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the Elements of this World, as Arethas fpeaks, and concludes from Rev. 14. 18.
Comment. where you read of an Angel that in Rev.cap. had
power over the Fire; and from 44,& cap. 48. 15. 5. where you read of an Angel of the Waters. Hence he thinks we have sufficient ground to believe, that some of them have the Command over the Air, others over the Water, others over the Earth, and others of the Fire; and so proportionably, that some have the care of one Spe. cies of Creatures among us, and some of another; nothing doubting but that they have a more special super-intendency over Mankind, the chief of God's Works in this inferior World ; and more particularly take care of those who are Good, and fear God, as the most worthy of all other Men, and nearest to the Angelical World. And whatsoever question we may make of the rest of their Belief, we cannot doubt, if we believe the holy Scriptures, of the truth of the last part of it, that there are some of those excellent Beings, who are Ministers of God for the good of Men, especially of those that Believe. This the Christian Religion hath above all others assured us of; we have the Word of the blessed Apostles for it, that they are Miniftring Spirits fent forth to minister for thein, ribojhall be Heirs of Salvation ; Heb. 1. 14. Nay, the Words of our Lord and Mafter here in iny Text, that the Angels even of the weakeft Christians, behold the Face of God in Hea
From which Words, I design to discourse of these two Things.
First, What the Ofice or Employment of the holy Angels is, to which they are assigned by the Soveraign Lord of all, in regard of Men, expreffed here in these Terms, they behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.
Secondly, What Persons they are for whom they are most officious, and of whom they take the greatest Care, included in the Word, their, Christ's little Ones, the smallest and feeblest of the Faithful, (spoken of before ;) from which we may gather what they do for the rest of the Body of Christ.
Which two Things being cleared, it will be most seasonable to touch, in the Conclusion, upon the Coherence and Dependance of these Words, with the rest of our Saviour's Discourse from the beginning of this Chapter; they being a Reafon, as you may discern by the Particle, for, why we should be careful to beliave our felves to the Comfort and Incouragement even of the meanest Christians. ', : I begin with the first, the Office and Employ. ment of the holy Angels for our Good and Welfare, which unless we understand, we shall not be fo grateful to God, as we ought, for their Ministry, it being commonly Invisible, and to be discerned by nothing but a serious Mind, especially when poffefs'd with a belief of the Writings of the Men of God.
THE Scripture then, you must know, represents God unto us as the Majesty of Heaven and of Earth, the Supream Lord and Governour of all Things'; who although he be every where, yet exhibites or shows his most glorious Presence inore especially in the Heavens, which are called the Throne of God. There his Majesty doth, as it were, keep its Court, from thence he issues out his Orders, concerning the Government, the Preservation and Punishment of all his Subjects; and there, consequently, the Divine Majesty and Glory is attended by the most Noble and Excellent of thein all; as a King among ushath those still about him who are of the highest Quality, and eminent Rank in his Dominions. Now as those Persons wait upon an earthly Prince, and are ready by him to be sent as his Embassadors or Messengers, in any Employment that he hath occasion to make use of their Service: Just so are the Angels represented as the glorious Ministers of Almighty God, who attending upon him in his Celestial Court, are always at hand to be dispatched about such Business, and to take upon them such Charges as he thinks good to commit to them throughout the whole World, for the good of his lower fort of Subjects, especially of us the Children of Men.
And that I take to be the principal meaning of this Phrase in my Text, their Angels
bebold the face of my Father; as if he had said, they
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stand in the Presence of God as his Ministers and Servants; they wait upon himn in Heaven, where they behold the Majesty of his Glory, and they look up. unto him to see what Orders he will give them, and on what Messages: he will be pleased to send them for the good of
Difciples; nay, they are so ready to execute his Pleasure, and fulfil his Commands, that the least Signification of his Will is enough to deterinine theirs, and dispose them to a chearful Obedience; for thofe words behold bis face, seem to be a Metaphor borrowed from good Servants, who being well acquainted with their Masters Inclinations and Délires, have their Eye continually upon him, and presently move ad nutum ejus, at his beck; and upon the least Motion of his Head or his Eye, go and dispatch that which they know to be his Pleasure. Such is the willing Disposition of these high Officers of Al
mighty God, whom Greg. Nazianzen Orat. 38.
calls λαμπρότητες δεύτραι, λειΤεργοί της apwins nape treśmnos, Secondary Splendors, the Ministers and Attendants of the first Brightness. The greater they are, the greater Reason they see there is, that they should be most obsequious t) him, from whom they have received so high a Dignity, and fly as quick as Lightning to execute his holy Will, when they have the least notice of it given from his Divine Presence.
So the manner of this Speech taken from the Hebrews being thus explained, and put into words more familiar to us, I am to show you, that the Office of these Heavenly Ministers, to which they are deputed by the Lord of all, relates to the whole Man, both to our Bodies and to our Souls:- They attend upon him to receive his Commandments for the good of our outward Man, being the most noble of all Gods visible Works upon this Earth; but most especially for the good of our Spirits, which are far more dear both to him and to them, as nearer of kin to Ce lestial Beings.
Of the former I shall treat at this time, wherein we shall meet with no great 'Difficulty, it being a Thing acknowledged by all the World ; and I'fhall leave the other for a Discourse by it self, because it is more obfcure and hard to be traced.
,, 1. The Charge then that they have concerning our Bodies, is this, that they be a Guard and a Security unto us; that they watch over us, to preserve us from Dangers, especially on fome Occasions where it would be impossible for us otherways to avoid them. Of this we find very frequent mention in holy Writ. Jacob wishes at his Death, that the Angel which had redeeined him from all Evil, might bless the two Sons of Joseph, Gen. 48. 16. And David professes himself of this Belief, that the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them, Pfal. 34. 7. And Isaiah acknowledges, that when the Israelites were in an afflicted and distressed Condition, the Angel of bis Presence Saved them, 53. 9. And the Notion of this tutelage and custody of
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