The Doctrine Respecting Angels -- By: Henry Boynton Smith

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:4 (Nov 1844)
Article: The Doctrine Respecting Angels
Author: Henry Boynton Smith


The Doctrine Respecting Angels

Rev. Henry Boynton Smith

[The full title of the work, from which the following Article is translated, reads, Lectures upon the Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Only two volumes have as yet appeared. The first edition of the first volume was issued in 182G; it reached a fourth edition in 1840. It is occupied with what the Germans now comprehend under the title, Introduction to Doctrinal Theology; comprising discussions respecting the nature of religion, the relation of theology to philosophy, the general progress and history of theological science, and the sources of religious truth. The second volume, published in 1837, contains the Doctrine respecting God, in his independence, his relation to the world, and in his triune existence; together with the Angelology.

Dr. Twesten is the successor of Schleiermacher in the theological faculty of the Berlin University. As a theologian he professes to stand upon the basis of Schleiermacher’s principles, but, as is evident from this Article, his statements are mainly derived from Scripture, as interpreted in the standards and standard authors of the Lutheran church. Among the evangelical men of Germany he stands conspicuous for the ability with which he defends the substance of the old Lutheran Theology against the bold objections of rationalists, and the bold skepticism of some philosophers. His name, as a judicious and orthodox divine, is second to none of the living German authors.—TR.]

The doctrine respecting angels belongs among those which are not deduced from data given by the mere reason, but received on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, and then further, elucidated by inference and reflection.1 The bare analysis of our religious

consciousness would hardly lead us to this doctrine; but it would not therefore follow, that after it is given us by Scripture, it may not be found to have a high value in connection with our religious experience. We will, therefore, first endeavor to present it as it has been developed, in accordance with the Scriptures, in the doctrinal system of the church; and, then, we will investigate its importance in connection with religious experience, or its relation to the Christian conciousness. Under the former head, will be especially considered whatever has been thought important to be defined, respecting the idea and the nature of angelic beings, their relation to the divine will, or their moral condition; and their relation to us, or in general their offices and occupations.

The Nature Of Angels

The doctrinal definitions respecting the nature of the Angels may be compr...

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