is the number of the holy angels?

Ă. It is vastly great. They are represented in the Scriptures as innumerable.(*)

Q. 9. What are the names given to angels in the Scriptures!

A. They are called spirits, angels, cherubim, seraphim, watchers, morning stars, sons of God, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers.(5)

(d) Matt. 22. 37–40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

(e) 1 Tim. 5. 21. I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without prefering one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 2 Pet. 2. 4. For if God spared not the angels that sinred, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.

(f) Heb. 12, 22. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.

(8) Heb. 1. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them, who shall be heirs of salvation. Heb. 1. 6. And again, when he bringeth in the First

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Q. 10. Why are the angels called by these names?

A. They are called spirits, because immaterial, and invisible;—angels, because agents, deputies or messengers of Jehovah;-cherubim, because of their extensive knowledge;-seraphim, because of their holy zeal and love;-watchers, because of their vigilance and care;-morning stars, because of their splendid nature and early creation;—sons of God, because they bear the impress of His image;thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, because of the exalted dignity of their nature, high elevation of character, and sublime employments.

Q. 11. What is the employment of holy angels?

A. They are employed by God in the administration of the affairs of the world, especially in ministering to them, who shall be heirs of salvation. They will accompany and assist Christ in the transactions of the great day of judgment, and they do now, and forever will, unite with the spirits of just men made perfect, in the worship of heaven. But they cannot, in all respects, and to the same degree, as the saints, join in the song of Moses and the Lamb; for they themselves never felt the stings of sin and guilt, and never tasted the sweetness of pardoning and saving mercy (") begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. Ezek. 10. 19. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight. Isa. 6. 2. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. Dan. 4. 17. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones. Job 38. 7. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Col. 1. 16. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.

(h) Ps. 34. 7. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Heb. 1. 14.

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Q. 12. How should we feel and conduct towards holy angels?

Å. We should love them for their amiableness, feel grateful for their benevolent conduct towards us, respect them for their dignity and worth, and imitate them in all things imitable by us.

Q. 13. Is there any Saviour provided for the apostate angels?

A. There is none; and consequently they must perish forever. They are now in utter despair and sorrows, being reserved in chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.(0)

Q. 14. What are the fallen angels usually called in Scripture?

A. They are usually called devils. The one, who is represented as having been an angel of preeminent distinction, and as the first in rebellion, and who is at the head of apostate angels, is called by other names, such as Satan, Dragon, Serpent, Angel of the bottomless pit, Abaddon, Apollyon, Accuser of the brethren, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Prince of Devils, Prince of the power of the air, and god of this world.(')

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Matt. 24. 31. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Rev. 7. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God.

(i) Jude 6. And the angels 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.

(j) James 2. 19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou dost well: the devils, also,*believe and tremble. Job 1. 12. And the Lord said unto Satan, Beholt all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. Rev. 12. 9. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels

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