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THE ANGEL IN THE DEN

From the January 1917 issue of The Christian Science Journal


There is a well known narrative in the older Scripture about a man in a den of lions; but the real significance back of the account is revealed by the story of an angel. On page 581 of Science and Health we read this definition of angels: "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality."

It is helpful in reviewing the narrative of Daniel to keep this definition in mind. We are all familiar with the historic facts concerning the prophet; how he stood almost alone for God at a corrupt court in an idolatrous nation; how his spiritual wisdom and goodness had won him repeated recognition; and how finally he had been placed in the very highest positions of trust by three successive kings. We recall too that while peace and steadfastness abode with him in his daily round of responsible duties, there were far different mental companions dwelling with the sin-loving courtiers about him. To their sensual, idolatrous minds this simple, wise, spiritual man of many honors was no doubt a thorn in the flesh, and his humility and purity the source of much ridicule. Defrauded as they no doubt thought themselves by his exalted position, rebuked by his goodness, their mental companions were jealousy, hatred, and intrigue. So before long there happened what always happens when evil thoughts are entertained,—they ripened into action.

These princes therefore plotted against Daniel, plotted to reach him through what they regarded as his weakest, point,—namely, his loyalty to his God. We all know what followed; how Daniel's one friend, the king, mentally asleep, signed the decree making illegal, under penalty of the lions' den, any prayer offered to a god instead of himself; how Daniel went quietly about the Father's business, communing as usual thrice daily with his God; and how enemies, spying upon him, reported him to the now awakened king.

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