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that fought against Satan, obtained the Name of Michael, which, in the Hebrew, signifies, who is as God; in that he suppresses the Arrogancy of Lucifer, who went about to make himself in some Sense equal with God.
Q. What is supposed to be the Contest about the Body of Moses?
A. Some think the Controversy was about reedifying the Temple, and restoring the Service of God among the Jews at Jerusalem, and that this, in a figurative Sense, may as fitly be styled the Body of
Mofes, as the Christian Church, or assembling of Jude v. g. Christians for the Service of Christ, is called the
Body of Christ; and for Proof of this is urged, that
the Passage of St. Jude is cited from the Prophecy Zach. iii. of Zachariah, where this Matter is treated of.
Others take the Body of Mofes in a literal Sense, and are of the Opinion that St. Michael, by the Order of God, hid the Body of Moses after his Death, and that the Devil endeavoured to discover it, as a fit Means to entice the People to Idolatry by a superstitious Worship of his Reliets.
Q. What is particularly observable in the Manner of St. Michael's Contest with the Devil ?
A. That notwithstanding he might have said a great deal of Evil justly of him, yet he would not
use any reproachful Words, any Bitterness or ExeJude v.9. cration against him, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Q. What should this teach us?
A. It should make all Men, but especially those who are as Angels of God in the Church, alhamed and afraid, particularly in Controversies of Religion, to use railing and injurious Reflections; Ance luch opprobrious Language neither becomes the Nature of their Office, nor their Character as Christians.
Q. What is meant by the Word Angel?
A. In a general Sense it signifies no more than a Messenger, or Embassador employed upon another's Errand; but in Scripture, and in common Way of speaking, it is taken for a celestial Spirit, a divine Sort of a Messenger made and employed by and under God.
Q. What Proof is there of the Existence of Angels?
A. The general Consent and Tradition of Mankind concerning it, and their Ministry about us ; confirmed by the clear and express Testimony of Scripture, which gives us an Account of their appearing to the Patriarchs and holy Men of old. Q. Are Angels pure Spirits?
A. It is the most current Opinion of the Chris: tian Church, and seems most agreeable to Scripture, that Angels are pure Spirits, without any Thing that is material and corporeal belonging to them; but yet so that they have a Power to assume thin and airy Bodies, and can, when they please, appear in human Shape, as they are frequently in Scripture said to have done.
Q. Have not some kind of Bodies been attributed to Angels?
A. Not only the ancient Philosophers, but some of the Primitive Fathers were of this Opinion, and they made them to consist of the purest and finest Matter, which they call Æ!hereal; grounding this Conjecture upon a pious Belief, that it is the peculiar Excellency and Prerogative of the divine Nature, to be a pure and simple Spirit, wholly separate from Matter.
Q. What are the Properties of good Angels ?
A. They are said in Scripture to excel in Strength, Psal. ciii. to be endowed with great Knowledge and Wisdom, to be eminent for Purity and Holiness, whence the xiv. 17. Title is given them of the holy Angels. Besides, Mat. xxv. they are represented as full of. Wings, to denote 31. the great Activity and Swiftness of their Motions. Z
Luke is 13, 31: Lakcii. 10.
And their office consists in constantly attending
great and glorious King of Heaven and Earth, expecting his Commands, and ready to execute his Will.
Q. Wherein confifts the Ministry of good Angels? A. In declaring, upon Occafion, the Mind and Will of Cbrijt to his Church; for thus most of the divine Messages were conveyed to the Propbets; and there are frequent Instances of it in the New Testament; as in the Case of St. John Baptist's
Birth, the tlefjed Virgin's Conception, our Saviour's Psal
. xci. Birth and Resurrection. In guarding and defendGen. xix. ing us from outward Dangers, and from the Fury
of evil Spirits, either by removing such evil Ac-
A. There was a common Opinion among the Heathens, and a confiant Tradition among the fews, that every Man, at least every good Man, had a Guardian Angel appointed him by God, to take a 1pecial Care of him and his Concerns, both Spiritual and Temporal; and we find the best Men among the fous did at least believe the common Minijlry of good Angels about good Men, and their
more especial Care of particular Persons, upon parViv. 40. ticular and great Occasions, as is plain in Abrabam Pl. xxxiv. and David. And this Tradition of the Jews seems
to be confirmed and approved by our Saviour, in that Caution he gives us, Not 10 despise one of ihrje
7, 9, 11,
limle Ones, because in Heaven their Angels always bee bold the Face of bis Father; and the first Christians seemed to be of the same Mind, when, being told that Peter was at the Door, they said it was his Acts xii. Angel, thinking that he himself was fast in Prison; 15. for which Saying there could be no Reason, had there not been a current Opinion among them of Guardian Angels : And their
being sent forth 10 mi- Heb. i. 14. nifier 10 them tbat. fall be Heirs of Salvation, supposes them to be ready at Hand to do all good Offices to good Men.
Q. How are the good Angels farther employed about good Men
4. Being peculiarly present in the public Af- Cor. xi semblies of God's Worihip, they assist good Men in the Discharge of their religious Offices: And at the Hour of Death they stand by them in that great Conflict, and convey their separated Spirits into the Mansions of the Blessed; which is confirmed by our Saviour, when he tells us upon Lazarus's Death, that be was carried by Angels into Luke xvi. Abraham's Bosom. Besides, at the Day of Judgment they shall be great Instruments of the Resurrection of their Bodies, and the Re-union of them Matt. xiii. to their Souls; as our blessed Saviour declares in 39, 49. St. Mattbew.
Q. W berein doth the Ministry of bad Angels confif?
A. In trying and cxercising the Righteous, as lobi, and was the Case of Job, and the Church of Smyrna ; Rev. ii. in punishing the Wicked, as was the Case of Saul 10. and Ahab, and in executing Vengeance on them in xvi. 14. another World. They set themselves in opposition Kings to the Glory of God, and the Salvation of Man- s. kind; though they are restrained in the Exercise of their Power ; beyond which they cannot exert it without divine Permission.
9. Col. ii.
Q. If good Angels are appointed by God to be mis nistring Spirits, and are so ready to help us, ought we not to worship them?
A. We may reasonably conclude, from the Nature of their Employment, that we ought not to worship them, fince they minister to us; and in this seems to lie the Force of the Angel's Reasoning in the Revelations, where he forbids St. John
to worship him, because he was his Fellow-Servant. Rev. xxii. Besides, it is severely reproved by St. Paul; Let
no Man deceive you in a voluntary Humility, and worShipping of Angels, not holding the Head. The Scripture directing us to the Mediation only of one Mediator between God and Man, viz: the Man Christ Jefus. r.
Q. Why do we celebrate this Festival ?
A. To express our Thankfulness to God for those many eminent Advantages that the Christian Church has obtained, by the Ministry of the Holy Angels, over the Power and Malice of the Devil and those mischievous Instruments he has employed to destroy it.
Q. What Instructions doth the Fidelity and Zeal of St. Michael offer to the Governors of the Church, who are Angels of God.
A. That it is not enough to discharge their Duty by living well themselves, but that, besides the Care of their own Conduct, they are obliged to watch over the Conduct of others; and with Bold. ness and Courage to oppose all profane Contemners of Religion, those Rebels that are at Defiance with God, be their Quality and Power never so great and terrible.
0. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival ?
A. To adore the Wisdom and Goodness of God, in appointing such excellent and glorious Beings to minister to our Salvation; and to be thankful to