Praying and Fasting

(A Lectube On Daniel X.)

^HE first verse of chapter x. says that Darnel's name was "Belteshazzar," sending us back to the beginning of this book. When he was first brought to Babylon, his name was changed from Daniel to " Belteshazzar," and very much has passed since then.

The events of this chapter happened seventy-two years after the first remarkable discovery that God made to Daniel in chapter ii. Daniel is now in his 90th year,—an old man, like John in Patmos.

The Lord delights in His people. He does not weary of them; He says, "Even to your old age I am He; even to hoar hairs will I carry you." "I am He "—the very same. "I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry and will deliver you." He had done this with Daniel for more than seventy years, and now He comes to give Daniel a more remarkable discovery of Himself than he has had in all his past years.

Old saints should take encouragement from this view of God's dealing with His servants. He does not let them faint or fail; "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age: they shall be fat and flourishing." Of all who are planted in God's soil this is true: every plant planted by God shall bring forth fruit in old age. If you are thus planted you shall not faint or fail, but, ever drawing your nourishment from the same rich soil, your roots getting deeper and deeper into it, you shall go on bearing fruit even in old age.

To young saints also, there is encouragement from Daniel's history. He was early in God's service. He was eighteen when we first hear of Viim taking his stand on God's side. He was kept by God on from that time for seventy-two years,—kept from blemish,—kept from defiling himself with the things of the world, though living in the palace among the most wicked people. Young believers, take encouragement from Daniel's history. He who kept him can keep you. Go on trusting in Him, saying, "I will go in the strength of the Lord."

But now let us fix our attention on this singular day in Daniel's experience. I do not know if there is a remarkable day—some day ever after to be remembered—in every believer's experience; but we do read of many such in the lives of Christians. John Howe has recorded such a day when he got a most overwhelming discovery of the grace and glory of the Saviour. "We are told by Flavel, that going on a journey, he asked that it might not be a profitless journey, and that he might meet with nothing to interrupt his enjoyment of communion with God. The Lord made such wonderful discoveries of His grace, filling him on that day so full of gladness in Him with whom he had fellowship, that he slipped from his horse on the green grass, and lay there prostrate till he awoke to find blood flowing from his nostrils. "When he came to the house, he went at once to his room, afraid lest anything should come in to interrupt the joy of which his heart was still full. The next day the glory had passed by; but he never forgot what he had experienced; it helped him all his journey through. It may be the Lord will so deal with saints in our day, also. But do we wait on Him J Notice in this chapter—

1st. Daniel at the Passover time.
2nd. Daniel in prayer at the Passover time.
3rd. Daniel on the old site of Paradise.
4th. Daniel like John in Patmos.

Daniel at the Passover Time.

It says here: "In the four-and-twentieth day of the first month,"—that was the month Abib, the Passover month. It is worth noticing this. He spent three full weeks in his fasting and prayer; that was considerably more than the time of the Passover feast, which continued only seven days. He took in a little on both sides of the Passover time,—a few days before, and a few days after. He could not go to Jerusalem. He saw it his duty to remain where he was; like Nehemiah, who saw it his duty to remain most of his time with the king his master. Daniel remained at Babylon, taking care of the interests of God's people there, and shining in the palace. Still, his heart was at Jerusalem. Three times a day he opened the window of his chamber toward Jerusalem, and prayed. He could say,—if we could have listened below his window we might have heard him say,—"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning! If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy I" He well remembered that at this season the tribes were going up to Jerusalem to keep Passover there. He could not be there in the body, but his heart was there. He knew that he needed the blood of the Paschal Lamb as much as they.

Can we all say with as true a heart as Daniel, "HI forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning?" Can you ever forget Calvary? Can you forget the great, the true Paschal Lamb there offered? have you not need of the blood shed there?

Let us not fail to notice that Daniel was interested in the Passover-offering in his old age. It has not lost its value in his eyes. He did not say; "I am a saint of threescore years and ten, and do not need the Paschal blood." No; he needs it still, even more than at the first.

Further, from his example, let us learn to sympathize with brethren. Do we sympathize with our brethren? "Let brotherly love continue." Take care of getting isolated, of being shut up, and having a heart only for a small circle. Seek to have a heart of love for all the brethren, because they love your Lord.

Daniel in Prayer at the Passover Time.

Verse 2: "In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled." Fasting meant nothing to the godly Israelite without prayer. Besides, his speaking to God is expressly mentioned in the 12th verse, "Thy words were heard." So it was a time of prayer as well as fasting. The fasting, the not eating pleasant meat, and the not anointing of himself,—all were in order to speed the prayer.

Daniel found time for much prayer, which every Christian does not. He made time. He was a man of business; and, let it be noted, though every man of business does not find time for prayer, yet Daniel did. Yes, he found time for abundant prayer. He took the time; he would rather have let the business go than not get time for prayec. But he did not need to omit the one for the other; he found time for both. He was president over the 127 provinces of that vast empire of which we read. What an amount of work he must have had! But just because of this he says, "I must pray." like Luther, of whom we are told that, when he had moro than usual to do, he said that therefore he must have many more hours for prayer. A London city missionary remarked the other day, that we should not need to work so hard if we prayed more, for then the Lord to whom we pray would bring the work more easily to our hands. We may have the same experience if we try.

This president of 127 provinces finds time to pray in the midst of his business. Or perhaps he takes a holiday time? Do people in their holiday time pray the more,—do they grasp the holiday as a time for more abundant prayer? Do they not generally pray less on that day 1 Do they not say that they are out of harness from work, and make it a time when they are out of harness from prayer too?

Daniel did not so. The fasting, the giving up pleasant meat, and anointing himself, was just that he might not be entangled with anything that might hinder prayer during this season which he had set apart for it . If, when you go aside from the world for prayer, you find food, or anything else, entangle you and hinder your prayer, give it up. It may not be food, it may be your ordinary reading or some common occupation, —but whatever it may be that entangles you and keeps you from prayer, give it up for the time. If you find giving up food weakens you and hinders you in prayer, fasting in that case is not good for you. But it is good for many of us, and the Lord Jesus said, "The days shall come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days." Are not our days the time when the Bridegroom i3 still absent from us? "We are still waiting for His return.

Daniel spent his fasting time in prayer, and he did it with his eye on the Paschal Lamb, which at that very time was being offered up in Jerusalem.

But notice what we discover in verso 13, viz. that if you set yourself to pray much, Satan will set himself to hinder you. "The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,"—which was, just all the time that Daniel's prayer was going on. The Lord was listening, and the devil tried to prevent Him from listening,—tried to get Him to shut His ear to Daniel's strong cry. If you go apart for a time of prayer, the devil will try to interrupt you, and stop you in your prayer; but that just shows its value. And remember, when you pray, and Satan tries to hinder, the great Intercessor takes up the case, and He must prevail. He says, "Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words."

Daniel on the Old Site of Paradise.

"I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel." That "great river," so deep and broad, which, from its source in the mountains, flows 1100 miles, has for us a special interest, for it was one of the rivers of Paradise,—one of the first rivers mentioned in the Bible, where in Genesis ii. it is mentioned along with Pison, and Gihon and Euphrates as flowing through the garden of Eden. This HiddekeL otherwise named Tigris, flowed along within the bounds of the old Paradise. It seems probable that Daniel had come to the old site of Paradise purposely at this Passover time, there to spend his holiday as a time of prayer. Perhaps he had an estate there; he may havo bought one in that spot because of its old associations. There he walks, meditating and praying by the side of "that ancient river" Hiddekel . What thoughts it would bring up! Here (he would remember) is where our first parents walked with God, and held communion with Him! Here also they sinned, and their communion with God was broken up! Here Adam tried to hide himself from God amid the trees of the garden. What views of sin he would get as he thought of all this! Here is where Adam fell! Here (near this at least) must that tree have stood whence he plucked the forbidden fruit. Not far off from here must be the spot where theCherubim were placed, and where the Flaming Sword shut him out from his Paradise. What has sin dono! What a change and blight have come over this earth since our first parents dwelt here in peace and joy! What a contrast now! Paradise and Babylon! Holiness and bliss; corruption and its fruits! We can suppose how thoughts of the Fall would rise naturally in the mind of Daniel, as he walked by the side of HiddekoL But he would have other thoughts than of sin and lost communion with God. He would say; Through tho blood of the Paschal Lamb, which they are now offering in Jerusalem, I get ba<ik communion with God; I have all my sin blotted out, and can meet with Him who met with Adam here, and walked with him.

Do we often thus go back to the fountain of sin and corruption? Do we sometimes take the words of the 51st Psalm, and say, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me 1" Do we go back in thought to Paradise, and mourn with Adam and Eve over the eating of the forbidden fruit? Let us call to mind our share in the sin of the world. What a view of the virulence of sin does it give us, when we think that the sin of Adam has gone down through all their descendants, and is still working such terrific havoc in the world around us!

But while we think of this, let us not forget that the lost communion can be restored, because He came who was the "Seed of the woman." Somewhere yonder, (Daniel would say) did God speak the first promise. And you to-day can think of that promise as fulfilled in Christ, and can claim for yourself The Seed of the woman.

Once more: observe that the result of these twentyone days of fasting and prayer was something well worth waiting for. While Daniel is by Hiddekel, he sees some one walking towards him among the trees that border the river. Is it old Adam, of whom he had been thinking? No, it is the Second Adam, and that is better than the First; for notice now,

Daniel, like John in Patmos,

in the discovery made to him of the Lord Jesus. This was God's way of rewarding him for these days of waiting. "Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain Man clothed in linen," fine linen, always the symbol of righteousness,—"whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz,"—the golden ephod: this is one not only spotless in righteousness, Q

but priestly too. "His body also was like the beryl," or chrysolite, indicating the bright yet mild splendour of His person. "And His face as the appearance of lightning,"—too glorious to be gazed on steadily, as in the Transfiguration. "And His eyes as lamps of fire," —He can see others though they cannot gaze on Him. "And His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass,"—He has perfect purity, that takes on no soil of earth, though it treads this world; just as He could touch a leper not taking on leprosy, but destroying it. "And the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude,"—like the "sound of many waters," as John says. You can see at once that thi3 is the Son of Man.

At first, the vision was overpowering. Daniel says, "There remained no strength in me;" and again, verse 17, "Neither is there breath left in me." His bodily frame suffered under the overpowering vision of glory; but the special reference of the words is to the feelings of the soul. "I saw Him, and knew what I was by comparison. H I had had a self-complacent thought before, it was gone now; my comeliness was turned in me into corruption." Like Isaiah (vi. 5), when he beheld the Lord in vision, "Then said I, Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips."

The sight of the Lord Jesus always has this effect on the believer. It strips a man of all self-righteousness and self-complacency, and leaves him overwhelmed with the feeling of utter vileness and nothingness. The nearer you get to the Saviour, you will, by comparison, see the more of your own loathsomeness, and will abhor yourself the more. By looking into yourself, and dwelling on the evils of your own heart, you may find out something of the sin within you; but, while you may go a long way in finding out the corruption within you, you may, at the same time, come to be very self-complacent over your own clearness of vision in the matter, and may feed your corruption on your 'corruption. On the other hand, come near Christ, and in the twinkling of an eye you are emptied of all self-complacency, and are down in the dust in selfabhorrence, and a sense of your own nothingness. Of all ways the most thorough, to make a man humble and self-abased, is for him to see in the light of Christ what he is in himself.

Another effect of the vision on Daniel was, he "became dumb." "So wonder that the glory of the Son of man thus seen, should make him dumb with awe and wonder. But all this was as a preface to something better still; for here was a discovery not only of the glory, but also of ilia grace of the Son of man, "When I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face." It is curious that the word used here is the same word as that used in Paradise (Gen. ii. 21) when a "deep sleep" fell on Adam, and the Lord took the rib from his side and made of it a woman. It was no doubt a refreshing sleep,—a sleep that was to prepare him for the vision.

Then we are told, "An hand touched me,"—a human hand. As in Patmos, when John saw the vision, he 244 TRATING AND FASTING.

rays, "I fell at His feet as dead, and He laid His right hand upon me, and said, Fear not;" so here the Lord says to Daniel, "O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, . . . Fear not, DanieL" You see here the grace of Christ, and how sweet it is to see that His grace is no new thing in Him. We see it fully in New Testament days, but He was the same to the Old Testament saints. How sweet to know that love and grace in the bosom of the Son of man were the same in their deep fountain when He was in the bosom of the Father, before He came forth to manifest TTimgftlf in TTia humanity! Let us study Christ's heart more: it draws us so close to Him. Let us study His words. Hear how He speaks to Daniel,—"A man greatly beloved," a "man of desires." O man of God, do you believe that the Lord has intense as well as real desire towards you 1 When you go to meet Him at His Table, or at the mercy-seat, He is there before you, as one that loves you so much that He could not stay away. "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you" (John xv. 9).

And recollect that He whose grace is manifested here is seen as Priest, to assure us that He was quite able to meet us sinners. He is a Priest: He has the hyssop and the blood ready to wash away all defilement. When He comes to hold communion with me, He comes as one who will see all that is in me, but who, in that same moment, whatever spot or stain of sin is on me, wipes it away. Thus He can hold communion with us in a holy fellowship, and we may say to Him, "Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for thy love is better than wine."

0 what grace is here! And such (may I not say)

is the reward of waiting closely on the Lord in earnest,

continued prayer. You will get discoveries of Christ

in His glory, and grace, such as you have never yet had.

If you set yourself to wait on the Lord, the Second

Adam will meet you, and reveal Himself to you. He

may meet you to humble you,—to lay you in the very

dust in self-abhorrence and abasement,—to empty you

of every thought of self-satisfaction. If so, all the

better; because, when He does thus humble you and

empty you, it is to prepare you for further usefulness.

Daniel was thus humbled that afterwards he might

have new employment in God's service. "When he

had spoken to me, I was strengthened." If He empties,

it is in order to fill; if He weakens, it is that He may

afterwards supply new strength. After Daniel is thus

strengthened, he gets a communication made to him

by the Son of man as the Prophet of His people. He was

pleased to reveal to His servant much of the history of the

world's kingdoms, on through the centuries to come, even

to the time when "many of them that sleep in the dust

of the earth shall awake," and when "they that turn many

to righteousness shall be as the stars for ever and ever."

Eemember, when the Lord did this for Daniel, He

did it as the response to that waiting on Him in these

weeks of fasting and prayer. When Isaiah was humbled

under a sense of his vileness, and then was lifted up

with a fresh sense of forgiveness, He sent him to a new 'work (vi. 8, 9). And there will be some such results for us too, if we meet with the Lord, and, being emptied of all self-strength and complacency, are anew filled with His grace and strength.

There is a lesson of another kind here for those who may not be interested in the subject of our meditation. The men who were with Daniel when he beheld this vision hid themselves. They fled, and so did not behold the glory of the vision; they were themselves to blame for their not seeing the sight. Perhaps, if they had remained, the Lord would have revealed Himself to them also. If you do not get the discovery of the Lord that others do, it is your blame: you have gone away from Him, you have hid yourself from Him. And it is well to observe, the Lord suffered them to go away: nor did He compel them to come back—He let them go. So it may be with you; the blame being all your own for remaining out of the way.

But once more. There is not a simpler or more effectual way of learning much of sin in its hatefulness and loathsomeness, and the working of it in us, than this of coming into the presence of Christ, waiting on Him in prayer and fasting. Draw near to Him; invite Him to come near to you, to show Himself evidently to you in His glory and His grace,—and so you will see what sin is, and what you are. There is; not a better way of learning the whole truth than this of coming into the presence of the Lord, and dwelling for a season under His eye, inviting the blessed Potter to mould the softened clay.




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Emilia Geddie: a Child of the Covenant. By

Kev. Andrew A. Bonar, D.D., Glasgow.
The Prince in Disguise.
The Brave Spirit.
The Coming Kingdom.
The Light Shining.
The Rose in the Desert.
The Promise Kept.
Reuben Kent

Hay also be had in Assorted Packets, Price Is.
Packet I.
The Door of Heaven. I Babes in the Bush.
The German Orphan. | The Best Treasure.

Packet II.
The New Scholar. I God's Pensioners.

Sunshine and Tempest. | The Lord will Provide.

Packet III.

The Will and the Way. For Young Men. By the

Editor ot the "Children's Messenger."
Sarah Gilchrist: a Record of Youthful Piety.

By the Kev. John Wilson, M.A., Abernyte.
Victory! Victory! A Memoir of Mrs. Waiteb

Boreland, Stonehouse.
Joy in Christ: the Story of a Young Believer.

For Young Women. By the Kev. Andrew A. Bonar,

D.D., Glasgow.

The Saint's Voyage: a Sea Sermon. By an Old

Ship Surgeon.
Sabbath School Teachers: their Relation to
the Church, the Family, and the Scholar. By Kev. S. K.
MACPHAIL, M.A., Glasgow.

May I Go to the Ball? By the late Kev. John
MAODONALD, M.A., Calcutta. With Preface by Kev.
Andrew A. Bonar, D.D., Glasgow.

Glasgow: Charles Glass is Co., 85 Maxwell Street.




May also be had in Assorted Packets, Price Is.

Packet I.

The Dying Heiress.

Johnny Ross.

The Wood Gatherer.

Never to Die.

The Merchant of Stonehouse.

Captain Ball's Story.

Packet II.

The Young Mountaineer.

The Indian's Revenge.

The Missionary's Little Daughter.

The Wanderer.

Blind Willie.

The Emigrant Boy.

Robert Paul, the Banker: a Model to Young
Men. By Bev. William Gibson, Abbotshall, Kirkcaldy.

May also be had in Assorted Packets, Price Is.

Sammy Hick.

Brave Herman.

Willie the Runaway.

The Simple made Wise.

What should Children Read!

Little Hands.

Little Things.

I Didn't Do It.

Good and Bad Luck.

Do your Best.

Mossetse: the African Orphan Boy.

"Go Away!"


BALFPENST EACH,BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED Twelve in Packet, ed.; Twenty-Four in Packet, Is.

The Bank that Never

The Mast-Head.
The Three Wishes.
The Old Shepherd.
The Broken Kite.

The Lucky Stone.
A Mother's Love.
The Hand of Provi-
The Hindoo Girl.
Apple Blossom.
A Lesson from an Arab.

FARTBIKQ EACH, with BEAUTIFUL TIOSETTES. Twenty-Four in Packet, ed.; Forty-Eight in Packet, Is.

Packet I.

Early Rising.

Will there be flowers in Heaven, Mamma?

A Noble-Minded School-Boy.

The Midnight Conflict.

Not Ashamed of Ridicule.

Trades carried on by Birds, Beasts, and I nsects.

The Highland Piper.

Catching a Butterfly.

The French Nobleman and Isaiah liii.

A Bad Habit.

Wealth and Poverty.

Who will be a Missionary?

That's Thee, Jem.
Trust in Jesus.
Kiss for a Blow.
The Bible.
Saying Prayers.
A Little Boy's Inquiry.
Uncle William's Advice.
The Young Pedlar.
The Child who Died in

a Passion.
The New Nest.
The Faithful Dog.
Small Enemies.
Good for Evil.
The Little Beggars.
The Prodigal Son.
Let me Pray first.
Benny's Radishes.


1. Search the Scriptures.

2. My Acceptance of God in Christ as my God.

3. Fifty Reasons why a Sinner should come to

Christ without Delay.

4. Scripture Guide to Full Salvation.

FOURPENCE EACH. On Large Sheet, Red and Black Ink.
Mounted on Cloth, Is. 3d.

The Commission.

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the
Gospel to every creature." -

The Cry.

"Come over and help us."

The Response.

"Here am I, send me."

The Promise.

"I am with you alway."

The Reward.

"A crown which cannot fade.



Prict One Penny each.
The Cross of Christ. By the Rev. A. N. SomervUle.
God is Love; By the same Author-
Found Out. By the Rev. William Gebble, Dunlop.
A Voice from the Better Land to our Young Men.
Jesus the only Saviour: A Letter of Invitation to the

How I was Taken from the Wiry Clay.
The Glorified Kedeemer. By the Rev. Kenneth Moody-

Stuart, MA, Moffat.
Grace Sufficient.
Accepted of Christ, and Accepted in Christ. By the

Rev. William Gebble, Dunlop.
Directory for Christians intending Heaven. By the

Rev. John Willisou.

V* Seven ol the above Little Books may be had In a Packet,
Price 6<L By Post, 7d.

The Lowest Place. By C. F. M. A little book specially suited for Anxious Inquirers.

A friend to whom a copy was sent writes:—" It is one of the clearest guides to the truth that I have ever read."

Price ljd each. Six Post Free.
A Letter to Catherine Sinclair from her Sister


"Hannah Sinclair's Letter Is the best compendium of Christian Doctrine I have ever seen."—Dr. Chalmebs.

Same Price at above, Beautifully Illustrated.
Little Footprints. Choice Selections.
James Macartney. By Mrs. Barbour.
A Year of Blessing. By Rev. Andrew A. Bonar, D.D.
Our Heavenly Father's Care. By the Rev. J as. Johnstoc.

<$ <&*



Packet I. contains SO Assorted of Vie following 8 Tracts.

1. The Burning of the Idols in Madagascar.

2. Have you got a New Heart P,

3. Your Great Friend.

4. Christ at the Heart's Door.

5. The Dark Close.

6. The Condemned Rebel.

7. "Stand where the Fire has been."

8. Yeddie at the Lord's Table.
Packet II. contains SO Assorted of the following 8 Tracts.

9. Love Stronger than Death.

10. The Two Brothers.

11. Barbara in the Infirmary.

12. Willie's Bible Burned.

13. The Chinese Missionary.
14- Archie Anxious about his Soul.

15. The Murderer Forgiven.

16. The Happy Hindoo.
Packet III. contains SO Assorted of the following 8 Traits.

17. The Boy Victim.

18. The Finished Work.
18. John Bunyan.

20. Johnnie and his Bible.

21. The Brahmin and the Microscope.

22. The Happy Isle.

23. Matt, the Idiot Boy.

24. The Sound of the Shell.

Packet IV. contains 50 Assorted of the following 8 Tracts.

25. I am my own Pilot

26. The Life Preserver.

27. "Old John and Hew John."

28. A True Dream.

29. "I have taken Him at His word."

30. Think on these Things.
81. Providential Deliverance.
32. A Lady's Gift.