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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 princes, 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 a manner 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 offered 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 deBut 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
dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his spirit that dwelleth in you. Did the apostle separate the names Jesus, and Christ, and then speak of the resurrection of the same glorious being, first under one name, and then under the other, without having any thing in view in this mode of speaking? God is called by many names and Christ is called by many names. Why is it so unless these several names have their uses, conveying each, some idea, not to be found in the rest? Though we are told therefore, that the Lord himself shall descend, we may learn something more about him, by being informed that his voice shall be that of the Archangel. If from the change of terms we derive no advantage in considering the descent of the same glorious Lord; perhaps, the apostle did; and perhaps all do, who have a large share of the same faith which he possessed.
Fourth, What is the trump of God which is to be sounded when the Lord shall descend, and the Archangel's voice shall be heard? No visible, and material trumpet will be sounded. The language is figurative; but something will take place, of which the sounding of such a trumpet would be an apt similitude. Trumpets, by divine. appointment, were much used among the Jews, to direct their marches; and to collect their solemn assemblies; and they were blown by the priests over their burning sacrifices, especially at the solemn festivals. When the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, and called Moses up to meet him, the scene was most terrific; and in addition to the thunders, and the lightning, and the smoke which rose like the smoke of a furnace; the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder, and louder. But nothing that ever was, will bear to be compared with what is here called the trump of God. Other trumpets if made by the direction of God, were made by the hands of men; and men were employed in sounding them. Their sound though sufficient to answer the purpose for which it was intended, was a limited sound; extending over but a small surface; and heard by but a small number of people. The trump of God, will not only call to attention the inhabitants of the earth; the living, whether righteous or wicked; and the
devils, wherever they may be found carrying on their work of mischief; but it will sound distinctly, through all the gloomy regions of the dead; and awaken every particle of sleeping dust, whether on the land, or in the sea. Who can form any conception of that trump compared with whose blast, the loudest thunder is even less than a whisper; which will make not only the hills, and the mountains tremble, but the whole earth; and break the slumbers of all the dead, from Abel to the last lifeless body. When the omnipotent voice said, Lazarus come forth, he obeyed the order immediately, and took his place again among the living; and when the trump of God shall give the summons upon the day of the resurrection, he will rise to die no more; and with him will rise the great congregation of the dead.
Fifth, We are informed that the dead in Christ shall rise first; that is, before the living believers shall ascend to heaven. By these we are to understand departed belivers. They who are united to Christ, are frequently spoken of as dead, even while living in this world. It is a faithful saying; For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. St. Paul particularly describes his own case: For I was alive, without the law, once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God. Connecting himself with the Roman brethren, to whom he was writing, he says, Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also, should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together, in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Here the idea is extended: the persons are considered as not only dead but buried also; or in the situation of the seed when it is planted in the ground, and covered.
The meaning of this language is sufficiently obvious. Every one who is a subject of grace may be viewed as dead, because old things have passed away, and all things have become new with him, as really as if he had exchanged