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THE ANGELS:

AN

INVESTIGATION OF WHAT IS TAUGHT IN

SCRIPTURE CONCERNING THEM.

BY THE

REV. DANIEL NIHILL, M. A.,

RECTOR OF FITZ, SALOP.

EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM WHYTE AND CO.,

LATE BOOKSELLERS TO QUEEN ADELAIDE.

LONDON : HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.

MDOCCLII.

lol.d.422.

EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY ANDREW JACK,

CLYDE STREET.

PREFACE.

The following Essay was written for the sole purpose of satisfying the inquiry of a venerable Christian friend, who desired to ascertain the Author's sentiments upon some of the questions of which it treats. It owes its publication to an opinion expressed by a few individuals to whom the manuscript was lent for perusal. To them it appeared that the subject was much out of the beaten path of Scriptural discussion, and yet one on which Revelation had often conveyed intelligence, more or less distinct, to this our lower world. And they conceived that, as it was presented under the advantage of an array of sacred texts which concern Angelic existence, it might, in the present shape, engage the attention of those who love to meditate on unseen realities,

THE ANGELS:

AN

INVESTIGATION OF WHAT IS TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE

CONCERNING THEM.

Our great poet Milton puts into the mouth of Adam the following beautiful passage:

“Nor think, though men were none,
That Heaven would want spectators, God want praise ;
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep;
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. How often, from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator! Oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number joined, their songs

Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.” Whether Milton derived his notions upon this subject from metaphysical speculation, from Rabbinical and Patristic lore, from Scriptural instruction, or from any other source familiar to his accomplished mind, or from the combined influence of some or all of these, cannot perhaps be exactly determined. In entering upon our present inquiry it may be proper for us, in the first place, to lay down a stricter and narrower

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