Daniel 2:25
Arioch hastily brought Daniel before the king and said to him, "I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who will tell the king the interpretation."
The Dream FoundH.T. Robjohns Daniel 2:14-30
Needful Preparations to Receive Divine RevelationJ.D. Davies Daniel 2:25-30

Subjective conditions of mind are requisite for objective truth to enter. Common light cannot penetrate walls of stone or iron shutters. The electric force will only circulate along proper conductors. And if material forces demand suitable conditions in which to perform their active mission, so much more does the spiritual force of truth require that the hand of the recipient shall be sensitive, candid, impressible. Such was the gross, unspiritual state of some populations in Palestine, that even Jesus could not do his mighty works among them. Daniel proceeds to prepare the soil for the seed.

I. PREJUDICE MUST BE DISARMED. The anger of the king had been so greatly excited by the impotence and the imposture of his wise men, that Daniel perceived it best to forego his privilege of entering the monarch's presence at will. It was better to take the circuitous route of a formal introduction, as if he were a stranger. Hence the marshal of the court precedes the Hebrew prophet, secures the monarch's attention, and introduces Daniel, not as one of the royal college of sages, but simply as a Jewish captive. The former credulity of the king had given place to utter scepticism. So men's minds oscillate between the points of easy, groundless belief and obstinate prejudice. No vice so frequently assumes the air of respectable propriety as this vice of prejudice. It serves as a thick fog to shut out from the mind the clear light of heavenly truth. "There's none so blind as those who will not see."

II. INQUIRY MUST BE AWAKENED. "Art thou able to make known the dream?" Inquiry is the natural state of the human mind. It is its sense of hunger - the putting forth of its prehensile organs to obtain food. To the spiritually inert nothing will be revealed. Sincere desire for wisdom will impel us to interrogate every possible teacher, and to say, "Art thou able to add to my stock of knowledge?" The true philosopher or prophet will often appear in very modest garb, as did Daniel; but the spirit of the learner is a spirit of humility - 'tis the spirit of a child. Remote as the antipodes is the temper that asks, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" "Every one that seeketh findeth." We may often find through a dependent - through a despised slave - what we cannot find ourselves. Nebuchadnezzar, with all his royal gifts, could not find an interpreter. Arioch, the captain of his guard, greets him with the news, "I have found him!" A little captive maid in Naaman's kitchen could direct her master where to find a cure for his leprosy.

III. TRUST IN FALSE PROPHETS AND IN FALSE SYSTEMS MUST BE DESTROYED. Side by side with the growth of true faith must proceed the destruction of a false faith. The pompous monarch had rested his faith in the magicians and soothsayers, without sufficient reason. He had very likely prided himself on the superhuman wisdom of his counsellors. Yet what guarantee had he that they had ever spoken truth? Had he ever examined their credentials? ever put to the test their real capacity? If not, he was simply the victim of self-imposed credulity. The institution of sorcery was ancient and time-honoured, but none the less was it false and corrupt. If the king would not take the pains to examine the pretensions of these magicians, he deserved to be deceived. A Heaven-sent teacher is an incalculable treasure; a false prophet is a poisoned cup - a wolf in sheep's clothing "Try the spirits, whether they be of God." No human authority is self-odginative; we must know the source whence it sprang. "Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils."

IV. RECOGNITION OF GOD MOST BECOMING IN MEN, ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF PERPLEXITY. "There is a God in heaven." Nor is that heaven far removed. "In him we live and move and exist." Even the magicians had confessed that there were invisible deities: "The gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." Why did not the king in secret prostrate himself before these, and entreat their aid? If we believe in God, we shall recognize him, honour him, and use him in seasons of need. The true God does not love to see us grope in darkness; he longs to give us light. Our mental capacities preach to us this truth. He "revealeth secrets." "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." The secrets of nature he reveals to the patient investigator; and if we will inquire at the portals of the heavenly kingdom, we shall know, by gradual disclosures, the secrets of the invisible world. Even our inner solves we do not accurately know, until God unveils to us the mystery. Daniel was sent to the king, that he might know the workings of his own heart.

V. GENUINE HUMILITY IS A MARK OF GOD'S SERVANT. "This secret," said Daniel, "is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have." Natural endowments of intellect often puff men up with vain conceit of themselves; but the enlightening grace of God's Spirit develops their humility. "The meek will he teach his way." Having revealed to suppliants their own nothingness, their absolute dependence on the heavenly source, he unveils to them all truth that ministers to happiness and purity. The mysteries of his kingdom he hides from the boastful wise and prudent, but reveals them unto babes. The messenger of Divine truth will divert the attention of men from himself to his Master. Like John the Baptist, he accounts himself only as a "voice," and announces that One mightier and worthier cometh - the true Light and Life of men. Humility is a pre-requisite for Divine employment.

VI. WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE NEED OF VICARIOUS MERIT. It is noteworthy that Daniel disclosed the reason why God vouchsafed this revelation to the king. It was not done for the sake of the king, nor for the sake of the magicians, nor for the sake of the empire, but for the sake of the Jewish suppliants. It would be galling to our pride sometimes if we knew to what human mediation we were indebted for Divine blessing. The prayer of some bed-ridden saint has brought down the treasures of heavenly rain upon the Church. For the sake of Paul the prisoner, the lives of all on beard the imperilled ship were saved. For Joseph and his brethren's sake, famine was averted from the Egyptians. Yet these are but faint and imperfect types of that grand scheme of mediation which God has provided for the redemption of the world; and for Jesus' sake, mercy flows in a full stream to men; for Jesus' sake, heaven is opened to all believers; for Jesus' sake, prayer is heard and the Holy Ghost is given. We, too, can be mediators for others; and it may yet be said that for our sakes, and in response to our intercessions, dark minds are enlightened, a world is blessed. Christ the High Priest puts a censer into our hands, and asks us to tilt it with the fragrant incense of spiritual prayer. - D.

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever.
Such a prayer sheds a flood of light upon the character of the man who utters it. It was addressed to the "God of Heaven," and that title has a peculiar significance when the facts of Daniel's history are taken into account. He had been brought up among an idolatrous people, who worshipped "gods many and lords many," the sun, moon, and planets, and a host of inferior deities. Despite these influences he had kept untainted the faith of his fathers, God was for him the God, the true, the only existing; and He was "the God of Heaven," the Almighty Ruler who had fashioned that mighty host of stars which the Chaldeans adored, and had traced out those courses from which they professed to gain their knowledge of the future. As regards the prayer itself, it will be observed how an ascription of praise both begins and ends it, as with that prayer which the Saviour taught. He "changeth the times and seasons" — not conjunctions of the planets. He "removeth kings and setteth up kings"— not human ambitions and earthly armies. He "giveth wisdom to the wise "— not the exponents of Chaldean lore. He "revealeth the deep and secret things" — not the astrologers and diviners that call on heathen gods. There is a kind of subdued triumph in the prayer, a spirit of exultation in its language, without any alloy of mere mortal pride, but beseeming one who had trusted so fully and been rewarded so richly.

(P. H. Hunter.)

The name of God is an Hebrew form of expression for God Himself. It is, therefore, the same as if He had said, "Blessed be God for ever and ever." There is a great difference between the manner in which God blesses us and that in which we bless Him. God blesses us by showing us kindness, and bestowing on us such benefits as tend to promote our present and eternal well-being. In this manner we cannot bless God. To bless God is simply to ascribe to him the glory that is due unto His name, and not to give Him something which we have, and He has not. To be in the frame of mind which leads us to admire and adore the Divine excellency, is to be in the highest state of emotion of which our minds are susceptible. There is no region above this into which our faculties can ascend. To contemplate and adore the Divine character will be the sum of heavenly beatitude, "Blessed be the name of God." Let Him be praised, extolled, and magnified. Let earth and Heaven, time and eternity, unite in this exercise. "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever!" This implies that God Would deserve to be praised for ever and ever. Human excellencies wither and decay. But the excellencies of the Divine character are everlasting and unchangeable. "Blessed be the name of God, for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are His." Wisdom and might are God's in every sense. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in wisdom; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in power. There is nothing which He does not know; nothing that He cannot do. He is so wonderful in counsel that no flaw deforms His plans; so excellent in working that no obstacle can frustrate the execution of them. Creation, in all its departments, proclaims these attributes. That, however, which called forth the exclamation from the prophet's mind was the contemplation of Divine agency, as presented to him in the vision, over-ruling everything connected with the rise, progress, and ruin of the four monarchies, to prepare for the erection of Christ's Kingdom over all the earth. We may learn from Daniel's example, in reading history, which is just the unfolding of the vision, to look beyond the visible actors unto God. We should not rest content with knowing the exploits of warriors and the plans of statesmen. We should endeavour to see the wisdom and the power of Him "who ruleth among the kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." And if we would see God in history, we must compare causes and effects, events and their consequences. We must not be content with looking to what occurs; we must observe what comes out of occurrences; especially must we take in the whole range of this vision, and consider the effect which every general movement had upon the world, in the way of preparing it for the millennial glory. This is the end in which all the general movements are to issuer Looked upon in this light, history becomes one of the purest fountains of wisdom and devotion — one of the brightest mirrors reflecting the Divine attributes, every page of which may be inscribed, "blessed be the name of God, for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are His." Contemplating the changes presented to him by this prophetic vision, that which most impressed itself upon the mind of Daniel was the supreme, universal, uncontrollable sovereignty of God. "He changeth the times and the seasons, He removeth kings and setteth up kings." The seasons sometimes signify the marked times and periods of the natural year. In this sense God is the author of all the revolutions of the seasons. It is He who daily teacheth "the sun to rise and know his time of going down." But the times and the seasons, in this passage, are to be understood in connection with the four monarchies, and denote the period appointed for the various revolutions they were to undergo. When He is said "to change the times and the seasons," this implies that God hath appointed to each of these monarchies the time when it shall rise, the period of its duration, the revolutions through which it is to pass, end that, by His providence, He brings about each of these changes at His own appointed time. "He removeth kings and setteth up kings." Kings, as in the following vision, may here be used for kingdoms. The meaning will then be, "The rise and fall of empires is from God." While in the rise and fall of empire God is sovereign. His sovereignty in this, as in everything else, is not arbitrary. "He removeth kings and setteth up kings," in infinite wisdom. Each of the four kingdoms answered a most important purpose in regard to the human race. This is a very glorious view of God. Independent Himself, all things depend on Him. Unchangeable, He is the author of all changes. The God of order, He is also the author of all revolutions. This is a very comfortable view of the world. It is proverbially said to be a world of change. Nothing in it is fixed — nothing stable. We never lie down and rise up in precisely the same world. But here is an anchor that may stay us in every storm, here is a polar star to steer by in safety, amid the teasings and the hearings of the tempestuous sea of time. All the changes that are in the world come from God, and God is unchangeable. The tide of revolution which at times sweeps with such terrific power across His footstool cannot reach His throne, and the lapse of ages cannot affect His nature. Having adored the Divine character as manifested in the dispensations connected with the four prophetical kingdoms, Daniel now renders thanks for Divine goodness shown in the revelation of the vision unto him. "He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding," etc. While all knowledge comes from God, this is specially true of the knowledge of what is hidden and future. "He revealeth the deep and secret things." Whatever glimpses men have gotten into the future, have come from God. And how consolatory is it to reflect that God sees into the darkness of futurity. The throne of providence is often encompassed with clouds and thick darkness. Let us remember that when Daniel disclosed the dream which baffled all the wisdom of Chaldea, he fell down before God in grateful adoration, and, instead of boasting over the wise men, as many of the expositors of prophecy have done over one another, his very first request, as we shall see in the following verses, was in these words, "Destroy not the wise men of Babylon." And in all cases the study of prophecy is profitable only when it increases our admiration of the Deity, and our humanity to our fellow creatures. On the other hand, it is a sure proof that they have not studied prophecy aright, who, as the result of it, have increased in dogmatism, and not in devotion — who, as if inspired by misanthropy, become denouncers of wrath upon the world, and seem to exult in fancy over the downfall of nations, and hurl forth their anathemas against all who refuse to receive the wildest wanderings of their imagination as the infallible dictates of Divine truth.

(J. White.)

I cannot but think that the conduct of the prophet will impart, when carefully examined, practical lessons of the widest application. You will none of you be required, as Daniel was, to recall to the memory of another the details of a forgotten dream, and to interpret with accuracy any signification which might be supposed to attach to it; but, nevertheless, you must all of you be tried, as Daniel was, through occurrences the dealing with which will test at once your faith, your gratitude, and your love.

1. And I apprehend that the narrative ought to prove to you that under the pressure of even the very heaviest afflictions nothing, in a multitude of instances, can be less to the point than inaction or despair. There are, of course, numerous cases wherein the exhibition of a meek resignation involves the sole duty required; but those dispensations are frequent, concerning which it is the appointment of Providence, that men shall help themselves; entreating fervently, indeed, the bestowal of that gracious aid without which their most toilsome exertions must be futile; but still tasking their own energies to the utmost. In the instance before us, prompt action was the primary obligation of the prophet. He accordingly proceeds at once into the royal presence, and undertakes to set at rest, within a reasonable time, the monarch's anxiety as to both of the points specified. But it does not, for a moment, occur to him that he could be competent, in his own strength, to fulfil his engagement; for, together with his three companions, he directly betakes himself to the Divine footstool; and they offer their joint supplications that it may please the Lord to disclose the nature and bearings of the secret. So then, it was no outburst of self-sufficiency which impelled the prophet to apprise the king that in due time he would discover to him all which he desired to know. A more striking illustration of the unlimited possession and of the unbounded influence of faith, than is supplied by the prophet's course of action and its consequences, it were hardly possible to conceive. You recollect what strong terms our blessed Saviour employs as descriptive of the mighty effects which would be produced by the manifestation of such a spirit. Faith would even remove mountains, He declares. And you cannot but remark that Daniel seemed to entertain no doubts of the satisfactory accomplishment of the wondrous task undertaken by him; he, without a moment's hesitation, assures the king of his ability to perform it. At the same time, I would again remind you that his confidence was strictly connected with his resolution to resort, with assiduity, to the right means of procuring success; and I repeat that the work of earnest supplication to which he betook himself was undeniably the strongest evidence of his faith. His, you see, was not that so-called faith which eventuates in nothing practical; his assurance of the result, unwavering as that was, was nothing else than an assurance that God's blessing would rest upon the due employment of those fitting means which he was determined not to neglect. It rested with the Almighty to suggest to the mind of the prophet the dream and its interpretation, whilst it devolved upon His servants, with all earnestness, to entreat the bestowal of suggestions which He alone could impart. And may we not succeed in deriving hence a lesson for ourselves? Whilst it should at all times be the highest delight of the Christian to repose on the justifying merits of his Redeemer an unhesitating and a grateful confidence; whilst he should permit no floods to overwhelm, nor fire to consume, nor lapse of time to impair the vigour of his faith; oh! let him ever keep in remembrance the great truth, that the character of his works and his course of life will, after all, stand as the final tests of the genuineness of that faith; and that no mere consciousness or semblance of occasional spiritual fervour can compensate for the absence of all practical evidences of the sincerity of his profession. Like Daniel, he may feel perfectly assured, whilst adopting this course, that the requisite support will be given; and thus is he completely equipped for every enterprise.

2. But let me now more particularly call your attention to the circumstance that the prophet, when in quest of the inspiration which alone could enable him to perform his task, did not satisfy himself with merely presenting his own supplications, how impassioned soever, before the throne of grace, but desired his companions to mingle their entreaties with his; and thus may be considered to have taken every possible means of obtaining from his Maker a favourable response. And hereby also may we receive instruction — instruction having reference to the value of united prayer. But Daniel did not confine himself to entreaties that God would graciously enable him to disclose the details and import of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. His supplications having secured the accomplishment of his desire, he omitted not forthwith to tender to the Divine Being the unfeigned and reverential expression of his gratitude. "I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O Thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee; for Thou hast made known unto us the king's matter." And it must at once be admitted that in pursuing the course which he did, the prophet set an example which should be copied even by ourselves, who enjoy the privilege of living under another and far higher dispensation. We complain, and justly, that men do not sufficiently betake themselves to prayer; and yet, after all, they far more frequently cultivate prayer than praise. How many are there who, when visited with afflictions, their deliverance from which appears to be almost hopeless, or when placed in some position of difficulty or danger, where special Divine assistance is absolutely required, will humble themselves in the dust before the Majesty on high — will confess unreservedly and earnestly their sins and shortcomings; and will almost "pray without ceasing" that they may be guided amid their perplexities or rescued from their perils! Yet let a kindly Providence but accede to their entreaties — let these perplexities be surmounted, or these perils be happily removed, and, in multiplied instances, the warmth and constancy of their devotions survive not the change; the period of distress and trial seems now to be passed; and alas! the very consideration which should call forth the loudest accents of thanksgiving and praise tends only to the renewal of that spiritual indifference which had for the time been parted with.

3. Let me ask you, in the next place, to observe the mode in which the prophet addresses the Great Being whom, in the words of the text, he was approaching with "the voice of thanksgiving." His experience, doubtless, supplied him with many instances of Divine watchfulness, Divine care, and Divine support. That he cherished a most grateful sense of God's mercies to him is quite undoubted; and we may rest assured that at all times he recognised in the Maker of heaven and earth his Guardian and his Guide. But, nevertheless, it is not as his own God that he addresses the High and Holy One in the passage under consideration. He addresses Him as the God of his fathers, thus showing that his memory was stored with incidents wherein, in former times, God had proved Himself a Shield and a Succour. His words tell that he must have felt, and have exulted in feeling, that — "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever" — the eye of that mighty and uncreated Intelligence which had looked down with tenderness and affection upon the ancestry, would continue to beam brightly and benignantly upon the descendant. Oh! that there were more amongst ourselves of such simple but well-founded, beautiful, and heaven-born faith! Oh! that our hope, that our trust, that our joy, that our love, might be inspired, elevated, augmented, as well by the remembered history of the past as by personal and more recent experience! God is still, as in the days of David, "a very present Help," a "Fortress," and a "Deliverer!" But the declaration of Daniel that the "wisdom and might" which then belonged to him had been conferred by God, demands, in another point of view, our attention. I have already admitted that there were, in his case, peculiar circumstances which exist not in our own. But acknowledging that both in the mode of their communication and in the largeness of their amount, as well as in the direction which they took, his endowments differed very widely indeed from any which have ever been bestowed in modern times — throughout which, in fact, there has been no occasion for the exercise, to any extent, of supernatural powers by man — we may contend still for the desirableness of ever cherishing the recollection, that the human faculties have been imparted by a higher Power, as calculated to exert a most salutary influence. It will dispose us to dedicate these faculties to our Maker's service, engaging in no pursuit which His statutes have condemned, and devoting ourselves to the practice of every virtue which He enjoins. It will tend to bring home to us the consciousness that "we are not our own." It will beget a sense of responsibility to which otherwise we should be strangers. It will check pride, and will thus prepare the heart for profiting by progressive communications of Divine grace.

4. In conclusion, let me point out to you that the Almighty availed Himself of even the iniquitous decree of a selfish tyrant by producing a most striking display of His omniscience, by making an important addition to the prophetic announcements, and, farther, by promoting the temporal welfare of one of the most devoted and distinguished of His servants. Doubtless, indeed, His providence was at work, suggesting to the monarch's mind the exciting dream. But assuredly the edict by which the dream was succeeded can be regarded as no dispensation of His providence. Yet mark how speedily that providence brought good out of evil! Then, under no circumstances, however apparently untoward or threatening, must the Christian give way to despair.

(H. B. Moffat, M.A.)

Turning to the practical improvement of this narrative, we have:

1. The value of united prayer. When Daniel undertook the solution of the difficulty, he engaged his three friends to pray earnestly on his behalf, and we may be sure he was fervent in supplication on his own account. He believed in God as the hearer of prayer. The issue showed that he acted wisely. There is a special promise to united prayer.

2. An illustration of the workings of gratitude. The moment he had received the revelation Daniel poured out his heart in thanksgiving to God. How many, when they have got the blessing for which they asked, forget to be grateful for it! We cry when we are in extremity, but when the terror passes we forget to give thanks to Him who has removed its cause.

3. An illustration of the devout humility of genuine piety. Daniel is careful to let the king understand that he has not received the secret from God for any excellence about himself. He fears to stand between the king and Jehovah. He gives all the glory to the Most High. There is always a modesty about true greatness, and you may know whether or not piety is genuine by inquiring if it be characterised by humility. The good man will never seek to hide God from the view of his fellow men.

4. An illustration of faithful friendship. When Daniel was exalted, he did not forget his companions. Knit to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah by congenial tastes, as well as by the ties of country and religion, he had become to them a friend indeed; and they had shown their deep interest in and attachment to him, not only in sharing his protest against the diet of the College, but also in praying for him at his special request. It was meet, therefore, that he should remember them in his prosperity. But this conduct is not common.

(W. M. Taylor, D.D.)

Abednego, Arioch, Azariah, Belteshazzar, Daniel, Hananiah, Meshach, Mishael, Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach
Babylon, Shinar
Arioch, Ar'i-och, Captives, Captivity, Clear, Daniel, Dream, Exiles, Follows, Haste, Hurriedly, Interpretation, Judah, King's, Presence, Prisoners, Quickly, Removed, Sense, Sons, Spoke, Thus
1. Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting his dream,
5. requires it of the Chaldeans, by promises and threats.
10. They acknowledging their inability are judged to die.
14. Daniel obtaining some respite finds the dream.
19. He blesses God.
24. He staying the decree is brought to the king.
31. The dream.
36. The interpretation.
46. Daniel's advancement.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Daniel 2:17-49

     6694   mystery

The Image and the Stone
'This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 39. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Book and Tract Catalogue.
THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION. BY I. C. WELLCOME AND C. GOUD. "The Plan of Redemption is an earnest book, evidently prepared after no little study, and with a conscientious desire to advance the cause of Christ. The Bible is made the basis of argument; it contains many fresh and well considered suggestions. The careful reader will find much that is valuable."--Watchman and Reflector. "This treatise aims to serve up the gospel scheme in a compact form. It states the plan and work well, and usually correctly.
Dwight L. Moody—That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope

Editor's Preface
Professor Maspero does not need to be introduced to us. His name is well known in England and America as that of one of the chief masters of Egyptian science as well as of ancient Oriental history and archaeology. Alike as a philologist, a historian, and an archaeologist, he occupies a foremost place in the annals of modern knowledge and research. He possesses that quick apprehension and fertility of resource without which the decipherment of ancient texts is impossible, and he also possesses a sympathy
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 1

The Scattering of the People
[Illustration: (drop cap A) The Fish-god of Assyria and Babylonia] At last the full punishment for their many sins fell upon God's chosen people. The words of warning written in the fifth book of Moses had told them plainly that if they turned aside and worshipped the wicked idol-gods of Canaan, the Lord would take their country from them and drive them out into strange lands. Yet again and again they had yielded to temptation. And now the day of reckoning had come. Nebuchadnezzar, the great king
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope
In 2 Timothy, 3:16, Paul declares: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" but there are some people who tell us when we take up prophecy that it is all very well to be believed, but that there is no use in one trying to understand it; these future events are things that the church does not agree about, and it is better to let them alone, and deal only with those prophecies which have already been
Dwight L. Moody—That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope

Epistle Xliii. To Eulogius and Anastasius, Bishops.
To Eulogius and Anastasius, Bishops. Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria, and Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch. When the excellent preacher says, As long as I am the apostle of the Gentiles I will honour my ministry (Rom. xi. 13); saying again in another place, We became as babes among you (1 Thess. ii. 7), he undoubtedly shews an example to us who come after him, that we should retain humility in our minds, and yet keep in honour the dignity of our order, so that neither should our humility be
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

A Description of Heart-Purity
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 The holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity' calls here for heart-purity, and to such as are adorned with this jewel, he promises a glorious and beatifical vision of himself: they shall see God'. Two things are to be explained the nature of purity; the subject of purity. 1 The nature of purity. Purity is a sacred refined thing. It stands diametrically opposed to whatsoever defiles. We must distinguish the various kinds
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Wisdom of God
The next attribute is God's wisdom, which is one of the brightest beams of the Godhead. He is wise in heart.' Job 9:9. The heart is the seat of wisdom. Cor in Hebraeo sumitur pro judicio. Pineda. Among the Hebrews, the heart is put for wisdom.' Let men of understanding tell me:' Job 34:44: in the Hebrew, Let men of heart tell me.' God is wise in heart, that is, he is most wise. God only is wise; he solely and wholly possesses all wisdom; therefore he is called, the only wise God.' I Tim 1:17. All
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Wicked Husbandmen.
"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

The First Great Group of Parables.
(Beside the Sea of Galilee.) Subdivision B. Parable of the Sower. ^A Matt. XIII. 3-23; ^B Mark IV. 3-25; ^C Luke VIII. 5-18. ^a Behold, ^c 5 The sower went forth to sow his seed [Orientals live in cities and towns. Isolated farmhouses are practically unknown. A farmer may therefore live several miles from his field, in which case he literally "goes forth" to it]: ^b 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed { ^a seeds } fell by the way side, ^c and it was trodden under foot, and the birds of
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Necessity of Regeneration, Argued from the Immutable Constitution of God.
John III. 3. John III. 3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. WHILE the ministers of Christ are discoursing of such a subject, as I have before me in the course of these Lectures, and particularly in this branch of them which I am now entering upon, we may surely, with the utmost reason, address our hearers in those words of Moses to Israel, in the conclusion of his dying discourse: Set your hearts unto all
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Letters of St. Bernard
I To Malachy. 1141.[924] (Epistle 341.) To the venerable lord and most blessed father, Malachy, by the grace of God archbishop of the Irish, legate of the Apostolic See, Brother Bernard called to be abbot of Clairvaux, [desiring] to find grace with the Lord. 1. Amid the manifold anxieties and cares of my heart,[925] by the multitude of which my soul is sore vexed,[926] the brothers coming from a far country[927] that they may serve the Lord,[928] thy letter, and thy staff, they comfort
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The First Sayings of Jesus --His Ideas of a Divine Father and of a Pure Religion --First Disciples.
Joseph died before his son had taken any public part. Mary remained, in a manner, the head of the family, and this explains why her son, when it was wished to distinguish him from others of the same name, was most frequently called the "son of Mary."[1] It seems that having, by the death of her husband, been left friendless at Nazareth, she withdrew to Cana,[2] from which she may have come originally. Cana[3] was a little town at from two to two and a half hours' journey from Nazareth, at the foot
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Gospel of the Kingdom.
"This is He whom Seers in old time Chanted of with one accord; Whom the voices of the Prophets Promised in their faithful word." We have seen that, in the providence of God, John the Baptist was sent to proclaim to the world that "The Kingdom of Heaven" was at hand, and to point out the King. And as soon as the Herald had raised the expectation of men by the proclamation of the coming Kingdom, our Lord began His public ministry, the great object of which was the founding of His Kingdom for the salvation
Edward Burbidge—The Kingdom of Heaven; What is it?

Daniel is called a prophet in the New Testament (Matt. xxiv. 15). In the Hebrew Bible, however, the book called by his name appears not among the prophets, but among "the writings," between Esther and Ezra. The Greek version placed it between the major and the minor prophets, and this has determined its position in modern versions. The book is both like and unlike the prophetic books. It is like them in its passionate belief in the overruling Providence of God and in the sure consummation of His
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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