Page images

Tranflation, Singing of Pfalms did not carry the fame Idea with it, that the Frequency of the Exercife and Want of Skill in ParifhClerks, fince the Reformation, have impreffed on the Performance of that Part of our Service. It is juftly fufpected that Athanafius was the Author of thefe Questions, and his Intention in this Definition was to mislead Men in their Notions about Angels, who are always reprefented as Warriors, and not, that I find, ever employed to fing in Chorus, or to join in any Mufic but what is martial, as when it is faid all the Sons of God fhouted, &c. as Armies do on the Appearance of defeating the Adverfary. And to add to what I obferved before on this Head, I take leave to cite the Words of the very learned Paraus, in his Commentary onRevelations, as tranflated by Elias Arnold, C. xii. p. 266: "The Captain and Army fighting on one Side were Michael and his Angels, on the other the Dragon and his Angels; as the Dragon is Satan, fo Mi"chaelis Chrift. Daniel alfo brings in Chrift, "under the Name of Michael, c. 11, 12.



Michael, the great Prince, fhall ftand up for the Children of his People.-By Death, "Michael overcame, and, rifing again, he bruifed the Dragon's Head, and, being "lift up to the Throne of his Father, he triumphed over all Principalities and Pow"ers. The Mystery of our Salvation is "shadowed under the Type of this Battle."




[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Thus far Paraus. And, to fupport his Opi-
nion that Michael and Chrift mean the fame
Perfon, he there anfwers an Objection:
"But how are the Angels joined with Michael
"in the Fight? feeing Chrift alone bath trod-
"den the Wine-Prefs, &c. and overcame the


Dragon." To which he answers, very judiciously, and with that Simplicity peculiar to Men of deep Learning, "This is to "be referred to the Decency of the Vision "for a Captain doth not use to fight with"out an Army; and tho' Chrift fought the "Battle Hand in Hand (as it were) with


Satan, yet left he Occafion of combating "unto his Angels, that fo they might not "ftand ftill, and be Lookers-on only. The

Angels of Michael were the Apoftles; fo alfo "the Dragon hath his Angels, which are "his Heads and his Horns." Ibid.

[ocr errors]

It is the Opinion of * Rupertus, Haymo,
Venerable Bede, and others, that the strong
Angel, mentioned in the Revelations, c. 7, is
Chrift; but I prefer the Opinion of Ribera,
who will have it one of the five emiffary
Angels, c. 5, 6, which to me seemeth
plainly to be Gabriel, as he is called the strong
Angel by way of Eminence; And their
Opinion is not be endured, who will have it
to mean the Prophet Hofea, with Alcefar in
his Investigations, and others; and the

*Vid. Expofitiones Ruperti, 7. 4.



Reason they affign for calling him a strong Angel, (viz.) that he cried with a strong Voice, would tempt one to think they were befide themselves, as we see the strongest Men have oftentimes weak Voices, & è contra.

III. Before I leave Paraus, whofe Simplicity can never be enough admired, I must add a fubfequent Paffage relating to the Dragon, p. 267. "Andreas hath a Touch of "the myftical Senfe of this Victory of Michael, and the Downfal of the Dragon. And, that we should not believe him to be a natural Dragon, he fets him forth by "his Name and Surname; whence we may "know both his Difpofition, and who he



is. His Name is Diabolos, a Calumniator, "and his Surname Satan, which, in the "Hebrew, fignifieth to refift:" Which, by the Way, ferves to fhew how ill-grounded the Affertion is of Dr. Sh — -ck against Chubb, who fays, the Devil had no Name before the Flood, when it is plain he had both a Prænomen and a Cognomen. But he goes on, "With his Lyes he feduced our Mother "Eve, with Impostures he caufed the old "World to be drowned, and has alfo been "the first Inventor of Herefies."

Brightman understands this Victory quite in another Senfe, (ibid. in Parao) and will have Michael to be Conftantine, and the Dragon Maxentius; but this is trifling, for then Conftantine must drive the Dragon out of Heaven,


[ocr errors]

Heaven, which is abfurd to imagine, he being, tho' a victorious Prince, not likely to do it by his Prayers, and the Arm of Flesh must have been ineffectual.

The learned For befius, in his Theological Inftructions, p. 36, mentions Chrift, upon the Authority of primitive Writers, as the Angel of the great Council, and the Dispenser of God's Favours, and the Performer of fuch Works as he commanded: Nam per Filium dat ea quo dantur, neque eft quicquam quod non per Filium Pater operatur. And the Patriarch Jacob, in bleffing Ephraim and Menafah, fpeaks after this Manner, the God who preferved me from my Youth up until now, and the ANGEL who delivered me from all Evils, give a Bleffing to thefe Lads. I tranflate it from the Chaldee Paraphraft: But the Inference of Forbefius is wrong, as you may read it in the Margin *, where he concludes they must be one, from very weak Reasons, in my Opinion; as it is obvious, the very disjoining them in the Invocation. fhews he understood the first to will, and

* Non aliquem Angelorum creatorum, et qui naturâ Angeli erant, copulavit cum Deo Creatore, neque, omiffo nutritio fuo Deo, ab Angelo benedictionem nepotibus fuis poftulavit; fed cum diferte dixerit, qui liberavit me ex omnibus malis, oftendit, non ex creatis Angelis aliquem, fed verbum Dei fuiffe, quem Patri confociavit. Hunc enim magni confilii Patris Angelum dici noverat, nec alium nifi illum ipfum expreffit, qui benedicit et liberat ex malis quem Angelum nominavit, quia folus hic eft qui Patrem revelat. lbid.

or de mida piy

D 2


[ocr errors]

the fecond to perform his Will. Nor does
Ribera's Expofition of the Revelations, c.
22, v. 16, illuftrate or give any Satisfaction
in the Point. His Argument is this: In the
firft Chapter of Revelations, Jefus is faid to
be Lord of the Angels, and to reveal to his
Servants what should shortly come to pass. In
v. 6, of this Chapter, he fays, the Lord
God of the Holy Prophets fent his Angel, and
v. 16, I fefus have fent my Angel; by which
copulative Expreffion he fignifies to us, that
the fame who was Lord of the Prophets
was Jefus the Giver of that Revelation. I
allow the Word xa is in the King of
France's Copy, but apprehend it is rather
disjunctive than copulative in that Place. And
Ribera was no great Critic in the Greek Lan-
guage, or a good Judge of the Oeconomy
of the Chriftian Revelation, or else he
would not have miftaken John the Baptift,
the Præcurfor of Chrift, for John the Divine,
who penned the Book of Revelations, and
from thence infer, that, because John was
greater than the Prophets, the Lord of that
John must be as great as the Lord of the
Prophets. His Reafon, why John Baptist
was greater in Dignity than the Prophets, is
very ingenious, viz. that, in the Proceffion
of a Prince, they who march first are Per-
fons of least Note and Confideration, but rife
in Quality as they proceed, until the imme-
diate Preceder of the Prince's Perfon


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »