Imatges de pÓgina

on account of the redemption work of our Lord Jefus Chrift; but they are intended to fuggest merely, what was their original and natural condition.

The world of the angels appears to be divided into four provinces, which are often pointed out in the epiftolary writings, by four diftinct names; and, in the prophetical, by four emblematical things. The apofle," fpeaking of the glory of Christ, says, that he is exalted in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion. Eph. i. 21. Again, Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,' or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Col. i. 16. And though these names of honour and high diftinction, may be fupposed to be given them on account of their prefent advanced flate, yet they feem evidently to refer to fome natural diftinctions that exifted among them. Agreeably to this, the apoftle pointing out the enemies against which we have to contend, befides thofe of flesh and blood, or thofe in our own nature, named four grand divifions:-For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities. againit powers, against the rulers of the darknefs of this world, againft fpiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. vi. 12.

And when the angels are referred to under certain figns and figures, fuch a divifion may ever be noticed. Ezekiel calls the liv- · mg creatures, or rather living beings, which be faw in his vifion, Cherubim, which is a

name of the angels. And if it be thought that this was a vifion of uncreated things, ftill it is agreeable to our theory and to the fcriptures, to conceive of the worlds as being framed according to thofe eternal thingsone of which worlds, is this of the angels. Thefe cherubim were four in number, and every one had four faces, each one differing; and every one had four wings; and there were four wheels by their fides round about them four; and their pofitions were fuch as formed a fquare, or four fides. Zechariah's vision of the chariots, with its interpretation, greatly confirms this point.He looked, and behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of brafs. In the

first chariot, were red horfes; and in the fecond chariot, black horfes; and in the third chariot, white horfes; and in the fourth chariot, grilled and bay horfes. Then I answered and faid unto the angel that talked with me, what are these my Lord? And the angel anfwered, and faid unto me, Thefe are the four fpirits of the heavens, which go forth from ftanding before the Lord of all the earth. It is evident, the angels are here intended; and they appear in four fquadrons, which bear diftinct marks: and that this is a natural diftinction, appears by the anfwer of the angel Lord, that they are the four Spirits of heaven.

In the fame manner, are the angels reprefented in their miniftry in the New Teftament. In the vifion of John, there were

four beafts round about the throne; which bare the fame diftinguishing marks as the four faces of the cherubim, in the vifion of Ezekiel.—And in the opening of the feals, there were seen four horfes, with their riders; one white, another red, the third black, and the fourth pale-these were miniftering fpirits, and the agents of divine providence in the earth, and fuch are the angels. Again, when the fervants of God were to be fealed, John faw four angels ftanding at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth; and when the flaying of the men which have not the feal of God, was about to take place, he hears a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God, faying to the fixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loofed which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. It may also be noticed refpecting this army, which, in the ftricteft fenfe, mult be understood to be angels-that they wrought the destruction by four powers, viz. by fire, and by fmoke, and by brimstone, and by heads which were in their tails: for their tails were like unto ferpents.

The church, under the law, being in a fubject ftate, every thing in the camp of Ifrael was ordained at Mount Sinai, according to the angelic form. The altar was four square, with four horns, one at each corner; and it was fet up facing to the four winds. A great variety of things in the tabernacle, fhewed

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the fame device; around which this hoft of God encamped, in four divifions, one on each fide, diftinguifhed by four ftandards, and moving under four heads or commanders at diftinct founds of the trumpet. It would be lengthy to enter into the particu lars of this angelic conftitution. The things which belong to men and to angels, are numbered by two, by four and by fix; as thofe which belong to the kingdom of righteousnefs, are numbered by three, by five and by feven.

Again, the angels, in refpect to their callings in the different departments of the di vine government, appear to be divided into two orders, which fome have fuppofed are defignated by the names of Cherubim and Seraphim; one of which orders are employed where ftrength and prowefs is requifite; and the other, in matters of miniftry, that require intelligence and difpatch. Thus we have repeated instances of Michael being engaged in arms; as alfo of Gabriel being. employed on meflages. And when the an gels are referred to in their employments, two words are always ufed, which give them a distinct defcription, as in Pfal. civ. Who maketh the clouds his chariot-who walketh upon the wings of the wind. Who maketh his angels fpirits; his ministers a flaming fire: both which words are understood by the Apostle to the Hebrews, as referring to the angels-Of the angels he faith, Who maketh his angels fpirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.—Daniel, Speaking of the glory of the Ancient of Days,

lays, Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand, stood before him. And fimilar to this, we have generally two enumerations given of the angels, as in Pfal. lxviii. The chariots of God are twenty thoufand, even thousands of angels; and, Rev. v. 11. And the number of them was ten thoufand times ten thoufand, and thoufands of thoufands. This idea of there being two orders of angels is corroborated by the two or ders of ftanding officers which were appointed in the Jewith ftate, which wholly accorded with the difpofition of angels.

All this is agreeable to the state of Adam, in the day that God created man:-Male and female created he them; and bleffed them, and called their name Adam. Gen. v. 2.And the government of the world was, at firft, committed to an united head; And God faid, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion, &c.The adminiftration of government requires counsel, which cannot be had by one alone; and throughout the whole fphere of human life, there exifts fuch feparate departments, as require at least two, in order to maintain the economy. And thus, fays the Preacher, Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they Jall, the one will lift up his fellow: but wo to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm a 'one? And if one prevail against him, two fhall with fand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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