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§ 2. Their State.

As to the state of the angels, it is clearly taught that they were all originally holy. It is also plainly to be inferred from the statements of the Bible that they were subjected to a period of probation, and that some kept and some did not keep their first estate. Those who maintained their integrity are represented as confirmed in a state of holiness and glory. This condition, although one of complete security, is one of perfect liberty; for the most absolute freedom in action is, according to the Bible, consistent with absolute certainty as to the character of that action. These holy angels are evidently not all of the same rank. This appears from the terms by which they are designated; terms which imply diversity of order and authority. Some are princes, others potentates, others rulers of the world. Beyond this the Scriptures reveal nothing, and the speculations of schoolmen and theologians as to the hierarchy of the angelic hosts, have neither authority nor value.

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