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men stood by him.” These three men may doubtless be regarded as an emblem of the eternal Trinity, and they are so identified with the Lord God, as to authorize us in regarding them as his angels, as they are described in the summary of contents at the head of the chapter in which this event is recorded. And that they were actually clothed in the garb of mortals, at least as far as mortal


could discover, is evident from the account of the hospi. tality which Abraham extended towards them. This account is thus given in the eighteenth chapter of the book of Genesis: “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye

shall pass on; for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf, tender and good, and gave it unto a young man ; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat."

It may, likewise, be observed, that the prophets of the Old Testament, inasmuch as it was their business to proclaim the will of God to men, were likewise a species of angels. Though these were mortals like ourselves, and had their abode on the

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earth, their frequent intercourse with heaven compels us, to some extent, to identify them with those blessed spirits who actually resided there, and who only occasionally visited the earth. In corroboration of this remark, I shall recite the introduction of St. Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, in which the terms prophet and angel are so identified and so interwoven with each other by its inspired author, as to certify us of the close relationship, and the similarity of office which exists between the highest order of mortals and the sanctified spirits in heaven:

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high ; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son." Thus much it is evident that St. Paul spake concerning the prophets, whom he afterwards terms “angels,” who are described as inferior to Christ the Son of the Eternal. In the sequel, however, as far as the last verse but one in the chapter, it will appear that the comparison had no farther reference to the prophets, but to the angels, according to the ordinary acceptation of the term. St. Paul had already declared that our Lord was superior to the prophets, he continues to say that he was superior to a still higher order of beings: “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him ;" the explanation of which prophetic quotation is given by St. Luke, who says, that when an angel announced the birth of our Saviour to the Israelitish shepherds,“ suddenly there was with” him “a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” “ And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire: but unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool ? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ?”

Thus, brethren, do we perceive that the sanctified spirits in heaven, not only proclaim the will of God with authority, but that they likewise take a lively and affectionate interest in the affairs of men; and that, though at present a superior race, yet in the nature of their office are they closely identified with mortals; to wit, the prophets and other devout servants of the Most High. And such is clearly the notion entertained by our church, as is made clear

by the collect of this day, to which I beg to call your attention : “O Everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order; mercifully grant, that as thy holy angels alway do thee service in heaven, so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It has been already observed, that the day which is now at hand is particularly dedicated to the commemoration of St. Michael and all angels. The latter have already, to some extent, occupied our attention. In respect of the former, it is to be noted, that it is a mystical name, which clearly and evidently applies to the person of the Son of God. He is mentioned on more than one occasion in the book of Daniel. In this Sacred Book, in reference to the captive Israelites, he is described as Michael, “one of the chief princes," and again as “ Michael your prince.” And, in the last chapter of Daniel, certain occurrences are mentioned in connection with this name, which clearly and incontestibly shew that none other than the Messiah was meant. He is here described as Michael, the Great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” And the mention which is made of him in the Revelation of St. John is thus given: “ There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels; and prevailed not, neither was there

peace found any more in heaven. . And the great dragon

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was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven : Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.”

On the wonderful and affectionate love of the Redeemer for the hapless race of mortals, it is unnecessary to dwell at length on the present occasion, since seldom a day passes without its being brought afresh to the recollection of every devout Christian. It may not, however, so frequently occur, even to such an one, that in addition to the One Great Mediator and Intercessor, there are myriads of blessed spirits, saints in light, angels of Christ and of God, who in the midst of the perfection with which they are clothed, of the intense and inexpressible happiness which they enjoy, look down on this nether world with an affectionate regard, which never could be believed, unless the fact were certified in the word of God. Verily,” therefore, do I say unto you, brethren, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” And, in respect of the true disciples of the Redeemer, those “ little ones,” who with all humility and thankfulness, with a sincere faith in the promises of God in Christ, place their entire reliance on his mercy, while they endeavour to serve and obey him ; in respect of these, the Redeemer himself declares, that “ in hea

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