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objects which we prefer to God. It would mostly be false, and forced, for us to say, while such is the case with us, that there is nothing on earth that we desire in comparison of Him.

But when youth is gone by — when health fails, when worldly prosperity fails, such language is not so hard. The soul has had experience, and found how empty, and vain, and unsatisfying, are all mere earthly objects of desire. The soul, if it has profited by experience, if it has cultivated religious feelings, will then be able to make its own the Psalmist's words — will then be able to say, not fanatically, not on the spur of excited feeling, but truly, and deliberately, both parts of this text,- Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee !

And further, brethren, be sure of this, that although we may think it at first a hard saying, it is a saying of the deepest truth. It is, I have said, the expression of a soul that has found the true rest, found that which satisfies, that which can never be taken away. All things around us are full of change — youth, health, prosperity; nothing is lasting. If we build our happiness on any

of these, we build on a most insecure foundation. The only lasting happiness is that which is built upon God. He changes not-He fails

ever.

not; He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for

The heart that is given to Him is in safe keeping. Come trouble, come pain, come what may of earthly calamity and change, the heart that has God dwelling in it will never be desolate. My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever !

Oh that we could but get to feel, and speak like this! We cannot hope to do so in a moment. Such language, to be genuine, is only the growth of time; and is often learnt only after a long schooling in adversity. Before we can make it our own, we must have gone through much tribulation, - we must have known sorrow, and suffering, and disappointment.

But surely there are many here who have already had that discipline. Many who, in their lives, have met with crosses, and disappointments, and seen their brightest hopes clouded, and had their hearts pierced with unkindness, and tasted of the bitterness of unjust accusation, and had their good name taken from them, and been in many ways put to grief. To all such persons let me commend the language of the text. It is, we have seen, the language of a soul that has entered into peace,—that is no more tossed to and fro by circumstances, that has come to a sure and quiet haven, even to know and to love God. Make, I would say, this language your study. You will find in it what you wantsomething to comfort you, something to fill the void in your heart, something to heal your wounded spirit, something to counteract the depressing effect of earthly trouble and disappointment; and that is God, and God's never-failing care, and love for those who turn to Him to comfort them.

Try if it be not so. Accustom yourselves to the thought that One is over you, Who cares for you, Who never slumbers nor sleeps, Who orders all things for the best. Turn often to that great unseen Being for your refuge. Acquaint thyself with Him, and be at peace! You may not; at this present, be able to address Him with that fervent trust, which breathes in the Psalmist's words, but you will be enabled by-and-bye. Drawing near to God, He will draw near to you. He will reveal Himself to you, more and more clearly, as your guardian, your guide, your loving Father, till at length the fire will kindle, and you will speak as you feel, and because you cannot help but speak,- Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee!

SERMON XX.

NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

THE FORCE OF PRAYER EXEMPLIFIED IN

DANIEL.

DANIEL, vi. 10.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went

into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetine.

man.

DANIEL the prophet, of whose deliverance we read in the first lesson for this afternoon, is classed in the Bible with Noah and Job, as a righteous

Though these three men were in it—in a land that had offended God by its sinthey should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. (Ezek. xiv.) While it is recorded of many eminent servants of God that they fell into sin, we have no such record of Daniel. He appears, from first to last, to have kept innocent, and to have done what was right before God.

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And if we seek for an explanation of this, we shall find it in the text. Daniel was a man of prayer. He was in the daily habit of holding communion with God, and that kept him upright in the way. The Lord whom he sought upheld his goings. He was with him in all seasons, in prosperity as in adversity; and because He was with him, he was safe. The enemy did not prevail against him—the son of wickedness did not hurt him ! It will, I trust, be for our profit to dwell a few

I minutes upon the secret of Daniel's strength his habit of daily earnest prayer. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house ; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Fully to feel the force of these words, we must recall the circumstance in which Daniel was placed. When quite a young man he had been carried prisoner to Babylon; and there, through the wisdom that was given him from God, he had risen to rank and power. The great King Darius, finding in Daniel an excellent spirit, had promoted him to high office,- made him the first of the three presidents, or rulers, that were set over the whole kingdom. In that honourable and high

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