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IV.

the angelology of the Hebrews was of heathen CHAP. parentage, is totally unconnected with the point at issue; for I feel no obligation to analyse the many wild conceits, which, in the dotage of the Hebrew nation, urged men to 'intrude into the things not seen,' and build their visionary systems of 'celestial hierarchies.' The questions fairly brought into the present investigation will relate, (1) to a distinction between higher and lower angels, i. e. the existence of orders or gradations in the spirit-world; and (2) to the specific number of intelligences who occupy the loftiest rank in these angelic orders.

Now that some distinction of the sort existed Early traces of angelic long before the Babylonish exile can be satisfactorily orders. evinced from the magnificent passage in the sixth

1 I cannot, for example, be expected to discuss the general question, opened more than once by Dr Donaldson, as to whether angels, in the Christian sense, are ever mentioned in the old (or ante-Babylonic) Scriptures. Dr Donaldson seems to be persuaded (Christ. Orthod. p. 348) that the received doctrine of good angels is somehow incompatible with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. He may well, on such hypothesis, be anxious to get rid of what he feels to be a horrible superstition; but surely the argument which he employs is equally fatal to belief in all intermediate agencies whatever; for example, in the institution of a Christian ministry, who, like the angels, act in God's behalf, and by authority derived from Him. All theories apart, I cannot help expressing my amazement how any person of average ability can study

the Old Testament without discover-
ing at every turn the flattest contra-
diction of Dr Donaldson's assertions.
Were the two angels, for example,
who had been despatched to Sodom
other than personal beings, acting
as the veritable messengers of the
Most High God Himself? They
say expressly, 'The Lord hath sent
us to destroy it' (Gen. xix. 13). Dean
Milman (Hist. of Christ. 1. 70, Lond.
1840), who also traces the systema
tising of Hebrew angelology to the
residence in Babylon, is notwith-
standing ready to admit that the
earliest books of the Old Testament
fully recognize the ministration of
angels.' It is, indeed, remarkable
that the only historical books of the
Old Testament where such allusions
do not appear, are exactly those
which were written after the Baby-
lonish captivity, -the books of Ezra
and Nehemiah.

IV.

CHAP. chapter of Isaiah. There the prophet's eye is riveted upon the glory of the six-winged seraphim, who constitute the 'angel-princes' of that early period, and as such are stationed foremost in the ministry of heaven; while one of them by issuing forth (vi. 6, 7) upon a message to Isaiah, and so offering proof of independent personality, enables us to answer the absurd objection that the primitive angels were but passive vehicles or manifestations of God Himself. The vision of Micaiah, in like manner, brings before us in still older times ‘the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left' (1 Kings xxii. 19-22). Nay, traces of angelic orders, such as meet us in the New Testament and later writings of the Old, are pointed out as early as the age of Moses and of Joshua; for the 'prince,' or captain of the Lord's host (Josh. v. 13-15) who then comes forward to conduct the family of God into the land of promise, has been held to correspond1 with the created angel (Exod. xxxiii. 2, 3), who replaced the glorious Angel of the Presence (Exod. xxiii. 20—23) in administering the Sinaitic dispensation, after Israel had most grievously offended in the matter of the calf. But be this as it may, the close affinity that exists

1 This subject also is discussed at considerable length by Dr Mill, as above, pp. 92-99. The rival theory is, that the Angel in Josh. v. was none other than the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity,—identical, therefore, with the Angel of the Lord, in Exod. xxiii. 20-23, and other places: see Ode, Commentarius de Angelis, pp. 1032 sq. Traject,

between the language of

1739; who, with many modern critics, goes farther still, identifying Michael himself with the uncreated Word of God; while others add again to these supposed identifications by representing the Gabriel of the prophet Daniel as a reappearance of the created, or inferior, angel of Exod. xxxii. 34.

IV.

the book of Joshua and descriptions of the prince CHAP. of angels, who, as Michael, reappears for the protection of the Israelites in visions of the book of Daniel, may be fairly pleaded as a proof that the familiarity of the Hebrew Church with such conceptions is not due to her reputed intercourse with the Ormazd-religion.

pands and

It was easy to foresee that the amshaspands of Amshasthe Persian system' would be quoted as the nearest archangels. parallel to the archangels of the Holy Scriptures. Those beings, we have learned already, were six in number; or, including Ormazd himself, who also is invested on some rare occasions with the title of amshaspand, the whole number may be raised to seven3. We saw, moreover, that the probable origin of such specification must be sought in the primeval worship of the heavenly bodies, when the

1

e. g. the author of Christian Orthodoxy declares (p. 135) with reference to the Book of Daniel: 'In this book we find the celestial hierarchy of amshaspands fully recognised.' Other speculators of the same school have sought to bring the fervers of Persia into connexion with the 'guardian angels' both of Jews and Christians (see St Matth. xviii. 10; Acts xii. 72; and Dean Alford on the former passage); but the Persian ferver, where we are not forced to understand it of the spirit of the individual man, was rather the ideal prototype or archetype of some actual being: see above, p. 172, n. 3. With regard to the conception of angels, specially allotted to watch over the affairs of particular nations, Hengstenberg (Daniel, p. 140) affirms that no trace of it occurs in the Avesta, except that Bahman, the

first of the amshaspands, 'who stands
in about the same relation to Or-
mazd as Gabriel here does to the
angel of the Lord,' is called the
'protector of all animals' who are
there said to constitute his people
(Rhode, p. 323), while Ormazd him-
self is the patron of men. The ver-
sion of the LXX in Deut. xxxii. 8,
will perhaps bear witness to some
old tradition of the Jews with re-
spect to the allotting of particular
nations to particular angels: öre di-
εμέριζεν ὁ ὕψιστος ἔθνη, ὡς διέσπειρεν
υἱοὺς ̓Αδάμ, ἔστησεν ὅρια ἐθνῶν κατὰ
ἀριθμὸν ἀγγέλων Θεοῦ, where

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cf. Prof. Selwyn's Note Criticæ,
'Deuteron.' p. 65, Cantab. 1858.
2 Above, p. 169.

3 Rhode, p. 365; Mill, as before,
p. 59.

IV.

CHAP. shining multitude above were substituted by man's vain imagination for the Lord of hosts Himself: and as the influence of that ancient superstition was far from being peculiar to the Persians, the allusion to 'seven' principal objects of esteem and worship is continually recurring in all parts of heathendom1. It is, however, a mistake to argue that the later Hebrew people, and much less the Hebrew prophets of the exile, manifested any disNumber of position to deify the orbs of light. There is indeed archangels. one solitary passage in the book of Tobit, where the speaker, Raphael, describes himself as of the number of the 'seven holy angels who enter in before the glory of the Holy One' (xii. 15; cf. Rev. viii. 2); but, according to a different method of enumeration, the archangels of the Hebrew are more frequently reduced to four (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel), each presiding over one of the four armies of ministry who sing praises to the Holy and the Blessed. Still if we had higher reasons for accepting the account of Tobit as an illustration of the general state of knowledge on this subject at the period when he wrote, it would be running counter to the sacred usage, both of the Old and New Testament, to argue that the number

1 Above, pp. 52, 169, to which examples may be added the seven rishis of Hindustan, who, at least in the Puranic period, were represented as 'seven primeval personages, born of Brahma's mind, and presiding, under different forms, over each Manwantara.'

2 See the passage from the Pirke of Rabbi Eliezer (who, according to Fürst, Bibliotheca Judaica, I. 232,

flourished about A.D. 70), in Dr Mill's work, as before, p. 58, n. 10. Dr Donaldson (p. 136) breaks through this difficulty at once by urging that when the Jews limited the number of attendant spirits' to four, they did so 'probably from some confusion between the amshaspands and the seraphim of Isaiah on the one hand, and the four creatures of Ezekiel on the other'!

IV.

Scriptural

seven as there employed, contains the slightest CHAP. reference to the worship of celestial luminaries, or to any phase whatever of gentile superstition1. • use of 'Seven,' alike before and after the Captivity, had 'seven.' its own specific import for all members of the Hebrew Church. It was the signature of fulness, union, manifoldness, perfection; and therefore the 'seven spirits of God' in the Apocalypse (i. 4; iv. 5) are understood as pointing us directly to the diverse operations of the One all-gracious Spirit2; while the 'seven stars' are the 'angels of the seven churches,' and the 'seven candlesticks' a grand collective symbol of the whole Christian body (i. 20).

§ 4. Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body.

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attached to

trine in the

ment.

To foster a belief in the awakening of man's Importance body from the sleep of death, and in the final this docglorification of his whole humanity, was a primary New Testaobject in the teaching of St Paul and of apostles generally. In their view the redemption of the body' at the re-appearing of our Lord and Saviour, was the crowning-point in a succession of stupendous acts which dated from His own ineffable assumption of our weak and dying flesh. Yet writers are not wanting who assure us that the doctrine of the resurrection, so specifically and profoundly Christian, is a relic only of primeval barbarism which passed into the Hebrew creed, like others of the same description, at the period of the Babylonish exile3. Observing, it would seem, that

1 Cf. Bähr, Symbolik, 1. 189 sq. 2 Hengstenberg, Die Offenbarung des h. Johan. I. 91, 92, Berlin, 1849.

C. A. E. IV.

3

e. g.
Wegscheider does not blush
to affirm that this opinion unques-
tionably grew up 'e notionibus man-
14

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