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nation, and language, which speak any thing amisi against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.

The golden statue, which we here read of, was, including its pedestal, thirty yards in height, and is supposed to have been dedicated by Nebuchadnezzar to Bel his idol; though it is not improbable that it was rather an image of himself, to which he required Divine honours to be paid in consequence of his dream.

This ambitious king seems to have forgot in the prosecution of his conquests the Almighty God, whose Supreme Power he formerly acknowledged.

The punishment of being thrown into a burning fiery furnace was usual in Chaldea, and must have been very dreadful; besides on this occasion it was heated to an uncommon degree.

How great must have been thefaith and piety of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, which enabled them to adhere to their duty, in defiance of the threats of Nebuchadnezzar, and the torments prepared for them.

Among the Apocryphal writings we have the following which is called The Song of the Three Holy Children; whether it contains the very words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, is not known: but it accords »o well with this part of sacred history that it may be received by way of illustration.

THE SONG OF THE THREE HOLY CHILDREN.

THEN these three men Jell down bound into the midst

»f the burning fery furnace. And they •miked in the

8 midst midst of the fire, praising God, and blessing the Lord. Then Azarias stood up, and prayed Oh this manner: and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, said, Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers: Thy name it worthy to be praised and glorified for evermore. For Thou art righteous in all the thmgs that Thou hast done to us; yea, true are all Thy works, Thy ways are right, and all Thy judgments truth. In ell the things which Thou hast brought upon us, and upon the holy city of our fathers, even Jerusalem, Thou hast executed tru* judgment; for according to truth and judgment didst Thou bring -mil these things upon us, because of our sins. For we have sinned and committed iniquity, departing from Thee. In all things we have trespassed, and not obeyed Thy commandments, nor kept them, neither done as Thou hast commanded us, that it might go well with vs. Wherefore all that Thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that Thou hast done to us, Thou hast done in true judgment. And Thou didst deliver us into the hands of lawless enemies, most hateful jorsakers of God, and to an unjust king, and the most wicked in all the world. And now we cannot open our mouths, we art become a shame and a reproach to Thy servants, and to them that worship Thee. Yet deliver us Jiot up wholly, for Thy name's sake, neither disannul Thou Thy covenant; and cause not Thy mercy to depart from us, for Thy beloved Abraham's sake, for Thy servant Isaac'* sake, and for Thy holy Israel's sake: To whom thou hast spoken and promised, That Thou would.st multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that lieth upon the sea shore. For we, O Lord, are become less than any nation, and be kept under this day in all the world because of our sins. Neither is there at this time prince or prophet, or leader, er burnt-offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, vr incense, or place to sacrifice before Thee, and to find mercy. Nevertheless, in a contrite

heart heai-t and an humble spirit let us be accepted. Like as in the burnt-offerings of rams and bullocks, and like as in ten thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in Thy sight this day, and grant that vie may wholly go after Thee: for they shall not be confounded that put their trust in Thee, And now we follow Thee with all our heart, we fear Thee, and seek thy face. Put us not to shame: tut deal with us after Thy loving kindness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies. Deliver us also according to Thy marvellous works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord; and let all them that do Thymservants hurt, be ashamed; and let them be confounded in all their power and might, and let their strength be broken; and let them know that Thou art Loiid, the only God, and glorious over the whole world.And the king's servants that put them in, censed not to make the oven hot with rosin, pitch, tow, and small wood; so that the flame streamed forth above the furnace, forty and nine cubits. And it passed through end burnt those Chaldeans it found about the furnace. But the angel of the Lord came down into the oven, together with Azarias and his fellows, and smote the flame of the fire out of the oven; and made the midst of the furnace, as it had been a moist whistling wind, Sq that the fire touched them nut at all, neither hurt nor troubled them.Then the three as out of one mouth, praised, glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying, Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord God of our fathers: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever. And blessed is Thy glorious and holy name: and to be praised, and exalted above all for ever. Blessed art Thou in the temple of thine holy glory: and to be praised and glorified above all for ever. Blessed art Thou that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever. Blessed art Thou on the glorious throne of Thy kingdom.' end

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til he praised and glorified for ever. Blessed art Thou in the firmament of heaven; and above all to be praiied and glorified far ever. 0 all yc the works of the Lokd, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye heavens, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 all ye waters that be above the heaven, bless ye the Lokd: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye sun and moon, bless ye the Loisd: praise and exalt Him above nil J or ever. 0 ye stars of heaven, bless ye the Lo<d: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 0 alt ye winds, bless ye the Loud: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 yc winter and summer,, bless ye the Lord: praise and exult Htm above all for ever. 0 ye dews and storms of snow, bless ye the Lokd : praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye nights and nays, bless ye the Loud: praise and exalt- Him above all for ever. O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O ye ice and cold, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him flbove all for ever. 0 ye frost and snou, bless ye the Lord; praise and (xalt Him above all for ever. O ye lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O let the earth bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for eier. O ye mountains and little hills, bless ye the Loan : prahe and exalt IJim above all for ever. 0 all ye things that grow on the earth, bless ye the Lord.- praise and exalt ti/m above all for ever. 0 ye fountains, bless ye the Lori/ : pra/Sg Vol. iv. H, and and exalt Han above all for ever. O ye seas and rivers bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 all ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 all ye beasts and cattle, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye children of men, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 Israel, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise nnd exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. 0 Ananias, Asanas, and Misael, bless ye the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all for ever: for He hath delivered us from hell, and saved us from the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the furnace and burning flame: even out of the midst of the fire hath He delivered us. 0 give thanks unto the Lord, because He is gracious: for His mercy endureth for ever. 0 all ye that worship the Lord, We** the Gon of gods, praise Him, and give Him thanks : for His mercy endureth for ever.

What a striking example does this Section afford of the interposition of Providence in favour of true and inflexible piety.

On this occasion God literally fulfilled his promise by the mouth of Isaiah; When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt: neither shall the flame kindle upon thee *.

* Chapter xliii. 3.

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