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toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, 0 king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

14 Then the

14 Alas for a sovereign, when like king, when he heard these Darius, he is himself the wretched words, was sore displeased slave of evil counsellors ! with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, 0 king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

17 The object of these precautionary 17 And a stone was brought, measures was to render release, as and laid upon the mouth of far as human means were concerned, the den; and the king sealed impossible *. it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him : and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency

• The release was thus the more conspicuous, and proved the work to be not of man, but of God. So, the seal was fixed to the sepulchre of a greater than Daniel, but who shall bind the Lord of all power and might!

My God was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 23 Then was the

23 Art thou faithful!—thy conscience king exceeding glad for him, will tell thee-Then, thou also shalt and commanded that they be delivered in the day of thy trial. should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner 24 Thus the miracle was confirmed. of hurt was found upon him The lions, who had spared Danid, because he believedin his God. were yet so ravenous, that when his

enemies were thrown to them, they * And the king commanded,

were caught and mastered or ever and they brought those men they came to the bottom of the den. which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth ; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel : for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

This great God is thy God! in his presence thou now art ! O rejoice in him, and be faithful to him. Let Daniel's noble constancy be thine ; and who shall doubt that thou too shalt be saved ! “ Be thoualso, “ faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”- saith the Lord God of Daniel.

The twentieth Sunday after Trinity.

MORNING. Joel ü. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain : let all the inhabitants of the land tremble ; for the day of the Lord cometh, for

2 The prophet is foreshadowing the it is nigh at hand; ' a day of destruction of the land by armies of darkness and of gloominess, locusts -- bringing in their train, faa day of clouds and of thick mine, disease, and death. darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains : a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth 3 If the temporal judgments of God

battle array:

before them; and behind be so terrible that none can with

stand them, and so sure that none them a flame burneth : the land is as the garden of Eden increased, how will that certainty be

can escape, how will that terror be before them, and behind them rendered more manifest in the final a desolate wilderness; yea, judgment. and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in

6 This is a type of the last gathering * Before their of God's creatures, when dark shame face the people shall be much shall for ever cover the despisers of pained : all faces shall gather his word, and the opposers of his

will. blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path : and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city ; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the window like a thief. 10 The earth shall 10 Princes, and men of renown, quake before them; the hea- whose splendour now is like the sun vens shall tremble : the sun

in its brightness, shall be darkened ;

and the earth itself shall pass away. and the moon shall be dark,

11 No earthly trumpet shall then and the stars shall withdraw sound—but an angel voice, trumpettheir shining :

11 and the tongued, shall summon all to judg. LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word : for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who

12 If it were folly in Israel not to be can abide it? Therefore moved from a wicked course by the also now, saith the Lord, prospect of temporal calamities, how turn ye even to me with all shall our folly be characterised, if we your heart, and with fasting, in the prospect of eternal judgment.

each turn not from our wickedness and with weeping, and with

13 O the blessing of a contrite heart! mourning : * and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent- 14 Perhaps he may spare somewhat eth him of the evil. 14 Who of the produce of the land. knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him: even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD

God ? 15 Blow 15 What a glorious scene a whole

your

ment.

12

21 Fear

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the trumpet in Zion, sanctify people in supplication before their a fast, call a solemn assembly:

God. gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them : wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you com, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied there. with: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen : but I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath

21 Fear not! Only take heed that done great things.

the Lord be thy God. not, O land ; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field :- for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God : for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first fronth. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and 25 The devastation caused by these oil. * And I will restore to scourges of the Lord, He will in you the years that the locust mercy compensate. hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

And ye shall eat in plenty, 26 Nerer! no, not even before angels and be satisfied, and praise shall they be ashamed. (Matt. x. 32.) the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else : and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall 28 Thisforetels the universal spreadcome to pass afterward, that ing of the Gospel, and the full outI will pour out my spirit pouring of the gift of the Holy

Ghost. upon all flesh; and your

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sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned

31 The laws and ordinances of the into darkness, and the moon kingdom, together with their rulers, into blood, before the great shall first experience great and awful and the terrible day of the changes : as was the case in JeruLORD come.

And it shall salem, before its destruction. come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered : for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

EVENING, Micah vi. · Hear ye now what the 1 God, in his works of nature, well LORD saith ; Arise, contend teaches us to honour Him as a God thou before the mountains, of grace. and let the hills hear thy voice. Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth : for the Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. O my

3 And does not the Lord now plead people, what have I done

with thee? Have his unbounded unto thee? and wherein have mercies in thy redemption through I wearied thee? testify against Christ, from a worse than Egyptian me. For I brought thee

bondage, wearied thee?

up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. So my people, remember

5 Did God turn the intended curses now what Balak king of of Balaam into blessings for his Moab consulted, and what people ? Remember-He is at hand Balaam the son of Beor an- to bless thee! to turn thy trials into swered him from Shittim unto blessings, and make even thine ene

mies to be at peace. Gilgal ; that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord. Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God ? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old ? will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with tens of thousands of rivers of oil ? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed

8 The characteristics of a Holy life thee, O man, what is good; – how nobly are they here set forth! and what doth the Lord re- A glorious spirit is his, who with all

8

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