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the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes." And it led to a fuller revelation (of the Seventy Weeks) being made to the prophet direct from God.

"And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments : 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. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of fac to our kings, to our princes, and to our father because we have sinned against thee. 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. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil : for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us : yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us : for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

“O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain : because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, o our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name : for we do VOL.V.PT.I.

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not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God : for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Blessed is the recognition, here, of the character of the Lord (ver. 4); of the entire failure of the people (ver. 5); of their perverseness against multiplied testimonies (ver. 6); as is also the unfolding of what magnified and made more striking their sin, together with the appropriation of it all the sin of all—to himself [Daniel] in common with all Israel, wherever any member of it might be found (ver. 7—14); and then how freely flows forth the fervent supplication! (ver. 15—19).

Such ought to be the effect of the perception, through faith, of God's being at hand to fulfil the promises of His free grace. And where such living sympathy with the blessed Revealer above, and the people revealed to below, exists-surely the first taste of prophetic testimony, embittering the belly as it may, will lead on to fuller and deeper understanding of the hopes which await us.

The position, occupation, service, life, of one connected with the people of the Lord, have a Divine futurity stamped upon them. If we are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, how shall we best share the character of Him from whom that Spirit has come to us? The glory of God-His purposes of grace (which the failure of the people cannot set aside) --deep shame as to the failure, in every part of it, of that which we find ourselves connected with-failure in the presence and in contrast with such purposes of grace--shall they not form the heart and mind and life, and give distinctiveness of position, occupation, and service to those that have them? May the Lord grant that the icy hardness of His people now may be judged by themselves in the light of His presence and love; in the presence, too, of the failure as much deeper in that which was placed of God as His witness at Pentecost, as its privileges and blessings and responsibilities were higher than those of Daniel's people.

What a place was Daniel's in his day! The nation of the Lord under judgment of the Gentile statue-himself in the highest part of the oppressor's court, through faithfulness to God-placed there to receive and speak out and record the Lord's thoughts of judging that which, used by Him as a means of judging Israel, had exalted itself and sinned against Him. The people of the Lord are not of Babylon. Of another origin, their interest is in that which its existence and power reproach. If they keep themselves unspotted from the world, they will find light as to good things to come their portion, and testimony to it their duty. But they cannot separate themselves from what is of God, and they must bear its shame as their own before Him.

NEHEMIAH IX. The grand subject of the book of Nehemiah is, the restoration of the city to dwell in, at the time of "the restoration.”

When the wall was finished in the twenty-and-fifth day of the month Elul—the work was obviously wrought of God—the doors were set up, and the porters, singers, and Levites appointed, and the care of the gates and walls appointed (chap. vi.). Then came the reckoning of the genealogies (chap. vii.). In chap. viii. we have the reading of the law to the people. A joyous feast, though the hearts were broken, followed (ver. 9—12): then the feast of tabernacles, with its gladness (ver. 1418). Chap. ix. begins with—The twenty-fourth day of the same month there was a solemn assembly of the people, with fasting, and sackcloth, and earth upon them; and the day was spent in hearing the law of the Lord read, and in confession and worship. The Levites, Jeshua, etc., called to "stand up and bless the Lord,”

" etc. In the recital, for the people, of their outpouring, we find a remarkable tracing-out of the acts and ways of the Lord from the beginning, mixed up with the dark contrast of the returns Israel had made to Him. The creation (ver. 6); the call of Abram, and the change of his name, and gifts to him (ver. 7,8); the mercy to Israel in deliverance from Egypt (ver. 9—11); His dealings with them; the pillar of guidance ; Sinai ; the

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Sabbath, the law, the manna, water, the promise of the land (ver. 12-15). From ver. 16 we have Israel's returns for such goodness—proud dealings, stiffened necks, refusal to hearken, return in heart to Egypt; God's graciousness; the molten calf ; God's patient continuance of mercy through forty years, and in their entrance into the land, and blessing and multiplication in it—to ver. 25. Their wickedness (ver. 26); judgment and deliverance (ver. 27); wickedness, judgment, and deliverance (ver. 28); the contrast of the character of the Lord with that of Israel in His triumphing in grace over their ways (ver. 29—35).

Verses 36–38 give the peculiarity of the actual position

“ Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: and it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins : also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. And because of all this we make a sure covenant; and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

Though the Lord's people, they were, through sin, in the hand of an adversary, and had to own that it was of the Lord's grace that they were permitted even thus to be in their land and in the beloved city, Jerusalem. How fallen that city from what it was in the days of Solomon! How different the aspect and position of the people from the time when under the Prince of Peace! As to themselves, their state was, though one of restoration, humbling enough: to their hearts as Jews, to whom the promise of the Messiah belonged, their position had deeper and better blessing: it was, in that point of view, not the comparison drawn between Shushan and Jerusalem-or between Jerusalem in its actual state and in a past state of glory—but it was the renewed taste to their souls of the unwavering faithfulness of God to His promises: to Him Jerusalem was still an object of delightthe city of the great King--His self-chosen city of habitation-metropolis yet to be, of the whole earth.

In the presence of all this goodness on His part, and

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evil, vile. requital, on theirs, they renewed the covenant with the Lord—to walk in his law as given to Moses (chap. x. 29), and to be a separate and peculiar people to Him (ver. 30, 31, etc.).

How should the slipped feet of a fallen people get a firm footing in renewed blessing, save by humiliation and confession-by the recognition that, spite of their own evil doings, the Fountain of Goodness remains pure, and that God can shame man by pouring out blessing even in the midst of failure- blessing, however, of this kind, it will always be found, is of such kind as points onward to the glory to come, and which cannot be rightly enjoyed apart from the anticipations of what is

Let its connection with that which is to come be forgotten, and the heart must feel its contrast with what is gone before, or the presence of thorns of judgment which still remain. But if pointing onward, how shall the glory to come be thought of, be brought to mind, and be better tasted through the present mercy! And can this be, without deep self-loathing and humiliation being produced in the soul? Sure I am, that those who look into the glory to come, or look to Jesus as He is, will find enough to make them bow the head, as having had their hearts already bowed down by the taste of the rich, full, free, unmerited grace which presents such scenes before them as theirs—their very own on the bright to-morrow of the Lord.

EZRA IX. As the great work of Nehemiah, the governor, is the rebuilding of the city, so the great work recorded in the book of Ezra, the scribe and priest, is the previous rebuilding of the temple.

The second chapter shews (ver. 61–63) the presence of the children of the priests, and the decree as to those who could not shew their genealogies ; (68—70) the offerings, of the chief of the fathers, for the house of the Lord; (chap. iii. 2, 3) the setting of the altar, point of access to God, upon its base and the offering of burntofferings; (4, 5) the keeping of the feast of tabernacles, and of all the set feasts and ordinances; (9—13) the

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