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[38]

Spirit.—He who hath said, “Leave thy fatherless children; I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.”

Soldier.—There is strong comfort in resting all on His promises, committing all to His care. It is in an hour like this that we prove the support and solace of religion When we look on the sinking sun with more than a doubt that we shall ever behold it rise again; when there is none of the excitement of conflict, the eager rush to the attack, the hope of triumph, the certainty of honor, to stir up all the natural ardor which glows in the breast of man—but the probability of death coming in the confusion of a night attack—then is the hour when we cling to the thought of a protecting Father and a guiding Saviour, as a drowning man clings to the one plank which supports him in a wild and stormy sea.

Spirit.—And you can hold fast this confidence in your God?

Soldier.— “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”

Spirit.—You can resign yourself into His hand, for life or for death?

Soldier.— “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.”

Spirit.—Yes, it matters little to the Christian whether, with the snows of age on his head, he descends quietly into the waters of death, accompanied to the brink by loving friends; or, in his prime, clears the deep, narrow stream with one bound, exchanging in an instant the desperate struggle, confused noises and garments rolled in blood, for the sudden hallelujah and the changeless peace of the skies! The darker the conflict the brighter the transition.

Soldier.—The bullet or the steel bears the message of God, and He sends no message to His servants that bears not on it the seal of love.

Spirit.—Faith sees that love in all things. Should this night indeed be your last, you can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”

Soldier.—The words of the holy apostle are not for a sinner like me. As one said of old, “I lay both my good deeds and ”

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