10. To the first of these objections, the supporters of the legendary assumption we are examining oppose the explanation contained in the following passage of the Pastoral from which we have already quoted: – “Scripture and tradition give the name of ‘Heaven’ to the region in which the angels were placed at the moment of their creation. But this region was not the Heaven of Heavens, the Heaven of the Beatific Vision, in which God shows God’s true nature, face to face, to the elect, and in which the elect behold God without effort and without clouds; for, in that supreme abode, there is neither the danger nor the possibility of sinning; temptation and weakness are therein unknown; righteousness, joy, and peace reign there in absolute security; holiness and glory are native to that clime. Evidently, then, the angels were placed in another celestial region, a luminous and happy sphere, in which these noble creatures, so largely favored with divine communications, were to receive and to hold fast to the intimations of the Divine Will in the humility of faith, before being admitted to behold their full reality in the very essence of God.”
From this quotation it appears that the fallen angels belonged to a category of beings of a less elevated nature than the inhabitants of the supreme abode; that they were less perfect than these, and that they had not yet attained to the supreme degree of perfection in which faultiness is impossible. Granted; but, in that case the assumption we are examining is seen to involve a contradiction, for we are explicitly told, in the preceding quotations, that “God, had created them, in all respects, similar to the sublime spirits;” that, disseminated among all the orders of those glorious spirits and mingled with all their ranks, they were called to the same aim and the same destiny; that their Chief was the most beautiful of the archangels. But if the angels who fell were in all respects similar to the others, they could not have been of a nature inferior to those others; if they were mingled with all the ranks of the other spirits, they could not have been placed in any special region. Our objection, therefore, subsists in all its force.