"GREATER IS HE THAT IS ON OUR PART."
--DANIEL 6:10-23.--OCTOBER 8.--
Golden Text:--"The angel of the Lord encampeth
round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
KING Darius of this lesson has not yet been located in profane history, consequently higher critics hold this as against the authenticity of the book of Daniel. However, it is but a short time since they denied the reality of Belshazzar of our last lesson: only recently his name was found on some of the monuments of that period. Doubtless the same will be true in regard to "Darius, the Mede." Our surmise is that he may have been Cyrus the Mede, and that the name Darius was merely an official title--as, for instance, in Germany Emperor William is called the kaiser, and in Russia Emperor Nicholas is styled the czar. Similarly, Cyrus may at times have been called Darius, just as subsequently in history we read of Darius Hystaspes; or, since the Medo-Persian empire with the addition of Babylon was now large, possibly Darius may have been vicegerent of Cyrus in Babylon. At all events we will stick to the Scriptural account, confidently expecting that sooner or later its truthfulness will be demonstrated.
When the Medo-Persian empire succeeded Babylonia as the world empire, and Daniel was found occupying a place of importance and high honor, his qualifications were promptly recognized; and when the then civilized world was divided into one hundred and twenty provinces, with a governor over each, there was a court of three superior governors who had the charge of the whole as the king's representatives or ministers, and Daniel was the chief of these three. How wonderful this appears! How we must admire that element of candor and evident desire for good government which led the kings of Babylon and Medo-Persia to exalt to place and power those who were found competent and trustworthy! The same conditions were manifest in the case of Joseph in Egypt. Evidently the history of the world marks a contention between the good and the evil in the fallen race. There is a desire for that which is right and just and true in very many, but in opposition to this is the selfishness which overrules and overrides everything that is contrary to its interests, as we find illustrated in the lesson we are now considering. When the new conditions of the Millennial age prevail we may have no reasonable doubt that the majority of mankind, cut off from conditions which now prompt to selfish invasions of the rights of others, will appreciate and enjoy the righteous conditions which will then prevail. As the [R3639 : page 296] Lord has declared respecting that time, "The Desire of all Nations shall come."
FOR ENVY THEY DELIVERED HIM.
Selfishness, a prominent trait of fallen humanity everywhere, is the basis of all graft, dishonesty, wherever it is found in every nation. Probably there is very little superiority of conscience in one part of the world over another; but in Europe and America the light of public criticism and the power of civil liberty combat fraud and dishonesty in public officials in a manner and to a degree unknown in eastern countries--in Turkey, Russia, China, etc. The standard of honesty is higher with us probably on this account. In oriental countries it is the custom for government officials to receive bribes, and to more or less pervert justice accordingly.
Daniel's high position in the empire was doubtless accorded him to a considerable extent because of his opposition to unjust practices and because he was esteemed by the king to be unimpeachable in his honesty. We can readily understand that his associates in the directory of the empire, as well as the governors of the various provinces, being hindered by him from pilfering and from disposing of valuable franchises and privileges to their own profit, would have no kindly feelings toward Daniel. On the contrary, they hated him, not so much because he was good, honest, just, faithful, for these qualities all men to some extent no doubt admire; but they hated him because he stood in the way of their schemes and projects and aggrandizement.
LOVE ENVIETH NOT.
Additionally they no doubt envied Daniel. He was not a Mede, he was not a Persian, he was not even a Chaldean; he was a Jew, a man whose very nation had withered and disappeared from amongst the nations. With him out of the way they would all have better opportunity for attaining their ambitions--not only would one of them get his higher position but all would profit by his fall. As he scrutinized all the affairs of the kingdom, and was permitted to call to account every failure of duty, they concluded that he must be humiliated: he must have weaknesses and faults also, he must be subject to bribery of some kind if it could only come to him from the right standpoint. They felt sure of this, judging him according to the standards of their own hearts. Their first endeavor was to corrupt him, to detect him in some dishonesty and thus to humiliate him. But they failed. Loyal to God, and doing all things as unto the Lord, they found no fault in him--nothing that they could bring against him as a real charge, a crime; but they still hated him--without cause--except that he was honest and sincere, true, and that the brightness of his character discredited theirs and put them to shame.
Thus it has always been, as the Lord expressed it-- "The darkness hateth the light." Thus bad men dislike the company of the pure in heart, as it continually condemns them; they do not feel the same freedom in the presence of those who are pure in heart. Thus the Lord again said--"Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but now ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hateth you." "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God." Daniel's enemies did not glorify God on his behalf at the time; nevertheless God was ultimately glorified by his course before the king and before the people. So it may be with us: for the time all things may seem to work unfavorably, but if we are faithful in letting our lights shine our Lord's promise will be fulfilled: "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday."--Psalm 37:5,6.
Envy and hatred are set down in the Word of God as works of the flesh and of the devil, antagonistic to everything that is good and right and approved of the Lord. These are amongst things which the Apostle assures us must be rooted out of our hearts if we would ever be of the Kingdom class. Many unconsciously use false measures when judging of righteousness and unrighteousness: many who would roundly condemn in unmeasured terms the thief and the seducer, pass lightly over envy and hatred in their own hearts. From the divine standpoint matters are different, for hateful and atrocious as the former crimes are, they are the results of sin working in the mortal body, while envy and hatred are sins more of the mind and indicate a perversity of will, which is a far more serious matter everyway than a perversity of the flesh. Thus the Scriptures tell us that God looketh upon the heart. It may be a new thought to some of the Lord's consecrated people, who have long harbored more or less of envy and hatred, that their condition is really more reprehensible in the sight of the Lord than that of some who, while better in heart, are in public prisons because of wickednesses of their flesh.
To discern this clearly means a proper sympathy with the poor world in general, the "groaning creation," and it will mean also prayer and fasting before God in an endeavor to purge out the old leaven of malice. We may be sure that envy and hatred cannot abide in the heart in which the Spirit of the Lord abides, for the two are opposites everyway--the Spirit of the Lord is the spirit of love, which thinketh no evil, is not envious, has not hatred. We would not say that a feeling of envy or hatred in the heart was a sure sign that the Lord's Spirit had already departed, but we could say with confidence that the two spirits are in antagonism, and that one or the other must conquer. There can be no peace, no progress in the spiritual life while the heart entertains envy, bitterness, hatred for others.
THE TRAP LAID FOR DANIEL.
Not successful in detecting wrong doing in Daniel his associates took the opposite turn and concluded to entrap him in his well doing. They had learned of his strength of character, and rightly concluded that he would not swerve from the course his conscience approved --and their plans were laid accordingly.
All the great kings of ancient times posed as gods, or, more properly, as the chief priests and vicegerents of their gods--just as the popes of Rome, each in succession, claim to be the vicegerents and representatives of Christ, Pontifex Maximus or chief priest. This same title, Pontifex Maximus, was held by the Roman emperors, and our lesson indicates that the same thought prevailed in connection with Darius--that he was "a very god on earth," as was said of Pope Martin. The conspiring princes knew well the weakness of humanity for praise and honor and homage. They affected a great reverence for the person of Darius and argued that it would have a salutary effect throughout the empire for all the people to recognize his office from the high religious [R3639 : page 297] standpoint--that he was the vicegerent and representative of the gods, and that homage and honor and loyal sentiments would be increased by a decree that all worship should be rendered to him personally for a month. The king, susceptible to flattery and to reasons of State, fell in with the proposition.
Flattery and vanity have been the tools of the Adversary for the injury of the Lord's people and cause many a time, and all who recognize this fact should be specially on guard accordingly. True, none of the Lord's consecrated ones are likely to be placed on a pinnacle of fame or of power as was Darius, nor are they likely to be offered literal worship; yet there are little worlds, little empires, so to speak, little circles of acquaintance, in which the same principles may more or less operate.
In every little group of the Lord's people there may
be one or more who, because of talents or other providential
circumstances, may properly have a prominent
place in the love and esteem of the company, and the
Word of the Lord indicates that this may not only be
reasonable but just. If they are faithful stewards they
should be loved and honored for their works' sake. But
it should be remembered that they are still brethren,
and that in no sense should they be given the honor or
reverence which belongs to the Lord only. No confederation
of Church or State can interfere with this principle,
that God should be recognized as in every way the Chief,
the one alone worthy of worship. The brothers and sisters
of the Church, while esteeming faithful leaders very
highly, should see to it that they do not flatter or puff
up or in any other manner excite the vanity and thus
lead to the undoing of those whom they may properly
appreciate as servants of the Lord and of his flock. Likewise
every leader in any capacity in the families of God
should be on guard against the insidious influences of
pride and fond desire and ambition, and against accepting
to himself the credit which is due to God for the
Truth and the knowledge of it and for some ability in
presenting it to others. Humility is undoubtedly one of
the most important of our lessons--those who in any
degree neglect it will surely find trouble as a result.
[R3640 : page 297]
THE PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN.
Public praying is much more common in the East than it is here. The Mohammedans are very numerous in all parts of the East, and at certain hours of the day, at the striking of the clock, all business is suspended and every Mohammedan engages for a moment in worship. Some fall on their knees, others stand with bowed heads and closed eyes, others stand with the face turned upward in prayer. The spirit of reverence appears to prevail more generally with them than with us, and the man who has no gods, no religion of any kind, is greatly disesteemed. It was, therefore, not at all contrary to usual custom that Daniel, who like others of the time was on the first floor, had an upper chamber for quiet and rest and prayer from the remainder of the house, and reached usually by an outside staircase.
This little pavilion had its windows to face toward Jerusalem, for the prophet remembered the words of the Lord through Jeremiah that, at the end of the seventy years of desolation, Israel would be brought thither again; and we may be sure that, trusting the great Abrahamic Oath-Bound Covenant, he was expecting great things eventually for his nation. It was his custom to go to this little room three times a day to kneel before the Lord in prayer and thankfulness. Ordinarily nothing would be thought of such a matter, but the conspiring princes, who had already noticed this, concluded that Daniel was so thoroughgoing, so truthful, so honest, so bold, that the decree which they got the king to sign, that all worship should be to him alone for thirty days, would not change Daniel's course one iota. They were quite correct in their surmises, and Daniel, hearing of the decree, undoubtedly understood that the purpose and object of it was to entrap him and cause him to be devoured by lions--thus to get rid of him, thus to put out his light, thus to free themselves from his surveillance and honesty, thus to secure to themselves liberty and prosperity in their program of graft.
Daniel continued to worship the Lord as before. He would not sell his conscience, he would not deny his God he would not pretend that he was praying to or worshipping Darius. Had the king's decree been of a different kind, Daniel's course might properly have been a different one. For instance, had the king decreed that none should worship in public or in the sight of others any other god, then Daniel might consistently have worshiped in private; but since all worship other than that of Darius was forbidden, the question was different and no compromise was possible. All of the Lord's people should be extremely careful about compromising the conscience. Our consciences may require education, because through the fall our judgments may be warped and twisted and need to be corrected; but conscience must be followed in any event. As the education comes in modifications may result, but no change or modification must be made that conscience will not approve; any other course than this would not be safe for the Lord's people to-day or at any time.
Another thought connected with this is the propriety and necessity for prayer. We have been surprised occasionally to hear of some professed follower of Christ urging the impropriety of prayer--that all of life should be a prayer, and that there should be no formal kneeling before the Lord in worship and thanksgiving. Such a proposition is astounding to us--the logic of it is incomprehensible. True, indeed, we are to pray without ceasing. Our entire lives are to be so devoted to the Lord and to his cause, and our minds are to be so filled with appreciation of his goodness, and our faith in him is to be so constant and so bright, that we will always have in mind his will in every matter, and thus be in the praying attitude of heart continually; but we hold that no Christian can maintain this heart attitude without going to the Lord in a more particular and formal manner, and preferably upon the knees, and if possible sometimes at least in solitude--"Enter into thy closet and pray to thy Father who is in secret."
Nothing in this, however, would interfere with the thought of family prayers, nor with the still further thought of prayers in the Church, which is the Lord's family circle. Our Lord gave his sanction to this, not only by going aside for private prayer but also at times by praying with and for the disciples. For instance, the prayer recorded in John 17and the words of the apostles commend praying in the Church, and even call attention to the propriety of praying in such a tone and voice as could be understood by the others present. Those who contend to the contrary, the Apostle intimates, are doing so about matters which they do not understand. However capable such may be they should be given no place [R3640 : page 298] of prominence in the gatherings of the Lord's people. First, let them learn before calling upon them to be leaders in the flock. The same principles apply to those who contend against the observance of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They should be kindly treated, for even our enemies should be kindly treated, but none should be selected as servants in the Lord's flock who have not a respect for and a knowledge of the faith once delivered to the saints, and a respect for all the institutions established by the Lord and his apostles.
THE KING WAS TROUBLED.
Shortly after the signing of the decree the princes reported Daniel as having violated its terms, and then and there the king's eyes were opened and he beheld the trap into which his vanity had gotten him. In accord with the theory that the king was the vicegerent of his god was the law of the Medo-Persian empire that every decree by its king was inviolable--unchangeable. No doubt there was a policy behind the establishment of such a law. No doubt the great men of the empire desired fixity, so that when the king had made a positive promise or decree respecting them he could not at the instance of another change the arrangement and thus subject his princes and counsellors to his caprice. The king was greatly displeased with himself that he had fallen into this trap, and was displeased undoubtedly with the princes who had entrapped him. The words "with himself" are lacking from some of the reliable manuscripts, which makes the displeasure all the broader to include his counsellors. He appreciated Daniel as a man of God and as an able servant of the empire, and set about at once to do everything in his power to annul his own decree--"he labored until the going down of the sun to deliver him," but he found no excuse.
Ordinarily, when the kings desired to be released from some decree, they called upon their wise men and magicians, who usually were skillful in suggesting a way out of the dilemma; but in this case it would appear that there was a combination of all the wise men and rulers of Babylon against Daniel. They now had him in their power, and would suggest nothing in the way of release. On the contrary, they held up before the king that he was bound by his decree and that he could not do otherwise than execute it, because a failure to do so would mean a dishonor to the empire in having broken its laws and would endanger his throne, etc. Perceiving the king's endeavor to rescind the decree, the counsellors called upon him in a body to impress the necessity for its execution. In compliance Daniel was cast into the den of lions. It was probably a lion pit surrounded by high walls, just as we have to-day in some parts bear pits. The entrance to this pit from certain protected enclosures was through a door, and there the lions were enclosed at night by a stone, which, pushed across the entrance to the pit, served as a door and was fastened. The king's sealing wax was placed upon this and also the seal of his counsellors, thus indicating that the pit might not be opened except with the consent of both the king and his counsellors.
What must have been the feelings of the aged prophet and ruler as he realized the condition of things, and as the king talked with him and told him of his inability to gain the consent of his counsellors to any change in the decree, and of his deep sorrow in connection with the execution of the sentence. How well Daniel had let his light shine is evidenced by the words of the king in this address--"Daniel, thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee." We may reasonably suppose, too, that a man so firm and strong in his faithfulness to the Lord and to principle could go to the lions' den without fear. Some one has said that one with God is a majority; the Prophet has said, "Greater is he who is on our part than all they that be with them." Although Daniel did not live under the favored conditions of this Gospel age and its influences of the holy Spirit, he did have what by the Lord's arrangement is common to all mankind, namely, strength and courage in proportion to his honesty of heart and faithfulness.
On the one hand he knew that God was able to deliver him from the lions if he chose to do so; on the other hand he knew that if the Lord permitted the lions to devour him he could give him strength and courage to endure the pain and trials, with other Jews who looked forward in hope and anticipation to the glorious Millennial time when Messiah should reign, when all of his faithful will be blessed, yea, when all the families of the earth will receive a blessing. Why should such a man have special fear or dread as respects a den of lions? Much more, why should we, if likewise faithful to our trusts and obligations to the extent of our ability, and if living in the enjoyment of our privileges and with the still greater light upon the divine plan--why should we fear or quake under such circumstances? God is able to deliver us from every evil, and has promised that whatever may come to us shall work for our good, because we love him and are called according to his purpose. It requires faith to pass through such an ordeal triumphantly, and it requires character and obedience behind that faith to give it strength; and above all it requires that behind the faith and the character shall be the realization that Christ is our sufficiency, that he not [R3641 : page 298] only has redeemed us with his precious blood but that he lives to succor us.
Bunyan, in his story of how Christian fled from the City of Destruction to Paradise, tells us how he was attacked in the way by two great lions, and how he trembled and expected to be destroyed, until ultimately he discovered that the lions were chained and could go so far and no farther against him, and that he had room to pass between. This allegory illustrates to us our own experiences in life as Christians. Lions great and small threaten the Lord's people in the present time, and, as in Daniel's case, the threats are generally with the view to turn us aside from duty and the service of the Lord. These are tests that come to us. If we yield to them we are proving that we are not of the overcoming class; if we stand faithful to the Lord they will demonstrate that he is able to carry us through all the trials and difficulties and diverse experiences of this present time.
"NO LION SHALL BE THERE."
The prophet Isaiah, pointing down to the grand Highway of Holiness which shall be open to the world during the Millennial age, the way of righteousness by which they may return to full harmony with the Lord and to full restitution and eternal life, declares respecting that way, "No lion shall be there nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon." Again at the same time it was declared, "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain [kingdom]." How glad we are, even [R3641 : page 299] while battling with the lions in the way, and while being threatened by them, and while overcoming the fear of those which would bring a snare upon us--how glad we are to know that in the coming age the world will not be subject to such oppositions, but rather will be helped upward and onward in the way of holiness. And how encouraging it is to know that our experiences with these lions in the way, these oppositions of the world, the flesh and the devil and science falsely so-called, are all testing and proving us to the intent that the Lord may use us by and by in the great work he purposes, the deliverance of the whole world from that great Adversary who goeth about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and how then he shall be bound for a thousand years that he shall deceive the nations no more.
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD DELIVERED HIM.
Evidently the more the king thought respecting Daniel and his God the more his faith in that direction increased. He spent a sleepless night, and arose early in the morning and went to the den of lions and cried in a voice full of sympathy and sorrow, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the lions?" And is it not true at the present time that those who are not of the consecrated class sometimes have a considerable faith in our God and in his protecting power, and in us as his children? It is well that we keep this in memory-- well that we recognize that our worldly friends are watching us to see to what extent our God delivers us from the difficulties and trials of life's pathway. We have known many instances where the strength and fortitude granted to the consecrated ones to endure trials and difficulties and hardships unmurmuringly has told the worldly friends, louder than any professions could tell them, of the power of our God and of the peace of God which passeth understanding, which rules in our hearts. Thus it should always be. The trials and difficulties of life shall not overwhelm us if we trust in the Lord. Our hearts may be joyful in him notwithstanding persecutions and difficulties. Thus the Philippian jailor perceived that the God of Paul and Silas was able to deliver them from being utterly cast down by their experiences when in the stocks suffering from the beatings they had recently received. Their songs in the night told that their God was able to deliver them.
Daniel promptly responded, and assured the king that God had sent his angel and had shut the lions' mouths that they had not harmed him. We are not to understand this to signify literally that an angel held each lion by the muzzle, but rather that God through the exercise of his power had restrained the wild beasts, who were hungry, and without such restraint would have devoured the helpless prophet. A thought that associates with this is the assurance of the Apostle that the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that are his and delivereth them, protects them--protects them not always from the threatening disaster but from any injurious or evil effects therefrom. As, for instance, in our Lord's case, and in the cases of many of his followers, no protection was assured against those who sought to take their lives, but the Lord did overrule so that their death under such conditions was a blessing not only to themselves but also in its influence upon the remainder of the Church.
It would be well for all of us to learn more and more this lesson of the Lord's ever-present power to help. But in order to have the blessing from such experiences faith must be there--not faith in ourselves, not faith in our own righteousness, but faith in God's love, faith in the great redemption price which that love has provided, and faith in the great promises which are still in reservation, waiting for accomplishment.
But the child of God who would have a perfect faith, a perfect trust in God and his promises, must needs remember that they are applicable only to a certain class, namely, to the sincere, the honest-hearted, who not only will to do right but who do the right to the extent of their ability and whose faith in Christ is counted for the robe of righteousness which covers their imperfections and blemishes. This was so in Daniel's case as he testified to the king that God preserved him because of his innocency, and he was able to appeal to the king also, that his course had been one that met the king's approval. Let us live in this attitude continually, in a condition in which our consciences are void of offense toward God and man--in a condition, therefore, in which we can hope for the blessings which God has promised to those who love him, who reverence him, who seek to do his will.
"THE KING WAS EXCEEDING GLAD."
The king's heart was rejoiced. He realized that he had been entrapped, and that those who had been at the foundation of his difficulty were not really worthy men, fit for the high positions of trust which they occupied, seeing that they were willing to destroy a fellow creature because of his adherence to the principles of righteousness --because he was better than themselves, because he was more faithful to the trusts imposed upon him. The king felt that he could not afford to lose one of Daniel's stamp of character. And this is true still: there are not enough men of the Daniel type, courageous, honest, truthful, innocent, capable. Yet if Daniel could occupy such a position, certainly all of the Lord's people of this Gospel age, still more highly favored, should be able to approximate the same standard, especially since our blessings are along the spiritual lines.
When Daniel was taken up from the den of lions his word was fully corroborated, no marks of violence from the beasts were manifest. The king, having strictly followed the law of his country, having been forced to this by his subordinate rulers and wise men, realized that now he was free from their control; and under the despotic form of government then in vogue he called for those who had been Daniel's accusers who had entrapped the king, and he commanded that they be put into the lions' den. He would thus make a test as to which were worthy in the sight of the Lord. Daniel's protection manifested the exercise of divine power in his behalf: let these others, if they would, call upon their gods and let them deliver them. There was no divine power to stop the mouths of the lions, and, hungered, they devoured those who were cast to them.
Thus the notable miracle pointed out the true God, and Daniel as his true servant, and no doubt an important lesson was taught to those acquainted with the circumstances. It is not for us to think of having our enemies devoured when we are delivered, it is not for us to rejoice over their fall. On the contrary, the Lord's people are to be self-content and to remember that the Lord has said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." Instead of having our enemies devoured we have the Apostle's word, [R3641 : page 300] "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst give him drink." Love and sympathy are to be our attitude toward all the world of mankind, including those who persecute us and say all manner of evil against us falsely, for his sake.
The punishment which came upon Daniel's adversaries was what the Scriptures designate a judgment, and we have the Scriptural assurance that when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth [when they are general] the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. When the Kingdom shall have been established and the reign of righteousness shall have begun every transgression shall receive a just recompense of reward, every sin will be punished and every endeavor for righteousness will be blessed and rewarded. How speedily the world will learn righteousness we may readily judge. In the present time, although probably the majority of people would prefer righteousness to sin and injustice, yet under present conditions, under the dominion of the prince of this world, the righteous are the ones who usually suffer and the evil doers very generally escape--hence a doubt prevails respecting God and any enforcement of justice. The assumption is that if one can escape the technicalities of the law and the clutches of the law's officers in the present life he is safe and need not fear divine interference. We may readily see then that when the Millennial age shall have been fully ushered in, and when just penalty will follow each transgression and reward follow every good deed, a world-wide reformation or conversion to righteousness will follow forthwith in every land, in every tongue. In that glorious time the righteous shall flourish and the evil [R3642 : page 300] doers shall have the stripes, and eventually if they continue to be evil doers shall be cut off in the second death.
There are indeed various illustrations in the world of transgressors suffering severely for their wrong doing. We are to remember, too, that with the nation of Israel God made a special covenant, under which transgressors were to be punished and well doing was to be rewarded-- much after the manner that shall prevail during the Millennial age. But we have no such assurances as respects this Gospel age and as respects the Lord's consecrated people. We are to remember, on the contrary, that many of the Lord's people have suffered as transgressors. For instance, our Redeemer himself was crucified as a blasphemer and injurious person, and against one of the apostles the mob cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth!" The Apostle himself says that they were counted as the filth and offscouring of the earth, and our Lord said that we must not marvel if such be our experiences; that we should on the contrary remember that the Master of the house had been called Beelzebub, and that his true followers might be spoken of similarly in an evil manner.
We are waiting, therefore, with patience for the glorious day of Immanuel's reign, the reign of righteousness, when justice shall be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet. In the meantime we are to brave the oppositions of the world as did Daniel, as did Christ, as did the apostles, faithfully, courageously, persistently --even unto death. The principle which we recognize has been recognized also amongst worldly people, as Shakespeare says:--
"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow,
Thou shalt not escape calumny."
"That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect;
For slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
So thou be good slander doth yet approve
Thy worth the greater."
IN THE WILDERNESS.
Be still, and murmur not, poor heart,
When God shall lead thee to "a desert place,"
And bid thee dwell apart.
If ravens in the wilderness
Did feed the servant of the Lord, will He
For thee, His child, do less?
Nor fear, sad heart, its loneliness,--
Hath He not said, "I never will forsake
Nor leave thee comfortless!"
Have faith, thy Master may design
To fit thee thus for Kingdom work and bliss,--
And wilt thou then repine?
Be patient, let His will be done;
Be calm, be strong, that He may finish there
The work He hath begun.
"A little while," He soon will come,
And say to thee, "It is enough, my child,
My faithful one, come home!" G. W. S.