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The Objects of Angelic Curiosity.

The Objects of Angelic Curiosity.

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Published by glennpease

" Which things the angels desire to look into." — 1 Peter i, 12.

" Which things the angels desire to look into." — 1 Peter i, 12.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 20, 2013
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THE OBJECTS OF AGELIC CURIOSITY.BY THOS. O. SUMMERS, D. D.," Which things the angels desire to look into." — 1 Peter i, 12.A strong desire to find out something unknown, either by researchor inquiry, is characteristic of a great mind. It is predicated by theapostle of the ancient prophets. Those wonderful men, influenced byDivine inspiration, uttered predictions concerning the mysteries of redemption, which were astounding to themselves as well as to others.A holy curiosity was excited in their minds, and they " inquired andsearched diligently " into the hidden meaning of their sublime an-nouncements. They endeavored to find out the nature of the salva-tion they predicted, and the time of its accomplishment. or werethey singular in this; the angels themselves evinced a similar curiosity.Indeed, they evince it still — they manifest a constant " desire to look into the mysterious things " of our salvation.There is a kind of curiosity which is contemptible. It consists ina pragmatical disposition of the mind, an incontinent inclination topry into matters, whether lofty or low, which are entirely beyond one'sprovince — a quest of information about things which do not concernus at all. Thousands who manifest no avidity in pursuit of " theknowledge fit for man to know," let no opportunity escape to approachthe tree of knowledge of good and evil, and pluck its forbidden fruit.Curiosity is laudable only when its objects are proper. The thingswhich the angels desire to look into are worthy of their highest andmost intense concern, as they combine novelty, grandeur, and impor-tance, on the largest scale.Let us first notice the novelty of these things :They are developments of Divine mercy and compassion.The angels had witnessed exhibitions of Divine power and wisdomm their own creation and in the creation of the universe at large — so140 THE OBJECTS OP AQELIC CURIOSITT.also of benevolence, of which, in a thousand modifications, they werethe happy subjects. These perfections of the Deity were variouslyand gloriously manifested in the origination, maintenance, and govern-ment of all the worlds that had been called into existence. And therehad been also a display of the severer attributes of the Divine Majes-ty. Angels had fallen from their pride of place. Whe7i they fell,
and how they fell, we know not. From an incidental expression of the apostle, we may suppose that pride or ambition was the sin whichoccasioned their overthrow. It could scarcely have been a meanercrime than that which has been poetically and paganizingly defined," the glorious fault of angels and of gods." Certain it is, they" kept not their tirst estate, but left their own habitation." Theyfell — self-tempted of course, and this perhaps was the reason that noredemption was provided for them. They were hurled at once fromthe battlements of heaven, shut up in the prison-house of hell, andbound with chains of darkness, as culprits under a terrible sentenceand waiting its execution. What a development of inexorable justiceand vindictive wrath ! This the holy angels witnessed ; but they hadnever witnessed any expression of mercy and compassion — the formerrequiring sin for its elicitation, and the latter connoting misery, neitherof which had any place in heaven or any relief in hell.But when, through the envy, malice, and subtlety of the devil, manhad fallen, the Divine benevolence received a new modification, de-veloping itself in forms adapted to the character and condition of lapsed humanity. The sin and misery of man drew forth the mercyand compassion of God. These lovely qualities of the Divine naturemingled harmoniously with all the other attributes of the Most High,and produced the plan of redemption, which is the mystery of theuniverse and the problem of eternity. o sooner did the mighty andmerciful design beam forth from the countenance of the Godhead,than angelic curiosity was excited to comprehend it.There was the gracious purpose of God — they were eager to unfoldit. There was the primordial promise — they reverently cast an inqui-sitive glance towards the Only-begotten of the Father, as if theywould know from himself whether it were possible that He should be-come the seed of the women to bruise the serpent's head. There was thestellar light of patriarchal revelations — through this medium theysought to penetrate the mystery in which the wonderful arrangementswere involved. There was the lunar light of the Mosaic dispensa-THE OBJECTS OP AGELIC CURIOSITY. 141tion — they strained their vision to avail themselves of its aid. And,finally, the solar light burst forth in its effulgence upon our world Jand, though dazzled with its splendor, they gazed with interest stillmore intense upon the wonders it revealed.It cannot be doubted, that, by the constant application of theirpowerful minds to the all-absorbing subject, they acquired considera-
ble knowledge of the principles, as well as the facts, constituting thegreat mystery of our redemption. The information thus gained, bears,however, but a small proportion to the wonders yet to be revealed,and serves to sharpen their appetite and increase their thirst forevangelical knowledge. They learned more of the Divine nature inwatching the openings of the scheme of redemption, than they couldhave learned in millions of ages through any other medium.•'Part of thy name divinely stands,On all thy creatures writ ;They show the labor of thy hands,Or impress of thy feet;But when we view thy strang-e designTo save rebellious worms,Where vengeance and compassion joinIn their divinest forms.Our thoughts are lost in reverent awe.We love and we adore ;The first archangel never sawSo much of God before."o wonder, therefore, that the angels are ever ready to leave theirancient seats, singing still, or suspending their songs, wending theirway to earth, the favored theatre of Divine mercy and compassion,impelled by an irrepressible desire to look into these unexampled andastounding things.Let us glance for a moment at their grandeur :Those developments of grace are made on a most magnificent scale.Look at the extensive preparatory arrangements of the gospel.These could not fail to attract the attention of the angels, who musthave seen, from the vast and towering scaffolding of the earlier dis-pensations, that an edifice of wonderful magnitude was to be erected.They would endeavor to penetrate the cloud which enveloped theancient economies, and to find out the character of coming events bya careful observation of the shadows which they cast before them.They saw something in the ancient ritual beside the imposing pageant.142 THE OBJECTS OF AGELIC CURIOSITY.

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