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MESSIAH WORSHIPPED BY ANGELS.
Heb. i. 6. Let all the angels of God worship him. M ANY of the Lord's true servants, have
I been in a situation so nearly similar to that of Elijah *, that like him they have been tempted to think, they were left to serve him alone. But God had then a faithful people, and he has so in every age. The preaching of the gospel may be compared to a standard erected, to which they repair, and thereby become known to each other, and more exposed to the notice and observation of the world. But we hope there are always many, who are enlightened by his word and
* Kings xix. 1o. VOL. II.
holy Spirit, and training up in the life of faith and holiness, known and dear to God, tho' they have little advantage from public ordinances, and perhaps no opportunity of converfing with those who are like-minded with themselves. But even though the number of those who visibly profess the gospel of the grace of God were much smaller than it is, we need not be disheartened. If our fight could pierce into the invisible world, we should be fatisfied that there are more with us than against us *. And such a power is attributed to faith. It is the evidence of things not seen t, because it receives the testimony of scripture, and rests upon it, as a certainty, and a demonstration; requiring no other proof, either of doctrines or facts, than that they are contained in the sure word of God. True christians therefore are comforted by the assurance they have that their Saviour, the Lord of their hearts, is not so neglected and despised, nor his character so misunderstood and misrepresented in yonder land of light, as in this dark and degenerate world. Though too many here, like Festus, treat it as a inatter of great indifference, whether Jesus * 2 Kings vi. 16. + Heb. xi. 1.
be dead or alive *; and ask them with a taunt, What is your Beloved more than another beloved ? they are not ashamed, for they know whom they have believed; and if men will not join with them in admiring and praising him, they are sure that they have the concurrence of far superior beings. By faith they behold him feated upon a throne of glory, adored by all holy and happy intelligent creatures, whether angels, principalities, powers or dominions. And when he was upon earth, in a state of humiliation, though despised and rejected of men, he was seen and acknowledged by angels. Their warrant and ours is the fame. He is proposed to us, as the object of our supreme love and dependance ; and as we are enjoined to kiss the Son and to pay him homage, so when God brought him into the world, he faid, Let all the angels of God worship him.
Though the bringing MESSIAH, the first, or only begotten into the world, may, as I have observed already, be applied to his incarnation, or to his resurrection, I apprehend it rather designs the whole of his exhibition in
* Aas xxv. 19.
the flesh. At his ascension, having finished the work appointed for him to do, he was solemnly invested with authority and glory, and sat down at the right-hand of the Majesty on high. But in his lowest, no less than in his exalted state, the dignity of his divine person is the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He was always the proper object of worship. It was agreeable to right, and to the nature of things, and a command worthy of God, that all the angels of God Thould worship him. · The holy angels that excel in strength *, always do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word. We might be certain therefore, that this highest and most comprehensive command a creature is capable of receiving from his Creator, is fulfilled by them, even if we had no express information of the fact. But we have repeated assurances to this purpose. Thus Ifaiah, when he faw his glory and spake of him, saw the feraphim standing ; each one had fix wings ; with twain be covered his face, and with twain be covered his feet, and with twain be did fly. And one fried unto another, Jay
* Pl. ciii. 20.
Holy, boly, boly, is the Lord of hosts, :::...!!!e earth is full of his glory *. I see C i be force of the argument arising from this passage, to prove that MESSIAH is the proper object of the most folemn adoraration, which creatures can offer to the Most High, can be evaded; unless any were hardy enough to affert, either that the prophet was himself imposed upon, or has imposed upon us, by a false vision; or else, that the apostle John t was mistaken when he applied this representation to Jesus Christ. But the apostle likewise had a vision to the fáme effect; in which, while his people redeemed from the earth by his blood, cait their crowns at his feet, the angels were also represented as joinįng in the chorus of their praises, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was sain, to receive power and riches, and wisdom and ffrength, and honour and glory, and blessing I. In brief, he is the Lord of angels. The heavenly host waited upon him, and sung his praises at his birth, Angels ministered unto him in the wilderness H. And they are so entirely his servants, that at his
* Isa. vi. + John xii. 4£ $ Rev, v, 124 [ąkę ii. 13, 14. D 3