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regard of our persons, so it is universal in regard of our ways. “ He will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee," not in some, but“ in all thy ways.”
But is this all? No; “ They shall bear thee up in their hands," as every servant desires and loves to take up the young heir, or the young master into his arms, so the angels. It is a great matter, that the Lord promiseth to pitch his tents. “ And the angels of the Lord shall pitch their tents round about them that fear him;" but here is more; the angels shall not only pitch their tents, be their guard, but their nurses, to bear them up in their hands : but why?
“ That thou dash not thy foot against a stone.” When children begin to go, they are very apt to fall, and get many a knock; to stumble at every little stone. Now there are many stones of stumbling that are in our way, and we are very apt to fall and miscarry; but such is the goodness of God, the providence of God, the goodness of his providence, that as he hath provided his angels to be our guard, in opposition to all our foreign enemies; so he hath provided his angels to be our nurses, in opposition to all our weaknesses and infirmities, that we get no hurt, that we miscarry not in the least, “ That we dash not our foot against a stone." Oh! how tender is the Lord of his? In other Scriptures you know the Lord is said to keep his people as the apple of his eye: what is a man more tender of than the apple of his eye? and when doth the Lord keep his people as the apple of his eye, but when they are lowest and in the worst condition? In the xxxiind of Deuteronomy, verse 10th, “ He found him in a desert land, and in the waste and howling wilderness : he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.” When they came out of Egypt, and when they were in the howling wilderness, the Lord did keep his people then as the apple of his eye: and if you look into the iind of Zechariah, you shall find he did the same when they came out of Babylon, Zech. ii. 6. “ Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the North, deliver thyself, oh Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.” There were some that staid still behind, that were so wedded to their houses there they would not stir out of Babylon, some of the worst of them; concerning these, he says at the eighth verse, After the glory hath he sent me to the nations
verse) for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels," &c. their angels, and yet his angels; theirs in regard of profit, for they are sent forth for the good of the elect: but his in regard of authority, they are his servants, his ministers. So that I say still, though the angels have the management of this protection, yet God is the protector of his people: but yet I
say, though God be our great protector, and God doth not quit his hands of this protection; yet he hath betrusted the protection of the saints very much in the hands of the angels; and therefore they are called cherubims; and wherefore are they called cherubims ? Because they do hide and protect. Upon this acccount the king of Tyrus is called a cherub, in that place of Ezekiel, because of his hiding and protecting the people that were under him. And the angels have wings, not only for their swiftness, but for protection, the wing being for protection, as well as to fly with. So that I say, though God be the great protector of his people, yet that protection lies much on the hands of angels.
But what need God make use of angels to protect his people ? he is able to do it alone; and is it not for God's dishonour to make use of them for the protection of his people? No, it is for the honour of God, for the more honourable the servants are, the instruments are, that a king or prince doth use for the protecting of his people, the more honourable is that king or prince. Now the angels, they are honourable creatures; frequently they are called gods: “thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.” In the Hebrew it is “a little lower than the gods, worship him all ye gods, in the Hebrew) all ye angels." Well! but why are the angels called into this protection, into this nursery, into this eministry; God hath several creatures that he can use to protect and safe-guard his people; why are the angels in a special manner called into this work of protection of the saints ?
They are the fittest people in the world for this employment; fittest in regard of themselves, fittest in regard of the saints. They are fittest in regard of themselves, for, first, they are an exceeding strong and potent people: who more fit to look to, and care for the concernments of the saints and people of God, than those that are strong and potent? It is said of the angels in the ciiird Psalm, that they excel in
work, to attend and look to the concernments of the saints and people of God, as those that are faithful.
5. As they are an exceeding faithful people, so they are a people that are very loving to the saints and children of God, very loving; otherwise they were not fit to be their nurses : what is a nurse without love? They are loving to the saints. “Do it not, (said the angel unto John) I am thy fellow-servant;" do not give divine worship to me, I am thy fellow-servant; fellow-servants are loving to one another; they are fellow-servants with the saints. Are the saints and people of God members of Christ, and is Christ their head? so is Christ the Lord of angels; he is the Lord of angels, and they follow him. In Zech. i. 8, “I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom;" these myrtle trees in the bottom, are saints in a low condition ; “ And, behold, a man riding upon a red horse," this is Christ; “and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him there were red horses, speckled and white;" behind him ; mark who are these red horses, speckled and white, in the 9th verse, “ Then said I, O my Lord, what are these? and the angel that talked with me, said unto me, I will show thee what these be, and the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, these are they, whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.” These are the angels that stand behind Christ, that are the followers of Christ; they are his followers: the more union there is betwixt persons, the more they love; and as the union is, such is the love. If there be a natural union betwixt persons, their love will be natural; if their union be civil, political, their love will be political, civil; if the union be spiritual, ecclesiastical, the love is spiritual, ecclesiastical, more than natural. Now the union that is betwixt the angels and the saints, it is a church union. “Ye are come,” says the apostle, in Heb. xii. 22, "unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born :" so that they are of the same church, the general assembly and church of the first-born, and therefore they must needs be an exceeding loving people to the saints and people of God, and therefore a people fit for this em