"God planted the vineyard," [the shepherd] said. "That is, He created the people, and gave them over to His Son. And the Son appointed the angels to guard over them; and He Himself cleansed them of their sins, laboring much and undergoing much toil" -- Hermas, "The Shepherd" (ca A.D. 140/155).
"For they are ministering spirits, sent for service, for the sake of those who will inherit salvation" (Heb 1:14)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation,
no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
They come, God’s messengers of love, They come from realms of peace above, From homes of never-fading light, From blissful mansions ever bright. They come to watch around us here, To soothe our sorrow, calm our fear: Ye heavenly guides, speed not away, God willeth you with us to stay. But chiefly at its journey’s end ’ Tis yours the spirit to befriend, And whisper to the willing heart, ‘ O Christian soul, in peace depart.’ To us the zeal of angels give, With love to serve thee while we live; To us an angel-guard supply, When on the bed of death we lie. To God the Father, God the Son, And God the Spirit, Three in One, From all above and all below Let joyful praise unceasing flow.