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An angel delivered Peter from prison. Acts 12: 7 &c.
An angel informed the apostle Paul, that he and his companions should not be lost in their voyage to Rome. Acts 27: 23 &c.
An angel advised the pious Cornelius to send for Peter. Acts 10: 3 &c.
In the Dissert. II. in Libros N. T. historicos, the literal interpretation by which the actual existence of an angel is taught, is defended against a different exposition given in Eichhorn's Bibliothek, by which every thing supernatural in this history is explained away, and the presence of an angel denied.4
An angel appeared to Zacharias, the priest. Luke 1:11 &c. The angel Gabriel was sent to Mary. Luke 2: 9 &c. Angels appeared at the birth of Jesus. Luke 2: 9 &c.
V. Angelic agency continued.—Just as activity is necessary to spiritual beings and the exercise of it promotes their happiness; just as exercise in the discharge of their duty is a means to promote the intellectual and moral improvement of rational creatures; so also do the angels derive various advantages from being employed as instruments in the hand of God, and especially from their agency in the guidance of the destinies of men. Ephes. 3: 10. 1 Pet. 1: 12. Luke 15:10. The importance of this remark in enabling us to appreciate the practical moment of the doctrine concerning angels, is proved in the "Dissertation on the object of Christ's death ;994 where it is shown, that the plan of the redemption of the world by Christ, was a powerful means to strengthen in the inhabitants of the world of spirits, their conviction of their dependance on God, and grateful sense of the blessings for which they were indebted to him. It is also remarked in the same work, that the influence which the plan of redemption exerts on the good and bad angels, may possibly be the cause why the doctrine of angels, which is so seldom touched on in the Old Testament, is taught much more amply in the New.
2 Pt. III. p. 381 &c. 3 See on this passage Morus' Entwurf einer reinen biblischen Theologie, Pt. III. p. 20.
4 p. 632. $ 16.
VI. Morus in his Theolog. Christ.? maintains, that it is perfectly consonant with the character of God to employ the instrumentality of angels in the government of the world.
VII. The ministry of angels.—Matth. 18: 10. Ps. 34: 8. 91: 11, 12, compare Heb. 1: 14,3 Ministering spirits, sent for the service of those who shall inherit salvation. Agreeably to Heb. 12:23, also, Christians, who are sons of God, stand in connexion with the celestial family of God's elder sons, that is, with angels.4
VIII. Importance of this doctrine.See $35. Il. 4. The observations which have been made in 49. Il. 3—6, afford a satisfactory reply to the objection urged against the utility of the doctrine of good angels, in Henke's Magazine for religious philosophy. His words are “Every pretended advantage which is said to be derivable from a lively impression of the presence and agency of angels, must be detrimental to the far more exalted idea of an omnipresent, universal Spirit. And if angels were beings of whom we could form an idea more easily than we can of an infinitely perfect Spirit; we should have been made better acquainted with their nature, their employment, and more particularly with their participation or cooperation in the incidents of our lives."
IX. Angels are only instruments in the hands of God.
1 p. 632.
2 Pt. II. 0 2-4. 3. 3 See note m. in Comm. in loc. 4 Comm. on Heb. note t. in loc.
5 Vol. I, No. 3. p. 477. “ Examination of the doctrine concerning angels."
Ps. 103 : 20, ye his angels who execute his commands. 104: 4. Heb. 1: 13, 14, the angels are not appointed to sit upon the throne of God, but to await the commands of God which proceed from his throne.1
X. Angels not to be worshipped.-Rev. 19:10. 22: 9. In both these cases, the angel before whom John prostrated himself, said to him opa un īpOsxUVNOOV Tạ Gew, i. e. do it not; worship God. In the New Apology for the Revelation, it is moreover remarked, 2 that in neither of these cases is actual worship intended; for John knew the being before whom he prostrated himself, to be an angel, and only intended in a reverent manner to acknowledge his gratitude ; but the angel replied “ not unto me, but unto God give thanks.” Paul also forbids the worship of angels, IononElav TOW ayynov.4
Of the wicked angels. A part of the angels(1), being led on(2) by one of their number called Devil or Satan(3), sinned against God(4). By this disobedience they lost their original innocence, forfeited their former happiness(5), and drew down everlasting punishment upon themselves(6). They are now suffering a portion of this punishment. For the endurance of the remainder they are “reserved in chains of darkness”(7).
1 Comm. Heb. Note k, in loc.
2 p. 388. 3 17: 1. 21: 9. 4 Col. 2: 18, 19. See on this passage Seiler's Programm de N. T. locis quibusdam, erroneae doctrinae de angelorum vi et dignitate Christi diga nitatem superante oppositis, Erlangen, 1797.
I. As the wicked angels still belong to the class of angels, they retain this name even after their fall. Matth. 25: 41. 2 Pet. 2: 4. Jude v. 6.
II. They are called his [the devil's] angels, ayyɛhoi avtov, because they suffered Satan to alienate them from God, and as they still continue in his interest.
Thus also were the good angels who were engaged for the angel Michael, termed " his angels,"2 ayyɛlo. ArTo r.
III. In Matth. 25: 48, we find the name diabolos devil, and in Rev. 9:7, diaßolos rol ootavas devil and Satan. There is but one who bears this name; for, by the words “Satan casteth out Satan,"3 is not meant that there are two Satans; but the latter word Satan Coatavav] is equivalent to Éavtov himself; and in Mark 3:26 and Luke 11:18, the word himself is actually used.4
IV. 1 John 3: 8, the devil sinned from the beginning. 2 Pet. 1: 4, angels that sinned.
V. John 8: 44, Ev ahno Eco OVX EOTnXE (the devil) abode not in the truth.
He and his angels were, prior to their fall, celestial spirits, ITVEVMATIXA EV TOLS ETOVOavious Ephes. 6: 12. In the Dissertation de sensu vocis in goo, these words are rendered thus, “qui coelestes fuerunt."6 They were then pure and happy spirits, as the other spirits still are ; for concerning these it is said, in Ephes. 3: 10. Matth. 18: 10. 22:30, that they are ev τοις επουρανιους, εν τοις ουρανιους, εν ουρανω, in the heavens
1 Matth. 25: 41, 2 Rev. 12: 7. 3 Matth. 12: 26. Mark 3: 23, 4 On this usus loquendi, see Observv. ad syntax. Ebraic. p. 106. Opúsc. acad. Vol. I. p. 179.
Compare Heb. 11: 31, note r, where several examples are adduced of substantives and adjectives, which refer to past time. The ground of this is given in Observv. p. 133 &c.
&c. And in Jude v. 6, we read that they maintained not their former state or power or dominion, αγγελοι μη τηρησαντες την εαυτην αρχην. In the same sense is αρχη used by the LXX, in Gen. 40: 13, 20, 21. 4: 13.
VI. Everlasting fire, everlasting misery, Matth. 25: 41, 46. comp. 558. The punishment which is denounced upon the serpent, in Gen. 3: 14, is eternal, 793 3 i. e. all the days of thy life. Jude v. 6, δεσμοις αίδιους υπο ζοφον τετηρηκεν ayyedous he reserved the angels in everlasting chains, in dark
VII. The future punishment of the wicked angels.—2 Pet. 2:4. Jude v. 6, εις κρισιν (μεγαλης ημερας) τηρουμενοι reserved to the judgment of the 'great day. James 2:19, ta davuovia pouocovor the evil spirits (devils) tremble. Rev. 20: 10, βασανισθησονται εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων they shall be tormented through all eternity.3
The relation in which Satan stands to the human family.
Satan seduced our first parents to sin(1), and still continues to harbour a hostile disposition to the human family(2). This disposition urges him, together with his angels (3), to exert himself for the promotion (4) of sin and misery among men (5). He regards the welfare of men as disgraceful to himself and inimical to the purposes which he has in view, and beholds it with feelings of dissatisfaction and pain (6).
1 Opusc. acad. Vol. II. p. 405. 2 Opusc. acad. Vol. II. p. 431. 2 See the Programma on the Protevangelium sup. cit.