Daniel 12:3
Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
As the Stars for EverT. De Witt Talmage, D.D.Daniel 12:3
Becoming StarsC. A. Salmond, M.A.Daniel 12:3
Faithfulness Richly RewardedC. G. Scott.Daniel 12:3
Glory in ReserveE. N. Kirk, D.D.Daniel 12:3
Heaven and Earth ReconciledT. Adams.Daniel 12:3
How to Win a SoulDaniel 12:3
How to Win SoulsR.A. Torrey.Daniel 12:3
How to Win SoulsDaniel 12:3
RighteousnessCanon W. J. Knox-Little, M.A.Daniel 12:3
Shining as the StarsDaniel 12:3
Soul-Saving and its RewardS. V. Lech.Daniel 12:3
The Christian Minister Turning Many to RighteousnessE. Jones.Daniel 12:3
The Distinction of the Wise in GloryEdward Pizey, B.A.Daniel 12:3
The Glorious Reward of the RighteousJ. Benson.Daniel 12:3
The High Reward of Those Who Turn Many to RighteousnessJohn, Morison, D.D.Daniel 12:3
The Peculiar Excellency and Reward of Supporting Schools of CharityBishop Edmund Gibson.Daniel 12:3
The Supreme Reward of a Devoted LifeJ. M. Sherwood, D.D.Daniel 12:3
The Work and Recompense of Christ's Ministering ServantsIsaac D. Winslow.Daniel 12:3
The Work and the Destiny of a True PreacherHomilistDaniel 12:3
Wisdom Connected with its RewardR. Finlayson B.A.Daniel 12:3
Wise and Useful Men Will Shine in GlorySketches of Four Hundred SermonsDaniel 12:3
Wise WorkersEd. Sandercock.Daniel 12:3
The Shining of the Clear and the ConvertingH.T. Robjohns Daniel 12:1-3
Prophetic Events in PerspectiveJ.D. Davies Daniel 12:1-4
The Great ConsummationJoseph A. Seiss, D. D.Daniel 12:1-13

And they that be wise shall shine etc. (ver. 3). Here are two types of humanity and two destinies. There is a likeness both in the types and in the destinies, such as we might expect from the parallelism of the text; at the same time, there are differences. The one type is in advance of the other; so is the Divine recognition in the one case as against the preceding. In the one case we have an attribute of soul, in the other an activity. The first is followed by a radiance like that of the open sky; the second, by a brilliance like to that of the stars.

I. THE CLEAR. Turn to the Hebrew, and it will soon be seen that the essential idea in the word translated "wise" is that of a clear eye with a clear outlook. Cleave to this idea, and let it determine our description of the character here set before us. In such a character:

1. The soul is clear. Not absolutely here on earth, but relatively in contrast with the former state. Transparent. Pure (Matthew 5:8). No moral taint of such a kind as to destroy the vision of spiritual and eternal things (John 8:12).

2. The eye is clear.

3. The atmosphere is clear. (Ephesians 5:8.)

4. The objects of choice are clear. In time; in eternity.

5. The choice of means is clear. All the present is subjected to the future. Herein lies ever true wisdom.

II. THEIR SHINING. Perhaps the text refers mainly to the shining of immortality. We may bear in mind that the shining of the clear-seeing saint - of the saint who is indeed a seer - is not a question of time or place, of aeons or worlds, but one of character. The shining will then be here as well as there. How, then, does the saint shine? Of what sort is the radiance of the open day-sky? The light of the sky is:

1. Brilliant. No light in all the landscape can exceed the brilliance of the sky. No light in all the world of intelligence and morals can exceed that of saintliness.

2. Soft. No element of pain in it.

3. Diffused.

4. Victorious. Clouds may dim the face of the sky. So calumnies, misunderstandings, imperfections, failings, may obscure character. But the light shines through the cloud, and continues after the cloud has passed away.

5. Ministering. The sky is like an angel of God in the sweetness and beauty of its service. What relief to the sick and to the nursing, who out of their lattices watch for the morning! What cheer to the strong! What health! Sunlight is health. The sun arises with "healing in his wings." So the "Sun of Righteousness." So they that are like him. What power to work! The sky holds, as it were, the candle to every worker on earth. How we value dying daylight! So wistfully watch we the expiring radiance of the saints we love.

6. Borrowed. Not its own, but the sun's. So the light of the saints is not theirs, but God's.

III. THE CONVERTING. In order to preach truly and intelligently from this passage, the following points should be observed: "They that turn to righteousness" is the translation of a single word in Hebrew - a verb, of the hiphil conjugation, participial form, plural number, construct case. The verb means "to be right or righteous;" in the hiphil conjugation, "to make one right or righteous." Here, then, we have the activity of the saint, going forth in this form of instrumentally making men righteous, implying a turning away from wickedness, and doing this in the case of "many." Turning the sinner to God, so as to be "justified by his grace," would not exhaust the meaning; it goes beyond that, to the securing at least the elements of personal righteousness in him. How can we instrumentally convert?

1. By luminosity of life.

2. By word from the lip. Not necessarily a pulpit-word or a class-word, but a friendly word, and that of the simplest kind.

3. By unconscious co-operation with others. Henry Martyn never knew that he was the means of converting a single soul; but he translated the Bible into Persian, and prepared the way for others. "They that sow, and they that reap, shall rejoice together."

4. By prayer.

5. By gifts of money sustaining the labours of others. (Some suggestions and illustrations of a useful character may, perhaps, be found in a characteristic sermon by Dr. Talmage on the text, in the first series, published by Nicholson and Sons, Wakefield.)

IV. THEIR BRILLIANCE. "As the stars for ever and ever." Here we have some of the ideas we had before, but with variations, additions, and enlargements. Without becoming pedantic, we make use legitimately of the richer knowledge astronomical of our time. In the destiny of the active aggressive worker we have:

1. An intense brilliance. Strictly, daylight is more brilliant than the light of stars; for it obscures it by day, or rather outshines it. But this would not be the popular impression, and on that this Bible-text is based.

2. A diversity of splendour. "One star differeth," etc. Not only the most eminent workers are to shine, but others in their proportion and degree.

3. A distinguishing separateness. Think of the distinctive glory of each worker. Here it is not difference of degree, but of type and kind; e.g. Martin Luther, George Fox, Madame Guyon, Elizabeth Fry, etc.

4. Yet oft a clustered glory. In appearance the stars congregate in clusters; in actuality are marshalled into systems. The fellowships of earth, of heaven. A unity of power.

5. A growing radiance with nearness of view. "'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view" has no application here. The stars are suns whose magnificence dawns with our approach. So with the glorified and consecrated in the Church.

6. A ministration of light and heat and life.

7. A subservient splendour.

"For ever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is Divine."

8. A brilliance unlike that of the stars. Their light does now oft go out. The light of all may fade and die. But these saintly workers shine on "for ever and ever." Many motives to Christian service may be urged; but here behold its supreme attractiveness! Contrast with this that other destiny (ver. 2), "Shame and everlasting contempt." - R.

And they that be wise.
The word prudent or wise means endued with intellect. Some take it transitively, and in this passage their opinion is probably correct, because the office of justifying will soon be assigned to these prudent ones. It is better, however, to take it as meaning those who are endued with understanding. The angel says that the "teachers," or those who excel in understanding, "shall shine forth as the light of Heaven." The angel contrasts the profane who proudly and contemptuously rage against God, and the faithful whose whole wisdom it is to submit themselves to God, and to worship Him with the purest affection of their minds. Those who retained sincere piety should be like "the light of the firmament"; meaning, they shall be heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, where they shall enjoy that glory which surpasses all the splendour of the world .... It is the common duty of the children of God to promote the salvation of their brethren. By this word "justifying," the angel means, not that it is in the power of one man to justify another, but the property of God is here transferred to His ministers. Meanwhile, we are as clearly justified by any teaching which brings faith within our reach as we are justified by the faith that springs from the teaching. Why is our justification ever ascribed to faith? Because our faith directs us to Christ, in whom is the complete perfection of justification, and thus our justification may be ascribed equally to the faith taught and to the doctrine which teaches it. And those who bring before us this teaching are the ministers of our justification. The assertion of the angel is this — The sons of God, who, being devoted entirely to God, and ruled by the spirit of prudence, point out the way of life to others, shall not only be saved themselves, but shall possess surpassing glory far beyond anything which exists in this world. This is the complete explanation.

( John Calvin.)

I. THE CHARACTERS HERE MENTIONED, There are two. "They that be wise." "They that turn many to righteousness."

1. "Wise," that is, instructors, or teachers. By this character of wise is meant all good men, who have a real, a warm concern to know their duty and to put it in practice, who take delight in serving God and doing good. It is religion that teaches what must be known, and done, to make us happy for ever. We have souls, and we have bodies. These constitute the man. Both deserve and demand our care, but not both in the same degree.

2. "Turn many to righteousness." Some say — If I am good myself, that is enough. Let every man look to himself. But, surely, it is every man's province, every man's duty, and it will be every man's satisfaction, his crown of glory as well as rejoicing, to do all the good that he can. By righteousness is meant in the text, what it usually signifies in holy Scripture, virtue and piety, our duty to God and one another, and a due government of our appetites and passions.

II. IN WHAT MANNER, AND BY WHAT METHODS, MAY THE CONVICTION AND REFORMATION OF SINNERS BE MOST PRUDENTLY ATTEMPTED, AND PROBABLY EFFECTED? Some natures are so corrupted, some wills so obstinate, some wicked habits so strong, that counsel, how good soever, signifies nothing. The most natural and effectual methods to excite a sense of religion, to reclaim those to the paths of piety and virtue who have forsaken and run from them are:

1. Let them be instructed in the knowledge of true religion.

2. Recommend a serious consideration of what they do know.

3. Represent the great encouragement which the word of God gives to enter upon a new and bettor life.

4. Warn them of the dreadful consequences of living and dying in an unpenitent and unpardoned state.

5. We should not fail to enforce a due care of and attendance upon the appointed means of religion.

III. THE ENCOURAGEMENT CONTAINED IN THE TEXT. The glory promised to good men is unfading and everlasting.

(Ed. Sandercock.)

I. THERE IS A REWARD OF GRACE AWAITING ALL GOD'S FAITHFUL SERVANTS. The general character of God's servants is hero exhibited under the attribute of wisdom.

1. In what does this wisdom consist? In the experimental knowledge of all that is essential to salvation. The wisdom thus obtained has not been wasted in fruitless speculation, or suffered to lie as a dormant or inactive principle in the heart. Without this wisdom all is folly; and with it, men of humblest name shall surpass, in a future world, the proudest sons of that perishable science, which has been confined in its operations within the narrow limits of time.

2. Whence is this wisdom derived, and by whom is it sustained? Is it a distinction originating in the sinful creature, or in the boundless sovereignty of Divine grace? This wisdom is undoubtedly from above. Wherever it is possessed, it is God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness.

3. The blessed consequences to which such wisdom conducts in eternity. It is difficult to conceive of a reward where no merit can exist. Who can tell what it is to "shine as the brightness of the firmament"? The most splendid objects in Nature are the chosen emblems of Heaven to express the high dignity and the unspeakable felicity of those who have become wise unto salvation. Their eternal sphere is one in which all the elements of light, and glory, and peace, and sanctity, combine.

II. THERE ARE SPECIAL RESERVATIONS OF GLORY AWAITING THOSE WHO HAVE TURNED MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. The personal possession of true wisdom is distinguished, in the text, from the act of turning many to righteousness. The latter shall be exalted to spheres of peculiar honour and blessedness. There are various degrees of glory in Heaven. All are with Christ, and all like to Him; and the awards of infinite wisdom and grace awaken no envy, and call forth no unworthy jealousy. The principle on which all are accepted is faith in the Son of God; and the degree of service rendered to Christ in the present life wilt bear an exact proportion to the degree in which the justifying principle was brought into exercise. On the great day, saint and sinner will receive according to the deeds done in the body. The office of ministers is one of extraordinary responsibility, and one which involves peculiar trials. They need great consolations, and great excitements in their arduous work. They have the glorious prospect of gracious and abundant rewards.

(John, Morison, D.D.)


1. The subject we must exercise our skill on are men, tempered of the same mould, having a soul inspired from the breath of the same God, as dear to Him as ourselves, bought with no worse blood than His Son's, guarded with angels, protected by the same Providence, and compassed about with the same mercies that we are. This subject is set down indefinitely, "many." The power of God is here perspicuous, that designs a few to convert many.

2. The predicate we work; men, is righteousness. Righteousness is so fair an object that a man would think there needs no great solicitation to it. The end of the ministry is to bring men to righteousness. It is the cunning of all cunning to govern souls. It is no easy work to make men righteous.

3. The copulatives. The persons whom God hath deputed to atone these two contrary natures, sinful men and righteousness, are the ministers.

II. THE REWARD. Our bliss, our heaven. Ministers are said to be stars in five respects.

1. In name.

2. In substance. A star-like and substantial light, not a flash of lightning.

3. In situation. The stars are placed in their orb, and finish their course in a determined space of time.

4. The motion is four-fold — circular, incessant, swift, and orderly. Orderly.

5. The last similitude consists in the effects. Our influence, our light, our delight. Then despise not, afflict not, impoverish not your stars.

(T. Adams.)

You know what the "firmament" is, you young people. It is the blue vault of Heaven above as. And, you know what the stars are. A little girl described their appearance by saying, "They are gimlet holes in the floor of Heaven, to let some of the light shine through." Of course they are not. They are great worlds, some of them bigger than the world we live in.

1. Let us see that we understand this verse. By "those that are wise," are here meant those who are "wise unto salvation" — those who have the wisdom to hear God's voice and have been led to trust it and obey Him. The New Testament speaks of believers as a great "cloud" of witnesses. Here they are compared to the "firmament" itself — vault of God's great spiritual temple, His purified and glorified Church, far more gloriously "beautiful than the resplendent dome of the sky. By "those that turn many to righteousness" are meant these who are not only wise for themselves, but have wisdom, patience, and love in seeking to bring others also to the love and fear of God. Is not that the noblest kind of life? If you have found the true wisdom yourself, to seek that others may have it too? That is a poor soul who is only careful for himself. The truly noble life is the life which, in gratitude to God, is laid out for the good of others. People often seek to be thought wise among men — to get credit for knowing a great deal more than other people. Be it yours to be accounted wise by God, in knowing Him, and loving Him. For that is the true Wisdom.

(C. A. Salmond, M.A.)

1. In these words we have first a general description of all the righteous without exception — they are wise. This description in its highest sense belongs only to the people of God. They only are truly wise, because wise unto salvation. Wisdom was originally the outstanding conspicuous characteristic of man as distinguished from the inferior animals. Wisdom was God's image in the mind, as holiness was His image in the soul of man unfallen, but the words of our text show that they are no longer characteristic of the race at large, but the distinction of the people of God. True wisdom includes:(1) Consideration. Man as a rational creditors is influenced by higher principles than the inferior animals; and God, in His word and in His works, appeals to these higher principles. But in vain are we surrounded by instructors if we do not receive and ponder the lessons they teach. In order that we may learn the lessons, we must consider. Before we can wisely consider the works of God, we must first have considered and entertained the lessons of His word. Ancient Israel failed to do this.(2) Wisdom includes calculation. No man, ever gained the whole world, but thousands have lost their souls for want of consideration and calculation.(3) Wisdom includes decision. Acting on convictions. To remain undecided is to decide for sin and Satan, the side on which we all are by nature.(4) To be wise implies not only that a man makes a wise choice, but that he adheres to it, persists in it. A wise man chooses through grace to lead a godly life, not only for a time, but to the end. The new life must begin with a solid work of justification through faith in Christ. Some do not take time to seek and find Christ, but begin at once to build on their convictions, feelings, and resolutions. He that builds on Christ, the Rock of Ages, endureth to the end, and so shall be saved, and is proved to have been wise unto, and up to salvation.

2. The distinction belonging to some of the godly — that of turning many to righteousness. Some are specially diligent and successful in this work. It was said of Richard Baxter that he "never preached without being the means of awakening, convincing, or converting some sinner." But the work of turning sinners to righteousness seems to refer more specially to personal effort in private.

3. The reward. There are two distinct ideas in this promise, a less glorious, and a more glorious, reward. The brightness of the firmament means the star-sown sky by night, and it implies that all glorified saints will shine as stars, with different degrees of brightness. There will be different degrees of glory among the saints in Heaven, depending upon the qualifies acquired by them, and the character formed in them while they were on earth. What are these stars to which glorified saints are compare? They are suns, conveying light and genial warmth to separate worlds, or whole systems of worlds, as in the case of our own sun. The describing of John Baptist, a "burning and shining light," applies to all who follow John's example in influencing graciously the minds and hearts of men. The "seven churches of Asia" were lights shining in a dark place, slowly dispersing the surrounding darkness of heathenism. So it was with our Culdee forefathers. When each college of twelve holy men, with their presiding abbot, went forth from Iona, and settled down in some dark region of heathen England, or half-heathen Scotland, they were so many star clusters, who, by the blessing of God, spread the light of Gospel truth more rapidly and more thoroughly than any ether missionaries have done since the time of the Apostles. These missions may be described as star clusters, and so every well organised congregation at home, even now, shines with Heavenly light amid surrounding darkness. It seems an appropriate reward that those who are burning and shining lights on earth should continue to burn and shine when transferred to a higher sphere.

(C. G. Scott.)

I. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THIS DISTINGUISHING REWARD AND GLORY IN THE NEXT WORLD IS PROMISED. Those, in general, who apply themselves to the most probable and effectual methods of instructing mankind in their duty, and turning them into the paths of righteousness. The text describes them as "wise," or "teachers," they who have instructed themselves in the laws of God, and make it their business to see others instructed. A work belonging especially, but by no means exclusively, to ministers. The text also describes them as "turning many to righteousness." In this work ministers may be greatly aided by a due exercise of authority on the parts of parents, of masters, and of magistrates. It includes bending the minds of children, while they. are tender and young, to the ways of goodness and righteousness.

II. THE PARTICULAR EXCELLENCIES OF TRAINING UP MANKIND TO THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF THEIR DUTY. The care, especially, of the poorer sort of children is peculiarly acceptable to God.

1. As it is charity.

2. As it is charity to the soul.

3. As it is a charity proceeding from the noblest motives.

4. As it is a charity employed to the best advantage.

5. As it is a charity, extending not only to the present age, but also to posterity.

(Bishop Edmund Gibson.)

I. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THESE GLORIOUS PROMISES ARE MADE. Teachers or preachers of God's word. The primary duty of a minister of the church is to teach and to instruct the people. But the mere circumstance of being a teacher cannot ensure the promised reward. There may be false teachers. The reward is only for those who "turn many to righteousness."

II. THE DESIGN OF THEIR OFFICE. In the word of God we are constantly and emphatically told of man's utter ruin by sin. Having become by the fall not only inclined to sin, but actual transgressors, there must necessarily be a change wrought in us thorough reformation of the inner man — or we cannot be saved. He that has no conviction of sin cannot understand or appreciate the atonement of Christ. This is the turning-point in the life of every child of God, When he comes to himself, bewails his folly, flies to his Father, and seeks forgiveness. How can sinners be turned to righteousness? The shed blood of Christ has procured pardon for any sinner who will accept its benefits. The sinner is not justified because of his faith, but because Christ died. But as faith is the procuring cause, it is important to ascertain where it is to be found, and how it is to be obtained.

III. THE REWARD ATTACHED. The souls of faithful ministers shall be raised in the state of glory to an elevated position among the "spirits of the just made perfect:." An eternity of uninterrupted joy at God's right hand awaits them, when they shall be crowned with an immortal diadem.

(Isaac D. Winslow.)

Those engaged in soul-saving are prosecuting a work of eminent wisdom. Cultivated pagans regarded the wise as men of profound knowledge and great attainments in learning; men whose erudition swept a vast compass; men of deep and solid information in philosophy. Daniel held aloof a nobler species of wisdom. "He that winneth souls is wise." The worth of the soul manifests the wisdom of the work of soul-saving. The, dying Lyman Beecher said, "Theology is great, controversy is great, but the greatest of all things is saving souls." In turning many to righteousness it is important that we understand the forces by which we can successfully save souls. We can save them by the power of a holy example. In this centre the alms of life must converge. A holy man or woman is a perpetual sermon. The conduct of professed Christians formulates the creeds of the masses. In example we are holding the invisible reins by which we are guiding souls to Heaven or hell. Another force in soul-saving is the power of prayer. Another is earnest and repeated counsel. Advise, and repeat advice. Be not discouraged. Wait God's time and speak to souls. Faithfully admonish with faith in God, and success will crown your efforts. Where can we best work for the saving of souls? In the home circle. Home is the place of confidence, How glorious the reward celestial! How magnificently the stars shine over old Babylon where Daniel lived! Stars shine in their individuality of beauty. We shall not lose our personal identity in the Kingdom of God. The stars shine in constellations. When the stars all grow dark we shall shine for ever and ever.

(S. V. Lech.)

The idea contained in this verse is that the reward of wisdom corresponds to the nature of the ends that are sought.


1. Wisdom has a wide horizon; therefore its reward is wide as the firmament. We are placed on earth, but we have not the contracted horizon that other creatures on earth have. We are like those who study the stars; earth is only the station from which we look out to the Infinite. In looking away from self to God, we can feel free and joyous in a boundless scope which is given to our life. And wisdom requires that we should take the whole width of horizon that there is. If we have God as our reward we can never feel shut in.

2. Wisdom has a bright horizon; therefore its reward is bright as the firmament. The great object placed before us is Christ. He is the brightness of the Father's glory. It is He who has made our horizon bright, taking away the darkness caused by our sin, and bringing forth a righteousness for us like the light. It is He who is the brightness of that world into which He has gone. We are, then, to take Him as the end of our being. Christ will be in us as the brightness of the firmament, His splendid sapphire will appear in our bodies and in our souls.

3. Wisdom has a lasting horizon; therefore its reward is lasting as the firmament. We are but of yesterday, and yet we are linked to eternity. We can plan for future years, we can look away beyond death, we can look out into the boundlessness of time. And wisdom requires that we should take in the whole extent that there is, and not a section merely. Our temptation is to think of the present, and not of what the future has to toll the present. If we look to the things which are eternal, then we are promised eternity in our reward.


1. The results of this aggressive wisdom are of the highest kind; therefore the reward is high. By nature all are turned away from righteousness, and toward sin. If we have seen what is for our own highest good, we will not see it for ourselves alone. For the end which we have in and His Kingdom embraces others as well as ourselves. Our wisdom will be directed to this, to gain men from sin to righteousness, from Satan to God. The Gospel is the wisdom of God for this end. And they are wise who can appreciate its wisdom as a means. If we are instrumental in producing results of so high a kind as this, then our reward shall be correspondingly high. They that turn men to righteousness shall he as the stars. There is no object on earth which can set forth the height of the reward. We need to turn to the sky above us.

2. It has results to individuals; therefore its reward is individual and varied as the stars. "Many." Numbers are of great consequence when so high a result is involved. Joy is in Heaven over one sinner. There is no saving in the mass; and there will be no rewarding in the mass.

3. It accomplishes lasting results; therefore its reward is as the stars for ever and ever. To turn men to righteousness is to do them lasting good. It is doing what will be felt to all eternity. Who are the star-souls? They are not necessarily the highly gifted, those who have left a name on earth. They shine out of the nebulous mass of humanity, out of the indistinguishable multitude. They shall keep their light, it shall never go out. Because Christ shines they shall shine also.

(R. Finlayson B.A.)

Righteousness was the idea of the ancient hierarchy. Righteousness is the result of the work of the Christian Church. What is the power of righteousness, what is the source of righteousness, what is the instrumentality?

1. Righteousness means right in all departments of our being, the brain, the heart, the lips, the life. Righteousness is a power that conquers Time; a power that turns life, not into the victim of the passing day, but in the highest sense into life everlasting.

2. Take another measurement of righteousness. The best, the greatest, the purest, the most loving, are the subjects of imperfection. Andeas del Sarto when he went to look at Raphael's pictures granted that the drawing was imperfect. He said, "I dare not touch it, because it is marvellous, but certainly it is wrong." Then the higher genius, the most saintly life, may be the victim of imperfection. Now righteousness conquers that. It changes now.

3. Take another measure. Take friendship, which is one of the dignities of humanity. One thing cuts the tie that binds soul to soul; it is inconstancy, the weakness of will, of heart, of perception, that separates souls. Righteousness conquers it. What is the source of righteousness? It is the glory of God. The glory of God means the sum total, the collection, the complete centre of life, the central point on which we can rest. Righteousness of the soul is the result of God's power. Our last thought upon God's glory is the fact that God loves us.

(Canon W. J. Knox-Little, M.A.)

The sky is a magnificent object. This magnificent feature of creation has furnished the prophet with an illustration of the glory which awaits a certain part of the human race. The text has a climactic description of Heaven.

I. PIETY ALONE IS HONOURED IN HEAVEN. Men are removed to that blessed land only as a reward of piety.

1. Being in Heaven is itself the reward of piety, as it is an expression of God's approbation. To be there, is proof of being fit to be there. And, besides expressing fitness, it will be an honour conferred, a reward of service. To be there is to receive the reward of faith, integrity, courage, and patience.

2. The beauty of holiness will be there seen to constitute man's true glory. Everything else God has made is perfect in its kind and place; and when man shall recover his lost beauty there will be great splendour. There will be the perfectly restored image of God. Each one will look like Jesus. His beauty will be the beauty of holiness; which is love in place of selfishness.

II. THE PIETY MOST HONOURED IN HEAVEN WILL COME FROM THIS EARTH. It is God's purpose that where sin abounded grace shall superabound.

1. Their glory is a reward indirectly to them, directly to Christ. His suffering and mediation all have their recompense in man's salvation. Nothing is done directly on their own account. Thee piety will have in itself no peculiar excellence above that of angels; but it will have peculiar relations to the person and work of Christ.

2. They will appear in a peculiar lustre, as conquerors. The angels are represented as fighting; but they never fought an enemy within their own being. They never so taxed the resources of grace as we have.


1. Usefulness is the highest form of piety. There are two extremes in sincere believers. There may be an excessive cultivation of personal piety; and there may be too much outward activity; that is, disproportioned to personal cultivation. The height of all cultivation is to grow into useful piety. Love is the crowning grace. It has two phases, complacency and beneficence. Love has its perfection in exercise. Self-denial will be honoured in Heaven. The exercise of sentimental love and theoretical love does not disturb our selfishness. They flatter our conceit without taxing our self-love. Practical love develops the highest form of strength.

2. Their own blessedness, too, will be the greatest. The useful will shine in brightness of a peculiar happiness. Theirs will be the joy of seeing those saved for whom they cared. What treasures of joy is every weeping laboured now laying up in Heaven! Theirs is the joy of receiving the love and gratitude of those whom they have saved. Learn:(1) The world's wisdom, at best, is short-sighted.(2) The study of the modes of usefulness is one of the most important branches of human pursuit.(3) Believers can afford to wait, to toil, and to suffer. The glory that awaits them is an infinite compensation.

(E. N. Kirk, D.D.)

In the writings of the prophets we generally find that after predictions of calamitous events consolatory promises are added for the support of the true people of God under them. Daniel is here instructed by the angel to deliver such promises as were adapted to sustain the faith, and console the minds, of the children of God.

I. THE TWO DESCRIPTIONS OF PERSONS SPOKEN OF BY THE ANGEL TO DANIEL. "They that be wise." "They that turn many to righteousness." By the wise is not meant the learned, or the subtle, or the worldly-wise, or the politic, but simply those that are godly, or righteous, or that possess genuine religion. True religion is wisdom. It removes the source whence arise most of the follies of mankind. It improves whatever is excellent in human attainments and actions. It fills the mind with tranquility and peace; a kind of wisdom which few rich, great, or learned men attain. Righteousness includes the justification of men's persons, the renovation of their nature, and a practical obedience to God in heart and life flowing therefrom. The angel does not speak of turning men from one opinion, or mode of worship, or sect and party to another, but to righteousness, true, genuine, Scriptural righteousness. No wonder that the angel should single out the character of those who "turn many to righteousness," and lay such stress upon it. For by their zeal and labours men escape a misery unspeakable and eternal, and obtain a happiness that has neither measure nor end. The two characters are not opposed to each other. All that are wise will endeavour to turn others to righteousness.

II. THE PROMISES MADE TO SUCH CHARACTERS. "Shine," as the unclouded sky. They shone on earth by their holy example and conversation. Then every obstruction to their shining will be removed. They shall be as conspicuous and brilliant stem in the right hand of the Creator.

(J. Benson.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.

1. They turn many to righteousness. This work is truly good, being a work of mercy to the souls of men. It is a work of vast importance, uniting in its objects the glory of God and the salvation of souls from death.

2. The means which wise men use are calculated to promote the desired end. The weapons of their "warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." They use wine instruction, earnest prayer to God, and a good example.

3. The ends accomplished are valuable beyond description. God is honoured and glorified in their salvation; truth prevails over error; virtue triumphs over vice; and these miserable sinners are made holy and happy. This work is not confined to ministers. Many obscure saints have been happy instruments of saving souls.


1. They shall shine as the firmament. The vast expanse around us, illuminated by the sun, moon; and stars, shines with a bright lustre.

2. But the glory of the stars is particularly noticed. The glory of the sun resembles the glory of our Lord, who is the Sun of righteousness. But the glory of the moon and stars resembles the glory of wise and useful men, especially in this particular — they will shine by reflection.

3. The stars are of different magnitudes. This conveys the idea that some will shine with a brighter lustre than others in the world of glory; and this must be the case if everyone be rewarded according to his works.

4. The glory of Heaven will endure. Holy and useful men shall shine there as the stare, for ever.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

1. "They that be wise." Who are they? Two kinds of wisdom are contrasted. Those whom the world counts wise, but who reject the word of the Lord. Those who are wise, because they are willing to come to God to be taught. The true wisdom is treasured up in the word of God.

2. "Turn many to righteousness." Many who possess worldly wisdom feel no desire to communicate it to others. They are proud of the possession of it, and either keep it to themselves or else impart it to others for selfish considerations; but he who is possessed of true wisdom invariably feels an earnest desire to make others partakers of it. God has been pleased specially to assign the work of turning many to righteousness to His ministers.How must the Christian minister fulfil his office?

1. He must point out to men the necessity of being turned and converted.

2. He must point out the righteousness of God, and show how men may attain to it.

3. He must lead people to Christ; teach them to renounce their own righteousness, and accept the free offers of the righteousness of Christ made in the Gospel. What result may be expected from such a ministry?

(E. Jones.)

1. How may we turn many to righteousness?

(1)By the charm of a right example

(2)By prayer.

(3)By Christian admonition.

2. What will be our reward for so doing? "Shall shine as the stars."

(1)The redeemed have a borrowed light.

(2)Christian workers shall be like the stars in the fact that they have a light independent of each other.

(3)They shall shine as the stars in clusters.

(4)In swiftness of motion.

(5)In magnitude: and

(6)In duration.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D.D.)

I. THE NATURE OF THAT WISDOM OF WHICH THE PROPHET SPEAKS. It cannot consist in that natural sagacity of which some men are possessed in a much higher degree than others. Nor are we to understand that cunning, or political craftiness, which is sometimes to be found in the most vicious and degraded characters, and is generally the object of fear, rather than of esteem. Neither dons it signify that worldly-acquired wisdom, of which Solomon says, that "in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." True wisdom originates in the "fear of the Lord," which imports the correct knowledge and supreme love of His character, combined with an esteem of His favour as our chief happiness. With regard to the influence of this wisdom, it leads to a conformity to the will of God in heart and life, to liberality, to patience under affliction, love to our neighbour, and the exercise of every Christian grace; so that it includes both the principles and practice of all true godliness. It is affirmed of this wisdom that "her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace," Now, it is of the utmost importance to be thoroughly convinced of this. Many will admit that the ways of true religion may conduct to happiness at the end; but they imagine that all the way thither is a most cheerless, melancholy, and unpleasant path. There cannot be a greater mistake than this. Wisdom's ways are now "ways of pleasantness" to these who walk in them.

II. THE DUTY OF IMPARTING THIS HEAVENLY WISDOM TO OTHERS. The word translated "wise" is in the margin "teachers." This points out the plain duty of instructing the ignorant, and the quality of the instruction to be imparted. It is one of the essentials of the Sacred Book that it leads men to holiness. Scriptures become the instrument of a moral elevation. In every departure of human learning religion must be the basis upon which the superstructure is reared. We cannot commence our Christian, efforts at too early an age.

III. THE REWARD PROMISED TO THOSE WHO ARE DILIGENTLY EMPLOYED IN THE WORK OF CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION. What can the most ambitious desire beyond what is here shadowed forth in figurative language? The words evidently denote some high degree of distinction in a future state of existence, but it is not within the power of man to say precisely in what it shall consist. This happiness is not to be only realised hereafter, for true wisdom has in it the elements of present peace and joy, and is at once a foretaste and a pledge of future blessedness. There is, in the wisdom of which we speak, a principle of satisfaction not to be discovered in any mere worldly possession. It brings men into intimate communion with God, as the source of life and salvation through Christ Jesus. Whilst a glorious reward awaits those who are "wise unto salvation," a peculiar promise is made to those who "turn many to righteousness," and this should stimulate our most active exertions in the great cause of Christian education.

(Edward Pizey, B.A.)

These words recognise a broad distinction between being saved and saving others. They that are "wise," i.e., personally believe and accept Christ, "shall shine as the brightness of the firmament" — like the sky illuminated by the sun; but "they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" — as suns in the everlasting kingdom! it is is impossible to conceive of a mere glorious reward than this. Let us glance:

I. AT THE SERVICE. "They that turn many to righteousness;" It is not sufficient to be wise in our own behalf to get into the kingdom ourselves. The Christian life is a "calling," a "service," in which and by which we are to honour Christ, and walk in His footsteps and strive to save our fellow-sinners, and spend and be spent for the salvation of the world. To live for self, even if it includes our own salvation, is to dishonour our Master, to live contrary to the spirit and teachings of the Gospel

II. AT THE REWARD. Shall shine "as the stars for ever and ever."

1. The reward of faithful Christian service is sure. It is one of the fundamental principles of Christ's Kingdom. It was for the glory set before Him that Christ endured and suffered. And He holds out the same motive to His disciples. He does not call us to service without the assurance of a corresponding reward.

2. The reward is a discriminating and proportionate reward. Christ, the final Judge, wilt know the. kind and measure and effectiveness of every man's service, and this reward hereafter will be in strict accordance therewith, Now, it is otherwise. The rule is mot applied here. Each individual is not singled out and the exact results of his life set off to him and the reward rendered.

3. The reward will be one of light and glory unspeakable. There is nothing in nature so glorious as the stars, the centres and illuminating power of vast systems in the stellar universe. And what these are in God's vast material universe, they that turn many to righteousness will be in the spiritual kingdom of the future.

4. The reward will be enduring; "as the stars for ever and ever." Never will their lights go out. Never will they cease to roll on in their majestic orbits.

(J. M. Sherwood, D.D.)

Dr. Torrey gave us two main thoughts:(1) Choose the man or woman whose salvation you are determined to compass — choose your "victim" alone with God in prayer; select someone that is

(a)accessible to you — someone in Manchester, not someone in Shangai;

(b)approachable by you — someone of, your own sex, own age, own plane in social life.(2) Lay siege to the soul you desire to capture in one or all of the following ways:

(a)by prayer;

(b)by personal work;

(c)by letter;

(d)by tract.

One of the mightiest soul-winners I knew was Colonel Clarke, of Chicago. He is in Heaven now. He worked his business six days every week, and he kept his mission, open, which he supported out of his own pocket, seven nights every week. He had a wonderful crowd of five or six hundred men every night in the year — drunkards, thieves, pickpockets, gamblers, and everything that was hopeless. I used to go and hear Colonel Clarke talk, and he was one of the dullest talkers I ever heard in my life. Yet, while Colonel Clarke was talking, these men would lean over and listen to him, spellbound. Some of the greatest preachers in Chicago used to go down to help Colonel Clarke, but the men would not listen to them as they did to Colonel Clarke. When he was speaking they would listen and be converted by the score, Why? Because they knew that Colonel Clarke loved them. I heard this story. I don't know whether he told me or his wife. Colonel Clarke said: "In the early part of this mission I used to weep a great deal for these men who came in, until at last I got ashamed of my tears. Then I steeled my heart, and stopped crying. I lost in power. Then I prayed to God, 'O God give me hack my tears!' And God gave me back my tears, and gave me wonderful power over these men."

(R.A. Torrey.)

Dr. Theodore Cuyler once said concerning the 3,000 souls he had received into the Church during his ministry, "I have handled every stone." A lot of men were imprisoned in a coal-mine, as the result of an accident. Great crowds gathered to help to clear away the earth and rescue the men. An old, grey-headed man cane running up, and, seizing a shovel, began to work with the strength of ten men. Someone offered to relieve the old man. "Get out of the way!" he cried. "I have two boys down there!" Nothing but love for the souls of the unsaved can help to provide a way of escape for them. Five things the personal worker needs: A converted heart, a Scripture-stored mind, a love for souls, a prayerful life, the Spirit of God. Dr. Talmage Once said: "Brethren, do not go fishing for souls with a crawfish for bait, a log-chain for a line, a weaver's beam for a pole, and then scream, 'Bite, or be lost for ever!'" Spurgeon wisely says: "If a man is to be a soul-winner, there must be in him intensity of emotion as well as sincerity of heart. You may repeat the most affectionate exhortations in such a half-hearted manner that no one will be moved either by love or fear. I believe that for soul-winning there is more in this matter than in almost anything else."

I. The WORK of a true preacher. What is it? To "turn many to righteousness." To "righteousness."

1. Not to creeds.

2. Not to sects.

3. Not to ritualisms. "Circumcision or uncircumcision availeth nothing."But turn them to righteousness.

1. This is the true evangelical work. "Christ came to establish judgment (rectitude) on the earth." Righteousness was the grand theme of His ministry. He came to make men righteous in their characters, relations, and engagements. Righteous towards God, towards themselves, and towards the universe. Righteous in commerce, polities, literature, and religion.

2. This is the most difficult work. It is comparatively easy to turn men to theological opinions, to superstitious feelings, to conventional churches, and sensuous ceremonies.

3. This is the most urgent work. Unless you "turn" men to "righteousness," you do them no real good.

II. The DESTINY of a true preacher. Shall shine "as the stars for ever and ever." How glorious are the stars!

"Whoever gazed upon them shining

And turned to earth without repining,

And longed for wings to fly away

And mix in their eternal day?"How do stars shine?

1. They shine in the brightness of the sun. They revolve round one centre; from that centre they borrow the light which they reflect. So that the glory of the true preacher will come from Christ.

2. They shine in endless variety. They differ in size, bulk, and brilliancy.

3. They shine with an imperishable lustre. All the stars perhaps that now shine on this earth are as bright to-night as they were when they shed their radiance on the bowers of Eden. Redeemed spirits will in Heaven neither fall from their orbits nor grow dim. Nay, they will grow brighter with the ages.

4. They shine with an utter unconsciousness of their glory. How indifferent are the stars to the upturned eyes of admiring generations! It is characteristic of a great man that he is unconscious of his greatness; of a glorious soul, that it does not feel its lustre.


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