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punishment of being thrown alive to the lions to
be torn in pieces by them ; of the three men who
would not dishonour God by bowing down before
an idol image, and would rather die an agonizing
death by fire than do what was wrong. All
these fill our minds with noble thoughts and
purposes. We feel what true religion can do for

M 3



1 66 The Work of the Prophets

us, and we learn, too, that what the prophets from
Amos onwards had been teaching the people had
not all been lost. The countrymen of the author
of the Book of Daniel were enduring the same
fiery trials that he describes for God and their
faith, and God sustained and delivered them, as
He delivered Daniel and his companions.

The second part of the Book of Daniel tells
us of visions concerning the future, which also
strengthen those for whom they were written.
The unknown writer is a true prophet in this,
that he has perfect faith in God's ordering of all
human affairs. He sees that all nations are
subject to Him, and looks forward confidently
to the time when His faithful people will be
delivered from their heathen aggressors, and able
to serve Him in freedom. In the picture we see
Daniel looking up and seeing in a vision an angel
holding a globe, surmounted by a cross, in his
hand. This is symbolic of the truth that in the
future the kingdom shall be the Lord's. At the
feet of the prophet we can see some terrible beasts,
and these are thought to be the heathen nations




DANIEL



Daniel the Righteous 167

whom Daniel in his vision saw overcome by God's
power.

In the ninth chapter we read a most beautiful
prayer of Daniel's, in which he recalls the past
history of the nation down to the time of the
captivity. Daniel recognized that the people had
sinned against God, and had thus brought their
troubles upon themselves.

" Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets,
which spake in Thy Name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
and to all the people of the land."

And then he goes on, in words which are familiar
to us from our Morning Service

" To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though
we have rebelled against Him : neither have we obeyed the voice of
the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us, by
His servants the prophets."

You should carefully read the whole prayer.
It is full of true repentance and trust in God's
righteousness and mercy. Daniel reminds God,
as it were, of His own character, and of all that
He had shown Himself to be. The prayer is an



1 68 The Work of the Prophets

example of true communion with God, and ends
with the words

" O Lord, hear ; O Lord, forgive j O Lord, hearken and do ;
defer not ; for Thine own sake, O My God, because Thy city and
Thy people are called by Thy Name."

We will not consider the Visions in detail, as
they are not easy to understand, only you should
take note of one or two verses which are of special
importance in this last book of our prophets. In
the twelfth chapter, the angel who is revealing the
future to Daniel speaks very clearly of the resur-
rection from the dead, and adds

" They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firma-
ment ; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever
and ever."

These are beautiful words with which to end
our readings from the prophets. " They that
be wise " may be translated " the teachers," and
both descriptions apply to " the goodly fellowship
of the Prophets." To these wise teachers, "who
in the times past spake as they were moved by the
Holy Ghost," indeed belongs the everlasting glory



Daniel the Righteous 169

of having turned many to righteousness. Look
back upon the roll of their names. Amos, the
blunt countryman ; Hosea, the loving husband ;
Micah, the courageous ; Isaiah, the statesman ;
Nahum, with his song of triumph ; Zephaniah and
his solemn dirge ; Habukkuk on his watchtower ;
Jeremiah, the steadfast ; Obadiah, the indignant ;
Ezekiel, the exile ; the unnamed prophet of Israel's
Mission ; Haggai and Zechariah, the Temple
builders ; Malachi, the messenger ; Joel, the
prophet of Pentecost ; the author of the Book of
Jonah ; and Daniel, the brave and faithful. They
lived at different times in their nation's history,
their characters and circumstances were different,
their message came to them in different ways ; but
they were all alike in this, that they revealed to
men what God is, and what His Will for men is.
God is Righteous, God is Holy, God is Loving.
We learn this from the work of the prophets, and
we learn further that His Will for us is that we
too should be good, holy, and loving. Parts of
these books are difficult to understand, but much
seems to be written so clearly that " he may run



170 The Work of the Prophets

that readeth it." May we be among the number
of those who " read, mark, learn, and inwardly
digest" the precious teaching of the "holy
Prophets, which have been since the world
began."



THE END



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of South Shields.

AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH. By the Very Rev. J. B. STRONG,
D.D., Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

THE STUDY OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. By the Right
Rev. W. E. COLLINS, D.D., Bishop of Gibraltar.

CHURCH MUSIC. By A. MADELEY RICHARDSON, Mus.Doc., Organist
of St. Saviour's Collegiate Church, Southwark.

LAY WORK AND THE OFFICE OF READER. By the Right
Rev. HUYSHE YEATMAN-BIGGS, D.D., Lord Bishop of Southwark.

RELIGION AND SCIENCE: some Suggestions for the Study of the
Relations between them. By the Rev. P. N. WAGGETT, M.A. of the
Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cowley.

%* Other Volumes are in preparation.
A2



ro A SELECTION OF WORKS

Hatch. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE EARLY

CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. Being the Bampton Lectures for 1880.
By EDWIN HATCH, M.A., D.D., late Reader in Ecclesiastical History
in the University of Oxford. Svo. $s.

Holland. Works by the Rev. HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, M.A.
Canon and Precentor of St. Paul's.

GOD'S CITY AND THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM. Crown
Svo. y. 6d.

PLEAS AND CLAIMS FOR CHRIST. Crown Svo. y. 6d.
CREED AND CHARACTER : Sermons. Crown Svo. y. 6d.
ON BEHALF OF BELIEF. Sermons. Crown Svo. y. 6d.
CHRIST OR ECCLESIASTES. Sermons. Crown Svo. zs. 6d.
LOGIC AND LIFE, with other Sermons. Crown Svo. y. 6d.
GOOD FRIDAY. Being Addresses on the Seven Last Words. Small

SVO. 2S.

Hollings. Works by the Rev. G. S. HOLLINGS, Mission Priest of
the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cowley, Oxford.

THE HEAVENLY STAIR ; or, A Ladder of the Love of God for Sinners.
Crown Svo. y. 6d.

PORTA REGALIS ; or, Considerations on Prayer. Crown Svo. limp cloth,
is. 6d. net ; cloth boards, zs. net.

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE WISDOM OF GOD. Crown Svo. 41.

PARADOXES OF THE LOVE OF GOD, especially as they are seen in
the way of the Evangelical Counsels. Crown Svo. 45.

ONE BORN OF THE SPIRIT ; or, the Unification of our Life in God.
Crown Svo. y. 6d.

Hatchings. Works by the Yen. W. H. HUTCHINGS, M.A. Arch-
deacon of Cleveland, Canon of York, Rector of Kirby
Misperton, and Rural Dean of Malton.
SERMON SKETCHES from some of the Sunday Lessons throughout

the Church's Year. Vols. 1 and II. Crown Svo. 55. each.
THE LIFE OF PRAYER : a Course of Lectures delivered in All Saints'

Church, Margaret Street, during Lent. Crown Svo. 41. 6d.


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