Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.…
O cannot fail to take hint of spirit ministry in material nature and in mortal life. By arbitrary habit of tradition we are given to conceive of lofty spirits, as absorbed in sacred exercises, and hold them to have no other function than that of teacher. We recognise no uses of their hands, if hands they have, or other members. They have been esteemed as the clergymen of heaven, the seers and sages of a spirit land, leading in worship and dealing only with the souls of men, and the moral interests of beings. Theologians have set them thus apart, as theologians like themselves, to abstractions and speculations of a grander grade. And in so setting them apart, have set them over upon the outer edges of the material realm, even as in a lower way they would set off and set apart the earthly ministries of men, to a sainthood that broaches not nor touches their secular affairs. It may surprise us, however, to discover that there is no warrant for this notion on the page of inspiration. Angels are there considered to be messengers, that often carry sublime and stately truths. But they are neither unskilled nor unemployed in natural processes. It might not be too much to say that they are its artisans and artists. The creative acts themselves are spoken of as commands. At the Christ coming, they were eager and alert.. In the Christ consummation they are neither to march in spectacle of mere parade, nor stand inactive as observers of the scene. Meantime, in every ransomed and resuscitated life they ate intrusted with material ministries. One period of human extremity, one pass of human flight there is at which no earthly means avail, even as means. All the same, God works by means, and everywhere employs instruments at hand. There is no life which is not replenished and refreshed by some other to a certain point — no human creature is left utterly alone in helplessness. Up to a certain pass of destiny it can scarcely be that any human being is left utterly alone, or goes unprovided with a means, a ministry which, if it may not deliver and must not restore, at least shall soothe and serve. But every human career arrives at a pitch when all this ceases, when it is not only rendered futile, but imperceptible and unreal. To one who has been tenderly cherished, and from infancy enclosed by assiduous care and delicate attention, not less than to one who has known hard times in his rugged self-support, or his lonely isolation — not less, but rather more. .Not less to one who has been beset by services, or encrowned with honour, reverence, and love, than to one who has led an Arab life of estrangement from all others. Not less, but rather more, to one who has been waited on and greeted, and decorated, and endeared, and jealously guarded from the elements, the world of chance and change. Not less, but more to such an one it comes to be at last, when human helpers falter and fall back, and all appliances alike are powerless. Then will the all-gracious Author of this workmanship leave His creature to be the prey of nature? You might as well allege that He will leave the globe itself to be the prey of its own forces, and explode in the concussion and convulsion of its own collisions, the dissolution of its subsistence, and the disintegration of its substance. You might as well imply that. the mother of a child will desert it coldly because it has lost its way, and lost its footing, and has fallen. But what aid can interpose? Instrumentally, what is the recourse? What agency can be employed? Who shall bear a message? Who shall breathe a whisper to the retreating spirit? the only touch that van be felt is the touch of kindred on the spirit, the voice of soul to soul. Consciousness opens on the gaze of eyes that are not made of flesh and blood. In that supreme experience there must hover round about the couch some band of those who shall be found as qualified as they are willing. God sends guards to welcome their brethren within His glory; to soothe the while the parting pangs. The hour of earth's failure is the hour of heaven's support. Let the nurse come in the room, Lord; let the nurse come in; let the nurse come now, before the undertaker. Thou who didst give us in the charge of Thy servants, upon the earth in infancy, give us in nobler trust to loftier care; and when the flesh faints and fails let us find the spirit welcome at the gate.
(H. S. Carpenter.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.