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How can they praise God? Clouds and wells -- they are not even living things. Why speak of them in a hymn; much less speak to them?

The song of three friends

And so will men do hereafter, when the fashions and the fancies of these days are past, and men have their eyes opened once more to see the glory which is around them from their cradle to their grave, and hear once more 'The Word of the Lord walking among the trees of the garden. How can not only dumb things, but even dead things, praise God? My friends, this is a great mystery, of which the wisest men as yet know but little, and confess freely how little they know.

But this at least we know already, and can say boldly -- all things praise God, by fulfilling the law which our Lord himself declared, when he said 'Not every one who saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. By obeying the laws which God has given them. By taking the shape which he has appointed for them.

By being of the use for which he intended them. By multiplying each after their kind, by laws and means a thousand times more strange than any signs and wonders of which man can fancy for himself; and by thus showing forth God's boundless wisdom, goodness, love, and tender care of all which he has made. Yes, my friends, in this sense and this is the true sense all things can serve and praise God, and all things do serve and praise Him.

Not a cloud which fleets across the sky, not a clod of earth which crumbles under the frost, not a blade of grass which breaks through the snow in spring, not a dead leaf which falls to the earth in autumn, but is doing God's work, and showing forth God's glory. Not a tiny insect, too small to be seen by human eyes without the help of a microscope, but is as fearfully and wonderfully made as you and me, and has its proper food, habitation, work, appointed for it, and not in vain. Nothing is idle, nothing is wasted, nothing goes wrong, in this wondrous world of God. The very scum upon the standing pool, which seems mere dirt and dust, is all alive, peopled by millions of creatures, each full of beauty, full of use, obeying laws of God too deep for us to do aught but dimly guess at them; and as men see deeper and deeper into the mystery of God's creation, they find in the commonest things about them wonder and glory, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive; and can only say with the Psalmist, 'Oh Lord, thy ways are infinite, thy thoughts are very deep;' and confess that the grass beneath their feet, the clouds above their heads -- ay, every worm beneath the sod and bird upon the bough, do, in very deed and truth, bless the Lord who made them, praise him, and magnify him for ever, not with words indeed, but with works; and say to man all day long, 'Go thou, and do likewise.

If we wish really to obey the lesson of the Hymn of the Three Children, let us do the will of God: and so worship him in spirit and in truth. Do not fancy, as too many do, that thou canst praise God by singing hymns to him in church once a week, and disobeying him all the week long, crying to him 'Lord, Lord,' and then living as if he were not thy Lord, but thou wast thine own Lord, and hadst a right to do thine own will, and not his. If thou wilt really bless God, then try to live his blessed life of Goodness. If thou wilt truly praise God, then behave as if God was praiseworthy, good, and right in what he bids thee do.

If thou wouldest really magnify God, and declare his greatness, then behave as if he were indeed the Great God, who ought to be obeyed -- ay, who MUST be obeyed; for his commandment is life, and it alone, to thee, as well as to all which He has made.


Dost thou fancy as the heathen do, that God needs to be flattered with fine words? He asks of thee works, as well as words; and more, He asks of thee works first, and words after.

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And better it is to praise him truly by works without words, than falsely by words without works. Cry, if thou wilt, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts;' but show that thou believest him to be holy, by being holy thyself. Sing, if Thou wilt, of 'The Father of an Infinite Majesty:' but show that thou believest his majesty to be infinite, by obeying his commandments, like those Three Children, let them cost thee what they may.

Join, and join freely, in the songs of the heavenly host; for God has given thee reason and speech, after the likeness of his only begotten Son, and thou mayest use them, as well as every other gift, in the service of thy Father. But take care lest, while thou art trying to copy the angels, thou art not even as righteous as the beasts of the field. For they bless and praise God by obeying his laws; and till thou dost that, and obeyest God's laws likewise, thou art not as good as the grass beneath thy feet. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Apocryphal insertions to the Book of Daniel, in which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who have been cast into a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, call upon the angels, all things in nature, and people to praise the Lord.

Read more Read less. From Publishers Weekly In the book of Daniel appears the Apocrypha, a hymn of praise that was sung by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, three Jewish captives in Babylon who were thrown into a fiery furnace and saved by an angel. Read more. Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle Don't have a Kindle?

The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children - Wikisource, the free online library

Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 3 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. Beautiful book! One of my personal favourites. Just a wonderful children's book. I wish every kid read it. My daughter loved it. Beautifully and memorably illustrated.

Pauline Baynes is special. Format: Hardcover. Wonderful illustrations for this Psalm.

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