the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets.”
Daniel 2:26-45 , Daniel 2:48
Daniel, having been instructed by God as to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, now went in unto the king.
Daniel 2:32 , Daniel 2:33
part of clay or earthenware
Daniel 2:37 , Daniel 2:38
The first great empire was the Babylonian or Assyrio-Chaldean a majestic despotism.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, this was the Medo-Persian monarchy
Indicating the Macedonian empire of Alexander.
Thus was the Roman power predicted.
Daniel 2:42 , Daniel 2:43
The Roman empire was a mixture of many nations, and not a uniform whole, and in due time it fell to pieces.
This fifth monarchy is no other than the divine empire of King Jesus, which shall subdue all things to itself.
So was the Lord honoured among the heathen, and a friend provided at court for the poor despised Jews.
“Despise not prophesyings.”
Jeremiah 36:5 , Jeremiah 36:6 , Jeremiah 36:8 , Jeremiah 36:21-31
We must now leave Daniel at Babylon, and return to the wicked king Jehoiakim and the prophet Jeremiah at Jerusalem. Jeremiah, at the command of God, wrote all his prophecies in a book, that the king and people might yet be moved to repentance. Great is the patience of the Lord. He waiteth to be gracious.
Jeremiah 36:5 , Jeremiah 36:6
When good men cannot do the work of God personally, they are glad to. call in others. How glad we ought to be to do anything for the Lord: if we cannot preach like Jeremiah, we can read like Baruch, and if so, we must be sure to do it.
Baruch’s reading in the temple attracted the attention of the scribes and nobles, and after they had heard him read the roll in private, they carried it to the king.
As Jehudi read the roll, the king cut off the portion, and scornfully burned it piece by piece.
Contrast this wicked defiance with the tenderness of Josiah when he received the book of the Lord.
God here takes kindly note of those who were of a better spirit, but their protests only aggravated the king’s sin.
If we help good men as Baruch did Jeremiah we must expect to suffer with them, but we shall also share with them the guardian care of heaven. See the obstinacy of Jehoiakim; he will not repent, but becomes a persecutor of his best friends.
He was not succeeded by any of his posterity except his son Jehoiachin, whose three months’ reign was counted as nothing. This wicked king had treated the prophetic roll contemptuously, and therefore his dead body was subjected to ignominy. The second roll contained more threatenings than the first: sinners multiply their miseries when they add to their sins.
The king gained nothing by burning the roll, for all its threatenings remained. A man who hates the Bible for threatening the wicked with eternal punishment cannot quench the flames of hell by raging against the book. He would act far more wisely if he would escape from the wrath to come by repentance and faith.
As parchèd in the barren sands,
Beneath a burning sky,
The worthless bramble with’ring stands,
And only grows to die;
Such is the sinner’s awful case,
Who makes the world his trust,
And dares his confidence to place
In vanity and dust.
A secret curse destroys his root,
And dries his moisture up;
He lives a while, but bears no fruit,
Then dies without a hope.
Preserve me from the snares of sin
Through my remaining days;
And in me let each virtue shine
To my Redeemer’s praise.
Let deep repentance, faith and love,
Be join’d with godly fear;
And all my conversation prove
My heart to be sincere.
Teach thou my soul all sin to hate,
And loathe the thing unclean;
Thine image in me new-create,
And keep me pure from sin.
Reason’s glimmering light is vain
Till thy Spirit I receive:
He thy language must explain
He must give me to believe.
Then thy wisdom’s gift is mine
When thou dost the truth reveal;
Then I see the Lamb divine,
All the mysteries unseal.
All the seven seals he breaks,
Every truth of grace makes known;
All his children wise he makes,
But their wisdom is his own.
Jesus, thy mighty kingdom rear,
A stone unhewn of mortal hands,
Let the fifth monarchy appear,
And spread its sway o’er all the lands.
Now let that stone the image smite,
And break the iron, and the clay;
Conquer by thy blest Spirit’s might,
And force the nations to obey.
Lord, let thy kingdom now prevail,
And all opposing power disperse;
Soon to a boundless mountain swell,
And fill the happy universe.
Father of mercies! in thy word
What endless glory shines!
For ever be thy name adored,
For these celestial lines.
The best relief that mourners have,
It makes our sorrows blest;
Our fairest hope beyond the grave,
And our eternal rest
O may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light!
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord!
Be thou for ever near:
Teach me to love thy sacred word,
And view my Saviour there!