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ever taken a deep interest in the work of redemption. Many thousands of angels are spoken of as present, when God appeared upon mount Sinai to give the law to Moses; but all the holy angels are to come with the Son of man, the Lord of angels, when he shall come upon the interesting occasion, we are now considering. How loud a shout must that be, which will be made with the united voices of an innumerable company of angelic beings!
The spirits of just men made perfect, all the saints who shall be at that time in heaven, gathered from all countries, and from every generation, will join in the shout; for they will feel infinitely interested in the descent of the Lord from heaven, as the consummation of their bliss will depend upon it. We are taught to expect a still greater revolution or manifestation of the glory of Christ, in the salvation in which his people are concerned, when he shall raise their bodies and unite their souls with them, and pass that sentence of approbation, which will be a public testimony of his everlasting love. Though there is no uneasiness in heaven therefore, we may conclude, that those who have so much in prospect, will exult to have the day come which will realize their expectations, and add so greatly and so essentially, to their enjoyments.
Another class of holy beings who shall join in this shout will be composed of those believers who will then be upon earth. There are always inducements enough to those who are in the exercise of faith, to wish for a removal from such a world as this; for as every year brings its own vegetation with it, so every year brings its own troubles with it, and every season, and every moment. But the days of millennial happiness are to be succeeded by days of uncommon wickedness, and opposition to the truth, and all who embrace it; so, that when the Lord shall come he will find his people in great difficulty, and of course greatly transported at his appearance, for he will appear for their redemption. If a deliverance from evils is viewed as a great favor, even by those who are to continue in an evil world, and in a condition which will expose them to evils again; what must their feelings be who see their Lord coming to grant them a complete and final deliverance from evils of every de
scription! They will join the loud shout began by the inhabitants of heaven; and make it much louder by the addition of all their voices.
This shout will be a mingled one, not only because it will unite the voice of different orders of holy beings; but because the wicked likewise, of every class will take a part in it. The devils inquired of Christ, when he was upon earth, whether he had come to torment them before the time. What they intended by the time of which they spoke, we may well understand, for we are informed that they are reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. When this interesting time shall actually arrive, and the Lord their judge shall actually appear, will not their horror and anguish be extreme; and will they not cry out, with the most doleful and vociferous lamentations! As the day of judgment will be a day of peculiar darkness and distress to those apostate angels who will then receive their sentence, so it will be also to all those wicked men whom they shall have drawn into their dungeon of despair; for it will greatly increase the evils of a condition altogether evil before. therefore be silent, and indifferent, spectators of a scene to them so infinitely interesting, and tremendous as this? Will not their cry be as loud as their strength will permit them to make it?
When the Lord shall descend, he will find a multitude of wicked people in this world, whom he will come upon by surprise, and disappoint in their expectations; disconcerting and bringing to an end, all their schemes of wickedness. Such an arrest, from the hands of that Almighty Being, to whom they must hasten to give an account of their conduct, must be productive of feelings unutterable, and of lamentations never before witnessed. It
may be thought by some persons, that the shout of which we have been speaking is nothing more than the acclamation of the angels, by whom the Lord will be accompanied; and it must be acknowledged, that shout is a term, which in its general acceptation carries in it an idea of joy, and exultation. But there can be no doubt, that saints, in heaven, and on earth, will join with the angels in
Can they their shout, for their interest in the affair will be much greater than that of the angels; and there can be as little doubt, that the devils, and wicked men; whether in hell, or upon earth, will feel an excitement which they will be unable to conceal, for woes will be clustering around them. That such will be the state of things seems evident from a passage in the Revelation of St. John. Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him; and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; even so, Amen.
It appears therefore, that many dolorous shrieks will be heard at the same time when angels and saints shall be singing their triumphant song of praise; and that a cry of distress may be called a shout, may be seen from the following words in the book of Lamentations. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old; He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out; he hath made my chain heavy; also when I cry, and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
Third, As mention is made of the voice of the Archangel, we may inquire who this Archangel is. Men sometimes speak of Archangels, but in the scriptures we no where find the term used in the plural. In some passages it evidently means Jesus Christ; and there is nothing which decides that it does not in every passage. If Jesus Christ is always intended, we can account for it, that the definite article is always employed, and the singular number; but upon any other supposition, this circumstance presents a great difficulty. As the scriptures were given to us, that we might read, compare, and as far as we are able, understand them, let us collect the different things that are said about the Archangel, that we may know how to think of him, and how to speak about him.
We will make our first quotation from Jude. Yet Michael, the arch angel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation; but said, The Lord rebuke thee. It may be thought, by some, that Peter in the following words refers to the same thing to which Jude refers; Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might,
bring not railing accusations against them before the Lord. If the same thing were referred to by the two apostles, we should conclude Michael to be a created angel; differing from other angels only in this, that his station is more dignified. But it will be seen, that Peter is not speaking of the devil, as Jude is, but of dignities, or rulers; and, that he says the angels bring not a railing accusation against them, though men are often so presumptuous as to speak evil of them,
Michael is a name which signifies, Who is like God? With what propriety could such a name be given to any one who is not God himself? When the Psalmist inquires, Who in the heavens can be compared unto the Lord; no one is at a loss for his meaning. An angel said to Daniel, But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but lo Michael, one of the chief prinees, came to help me. We should not be led from this passage alone, to consider Michael entitled to the highest possible honors. But the angel, in a farther communication, sets this matter in a clear light. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth; and there is none that holdeth with me in those things, but Michael your prince. Could Michael be called the prince of the Jewish nation, if he were nothing more than a created angel? He is spoken of again in the book of Daniel in the following manner, And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people. This must be Christ, for to no one beside will the words pertinently apply. Michael is spoken of in the Revelation of St. John in such
as to leave no doubt who he is. And there was war in heaven, Michael, and his angels fought against the dragon. Would the angels be represented as Michael's angels, if there were not an infinite difference between him and them? One angel cannot be the proprietor of the rest. Jude, in what he says about Michael the arch angel, uses language similar to that in a passage in Zechariah, and the prophet may be the interpreter of the apostle; and the apostle the interpreter of the prophet. The words of Zechariah are these. And he showed me Joshua the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord; and
satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto satan, The Lord rebuke thee O satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Michael said to satan, The Lord rebuke thee; and the Lord said to satan, The Lord rebuke thee. If we admit the distinction of persons in the Godhead, there is no difficulty in understanding these passages.
But if Michael is Christ, why should he fear to bring a railing accusation? Because it would have been improper, and inconsistent with his character. Compare this with a passage in the epistle to the Hebrews, which refers directly to Christ. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had ofiered up prayer and supplications, with strong crying, and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. Turn also to words of God himself, in the thirty second chapter of Deuteronomy. I said I would scatter them into corners; I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men.
Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy; lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely; and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord hath not done all this. It appears therefore, that there is a sense in which it may be said, that even the Lord is afraid. Of course, the fear which Michael had is nothing against the supposition, that Michael is but another name for Christ. Michael is the Archangel; the Archangel is the head, or Lord of angels; and Christ, in the various appearances which he made to the patriarchs appeared as an angel, the angel of the Lord.
Let us now return to the text; and inquire, whether St. Paul meant the same by the Archangel that St. Jude did; and that is meant by Michael where his name is mentioned. Some suppose that because the Lord is mentioned in this passage, he would not be called, immediately, by another name, and therefore, that the Archangel is some mighty created angel, who will accompany him in his descent. But why may he not be distinguished by two names here, as well as in this passage in the epistle to the Romans? But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the