So, too, fire-worship, especially of the sacrificial flame; the preparation of the intoxicating soma, which fills man with divine strength and uplifts him to the gods; the injunction to good thoughts and good works, imposed on the pious by Veda and Avesta alike: the belief in an unwavering order (rta)a law controlling gods and men and dominating them all; yet with this, a belief in the power of magical formulae (mantra), exclamations and prayers, to whose compulsion not merely demons (the evil spirits of deception druh) but even the gods (daeva) must submit; and, lastly, the institution of a priesthood of fire-kindlers (athravan), who are at once the repositories of all sacral traditions and the mediators in all intercourse between earth and heaven.
They were unanimous in adopting the idea of a church in which all the members were priests under the Lord Jesus, the One High Priest and Ruler; the officers of which were not mediators between men and God, but preachers of One Mediator, Christ Jesus; not lords over God's heritage, but ensamples to the flock and ministers to render service.
Even the worship of angels, not only as mediators of revelation and visions, but also as cosmical beings, is a wellknown fact in late Judaism (Apoc. Bar.
The Areois enjoyed great privileges, and were considered as depositaries of knowledge and as mediators between God and man.
The holiness of Israel centres in the sanctuary, and round the sanctuary stand the priests, who alone can approach the most holy things without profanation, and who are the guardians of Israel's sanctity, partly by protecting the one meeting-place of God and man from profane contact, and partly as the mediators of the continual atoning rites by which breaches of holiness are expiated.