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There came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me the holy Jerusalem. Having the glory of God: and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels.- Revelation xxi. 9,

&c. I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.- Revelation xxii. 8, 9.

I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.- Revelation xxii. 16.

“Things too wonderful for me.”Job xlii. 3.

EW words and reverent must suffice me to speak of angels: for by conscious experience what know I of creatures sinless and celestial ? Feet that stumble on earth fail to track them along their high places; eyes that slumber and sleep avail not to discern their unresting

jubilee. St. Gregory the Great has classified these most noble of God's creatures in nine orders, grouped three and three in a descending sequence :

Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones; Dominations, Principalities, Powers; Virtues, Archangels, Angels.

And as all things good are, each in its several degree, the mirror of that Essential Goodness which formed them, to the Seraphim is ascribed fervour of love, to the Cherubim illumination of knowledge ; the Seraphim as fires kindled at the Unkindled Fire, the Cherubim as lights lit from the Underived Light. So in the remaining orders are discernible types of the Archetype, partial reflections of the Allperfect; strength, beneficence, beauty, glory.

The word Angel, signifying Messenger, has been supposed to designate office rather than nature: thus Angels have been accounted the ordinary messengers of God's Will towards man, and Archangels the loftier agents of His occasional purposes.

Yet so mysterious is the whole subject that one may well acknowledge silence on such a theme to be more wisely eloquent than speech : for more than once we perceive not, or barely discern, whether the creature or the Creator is revealed to us.

St. Michael, whose name embodies that battle-cry of the elect, “Who is like God?” stands up not only as foremost champion when “there was war in heaven," but no less (as appears promised in the prophecy of Daniel) as champion of the Church in the latter days. The Archangel Gabriel, again; his name imports“ The Strength of God:” and aptly is he so designated who brought word to earth of that mighty putting forth of Divine Strength whereby God the Son, rejoicing as a giant to run His course, grappled with the strong man armed; and being stronger than he, took from him his armour wherein he trusted and divided his spoils. The Archangels are estimated as seven in number, and to each a name pregnant with meaning has been assigned: but as SS. Michael

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and Gabriel only are mentioned by name in the Bible, their glorious appellations and deeds are the most certainly made known to us. Yet let us add to their gracious fellowship the Archangel Raphael, whose example, recorded in the Apocryphal Book of Tobit, conveys to us a lesson of mercy; while his very name, meaning "the Healing of God," uplifts man's heart in thankfulness to Him Who only showeth mercy through all merciful creatures.

We cannot track the footprints of the elect Angels, without encountering traces of those fallen angels whom we name devils: who from being sons of light have made themselves children of darkness; who have made the light within them darkness; how great is that darkness !

Thus the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels enforces the same lesson as that of St. Matthias; on the one day two unnumbered hosts, on the other two individual souls, set before us life and death, blessing and cursing, light and darkness. As Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, the hosts of light and darkness keep awful guard on the threshold of our promised land : superhuman of stature, of date more ancient than ourselves, of strength excelling; these two companies by reason of their graduated orders assume to our eyes the figure as it were of two mountain cones; and the one kisses and is lost in the sunny atmosphere of heaven, while the other kicks and is held fast by the bottomless pit of hell.

Now of all which is, that which is made known unto us is undoubtedly made known for our profit. Let us not fail to love God all the more because He hath given His Angels charge concerning His own to keep them in all their ways; because the armies of heaven pitch their camp around the faithful when need arises; because blessed spirits minister to the heirs of salvation; because they rejoice over one sinner that repenteth :—for all this we know assuredly, whether or not with a multitude of pious souls we solace ourselves by the thought of one Angel guardian assigned to each baptized person.

Meanwhile and not far off the devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour: therefore it beseems us to be sober, vigilant, steadfast in the faith to resist him ; for them that are such he catcheth not nor scattereth, but fleeth from. Let us reap good even from his evil; let us learn wisdom from what we know and from what we know not, turning both into prayer. The precise origin of his fall is not revealed, therefore “ cleanse Thou me from my secret faults :" yet as pride is thought to have gone before his destruction, “keep Thy servant also from presumptuous sins." The possibility of such a plunge from good to evil might not have been compassed by us, but for the sure word of revelation; therefore noting betimes what may be the outcome of our own possibilities, “hold Thou me up and I shall be safe :- Set me as a seal upon Thy heart, as a seal upon Thine arm.” The devil is the adversary; we will labour to save souls from death,- the accuser; we will rejoice to hide the multitude of sins,-a liar and the father of lies; our yea shall be yea, and our nay nay, declaring the truth in love.

Thus (to recur to our former fancy) while Mount Gerizim brings us peace, the very mountain of cursing by becoming a stronghold of prayer shall minister to us righteousness; even as righteous Joshua set up an altar to God in Mount Ebal.

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The Jews have a saying that St. Michael flies with one wing, and St. Gabriel with two: quaintly expressing that the sword of the Lord is slow to smite, while His mercy speeds on its way.

The Mussulmans apply what seems the same thought differently for they ascribe eight gates to the Garden of Eden, but to hell no more than seven.

The greater the height, the more shattering the fall: the moon shall be turned into blood, but the sun into darkness.

When it seems (as sometimes through revulsion of feeling and urgency of Satan it may seem) that our yoke is uneasy and our burden unbearable, because our life is pared down and subdued and repressed to an intolerable level : and so in one moment every instinct of our whole self revolts against our lot, and we loathe this day of quietness and of sitting still, and writhe under a sudden sense of all we have irrecoverably foregone, of the right hand, or foot, or eye cast from us, of the haltingness and maimedness of our entrance (if enter we do at last) into life,- then the Seraphim of Isaiah's vision making music in our memory revive hope in our heart.

For at the sound of their mighty cry of full-flooding adoration, the very posts of the door moved and the house was filled with smoke. No lack there, nothing subdued there; no bridle, no curb, no self-sacrifice: outburst of sympathy, fulness of joy, pleasures for evermore, likeness that satisfieth; beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; things

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