"I NEVER could understand why Daniel chose to eat only pulse and water when he might have had good meat and wine," said Tom Mason.

"Oh, I can," said his sister Clara. "He thought it would be more pleasing to God."

"As if God would have cared what he 'ate!" said Tom, somewhat scornfully.

"God did care," said Clara. "He did not wish the Hebrews to defile themselves by eating the meat and drinking the wine of the heathen king who had taken them captive. Daniel knew it, and so did the other three young lads who were his fellow-prisoners. The king would have fed them with dainties and have had them treated well, because they were fine-looking men and had ability.


He wanted to train them to serve his own purposes.

But Daniel knew the laws, which God had given to his own people, and it was his first care to keep those laws. He might have enjoyed himself very much in the king's palace. He might have found good excuses for doing it. But he did not wish to find such excuses. It would have given him no pleasure to have a share in the good things, which were forbidden to him. Do you not think it was a noble example for such very young men to come out and take the firm stand that they did?"

"It may have been noble, and all that," said Tom, "but it must have been very hard to do it.

Some of the others did not seem to be so particular as these were, and no special harm seemed to come to them."

"Nor any special blessing, either," said Clara.

"These four young men were finer-looking than the others, and had more wisdom, and gained more favor with the king's servants, and even with the king himself."

"Much good it did them in the end!" said Tom.

"Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into a burning fiery furnace. You see I know the whole story, miss; and it must have been pretty hard lines for every one of the four."

"If you know the whole story," said Clara, smiling at the earnestness of her small brother, "you know that God sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths, so that no harm came to Daniel; and the three men who were cast into the midst of the fiery furnace not only came out without harm, but there was not even the smell of fire upon their hair or clothing."

"I say, that was a wonderful thing, now," said Tom.

"It was," said Clara; "but our God is a wonderful God in power and in love. He never forsakes those who put their trust in him."

"Oh, well," said Tom, "no such things happen to any one in these days."

"No," said Clara; "but there is the same God, who will appear for us and help us, if we choose to obey him; even a boy or a very young man can take a firm stand for the right and hold to it, and he may be sure that God will sustain and bless him."





Mrs. A. K. Dunning