on Daniel 6 :5
on Daniel 6 :5
We shall not find any occasion ... - We shall not find any pretext or any cause by which he may be humbled and degraded. They were satisfied of his integrity, and they saw it was vain to hope to accomplish their purposes by any attack on his moral character, or any charge against him in respect to the manner in which he had discharged the duties of his office.
Except we find it against him concerning the law of his God - Unless it be in respect to his religion; unless we can so construe his known conscientiousness in regard to his religion as to make that a proof of his unwillingness to obey the king. It occurred to them that such was his well-understood faithfulness in his religious duties, and his conscientiousness, that they might expect that, whatever should occur, he would be found true to his God, and that this might be a basis of calculation in any measure they might propose for his downfall. His habits seem to have been well understood, and his character was so fixed that they could proceed on this as a settled matter in their plans against him. The only question was, how to construe his conduct in this respect as criminal, or how to make the king listen to any accusation against him on this account, for his religious views were well known when he was appointed to office; the worship of the God of Daniel was not prohibited by the laws of the realm, and it would not be easy to procure a law directly and avowedly prohibiting that.
It is not probable that the king would have consented to pass such a law directly proposed - a law which would have been so likely to produce disturbance, and when no plausible ground could have been alleged for it. There was another method, however, which suggested itself to these crafty counselors - which was, while they did not seem to aim absolutely and directly to have that worship prohibited, to approach the king with a proposal that would be flattering to his vanity, and that, perhaps, might be suggested as a test question, showing the degree of esteem in which he was held in the empire, and the willingness of his subjects to obey him. By proposing a law that, for a limited period, no one should be allowed to present a petition of any kind to anyone except to the king himself, the object would be accomplished. A vain monarch could be prevailed on to pass such a law, and this could be represented to him as a measure not improper in order to test his subjects as to their willingness to show him respect and obedience; and at the same time it would be certain to effect the purpose against Daniel - for they had no doubt that he would adhere steadfastly to the principles of his religion, and to his well-known habits of worship. This plan was, therefore, crafty in the extreme, and was the highest tribute that could be paid to Daniel. It would be well if the religious character and the fixed habits of all who profess religion were so well understood that it was absolutely certain that no accusation could lie against them on any other ground, but that their adherence to their religious principles could be calculated on as a basis of action, whatever might be the consequences.
on Daniel 6 :5