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⚫ understand the orders of angels, and the different 'sorts of archangels, and hosts, and powers, and dominions, the magnificence of the æons, the su'pereminence of the cherubim and seraphim, the sublimity of the SPIRIT, the kingdom of the LORD, and above all, the incomparable majesty of Almighty GoD'.' Here we have Philo's theology drawn to the life, and on a most complete scale of subordination-the Spirit above the cherubim; next to the Spirit the Lord; and above all, # 01, Almighty God.
Of the same description is the elaborate system of ecclesiastical hierarchy, so long ascribed to the Areopagite, mentioned by St Paul. Nay, we ourselves are not wholly free of a tendency that way, while we still use the same language, "with angels, "and archangels," &c. Now, of angels we certainly do read in Scripture, be they who or what they will. But as to archangels, Scripture is wholly silent. We read, indeed, of one archangel, and only one, in the New Testament; and, from the many characters ascribed to him, he is thought, by learned writers not a few, to be no less a being than the Messiah himself: and who knows, but that archangel' may be a title, given him in the New Testament, to correspond with the title -the angel-Jehovah― the angel of the covenant,' 'the an'gel of the presence,' &c. so often to be met with
Ignat. ad Trall. p. 5.
in the Old Testament. Notwithstanding all this, which cannot have wholly escaped the observation of the learned, the doctrine of angels,' and even of archangels,' continues, with Philo's attestation attached, to be interwoven in all systems of Divinity, which have obtained repute. To particularize only one the system contained in "Dr Scott's Christian Life," (a work of standard merit, and amply recommended) includes many archangels, and as distinctly assigns them their several offices, as if the author had had chapter and verse, to which he could refer the reader. Nay, what is truly strange, the Doctor tells us, that there was "a certain EXTRAORDINARY ANGEL, who frequent
ly appeared, and spake to the Jewish Patriarchs, "and descended upon Mount Sinai, and from "thence removed into the tabernacle, and then "into the temple, and was God the Son."— Now, not to object to this title, God the Son,' on account of its being an expression not authorised by Scripture usage, during these appearances, I would only ask, Why this angel is called an extraordinary one? unless he be thus distinguished, for the purpose of implying that there was an ordinary class of angels, who, in general, were commissioned to appear? Dr Scott avows the implication; since he speaks of the mysterious wrestling' of the patriarch Jacob with a man, supposing him, as it seems, to
1 Scott's Christ. Life, part. II. ch. 7. § 8.
2 Gen. xxxii. 24.
"have been an ordinary angel," though the supposition has no probability to support it, and as little countenance from the sacred historian. Besides, to me it appears extremely odd, to call the person, who, in the character of angel, frequently appeared, and spake to the Jewish Patriarchs,' &c. an ⚫ extraordinary angel. But there may be a purpose to serve, by thus placing this extraordinary angel' first on the list, yet still on the list of ordinary angels; as we say, that such a person was, or is, an extraordinary man, not meaning thereby, that the person was not, or is not human.
As Dr Scott proceeds, he becomes fuller, and more explicit, in his description of the angelic office. For, in pointing out those whom he calls,
the ministers of the kingdom of Christ,' he ranks them thus, in a fourfold kind of order. "The first "and supreme minister, by which Christ rules his kingdom, is the Holy Ghost: The second, and "next to him are the angels of God: The third are princes and civil governors: The last are the bishops and pastors of the church'." Now, although I mean not here to object to that novel scheme of ranking princes, in the ministration of Christ's kingdom, before bishops, who have been generally considered as governors of the church, immediately under Christ; and who, for the space of 300 years, had no earthly prince above them in that
See Scott's Christ. Life, § X.
government, I must pause a little, for the purpose of enquiring, what idea we are to form of the Holy Ghost, from the learned Doctor's placing him in the above catalogue of the ministers of Christ's kingdom? Does it confirm our belief in him, as the object of our worship and adoration, that he is the first minister of the christian church? The apology which Dr Bull makes for some of the ancient Fathers, calling the Logos Ungens,' the minister of the Father; viz. that it was · κατ ̓ οικονομιαν, because of the assumed humanity, will not do here. In the case of the Holy Ghost,' there is no humanity assumed; nor will the œconomy of the divine covenant serve the Doctor's purpose. For he, and all such writers, speak of this covenant, as existing only between the Father and the Son; and in which the Holy Ghost is no party, further than what, in the following account of the person and quality of the Divine Spirit, the Doctor is pleased to make him: In the œconomy of the divine covenant, • the Son agrees with the Father, that in case he 'would be so far reconciled to rebellious mankind, 'as to grant them a covenant of mercy, and therein, among other blessings, to promise them his Holy Spirit, he himself would assume our nature-upon which agreement, the Father granted his Spirit to C mankind.' This degrading designation of the Spirit of Truth, Bishop Pearson expressly contradicts; for in the article, Of the Holy Ghost', he
I See his Exposition of the Creed.
When I speak of the office of the Holy Ghost, I do not understand any ministerial office or function, such as that of the created angels is, who are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for ' them who shall be heirs of salvation: For, I have ' already proved this Spirit to be a person properly divine, and, consequently, above all MINISTRATION.' Leaving however this strange diversity of sentiment to be accounted for, by the friends of the Doctor and the Bishop, I proceed to examine what ministry it is, which Dr Scott ascribes to those angels, whom he ranks next in order to the Holy Ghost; and that, without any such compliment paid to the latter, as the words of the poet furnish
"Proximus huic, longo sed proximus intervallo."
'One instance,' says the Doctor, of the ministry of angels in the kingdom of Christ is, their declaring, upon occasion, his mind, and will, to his church and prople-for thus most of these prophetic messages, which God, from time to time, 'sent to the world, were conveyed to the prophets
by the ministry of angels.' In like manner, does Witsius talk, in a whole chapter of his Miscellanies, which stands entitled, De Revelatione 'per Angelos'. But neither of these gentlemen, when they come to particularize, can produce an instance other than that of Daniel and of Zechariah, after the captivity, of prophetic messages having been
Miscel. Vol. I. 1. 1. cap. 6.