Matthew 18:10-11. See that ye despise not one of these little ones As if they were beneath your notice. Be careful to receive, and not to offend, the very weakest believer in Christ: for, as inconsiderable as some of these may appear to you, the very angels of God have a peculiar charge over them: even those of the highest order, who continually appear at the throne of the Most High. Jerome, and many others of the ancient fathers, considered this as an argument that each pious man has his particular guardian angel: but it may be justly questioned whether this is the meaning of the passage. It seems more probable the sense is, that the angels, who sometimes attend the little ones spoken of, at other times stand in God’s immediate presence; and consequently that different angels are at different times employed in this kind office. The general sense is plain: that the highest angels do not disdain, on proper occasions, to perform services of protection and friendship for the meanest Christian. And as all the angels are ministering spirits, sent forth occasionally, at least, to minister to the heirs of salvation, they may in general be properly called their angels. The expression, They behold the face of my Father, alludes to the custom of earthly courts, where the great men, those who are highest in office and favour, are most frequently in the prince’s palace and presence, and perhaps daily converse with him. The meaning, therefore, of the passage is, that the chief angels are employed in taking care of the saints; and our Lord’s reasoning is both strong and beautiful when on this account he cautions us against despising them. “O what men are they,” says Baxter, “that read and preach this, and yet not only despise them, but first ignorantly or maliciously slander them, and then by this justify their persecuting and destroying them.” But, “what a comfort to the meanest true Christian is it, that angels, who always see God’s face in glory, have charge of them!” For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost As if he had said, Another, and yet a stronger reason for your not despising them is, that I myself came into the world to save them: and I, who came to save them, will require it at your hands, if you wrong or persecute them, or hinder them in the way of their salvation.
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