The wedding had been on Wednesday. On Thursday all gathered, by invitation, at the Oaks, where Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore gave them a royal entertainment. On Friday the same thing was repeated at The Laurels, on Saturday at Fairview, and on the following Monday all were to assemble at Woodburn.
Being a Christian, Sabbath keeping connection, no one thought for a moment of profaning the Lord’s day by frivolity and merry making. Those who were able attended church in the morning; in the afternoon the Ion and Woodburn people taught their Sunday-school classes as usual, and afterward held a Bible class among themselves at Woodburn, that being the point nearest to the schoolhouse on the Woodburn place, at which they had just concluded the exercises for the day.
Dr. and Mrs. Landreth and her brother, the Rev. Cyril Keith were, just at that time, among the guests of Captain and Mrs. Raymond, and, by the request of the little company, the minister led the exercises.
Turning over the leaves of his Bible, “The thought strikes me,” he said, “that perhaps godliness would be as good a subject for to-day’s consideration as we could find. ’Godliness with contentment is great gain,’ the apostle tells us. It is a duty and the part of wisdom to be contented with what God our heavenly Father has seen fit to give us of the good things of this life; for there is no happiness to be found in discontent, murmuring, and repining; envying those who seem to us to have a larger share than ours of the riches and pleasures of earth. ’We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And, having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.’ Happiness does not depend upon the amount of our earthly possessions. ’Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.’ That promise alone should be enough to make one contented and happy, even though possessed of but very little of this world’s goods. Indeed, why should we care to have much of that which may at any moment fall from our grasp? Let us rather seek the true riches which endure unto eternal life. Let us follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. May ours be ’the path of the just which is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’
“But I consented, not to the preaching of a sermon, but only to the leading of the exercises in which all are privileged and desired to take a part. Let us have the reading or quoting of texts bearing upon the subject of godliness.”
Then, from their open Bibles they read in turn, the older people selecting for themselves, the younger searching out references given them by their leader.
“Papa,” asked Neddie, when there was a pause in the reading, “what is godliness? Does it mean the same as being a Christian?”