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“ Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith.” Every superstitious person flies to genealogies. The genuine Scripture is too sharp pointed. They “ kick against the pricks,” and then fly to grasp hold of any airy fable to which Satan may direct them. Now St.
“ the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned : from which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a nan use it lawfully. Knowing this, that the law is not made for righteous men, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for thein that defile themselves with mankind, for manstealers, for liars, for perjured persons: and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief.”
AIMING AT HEAVEN. When the Holy Spirit invites thee to come to Christ, pour out thy whole soul to meet him; welcome the heavenly guest, and receive him with ten thousand welcomes : it is goodness which leaves him so to minister. Alas! if the Lord should deal with us according to our merits, tigers and dragons would wait upon us instead of angels. It is niore than we can demand, that any creature (after the fall) should be serviceable to us : but that the host of heaven should be so abased, as to be sent forth to minister to the meanest saint; even to us poor sinful wretches; dust and ashes; what goodness is this! Upon this account of the love and mercy and goodness of God, we read so often of the Lord sending his angels to attend his saints. Thus Abraham told his servant, “the Lord before whom I walk will send his angel with thee:” and thus God told Moses, “ I will send an angel before thee.” Thus too Daniel told the king, “my God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.” So gracious is the King of heaven that he will dispense with the attendance of his own courtiers, and send them on errands to his saints for their preservation: wherefore David reasons, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” O the goodness of God!
There are other reasons respecting the angels, -as First, It is their duty. Not even the brightest angel but is subordinate to God, and therefore must act and move as he appoints. “This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel, and I knew not that they were the cherubim.” The cherubim are glorious angels, of great wisdom, strength and agility; and yet they are subservient to the Lord, and therefore are said to be “ under the God of Israel.” Surely those words of the Psalmist, “ they do his pleasure,” contain the very image of true obedience. They minister not at their own pleasure, but at God's; now what is God's pleasure but the saint's welfare ? “He hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” The angels who know this, stand not upon terms with God. All that they do is to hearken to the voice of his word; and then fly.
“ Then did the cherubim, lift up their wings and the wheels beside them.” A certain divine makes the following remarks on these words. “ All things are under the God of Israel. He hath the pre-eminence. He is above wheels, and angels are under him, and at his disposal. If he give out the word, the cherubim move, lift up their wings, and order the wheels. If he say, “ go and minister upon the saints,” presently they go, as it is their duty. It is their delight to attend the saints. They know that the saints fill up the vacancy occasioned by the fallen angels; and when they meet, oh the joy that will be betwixt them!”
In the mean time, it is their desire and delight to attend their partners in heavenly joy; for they are acquainted with God's desire and purpose to save them—they know what Christ has done and suffered for them. The “mystery of godliness ” is
seen of angels ;” and is so seen, that they take great delight in beholding it, as a new and everinteresting object. They “ look into it,” says St. Peter,—their whole spirits are taken up with it, as if it were the most blessed sight that they could ever behold. And as they are so ravished at the work of our redemption, how should they but with delight, attend the redeemed ones of Jesus Christ; although they are, in some respects, of a nature superior to ours, coming nearest to God of all created beings, and having kept their cloth of gold unstained six thousand years.
O the purity, glory, sanctity and excellence of the angels! Man in his greatest honor, and advanced to his highest pinnacle of happiness, is yet in many things below them.
“Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels;" and yet it is no indignity to them thus to attend the saints; for herein they are fellow-workers with God and Christ. “ My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Father is beneficent in preserving saints, and I work by the same power. At first I created, and still I preserve. Now if God and Christ thus work and wait, well may the angels be workers with them. It was St. Paul's honour that he wrought
-Му together with God: “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also.” Servants of God, such as men and angels, cannot but look on it as their glory to be employed in the same work with their Sovereign Lord. If Christ himself came “not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” the angels may
well think it an honor to imitate him, and to minister also.
And is there care in heaven ? and is there love
That blessed angels he sends to and fro,
“ How oft do they their silver bowers leave,
To come to succour us, that succour want !
And all for love, and nothing for reward: