Ye watchers and ye holy ones

Ye watchers and ye holy ones. Athelstan Riley* (1858-1945). Riley was the chairman of the committee for EH, and this hymn was written for that book. It draws upon Riley’s knowledge of early Christian writings about angels and the hierarchy of heaven. The chief source was a 6th-century treatise on the subject by an author known as the ‘Pseudo-Dionysius’ (because his work was at one time ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagite, converted by St Paul in Athens, Acts 17: 34). This work arranged the heavenly orders in threes, descending from central three of the Holy Trinity: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones/ Dominions, Virtues, Powers/ Principalities, Archangels, Angels. These appear in verse 1,...

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