Imagini ale paginilor

for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.' And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all.–And they were in all in the ship two hundred three score and sixteen souls.

“And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore. And they committed themselves unto the sea, and ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.—And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land; and the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”

1 Acts xxvii, 1, 6, 7-11, 14, 20, 21-27, 29, 33-35, 37, 39-44.

Divine encouragement. 16 Thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel ; In quietness and in confidence shall be thy strength. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; 3 for them that honour me I will honour. 4 Thou shalt be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be care


ful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

5«. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid : yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh : the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken; 6 for the Lord knoweth them that trust in him." 1 Is. xxx, 15. 2 Is. liv, 4. 31 Sam. ii, 30. 4 Jer. xvii, 8.

5 Prov. iii, 24-26. 6 Nah. i, 7.


[ocr errors]

ILLUSTRATION. The captive Jews in the furnace.

16 Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, made an image of gold, and set it up in the plain of Dura. Then the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image ; and they stood before the image that he had set up.

“ Then an herald cried aloud :-'To you it is commanded, 0 people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.'

“Therefore, when all the people heard the sound of music, they fell down and worshipped the golden image.

" At that time certain Chaldeans came near and accused the Jews, and said to the king :

[ocr errors]

king, live for ever. - There are certain Jews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.' Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring them. Then they brought these men before the king. And he said unto them, 'Is it true-do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image ? Now if ye

be ready that at what time ye hear the music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made, well :—but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands ??

And they answered and said to the king : "We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, Ó king. But if not, be it known unto

O thee, 0 king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.'

“Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and he commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. Then these men were bound in their garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

And the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors ; "Did not we cast three men bound into

[ocr errors]

the furnace ? Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.' Then he came near to the mouth of the furnace, and said :—Ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.' Then they came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

“ Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said: Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and hath changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God.—There is no other God that can deliver after this sort.'

1 Dan. iii, 1-9, 12-21, 24-29. The song of a steadfast believer. 1«My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation : he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 3 In God I have put



He re

my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

4 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid : for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 6 The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid ? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear :-what can man do unto me? "In the Lord put I my trust.

8“ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : he leadeth me beside the still waters. storeth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 'I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only, makest me dwell in safety. 10 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 11 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 12 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of

my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

136Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men ! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of

14 Blessed be the Lord my strength, my


« ÎnapoiContinuați »