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that his sleep departed from him. Very long did that night appear, and in the morning he rose early, and went with haste to the lions' den, anxious to know whether Daniel was really dead. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel, and said, “O Daniel, thou 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. My God hath sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me;" then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found in him, because he believed in his God.

On the other hand, as a just punishment to those wicked men who would thus have murdered the blameless Daniel, they were brought by the king's command, and cast themselves into the lions' den ; but no protecting angel was near to preserve them; but immediately “the lions had the mastery over them, and brake all their bones in pieces.” Thus, as is generally the case, these wicked men fell into the snare which they had laid for another, and reaped the due reward of their evil deeds.

E. What a beautiful story, mamma! I have never heard one that I like better.

M. It is, my love, a most interesting story, and a very solemn one, too. I will point out to you several most important lessons to be learnt from it.

And first, let us observe, that wicked men are sure of punishment in the end. They may triumph for a time, but it is only for a time: to make their fall more


an evil world, and we carry about with us hearts inclined to evil. From these dangers God alone can save us. But then we must pray to him. If we pray to him in the name of Jesus Christ, and with sincere hearts, God will hear us, and give us his Holy Spirit to help us to become good, to preserye us from the pollution that is in the world. O then, my child, let us take great care that we do not allow our indolence, or our sins, or any of our employments, not even the best of them, to hinder us from praying to God. So shall he send us more and more of his Spirit's help, to make us delight in his blessed service, and to enable us to glorify him by our holy lives.



E. WHAT became of Daniel, mamma, after he was saved from the lions' den? Does the Bible tell us any more about him?

M. We do not hear much more of Daniel, excepting that he continued to live prosperously during the two years that Darius the Mede remained king, and after his death for a little while also under Cyrus the Persian. It is indeed supposed, and with good reason, that Daniel had a great deal to do with persuading Cyrus to restore the Jews once more to their native country, for now, you know, they were in captivity in Babylon, both Daniel and his countrymen. But God had said by his prophets, especially by the mouth of Jeremiah, that after seventy years the cap

tivity was to come to an end: nay, more than this, Cyrus had been mentioned by the prophet Isaiah, even by name, in these remarkable words, “ Thus saith the Lord of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even, say to Jerusalem, thou shalt be built; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have called thee by name, I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” And again, “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct him in all his ways; he shall build my city, and let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of Hosts."

Now Daniel, no doubt, was well acquainted with these prophecies, and thought of them with great interest; indeed, he tells us himself, that in the first year of Darius, he understood from the Scriptures, the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem; and feeling deeply for his country, which had lain so long under the displeasure of the Almighty, he besought the mercy of God upon his people by prayers and supplications, mourning before God for the sins which had brought such afflictions upon them, and humbling himself before him with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. And he prayed unto the Lord his God, and made his confession and said, “ O Lord God, the great and dreadful God, keeping mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, and have done wickedly; O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us shame and confusion

of face, as at this day, to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel that are near and afar off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee; therefore the curse is poured out upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. And now, O Lord, I beseech thee, let thine anger be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain, because Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach unto all that are about us. Now therefore, O Lord, hear the prayer of thy servant, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.”

Thus did the holy Daniel intercede for his country with God in humble and fervent prayer, nor is it likely that he kept from Cyrus, with whom he was in such great favour, all knowledge of those prophecies which concerned Jerusalem, especially of those wherein Cyrus himself was mentioned by name. Thus probably he had the satisfaction of thinking that partly by his interest with Cyrus, but still more by his earnest prayers to God, he was helping to bring about the happy event which he so ardently desired; the return of his countrymen from captivity, and the building again of their famous city and her glorious temple.

E. Then, mamma, did Daniel return again to Jerusalem? I hope he did, it would be such a happy thing for him after all his trials among those heathen

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