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the use of them; or to men, who live in the largest houses, have the most shares in the banks, or the most ships on the seas, little regarding how they may have acquired them. But the holy Angels do not so. They love the humble and contrite spirit, that doeth justly, and regardeth the cry of the poor. In this world, when a virtuous poor man dies, how few of the rich and the noble are found at his funeral. But when even a vicious rich man dies, how is the house thronged, and how long is the sable train of mourners. How different is this, from the humility of the Angels. They look not to what is great, but to what is good. Dives, the worldly great man, died, and was buried. We hear of no angels attending at his burial. Lazarus, the worldly poor man, died, and received the most glorious funeral ever left upon record. He was carried by angels into Abraham's hosom. How then does it become us, to learn humility from angels.
4. How should we strive so to live in this world, that hereafter we may go to live with the Angels. How humbling the thought, that man, who was originally created but a little lower than the angels, soon became so debased by sin, as more to resemble the Fallen, than the Holy Angels. Again, how animating the thought, that man, by a continued life of christian faith, christian trust, and christian obedience, may yet aspire to dwell hereafter with these holy, happy Beings. In the resurrection, says our Saviour, the children of God shall be like to the angels. If we delight in this world to live among our imperfect and departing friends, how transporting the idea, of going to live forever with such pure, such brilliant, such intellectual, such fervent friends, as the blessed Angels of God. To see them in their ranks, circle above circle, from the lowest Cherub to the highest Seraph; ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; clothed in robes white and clean, their breasts girded with golden girdles, and their hands waving incense from their golden censers. Now they veil their faces, and cast their crowns at the feet of Him, that sitteth on the throne. Now they listen in adoration to the harpers harping on their harps, and to the four Living Ones, which rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Al
mighty! while the heavenly hosts respond, and the crystal walls resound, Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain! Who would not, to witness such scenes, renounce the pleasures of sin? Who would not cheerfully bid adieu to all that wealth, or ambition, or sensuality, or the united powers of earth, can offer? But if we would be admitted to this glorious company; if we would share in their immortal blessings; we must esteem the things which Angels esteem, love the things which they love, and do the things which they do.
5. From the inspired vision of the heavenly ladder, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it from heaven to earth; and from some other intimations in Scripture; how know we, but that the voice of conscience is the voice of some of these benevolent spirits? but that every person on earth is attended by his guardian angel, wherever he goes; to warn him of danger, of temptation, and of sin; to watch over his slumbers, to make soft his pillow in sickness, and to bear his soul at death to the invisible world? Let us then regard each admonition of conscience as the voice of one of these guardian spirits, who is ever near us, although unseen by mortal eyes. How know we, my brethren, but that this church is now filled with these blessed spirits, hovering down from the world of glory, watching the movements of our hearts, and waiting to bear a report to their Father in heaven? Let then each one of us ask his own heart, with fear and trembling, what report he is willing they should bear?
Finally. If the Angels are thus dignified, thus happy, thus pure, and yet comparatively unclean, and chargeable with folly; how exalted, how blessed, how holy, how overwhelmingly glorious, must He be, who created the Angels!
THE FALL EN ANGELS.
Rev. xii, 7. - AND THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN.
How long God existed before Angels were created; or how long Angels existed before man was created, are points which are not revealed, and which therefore human philosophy can never discover. Nor is it of consequence for us to know. It is reasonable to believe, however, that the Angels were created immediately after the Heaven of Heavens, which they were to inhabit. Thus they might witness the creation of this world, and all its beautiful garniture; and of man, who was destined to live in, and rule over it.
Ecclesiastical writers make an Hierarchy of nine orders of Angels. Others have distributed Angels into nine orders, according to the names by which they are called in Scripture, and reduced these orders into three hierarchies; to the first of which belong Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; to the second, Dominions, Virtues, and Powers; and to the third, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The Jews reckon four orders or companies of Angels, each headed by an Archangel; the first order being that of Michael, the second of Gabriel, the third of Uriel, and the fourth of Raphael. But though the Jews believe them to be but four, yet it seems, from some intimations in Scripture, that there were seven.' It is proper to remark, that the names of the angels Uriel, and Raphael, are only mentioned in the Apocryphal books of Esdras, and Tobit.
But our subject this day is not of the Holy Angels, but of the Fallen Angels. And there was war in heaven.
And can it be, that in that holy, happy world, where the Creator, and the Redeemer, and the Saints reside, there was ever any war? Yes, my brethren, the Scriptures assure us of this mysterious, astonishing fact, that before there was ever any war upon earth, there was war in heaven.
“The fall of the apostate Angels,' says Bishop Lowth, is not directly recorded in the Old Testament: but it is implied in the distinction the holy writers make between good and evil spirits; and is sometimes alluded to by the prophets, when they threaten destruction to proud and insolent tyrants, who, in imitation of the pride of the devil, exalt themselves against God and his truth; and are the instruments of Satan in promoting idolatry and wickedness in the world.' But although we have no regular history of this great and wonderful event, a revolt in the heavenly world, and amongst the highest order of created beings; still we are abundantly assured in the New Testament, by various declarations, as well as allusions, that it actually took place. But as assertion, without proofs, is of little weight in so tremendous a proposition, I shall now adduce the testimony, both direct and allusive.
1. In the Old Testament, there is no direct testimony of the revolt of Angels. But there is, in Isaiah, a most striking allusion to this event, wherein the King of Babylon is compared to the Prince of the rebellion: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!...... For thou hast said in thine heart, .. I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell."
In the New Testament, the direct testimony of the fall of angels is ample and explicit. In St Luke we read, ' And he, Jesus, said unto them, the seventy, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.' In St Peter .we read, ' For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.' In St Jude we read, '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.' And in the Apocalypse of St John we have an amplification of our text: And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
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 were cast out with him.'
The indirect evidence of the fall of Angels is abundant. In St Matthew we read, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.' In Timothy, St Paul says a bishop must not be a new convert, 'lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the Devil. Here the cause of the revolt is asserted, namely, pride. And in the Kevelation of St John, we read of the final destiny of the fallen Angels. “And I saw an Angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him
up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more,
till the thousand years
should be fulfilled; and after that, he must be loosed a little season.' After this little season, in the same chapter we are told, 'And the Devil, that deceived them, viz, the nations, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, . and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.' Such is the testimony in Scripture concerning the unnatural revolt, and tremendous doom, of the rebel Angels.
2. As to what time, and for what offence, these Angels incurred the displeasure of the Almighty, it is not known. The time in which this event took place is generally allowed to have preceded the creation of the world; and some have accounted for it by the supposition, that the angels, being informed of God's purpose to create man after his own image, and to dignify his nature by Christ's assuming it, and thinking their glory to be thus eclipsed, envied the happiness of man, and thus revolted.' . But