Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel, a term which represents a theory prevalent from antiquity, that human beings are accompanied through life by a special supernatural being (sometimes termed their "attendant genius"), who watches over them for guidance and protection. Such has been thought to be the meaning of Socrates when he claimed a particular δαίμων as his spiritual counsellor. SEE DAEMON. Among Christian writers 'the theory has been thought to derive confirmation from the statement of our Saviour respecting children, that "in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Mt 18:10); and from the declaration that angels "are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb 1:14). A more cautious criticism, however, has usually held that these passages only indicate a special care of divine Providence over the young and believers; and the peculiar form of the doctrine referred to appears to savor rather of a pagan than an evangelical origin. Monographs are named in Walch, Bibliotheca Theologica, i, 178, and Volbeding, Index Programmatum, p. 116. SEE ANGEL.

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