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Old Daniel by Thomas Hodson


In the year 1848 Daniel |made a marriage for his son,| and the Missionaries fearing that he might go to some excess either in expenditure or in some worldly conformity, gave him special warning, and watched over the preparations with anxious care. On the wedding day a great number of the friends of both families assembled, and amongst them were many heathens. There were present some who at one time had manifested the greatest hostility to Daniel on account of his baptism. They had refused him access to their houses, and invoked the most dreadful calamities upon him and his family for renouncing the religion of his fathers. However, in many things Daniel had prospered: the blessing of God upon his diligence had placed him in better circumstances than he was in when he embraced Christianity. There was a cheerful generosity in his manner which was well calculated to remove unpleasant feelings, whilst respect was gained by his consistent Christian deportment. This was an illustration of the proverb, |When a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.| After the marriage ceremony was over, all went together to Daniel's house, which was not large enough to contain half of them. But he had, as is usual on festive occasions, erected a temporary covering at the front part of the house, which was very cool and pleasant. Here at eight o'clock in the evening the marriage supper commenced, and without a drawback of any kind all went on very pleasantly. But the Missionaries felt anxious lest there should be, through mistaken kindness, a yielding in some degree to the customs followed at heathen weddings. They therefore determined to go from the mission-house to Singonahully, so as to arrive about the time when the supper would be over, and heathens, on such occasions, would commence their music, dancing, etcetera. They thought that if any ill-advised arrangements had been contemplated they would thus be averted; and also that their presence would be a mark of interest felt in the happiness of the newly-married pair. The delight of the Missionaries may be imagined when, as they approached the house, they not only found all to be peace and good order, but what was more gratifying, the bridegroom was reading a Chapter of the New Testament, and Daniel was commenting, at proper intervals, upon what was read, endeavouring to explain and apply the words. The Missionaries sat down in the temporary verandah, where they spent a happy half-hour with the wedding party in religious conversation and prayer. Daniel was full of joy. This was his |family prayer| on a larger scale than usual. He said to all present, with gratitude to God, |When I became a Christian, my neighbours told me that I should never be able to get my children married, nor even to procure bread for my family. But God has supplied all my wants. Whatever I have needed He has given, and I have no fears as to the future.| The Missionaries returned home truly thankful to God for this instance of His preserving grace.

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