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we laid it to Heart. We should never be able to find
any time wherein we may not rejoice, bea; cause, faith our Saviour, they always behold the Face of my Father, and are continually watchful. to bring in Blessings to us: All that is within us ought to bless his holy Name, and we should blefs the Lord (as the Psalms speak elsewhere, 34. 1.) at all times; bis praise Jould be continually in our Mouths, who hath appointed his inost excellent Ministers to wait upon us, and secure our Happiness.
We know the Esteem that a great Man sets upon any Person, by the quality of the Messenger that he sends upon any occafion to him; and fo hereby our Saviour would make us understand, how much his Father values and prizes those who believe on him, and are his faithful Disci. ples, in that those Angels are theirs which behold his face in Heaven, and are nearest to his glorious Majesty : But we are unworthy of this Esteem, and may well forfeit it, if we set not a great Price upon this Loving kindness of God, and do not duly value it ; which we should express by our constant and hearty Praises, and especially by a sincere Study of all Piety, which is the best Expression of our Thankfulness, and will most especially endear us to him, and to his holy Angels,
MATTH. XVIII. 10. ----For 1 say unto you, that in Heaven their
Angels do always behold the Face of my Fa. ther which is in Heaven,
N this Day, as I have already told you, the Church of Christ hath been wont to commemorate the great Merсу
of God in the Ministry of Angels;
the greatest of which he hath given a Charge unto, that they shall take Care of us, and do us Offices of Love and Kindness. Therefore in the Rituals of the Eastern Church, it is
called σύναξις το σαμμεγίστων Ταξιαρχών, 6c. the Solemn Festival of the very greatest Leaders, or Commanders of the Host above, Michael and Gabriel, and all the Heavenly Powers; or, as others have it, the Solemnity of the Prince of the Heavenly Militia, Michael, and the rest of the incorporeal Powers.
Now according to the old Saying, that dwrês Ô @v@pwa Q, Man is double, tbere being an outward and an inward Man, the good Offices which they do us are of two forts, either relating to our Bodies or to our Souls. Of the first I have already discoursed, and shown how they are in the Nature of a Guard to us, especially to those that are good, according to that of the Psalmist, 34. 7.
I come now to treat of the latter, concerning the Good they do to our Souls ; which, as the principal part of Men, so, one would think, should be the principal part of their Care. And thus St. Hierome, upon these Words, cries out, as I intimated in the Morning, Magna eft dignitas Animarum, ev. Great is the Dignity of Souls, who from their Nativity have an heavenly Minister assigned to them for their Custody. It iuft be confessed, that this is more obscurely spoken of than the other ; yer something there is that they contribute to our Spiritual Welfare, as may be made manifest by their Opposites, the Devil and all those Spiritual Wickednesses that follow him. Their great Enmity is to Mens Souls; they study nothing more than to carry them to Perdition: And therefore we may con
clude, that these good Angels are the Friends and Lovers of Mens Souls, which are in Worth and Dignity next to themselves, and study their Preservation or Deliverance from the Power of the Evil One.
It is an hard Matter, I know, to assign the Manner and Way how they convey their Spiritual Afbftance to us; but I shall shew you plainly there is Cause to believe the Thing. And I know not how to illustrate it better, than by considering what Hurt is said to be done to us by our Adverfary the Devil; whereby we may understand what Service these Blessed Spirits do us, who are Adversaries to him, and Helpers
Now we meet with these two Characters of the Devil in holy Writ, that he is a Murderer, and that he is a Lyar. As he is a Murderer, seeking the Destruction of Men, he doth all the Mischief he can both to Mens Bodies and to their Minds. As he is a Lyar, he seeks only to deceive, abuse, and destroy the Mind. For the Hurt that this Murderer doth to their Bodies, it is either in Mens private Capacities, by troubling the Air, bringing Diseases and Infections, when God permits hiin, raising Storms and Tempests, and such like things: Or in their publick Capacity, stirring up the Spirit of ambitious, laughty, covetous, and cruel Men to oppress and enslave others; to make unnecessary Wars, to fill the World with Rapine, Slaughter and Blood; to overturn Kingdoms, and indeed to turn the World upside down. Then for their minds, he doth them no fmall Prejudice, even by these Wars and Tumults, in which one Sin is wont to fola low upon the Neck of another. And besides we may conceive, that he instigates Men to all sorts of Villanies, according as he finds them inclined. He inflaines their brutish Defires; he pricks forward their Pride, and Love of Dominion; he stimulates their Revenge ; he heightens their Choler and Rage, and works upon all their other Passions : So that he is the Furtherer of Adulteries, Fornications, nay, and of all unnatural Filthiness
Provoker to Murders, Thefts, Robberies, Violence, Deceit, Fraud, and all other Wickedness; that, if it were possible, there might be a Hell above Ground, and he might be the God of this World.
Then, for the other thing, as he is a Lyat, his Business is to cheat and delude Mens Minds with false Opinions; to propagate all the foolish Conceits, and the lewdeft Doctrines that he can invent; to lead Men to Epicurism and Atheistical Conclusions, or else to abuse and pull their Minds with Fancies and vain Dreams, which they shall glory in as the very Revelation of Almighty God.
From all which I think we may safely draw this Inference, That as the Devil and his Partakers seek whom, in this manner, they may devour ; fo the holy Angels (eek how they may save and deliver Men from these Mischiefs. And as I have shewn you that they are the Prefervers of Mens Bodies, so I Thall now make it appear, that they are Instruments of Good to our Souls :