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one before another, nor do any thing by partiality, or according to his own inclination as before God, and the Lord Jesus Chuist, aod the elect angels; intimating their pre. fence, and interest in our church affairs.' The angel of the Lord that defendeth the church, doth 'persecute and chase the wicked enemies. Pfal xxxv 5, 6. they convey departed fouls to blessedness, which is an ordinary work, Luke xvi 22. they are reapers that at the last shall bun. dle up the tares for burning, and shall sever the wicked from among the just, Mat, xiii. 39, 40. aod shall gather

the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven ! to the other,' Mat. xxiv. 31. And they are part of the fociety, to which we are brought by Christ, Hcb. xii. 22, and to whom we shall be made equal, Luke xx. 30. I shall not mention the extraordinary ministrations, as their promulgating of the laws, Acts vii. 53. Heb. xxii. 9. Their Thewing Joho his revelations, Rev. i. 2. And teaching Da. niel to understand Dan. viii. '16, 17 and ix. 21, 22, 23. Their.ministring to Christ, Mat. iv. u. And strengthning him Luke xxii. 43. with abundance more such in.. stances; it being, my businels only to prove their ministrasion in our ordinary concernments, which the fore-cited texts do evidently prove. And how many points are currently received, among us, that have not a quarter so much scriprure evidence as this? Did not greater business call me off, I should stay to improve some other argument, As,

2. From the contrary employment of the maligaapt spi. rits.'

3. From the suitableness of our supposition to all God's workings, who hath chosen to glorify his wisdom by doa ing things by {uitable instruments, and concatenated means; and to glorify his goodoess by taking his creatures into the work and bonour of doing good, in subordination to him; he could have eolightoed and eolivened us without the sun, but he would not. He calleth his ministers co-workers, with Christ, no marvel then if his ángels have such ho Qour.

These, and other arguments I must pretermit, and in the conclusion first lay dowo some excellcat consequents of



this doctrine; and secondly defend it again't the accusati ons of the contrary.

1. The doctrine of angels ministration acquainteth us. with much of the frame of those admirable means by which the providence of God doth work in the governing of the world, and the glorifying of his name. " If this be unknown, we shall be strange to the wonderful appearances of God's wisdom, and goodness, and power which will be much obscured by hiding so excellent a part of the effects. As in a watch, or any excellent engine, to know the parts in themselves is nothing, unless we know them in their re. fpects to other parts, and their place, and use, and office in the frame; So is it in this glorious part of the frame of creation and providence; to say the angels are excellent creatures, and made to glorify their creator, is but to express their nature and their common end, and not their special office and work, as they respect the whole society; and the single strings will make ao melody, but as they are tuned and touch'd in harmony."

2. This doctrine of angels miniftration acquainteth us with much of the unity of the whole family in heaven and earth: When all the parts are so harmoniously connexed in their respects and use. And it declareth the excellency of holy love, and humility and obedience, which these coble spirits exercise in their condescension to the weapest Christian at the command of God; and reproveth us that aré fo fcant in love, humility, and obedience, as to be Dackward to the service and benefit of each other.

3. It ferves to take off the inordinate desire of visible and extraordinary converse with angels; when it is under. ftood that they are appoioted to be ordinarily, and invisib: Jy serviceable to us, in a more safe and suitable way.

4. It very much helps our faith in the point of the immortality of the foul, and the like to come; when we understand, that there is a world of such nobler spirits employed about us, and therefore that we are not creatures se contemptible, as to be uncapable of another life: Aod that we Mall be made like angels, and have their communion in glory, when we have such communion with them in ibę flate of grace.

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i §. It shews the glory of our Redeemer, who ás head of the church doth use the ordinary service of such noble fpi. rits for the welfare of his body.

6. It is some relief to our weak and distanţ lapsed na. tures, that as we have a Mediator between us and the Fa. ther, so there are (though not mediators, yet) a glorified world of blessed spirits, possessors already of the happiness - we feek, and helpers to our salvation; so that in our meditations of the world to come, we may have some more low familiar thoughts that are necessary to our weakness, and are not amazed and deterred by looking only at the ia. finitely diftant majesty of God; and who knoweth not how great an encouragement familiarity is? and how much fa.. miliarity is assisted by proximity.

Object. 1. But it will draw down the mind from God.

Answ. Chrift's human nature also, and ministers and all creatures may be fo abuted; but of themselves they are helps to lead us to God.

Object. 2. This doctrine will introduce the worshipping of angels, and praying to them

Antw. We must not forbear declaring the excellency of angels, nor their confeffed extraordinary ministry for fear of such-abuse; therefore neither their ordinary miniftrati. op: nor muft we deny the ordioary use of the fun, left men idolize it, nor of ministers of the gospel that further our salvation, left men should worship them with thar which is not their due. The Holy Ghost hath exprelly warned us, that no man beguile us of our reward in a vo• • luntary humility, aod worshipping of angeis, intruding

in to those things which he hath not fien, vajaly puft up by his fleshly mind, and not holding ihe head,' C. Col. ii. 18. 19. and so hath cautioned us against this abole. And we must not deoy a great truth ip Chriftianity, for fear of giving occafion to popish misuse of it. : · Object. 3. It will fill the world again with a multitude of curious, vain enquiries about angels, which the schools abound in

Anfw. We must not shut our eyes against plain truths, left wanton wits Mould trouble the world with starting other queßions about yprevealed things: Vain quellious,

Z 4


I'gels, rememi emas tod; an de forge

are no where so perilous as concerning God bimself. And yet no knowlege is fo necessary as the knowlege of him.

Pardon, dear brother, that in baste I can give you but this short undigested script, instead of what you desire of me. I rest,

Your unworthy London, Nov.

Fellow Servant, · 29, 1661..

RICHARD BAXTER. Réverend, Sir, | Have perused your confiderations of the ministry of an. Igels, those pneumata leitourgika, as the apostle calls them. I remember Theophiladt speaking of this point calls it, Poile peri emas tou theou kedemoria, The exceeding goodness and care of God; and chargeth us, Me amelein tes toiautes diakonias, Nat to be forgettul of such a glorious service, which we have for our good from these blessed angels. In the acknowlegement of this truth (their blessed ministration for the good of God's elect) I find the concurrence of all; in the exemplification of it fully and par ticularly few or none; in the depravation and prostituting of it to idolatrous purposes more than many. Blessed be God, who hath given, as to this point, his spirit; and that light, and understanding, and an excellent wildóm is found in you, as was laid of Daniel; in as much that in this tract we find these blessed spirits, their service, with out diminution of their glory; their rule and power, with subordination to the Father of spirits; their ministry to man, without reluctancy and disdain; their respect and use from faints without superstitious adoration;' and in: deed the whole consideration of them, fò far as falls within the knowlege of men, pithily, plainly, powerfully, pa. thetically, practically, set before us. When the apostle Paul was wrapp'd up into the third heaven, he heard and faw glorious thiogs, but they were arreta remata a auk €xon anthropo lalesai, they were unspeakable; but he that giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowlege to them that know understanding, hath not only revealed these deep and fecret things, but given you utterance and power to express them. Sir, it was ever esteemed a sacred thing


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amongst the Jews, as is noted by Pavlus Fagius, to pre. serve the memory of any of their Rabbies, who had donc fome remarkable service for their law, with this resolution, Let their name be blessed. If the church in which we live, do not the like for this, and the rest of your divine discourses, yet you have a God in whom you trust, that will one day acknowlęge it, and these very angels themselves Thall testify your ample service done to them as instruments under the great Jehovah, and Lord of hosts. Let me op. ly wish you, that you smother not this light, nor veil su an advantage in confining it to the darkness of private use; for if any person do disgult, yet understanding persons will fay of this, and your other labours, as Alphonsus king of Arragon said of some learned perfoos, Hi mihi dapes, hi convive. The Lord sanctify this, and all other helps to our edification and building up in Christ, till we come to the heavenly Jerufalem, and the innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly, and the church of the firit born. '

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