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Why I am glad that I am not an angel...
I am glad I am not an angel.
Of course, doubtless it would be different; but still, it is better to be a man, as far as I am concerned.
You see, were I an angel, I should think it would be a considerable difficulty for me to envisage that such a being as man would exist.
It is not just that they are so profound in possibility, have such conspectus and conception, such freedoms and such opportunities: it is far more. WHILE they have all this, they draw breath several times PER MINUTE. Can you imagine (if an angel, I might well muse) such a being ? Why, if his profound thought were in the midst of its labours, he might forget to breathe, or be suffocated by fumes or murderer! Such a being as that ? Have they been manufactured ? Man ? He has a pump, and if this misses a few beats, it is a double difficulty: he does not know if it will miss a few more. His brain cells, like a concert piano, can decay, or be infected. The musician then stands by, muted...
It might be difficult to conceive this tripartite being, body, mind and spirit: if I were an angel. Man! Then, when and doubtless it would happen, this was surmounted, and one was just beginning to blame onself for having had too little imagination, and to believe that such a being as man could exist, there is more, and much worse.
COULD such a being be conceived! with all this, pride is one of his 'best' inventions. He CAN DO, this and that, make a civil world without even his maker being invited (or he acts as if he could!), make a happy and wise home with the absence of his programmer (or he imagines that he can), while even denying in childish fuming or unoriginal blindness, the author and originator of his spirit. Indeed, he can make war on God, in heart, in life, and even in schools, showing neither pity nor mercy to the inmates: as done so often by teachers attacking His word libellously, liberally and irrationally, with a mixture of ignorance and devilry. He can even have a Government which insists that teachers disparage the act of creation by which he exists, long finished, and never again seen. He can do even this! Then he dies in a moment and acts as if he lived for ever without the Judge! THIS ? MAN! COULD it exist ?
Now you see my advantage. NOT BEING AN ANGEL, but having my own personal body and ears and eyes, I do not have this problem at all. BEING A MAN, I can experimentally verify that such a being can exist, for I am one of them. It happens, just like that. I do not NEED to imagine such a trilogy, for lo, here I am, and I even see more like me! Further, I can see what is said, for my ears show me. It may be unbelievably ungrateful, but there it is : I can HEAR it.
Again, it is to the uttermost degree easy for
me to imagine an angel, for a straightforward or pure
spirit, such as I find myself to be, apart from my equipment for
activity in this current sphere, is readily imagined. Every moment, direct and
unalloyed, I experience this. Remove the encumbrances of flesh, the
specifications for a world in which that strange object, matter, is placed, and
there it is. An angel is very easy to imagine: it is like man but without the
limitations or opportunities, of material existence.
So it is easier this way. There is no danger of being too obtuse. As a man, I can most readily conceive an angel; as an angel, I might have immense trouble in believing man could be, unless I could actually see, touch and watch in person in situ!
Besides, angels can be good and bad too. As REDEEMED MAN, I could not ask for more. With Job, I can cry, "I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES!" and I am far better off than he, too,
He has indeed left with us, from the solid structure He has created by His atoning work, the adventure of faith and the opportunity for devotion; and this is most excellent.
Imagine if one COULD NOT give Him the devotion which is His due!
With all the most obvious reality of all, that of God, to be made obtuse, unable to worship the power and the wonder, the worker and the compiler, the inventor of serial time and the advocate of man in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ: that would make life imprisonment seem almost sweet by comparison. THIS, it would be life denudation, life denial, it would be
To worship HIM, it is like being asked to smell daffodils or watch a sunset. Think if the best and fairest (Psalm 45), the wonder of God in human form, COULD not or even SHOULD NOT be worshipped! This would be tragedy to make Lear, Macbeth and Hamlet look like happy children's books by comparison. But to be OBLIGATED to worship the one it would be spiritual madness not to worship, why this is splendid, admirable, excellent. Our affair here on earth is almost outrageously wonderful.
No wonder we read in Revelation, of angels
and elders alike singing,
"Blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever" ().
And then ? When His
return occurs, and His people go to their appointed place with Him who came
from His to provide for them (cf. John 14:1-6): then, no disembodied spirit,
but with body renewed, a "house
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Corinthians 4:16-5:5, I Cor.
15:1-3,51ff.), one goes on with the individuality and proximity to the Lord
combined, which is so blessed. To know God as an individual and to be with Him
and His people, at rest from test, it is benediction