Daniel had had a taste of what it was to have a kingdom founded on divine principles and conducted with divine objects. He was a member of the royal family of Jerusalem.

He lived the first part of his life in Judah during the reign of Josiah and Jehoiakim, and, in the reign of the latter, was brought away captive from the Lord's land and taken to Babylon to ornament a pagan monarch's court.

As a student of Jeremiah the prophet, he was aware that a limit had been fixed for the captivity at Babylon, and while living a stranger among the heathen, he looked forward with hope to the end of seventy years as the time when Jerusalem would be recovered from her ruins, and the Jews would return to occupy again the Lord's land, from which they had been expelled because of their insubordination to the law that God had given them. How much this involved to his imagination it is not easy for us to realise.

We look back upon the restoration from Babylon as upon a naked and meagre transaction that could not have excited any man's ardour.

But had we been living in Daniel's time, we should have felt, as he probably did (in the absence of any knowledge of times and seasons) that the end of the seventy years might be the end of all trouble, and the beginning of the establishment of Jerusalem as head of all the earth, so gloriously foretold throughout Isaiah, with whose writings Daniel would be as intimately acquainted as with Jeremiah.

With such an expectation we should have felt all his interest and shared all his desire: for what would such a consummation have meant, but the attainment of every desirable condition for the earth and man upon it?-the blessing of all the families of the earth in Abraham as promised?-

in fact, the setting up of the Kingdom of God, which yet remains the hope of mankind (though they know it not),-the divinely-promised and provided remedy of which they are ignorant?

Is it a wonder that Daniel, with such views, should "set his face unto the Lord God" in prayer and supplications at the end of the seventy years? His prayer is given in extenso.

He confesses Israel's sins for many generations. He acknowledges the justice of the evil that had befallen them, as Moses had threatened. Yet he appeals to the "great mercies" of God, who had "brought his people out of the land of Egypt," and who had thereby established a great name for Himself in the earth, to "turn away his anger from Jerusalem," and for His own name's sake to forgive their sins, and to cause His face to shine upon his desolate sanctuary.

Sunday Morning 174 - TC 12/1886