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It happened about this time, that king Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, which disturbed his mind so much that he could not sleep. And he desired all the wise men of his own country to be sent for into his presence, that they might tell him the meaning of his dream. So the astrologers and all the other wise men among the Chaldeans came and stood before the king, and begged him to tell them what he had dreamed, that they might explain it to him. But how greatly were they alarmed when the king told them that he had forgotten quite the dream, that it had gone from him, and that he expected them to bring it back to his mind again.

E. Why, mother, they could not do that?

M. No, my son, they could not indeed, but this foolish king supposed that they could, and he declared to them most solemnly, that if they did not, they should be cut in pieces, and that their houses should be turned into dunghills. /In vain did the Chaldeans answer, that there was not a man upon earth that could do what the king required, and that he was asking of them what no king, lord, nor ruler had ever required of any of their subjects before s for that it was a hard and rare thing that the king had asked of them, and none, they said, could show it to the king, “but the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh."

But in vain did they speak. The king had been so accustomed to rule and to be obeyed, that he could not bear a contradiction of his will in any thing; their words only made him very furious, so that he commanded that all the wise men of Baby

lon should be destroyed. The command was a dreadful one, but who should venture to disobey it? The decree went forth that the wise men should be slain, and among the rest they sought Daniel and his fellows to slay them too. But when Airoch, the captain of the king's guard, told Daniel of this extraordinary commard, Daniel replied, that if the king would not be so hasty, but allow him a little time, he would undertake to explain the dream to the king : for among the other knowledge and wisdom which God had bestowed upon Daniel, was that most wonderful power of being able to understand and explain the meaning of dreams.

E. Did the king then desire his captain to wait a

M. Yes; he listened to Daniel's request, glad to the A

find that there was some chance of his getting the dream, which had disturbed him so much, brought back to his mind again with its meaning unfolded. Now Daniel and his three companions were not only very wise, but exceedingly pious also, and this they showed in a very beautiful manner, both in their behaviour on this occasion and on many others. As soon, therefore, as Daniel returned from the king's presence, he went to his house, and informing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of what had happened, he begged them to join with him in endeavouring by fervent prayer, to draw down God's blessing upon them in this important matter, that so he and they might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

The prayer of these holy men was heard ; the

Becret was made known to Daniel in the visions of
the night; his humble faith in God's mercy and
wisdom received a gracious reward. Glad and
thankful for this instance of God's goodness to him,
he then made haste to bless the God of heaven,
giving all the glory of his wisdom and knowledge to
Him to whom alone belongeth the power to reveal
deep and secret things, because he knoweth what is
in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
Deeply persuaded of this, the humble Daniel ex-
claimed, “I thank thee, and praise thee, O God of
my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might,
and hast made known unto us the king's matter.”
After this Daniel begged to be taken immediately
into the king's presence, and made known to him
the extraordinary dream which had gone from his
mind, which he told him was not a common dream,
in the
power

of
any

of his wise men to tell or explain to him, but one that had been sent to him by the great God of heaven and earth, who, in that

way, was pleased to inform him of many great and wonderful things which were to come to pass in future times. You may open the Bible, if you like, my son, and read what the dream was that God sent into Nebuchadnezzar's mind, but I do not think you are able yet to enter into the full meaning of it; when you are older, however, you will be able to understand it; for the present it will be enough to tell you, how Daniel explained to the king, that God in this dream had spoken to him of his own great kingdom, and three others, greater still, which wore to come after it; one after another, until at length the God of heaven should set up a kingdom, which should never be destroyed, which was to consume and break to pieces all other kingdoms, and endure itself for ever and ever

E. Mother, I think if you would just tell me what these three kingdoms were, I could understand you very

well. M. Well, then, I will tell you that the four great kingdoms spoken of in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, are known in history by the names of the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman, and that the one great kingdom, which was to come after all the rest, to put an end to them all, and to last for ever and ever, was the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now the Assyrian empire, first spoken of, was the one over which Nebuchadnezzar was then reigning, and

you will see very soon how the Persian empire took its place; and then, by-and-by, how the Persian gave way to the Grecian, and the Grecian empire afterward to the Roman, which was greater than any which had gone before it. Last of all you will one day see with wonder, how in the very midst of the glory of the great Roman empire, that kingdom of our blessed Redeemer was set up, which has been increasing ever since, which is never to give way to another, but to endure itself for ever and

ever.

E. Thank you, mother, for telling me that; I am sure I shall remember it. I suppose the king was exceedingly pleased with Daniel ?

M. Indeed he was, Edward; he could not do enough to show his thankfulness to him for having thus made his mind easy and happy again; for God, who had sent the king this wonderful dream, had been pleased also to appoint that it should make the king uneasy and unhappy till he was able to understand it. But God had allowed his servant Daniel to calm the mind which he had troubled, and Nebuchadnezzar was glad in any way to show his thankfulness: therefore he made Daniel a great man, and gave him many rich gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over the wise men of Babylon. At Daniel's request also the king raised his three companions also to high stations of great trust in his kingdom.

But worldly greatness is a dangerous thing, bringing with it for the most part more trouble than enjoyment. We have a striking proof of this in the story which I am going to tell you. Nebuchadnezzar was an idolater. Nothing, we know, can be more foolish and wicked than to make ourselves graven images, to bow down and worship before them ; for God is a spirit, and it is the greatest affront we can offer him, to think that the glorious Godhead is like unto gold and silver, or stone graven by the hand of man. Yet this wickedness Nebuchadnezzar was guilty of, and not only did he practise it himself, but he wished also that all his subjects should do the same. For this purpose he made a very great image of gold, about a hundred feet high and ten broad. And he set it upon a wide plain or open country, called the plain

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