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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter XVII. Of the fact that two angels always cling to every man.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVII.

Of the fact that two angels always cling to every man.

For Holy Scripture bears witness that two angels, a good and a bad one, cling to each one of us. And of the good ones the Saviour says: “Do not despise one of these little ones; for I say unto you that their angels in heaven do always behold the face of thy Father which is in heaven:” 1545 and this also: “the angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him, and deliver them.” 1546 Moreover this also which is said in p. 382 the Acts of the Apostles, of Peter, that “it is his angel.” 1547 But of both sorts the book of the Shepherd teaches us very fully. 1548 But if we consider about him who attacked the blessed Job we shall clearly learn that it was he who always plotted against him but never could entice him to sin, and that therefore he asked for power from the Lord, as he was worsted not by his (Job’s) virtue but by the Lord’s protection which ever shielded him. Of Judas also it is said: “And let the devil stand at his right hand.” 1549



S. Matt. xviii. 10.


Psa. 34.8.


Acts xii. 15.


The reference is to the Pastor or Shepherd of Hermas, a work of the second century. The passage to which Cassian alludes is found in Book II. Commandm. vi.; where it is said that “there are two angels with a man, one of righteousness and the other of iniquity,” and suggestions are given how to recognize each of them and to distinguish the suggestions of the one from those of the other. The passage is also alluded to by Origen, De Principiis, Book III. c. ii. and Hom. xxxv. in (Lucam); and Cassian refers to it again in Conf. XIII. c. xii.


Psa. 109.6.

Next: Chapter XVIII. Of the degrees of wickedness which exist in hostile spirits, as shown in the case of two philosophers.

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