The Project Gutenberg eBook of Daniel's Youth

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Title: Daniel's Youth

Author: Unknown

Release date: April 28, 2021 [eBook #65184]

Language: English

Credits: hekula03 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)








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SUNDAY. God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.—Ps. lxxv. 7.

MONDAY. The king’s favour is toward a wise servant.—Prov. xiv. 35.

TUESDAY. O satisfy us early with thy mercy.—Ps. xc. 14.

WEDNESDAY. But I keep under my body: lest that by any means, I myself should be a castaway.—1 Cor. ix. 27.

THURSDAY. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.—2 Tim. ii. 22.

FRIDAY. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold.—Prov. xvi. 16.

SATURDAY. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated.—James iii. 17.


1. Tell who Daniel was, and how he came to Babylon.Dan. i. 1-3, 6.

2. For what purpose was Daniel chosen by Nebuchadnezzar?Dan. i. 4, 5.

3. What did Daniel ask the prince of the eunuchs?Dan. i. 8-10.

4. What did he then propose to Melzar?Dan. i 11-14.

5. What was the result of the trial?Dan. i. 15, 16.

6. How did Nebuchadnezzar receive them at the end of the three years?Dan. i. 17-20.

7. In what was Daniel an example to the young?

In his early piety. It grew in a situation where it had no advantages, and many difficulties to overcome. He showed his obedience to God’s law—temperance—amiability—diligence in his studies.


“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” This, my dear boys, explains all that Daniel did, and all that Daniel became;—this is the root of the matter, it was this “purpose in his heart,” carried out, that made him good and great: he purposed in his heart that he should not sin.


Most boys are fond of laying plans—they have many purposes for the future. I remember often at school we used to talk of what we would be, what we would do, when we were men. One would be a sailor, another a goldsmith, another a pastry cook, and another a soldier. I do think the boy who purposed to be a pastry cook loved sugar, and the intended goldsmith was fond of the glitter of gold. Yet, if I recollect aright, not one of these boys became what he purposed—they never did what they purposed.

I will mark down three kinds of purposes, and tell a little story for each.

1. A purpose of the head.

2. A purpose of the tongue.

3. A purpose of the heart.

Henry was the one of my companions who had most purposes in his head. He was a clever boy, about my own age; but he knew it, and never would exert himself. He was careless about his lessons, and never used to look at some of them till he was in the school-room; yet he[6] purposed to gain the first prize in his class. He did not say much about it, but he evidently took for granted that it would easily be his. Weeks and months passed away, and frequently Henry suffered for his carelessness. Boys, who were not his equals, got and kept ahead of him by their superior application. The master used to tell Henry that he would regret his negligence; and then, for a few days, Henry’s talents were applied, and he regained his place; but it did not last, his indolence prevailed, and again he relapsed. The session drew to a close. Most of the boys now doubted whether Henry would come off first. The competitions took place, and each boy lodged his papers. Henry did exert himself then, but it was too late. Before the assembled school the names of the successful competitors were read. Henry’s name stood third,—his purpose was not of the heart but just of the head, and nothing came of it. He purposed, but he did not do.

There was another boy older than Henry[7] at the school, whose purposes were all on his tongue. You never could be long beside him without hearing him tell what “he could do.” It did not matter who you were speaking of, or what they had done, Richard could do more. Little boys, the first week they were at the academy, looked up to Richard with much reverence, for they believed what he said of himself, but the second week they knew him better; for though his tongue spoke of great things, he did very little; and in a short while longer, they found out that Richard was a boaster, a vain-bragger, who gave his tongue all the work that his head, feet, and hands should have done; all his purposes were on his tongue, but he never performed them.

James Ferrier was very unlike either of these boys; his father was a poor man; and James was despised by many of the boys, when he came among them, because his jacket was coarse, and his dress clumsily made. But he cared not; quietly and calmly he took his seat in the class where[8] Henry was, and though he had been two years shorter time at Latin than the other boys of the class, it was he whose name stood first on the list, when Henry stood third. He had no tutor at home to help him; he had far to walk to the class; and his time for his lessons was shortened by duties he had to do at home. Still James succeeded, because he had a purpose in his heart,—he did not think about it,—he did not speak about his purpose, but he did it!

Which of these three boys was likest Daniel? Which of these boys is likest to you? A purpose in the heart is like a spring of water; you may stem it up at one spot, but it will burst out at another,—it will be done! Let the purpose of your heart be that you will not sin, and you will be great and good too.