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hereafter also, if ye will not own self-will —" then go ye” to your hearken unto me: but pol- idols.” lute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. #0 For in mine holy 40 Yet is there a gleam of brighter mountain, in the mountain days. The people will repent, and of the height of Israel, saith God will return ! the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled ; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your erils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Moreover the word of the LORD 16 Meaning Jerusalem. As indicame unto me, saying, “Son viduals are compared to a tree, so a of man, set thy face toward city is compared to a forest. the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south 47 Judea, which in its length was field, “? and say to the forest from north to south, lay south of of the south, Hear the word Babylon. The war of the Chaldeans of the LORD; Thus saith the
desolated the people as a fire would
lay low a forest ; and all had their Lord God; Behold, I will
share in the suffering, the green tree kindle a fire in thee, and it and the dry—the righteous and the shall devour every green tree wicked, the rich and the poor, young in thee, and every dry tree : and old together. the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it : it shall not be quenched. 19 Then said I, 49 Too often now the preachers of Ah Lord God! they say of the Gospel are scoffed ; and the true me, Doth he not speak para- and holy doctrines they declare, bles ?
mocked and derided ! We specially learn from this Scripture, to keep the Sabbath holy; to pray for what God willeth, if we wish God's blessing ; and to reverence the ministers of the Gospel, for their Master's sake.
day shall thy mouth be open- words be acknowledged clear and ed to him which is escaped. true. The sign will have its accomand thou shalt speak, and be and its ministry justified.
plishment; the word will be verified; no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
The nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. DANIEL ii. NEBUCHADNEZZAR the king Notwithstanding the image in the made an image of gold, whose dream which had warned him, how height was threescore cubits, soon Nebuchadnezzar forgot the God and the breadth thereof six whom he then acknowledged! cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up : and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, 0 people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, 0 king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, fute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image : and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews 2 These faithful servants of God whom thou hast set over the were delivered for envy. Their exaffairs of the province of Ba- altation to high offices of the state, bolon bylon, Shadrach, Meshach, Shadrach Meshach however well deserved, made them
objects of a mean and deadly hatred. and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee; they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image 13 The king thought that as he had which thou hast set up. promoted these men to their tem13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in poral advancement, their very conhis rage and fury commanded sciences were to be at his bidding *. to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what tirne ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut. psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and Worship the image which I have made ; well : but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands ? " Shadrach, 16 What a true courage ! They Meshach, and Abed-nego, would not forsake their God—they answered and said to the believed that he that loseth his life in king, O Nebuchadnezzar. the service of God here, shall find it we are not careful to answer
hereafter. (Matt. x. 39.) thee in this matter. 17 If it 7 How beautiful an instance of unbe 80, our God whom we rese Cod whom we reserved faith in the care and pro
vidence of the Almighty ! serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. " But 18 Let us take example from this unif not, be it known unto thee, compromising obedience to the comO king, that we will not serve mands of God; and go, and do likethy gods, nor worship the wise golden image which thou hast 9 No enemy so fierce, as a friend set up. 19 Then was Nebu- changed into a foe. chadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego : therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other
* The fear of God taketh away the fear of man. Therefore, a truly religious person, whetherin a high orlow station, never sacrifices his conscience, either in the hope of worldly advantage, or from fear of worldly injury.
garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore be- 22 Thus the miraculous preservation cause the king's command of the three was rendered more conment was urgent, and the spicuous. furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. And these three men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, 25 The form of the fourth was exO king. 25 He answered and ceeding glorious ; far above any said, Lo, I see four men human splendour. loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire." And 27 Would any cavil at this! Is it the princes, governor's, and then so strange that the Being who captains, and the king's coun- created the elements should control sellors, being gathered to them? Hath not the potter power gether, saw these men, upon over the clay. whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and A- 30 Thus under false accusation, and bed-nego, in the province of the cruel surmisings of the slanderer,
the persecuted christian must be Babylon.
firm in faith ; knowing, that in God's good time his innocence shall be clear as the day, for God will make his “darkness to be light." He, who is Almighty, can at any time, deliver 18-in due time, he will deliver us.
EVENING. DANIEL vi.
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom ; and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first : that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then 3 This event took place about forty this Daniel was preferred years after that recorded in the above the presidents and
and third chapter. Darius was now king,
and he had promoted Daniel to great princes, because an excellent
honour in his kingdom. This adspirit was in him; and the vancement of one, a stranger and a king thought to set him over captive, excited as usual the envy of the whole realm. Then the great men in the court of Ba
bylon. the presidents and princes
A blameless life is no security sought to find occasion against the shafts of envy, hatred, against Daniel concerning and malice ; but piety takes from the kingdom; but they could them their harm. find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any errors Happy thou, whose only offence or fault found in him. Then before men, is a strict fulfilment of said these men, We shall not thy duty towards God. find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him. King Darius, live for 7 These courtiers appealed to the ever. All the presidents kingly pride of Darius-hoping that of the kingdom, the go- by flattery they might blind him to vernors, and the princes, the their presumption in having them
selves framed the new decree. Its counsellors, and the captains,
avowed object was the king's honour. have consulted together to But it is then only well for sovereigns establish a royal statute, and or their people, when the decrees of to make a firm decree, that man have the sanction of the law of whosoever shall ask a petition God. of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, o king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel 10 Here is no braving of danger, knew that the writing was assumed for the occasion ! no foolish signed. he went into his courting of persecution ! Daniel
pursues his even tenor of religious house; and his windows duties, “as aforetime.” Habitual piety being open in his chamber is an unfailing source of courage.