Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem…
1. DANIEL'S DEVOTIONS. He prayed. Prayer is said to be a calling, crying, knocking, seeking, asking, making supplication, pouring out of the heart, lifting up of the soul, lifting up holy hands, making intercession, etc. Daniel
1. Humbled himself when he prayed. The being whom we address, the circumstances in which we stand, the punishment we deserve all serve to inspire us with humility.
2. He confessed his sins, and the sins of his people, when he prayed; So did David and Jeremiah. This is the most effectual way to obtain pardon.
3. He deprecated punishment, and implored mercy, when he prayed. Sin deserves punishment, — God might justly pour out his indignation upon us. We have no appeal but to his mercy, through the blood of the covenant.
4. He pleaded with God when he prayed. We may plead with God also; plead his mercy, his promises, the sacrifice of his Son, and his glorious intercession in heaven.
5. And Daniel gave thanks. We can always find reasons and subjects for thanks to God. Daniel thanked him for what he was in himself — for what he did in the kingdom of providence, and for what he had done for him.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH HE PERFORMED THEM.
1. He went into his house, and into his chamber. The Jews were accustomed to set apart rooms as oratories, or places of devotion. Each house had generally one of these rooms, a chamber, most removed from noise and disturbance. Retirement is necessary to prayer.
2. He prayed and gave thanks three times a day. He evidently had stated times for private devotions.
3. He kneeled upon his knees and praised. The position of the body is not of so much importance in devotion as the disposition of the mind. The Scriptures sanction different attitudes of prayer.
4. He looked towards Jerusalem when he prayed. The meaning of this will be understood by referring to the consecration of the temple. (Kings 1 Kings 8:44-48) Hence all those who were in Jerusalem turned towards the temple when they prayed, and all those who were in foreign lands opened their windows toward Jerusalem in performing their devotions.
5. Daniel's prayers were regularly performed. "As he did aforetime." Inconstancy is the fault of multitudes. There was a decision of character, and a uniformity of conduct, in Daniel, which all should be anxious to emulate.
III. THE PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH HE WAS PLACED.
1. Be was in a foreign land, far from his native country.
2. He was surrounded by the most; inveterate and designing men, who meditated his ruin. Men who envied his popularity sought to find occasion against him, and did their utmost to persecute him, even unto death. Yet he maintained his integrity, stuck close to his devotions, and served his God with a constancy that nothing could destroy.
3. He was in high life, surrounded with temptations to pride, infidelity, idolatry, and a whole train of evils that swarm amidst the splendours and dissipations of a court. But he was innocent from the great transgression of apostatizing from God.
4. He was involved in most important business. He had the affairs of a kingdom to transact. How often is the urgency and press of business made an excuse for the neglect of religion.
5. He was prohibited from praying by a cruel, senseless and atheistical decree. But nothing could shake the steadfast purpose of Daniel's soul.
IV. THE INFERENCES TO BE DRAWN FROM THE WHOLE.
1. Whoever you are, and wherever you live, learn (if you serve God) to prepare your heart for temptation. Enemies you have. Temptations you must endure.
2. Whatever snares may be laid for your feet, never swerve from the line of duty.
3. The way of duty is the way of safety.
4. Persecutors often defeat their own object.
5. The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.
(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before.